Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Candy Wednesday: Licorice Throwdown

Posted By on Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 6:39 PM

Hello everyone, 'tis Candy Wednesday, which means we here at Indy World Headquarters are riding a delightful sugar high and writing weird metaphors. Join us.

Today we present a licorice battle, because one of us believes that black licorice is disgusting, and the other one doesn't believe red licorice counts as licorice.

Erika says: Kookaburra licorice is a classic but the other day I found Old English Licorice made with fresh cream and butter. It's black licorice—in other words, true licorice—but mixed with a caramel goodness.

Black licorice: the ONLY licorice
  • Black licorice: the ONLY licorice

Erika says: As with all candy, this reminds me of something from the past. For a long time I was afraid to admit I liked black licorice. My mom is an adamant chocolate fanatic and she has all the things to prove it, like a Chocolate Lover key chain. She absolutely subscribes to the joke that chocolate is a food group. She does not understand that there are people in the world that don't like chocolate. My dad was all about black licorice, just not nearly as vocal about it. So for years I loved two candies (okay, all candies) but never really explored the licorice one, except for experimenting with it in college. (Wait, what are we talking about?) When I finally came out as a polyamorous candy lover, I was accepted as such and felt better about myself. I can freely love these licorice caramels.

Kate says: I loved the idea of licorice caramels until I realized these really are black licorice-flavored caramels. You know how some people perceive cilantro as tasting like soap? To me, black licorice tastes like something wiped straight out of Satan's butt. (And shredded coconut is the devil's creepy dead skin.) I can take a bite of black licorice flavored stuff, like jellybeans, and it's okay until I swallow, and then the aftertaste is just repellent. (That's what she said?)

Erika says: You're a hater. But look, the issue here isn't that red licorice isn't good. It can be. It's just that it's no more licorice than creationism is science. Yeah, that's right, Kate. I called you a creationist.

Kate says: Show me where red licorice diverged from black in the candy fossil record, Candy Darwin.

innovative indeed
  • "innovative" indeed

Kate says: Now then, these Red Rips are right up my alley, with a painfully tart/sweet flavor found nowhere in heaven, hell or earth. They count as licorice because it says they're licorice right there on the package, see. The "innovation" here is that you can pull the little strings apart, like Twizzlers pull-and-peels, but the sour sugar coating makes them much more addictively tasty. Even water tastes funny after eating these.

Verdict: The battle rages on eternal.

Email to suggest a candy we should try, or try to argue that black licorice isn't disgusting.

Happiest Hour: Third annual Garden City Community Brew

Posted By on Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 2:38 PM

This week: Third annual Garden City Community Brew

The story: For the third year in a row, local breweries and tavern owners are releasing a beer specifically to benefit a community nonprofit. The last two Garden City Community Brews raised almost $15,000 combined, with proceeds going first to the Missoula Food Bank and then the Max Wave. This year the community brew will benefit the Summer Arts and Leadership Camp for homeless and at-risk youth, sponsored by Women’s Opportunity Resource and Development.

The brew: Big Sky head brewer Matt Long is a bit of a clairvoyant. With high temps finally descending on Missoula, he’s cooked up a doozy of a lemon ale as this year’s community brew. Starting with a 5 percent base beer, Long toyed with different levels of lemon juice before hitting on a combo that showcases the lemon without overwhelming the beer’s own flavor profile. “The main takeaway is just the integration of flavors,” Long says. “You still want to be able to taste the beer flavors.” The final product weighs in at a crisp, sessionable 4 percent alcohol-by-volume.

The feel-good effect: The Garden City Community Brew crew has suggested that with each first keg, participating bars donate $100 to WORD’s summer camp. The goal is to raise $9,000 to help fund the camp for roughly two years, and community brew partners have already donated $3,000 to support camp staff salaries in summer 2014. WORD volunteer coordinator Ben Brewster says the lemon ale is “just the beer to have this summer in Missoula,” and adds that without the initial support up front, the camp “wouldn’t even be running” this summer.

