Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Your future, a little early

Posted By on Wed, Jul 27, 2016 at 9:00 AM

Find Rob Brezsny's "Free Will Astrology" online, every Wednesday, one day before it hits the Indy's printed pages. 
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ARIES (March 21-April 19): Free your body. Don't ruminate and agonize about it. FREE YOUR BODY! Be brave and forceful. Do it simply and easily. Free your gorgeously imperfect, wildly intelligent body. Allow it to be itself in all of its glory. Tell it you're ready to learn more of its secrets and adore its mysteries. Be in awe of its unfathomable power to endlessly carry out the millions of chemical reactions that keep you alive and thriving. How can you not be overwhelmed with gratitude for your hungry, curious, unpredictable body? Be grateful for its magic. Love the blessings it bestows on you. Celebrate its fierce animal elegance.   

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): The people of many cultures have imagined the sun god as possessing masculine qualities. But in some traditions, the Mighty Father is incomplete without the revitalizing energies of the Divine Mother. The Maoris, for example, believe that every night the solar deity has to marinate in her nourishing uterine bath. Otherwise he wouldn't be strong enough to rise in the morning. And how does this apply to you? Well, you currently have resemblances to the weary old sun as it dips below the horizon. I suspect it's time to recharge your powers through an extended immersion in the deep, dark waters of the primal feminine.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): An Interesting Opportunity is definitely in your vicinity. It may slink tantalizingly close to you in the coming days, even whisper your name from afar. But I doubt that it will knock on your door. It probably won't call you seven times on the phone or flash you a big smile or send you an engraved invitation. So you should make yourself alert for the Interesting Opportunity's unobtrusive behavior. It could be a bit shy or secretive or modest. Once you notice it, you may have to come on strong — you know, talk to it sweetly or ply it with treats.

CANCER (June 21-July 22):It's time to get more earthy and practical about practicing your high ideals and spiritual values. Translate your loftiest intentions into your most intimate behavior. Ask yourself, "How does Goddess want me to respond when my co-worker pisses me off?", or "How would Goddess like me to brush my teeth and watch TV and make love?" For extra credit, get a t-shirt that says, "Goddess was my co-pilot, but we crash-landed in the wilderness and I was forced to eat her."

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Be alert for white feathers gliding on the wind. Before eating potato chips, examine each one to see if it bears a likeness of Rihanna or the Virgin Mary. Keep an eye out, too, for portents like robots wearing dreadlocked wigs or antique gold buttons lying in the gutter or senior citizens cursing at invisible Martians. The appearance of anomalies like these will be omens that suggest you will soon be the recipient of crazy good fortune. But if you would rather not wait around for chance events to trigger your good luck, simply make it your fierce intention to generate it. Use your optimism-fueled willpower and your flair for creative improvisation. You will have abundant access to these talents in the coming weeks.


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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Rockies Today, July 26

Posted By on Tue, Jul 26, 2016 at 11:26 AM

Mountain West News is a service of the O’Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West — a regional studies and public education program at the University of Montana. The Center’s purpose is to serve as an important and credible resource for people in the state and region in understanding the region’s past, present, and future. For more, visit mountainwestnews.org

Monday, July 25, 2016

A bombing run over Missoula

Posted By on Mon, Jul 25, 2016 at 6:21 PM

The Maid in the Shade is a WWII-era B-25 bomber that will be on display at Missoula's airport for the next week. - ANDREW GRAHAM
  • Andrew Graham
  • The Maid in the Shade is a WWII-era B-25 bomber that will be on display at Missoula's airport for the next week.
On Monday, July 25, it took “Maid in the Shade,” a World War II-era B-25 bomber, two hours and 15 minutes to fly from Gillette, Wyoming, to Missoula. Upon arrival, the plane kicked acrid smoke from the propeller on its right wing as it rolled to a stop on the tarmac. The smoke, pilot Matt Quy says, is a little oil leakage burning off, normal and nothing to worry about. The plane had survived another flight. 

Within an hour, the Maid is turning around and heading back down the runway for a low-flying flight around Missoula with a cargo full of media members. The plane will be on display through July 31 at the Museum of Mountain Flying as part of the Flying Legends of Victory Tour, and the public will be able to arrange flights Friday through Sunday.

