On Dec. 2, the oven at Worden’s Market’s offsite baking facility broke down. Owner Tim France says the three-year-old operation had conducted proactive maintenance to prevent such an incident, but this particular situation “was something we didn’t see coming.”
“It was like one minute to the next, literally,” France says. “We woke up one morning and boom, she shut down. That was it.”
Repairing the oven would have required parts that haven’t been manufactured for nine years. The price quote on a replacement was $42,000, France says, an expense that “wouldn’t pencil” with the bakery facing another two years of debt. Having exhausted its solutions, Worden’s made a tough decision: It shut down the bakery completely.
“It was a hard decision,” France says. “A rough couple days. It’s still rough.”
Eight employees were subsequently laid off, three of them full-time positions. In addition, 15 wholesale clients were left scrambling to find new sources for bread. Dan Brasington, head chef at Sean Kelly’s, was anticipating an order the day the oven broke down. Luckily, Brasington says, he had enough bread on hand to last two days. After that he turned to corporate suppliers to see what they could get him “on the fly.”
“There’s not many bread people here in town, not many options,” Brasington says, adding that he’s still working to find a local alternative.
Brasington sees it as a sad development, in light of both the lost jobs and the fact that he prefers to work with local businesses. He had a good relationship with the Worden’s bakery. “But I understand,” he says. “It was going to cost something like $50,000 to replace the oven … That’s tough for any small business.”
Worden’s has been baking bread for nearly seven years. If business had picked up another 20 percent, France says, “we would have been doing great.” Worden’s will be able to meet its own in-store demand for baked goods for a few weeks using a convection oven and several conventional gas ranges. But it too will be searching for a more permanent solution. France says he’s now mulling ways to reinvent the space in his Higgins storefront, examining “what we do well” and perhaps focusing more on comfort food than fancy sandwiches. He adds that he’s hopeful Worden’s can salvage a few of the jobs lost in the bakery shutdown through that reinvention.
Oil well in Montana near Red Lodge a done deal
Protesters who fear a Bakken-like development near Red Lodge missed a step in the process so the permit for the initial oil well that they fear will open the door to more development is already issued.
Billings Gazette; Dec. 11
Biennial report tracks changes in Yellowstone National Park
The Yellowstone Center for Resources released its biennial report on conditions within Yellowstone National Park and the 2013 "Vital Signs" said that drier conditions were reported across the park in the past two years as precipitation has declined, visitor numbers have increased, while populations of elk, trumpeter swans and three species of fish have declined.
Bozeman Daily Chronicle; Dec. 11
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): Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected President of the United States four times, more often than any other president. We can conclude that he was one of the most popular American leaders ever. And yet he never won a majority of the votes cast by the citizens of his home county in New York. I foresee the possibility of a comparable development in your life. You may be more successful working on the big picture than you are in your immediate situation. It could be easier for you to maneuver when you're not dealing with familiar, up-close matters. What's outside your circle might be more attracted to your influence than what's nearer to home.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): In 2009, actress Sandra Bullock starred in three films, two of which earned her major recognition. For her performance in All About Steve, she was given a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress. Her work in The Blind Side, on the other hand, won her an Oscar for Best Actress. I'm thinking that you may experience a similar paradox in the coming days, Taurus. Some of your efforts might be denigrated, while others are praised. It may even be the case that you're criticized and applauded for the same damn thing. How to respond? Learn from Bullock's example. She gave gracious acceptance speeches at the award ceremonies for both the Golden Raspberry and the Oscar.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Almost 2,000 years ago, a Roman doctor named Scribonius Largus developed recipes for three different kinds of toothpaste. One contained the ashes of burned-up deer antler, aromatic resin from an evergreen shrub known as mastic, and a rare mineral called sal ammoniac. His second toothpaste was a mix of barley flour, vinegar, honey, and rock salt. Then there was the third: sun-dried radish blended with finely ground glass. Let's get a bit rowdy here and propose that these three toothpastes have metaphorical resemblances to the life choices in front of you right now. I'm going to suggest you go with the second option. At the very least, avoid the third.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): Are you feeling a bit pinched, parched, and prickly? Given the limitations you've had to wrestle with lately, I wouldn't be surprised if you were. Even though you have passed some of the sneaky tests and solved some of the itchy riddles you've been compelled to deal with, they have no doubt contributed to the pinched, parched prickliness. Now what can be done to help you recover your verve? I'm thinking that all you will have to do is respond smartly to the succulent temptations that life will bring your way in the coming weeks.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Have you ever situated yourself between two big bonfires on a beach and basked in the primal power? Was there a special moment in your past when you found yourself sitting between two charismatic people you loved and admired, soaking up the life-giving radiance they exuded? Did you ever read a book that filled you with exaltation as you listened to music that thrilled your soul? These are the kinds of experiences I hope you seek out in the coming week. I'd love to see you get nourished stereophonically by rich sources of excitement.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Mythically speaking, this would be a propitious time for you to make an offering to the sea goddess. In dreams or meditations or fantasies, I suggest you dive down into the depths, find the supreme feminine power in her natural habitat, and give her a special gift. Show her how smart you are in the way you express love, or tell her exactly how you will honor her wisdom in the future. If she is receptive, you may even ask her for a favor. Maybe she'll be willing to assist you in accessing the deep feelings that haven't been fully available to you. Or perhaps she will teach you how to make conscious the secrets you have been keeping from yourself.