The release: The third annual community brew is slated to debut July 10 at the Best of Missoula Party at Downtown ToNight in Caras Park, starting at 5:30. Afterwards, it’ll be available on tap at select bars around town, so keep those eyes open.

Happiest Hour celebrates western Montana watering holes. To recommend a bar, bartender or beverage for Happiest Hour, e-mail

Rockies Today, July 9

Posted By on Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 11:33 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Montana researcher seeks native grass alternative for lawns
Tracy Dougher, horticulture professor at Montana State University, is experimenting with fine fescue grasses as an alternative to the thirsty, fast-growing Kentucky bluegrass that delights the eye but taxes the mower.
Bozeman Daily Chronicle; July 9

At Montana PSC hearing, state's deregulation of energy takes centerstage
On the first day of the Montana Public Service Commission's weeklong hearing on NorthWestern Energy's $900 million purchase of 11 hydroelectric dams in Montana, counsel for NorthWestern Energy called the deal a way to "put the failed experiment of utility deregulation behind us."
Montana Standard (Lee State Bureau); July 9

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Veteran teams with nonprofit to lead fellow vets into the backcountry

Posted By on Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 11:30 AM

Since his family moved to Montana in 2000, Tristan Persico has developed a fondness for wild places. He grew up in a remodeled cabin in the Garnet Range before moving to Missoula for high school, and took up hunting big game like elk and antelope. While stationed in Afghanistan as an explosive ordinance disposal technician with the U.S. Air Force, he says he’d look around at the treeless brown mountains and think, “Man, I wouldn’t mind being in Montana.”

A group of veterans hike along the Rocky Mountain Front last month during the first of several Montana Wilderness Association-sponsored trips.
  • Courtesy Tristan Persico
  • A group of veterans hike along the Rocky Mountain Front last month during the first of several Montana Wilderness Association-sponsored trips.

But Persico’s favorite moment late last month, while leading a Montana Wilderness Association-sponsored backcountry outing on the Rocky Mountain Front, wasn’t necessarily the untrammeled vistas. It was sitting around a campfire with seven fellow veterans, swapping stories in the kind of environment he believes is typically more comfortable for members of the armed services.

“It was almost like all of the positive aspects of being in the military, with that quality of person that you’re serving with, but with none of the negative aspects,” Persico says.

Persico, who left the Air Force in 2011 and is currently a student at the University of Montana, is set to lead four similar outdoor excursions throughout the summer in areas like the Swan Range and the Great Burn. The outings—free and offered exclusively for veterans and their families—represent a sort of pilot program for the MWA, one aimed at introducing vets throughout the state to wilderness and giving them the skills to pursue future backcountry trips. MWA NEXGen Program Director Zack Porter says Persico’s participation has been a perfect fit at a time when the nonprofit is trying to revitalize its connection with the veteran community.

“Veterans have had a really long and storied connection with wilderness,” Porter says. “Veterans coming back from World War II and Korea, they were the legislators and the advocates who pushed to get the Wilderness Act passed.”

Both Porter and Persico say there’s a good chance similar trips could be scheduled in future summers.

Persico feels the exposure the trips offer have an added therapeutic benefit for those still struggling with the transition from military to civilian life. While that’s not really his or MWA’s main focus, he does feel the mix of veterans and wilderness is “a no-brainer, especially in Montana.”

“Wilderness areas are naturally therapeutic,” Persico says. “So if a veteran chooses to take advantage of that therapeutic aspect and we’ve given them the knowledge and experience to be able to do that, then that’s great.”

