Weekly Wrap: "Everything. Is. Fine." NPR National Desk reporter Nate Rott and University of Montana journalism professor Jule Banville join Sam to talk through the week that was: fires, hurricanes, Trump on ISIS on Twitter, Silicon Valley vs bodegas, economic indicators, the legal rights of apes — plus a call to a listener in Australia and the best things that happened to listeners all week. Email the show at samsanders@npr.org and follow Sam on Twitter @samsanders.
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Weekly Wrap: "Everything. Is. Fine."

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Weekly Wrap: "Everything. Is. Fine."

Weekly Wrap: "Everything. Is. Fine."

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AUNT BETTY: Hey, y'all, this is Sam's Aunt Betty. This week on the show, NPR National Desk reporter Nate Rott, and University of Montana journalism professor Jule Banville. All right, let's start the show.

(SOUNDBITE OF MERLE HAGGARD SONG, "BIG CITY")

SAM SANDERS, HOST:

Hey, y'all, Sam Sanders here, IT'S BEEN A MINUTE. This song - we're definitely going to talk about it. But first, as Aunt Betty said, we have two of the best and brightest stars in Montana. Thank you both for being here. Listeners, you are hearing Montana music from Merle Haggard because we're in Montana, taping today in Missoula.

NATHAN ROTT, BYLINE: Yeah, Merle Haggard. How did you choose Merle Haggard, Sam?

SANDERS: So I knew that we were going to be in Montana, and I asked the people of Twitter, like, what are some good Montana songs to play? Got a lot of suggestions. Frank Zappa's "Montana" was a close second, but that song was kind of out there. So we're playing Merle. The lyrics on this song, which is called "Big City," are kind of interesting. It talks about this guy leaving the big city for Montana.

JULE BANVILLE: This is you. This song is about you.

SANDERS: (Laughter) Merle Haggard speaks for me. Let's let's play some of it clear for a second. I want to hear it.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BIG CITY")

MERLE HAGGARD: (Singing) Turn me loose. Set me free somewhere in the middle of Montana...

SANDERS: I can get down with that.

ROTT: Yeah.

SANDERS: Like, the lyrics to this Merle Haggard song, "Big City," are quite interesting. Turn me loose, set me free somewhere in the middle of Montana, and give me all I've got coming to me. And keep your retirement and your so-called Social Security.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BIG CITY")

HAGGARD: (Singing) So-called Social Security...

SANDERS: Big city turn me loose and set me free. Merle, keep that money.

BANVILLE: Keep the money.

SANDERS: Keep the money, Merle.

ROTT: Yeah.

SANDERS: So before we get to it, for listeners that don't know you guys, Nate you probably hear a lot on the radio. Nate Rott covers the West and public lands and everything for NPR's National Desk.

ROTT: Disasters, yeah.

SANDERS: Based in LA. You were just at which hurricane?

ROTT: Harvey.

SANDERS: OK.

ROTT: I was down in Texas...

SANDERS: You were.

ROTT: ...For a week.

SANDERS: Yeah. And Jule Banville is a professor at the University of Montana, teaches journalism. Did you teach Nate?

BANVILLE: I didn't have the pleasure, no.

SANDERS: (Laughter).

BANVILLE: I taught his brother, Noah, but...

SANDERS: OK.

ROTT: Yeah, the better half.

BANVILLE: Yeah.

SANDERS: You teach podcasting, and you have your own podcast called, "Last Best Stories." What's that about?

BANVILLE: They're kind of really cool stories that either my students sort of start with me and then help them make them better that we can do in class, or I do some myself, or I commission some from independent producers.

SANDERS: Well, from what I've heard, podcasts are going places.

ROTT: Yeah.

BANVILLE: I mean, I heard everybody's got one.

SANDERS: Yeah, OK. First, we're going to start the show as we always do. I want each of us to describe how this week of news and stuff felt in just three words. Who's going to go first?

ROTT: Not it.

BANVILLE: OK.

SANDERS: Those are two words.

BANVILLE: Yeah, all right, OK. I picked as my three words, check the locals.

SANDERS: Check the locals.

BANVILLE: Check the locals.

SANDERS: Why is that?

BANVILLE: Well, for me, the big thing that I've been paying attention to is Hurricane Irma, so...

SANDERS: Because you got family in Florida, right?

BANVILLE: Yes, so my folks live between Tampa and Orlando, right smack in...

SANDERS: Yeah.

BANVILLE: ...Central Florida, where they...

SANDERS: Are they OK?

BANVILLE: They are OK. This morning, I was able to talk to my mom for about 60 seconds before her phone cut out. So the water was turned on. So they hadn't had water for five days, and they need to flush.

SANDERS: Yeah.

BANVILLE: So it's been rough.

SANDERS: Was there pressure for them to evacuate? What was the situation there? Were they told to leave and stayed anyway?

BANVILLE: They were told to evacuate because they're in a double-wide, so...

ROTT: Oh.

SANDERS: And their double-wide made it through the storm.

ROTT: Those are the things that got just, like - the trailer parks I saw where the places - just trailers all around - got nailed in those storms.

SANDERS: But your parents - their trailer survived?

BANVILLE: Their trailer survived.

SANDERS: Wow.

BANVILLE: So the next door double-wide - the roof didn't make it.

SANDERS: Speaking of checking locals, did you find yourself following local news or national news when you were trying to figure out if your parents were all right?

BANVILLE: Yeah, that was the thing. So my mom says, turn on the Weather Channel. And I was like, what is happening where...

SANDERS: Where you are.

BANVILLE: ...Where you are? And I worked for a local newspaper for 10-odd years in Erie, Pa., and so I started checking the websites for the newspapers, so the Orlando Sentinel and the Ledger, which covers Polk County, where my parents are. And they were killing it.

SANDERS: Yeah.

BANVILLE: Like, amazing, accurate, specific information from where my parents were and also all these, like, really human stories. I was reading the Tampa Bay Times, and there was this...

SANDERS: A great paper.

ROTT: Yeah.

BANVILLE: Such a great paper, and they were really in trouble because their newsroom is in a building that's made mostly of glass.

ROTT: That was the thing that just totally blew me away. It was all these people that were, like - I mean, they were evacuating towns and cities. But then people were hanging out in the newsroom just gathering in the middle of the building in case a storm really gets bad.

SANDERS: So just - I mean, shout-out and snaps to our local journalists.

BANVILLE: Absolutely, and, you know, they have homes, and they have families who are right there...

SANDERS: Exactly, they have to evacuate to. It's something else. It's something else so - Nate you got three words?

ROTT: I got three words, and they're kind of an abridged version of more words. But OK, here we go. Three words are jarring events jar, OK? Stay with me.

SANDERS: OK I'm with you.

ROTT: So it's a less profound kind of shorthand version of this quote that I heard earlier this week from a guy that was doing this story kind of looking at, do the politics of climate change and the conversation around climate change - does that get shifted when there's all these - you know, you have two giant hurricanes. You've got the wildfires that are burning out here in the West, you've got all these different issues. So this one guy said - this guy's Bill Miller. He's a Texas. You - Sam, you're from Texas.

