Well-lit huckleberries to the Missoula City Council’s 9-3 vote to replace old public street lights with energy- and money-saving LEDs, with NorthWestern Energy even covering the upfront costs. And related huckleberries to the council’s near-unanimous adoption of the Climate Ready Missoula Plan that will help guide the city’s decisions in an environmentally healthy, sustainable direction well into the future. These two actions taken Monday evening complemented each other nicely, as the street light conversion project, which will replace more than 1,800 lights and save the city an estimated $79,000 a year in electricity, is certainly in keeping with the spirit of the climate plan.
Chokecherries lurking in the shadows to the appearance of the first dark money group in Montana this election season. According to Commissioner of Political Practices Jeff Mangan, ads by American Prosperity Group violate state campaign laws because the group has not registered with either state or federal elections officials, leaving Montanans in the dark about who is trying to influence our elections.
An extra tank of huckleberries to the wholesale fuel distributors in Montana and ExxonMobil for donating some 16,000 gallons of gas to first responders, health care workers and other folks on the front lines. The effort is helping to relieve a little of the burden carried by these workers by providing bulk donations to various communities as well as gift cards worth an estimated $32,000 in total.
A barren chokecherry tree to the latest economic forecast for Montana. The original preliminary analysis offered by the Bureau of Business and Economic Research at the University of Montana was bleak enough; the revised version, which incorporates the latest information, predicts that Montana will lose 75,000 jobs over the course of the year, and may not see an economic recovery for another two years at least.
A carefully curated selection of huckleberries to the Montana Museum of Art and Culture, which re-opened on Tuesday to once again welcome art aficionados and the idly curious alike to enjoy an exhibition of famed Missoula artist Monte Dolack’s work focusing on environmental advocacy. The exhibit was only open for a few weeks before the museum had to shut its doors in March as part of the University of Montana’s coronavirus prevention measures. Now, so long as visitors heed the museum’s guidelines and exercise common public health sense, the exhibit is once again open to the public, free to enjoy and the perfect way to help MMAC’s celebrate its 125th anniversary.
This editorial represents the views of the Missoulian Editorial Board: Publisher Jim Strauss, Editor Gwen Florio and Opinion Editor Tyler Christensen.
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