Champs & Chumps – Fall 2007

Every day, one stalwart citizen does the right thing while another acts like a blithering bonehead. Here's a recap of admirable acts and embarrassing blunders for the the fall season.

Pete Feigley, Park County consulting wildlife ecologist, for taking Wade Dokken to task after his misleading marketing of Ameya Preserve. Dokken claims his Paradise Valley development is environmentally friendly, but he’s still building roads and houses all over pristine wildlife habitat. Ameya Preserve may be less environmentally hostile than a traditional development, but it’s hardly “friendly” to the animals that live there. Thanks, Pete, for not being afraid to call a spade a spade.

Jessica Bentley, cashier at Owenhouse Ace Hardware, for brightening the day of everyone she comes in contact with. Not only is she about the cutest thing you’ve ever seen, but her warm smile and ebullient disposition are so uplifting that she routinely melts even the iciest of demeanors. In the words of one usually-competitive female, “I can’t even hate her for being beautiful!”

Jeff Wozer, Denver-based comedian and outdoor writer, for defending Bozeman after Coeur d’Alene writer Marty Fortier’s sophomoric assault on our town’s character. “Judging from this rube's original, highbrow wit,” Jeff wrote, “I'm guessing he has carried a chip on his shoulder ever since CBS cancelled The Dukes of Hazzard."

Wade Dokken, Ameya Preserve developer, for blindly relegating local opposition to “class envy.” Word to the wise, Wade: If you wanna build a ritzy fourth-home retreat in a bunch of barren scrubland, fine, but don’t insult your fellow citizens who may have a legitimate beef with what you’re doing. And what’s with the name, dude? You’re building roads, a massive lodge, and 300 homes in once-pristine landscape—just what, exactly, are you preserving?

Thomas Mosser, Imperial Inn owner and City Hotel developer, for bringing people down with his whiny direct-mail campaign. Do I really want to start my day reading about the legal rigmarole he’s going through with the city of Bozeman? Do I care? Now I have to drive all the way over to Ace Hardware be to cheered up—and to purge my brain of that goofy bowtie portrait.

Marty Fortier, writer for Coeur d’Alene, Idaho’s The Press, for his infantile response to our Bozeman vs. Coeur d’Alene matchup (Summer 2006). Using every hackneyed hick joke in the book, Fortier ranted like a redneck who’s just spilled his last Lucky Lager. It was kinda funny, we’ll give him that; but so is flatulence.