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At Your Service: Reflections, regrets at the end of a series

It was with a pang of regret that I published the 24th and last chapter in my At Your Service series last Monday.

I began thinking of such a series something like 20 years ago, figuring it would be fascinating to visit some of the many churches in Billings and hoping that my “reviews” of the services might be of interest to others. At the time, though, and for many years after, I couldn’t imagine where I might publish such a series.

TEDx speakers advocate for innovation, connections


Hip hop artist Supaman (Christian Parrish) began TEDxMSU Billings by asking audience members to turn to their neighbors, shake hands and connect. That quest for connection was threaded throughout Montana State University Billings’ first organized TEDx event, held Saturday on campus and featuring 11 speakers from Billings and the surrounding area. Speakers, selected by committee, were asked to make presentations on the theme of “Innovation in Action.” Though talks varied from music to math to the medical field and more, each propelled the concept of community and the mission of TED, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ideas worth spreading. TEDx events are self-organized, combining live speakers and TEDTalks videos to spark deep discussion and connection. Amanda Green, TEDx organizer and a graduate of MSU Billings, said the event included a mix of speakers, music and performers in order to offer a robust look at innovation. Continue Reading →


One last look at a small patch of ‘The Wilds’ on West End


As I picked my way through what looked like a tree cemetery, my heart felt heavy as I recalled the countless times I had traveled this dirt path in search of solitude and renewal, and always being able to find it in the surrounding woods.

I knew this day was coming because three weeks earlier I had bumped into a surveyor with a map spread out on the hood of his company truck. He asked me if this path was traveled much. Continue Reading →

Montana Viewpoint: Closed minds, closed primaries


How Republican Party Chair Jeff Essmann keeps a straight face arguing for his party’s right to keep Democrats from voting in a Republican primary, when he knows that Republican county officers have been getting themselves elected to Democratic Party offices, is beyond me. Continue Reading →