Tonight at the Library, listen to Jim Peterson talk about, and show images from, his journey to India last year. Jim took part in the march for Tibetan human rights. He is passionate and dynamic on this important topic. I remember him sharing this incredible story during an interesting and animated conversation over breakfast at Pinky’s Cafe when he came back from that first trip to India, and I look forward to hearing more, and seeing the photos tonight. Jim is headed back to India in a couple of days.
From the flyer for the event:
How one Montana man went to India and ended up marching 750 miles with Tibetan nuns and monks.
Jim Petersen left Livingston last January to go to India for the first time. He wanted to learn some cultural aspects of the Tibetan people in exile. He took cooking lessons, tutored some young Tibetans in English and attended the spring teachings from the Dalai Lama. He learned of the Tibetan Peoples Uprising Movement and the planned march from Dharamsala to Delhi and on to the border of Tibet. He invites you to come to the audio visual presentation documenting the events of this noble march for Tibetan human rights.
Tonight, February 9 at 7:00 PM in The Bev Steveson Community Room at the Livingston Public Library.
Click the image below to see the flyer. Peterson is at right in the photos.
Livingston based civic organizations, churches, businesses and non profits are joining together to help combat hunger in Park County. The Livingston Food Pantry will be the beneficiary of money collected during the “Food for All” drive January 19th – February 19th, 2009.
Created to serve as a community service project in honor of Martin Luther King’s birthday, this month long initiative will enable the Livingston Food Pantry to reach more families in need.
A group of supporters assembled Monday in front of the Food Pantry to kick off the project, which originated with a meeting at Dr. Laurel Desnick and Jim Baerg’s home to discuss a focus for community outreach and support. Since that meeting, a new floor has been installed and a dishwasher provided by the Crazy Mountain Ranch at Livingston’s Loaves and Fishes.
“We’re all in this together, those with very few resources and those with many. This a community that cares about ALL its members,” said Laurie Francis of Community Health Partners. CHP is joining together with the Chamber of Commerce, Vision Livingston, Wheat Montana, Montana Women For, Livingston Schools, and several local churches, groceries, growers and businesses to help support “Food for All.”
“What started as a service day has grown into an important project with far reaching potential,” said Margie Kidder, of Montana Women For. “The ‘Park County Cares’ idea is something we will keep going with all year. Literally every person we’ve contacted has said, ‘How can I help?’ ‘Food for All’ can use money, time and energy from everyone in the community. There are so many ways to get involved and we want to urge everyone to do just that.”
“The need is great,” reports Michael McCormick of the Livingston Food Pantry. “At this moment, I’m looking at my shelves and see an empty hole where powdered milk should be. Your donations can help us help this whole community. I want to thank all of these business owners and neighbors for coming up with this great project.”
In addition to providing food for families with economic hardship, there will also be information and classes to help all of Park County manage during tough economic times. “This affects all of us. We all need to stretch our food dollars these days,” said Joni Kresich.
All public representatives from Park County – Bob Ebinger, John Esp and Joel Boniek support this initiative and have agreed to lend their names to the project. The Livingston City Council is discussing the project at tomorrow evening’s meeting. Others at Monday’s event included Lou Ann Nelson from the Livingston Chamber of Commerce, Livingston School superintendent Hannibal Anderson, Vision Livingston’s Karyle Frazier, Michael Sanders of the Environmental Adventure Tour Company, Hebbard Blesius, Jon Ellen Snyder and Amanda Knuchel of ERA/Landmark Real Estate, Joni Kresich, Joanne Gardner and Margie Kidder of Montana Women For, Edie Linneweber who (along with Katherine Dunlap) is coordinating the churches in Livingston to participate, Laurie Francis of CHP, Jim Baerg and his daughters Nastia and Larisa and Michael McCormick of the Livingston Food Pantry.
Dorothy Bradley of Clyde Park attended Monday’s meeting to offer game to the Livingston Food Pantry and to discuss how Clyde Park can get involved with it’s own program. Leaders of this program plan to reach out to Gardiner, Clyde Park and Wilsall in the next few days.
The public can get involved by making monetary donations to the Food Pantry. Volunteers are also desperately needed to help at Loaves and Fishes and the Livingston Food Pantry.
Watch for donation jars in local businesses and in churches, and join Park County Cares for a neighborhood walk during the month. Families will be going door to door to raise money for this project. A $39.95 donation can feed a family of four for one month through the Livingston Food Pantry.
Other focus projects already underway include interacting with all elementary schools to ensure children are getting enough nutritional food daily, a “crockpot” program, outreach to seniors and special needs citizens and the Livingston Shoveling Brigade. For more information contact Michael McCormick at the Livingston Food Pantry - 222 –5335, Margie Kidder at 222-7040, Bonnie Hyatt Murphy at 222 – 2302 or the Livingston Chamber of Commerce.
by Ashea Mills October 28, 2008
You don’t know it, but I am looking down at your house right now. I am the bird in the sky, the small plane headed to Chicago and beyond. I get to see the stupendous aerial view of all that surrounds you, and my friends, it is magnificent.
I’m sorry to be leaving. It’s a perfect fall day, mostly blue skies, a few puffball clouds, mid 60’s. Family calls, so I’ll miss this perfect Montana week, but flying out over it, watching the land fall away…what a treat! The dominant features on the landscape are the curvaceous folds, the land rippling below as we bank away from Gallatin Field towards Livingston. The mountains ahead are looming closer, with the Bridgers off our port side.
