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The Missoula choir, Dolce Canto, has canceled a March 4 concert after allegations of sexual harassment were leveled against its artistic director and founder, Peter Park.
A daily digest of Montana news
Feb. 25, 2018
WHERE DO you go when you're a celebrity and you want to lay low after going through a bitter divorce? Well, the solitary mountains of Montana might be a good choice.
That's just what Ashton Kutcher did after his official split from Demi Moore, taking a weeklong "spiritual" visit to Big Sky. Kutcher, the former star of 'That 70's Show' and 'Punk'd,' claims he lived on just water and tea for the week. “I started to hallucinate on day two, which was fantastic … It was pretty wonderful,” he told his old friend and fellow actor Dax Shepard in a podcast interview.
Kutcher also had a pen and notepad, so he wrote down all his regrets about past relationships, and then wrote the women letters expressing how he had been wrong. He's now married to actress Mila Kunis, and they have two children.
While news accounts of Kutcher's trip to Montana imply he spent his week roughing it in the wilderness, Buzz bets his "spiritual" visit took place at one of the million-dollar homes at Big Sky's Yellowstone Club. Kutcher worked as a model before beginning a long, successful career as an actor. He's also becoming well-known as a venture capitalist.
JIM MESSINA, the University of Montana graduate and 2012 manager of Barack Obama's presidential re-election campaign, raised eyebrows the other day when he appeared on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" and knocked the relevance of public polls so early in an election campaign.
"I think all public pollsters should be shot," he declared.
Messina, who graduated from UM's journalism school in 1993, has been honored by the university on several occasions. He was named a distinguished alumni in 2013, and also was the university's commencement speaker that same year.
After graduation, he worked for US Sen. Max Baucus before he became a top official in the Obama Administration, and then ran Obama's re-election campaign manager. He was hailed by the media as the "Fixer" for his work on the Obama campaigns and political promotions.
But in more recent years his political success has been more decidedly mixed. After leaving the Obama Administration, he set up a political consulting firm that has put much of its focus on campaigns in Europe, where he suffered a series of defeats that included the Brexit vote and the Italian reform plan.
THIS IS quite a coup for Montana Tech: The top spot in the rankings of the 50 Best Value Engineering Schools 2018.
The survey said Montana Tech graduates earn an average of over $80,000 a year, while paying tuition of only about 11,000 a year. Montana Tech scored a perfect 100 in the survey and beat out many better known schools.
"Montana Tech’s mining school has over a century of experience preparing professionals to build, fortify, and extract mines from the mining capital of the nation, which makes for a curriculum that is uniquely useful to the local economy," the site said. "It’s no wonder Montana Tech graduates have a 98% placement rate in the mining industry..."
MONTANANS like to think Big Sky Country is friendlier than other places. And now there's empirical evidence that's true. At least, it's certainly true when it comes to online interactions.
A recent study by Wired and Disqus looked at the percentage of hostile online comments coming from each state, as well as well as the number of folks who reported they'd been harassed online.
The study employed software that mapped the "troll topography of the United States” as it scanned in the internet looking for comments that were “rude, disrespectful or unreasonable” and could prompt users to leave discussions.
Montana was ranked the 9th friendliest state, with New Hampshire No. 1, and the two Dakotas Nos. 2 and 3. Nevada was ranked the least friendly state.
Reflecting on the rankings and all the hostility present on the internet, Ed Kemmick at Last Best News tells the story of Megan Phelps-Roper, the grand-daughter of Fred Phelps. Phelps, who founded the Westboro Baptist Church, infamous for its attacks on gays. veterans, and others. Phelps-Roper followed her grandfather's footsteps by taking to Twitter to attack enemies of the church, but over time began to engage her online opponents. A few were patient and kind with her, and she eventually dropped her extreme views and left the church.
The lesson, as far as Kemmick is concerned: Internet trolls thrive on insults, but patience and kindness could prove a lot more effective in changing people's minds.
MISSOULA'S always had a reputation for being, well, a little out-of-step with the rest of Montana.
So when its daily newspaper, the Missoulian, did a feature on a loon that landed on the Clark Fork River in Missoula, Al Acheson of Superior couldn't resist poking a little fun at the Garden City in a letter to the editor. Acheson quoted the lede to the article, which said: "This may sound crazy to the rest of Montana, but Missoula is no place for loons."
Quipped Acheson: "Now, that is funny! Ha ha ha ha."