Matt Quy flies the B-52 along the front of Mount Sentinel on Monday morning. - ANDREW GRAHAM
  • Andrew Graham
  • Matt Quy flies the B-52 along the front of Mount Sentinel on Monday morning.

Before becoming a flying museum piece, the Maid in the Shade survived 15 bombing runs through enemy skies over Italy and Yugoslavia during the war. On one of those flights, four planes went out and only this one came back. It took 28 years for the plane to be restored to operational status, although co-pilot David Baker says part of what took so long was political wrangling over who would end up with the plane. In 2009, the Maid in the Shade once again took to the skies in the hands of the Arizona Wing of the Commemorative Air Force. 

The most noticeable thing as the plane prepares for takeoff is the noise, which is equivalent to standing in a barn full of old outboard motors and rattletrap truck engines, all revving to life at once. “They purr like kittens once they get going,” Quy says. 

As the Maid taxis out, every pop, bounce and shudder can be felt. Part of that could be the thin aluminum walls, which crew chief Bob Taylor says are around 1/16
th of an inch thick. It offered little protection against the clouds of flak fired into the sky by enemy cannons on the ground below. On bombing runs, B-25s would fly at 12,000 to 15,000 feet, often unescorted and protected from enemy fighters only by their own defenses. There were six machine guns along the nose of the plane, two in a glass domed turret above the cockpit, one on each side of plane at the waist and two more extending from its tail. 

These two machine-guns on the tail of the B-25 made up just one part of its defenses against enemy fighters during bombing runs over Italy and Yugoslavia. - ANDREW GRAHAM
  • Andrew Graham
  • These two machine-guns on the tail of the B-25 made up just one part of its defenses against enemy fighters during bombing runs over Italy and Yugoslavia.

During the Maid's fighting days it was crewed by six men. There were two pilots in the front, along with a crew chief who operated the turret guns when necessary. In the back of the plane rode the tail gunner and a waste gunner who also served as radio man (they could only get into position once the B-25 was airborne by crawling across the top of the bomb bay). The bombardier doubled as a navigator and rode in the nose turret, a glass-encased dome that is accessed from the cockpit by crawling through a coffin-sized metal tunnel. The turret offers a panoramic vista and comfortable seat, though this was perhaps difficult to enjoy at the temperatures of 50-below that Baker says men sometimes dealt with at bombing altitudes. 

For today, however, the Maid flies closer to 1,000 feet, circling tightly over Missoula and passing lower than the peaks of Mounts Sentinel and Jumbo, with the city in sharp detail through the glass of the nose gunners turret. After flying through Hellgate Canyon, the plane circles over the long ridge of Mount Jumbo and heads back toward the airport. One more mission completed.


Missoula's South Hills, as seen through the gunsight of a WWII-era bomber. - ANDREW GRAHAM
  • Andrew Graham
  • Missoula's South Hills, as seen through the gunsight of a WWII-era bomber.

To book a flight this weekend on the Maid in the Shade, call the ride coordinator at 480-322-5503. Rides are $395/$650. Tours are free, but a $5 donation is suggested.



Rockies Today, July 25

Posted By on Mon, Jul 25, 2016 at 1:21 PM

Mountain West News is a service of the O’Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West — a regional studies and public education program at the University of Montana. The Center’s purpose is to serve as an important and credible resource for people in the state and region in understanding the region’s past, present, and future. For more, visit mountainwestnews.org


The man who was arrested 448 times (and more News of the Weird)

Posted By on Mon, Jul 25, 2016 at 9:00 AM


The Power of Prayer
A 28-year-old woman, unnamed in news reports, veered off the road and into a house in the Florida panhandle town of Mary Esther on July 7. She apparently was free of drug or alcohol influence, but readily explained to police that she must have gone through a stop sign and left the road when she closed her eyes to pray as she drove. (The house was damaged, but no one was injured.)
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Weird Numbers Making the News Recently

The Transportation Security Administration announced in May that it had collected $765,000 in loose change left behind in airport scanner trays during 2015 – an average "haul" for the agency of $2,100 a day (numbers assuming, of course, that TSA personnel turn in all of the money they find). Los Angeles and Miami airports contributed $106,000 of the total.

Take Your Word for It: Scientists at the University of Cambridge, writing in May in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, claimed to have figured out how to construct a "motor" a "million times" smaller than an ant. (It apparently involves lasers, gold particles and "van der Waals forces," and the object is to bind the gold particles and then cause them to automatically "snap" apart with, according to author Jeremy Baumberg, 10 to a hundred times more force per unit than any known other machine.")