SANDERS: I am.

ROTT: Do you know Bill Miller?

SANDERS: I know Bill Miller Bar-B-Q.

ROTT: It's not. I don't think he does Bill Miller Bar-B-Q.

SANDERS: OK, that was...

ROTT: No, so Bill Miller is a - he's a political lobbyist. He's just like - he knows everybody in Texas politics. And he - I was talking about this, like, hey, do you think that the politics of climate change are going to change at all after Harvey, right? I mean, have one of the largest - the largest city in the state is basically under water.

SANDERS: Fourth largest in the country.

ROTT: Fourth largest in the country.

SANDERS: Yeah.

ROTT: And it was interesting. He said profound events have profound effects. And so, you know, he didn't say - we're not going to see this change overnight. It's a really red state. But he did think that the conversation might change. People are going to start having these, like - you know, when they're rebuilding a bridge or they're rebuilding something you might think, OK, well, usually we build this for the 100-year flood, but these 100-year floods are happening...

SANDERS: Ten-year floods.

ROTT: ...Two or three years, you know, whatever.

SANDERS: Yeah.

ROTT: So maybe we need to start looking at it in a different way. And yeah, it was really interesting because I think, you know, I've talked to people who basically say, well, maybe we just should stop calling it climate change. Maybe we should just talk about in a localized way. Like, I talked to a guy in...

SANDERS: And what would you call it?

ROTT: Well, it just like whatever the effect is in the place that you are. So, like, in Montana, where we are now, it could be like longer droughts, right? And people...

SANDERS: Yeah, and bigger fires.

ROTT: Yeah, people can relate to that, but they might not relate to climate change. In Southern California, I talked to a guy who is like, I just call it coastal flooding - increased coastal flooding. And everybody's like, I don't want to see that. So I don't know. It kind of got me thinking. You know, I wonder if people are sitting around and having these conversations about, like, man, maybe I don't want to put up with the weather in this way.

SANDERS: Exactly. I have three words.

BANVILLE: What are they?

SANDERS: My three words are, everything is fine. And that can come with a period or a question mark, depending on how you feel. But I say that because there are some new metrics out from the Census Bureau with some really interesting data points. Some positives - median household income in the U.S. went up between 2015 and 2016, an increase of 3.2 percent in real terms, to make median household income in the U.S. $59,039 last year. It's pretty good.

The poverty rate fell between 2015 and 2016. The poverty rate now is 12.7 percent. About 40 million people in poverty. That is pretty much taking that number back to pre-recession levels. And at the same time, the number of people without health insurance is down. Now only about 8.8 percent of people in the country lack health insurance. That's a really good number. And so there's all these great metrics about the economy and the state of the average American. But from talking to people and from watching the news, you'd have no idea.

ROTT: So is that why? I mean, where's the question mark come in? I mean, everything is fine.

SANDERS: Everything is fine? Like, everything with these numbers seems to be fine. But do Americans feel like everything is fine? You have crazy weather. You've got crazy politics. You've got nuclear brinksmanship throughout the world. And it just feels like, even in spite of these good economic indicators, there's this layer of anxiety sitting over the entire country.

BANVILLE: Yeah, I mean, those numbers are actually pretty surprising to me.

ROTT: Yeah.

SANDERS: Right.

BANVILLE: But then I thought maybe he said everything's fine because he came to Montana.

ROTT: (Laughter) And everything here is...

SANDERS: Everything is fine.

ROTT: I love it.

SANDERS: All right. We're going to hold right here to take a quick break. We'll be back with Long Distance, where we call a listener and see what's going on where they live. And we'll swap some stories. Each of us will share a news story from the week that meant a lot to us. You're listening to IT'S BEEN A MINUTE from NPR. I'm Sam Sanders. BRB.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SANDERS: OK, now it's time for a thing we do every week. It's called Long Distance.

(SOUNDBITE OF DIALING PHONE)

SANDERS: Cute dance moves right there.

ROTT: Yeah.

SANDERS: This is where we call a listener out in the country and talk about what's going on in their neck of the woods. Today on the line, we have a really, really long, long distance. This caller is from Canberra, Australia. Did I say that right - Canberra? - she'll tell me. From Australia, Clementine Wraith (ph). Hi Clementine, how are you?

CLEMENTINE WRAITH: I'm good, thanks Sam, how are you?

SANDERS: I'm good. Did I say Canberra right?

WRAITH: Yeah you did, spot on.

SANDERS: Yes, OK. All right, so what do you do there in Australia?

WRAITH: I'm a student at the Australian National University doing Middle Eastern Studies and Arabic, and I work part-time as a barista.

SANDERS: Wow, so you reached out to us and wanted us to talk about a pretty big thing happening in Australia right now that a lot of other countries really aren't talking about. There is what's called a plebiscite happening right now in the country over gay marriage. This is a non-binding vote by mail over whether or not same-sex marriage will be legalized in the country. Is that correct?

WRAITH: Yes, absolutely.

SANDERS: Until you emailed me, I had no idea this thing was happening. And the first thing I thought when you emailed us, I said, oh, I didn't know that, like, Australia has not resolved the marriage issue yet. Do a lot of folks feel that way there?

WRAITH: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I remember, you know, five, six years ago going to protests about equal marriage and that sort of thing. And after it was legalized in the U.S., I think everyone just assumed it would happen here within sort of 18 months. But it's pretty unbelievable to think that it is 2017, and we are still having this raging debate over whether two consenting adults can get married.

SANDERS: I mean, I read a bit into the politics of it. But it seems as if, for the most part, a majority of Australians want this to be legal. So, like, why isn't it just legal yet?

WRAITH: I think the reason it hasn't been passed yet is essentially just politics within the Liberal Party itself, even though most Australians do want it to get it passed. And, you know, the other two major parties in Australia, Greens and Labor, also want it to get passed.

SANDERS: And so just to clarify, in Australia, the Liberal Party is the conservative party?

WRAITH: Yes.

SANDERS: OK.

WRAITH: Yes, I know it is confusing.

ROTT: It's like the way that the water spins the opposite way down there too, right?

SANDERS: It does?

WRAITH: Yeah, exactly.

ROTT: You know, when you flush the toilet.

WRAITH: The parties go the opposite way.

ROTT: The parties go the opposite way and then...

SANDERS: Woah.

ROTT: Blow your mind?

SANDERS: Mind blown.

ROTT: Yeah so...

WRAITH: I can't even wrap my mind around it.

ROTT: (Singing) The more you know.

SANDERS: So how is this vote - like, what's been the mood and the tenor of the conversation around this issue as this goes on?

WRAITH: I think at the crux of it, it's about - the country is really, really divided at the moment, which is a really sad thing to see. Like, you can't really - not trust, but you're depending on your friends, and family and neighbors to sort of determine your future as an LGBT person in Australia, and determine whether or not I can get married to, you know, my future partner.

