Thursday Apr. 17, 2014
A wide-ranging blog on new businesses, events and other happenings in the Flathead Valley.
Life in the Flathead Valley - Kalispell, MTLife in the Flathead Valley - Kalispell, MT

Flathead Valley Community College’s Faculty Senate will sponsor a candidates’ forum April 21 from 7 to 9 p.m. in the board room inside Blake Hall on the college’s Kalispell campus.

The forum will address the upcoming FVCC trustee election scheduled for May 6 and will allow candidates the opportunity to give a brief summary of their qualifications and matters of particular importance to them relative to the college. The forum will be moderated, and audience questions will be invited.

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Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970. Makes total sense, right? Hippies, vegetarianism, tree hugging, flower children.

Perhaps because of my own hippie parents, I was an environmentally conscious kid. When I was about 10, my neighborhood girlfriends and I started the Unicorn Club, which mainly consisted of us making pro-recycling posters, complete with heaps of colored glitter. We hung them around the neighborhood, without realizing that excessive glitter is antithetical to the concept of “reduce, reuse, recycle.” But we liked glitter and unicorns, and I was the club president, so that’s how it all went down.

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Let’s talk chickens. This month the library is hosting several chicken-related workshops, including building a coop. There will even be baby chicks in the library.

The City of Kalispell allows for a handful of chickens inside city limits, provided you get a permit, follow the rules and don’t have a rooster. If you manage the entire life cycle of your chickens, be sure to follow these gruesome ordinances: “No chickens shall be slaughtered within the public view” and “No person shall haul the body of a dead animal ... without such body being entirely covered.”

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The WAVE, Montana Food Bank Network and Glacier Bank have partnered on a fundraising campaign to recognize National Nutrition Month. The BackPack Program was designed to meet the needs of hungry children by providing them with food over the weekends and holiday breaks, when they are away from the school lunch and breakfast programs they depend on for nutrition. One in five Montana children struggle with hunger and Flathead County is higher than the state average where the child food insecurity rate is nearly 1 in 4.

Thanks to a $25,000 grant for the Angora Ridge Foundation, the BackPack Program was started in Whitefish and Columbia Falls in January 2012 and provides food to 175 children every weekend. Each backpack contains enough food for two days and arrives in an easy to open package. The bags are placed directly into children’s backpacks in a discrete location every Friday. The bags contain cereal, milk, juice, snacks and ready to eat meat and vegetable meals.

The program currently serves students at Glacier Gateway Elementary, Ruder Elementary, Columbia Falls Middle School, Columbia Falls High School, Muldown Elementary and Whitefish Elementary. Since September 2013, the program has distributed 3,042 bags to 220 students.

During the month of March, people can help the program by adding $1 or more per month to their WAVE membership dues, make a donation at the Whitefish Glacier Bank, or make a onetime donation of $25 or more and receive a complimentary 7 day pass to the WAVE.

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The Flathead Nonprofit Development Partnership and Flathead Valley Community College are celebrating a decade-long partnership of helping nonprofit groups in Northwest Montana. Ten years ago, Kathy Hughes of the Flathead Valley Community College collaborated with community leader Lex Blood in an effort to provide management education to area nonprofits. Multiple brainstorms and conversations with community leaders took place at the time and soon after NpDP was born. A decade later, it’s one of the largest such nonprofit development programs in the state.

There are nearly 450 nonprofit organizations in Flathead County, according to the group. More than 10 percent of all employees in the county work for nonprofit operations and 12.5 percent of all wages paid in the area are from nonprofits.

The NpDP provides educational programs, informational resources and networking opportunities for nonprofit leaders, including people like Timothy Sievers of Big Brothers, Big Sisters.

“I think everyone should take advantage of what the program has to offer,” he said. “Unless we work together, we can’t move the needle forward on the causes that are important to us.”

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Rats, tea and the flu may seem like small things, but they each changed the world. Want to know why and how? Read on.

Every one of these books is a microhistory, exploring the details and influence of a very specific subject.

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Flathead Valley Community College Student Government will present the fifth annual “FVCC’s Got Talent” competition March 21. FVCC students will showcase their talents as they compete for cash prizes.

Talents will range from singing and playing instruments to glow in the dark dancing and a humorous monologue performance. The event will take place at 6 p.m. in the FVCC Theatre inside the Arts and Technology Building on the FVCC campus.

Tickets are $5 for general admission and may be purchased in advance at the FVCC Bookstore or by calling 756-3387. Remaining tickets will be available for purchase at the door.

For more information, contact Sharon Randolph at 756-3981 or at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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The Multicultural Affairs Office at Flathead Valley Community College will welcome the St. Charles Women's Choir of Whitefish, under the direction of Karla West, to present a program of traditional spirituals on March 26.

Presented in honor of Black History Month, the program, “Freedom Train,” will focus specifically on pieces that originated and were sung during the years of slavery in the United States when slaves communicated with each other through music, often giving instructions regarding the Underground Railroad, their hope for freedom. Featured soloist and FVCC graduate Dianne Dunne Guenther will present a historical narration including background information on the pieces.

Free and open to the public, the program will take place at 7 p.m. in the FVCC Theater inside the Arts and Technology building. For more information, contact West at 756-3918.

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