Your future, a little early

Posted By on Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 9:00 AM

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): What are the sources that heal and nourish you? Where do you go to renew yourself? Who are the people and animals that treat you the best and are most likely to boost your energy? I suggest that in the coming week you give special attention to these founts of love and beauty. Treat them with the respect and reverence they deserve. Express your gratitude and bestow blessings on them. It's the perfect time for you to summon an outpouring of generosity as you feed what feeds you.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Why do birds fly? First, that's how they look for and procure food. Second, when seasons change and the weather grows cooler, they may migrate to warmer areas where there's more to eat. Third, zipping around in mid-air is how birds locate the materials they need to build nests. Fourth, it's quite helpful in avoiding predators. But ornithologists believe there is yet another reason: Birds fly because it's fun. In fact, up to 30 percent of the time, that's their main motivation. In accordance with the astrological omens, Taurus, I invite you to match the birds' standard in the coming weeks. See if you can play and enjoy yourself and have a good time at least 30 percent of the time.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Is there an important resource you don't have in sufficient abundance? Are you suffering from the lack of an essential fuel or tool? I'm not talking about a luxury it would be pleasant to have or a status symbol that would titillate your ego. Rather, I'm referring to an indispensable asset you need to create the next chapter of your life story. Identify what this crucial treasure is, Gemini. Make or obtain an image of it, and put that image on a shrine in your sanctuary. Pray for it. Vividly visualize it for a few minutes several times a day. Sing little songs about it. The time has arrived for to become much more serious and frisky about getting that valuable thing in your possession.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Since 1981, Chinese law has stipulated that every healthy person between the ages of 11 and 60 should plant three to five trees per year. This would be a favorable week for Chinese Cancerians to carry out that duty. For that matter, now is an excellent time for all of you Cancerians, regardless of where you live, to plant trees, sow seeds, launch projects, or do anything that animates your fertility and creativity. You now have more power than you can imagine to initiate long-term growth.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): The weeks preceding your birthday are often an excellent time to engage the services of an exorcist. But there's no need to hire a pricey priest with dubious credentials. I can offer you my expert demon-banishing skills free of charge. Let's begin. I call on the spirits of the smart heroes you love best to be here with us right now. With the help of their inspirational power, I hereby dissolve any curse or spell that was ever placed on you, even if it was done inadvertently, and even if it was cast by yourself. Furthermore, the holy laughter I unleash as I carry out this purification serves to expunge any useless feelings, delusional desires, bad ideas, or irrelevant dreams you may have grown attached to. Make it so! Amen and hallelujah!

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): You know what it's like to get your mind blown. And I'm sure that on more than one occasion you have had your heart stolen. But I am curious, Virgo, about whether you have ever had your mind stolen or your heart blown. And I also wonder if two rare events like that have ever happened around the same time. I'm predicting a comparable milestone sometime in the next three weeks. Have no fear! The changes these epiphanies set in motion will ultimately bring you blessings. Odd and unexpected blessings, probably, but blessings nonetheless. P.S.: I'm sure you are familiar with the tingling sensation that wells up in your elbow when you hit your funny bone. Well, imagine a phenomena like that rippling through your soul.

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Tuesdays with "Camp Sleepover"

Posted By on Tue, Jul 8, 2014 at 11:55 AM


Josh Quick's "Camp Sleepover" appears every Tuesday online, and can be seen in the Indy's printed pages every Thursday.

Rockies Today, July 8

Posted By on Tue, Jul 8, 2014 at 11:36 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

USFWS official changes stance on climate change's effect on wolverines
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Director Noreen Walsh recently ordered her staff to withdraw the proposal to put the wolverine on the federal endangered species list due to concerns about how climate change will affect the species' habitat, saying that the predictions about climate change are too uncertain, a reversal of Walsh's stance last year that climate change would affect wolverine habitat.
Flathead Beacon (AP); July 8

Study finds backcountry skiing in NW Wyoming displaces bighorn sheep
Biologist Aly Courtemanch followed 28 GPS-radio-collared bighorn sheep in Wyoming's Teton Range for two and a half years and found that even moderate backcountry use by skiers and snowboarders drove bighorn sheep from their winter habitat, a finding that may change areas where such backcountry use is now allowed. First in a three-part series.
Jackson Hole News & Guide; July 2

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Cyber ranch

Dunrovin offers online subscriptions to keep business open

Posted By on Tue, Jul 8, 2014 at 10:17 AM

Just before 1 on a recent Friday afternoon, SuzAnne Miller sits in a shed at Dunrovin Ranch and calls Kristol Stenstrom, a certified veterinary acupuncturist who lives in Kansas, to talk about Flash, a 14-year-old Tennessee Walking Horse who apparently has nerve damage in his left front leg. With the help of a tech-savvy employee, Miller routes the call through a computer, puts in earbuds attached to a cellphone, walks outside to a waiting Flash and talks to Stenstrom about whether acupuncture could help the horse recover. Meanwhile, people sitting at computers all over the world watch the consultation via a nearby web cam, listen in on Miller’s and Stenstrom’s conversation and discuss what’s happening in an online chat room.

