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Handful of huckleberries

Huckleberries to the thousands of runners, volunteers and supporters of the Missoula Marathon, making its return this weekend. The slate of events starts at 6 p.m. tonight with the Beer Run; it continues Saturday morning with the 5K, which was maxed out with 1,200 runners signed up to compete, followed by the Kids Marathon; and wraps up Sunday with the Half Marathon and full 26.2-mile Marathon. The folks at Run Wild Missoula launched the award-winning event and have kept it running ever since, so extra huckleberries to them at the finish line.

Chokecherries to the arsonist responsible for breaking into a fire hall southwest of Kalispell and torching two fire engines belonging to the Smith Valley Fire Department. The engines were destroyed along with other rescue equipment, resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage. The timing couldn’t be worse as the fire season begins in earnest. Hopefully the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office will catch the offender, and hopefully the criminal has pockets deep enough to cover the cost of replacing the damaged equipment.

Huckleberries to the public “grizzly bear workshop” hosted by the Grizzly Bear Recovery Office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Missoula on Thursday. The workshop offered oral presentations of no more than 10 minutes each from a variety of individuals with the aim of exchanging ideas for “objective, measurable habitat-based recovery” as outlined in the draft Grizzly Bear Conservation Strategy. If you missed the workshop, comments are still being accepted for another two weeks. For more information, visit the Federal Register at https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016-05-11/html/2016-11057.htm.

Chokecherries to Missoula’s below-average recycling rate. According to both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality, Missoula residents recycle only about 19 percent of the waste we produce. The state average is 21.9 percent, and the national average is 34.5 percent. Worse, we generate almost 66 percent more waste than the average American. With that in mind, huckleberries to Republic Services, Missoula’s garbage utility, for expanding its curbside recycling program. Already 400 customers have signed up for the program, helping to divert more recyclable material from our local landfill.

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Huckleberries to the Missoula County Parks, Trains and Open Lands Program for putting together a new public resource for accessing information about our public recreation areas. The new online mapping tool offers useful information and provides directions to dozens of trails, parks and open space areas in the Missoula area.

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Missoulian editorial board: Publisher Mark Heintzelman, Editor Kathy Best and Opinion Editor Tyler Christensen.

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