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New West Daily Roundup for May 25, 2016

Today in New West news: Denise Juneau calls for six debates across Montana for House race, One Hour Translation expanding to Utah, an update on the Boise composting proposal, and liquidation starts at Sports Authority stores.

Last fall, we reported that Montana State Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau (who became the first Native American woman to be elected to a statewide office) had announced a bid for the U.S. House of Representatives as a Democrat, to become Montana’s (and the United States’) first Native American congresswoman, running against freshman incumbent Ryan Zinke, a Republican.

According to the Missoulian, in a letter to the Zinke camp, Juneau has called for Zinke to join her in six debates proposed for throughout Montana (Billings, Bozeman, Great Falls, Butte, Pablo, and Glendive). Each would be moderated by an independent news/community organization. And each location was picked because each offers a different picture of Montana. From the Missoulian:

She wrote about Glendive being an important location, echoing the infrastructure needs brought on by a booming and now-declining oil play, something many candidates have referenced this election.

Juneau also wrote of the Pablo location: “I can’t recall there ever having been a congressional debate held on any of Montana’s seven recognized Indian reservations. That’s unfortunate and something we can change this election cycle. I propose that we hold a debate halfway between Missoula and Kalispell in Pablo at the Salish Kootenai College.”

In 2006, then U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg, R, and his challenger Monica Lindeen, D, scheduled a debate at Fort Peck Community College in Poplar, according to an Associated Press story previewing the event.

Zinke campaign spokeswoman Heather Swift said they’d received the letter.

“We … look forward to working with Montana media organizations on several debates. The people of Montana deserve to hear their candidates take on the most important issues like the fallout of the nuclear Iran Deal, Syrian refugees coming to Missoula, and the future of coal jobs.”

Over in Utah, according to Utah Business, international translation firm One Hour Translation has announced they are opening an office in Lehi, Utah. They currently operate U.S. offices in Palo Alto, CA and Washington D.C. Further, the Lehi branch is poised to became One Hour Translation’s American headquarters. From Utah Business:

The online translation agency serves more than 80,000 customers over the globe, including more than 50 percent of the Fortune 500 companies. Some of One Hours Translation’s top customers include Coca Cola, the U.S. Army, Microsoft, Amazon, IBM, Xerox, Shell, Deloitte, HSBC, Procter and Gamble, Ikea, 3M, McCANN and Allianz.

“We see strong demand for our translation and localization services from businesses in the U.S. and Canada,” said Ofer Shoshan, CEO of One Hour Translation. “Using our services and technology global companies can localize massive amounts of content from various systems quickly while maintaining high quality.”

Up in Idaho, we previously reported the Boise City Council had scheduled a hearing for a proposed composting program, which would allow residents to put their compost materials in a city-provided bin. All told, it would cost residents an additional $3.40 a month to cover every Boise resident. According to the Idaho Statesman, however, some residents are displeased with the initiative—not because they don’t want to compost, but because they do compost and see the $3.40 as an extraneous cost; Victor Dougherty, who has been composting for nearly 40 years, told the Statesman he shouldn’t have to pay for other people to compost, since he uses all his own compost himself:

“I’m tired of being the responsible person who gets extra bills whether I need them or not,” Dougherty said. “ I’m not looking forward to paying for a bin that I’m not even going to use.”

The city of Eugene, Ore., started a curbside composting program with local businesses and organizations about four years ago, said Deveron Musgrave, waste prevention and green building program coordinator for Eugene. The city plans to launch a pilot program for residences this fall.

About 200 businesses and organizations, including groceries, restaurants and large apartment complexes, are participating in the voluntary composting program.

“The thought with approaching from the business side first was fewer customers that you have to do education and outreach to,” Musgrave said. “Half of food waste is generated by businesses. When you look at efforts to do education and outreach, you’re talking to 200 businesses instead of 50,000 people. It just made sense.”

Dougherty (and fellow Boise composters) might be able to catch a break, however; the Idaho Statesman also reported some City Council members were mulling a waiver for residents who have a previous history of composting. Others propose making the system opt-in, citing concern for low-income/poverty level families, as well as pensioners and people receiving Social Security.

Finally, over in Colorado, we’ve been following the fall of Sports Authority since they declared bankruptcy in early March. After holding out for bids on the majority of their 450 stores nationwide, liquidators have started selling off merchandise chainwide according to the Denver Business Journal:

The going-out-of-business sales at Sports Authority stores where liquidation is not already underway will continue until about Aug. 31, the Englewood-based sporting-goods chain said in a court filing last week.


Liquidation sales already are underway at 142 of its stores, including Denver’s flagship Sports Castle on Broadway. Selloffs will launch Thursday at the remaining stores, a team of liquidators — Hilco Merchant Resources, Gordon Brothers Retail Partners and Tiger Capital Group — announced Tuesday.

The firms submitted the winning bid at a bankruptcy auction for Sports Authority merchandise and other assets on May 16.

Judge Mary Walrath of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware, signed off on the arrangement Tuesday. Both liquidators and Sports Authority wanted to start the selloff before the busy Memorial Day weekend, when many shoppers stock up on summer-season gear.

The liquidators say they will be selling off shoes, clothing, athletic gear and accessories, “including such popular brands as Under Armour, Nike, North Face, Wilson, Adidas, Spalding, ASICS, Head, Coleman, Everlast and Brooks,” as well as store fixtures, furniture and equipment.

Sports Authority gift cards will be honored through June 27.

The liquidators agreed to pay 101 percent of the value of the merchandise to be sold in exchange for rights to conduct the liquidations.

Judge Walrath on Tuesday also gave Sports Authority more time to find buyers for unexpired store leases. Competitors Dick’s Sporting Goods and Modell’s Inc., which earlier lost out on bids to buy small groups of Sports Authority stores outright, are said to be bidding on some of the store leases, the Wall Street Journal reports.

“Words cannot adequately express the disappointment we feel with the need to shut down our stores,” said Michael Foss, Sports Authority’s CEO. “We pursued both a plan of reorganization, as well as a sale of our business, but were unsuccessful in reaching an agreement that would have allowed Sports Authority to continue to operate.

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