CEO Michael Pearson told a Senate committee in April that he "regret(s)" the business model he instituted in 2015 for Valeant Pharmaceuticals — the one that, for example, allowed a drug (Cuprimine) that treats liver failure and formerly cost a typical user out-of-pocket about $3 a pill (120 per month, $366) to, overnight, cost the user $15 a pill. (The insurance company's and Medicare's cost went overnight from about $5,000 per 100 tablets to $26,000.) (A Deutsche Bank analysis of the industry tallied Valeant's all-drug average price spike at more than five times the average of any competitor's.) Pearson told the senators he had no idea that such a pricing strategy would turn out to be so controversial.


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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Project looks to drum up congressional support

Posted By on Thu, Jul 21, 2016 at 3:55 PM

The Swan Range - ANDREW GRAHAM
  • Andrew Graham
  • The Swan Range

Turning away
 from the cloud-shrouded Blackfoot river, the pilot heads toward the beginning of the Swan Mountain range, crossing first to the east, where outfitter Mack Long points out mountain basins that eventually drain into the Blackfoot Valley.

The plane then banks back to the west and flies parallel with the Swans, northeast of Seeley Lake. Long and his organization, the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Project, intend to turn a large strip of land along the range’s front, seen from the air as a swath of green forest where the mountains meet the valley floor, into an extension of the Bob Marshall Wilderness. 

The project has brought members of the media up for a birds-eye view of the area as part of a renewed push to advance their project into law. More than a decade of planning and promotion has led to partial but not complete victories for the project. Long says there is currently an "impressive" amount of public support, and he believes the project has reached a tipping point where the time to act is now.  

The stretch of land along the Swans would be paired with more wilderness extension and protection for the Blackfoot’s sources on the southeastern part of the Swans, plus a piece of land around the West Fork of the Clearwater River, in the Mission Mountain Range across the Seeley Valley. The proposed protections, Long says, would ensure wildlife corridors between the Bob Marshall Wilderness and the Blackfoot Clearwater Game Range, near Ovando, for grizzly bears, deer and elk. Protecting the drainages would also help bull trout, who swim upstream to spawn. 

“You get up in the air and start looking around and you see how things are connected," says Long of the recent flight. "You just got to keep up that connectivity." 

The project hopes to convert forest along the base of the Swan Range into an extension of the Bob Marshall Wilderness Area. - BLACKFOOT CLEARWATER STEWARDSHIP PROJECT
  • Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Project
  • The project hopes to convert forest along the base of the Swan Range into an extension of the Bob Marshall Wilderness Area.

The plan to do so, which was put together over the course of a decade by a coalition of Montanans that includes conservation groups, ranchers, lumber companies, outfitters and even snowmobilers, now needs Montana’s congressional delegation to push the proposal in Washington, D.C. A portion of the project that funded forest restoration work became law in 2009 under the guidance of Democratic Sen. Jon Tester. But the larger Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Project, including the wilderness designations and considerations for recreation groups, has failed to advance. 

Tester tried to wrap it into a larger bill, the Forest Jobs and Recreation Act, which he has introduced several times without success. Rep. Ryan Zinke and Sen. Steve Daines, both Republicans, have declined to throw their weight behind the proposal. The feeling among the project’s proponents is that a united delegation would have a far better chance of getting over the hump

“The senators have kind of drug their feet a little bit,” says Smoke Elser, a retired outfitter and wilderness advocate who is one of the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Project's main advocates.

The project hopes to continue raising public support by releasing a new promotional video each month through its website. The videos feature the perspective of different stakeholders, with the first focusing on Seeley Lake timber company Pyramid Mountain Lumber, and the second on Long. 


Mack Long, left, and Smoky Elser have helped push the project, a collaboration between many different stakeholders in the Blackfoot Valley and Seeley Lake area. - ANDREW GRAHAM
  • Andrew Graham
  • Mack Long, left, and Smoky Elser have helped push the project, a collaboration between many different stakeholders in the Blackfoot Valley and Seeley Lake area.

Your future, a little early

Posted By on Thu, Jul 21, 2016 at 1:54 PM

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Find Rob Brezsny's "Free Will Astrology" online, every Wednesday, one day before it hits the Indy's printed pages.

