Missoula moms say “Shame on You” to Senator Baucus for voting against background checks

photo  About a dozen people, including moms pushing babies in strollers, held a small rally today outside the Missoula offices of Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester over the issue of gun control. Organizer Nancy de Pastino of the group “Moms Demand Action” says they wanted to thank Tester for his support of expanded background checks on gun buyers, and to say “shame on you” to Senator Baucus for voting against the expansion.

“”It’s not infringing on anybody’s Second Amendment rights,” said de Pastino.”The whole point is to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the severely mentally ill.”

photo  Baucus’s office was closed during the lunch hour protest. The senator has said he voted against the background check expansion because that’s what the majority of Montanans wanted him to do. He says if a new bill is introduced he will evaluate it based on the feedback he gets from Montanans.
photo    Maggie Angle brought her two young daughters in a stroller to today’s rally. She says the Newtown shootings changed everything.

“”As a mom, obviously it hit really close to home,” Angle said.”The idea that you could send your children to school just like any other day…and something completely and totally devastating happens.”

Angle says she supports the Second Amendment but believes some measures, like expanded background checks, are reasonable



A restored stretch of the Clark Fork river opens for the first time in a hundred years

Clark Fork float  A two and a half mile section of the Clark Fork River near Missoula was opened for fishing and floating today – another step in the ongoing restoration of the river since the Milltown Dam was removed five years ago. The restored river channel is part of a decades-long Superfund cleanup effort involving state, federal and private efforts. The executive director of the Clark Fork Coalition, Karen Knudsen, points out it’s been a long time since anyone could float the river from Turah to Missoula

.”It’s been over a hundred years,” said Knudsen. “First we had Milltown Dam blocking that confluence, then the cleanup project got underway in 2006. So a lot of people have been eagerly waiting for this moment.photo

The state Natural Resource Damage program has overseen much of the river restoration. Environmental Impact Specialist Doug Martin says the public and private partnership that has led to the cleanup is an example to follow. Tracy Stone Manning is head of the state Department of Environmental Quality, and former head of the Clark Fork Coalition. She credits the positive attitude  of the many local, state and federal officials who worked on cleaning up the formerly polluted river.

“I think people checked their cynicism at the door, and they saw the vision,” Stone Manning said.

A flotilla of rafts and fishing boats set out from the Turah fishing access site to mark today’s historic opening.

Former ambassador hopeful Afghanistan is ready to chart its own future

saidtjawadThe former Afghan ambassador to the United States is concerned about what will happen to his country when U.S. and NATO forces pull out next year but Said Jawad is also optimistic about Afghanistan’s future. Jawad was the Afghan ambassador to the U.S. from 2003 to 2010, and has served as press secretary to President Hamid Karzai. Jawad was in Missoula recently to lecture, and in this feature interview, he talks with News Director Sally Mauk about the challenges Afghanistan faces…

The case for humanism in a high tech world

With so much emphasis on math and science and technology, educators like Dr. Seth Lerer worry the value of an education in the humanities is being diminished. Lerer is the Dean of Arts and Humanities and Distinguished Professor of Literature at the University of California San Diego, and a noted author and lecturer. He is in Missoula to deliver the last talk in this year’s President’s lecture series. In this feature interview, Lerer talks with News Director Sally Mauk about his love of literature – and why he thinks reading and storytelling are important, whether you want to be a teacher or a doctor or a computer programmer.

Republican infighting, Democrat wins and the new Senate race

Johnson, Mauk & Dennison 3SMALLTonight on “Capitol Talk”, our weekly legislative analysis program, News Director Sally Mauk talks with Lee newspaper reporters Chuck Johnson and Mike Dennison about the growing split in the Republican party, who won and lost what in this legislative session, and the week’s political stunner: Senator Baucus’s decision not to seek re-election…

Mainstream vs. alternative media: which one tells the truth?

Eli SandersEli Sanders won the Pulitzer prize for feature writing last year, and is in Missoula to deliver the annual Dean Stone lecture at the University of Montana. Sanders is associate editor of the Seattle alternative weekly “The Stranger”. In this feature interview, he talks with News Director Sally Mauk about mainstream versus alternative media – and about his Pulitzer-prize winning article. Sanders has worked for “The Stranger” since 2005.



Actress Meredith Baxter on her career, surviving breast cancer and coming out

Meredith Baxter and Sally Mauk

Meredith Baxter and Sally Mauk

Most people know actress Meredith Baxter from her role on the popular TV series “Family Ties” but she’s had numerous memorable television and film roles, and will soon be featured on the current hit TV show “Glee”. Baxter is also a breast cancer survivor, and that’s what brought her to Missoula to speak at the annual “Voices of Hope” cancer education summit held at Community Medical Center. In this feature interview, Baxter talks with News Director Sally Mauk about her career, her coming out, and her two bouts with breast cancer.

A new book looks at the ethics of when, and how, to end a pet’s life

Jessica PiercePet owners rarely think about how they are going to handle their pet’s end of life and death, but that’s exactly what bioethicist Jessica Pierce’s book “The Last Walk” urges pet owners to do. Pierce is in Missoula to speak about her book, and the many issues it raises – from the ethics of euthanasia to the growing animal hospice movement. In this feature interview, Pierce talks with News Director Sally Mauk about improving how we deal with pets at the end of their lives. The book was prompted by a journal Pierce kept about her beloved dog Ody’s last year – a 14-year-old Hungarian hunting dog Pierce lived with since he was a puppy. She was also at the same time, writing a text about bioethics..

Who’s winning and losing as the legislature winds down

Johnson, Mauk & Dennison 3SMALLTonight on “Capitol Talk”, our weekly legislative analysis program, News Director Sally Mauk talks with Lee newspaper reporters Chuck Johnson and Mike Dennison about where all the big-ticket items stand a week before adjournment: the budget, Medicaid expansion, state workers’ pay raises and pensions –  and school funding. They also discuss the unlikely hero of the session for gay rights supporters….

Environmental law expert says we don’t have to sacrifice the environment for jobs

Robert GlicksmanRobert Glicksman has authored textbooks on environmental law, testified before Congress, and currently teaches environmental law at George Washington University law school. He’s in Missoula this week to speak at the annual public land law conference being held at the University of Montana law school. In this feature interview, Glicksman talks with News Director Sally Mauk about the tension between economic development and environmental protection – and why they are not incompatible…