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Chokecherries

Three healthy bushels of home-grown huckleberries to the Missoula Urban Indian Health Center for organizing the Nłʔay “En-th-a-eye” Indigenous Film Festival, which is marking its third anniversary this Friday and Saturday with traditional food, music and a slate of films at the MCT Center for the Performing Arts. This year’s festival focuses on indigenous women filmmakers and includes a visit from legendary actress Tantoo Cardinal, as well as the premiere of the film featuring her first starring role. Go to www.muihc.org/indigenous-film-festival for more information and a full schedule.

$100 worth of chokecherries to Sentinel High School for recruiting a student-athlete in violation of Montana High School Association rules. Earlier this week, the association reprimanded Sentinel in a closed hearing and fined it $100, but did not issue any penalty to any student. Further, Sentinel must submit an explanation of how it will avoid similar violations in the future. Recruiting high school students is against the rules for good reason.

Blooming huckleberry bushes to the Montana Technology Enterprise Center (MonTEC) for being one of only seven recipients in the nation to score a major contract from the U.S. Small Business Administration. The facility on East Broadway aims to boost tech businesses by serving as an incubator and facilitator, and is home to the Montana Bioscience Cluster Initiative, which is set to receive up to $500,000 in its first year and may renew the contract for four additional years.

Hidden chokecherries to state legislators who meet on important public matters without giving proper notice, as pointed out by the Montana Newspaper Association and Freedom of Information Hotline in a letter penned by Helena attorney and right-to-know expert Mike Meloy. His letter draws attention to “what appears to be a serious pattern of failure to provide adequate notice of legislative meetings,” and names several specific instances of unannounced hearings and meetings. In the future, legislative leadership ought to take pains to make sure all official business is conducted in as transparent a manner as possible.

Huckleberries en promenade to the sponsors of and participants in the inaugural Tutu Trot in support of Missoula Boys and Girls Club last weekend. About 150 runners garbed in tutus covered a 2.2-mile course that ended at Imagine Nation and learned a little more about the nonprofit that has helped keep thousands of Missoula kids busy with fun and enriching activities after school and during the summer months for more than 20 years.

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