Archive for August 25th, 2010

by jhwygirl

For those of you who might of missed it, CBS News’ Face the Nation has posted the video of Bob Schieffer’s interview with Bozeman native Greg Mortenson.

Don’t miss it. There’s lots to learn there.

Nicholas Kristof, one of NYTimes best, had a column recently where he lamented the war as it juxtaposed upon the wisdom of Mortenson’s best-selling book, Three Cups of Tea. It’s a must-read.

One thing that’s been stuck in my head from watching Mortenson’s interview this past Sunday?

The U.S. spends $1 million per soldier, per day, for the war in Iraq and Afghanistan

Imagine if we’da built schools over these last nearly 10 years? Imagine if we’d bring 246 our soldiers home today and build a higher education system for all of Afghanistan?

by jhwygirl

Briefly:
Last month, the Missoula County Public School District voted a 20% pay raise ($ + bonus’) for superintendent Alex Apostle, while holding teacher raises to one half of 1% and acknowledging that staff lay-offs were going to occur.

News is News:
Criticism reached a crescendo immediately as news of the pay raise made it out into the community – teachers, students and taxpayers alike weren’t very happy. Letters to the editor were plentiful…more than one school board trustee could take.

Potty Mouth:
Trustee Nancy Pickhardt, an elected official, apparently didn’t like the criticism. She left a voice message for friends of hers who had written a letter criticizing the board’s pay raise decision amidst the current economic situation of giving the teachers only .5% – stating succinctly that Apostle works no harder than the rest of the MCPS system.

What Did Nancy Say?
Go fuck yourself.

What Happened Immediately?
The roar of the dirty masses (i.e., teachers, taxpayers, students and staff ) became louder. At the very next monthly school board meeting (August 10th) a standing-room only crowd protested the raise and scores of people – the dirty masses – spoke in public comment, many quite eloquently, of (1) the board’s misplaced decision regarding the raise (2) Nancy Pickhardt’s potty mouth and the poor example it set for the students, and (3) the need for Nancy Pickhardt to resign.

What Happened Today?
Nancy Pickhardt resigned today. When contacted by the Missoulian to confirm the authenticity of her emailed resignation, Mrs. Pickhardt screamed at the Missoulian reporter (unnamed in the story), saying sarcastically “No, it’s not real. You must be very happy. You’re the one who fomented this. Have a great life.”

Shame on you unnamed Missoulian reporter – you made baby Nancy Pickhardt cry.

I truly hope that is the last we ever hear of this undignified piece of a human being.

by jhwygirl

Supermontanareporter John S. Adams, of the Great Falls Tribune, reports that long-time director of the tourism bureau, housed under the Department of Commerce, was suddenly without employment Friday afternoon.

Was she fired? As Adams posts in his not-blogged-often-enough The Lowdown, Shirley Baumgart – who had been in her position since 2002 – had not told anyone of her plans to leave. Staff and tourist industry people throughout the state were shocked of the news.

Recently appointed director of the Department of Commerce, Dore Schwinden, confirmed on Friday that Ms. Baumgart had left her position, but would not confirm the circumstances.

Baumgart’s department is the third high-level departure from the Department of Commerce in recent months. Director Schwinden, in fact, is very newly appointed – the former director, Tony Preite, retired August 1st.

David Cole is the third sudden departure, who’s abrupt resignation made headlines in March when Cole told Lee Newspapers that he was forced out of his job by the Schweitzer administration. Cole said he was pushed out after he responded to a request from a GOP lawmaker regarding grants to local communities that Schweitzer had frozen. The governor’s office denied playing a role in Cole’s ouster.

I’m recalling sudden departures at the end of 2009 by the long-time director of Fish and Game, and also Health and Human Services – both on the same day. There were news articles….can’t seem to remember their names, though




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