Archive for May 1st, 2008

by jhwygirl

Mike Mease, co-founder of the Buffalo Field Campaign will be in town this weekend for a presentation by the Buffalo Field Campaign at the Missoula County Public Library. The event is Saturday, May 3rd, from Noon to 1:30 p.m.

A slide show – Lessons Learned from the Wild Buffalo – will be shown, followed by a short film, “Protect the Wild Bison”. After that, Mease will be available for a Q&A session.

Mease started the quest for fair treatment of the Yellowstone bison back in the winter of 1996-97, when a (at the time) record slaughter of 1,100 bison occurred at the hands of the Montana Department of Livestock.

This year, the Department of Livestock has slaughtered over 1,284 bison this year – and more than half of the Yellowstone herd has now been lost, in part, to the heavy snows and harsh winter. The record slaughter is due to this harsh winter, as bison traveled outside the park in search of food.

Bison, like nature, know no fence.

I wrote of this slaughter, “Bison Mis-Management Plan”, when the number of bison massacred hit 1,200 and wildlife managers put a halt to the slaughter of pregnant bison in an effort to preserve what is left of the genetic health of the last free-roaming bison herd in North America.

Inform yourself. Meet Mike Mease. The Montana Department of Livestocks and the Montana Stockgrowers Association’s actions are deplorable. Listen, Learn and Speak Out.

Remember this: There is NO KNOWN CASE OF BRUCELLOSIS TRANSMISSION TO DOMESTICATED CATTLE THAT HAS OCCURRED FROM INTERACTION WITH YELLOWSTONE BISON. The only known cases of transmission to domesticated cattle have been from wild elk.

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by Pete Talbot

For the June 3, primary election, the fledgling Progressive Democrats of Montana have endorsed candidates in eight legislative races and one PSC contest. The endorsed candidates, all Democrats, will also receive the maximum contribution of $160.

“Some very difficult choices had to be made between excellent candidates,” said Paul Edwards, PDM Chairman. “The endorsed candidates have a proven progressive track record” and “they bothered to return the PDM questionnaire,” he added.

PDM is a statewide membership organization founded in January, 2007. It works for social, economic, political and environmental justice. PDM is not a third party and has filed as a Political Action Committee with the Montana Commissioner of Political Practices.

From a PDM press release, here are the endorsed candidates:

1. SENATE DISTRICT 07: PAUL CLARK, TROUT CREEK

2. SENATE DISTRICT 47: RON ERICKSON, MISSOULA

3. SENATE DISTRICT 41: CHRISTINE KAUFMANN, HELENA

4. SENATE DISTRICT 21: NORMA BIXBY, LAME DEER

5. HOUSE DISTRICT 97: MICHELE REINHART, MISSOULA

6. HOUSE DISTRICT 82: MIKE MENAHAN, HELENA

7. HOUSE DISTRICT 73: LARRY CYR, BUTTE

8. HOUSE DISTRICT 49: KENDALL VAN DYK, BILLINGS

IN ADDITION, THE P.D.M. BOARD ENDORSED RON TUSSING OF BILLINGS FOR DISTRICT #2 OF THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION.

(Full disclosure: I’m a member of the Progressive Democrats of Montana and sit on its board. I was not, however, on the committee that pored over the questionnaires and narrowed the field to the above candidates. The committee did a good job and made some tough decisions. I imagine there are a few other races out there that could have used PDM endorsements. This is the organization’s first foray into the endorsement process and it will only get broader as the procedures are refined, and more candidates are willing to stick their necks out.)

Here is a post by 4&20’s own Jay Stevens which gives some background on PDM. Jay links to mainstream media stories and op-ed pieces. And in 4&20’s constant effort to remain objective, you’ll see some criticism of PDM in that post and in the comments. The last comment you’ll see is a superbly crafted response to the criticism, written by yours truly.

by Jamee Greer

The Montana Kaimin’s talented new editor Bill Oram, along with reporter Jeff Osteen, write more about the puzzling efforts by administration officials to keep the media in the dark through web-only updates (the Kaimin has ended publishing for the year).

Both links are worth checking out!

Perspectives of many students have shifted in the wake of the administration’s actions to silence students who disagree with their policies, and it has become a statewide issue with friends in Bozeman and Billings offering their stances on the dangerous precedent set by university officials.

And the issue isn’t one to be broken down on basic party lines as Steve Dogiakos, a UM student and candidate for HD 93, offered his ideas on the situation here on 4and20blackbirds earlier this week:

Don’t get me wrong, I understand the need for consequences to their actions, but isn’t the fact the University is already ALSO pressing criminal trespass charges overkill?

Is this the message that needs to be sent from the Administration? That, if you don’t agree with the way something is happening and you try to, peaceably, change it you are labeled a criminal and a criminal and academic miscreant.

by Jamee Greer

Excuse me, is your voter registration up to date? Have you moved at all since you last voted? It only takes a minute to fill out this card and we’ll turn it in for you.

The close of primary voter registration is this Monday, May 5th.

Between numerous non-profits, campaigns and upstanding citizens who carry clipboards around town — you’ve probably already been asked these questions more than once in the past months. And if you haven’t, you still have a couple days — and a couple options.

Tune your browser to Forward Montana’s online registration tool, www.forwardmontana.org/register. You whip through the personal information, verify that it’s correct, print and post. Simple.

You can visit the Missoula County Court House, located downtown at 200 West Broadway. The Elections Office is on the second floor, behind a little window. They’ll get you the tools you need.

Or you can ask one of Forward Montana’s volunteers, diligently waiting with clipboards in tow at several Missoula area locations this week. Locations are listed below the fold.

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