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Upcoming adventures might make you more manly if you are a woman. If you are a man, the coming escapades could make you more womanly. How about if
you’re trans? Odds are that you’ll become even more gender fluid. I am exaggerating a bit, of course. The transformations I’m referring to may not be visible to casual observers. They will mostly unfold in the depths of your psyche. But they won’t be merely symbolic, either. There’ll be mutations in your biochemistry that will expand your sense of your own gender. If you respond enthusiastically to these shifts, you will begin a process that could turn you into an even more complete and attractive human being than you already are.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): I’ll name five heroic tasks you will have more than enough power to
accomplish in the next eight months. 1. Turning an adversary into an ally. 2. Converting a debilitating obsession into a empowering passion. 3. Transforming an obstacle into a motivator. 4. Discovering small treasures in the midst of junk and decay. 5. Using the unsolved riddles of childhood to create a living shrine to eternal youth. 6. Gathering a slew of new freedom songs, learning them by heart, and singing them regularly–especially when habitual fears rise up in you.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Your life has resemblances to a jigsaw puzzle that lies unassembled
on a kitchen table. Unbeknownst to you, but revealed to you by me, a few of the pieces are missing. Maybe your cat knocked them under the refrigerator, or they fell out of their storage box somewhere along the way. But this doesn’t have to be a problem. I believe you can mostly put together the puzzle without the missing fragments. At the end, when you’re finished, you may be tempted to feel frustration that the picture’s not complete. But that would be illogical
perfectionism. Ninety-seven-percent success will be just fine.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): If you are smoothly attuned with the cosmic rhythms and finely
aligned with your unconscious wisdom, you could wake up one morning and find that a mental block has miraculously crumbled, instantly raising your intelligence. If you can find it in your proud heart to surrender to “God,” your weirdest dilemma will get at least partially solved during a magical three-hour interlude. And if you are able to forgive 50 percent of the wrongs that have been done to you in the last six years, you will no longer feel like you’re running into a strong wind, but rather you’ll feel like the beneficiary of a strong wind blowing in the same direction you’re headed.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): How often have you visited hell or the suburbs of hell during the last few weeks? According to my guesstimates, the time you spent there was exactly the right amount. You got the teachings you needed most, including a few tricks about how to steer clear of hell in the future. With this valuable information, you will forevermore be smarter about how to avoid unnecessary pain and irrelevant hindrances. So congratulations! I suggest you celebrate. And please use your new-found wisdom as you decline one last invitation to visit the heart of a big, hot mess.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): My friend Athena works as a masseuse. She says that the highest
praise she can receive is drool. When her clients feel so sublimely serene that threads of spit droop out of their mouths, she knows she’s in top form. You might trigger responses akin to drool in the coming weeks, Virgo. Even if you don’t work as a massage therapist, I think it’s possible you’ll provoke rather extreme expressions of approval, longing, and curiosity. You will be at the height of your power to inspire potent feelings in those you encounter. In light of this situation, you might want to wear a small sign or button that reads, “You have my permission to drool freely.”

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): The latest Free Will Astrology poll shows that thirty-three percent of your friends, loved ones, and acquaintances approve of your grab for glory. Thirty-eight percent disapprove, eighteen percent remain undecided, and eleven percent wish you would grab for even greater glory. As for me, I’m aligned with the eleven-percent minority. Here’s what I say: Don’t allow your quest for shiny breakthroughs and brilliant accomplishments to be overly influenced by what people think of you.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): You are at the pinnacle of your powers to both hurt and heal. Your
turbulent yearnings could disrupt the integrity of those whose self-knowledge is shaky, even as your smoldering radiance can illuminate the darkness for those who are lost or weak. As strong and confident as I am, even I would be cautious about engaging your tricky intelligence. Your piercing perceptions and wild understandings might either undo me or vitalize me. Given these
volatile conditions, I advise everyone to approach you as if you were a love bomb or a truth fire or a beauty tornado.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Here’s the deal: I will confess a dark secret from my past if you
confess an equivalent secret from yours. Shall I go first? When I first got started in the business of writing horoscope columns, I contributed a sexed-up monthly edition to a porn magazine published by smut magnate Larry Flynt. What’s even more scandalous is that I enjoyed doing it. OK. It’s your turn. Locate a compassionate listener who won’t judge you harshly, and unveil one of your subterranean mysteries. You may be surprised at how much psychic energy this will liberate. (For extra credit and emancipation, spill two or even three secrets.)

