Last Best Blog

This is the weblog page of Last Best News. Here you will find some news, perhaps, but also lots of commentary, opinion and satire. Just so you know.

Recent Posts

MSU Billings food pantry will benefit from road race

Turks

MSU Billings’ Yellowjacket Emergency Pantry has been selected as one recipient of this year’s Run! Turkey Run! 5K race. This will be the seventh annual race, which is held on Thanksgiving Day. The Yellowjacket Emergency Pantry is one of four recipients, selected by a committee, to receive race proceeds this year. Continue Reading →

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Seattle band, 2 local bands play Sunday at Smiling Dog

SSDD

The Beatnik City Council invites you to remember the 5th of November with a free all-ages show Sunday night at Smiling Dog Records, 2702 Minnesota Ave. The show will feature Seattle’s SSDD (Steal Shit Do Drugs), playing what the Beatnik City Council calls an “elite brand of raucous punk.” Two local outfits will also perform, “the wunderkinder Silverbow Society and Coors-rockers The Budgets.” The Beatnik City Council is a group that came together to support and promote arts and culture in Billings, its flagship event being the Richard Dreyfest. The Smiling Dog show will start at 6 p.m., according to a press release, “with the service of refreshments and quality conversation,” with the music starting at 7. Continue Reading →

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D’Ambrosio chronicles ‘Montana and the NFL’

Brian D’Ambrosio, a regular contributor to Last Best News, has a new book out, “Montana and the NFL.” Heavily illustrated with photographs, the paperback book was published by The History Press and is available for $21.99. “Montanans’ football obsession goes far beyond storied college programs,” reads a synopsis of the book on The History Press website. “From Baker to Zurich, even the tiniest towns in Montana have sent players to the NFL. One of the most dominant offensive linemen of the 1940s was Anaconda’s own Francis Cope, who earned All-Decade honors as a New York Giant. Continue Reading →

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Last Best News partners featured on ‘Home Ground’

Brian Kahn

Last Best News partners Ed Kemmick and David Crisp will be featured in this week’s “Home Ground” show on Yellowstone Public Radio. Hosted by Brian Kahn, “Home Ground” is a  weekly public affairs program that was launched in 1996 and is broadcast on radio stations throughout the Rocky Mountain West. The interview with Crisp and Kemmick will be broadcast tonight at 6:30 on Yellowstone Public Radio/KEMC and this Sunday at 11:10 a.m. on Montana Public Radio/KUFM. After the show airs, it will be archived on the Home Ground Radio website. The latest episode looks at the changes sweeping the newspaper world and how online publications like Last Best News fit into that rapidly evolving world. Continue Reading →

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Fire ecology prof: We’d better get used to this

Fire

As a follow-up to our recent story about “Land on Fire,” Gary Ferguson’s new book, here’s an interesting interview with Philip Higuera, a professor of fire ecology at the University of Montana. In no-nonsense terms, he talks about drought, the traditional role of fires in forest ecosystems, the advisability of tree-thinning to prevent fires, climate change and “good” and “bad” fires. Here’s one good example of his way of thinking, in response to the question of whether should be building houses in what as known as the wildland-urban interface:

“Every place on our planet has some natural phenomenon that is not friendly to humans. If you live on the East Coast, you are going to experience hurricanes. If you live in the Midwest, you are going to experience tornadoes. Continue Reading →

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Helena manager a hit with Billings fans

Opposing managers occasionally strike a certain rapport with Billings Mustangs fans, but nobody ever has done it quite like Nestor Corredor. Corredor is the manager of the Helena Brewers, and he was a catcher for that team back in his playing days. When he took the field to coach third base on Wednesday night in Dehler Park, fans in Section 117 greeted him with applause and cheers. Section 117 is as close to the third base coaching box as a spectator can get, and we have had season tickets there ever since Dehler Park opened. It’s a cozy ballpark, and managers, who typically also coach third in the Pioneer League, often toss the fans foul balls, take a rope of licorice from a generous fan or exchange small talk. Continue Reading →

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Democrats sponsor city candidate forums

Hall

With the city primary election set for Sept. 12, a little less than a month away, the Yellowstone County Democratic Study Group, also known as the Democrats Breakfast Club, is offering a few more chances to see City Council candidates in action. The Democratic group has already hosted two events for mayoral candidates and another for Ward 3 City Council candidates. This Wednesday, it will have City Council candidates from Ward 1 — Joshua Kostelecky, Charlie Smillie and Mike Yakawich — as speakers at a no-host breakfast forum at the McCormick Café, 2419 Montana Ave., starting at 7 a.m.

There will be a question-and-answer session and the public is welcome. There is generally enough time for any person to ask specific questions of the candidates. Continue Reading →

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