Huckleberries to Ecology Project International and ZaneRay Group for making Outside magazine’s list of the best places to work in America. In fact, Ecology Project International, a conservation education outfit based in Missoula, earned the highest ranking for a nonprofit – 19th place. Whitefish’s ZaneRay Group, which builds websites, came in at No. 82.

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Chokecherries to the loss of 200 jobs at the University of Montana due to massive budget cuts in the wake of falling enrollment, which dropped by 6.5 percent this year over last and resulted in a $3 million shortfall. The university is a top employer in Missoula and the region, and its financial woes are sure to ripple through the local economy. Our hearts go out to all those former UM employees who will be spending the holidays looking for new jobs.

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Huckleberries and a warm welcome to the Montana Community Foundation, which is opening an office in downtown Missoula. The organization, which has been based in Helena for more than 25 years, now has a physical presence within easy reach of the Missoula County interests contributing to 47 charitable funds holding a total of more than $4.5 million with the foundation.

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Chokecherries – and a hefty fine – to whoever shot two deer and left the carcasses to rot in an area near the Rye Creek Lodge southeast of Darby. Mule deer numbers are already down in that district, and the wanton waste of a doe and yearling – shot from the road by some lazy ignoramus with a high-caliber rifle – does nothing to help the population recover.

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Forty thousand pounds of huckleberries to Karl Tyler Chevrolet for giving the Missoula Food Bank its largest donation ever by weight – and for giving Griz fans a major boost in the annual Can the Bobcats Food Drive. The friendly rivalry pits Griz supporters against Bobcat fans to see who can donate the most food to their local food banks before the Brawl of the Wild, taking place this Saturday in Bozeman. Karl Tyler Chevrolet, which has donated 20,000 pounds of potatoes in previous years, provided 40,000 pounds of potatoes for this round. Now it’s up to Griz Nation to do the rest. Go Griz! Let’s can those ‘Cats!

Missoulian editorial board: Publisher Mark Heintzelman, Editor Matt Bunk, Opinion Editor Tyler Christensen.

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