SANDERS: Yeah. And, you know, I was reading this morning like the level of campaigning around this issue has been pretty heavy. What's been the nastiest thing that you've heard around all of this?

WRAITH: That was a horrible, horrible advertisement put out in the form of posters saying that LGBT parents are more likely to abuse their children than heterosexual parents, which, you know, was really just a mean and really nasty thing to say. And I think it plays into this thought that LGBT families are less valid than heterosexual families, which is certainly not the case.

BANVILLE: Clementine, I just wanted to ask you - just so I can sort of keep on top of this - when is this plebiscite happening? When do people turn in their ballots and that sort of thing?

WRAITH: It's happening right now. I got my ballot yesterday, and we have to turn them in by - oh, I think the cut-off date is November 4. But I think you have to mail them in earlier than that, like October 26 or something. So yeah, it's happening right now.

SANDERS: So how common are these plebiscites - these mail-in, non-binding votes?

WRAITH: They are not common whatsoever.

SANDERS: Really? OK.

WRAITH: I am not even sure we have had another one before this. I can't tell you off the top of my head, but, yes - plebiscite has not happened while I was alive, I believe.

SANDERS: Really?

WRAITH: And that's 19 years.

SANDERS: Well, on a lighter note, if you're not studying or a barista-ing, what are you going to do for fun this weekend?

WRAITH: The weather finally warming up here, so, hopefully - Canberra has a lot of really cool, like...

SANDERS: Oh, it's getting warm down there. Other side of the world. This is crazy.

(LAUGHTER)

SANDERS: All right, so it's getting warm. What are you going to do?

WRAITH: I'm hoping - I've got, yeah, a lot of study to do. But on Sunday, it's supposed to be really nice and sunny, so hopefully go out to one of the nature parks around and go hiking or something. Canberra is situated in a very nice part of the world. It's sort of - my house is like a 10-minute drive from the bush, so, yeah, hopefully get up, tour a bit of that.

SANDERS: That's awesome. All right, hey, Clementine, thank you so much. Have a great, great weekend.

WRAITH: Yes, thank you so much guys. You, too.

SANDERS: All righty. Bye.

ROTT: Bye.

BANVILLE: Bye.

WRAITH: OK, bye.

SANDERS: We also got a real-time, live fact-check in our ears from our editor, Steve. Nate, you're full of lies. The water does not spin in the opposite direction.

ROTT: I just - and I actually - I tried to fact-check Steve by looking it up while she was talking there at the end, it's - you're right. He was right. It's true.

SANDERS: I want us to leave...

ROTT: But that's a myth that I feel like, you know...

SANDERS: ...The error and the correction in.

ROTT: Yeah.

SANDERS: I think it's funner that way.

(LAUGHTER)

SANDERS: All right, listeners, we want to talk to you for this segment, as well. If you would like us to give you a call and hear about anything going on where you live, drop me a note. Tell us what's happening, samsanders@npr.org, samsanders@npr.org I cannot guarantee that Nate will be giving you fake news when you call, but someone will talk to you.

ROTT: (Laughter) But reach out. I'd be happy to.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SANDERS: Now it's time for the part of the show when we swap some news stories from the week that was. I ask our panelists to bring in a story, but this week, I picked Nate's story for him...

ROTT: (Laughter).

SANDERS: ...Because I know it's a thing he knows a lot about - the fires.

ROTT: The fires, forest fires.

SANDERS: So first, back story. As a reporter at NPR, you cover a lot of fires out in the West. But also, Nate, you used to be a firefighter, correct?

ROTT: I was, yup.

SANDERS: For how long?

ROTT: I guess it would be five seasons, five and a half seasons.

SANDERS: Wow.

ROTT: Yeah.

SANDERS: OK, so you got a lot of expertise in this. This is a thing that I feel like - there's been a ton of fires all throughout the West. It seems to me that they haven't been getting enough coverage. Quickly, tell me how big and the scope of these fires across the country - this part of the country.

ROTT: So just the number figures, and I know this, like, number figures sometimes are kind of hard to get your head around. But more than 8 million acres have burned in the U.S. this year. That is basically the size of Maryland - the state of Maryland...

SANDERS: Wow.

ROTT: ...Has burnt.

SANDERS: Is that average for every year, or is it more than average?

ROTT: You know, it's more than average for this time of year right now. But it's not Montana, where we are. Some of these places, you know, they're kind of coming to the end of their fire season. But, like, in California, where I live now, I mean, fire season - it's going to be on for a couple more months if not the rest of the year because we're kind of in a cycle now where the fire season - you know, it used to be fire season was a few months in the summer. And now it seems like fire season is just year-round in certain parts of the U.S.

SANDERS: Why is that?

ROTT: Well, a lot of people want to say climate change.

SANDERS: OK.

ROTT: And most of the fire ecologist people you talk to, I mean, that's - there's been a lot of good research on that, that, I mean, you think about it. If the climate is warming, if the air is warming, that's going to dry out trees faster. It's going to cause more droughts. It's going to allow for more invasive species - bark beetles and, like, pine beetles here have devastated a bunch of the forests in Montana. Usually a really cold winter will stop the spread of these beetles. And we just don't get those cold winters as regularly anymore. So that allows them to kind of proliferate and go all over the place.

SANDERS: What's been the most unusual thing about this fire season? Has it been, in any way, out of the ordinary besides just feeling like it's - the whole West is on fire?

ROTT: On fire? Yeah, I mean, and I do think people haven't paid as much attention to it this year because, I mean, I think it's because there's so much other news, right?

SANDERS: Yeah.

BANVILLE: Yeah.

ROTT: And it is - it's hard to compare apples and oranges when you're talking about hurricanes and fires because, I mean, these hurricanes - hundreds of thousands of homes that have been destroyed.

SANDERS: Yep, yeah.

ROTT: Fires - there are hundreds of homes that have been destroyed. Thousands of people have been evacuated, but it's different. I don't know - I mean, in the state of Montana, the numbers - there have been bigger fire seasons.

SANDERS: OK.

ROTT: But one of the things that's different this year is usually when we have these big fire seasons, a lot of the acreage that burns is in the eastern part of the state.

SANDERS: Gotcha.

ROTT: And so Montana, for somebody who doesn't know, it's kind of two states, in a way. You have like the eastern part of the state - it's this prairie. It's the grassland, you know. And over here in the West, we're surrounded by mountains. And so a lot of these fires that have been burning this year are burning in the mountains in this thick timber. And those fires, it's hard for them to get this big because if you think about it - right? - you start a piece of grass on fire, it's going to burn pretty easy.

SANDERS: Yeah.

ROTT: Try to start a log on fire, takes a lot more heat...

SANDERS: Yeah.

ROTT: ...Lot more time. And it takes that much more time to put out too. So that's one of the issues is these fires are really ripping through heavily forested areas.