Courtesy Dunrovin Ranch
  • Courtesy Dunrovin Ranch

This web session is all part of Dunrovin’s recently launched “cyber ranch,” a subscription-based website that allows remote viewers to observe and participate in the real and staged operations of the Lolo guest ranch. Miller is counting on the model, which combines the intrigue of reality TV with the wholesome tranquility of rural life, to help Dunrovin recover from lingering wounds—and deep financial losses—incurred during a year-and-a-half fight with the county over how the guest ranch should be legally classified. If the model doesn’t take off, however, the ranch may have to shut its doors.

“To really be a full-fledged, quality site, I need about 6,000 subscribers,” Miller says. “That should not be hard to do. And by the fall, I need 2,000 to give me enough money just to continue.”

Currently, the cyber ranch, which is located at, has approximately 415 members, who pay between $4 and $10 a month. For this fee, subscribers can watch and comment as employees make their daily rounds and as scheduled sessions of everything from yoga to dog training to horseback archery take place. Some members, Miller says, even watch the ranch’s sunsets from their urban apartments.

According to a survey Miller conducted, some 90 percent of the site’s users are female and most are either retired or around retirement age. Though Miller plans to target this demographic as she tries to build membership, she has expansive visions of connecting all kinds of people in a large and participatory online community.

“Initially, you think ‘cyber ranch’ and ‘cyber connection with animals,’ and it’s just not at all meaningful,” Miller says while a live-cast of nesting osprey shows on her computer screen. “What we have here are real birds doing real things. This is reality TV that’s real.”

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Monday, July 7, 2014

Rockies Today, July 7

Posted By on Mon, Jul 7, 2014 at 11:48 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Montana PSC hearing on NorthWestern's dam buy begins today
The Montana Public Service Commission's weeklong hearing on NorthWestern Energy's proposal to buy 11 hydroelectric dams from PPL Montana begins today in Helena.
Montana Standard (Lee State Bureau); July 7

Protection of sage grouse an issue in Colorado, Montana U.S. Senate races
Should the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decide to protect the greater sage grouse next year, considerable changes could be made in management of 165 million acres of the bird’s habitat in 11 Western states, and in U.S. Senate races in Colorado and Montana, U.S. Reps. Cory Gardner and Steve Daines, respectively, are making delaying or blocking the federal agency's decision on the bird a campaign issue.
Ravalli Republic (AP); July 7

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Why you don't plot felonies on Facebook (and more from In Other News)

Posted By on Mon, Jul 7, 2014 at 9:00 AM

Curses, Foiled Again
Police accused Jeremiah Scales of selling synthetic marijuana from his girlfriend’s house in Bloomington, Ind., after a nearby sign announcing “Drugs This Way” alerted them. “Our detectives did some surveillance, as well as some buys,” police Sgt. Pam Gladish said, noting that comings and goings at all hours stood out in the otherwise quiet neighborhood. (Indianapolis’s WTHR-TV)


Police reported that when a guest at a motel in Jackson, Miss., told a man asking for cigarettes that he hadn’t any, the man pointed a gun at the guest and said, “I bet you don’t have one of these.” The guest did have one, however, and opened fire on the suspect, hitting him at least once. Police found him being treated at the hospital. (Jackson’s WLBT-TV)

Waste More, Tax More
The federal government spent more than $3 million to buy eight patrol boats for the Afghan police that were never delivered, according to the U.S Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, because U.S. and NATO forces decided they didn’t need them. Four years later, the boats, which cost taxpayers $325,000 more each than similar boats sold in the United States, remain in storage at a Virginia naval base. (The Washington Post)

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