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): What do you want to be when you grow up, Capricorn? What? You say you are already all grown up, and my question is irrelevant? If that’s your firm belief, I will ask you to set it aside for now. I’ll invite you to entertain the possibility that maybe some parts of you are not in fact fully mature; that no matter how ripe you imagine yourself to be, you could become even riper – an even more gorgeous version of your best self. I will also encourage you to immerse yourself in a mood of playful fun as you respond to the following question: “How can I activate and embody an even more complete version of my soul’s code?”

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): On a summer day 20 years ago, I took my five-year-old daughter Zoe and her friend Max to the merry-go-round in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. Zoe jumped on the elegant golden-maned lion and Max mounted the wild blue horse. Me? I climbed aboard the humble pig. Its squat pink body didn’t seem designed for rapid movement. Its timid gaze was fixed on the floor in front of it. As the man who operated the ride came around to see if everyone was in place, he congratulated me on my bold choice. Very few riders preferred the porker, he said. Not glamorous enough. “But I’m sure I will arrive at our destination as quickly and efficiently as everyone else,” I replied. Your immediate future, Aquarius, has symbolic resemblances to this scene.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Early on in our work together, my psychotherapist confessed that she only works with clients whose problems are interesting to her. In part, her motivations are selfish: Her goal is to enjoy her work. But her motivations are also altruistic. She feels she’s not likely to be of service to anyone with whom she can’t be deeply engaged. I understand this perspective, and am inclined to make it more universal. Isn’t it smart to pick all our allies according to this principle? Every one of us is a mess in one way or another, so why not choose to blend our fates with those whose messiness entertains us and teaches us the most? I suggest you experiment with this view in the coming weeks and months, Pisces.

Rockies Today, July 21

Posted By on Thu, Jul 21, 2016 at 1:31 PM

Mountain West News is a service of the O’Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West — a regional studies and public education program at the University of Montana. The Center’s purpose is to serve as an important and credible resource for people in the state and region in understanding the region’s past, present, and future. For more, visit mountainwestnews.org

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Rockies Today, July 20

Posted By on Wed, Jul 20, 2016 at 1:13 PM

Mountain West News is a service of the O’Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West — a regional studies and public education program at the University of Montana. The Center’s purpose is to serve as an important and credible resource for people in the state and region in understanding the region’s past, present, and future. For more, visit mountainwestnews.org


Happiest Hour: Hard Root Beer

Posted By on Wed, Jul 20, 2016 at 1:06 PM

What you’re drinking: Over the past year, alcoholic beverage companies seem to be increasingly targeting the little kid inside each of us. It started last summer with a sudden explosion of hard root beer labels on local shelves. Best Damn Root Beer, Coney Island Brewing’s Hard Root Beer, Not Your Father’s Root Beer—each called to mind childhood memories of cowboy boots and sarsaparilla bottles, with the added bonus of nearly 6 percent alcohol by volume.
ALEX SAKARIASSEN
  • Alex Sakariassen

Why you’re drinking it:
Alcohol-fueled nostalgia aside, Orange Street Food Farm store manager Vanessa Hendrix credits the draw of hard root beer to its easy drinkability. Despite an ABV similar to many lagers, the heavy fusion of vanilla and spices tends to mask its potency. According to Hendrix, the initial buzz seems to have worn off, a development she credits to the string of other alcoholic sodas that have followed. But hard root beer offers something those newer “porch pounders,” as Hendrix calls them, don’t. You know where this is going …

What you’re mixing it with: Ice cream. The very notion of grown-up root beer floats was enough to convince Orange Street Food Farm to house its hard root beer in the freezer aisle for months, Hendrix says. Pattee Creek Market recognized the appeal, too, teasing the promise of alcoholic floats via Facebook when it first stocked Not Your Father’s Root Beer last August. As for what flavor ice cream works best, Hendrix insists there’s only one right answer: “Classic vanilla, of course.”

Where you’re getting it: Grocery stores and gas stations throughout Missoula carry various brands of hard root beer, with some offering six-packs and singles. Not Your Father’s Root Beer is also currently available in bottles at the Dram Shop at 229 E. Front St.

Happiest Hour celebrates western Montana watering holes. To recommend a bar, bartender or beverage for Happiest Hour, email editor@missoulanews.com.

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