SANDERS: Yeah. What's it been like for you living here through this? The smoke was heavy.

BANVILLE: Smoky. Yeah, super smoky.

SANDERS: Yeah.

BANVILLE: I wasn't in an area where the fire's right there and I had to evacuate my house. And that's certainly happened to a lot of people around here.

SANDERS: Yeah.

BANVILLE: But the air quality has been essentially hazardous for a long time.

ROTT: For weeks.

BANVILLE: I mean...

SANDERS: Yeah.

BANVILLE: But you came, and you brought the rain.

ROTT: (Laughter).

BANVILLE: So thanks.

SANDERS: That was me. You're welcome. Yeah. Well, it's funny, I was talking with your mom, Nate, about, like, how places like Missoula have had to adjust to all the smoke. Children are having to go to school in different places. A lot of kids ended up going to class in, like, a resort...

ROTT: (Laughter) Yeah.

SANDERS: ...Outside of town.

ROTT: There's this resort called Paws Up, which is kind of a swanky, cool place.

BANVILLE: So swanky.

ROTT: It's very swanky.

SANDERS: Yeah.

BANVILLE: Yeah.

ROTT: Yeah, too swanky - I've never been.

SANDERS: (Laughter).

ROTT: But yeah, they were relocating kids from a high school...

SANDERS: Yeah.

ROTT: ...To Paws Up, to this resort, for their classes...

SANDERS: Yeah.

ROTT: ...And for everything because the air was...

SANDERS: So bad.

ROTT: ...So bad where they were.

SANDERS: Your mother told me that the cross-country athletes at her high school, they can't run outside. So they've been running laps over and over in the school.

ROTT: Yeah.

SANDERS: It's something else. Well, and then it's like, just thinking about that, from what I understand there are kind of two schools of thought about how to deal with these fires. Some folks say this is the circle of life. Let it burn. This is how this stuff works. And I'm sure other folks are saying, keep the smoke and the fire out of my backyard.

ROTT: Yeah, I mean...

BANVILLE: Not much they can do about the smoke, to be honest.

SANDERS: Yeah, yeah. But like...

ROTT: And there's not much they can do about the fires.

SANDERS: OK.

ROTT: I mean, one of the things that's kind of newsy and relevant, especially this week, the interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, who's a Montanan is directing his land managers and everyone to take an aggressive new approach to trying to mitigate the chance for wildfire - prevent wildfire.

SANDERS: OK.

ROTT: And by doing - I think I had it written down because it's a very wonky term. He calls it scientific fuels reduction management.

SANDERS: What does that mean?

BANVILLE: Which means logging.

ROTT: Which - thinning, logging - thinning, I mean, it basically means...

SANDERS: So he's saying...

ROTT: ...Cutting down more trees.

SANDERS: ...Cut down trees to prevent more fires.

ROTT: Yeah. So there's a popular kind of refrain that you hear in a lot of the West - and especially around here. I mean, a lot of the communities around where we are right now, we're logging communities that are - since don't have any windmills or anything. I mean, the logging's kind of died. And a lot of people are angry about that politically.

SANDERS: Yes.

ROTT: And they blame the Obama administration, previous administrations that have closed areas and calls them national forests. The Montana senator Steve Daines had a tele-town hall the other day where he blamed radical environmentalists for a lot of these fires.

SANDERS: Really?

ROTT: Because he says they're blocking logging projects that would otherwise come through and clear out the timber. I want to be very clear. I mean, the science is really complicated. I've talked to a couple of fire ecologists about this. It is not that cut and dry.

SANDERS: OK.

ROTT: It's, you know, logging...

SANDERS: Pun intended.

ROTT: Yeah. Pun not intended, but it should've been intended.

SANDERS: OK.

ROTT: Logging can help prevent some fires in some ways, if you do thin out a forest and you get rid of a lot of the overgrown stuff. But logging can also make fires worse in some places.

SANDERS: Really?

ROTT: We've seen, like, in British Columbia this year, there was these huge fires. And a lot of that is because it's areas that have been logged, trees had been replanted. But they're replanting the same tree. And so if you have no biodiversity in a forest, if you have one pest come through that really loves that tree...

SANDERS: Yeah.

ROTT: ...All of a sudden, your entire forest is destroyed.

SANDERS: Last question.

ROTT: Yep.

SANDERS: Given all this happening this year with the fire season, will things look different next year in the way that people fight these fires, talk about them, deal with them or just going to be another season next year?

ROTT: It's going to be another fire season.

SANDERS: OK, OK.

ROTT: And there's only so much you can do. I mean, the forest is going to burn. And I do think, though, there are conversations about funding and how we do that that are taking place. And hopefully, that jarring event's jar, right?

SANDERS: (Laughter).

BANVILLE: Back to it.

ROTT: Right back to it.

SANDERS: It's called full circle.

ROTT: Yeah.

SANDERS: Yeah. All right.

Hey, y'all. Sam Sanders chiming in here real quick from my rental car in Polson Bay, Mont. just to say quick note, in this following section, we talk about physician-assisted suicide. But we don't use that clinical term. Jule uses the phrase, death with dignity. That is what some laws around this procedure are called. And it's also what some supporters call this procedure. So we know that there's more than one way to describe this thing. But we only use one name for this conversation just to make the conversation flow a little bit better. All right? All right.

Your story, Jule, I think is a little depressing too.

BANVILLE: Yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

SANDERS: Hit us with it.

BANVILLE: No, we're here to pick everyone up today.

(LAUGHTER)

BANVILLE: You are, though - everything's fine.

SANDERS: Everything's fine.

ROTT: Everything's fine.

BANVILLE: I was sort of thinking - I don't know, this three-word thing that you do...

SANDERS: Yeah.

BANVILLE: ...With IT'S BEEN A MINUTE, is sort of - it's catching on. I mean, I started thinking about my life in three words. But anyway - so the three words to the stories that I'm going to talk about are death with dignity.

SANDERS: Oh, OK.

BANVILLE: And this is a concept that a lot of states are knocking around, but...

SANDERS: Basically allowing you to...

ROTT: Choose when to die.

SANDERS: Choose when to die and how to die.

BANVILLE: Basically what it actually means is, can a doctor prescribe you the right medications so that you can decide to fill that prescription and then to take that medication to end your life?

SANDERS: How legal is this? It varies state to state, right?

BANVILLE: It varies state to state. So there are six states and the District of Columbia. So it started in Oregon.

SANDERS: Yes.

BANVILLE: So it's Washington, Oregon, California, Colorado, Montana, but Montana is sort of the outlier. And I'll talk about that in a sec. And Vermont. And then D.C. passed it last year. So in Montana, they did it through the courts. So they're the only ones who did it through the courts.

SANDERS: So will this spread to other states? What's the lay of the land?

