Mayor of West Seattle is mayor of nowhere

Our wards elect their own local reps for the Missoula City Council.

I’ve wondered how the makeup of the council would change if we elected folks at large.

At least in the Seattle area, there are no districts, and one community corner was largely forgotten until one man started joking about becoming the mayor of nowhere.

That story here in a Seattle Times blog post. In a roundabout way, it’s an argument for representation by ward. And an introduction to one rum-loving, FaceBooking character, Paul Leonardo.

“I’m a nice guy, I try to be a good husband and a good father,” he said. “I don’t get too high or too low, I like an occasional cocktail, and I think I have a responsibility to help improve people’s lives.”

— Keila Szpaller

Renee Mitchell will run for another term

Councilwoman Renee Mitchell, who represents Ward 5, will run for re-election on the Missoula City Council.

“My app isn’t in yet but it will be,” Mitchell said this morning.

She’s been swamped with work at the Missoula Youth Homes and hasn’t had time to head down to the courthouse just yet, but it’s on her agenda.

To win, Mitchell will have to keep energetic contender Mike O’Herron at bay. I don’t know if she can win that race, but I bet she could beat him at golf.

Mitchell is somehow able to find a golf connection to nearly every topic that comes before the council. Yep, she even plays in the rain.

Hey, maybe the old Fox site could be a miniature golf course. The Missoula Redevelopment Agency is taking proposals for the riverfront property yet again, and some of the oddest ideas have surfaced in the past.

— Keila Szpaller

A list from the busy Poverello Center

The Poverello Center is busy, and it will be, I’m sure, through the Memorial Day weekend.

I got these numbers from the Pov in my email box, and lo and behold, they’re in a list. This week was list week, so here you go.

Soup Kitchen Meals
2008 117,380 (650 kids)
2009 133,954 (328 kids)
2010 126,571 (192 kids) / 15,520 sack lunches

2008 6,741 individuals (634 kids)
2009 5,374 individuals (337 kids)
2010 4,662 individuals (572 kids)

Food Pantry
2008 13,683 individuals (4,559 families and 3,824 kids)
2009 26,214 individuals (8,420 families and 1,680 kids)
2010 9,062 individuals (1,108 families and 1,543 kids)

Emergency Shelter
2008 19,747 individuals (3,142 women, 4,832 veterans)
2009 27,544 individuals (4,735 women, 8,040 veterans) *2,489 unduplicated
2010 25,106 individuals (4,776 women, 6,546 veterans) *2,664 unduplicated

That’s a lot of veterans. Happy Memorial Day to folks.

— Keila Szpaller

Spring brings bison babies galore to the Range

bison range

The National Bison Range might make a great Memorial Day trip away from Missoula. But don’t frolic in the field with the animals. “Well, a bison’s defense is not to run away. It’s to smush you,” says Pat Jamieson, outdoor recreation planner for the range.

I liked reading that quote this morning from someone who doesn’t mince words. Copy chief Justin Grigg, who runs Wildflower Walks, took some beautiful pictures of the flora and fauna on the range this spring.

— Keila Szpaller

Um … a coupla random notes for Missoula

1. As of this morning, no one new had filed to run for the Missoula City Council. It surprises me not ’cause it looks like a fun job but ’cause I know people still need jobs and this pays. Of course, running a campaign is a lot of work. But here’s the bottom line: Ward 4 still has no candidate.

2. On Councilman Bob Jaffe’s listserv today was a New York Times story about how Chicago is preparing for climate change. It’s part of a series. It might be fun to do something similar here.

3. The Missoula Redevelopment Agency asked for proposals again for the triangle land and it sounds like at least one promising candidate is turning in an idea. “Promising” means someone who has pulled off other projects. Um … lots of ums today … I’ll see if anything actually comes in the door. I think the deadline is the end of June.

That’s it for now. Stay dry.

Oh, one more thing.

4. As I was walking over the Higgins Avenue bridge this morning, some dude watching the water told me he was going to grab his life jacket and hop in his canoe. Don’t do that yet, OK? I mean, you can grab your life jacket, but don’t be canoeing right now. That doesn’t seem like a good plan.

5. Here’s the awesome flood story reporter Kim Briggeman wrote. I love how the sandbags the guy uses are the same ones he used in 1997.

Stay dry.

It’s one of those days I’m going to make sure I spell my name correctly below. OK. All set.

— Keila Szpaller

Save gas money a penny at a time

Getting rid of the junk in your trunk saves you money.

That’s your car trunk. Here are tips from the San Francisco Chronicle and Consumer Federation of America just in time for the holiday weekend.

Here’s one: Taking out 100 pounds of stuff from the car will save you 6 cents a gallon. I have clutter in my car, but no way is it 100 pounds. More like gum wrappers and flip flops and coffee cups and notebooks. Maybe 5 pounds.

I should clean it out just ’cause it’s gross.

Our mechanic advises us to DO warm up the car for the health of the engine, by the way, and another reporter just said it’s supposed to get you better fuel mileage too. So I would ignore the bit that says cars don’t need a warmup.

Happy driving. It’s so much fun in this state. South Dakota too.

Something else: If you have an essential or fun or whacky or … ? … budget story you want to read, please let me know. I’ve got a list of ideas, but I’m tired of my list.

— Keila Szpaller

Adam Hertz launches his campaign

So Adam Hertz, who wants to nab Councilwoman Pam Walzer’s seat, got back with me and explained his decision to take on her instead of Councilwoman Cynthia Wolken.

The bottom line is he isn’t keen on Walzer’s performance as a Ward 2 representative. He doesn’t know much about Wolken, but he likes a little bit of what he’s seen.

“I actually do appreciate some of the kind of libertarian leanings that Cynthia has versus just what seem to be pretty straightforward progressive views that Pam has,” Hertz said.

He classifies himself more as a conservative with some libertarian views.

Wanna know more? Check out his website. We won’t be running profiles ’til a while later in the campaign season, but when we do, I’ll definitely want to hear more about “pet projects” and “time traps.”

I haven’t talked with Walzer, but I know she’s relentless on the doors. She was knocking on doors up until the very last possible minute her first year. With Hertz out of the chute early to take on a tenacious Walzer, this could be an interesting race.

Oh, yeah. It’s the only one so far. Sorry.

(So I haven’t talked with Walzer, but I will. Even though blogs can be more immediate, I still do my best to give candidates equal time here, albeit not always at the same time.)

On another note, does anyone know if you can still blog after being raptured? I should find out just in case.

— Keila Szpaller

Missoula City Council races slow so far

The only race right now is in Ward 2 between incumbent Councilwoman Pam Walzer and newcomer Adam Hertz.

Remember all the people who applied to take over Roy Houseman’s seat when he resigned? Hertz is the only one so far who wasn’t selected by the council and still is running for office.

I wanted to know how he decided to run against Walzer instead of Wolken. I guess Walzer has a record to run against and if you’re going to campaign, you may as well get four years instead of just two.

Continue reading


I’ve been in the middle of a couple stories and forgot to say I won’t be here. Don’t expect anything the rest of the week. Someone just asked what happened on another blog. I’ll be back next week.

— Keila Szpaller