On my side, looking down and south, I am running parallel to Trail Creek, seeing where it sashays into Paradise Valley. The valley itself is a sweeping sigh, an open space of clustered trees along watercourses, and glimpses of homes here and there. The broad basin of the valley almost seems at odds with the jagged saw toothed Absorokas.
I can see the Tetons piercing the haze to the south, and most of what I love is between them and I: my partner, my home, my friends, my mountains.
Now I am over the 90 degree bend the braided, winding Yellowstone River takes through Livingston. The river is steely and low this fall day. Town looks as sweet from this vantage point as it does while standing on Main Street, looking into the mountainous gloam at dusk, storefronts twinkling like a scene from a movie or a book.
And now, the crinkly folds of Absoroka peaks give way to the broad, flat top mesas of the Beartooth Plateau, already graced with this season’s base layer of snow.
What a view! What a gift to be able to see our home from up here! But my heart is weighing heavy with the impending choice we must make. I am of the opinion that when I fly eastward out of Bozeman in 20 years, when I take my starboard seat on purpose, because I love this quick and rare aerial glimpse of home, I want the mountains, the valley and the river to dominate my view.
Others do not share this opinion. There is a group of so-called “Concerned Citizens” that would very much like to be able to build whenever and however, values, views and history be dammed. They would like to have you believe that new development on the banks of the river and tops of dry canyons is good for us all, and that you and I shouldn’t mind higher taxes to pay for services to remote and scattered home sites.
One of the main reasons I fell in love with this area is that it still feels real. There is an authenticity to Park County that is lacking elsewhere. The working ranches and farms, their toil and struggle and rewards are a part of the fabric of what makes this area unique. Trophy homes in place of them are what ruins it.
Looking out on the landscape and seeing open space, feeling the wind (oh, yes, the wind,) having an unobstructed view of the big sky we all value…watching the calves grow burly in spring, while the alfalfa greens up…hunting for the winter’s food in fall, following the river’s seasonal surges and declines with the ebbs and flows in our own lives…This is what it means to live in Park County.
Maybe you’re from here, or maybe you moved here because you found yourself feeling more at home here than anywhere else in the world. Either way, we can all appreciate why we love it. I suppose then, it follows that we can see why others would too. Development will occur, and others will want to share in this most magnificent place, bordered by a world destination park, and countless opportunities for fishing, hiking, hunting and biking. Okay, so we get it. But does that mean everyone who comes in can build a monstrous house that impacts the view for miles around? Or take water away from agriculture to build a golf course that we aren’t even invited to? I vehemently say no.
Park County will see growth and that can be a very positive and necessary force. We all want opportunities and a sound economy. If current trends continue, Park County will see 2,100 new homes and 5,000 new residents in less than 20 years. We must decide now, as a community, how we want that to look. This isn’t about whether or not you can raise chickens, or if the garage door should be shut on Sundays. A local growth policy ( a non-regulatory guide, no less) can never trump Constitutional law. Your property rights are safe. This is, however, the defining moment for how Park County will look from a plane, or from a peak, or driving down East River Road in ten or twenty years.
We do have choices. A couple months ago, we were coming out of camping in the Crazy Mountains. We stopped in to enjoy a perfect brunch at The Grand Hotel in Big Timber. Lazing in the lobby afterward, I noticed a small pamphlet titled “The Sweet Grass Code of the West”. It was informative and inspiring. It talks about how the homes that have endured and weathered well are the ones tucked down in draws, protected from buffeting wind rather than posted on top of a hill for all to see. It mentions a rich and storied history and how that bonds the community to their past and future. It speaks to traditional agricultural use, the value of clean water and recreation, the value of community. Sweet Grass County comes right out and says, “These are the values we hold true. Our Growth Policy will protect these values.”
I am probably somewhere over the Dakotas now. It is beautiful in its own way, quilted as it is with its own lives and work and histories below. But it ain’t no Park County. There’s no place like home.
Folks, we can do this. Pass the Growth Policy on Nov. 4th. It is not a painful process. It only seeks to enhance what we already know and have decided. It allows for public process. It allows local residents to decide how our future will look, not a small group of opponents to any planning at all.
In the past weeks, you may have heard people say that the County Commissioners have changed the “People’s Plan” into the “Commissioners Plan.” This is an attempt to fool the public into having no plan at all. The Growth Plan has been worked on for many years and truly reflects the will of Park County residents. Opponents to having a plan are focusing on three wording changes that make no practical difference to the overall plan, but simply bring it into state compliance. They want to create a smokescreen that prevents us from moving forward. We simply need to vote yes on the Growth Plan to get it passed and get on with the business of ensuring our way of life for the future.
We will all benefit from forethought and planning. If your goals are to protect and support agriculture, clean water, and a strong economy, vote yes on the Growth Policy. If scenic preservation, history, recreation, wildlife and a sound future in Park County are important to you, please vote YES on the Growth Policy.
And then get out there and enjoy it.
Ashea Mills has worked as a naturalist and educator for over 15 years, and has been guiding and teaching in Yellowstone National Park since 1998. Ashea is currently an instructor for the Yellowstone Association Institute and a frequent contributor to regional publications of articles relating to geology, flora, fauna, and history of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.