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Hucks and Chokes Nov. 8

A ballot box stuffed with huckleberries to all the candidates who ran for a seat on Missoula City Council this year. Incumbent or newcomer, win or lose, it takes guts to run for elected office. We applaud the candidates’ willingness to serve their community, and recognize that their participation provided voters with an important choice this past Election Day.

There’s no need to give any chokecherries to the PaddleHeads — Missoulian readers have already heaped plenty on the new moniker for the local minor league baseball team formerly known as the Osprey. Almost immediately after the change was announced, hundreds of people took to social media to excoriate the new nickname. For our part, the Missoulian editorial board urges fans to fill the stands in support of our home team, whatever they’re called, and hopes for a successful future for baseball in Missoula.

Unvarnished huckleberries to Missoula Police Det. Guy Baker for talking about the uncomfortable subject of human trafficking at a City Club Missoula meeting earlier this week and helping to dispel some persistent myths about sex trafficking victims — myths that often prevent victims from being helped and keep them trapped. Additionally, Kat Werner of the Missoula Human Trafficking Task Force talked about preventive steps that could be taken by the Montana Legislature to address the underlying issues that lead to human sex trafficking.

A side of chokecherries to the sudden closure of the iconic Old Post Pub in downtown Missoula last week. The bar and restaurant has been a local mainstay for affordable eats with a casual vibe for some 30 years, but apparently racked up a load of debt its owners, the American Legion Forgotten Warriors Post 101, could no longer carry. The nonprofit is now being sued for more than $22,000 in unpaid bills, and the Old Post’s former employees are looking for new jobs.

Huckleberries gathered all together for the first major summit in Missoula focused on LGBTQ+ issues. The Western Montana LGBTQ+ Community Center hosted "Building Community With Pride" on the University of Montana campus last weekend, tackling serious matters such as discrimination and legal rights, but also setting aside time for a fun and informative drag workshop and amateur drag show at the Zootown Community Arts Center.

A paper bag filled with chokecherries to the presence of plastic in more than half the water samples recently collected by nonprofit Environment Montana Research & Policy Center. The samples were taken from 50 different sites across the state this past summer and analyzed to determine whether they contained microplastics; 33 of these were found to contain one or more types, ranging from synthetic fibers such as fishing line to film from plastic bags.

Huckleberry steak sauce to a solid start to the hunting season so far. Two weeks into Montana’s big game season, and aided by favorable weather, hunters are reporting relatively high success rates at key check stations. In fact, the station at Darby logged 106 elk, the highest number for that point in the season since 2013.

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