BANVILLE: Well, in Utah there's not a plebiscite. But there are polls out there that show a majority of Utahns support this. But, you know, it's less than 60 percent at this point. In D.C., for instance - so D.C. just - their law's pretty new. So this week, though, the House passed - as part of this huge appropriations bill - a couple of riders that are going to affect D.C. and how they govern. And one of them is to basically negate the death with dignity law that was passed in D.C. So the City Council passed it. The mayor signed it into law. It went into effect in July. But depending on what happens with the Senate, it could kill what D.C. said it wants.

ROTT: The U.S. Congress could just negate that.

BANVILLE: The U.S. Congress could negate it, and the House has already voted to do that. So now they send it up to the Senate, and it's kind of up to the Senate whether they're going to take it up.

SANDERS: Really interesting. Now, you did on your podcast a story about someone who...

BANVILLE: Yeah.

SANDERS: Talk a bit about that.

BANVILLE: Yeah, so we talked to Ethel Barnes (ph). And her husband Irwin had cancer three times, by the end there was Parkinson's. And he was a party planner. He loved a party. He loved food. He loved his family - had six kids. He and his wife were married for 63 years. So he planned a party. You know, and by this time, he couldn't eat. He was having trouble swallowing, but, you know, he planned the menu. And he filled the prescription. And his medical care provider put it in his I.V.

SANDERS: His I.V.

BANVILLE: And he was the one who opened the tube.

SANDERS: Wow.

ROTT: Wow.

BANVILLE: And he died. And he died in this really peaceful way, surrounded by his family. And so we talked to Ethel. And Ethel just talks about how it was so beautiful. Like, you don't think of death as beautiful. And this person - I mean, she's been married to this guy for 63 years. You can imagine how hard it would be to see him die, and the way that she talked about it was in this really peaceful loving way, you know, that he got to go out the way he wanted to...

SANDERS: He wanted to go out.

BANVILLE: And he would always say, you know, we need to be the driver of our own bus. You know, and that's what he did.

SANDERS: Where can folks hear that podcast of the story you described?

BANVILLE: "Last Best Stories."

SANDERS: And what's that episode called?

BANVILLE: That is "How to Die in Montana."

SANDERS: Wow. I'll check it out.

BANVILLE: OK, thanks. I need like 12 listeners. No, I need - not 11. I need 12.

SANDERS: Listeners help us up. Check out this podcast.

ROTT: It's awesome.

SANDERS: All right. I've got a story for you guys.

ROTT: All right.

SANDERS: This maybe a little more uplifting.

ROTT: OK.

SANDERS: I don't know. It might not be actually.

ROTT: We need it.

SANDERS: Have you heard of bodega gate?

BANVILLE: Yes.

ROTT: Bodega gate.

SANDERS: Yeah. Oh, Nate let me tell you. So you know what a bodega is?

ROTT: Yeah.

SANDERS: This is a mom and pop neighborhood store, most popular in New York. There's believed to be 12,000 bodegas in New York City alone. And these are usually run by immigrants, by people of color. And they are these shining examples of the success of small business in America. And they sell everything and also make a good sandwich for you too. Like, bodegas are a thing. A lot of them have cats. You know, bodegas. Anyway...

BANVILLE: And if there's 12,000 bodegas, I think there must be, like, 13,000 bodega cats.

SANDERS: (Laughter) Yeah, yeah. So bodegas - everyone loves them, right? Well, two ex Google employees have started a new company making a product that they're calling bodega. It is a 5-foot-wide pantry box filled with nonperishable items that you might pick up at a convenience store. An app allows you to unlock the box, like, with your phone. And then cameras powered with computer vision register what you pick up. And that will automatically charge your credit card. And the entire process can happen without a person actually having to man the store. They're calling these bodegas. The logo is a bodega cat - a nod to bodega cats. And so...

ROTT: We're going to nod to the thing we're killing, basically.

SANDERS: Yeah. And so, like, one of the founders of this said the vision here is much bigger than the box itself. Eventually, centralized shopping locations won't be necessary because there will be 100,000 bodegas - their bodegas - spread out with one always 100 feet away from you.

So they're basically saying, we kind of want to put bodegas out of business, and we're going to call our thing - which is fully automated - we're going to call that, Bodegas. Well, let me tell you what. The Internet was not having it.

BANVILLE: People are mad.

SANDERS: People are really mad about it because it's just like, the audacity.

ROTT: I mean, it's kind of like - it's a little like what's happened with maybe taxi drivers and Uber, right? Like, all of a sudden...

SANDERS: But they didn't call it, Taxi (laughter).

ROTT: Yeah. That's true.

BANVILLE: They did not call it, Taxi.

SANDERS: They didn't call it, Taxi. It's just so brazen. So there was - I mean, the Internet was like, oh, no, you will not. And just, like, a day or two later, the founders had a post on Medium, and they apologized. And they say, is it possible we didn't fully understand what the reaction to the name would be? Yes...

BANVILLE: Maybe.

SANDERS: Clearly. And so what - the thing is, though, they said in their response, and in the first story about it that was in Fast Company, they said, well, we polled a cross-section of Latinos. And 97 percent of them said it was totally cool. And I'm like...

BANVILLE: (Laughter).

SANDERS: I don't know. I can't speak for Latinos.

BANVILLE: Was this a mail-in ballot?

(LAUGHTER)

SANDERS: But that sounds suspect. Did they have a plebiscite on Bodega? But what I don't understand - well, actually, what I do understand is that, like, this is just another glaring example of Silicon Valley living in such a bubble where they just don't understand or see what feels like is the real world. How did that whole office of people...

ROTT: Not...

SANDERS: ...Not say, actually, maybe...

ROTT: Let me play devil's advocate for a second here.

SANDERS: Well, you don't - yeah.

ROTT: Not that I want to see that, but what I, like - if you think about what Amazon is doing - right? - or, like, when you go to the airport and it's, like, all of a sudden there is, like, the Best Buy dispensary, right? I mean, you dont have to interact with a human anymore for...

SANDERS: Yes.

ROTT: ...To buy a lot of things. I mean, couldn't you say, in a way, that, like, look, the world's going that way anyway?

SANDERS: Oh, it is. It totally is. And these things already exist, like - but just the name of it.

ROTT: Yeah.

SANDERS: It was so tone-deaf. You know, what's funny is...

BANVILLE: Right.

ROTT: A little on-the-nose.

SANDERS: ...These an automated vending machines, there's one of those in NPR. On the third floor of our building...

ROTT: Oh, you're right.

SANDERS: ...There is a, like, convenience-store-looking setup where you take what you will. And the cameras watch you, and then you scan yourself and you pay yourself with your card. So like, these things already happen. They already exist. They could have done this just fine. They could - could they have called it, like, Pantree with two E's or something? Like, just don't call it Bodega.

BANVILLE: Right.

ROTT: Pantree.

SANDERS: Pantree.

BANVILLE: Bodegaa (ph).

(LAUGHTER)

SANDERS: I mean, when is Silicon Valley just going to, like, stop being tone-deaf?

ROTT: When it diversifies.

BANVILLE: When it gets a bodega.

