The Billings Outpost

Millennials get political

Kiah Abbey, on behalf of Forward Montana, talks about voter registration at the Farmers Market in Billings. Photo by Ed Kemmick for Last Best News
By STEPHEN DOW - The Billings Outpost

Recent Montana State University graduate Kiah Abbey has been in volved in local politics in Montana for nearly a year. The 23-year-old has done a lot of work helping her peers register for voting, but her favorite achievement was when she helped Bozeman pass a nondiscrimination ordinance this spring.

“I’m really proud of the work we did on the Bozeman NDO,” she said. “Ensuring that my community is safe, welcoming and inclusive to everyone that works, lives and plays there is a top priority for me.”

Abbey is just one of many Millennials (those who reached young adulthood around the year 2000) who are interested and involved in local politics – although obstacles can limit their involvement.

“I think the reasons students don’t get involved in politics are similar to why people generally don’t get involved in politics,” Abbey said. “It’s messy and emotional. It’s time consuming and can be heart wrenching. It’s hard to see the long-term benefits of a process that is constantly being cast as broken. Unfortunately, the system stays broken if people continue to not get involved.”

Despite this, many young Montanans are still getting involved in local politics.

Last Updated on Saturday, 02 August 2014 11:03

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Even not on agenda, NDO draws comments

By STEPHEN DOW - For The Outpost

The Billings nondiscrimination ordinance may not have been on the City Council’s agenda on Monday, July 28, but it was certainly on the minds of nearly a dozen citizens who spoke during the public comment session at the end of the meeting.

The NDO is scheduled for a public hearing, and perhaps a vote by the council, on Aug. 11.

“This council has heard almost everything there is to hear on this issue for many hours,” Mayor Tom Hanel told the crowd. “If what you’re going to say has been said many times before, please consider not speaking before the council.”

Despite this warning, the speakers mostly made points that had already been discussed many times before in this debate.

All but one of the speakers were opposed to the NDO. The opponents expressed three main concerns.

Last Updated on Saturday, 02 August 2014 11:03

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Good times for Longmire

Craig Johnson, right, chats with Robert Taylor, who plays Walt Longmire in the TV series based on Mr. Johnson’s books. - Wyoming Office of Tourism
By DAVID CRISP - The Billings Outpost

So practiced a comic master has Craig Johnson become that listening to him you realize that he has achieved something only the best comedians manage to do: He sounds funny even when he is not.

In an appearance last month at Barnes & Noble, Mr. Johnson had an audience of 75 or so chuckling, giggling and laughing out loud at his running commentary on the writing life. His humor is genuine and a key to his success, but at times he was getting laughs the way Jack Benny and Bob Hope did late in their careers: just by being himself, riffing on a character – his own - that looms larger even than the highly successful characters he has created.

These are good times for Craig Johnson. The Wyoming writer’s most recent novel, “Any Other Name,” opened at No. 6 on the New York Times’ hardcover fiction list. “Longmire,” the TV series based on the lead character in his mystery novels, is the highest-rated scripted series on the A&E network and is showing in 200 countries, including every country in Africa.

“We could have worse emissaries than Walt Longmire,” he said.

Last Updated on Thursday, 24 July 2014 12:11

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Old, young compete in Big Sky State Games

Photo by Echo Jamieson Torie Jamieson breaks a block of wood during the breaking competition at the Big Sky State Games on Saturday. Photo by Stephen Dow Al Vietz, left, races a competitor during the 400-meter race at the Big Sky State Games.

By STEPHEN DOW - The Billings Outpost

At first glance, Big Sky State Games competitors Al Vietz and Torie Jamieson may seem as different as two people could be. Vietz is an 80-year old runner from Livingston who has competed in dozens of Big Sky State Games. Jamieson is an 8-year-old karate athlete from Billings competing in her third State Games. However, both athletes share a dedication to their sport and a desire to win during this year’s competitions.

Last Updated on Friday, 25 July 2014 12:00

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