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| December 25, 2003

Come February, the Indy and the Missoulian will find a brand-new local publication nipping at our respective heels. Inside the Garden City plans to launch as a monthly newspaper for community “gripes, beefs, peeves, kudos, and comments” that neither we nor the daily provide, according to editor and publisher Michael Bostwick, a Missoula native and community newspaper veteran recently returned from exile in California.

“You and the Missoulian have a niche,” Bostwick told us, generously. “But I think that there’s room for a more community-oriented paper. I think we can fill another niche.”

Not designed to compete (at least news-wise) with Missoula’s daily or weekly, Garden City intends to mix a “bulletin board” approach with national syndicated columnists including Bill O’Reilly, Zig Ziglar and Neil Cavuto. While many of Garden City’s syndicated pieces will have a conservative slant, Bostwick says he’s not out to push a political agenda. His only editorial goal, he says, is to cover a wide range of perspectives and give the community a voice. Bostwick hopes to scale down the amount of out-of-town filler—he’s already lined up a dozen comics and columns to appear in each issue—as the community begins feeding the paper news.

“It takes a while to get a community paper off the ground,” he says, “but the well-known columnists help give the paper credibility.”

We at the Indy are happy to welcome Bostwick to the Missoula media crowd, we just hope he can afford to ditch O’Reilly as soon as possible. We’d prefer to read a local right-winger with as much piss and vinegar as our own George Ochenski.

•••

Missoula’s been called a college town, a hippie town and a town full of drunks. But a ski town?

That’s what Ski Magazine’s Andrew Slough says in the January 2004 issue, touting Montana Snowbowl, pictured on the cover, as “one of the West’s least known but most worthy powder playgrounds.”

Maybe he was here in ’96, the only year the Bowl has actually been a powder playground, finally living down the local label Rockbowl.

Alas, even if it is a steep, rocky equipment-killer, we love our Bowl (hell, we just celebrated our Christmas party on its slopes). While the snow’s not always deep, the vibe is unique. Why? Because it’s a local hill, largely unsullied by the antics of gapers. And as Slough reports, we want to keep it that way, instead of having to navigate the crowds resulting from an additional 30,000 annual skier days the writer anticipates materializing once word gets out.

While Slough did discover the famous Bloody Mary, he failed to mention Snowbowl’s most unique event: the Gelande jump.

Oh well, can’t expect journalists to know everything.

•••

And on a final note, we’d like to use this space to bid adieu to staff writer Jed Gottlieb, who as we write this has just finished his last day on the job and headed off to Colorado for the holidays. Jed’s going back to the U. next semester, and our loss will surely be his professors’ gain. Jed made us all look good, week in and week out. We’ll miss his hard work and, well, pretty much everything about working with him. Thanks, Jed.

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