(LAUGHTER)

BANVILLE: You know, I mean, the nice thing that's happened out of bodega gate is people are loving on their bodegas now.

SANDERS: Oh, yeah.

BANVILLE: This is just a thing that exists that is a convenience for lots of people who live in cities, you know? And it's like, yeah, yeah, just stop by the bodega...

SANDERS: Yeah, yeah.

BANVILLE: Then they stop to think about, well, who owns my bodega? Who is my cat?

SANDERS: (Laughter) Who's my cat? Yeah, save the bodega cats. I don't even like cats, but I love bodega cats.

ROTT: My family has a cat that Sam is...

SANDERS: That I kind of like.

ROTT: ...He kind of likes. He's kind of allergic to it, too.

SANDERS: Rafiki.

ROTT: Rafiki, yeah.

SANDERS: I call it Riffraff.

ROTT: (Singing) Riffraff, street rat. I don't buy that. "Aladdin," anybody?

(LAUGHTER)

BANVILLE: Wow, you are so Generation X.

ROTT: I'm not a singer, yeah.

SANDERS: All right, all I said is, like, Silicon Valley, whoever you're polling, wherever your focus grouping, you're doing it wrong. All right, guys, it's time for one more quick break. When we come back, we're going to play my favorite game. It's called, Who Said That? One of you will win, and one of you will lose. Neither of you will get anything. We'll also hear our listeners tell us the best thing that happened to them all week. We'll be right back.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SANDERS: We are back. You're listening to IT'S BEEN A MINUTE from NPR, where we catch up on the week that was. Here with two of Montana's brightest shining stars, Nate Rott from NPR's National News Desk and Jule Banville from the University of Montana, where we are today recording.

ROTT: Woohoo, go Griz.

SANDERS: She's a journalism professor there, and she hosts her own podcast called, "Last Best Stories." This has been fun, guys.

ROTT: It's been awesome.

BANVILLE: So fun. Can we just keep going?

SANDERS: Oh, yeah, we're here all day. We're here all day, yes. This is, like, the funnest part. This is the game. It's a little game. It is very simple. It is called...

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "REAL HOUSEWIVES OF ATLANTA")

PORSHA WILLIAMS: Who be saying that?

KENYA MOORE: Who said that?

KANDI BURRUS: Who said that?

SANDERS: Who Said That? So I share a quote from the week. You guys have to guess who said that. We'll do three or four of these today. As I said, the winner gets absolutely nothing.

ROTT: I'm looking forward to it.

BANVILLE: Enticing.

SANDERS: Don't look at my papers. Don't cheat.

ROTT: You had me at nothing.

SANDERS: Right, right. All right, first quote, "it was nothing but Jesus that stopped me from flipping over those tables. I also pray for them because God will deal with them accordingly." Who said that?

BANVILLE: I got it.

SANDERS: You don't?

ROTT: I have no idea.

SANDERS: Who said that?

BANVILLE: Hillary Clinton.

(SOUNDBITE OF BUZZER)

BANVILLE: No?

SANDERS: (Laughter) Actually, no.

BANVILLE: Dang.

SANDERS: It's...

ROTT: She is in the news.

SANDERS: She is in the news. Who did say this? It was nothing but Jesus to stop me from flipping over those tables. I also pray for them because God will deal with them accordingly. This also happened in New York. It was a thing this week that went badly. If - you probably just don't know it.

ROTT: I don't know. I mean, we're on the other - we're on the opposite coast, man. We're over here.

BANVILLE: Was it - does it have something to do with bodegas?

SANDERS: It has something to with food - with pizza.

ROTT: A pizza. Is it, like, in a Pizza Hut or something like that?

SANDERS: No.

ROTT: Oh, I don't know.

BANVILLE: All right. You got to fill us in.

SANDERS: All right. So our friend at NPR Colin Dwyer had this wonderful write-up of what people in New York are calling the Fyre Fest of pizza. Remember Fyre Fest? - that thing where everyone was going to go to an island. And then there were just, like, emergency tents out there when they got there.

BANVILLE: Fyre - yeah, I'm thinking about where I live - Fyre Fest...

SANDERS: F-Y-R-E.

ROTT: (Laughter).

SANDERS: But so the - basically, that quote was from Vanessa de Kisee (ph). There was a Facebook group for survivors of this awful pizza festival. The New York City Pizza Festival was really, really bad, and people were so mad about it.

ROTT: Was the pizza bad or was...

SANDERS: Here's the thing. Colin wrote, (reading) frustrated attendees on social media told of three booths in a Brooklyn parking lot crowded with long lines. But for at least an entire hour - empty of pizza. When the pizza did arrive, it was delivered in dribs and drabs. And attendees say the slices were sliced razor thin so they could get more slices out of it. People paid some $70, $80 to go to this pizza fest, expecting tons of different types of pizza. They showed up to an empty parking lot.

BANVILLE: You know, I used to live in New York. And I think you can get a piece of pizza as big as your head...

SANDERS: Yeah.

BANVILLE: ...For about four bucks still.

SANDERS: Yeah. So these people got played. In the words of DJ Khaled, you played yourself.

ROTT: (Laughter).

SANDERS: Congratulations. You've played yourself. So right now the universe is up one to y'all's zero.

ROTT: Yeah, sorry.

BANVILLE: For sure.

ROTT: I'll read the story, Colin.

SANDERS: Next quote. You guys will get this one. Here it is. As we learn more about Naruto, his community of Macaques and all other animals, we must recognize appropriate fundamental legal rights for them as our fellow global occupants and members of their own nations who want only to live their lives and be with their families. Who said that?

BANVILLE: Why are you making this so hard?

ROTT: It feels like - I mean, the guy in a yellow hat with Curious George?

SANDERS: This is...

BANVILLE: I mean, I know what Hillary Clinton said about shivving.

(LAUGHTER)

BANVILLE: OK. Like I was expecting, like, let's not talk about who shivved me.

(LAUGHTER)

BANVILLE: I was prepped for this.

SANDERS: Have you read her book yet?

BANVILLE: And I don't know about a macaque situation.

ROTT: What is - like, what is a macaque?

SANDERS: It's a type of monkey.

ROTT: OK.

SANDERS: This was a big legal case that was in the news for a while.

ROTT: Oh, this is about the monkey that took the selfie.

(SOUNDBITE OF MICROSOFT'S "TADA")

ROTT: I don't know who said it.

SANDERS: Yes, yes.

ROTT: Yes.

BANVILLE: Nice.

SANDERS: So this was a...

ROTT: One step closer to nothing.

SANDERS: This was a joint statement issued by PETA - People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals - and David Slater, the photographer who got the monkey selfie. OK, back story - David Slater is a photographer. He spent three days shadowing a group of macaques in the jungles of Sulawesi. And on day three of his trip in the jungle, he was like, oh, the monkeys like this camera. I'm going to just leave it and see what they do. The monkeys would go to the camera, look at their reflection in the lens, having fun with it. And some of them snapped the shutter or whatever and took their own photos. David Slater published some of those monkey selfies in a book. And after the book came out, PETA was mad about it. And they sued him and said the monkey has a right to the profits from this photo because he took it. A two-year legal fight ensued. PETA and Slater finally settled. Some of the money will be donated to groups that help monkeys like these. And the rest of the money he gets to keep. But it took them two years to figure this out.

