New plan for downtown Billings unveiled Tuesday

Next week, a little more than 20 years after the completion of the Downtown Billings Framework Plan, an updated, overhauled version of that document will be unveiled at a public meeting.

The new Downtown Strategic Plan, the product of a year’s worth of work by Billings residents and a consulting firm from Indianapolis, will be made public Tuesday at 8 a.m. in the Royal Johnson Community Room of the Billings Public Library.


UM speech sponsor said it was all about 1st Amendment


Before the crowd filtered into the Dennison Theater on Tuesday, Maria Cole made the rounds in a hurried meet-and-greet, and to brace for the night ahead.

Over the past several weeks, the longtime University of Montana benefactor had received her share of criticism for inviting provocateur Mike Adams to speak under the lecture series that carries her deceased husband’s name. Continue Reading →

A new symbol for new era of hate

The Billings Gazette is seeking reader input on a symbol to demonstrate the community’s opposition to hate-filled messages left on a church and on buildings around town.

The idea is to replace the menorah symbol, which was adopted to show rejection of anti-Semitic activities in Billings a quarter of a century ago. The menorah, which was printed on a full page in the Gazette and placed in windows all over town, drew national attention and helped spark the Not in Our Town movement. Continue Reading →

UM leader says school ready for a ‘world of disruptions’


When General Electric first appeared on the Dow Jones Industrial Average in 1896, the company was lauded as a cornerstone of industrial might, a reputation it would hold for more than a century.

But now, with the digital revolution in full swing, the powerhouse of American ingenuity is searching for its place in a changing world, one where transformation will be key to survival. Continue Reading →

Wilderness Association names photo contest winners

Xavier Springer’s photo, “Swiftcurrent Falls on a Smoky Morning” (above), taken during a bright orange sunrise in Glacier National Park, has been chosen as the grand-prize winner of the Montana Wilderness Association’s 2017 photo contest.

Springer, of Great Falls, was among photographers who submitted more 1,000 entries in the association’s ninth annual contest. Continue Reading →

Opinion: Unleash the love, fund essential services

One of my favorite songs as we celebrate Valentine’s Day is the Beatles’ “All You Need is Love,” with its lyrics: “There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done … Nothing you can make that can’t be made … love is all you need.”

Let’s show our love and stop the devastating cuts to essential public services in Montana. Short term, consider emergency supplemental appropriation. Find the money. Stop the bleeding. Save lives. Continue Reading →