ROTT: I mean, so what happens when bodega cats start taking selfies of themselves?

BANVILLE: Right? This is how this whole problem is going to get solved.

ROTT: I know.

SANDERS: Yeah.

ROTT: Think of the thousands of cat selfies that are - I want to see the full frame of this picture because, I mean, if he got his face that, like, central in the camera...

BANVILLE: Right.

ROTT: I mean he's, like - he's smiling, his eyes even look like he knows...

SANDERS: I one day hope to be as joyful as that macaque.

ROTT: As photogenic...

(LAUGHTER)

ROTT: For me Sam, for me, not you.

SANDERS: OK. All right.

ROTT: (Laughter).

SANDERS: So Nate has one. Jule, you've got zero.

BANVILLE: Yeah.

SANDERS: Step it up.

BANVILLE: Yeah, yeah.

SANDERS: This one just happened today.

ROTT: Uh oh.

SANDERS: Quote, "must be proactive and nasty." Who said that?

ROTT: Must be proactive and nasty?

BANVILLE: I mean, I got to go...

ROTT: It's still early.

BANVILLE: I'm just using Hillary for each one.

(LAUGHTER)

BANVILLE: I mean...

ROTT: You keep throwing darts at the board - maybe one will stick.

SANDERS: Not Hillary, but close. Try again.

BANVILLE: All right, all right, all right.

SANDERS: Must be proactive and nasty.

ROTT: Donald Trump?

SANDERS: Yeah.

(SOUNDBITE OF MICROSOFT'S "TADA")

ROTT: Yeah? I mean, nasty is a word that he uses a lot, right?

SANDERS: In one of several tweets, he said...

BANVILLE: How is Donald Trump close to Hillary? I mean, I don't...

SANDERS: Well they both were...

ROTT: (Laughter).

BANVILLE: I'm trying to think Nancy Pelosi. I'm going, like, Feinstein.

SANDERS: They both ran for the same office.

BANVILLE: All right.

SANDERS: Donald Trump said it in a series of tweets this morning. One of them - he wrote, we have made more progress in the last nine months against ISIS than the Obama administration has made in 8 years. Must be proactive and nasty. I don't know what that means.

ROTT: (Laughter) It sounds like what you do when you're dealing with, like, a zit or something like that. You know, your Proactiv medication.

BANVILLE: (Laughter).

SANDERS: I definitely thought of the acne medication. I mean, what's - there's a lot going on with this tweet.

The use of the word nasty threw me off. But, also, to imply that the Obama administration had eight years to fight ISIS isn't true because ISIS wasn't around the entire eight years.

ROTT: True.

BANVILLE: Right.

ROTT: And this whole idea that you're going to be proactive - I feel like that could take a lot of different shapes. I wonder what he means by being proactive.

SANDERS: I don't know. It's just like - it was funny though. Like, for a good week or so, his tweets had been pretty tempered and tame. And I was like, OK. John Kelly, his new chief of staff...

BANVILLE: Got a hold of his phone.

SANDERS: ...He's wrangled him, got a hold of the phone. But then, I wake up this morning. And as I do, I look and see if he's tweeted anything. And there were like four or five way early in the morning. I'm like, oh, he's back at it again. All right, the game is over.

ROTT: I would've got that one.

SANDERS: Nate, you squeaked it out.

ROTT: I squeaked it out.

BANVILLE: That was more than a squeak. That was a definitive victory.

ROTT: I mean, any other week where we use Hillary Clinton quotes, you would've been...

BANVILLE: I'm in. I got that.

ROTT: ...On it.

SANDERS: We got a quote from Hillary last week. You should've been here then. Sorry.

BANVILLE: Aw, dang it.

SANDERS: Thank you guys for playing. As promised, nothing. All right. We are about to hear our listeners tell us the best things that happened to them all week.

ROTT: I love this.

SANDERS: But first, for the first time ever, we have to make some corrections. I don't know what was in the water last week. But we made a few errors in the show.

ROTT: You made a few today - the water...

SANDERS: (Laughter) So we have ran this language through our standards and practices editor. Let me read this now. In last Friday's episode, we said at one point during the show that Betsy DeVos, Ed secretary, was planning to rescind Title 9. That was incorrect. She has opened up a public comment period in advance of possible changes to portions of Title 9 that deal with campus sexual assault. We regret the error. Second correction - we also incorrectly pronounced the name of an Irishman when we were describing a family chasing down a bat in their home in a viral video from last week.

It's spelled T-A-D-H-G. I pronounced it tad because I'm a dumb American. It's actually pronounced Tadhg. I regret the error. And finally - and this is the most egregious error probably of my professional career - I yelled, roll tide, last week, a phrase that praises the athletics teams at the University of Alabama...

ROTT: Oh, no.

SANDERS: ...When a listener called in last week talking about a game he attended at the University of Alabama, Birmingham. That is a different campus with a different mascot and a different slogan. I totally screwed up. This happened during our best things all week segment last week. I really regret the error. As you guys know...

ROTT: You can't go to Alabama ever again.

SANDERS: I know. And my mother's from there. And I blame her for that because when I was a kid, she would say, roll tide, all the time. So as soon as I heard university in Alabama, I went there. But you guys know me.

BANVILLE: I can't blame you.

SANDERS: I'm into sports. I know my slogans. I know how the sports goes. You know, hook 'em, Aggies.

ROTT: (Laughter).

SANDERS: Oklahoma, I want you guys to boomer later. Skol, Packers - yeah.

ROTT: Yeah.

SANDERS: No one got my hook 'em, Aggies joke.

ROTT: Hook 'em, Aggies?

BANVILLE: Sorry.

SANDERS: It's supposed to be hook 'em, Horns, and...

ROTT: Hook 'em, Horns.

SANDERS: ...Gig 'em, Aggies. But I screwed that up to poke fun of how I don't know how to do these sports slogans.

BANVILLE: (Laughter) Let's pick up that.

(LAUGHTER)

SANDERS: Anyways, sorry about all those errors, guys. We did better this week, I think.

ROTT: Yeah.

SANDERS: OK. We are almost done. You guys have been champs.

BANVILLE: This was fun.

ROTT: This has been fun. Yeah.

BANVILLE: Yeah.

SANDERS: Y'all are fun.

BANVILLE: It's good.

SANDERS: We're fun. All right...

ROTT: You should just stay in Montana.

SANDERS: I'm down with that.

BANVILLE: You should.

SANDERS: I like it. Beer is cheap here.

ROTT: Beer's cheap.

SANDERS: All right, we're almost here. But first, a plug for Tuesday's episode. We've got a book chat. I spoke with David Litt. He was one of Barack Obama's speechwriters while Obama was in the White House. And he wrote a book all about his time in the White House. It is called "Thanks, Obama." David Litt's super fun. He played a big part in Obama's widely praised anger translator skit where he had one of the guys from "Key & Peele" at the correspondents dinner a few years ago. But we talk all about his time working in the White House, what Obama's like. It was a really fun, interesting chat. You guys should check it out. The book is called "Thanks, Obama: My Hopey, Changey White House Years." He's currently the head writer/producer for Funny or Die's office in D.C. You can hear our chat Tuesday. Refresh your feeds then. It will be there. All right?

BANVILLE: Great.

SANDERS: All right.

ROTT: I'm listening.

SANDERS: With that, let's end the show as we always do each week. We ask our listeners to send us a recording of them sharing the best things that happened to them all week. We encourage them to brag. We've assembled some here. Chris Benderev has put them together. Play the tape, Chris.

ANDREW WANKER: Hey, Sam Sanders and co. This is Andrew Wanker (ph) from Lancaster, Penn. And the best thing that happened to me this week happened about an hour and a half ago. And it's curled in the arm - in the curl of my hands.

SANDERS: What is it?

ANDREW WANKER: Welcome to the world, Grace Juliet.

SANDERS: Oh, my God, a baby (clapping).

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #1: Hey, Sam. About a month and a half ago, I moved across the country from California to D.C. knowing about two people. But this past week, I hung out with a girl who I met here. And I think I made my first adult, real friend.

SANDERS: Aw, that's awesome.

ROTT: That's so cool.

BANVILLE: A special moment.

CHRIS LEFLER: This is Chris Lefler (ph) from Southgate, Mich. And the best thing that happened to me all week was after two days of silence, we found out that my cousins in Naples, Fla., and St. Pete-Clearwater area made it through Irma safely with no injuries.

ROTT: Ah, thank you. That's awesome.

SANDERS: Thank goodness.

HALEY: Hey, Sam. This is Haley (ph) from Missoula, Mont.

SANDERS: Hey.

ROTT: Woo.

BANVILLE: Hey, woo.

HALEY: The best thing that has happened to me this week is that today, after - I don't know - a month and a half of Missoula having unhealthy...

SANDERS: Yeah.

HALEY: ...Air quality conditions, I am hiking in my favorite spot, listening to IT'S BEEN A MINUTE, and I can see blue sky.

SANDERS: Yeah, aw, yeah.

ROTT: Yeah.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #2: The best part of my week was when my 9-year-old son Hugh decided to get baptized. So our Methodist pastor waded into the beautiful creek that runs through our little town, and led what we call a big-water baptism. It was awesome.

SANDERS: Wow.

BANVILLE: Nice.

SANDERS: That's so cool.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: The best part of my week is right now because I'm on the road to move in with my girlfriend of two and a half years.

SANDERS: Congrats.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: I went with my girlfriend Linnie (ph) to the country of Sweden, and we had a great time eating lutefisk and herring and laughing about how we can't speak the language.

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: And while we were there, she agreed to marry me.

SANDERS: Whoa.

ROTT: Whoa.

BANVILLE: That's better than lutefisk.

ABBY: Hi, Sam. This is Abby (ph). And I got my very first puppy.

SANDERS: Aw.

ABBY: He is an 8-week-old Bernese mountain dog named Tucker.

BANVILLE: Those are so cute.

ABBY: And he is just perfect. And by perfect, I mean he bites everything and has accidents everywhere.

(LAUGHTER)

ABBY: But we don't care because he is perfect.

SANDERS: He's so cute.

CARLY: Hi, Sam. This is Carly (ph). And I'm 36 years old, which is relevant because this week, I started school full-time. And that has never been an option for me.

SANDERS: Wow.

CARLY: And I am so, so grateful to get the chance to get a degree and become a nurse.

SANDERS: I'm happy for you.

COLLEEN: My name is Colleen (ph). And the best thing that happened to me this week was watching my 7-year-old son as his second cochlear implant was activated.

BANVILLE: Awesome.

COLLEEN: They turned it on. And he got to hear, and it just was amazing watching his eyes light up. And we have a long road ahead of us for him to learn what it is that he's hearing, for his brain to figure it out. But this week, man, to see it all kind of click into place for the first time was just remarkable.

ROTT: That is so cool.

SANDERS: Wow.

COLLEEN: Thanks.

CARLY: Hope you had a great week.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Bye.

LEFLER: Bye, bye.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #2: Have a great day. I love your show.

SANDERS: Gets me every time.

BANVILLE: So good.

ROTT: Dude, I could listen to that all day.

BANVILLE: More, more of those. Call in. Give me just a whole hour.

SANDERS: The world is a beautiful place.

ROTT: Everything is fine, Sam.

SANDERS: Everything is fine, right?

ROTT: Everything is fine.

SANDERS: I love it.

BANVILLE: So true.

SANDERS: Hey, well, special thanks to Colleen, Carly, Abby, Peter, Devin, Carolyn, Haley, Chris, Gaby and Andrew. We listen to all these come in every week. And they are the best part of my week every week. Wish I had time to play all of them. We don't. But know that when you hit send on those emails, it lands in our inbox, and we do hear it. Thank you all for sharing those. You can share the best thing about your week at any point throughout the week. Just email me. Send the sound of your voice to samsanders@npr.org.

(SOUNDBITE OF MERLE HAGGARD SONG, "BIG CITY")

SANDERS: OK, Merle, take us out. We made it. We're done.

ROTT: Merle Haggard.

SANDERS: I like the twang on that.

ROTT: Yeah.

BANVILLE: It's classic.

SANDERS: All right. This week, IT'S BEEN A MINUTE was edited by Jeff Rogers and Steve Nelson, and it was produced by our friend Chris Benderev. He graciously stepped away from his full-time job producing Kelly McEvers's NPR podcast called Embedded to help us out with our show this week while, Brent Baughman, who we all know and love, is away on vacation. Hope you're enjoying vacation, Brent. You better not be checking email right now. Thank you, Chris. Happy vacation, Brent. Refresh your feed Tuesday morning for my chat with Obama speech-writer David Litt all about his book, "Thanks, Obama." Nate, Jule, what's the best part of your week?

BANVILLE: Right now.

ROTT: Yeah.

SANDERS: Aw, I love it. I love it. Hey, well, listeners in Montana, thank you, first, for welcoming me into your state this week. I've had a blast. Also, thanks to Montana Public Radio for hosting us today for our taping, to Beth Anne for engineering for us and to all the kind folks here that made us feel welcome. Thanks for listening. I'm Sam Sanders. Talk soon. Oh, you guys didn't say bye. Say bye.

BANVILLE: Oh, see you later.

ROTT: See you. Thanks.

SANDERS: All right. Bye.

(SOUNDBITE OF MERLE HAGGARD SONG, "BIG CITY")

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