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Don't linger in a doorway, Libra. Don't camp out in a threshold or get stuck in the middle of anything. I understand your caution, considering the fact that life is presenting you with such paradoxical clues. But if you remain ambivalent too much longer, you may obstruct the influx of more definitive information. The best way to generate the clarity and attract the help you need will be to make a decisive move—either in or out, either forward or backward, either up or down.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): "It's a rare person who wants to hear what he doesn't want to hear," said TV talk show host Dick Cavett. I will love it if you make yourself one of those rare types in the coming week, Scorpio. Can you bring yourself to be receptive to truths that might be disruptive? Are you willing to send out an invitation to the world, asking to be shown revelations that contradict your fixed theories and foregone conclusions? If you do this hard work, I promise that you will be granted a brainstorm and a breakthrough. You might also be given a new reason to brag.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): There are pregnant truths I could reveal to you right now that I've decided not to disclose. I don't think you're prepared to hear them yet. If I told you what they are, you wouldn't be receptive or able to register their full meaning; you might even misinterpret them. It is possible, however, that you could evolve rather quickly in the next two weeks. So let's see if I can nudge you in the direction of getting the experiences necessary to become ready. Meditate on what parts of you are immature or underdeveloped—aspects that may one day be skilled and gracious, but are not yet. I bet that once you identify what needs ripening, you will expedite the ripening. And then you will become ready to welcome the pregnant truths.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): "Finifugal" is a rarely used English adjective that I need to invoke in order to provide you with the proper horoscope. It refers to someone who avoids or dislikes endings—like a child who doesn't want a bedtime story to conclude, or an adult who's in denial about how it's finally time to wrap up long-unfinished business. You can't afford to be finifugal in the coming days, Capricorn. This is the tail end of your cycle. It won't be healthy for you to shun climaxes and denouements. Neither will it be wise to merely tolerate them. Somehow, you've got to find a way to love and embrace them. (P.S. That's the best strategy for ensuring the slow-motion eruption of vibrant beginnings after your birthday.)
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): According to 20th-century British author John Cowper Powys, "A bookshop is a dynamite-shed, a drugstore of poisons, a bar of intoxicants, a den of opiates, an island of sirens." He didn't mean that literally, of course. He was referring to the fact that the words contained in books can inflame and enthrall the imagination. I think you will be wise to seek out that level of arousal in the coming weeks, Aquarius. Your thoughts need to be aired out and rearranged. Your feelings are crying out for strenuous exercise, including some pure, primal catharses. Do whatever it takes to make sure that happens.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): "I am not fearless," says Mexican journalist and women's right advocate Lydia Cacho, "but I'm not overtaken by fear. Fear is quite an interesting animal. It's like a pet. If you mistreat it, it will bite, but if you understand it and accept it in your house, it might protect you." This is an excellent time to work on transforming your fright reflexes, Pisces. You have just the right kind of power over them: strong and crafty and dynamic, but not grandiose or cocky or delusional. You're ready to make your fears serve you, not drain you.
Josh Quick's "Camp Sleepover" appears every Tuesday online, and can be seen in the Indy's printed pages every Thursday.
B.C. high court overturns province's rejection of Morrison Mine
The decision of British Columbia Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Affleck to set aside the decision of Environment Minister Terry Lake and Energy, Mines and Natural Gas Minister Rich Coleman to reject Pacific Booker Minerals Inc. plan for an open-pit gold and copper mine near Morrison Lake at the headwaters of the Skeena River, which is the second-largest producer of sockeye salmon in the province, may mean the project could move forward.
Vancouver Sun; Dec. 10
Neil Young plans concerts to fund First Nation's Alberta oilsands fight
Proceeds from the "Honor the Treaties" tour of Neil Young, who will be joined by jazz singer Diana Krall at three of the four January concerts in Canada, will go to the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation in Alberta to help pay for litigation to preserve treaty rights and protect species at risk, as well as resolution of access issues and public land policies.
Edmonton Journal; Dec. 10
What you’re drinking: All Souls Ale is a limited edition imperial saison, which means it’s a light, highly carbonated, slightly fruity and spicy beer. In the early 20th century saisons were brewed during the inactive months of winter and stored in farmhouses for drinking in the summer. No need to wait on this one (though we’re told it does age well). Just be mindful of too much chugging—it’s 11 percent alcohol by volume compared to the 7 percent or so of yesteryear’s saisons.
Why you’re drinking it: This the fourth year Big Sky Brewing has partnered with All Souls Missoula, an alternative Christian church, to make the beer. The proceeds go to the local nonprofit Imagine Missoula, which organizes volunteers to help people with shoveling snow, weatherizing homes, moving and other small home projects. “It’s a way to really encourage community in Missoula,” says Nina Alviar, the program director for Imagine Missoula. “If there’s snow piling up on your neighbor’s walkway, have you met them? Are they sick? Are they older? Are they living with disabilities? Is it a single parent?”
What you’re getting: The 750ml bottles cost $14. A case of 12 bottles is $168 and a half case is $84. The label alone makes it totally gift-worthy and collectable as it features colorful stained-glass style portrait of the Mother Mary holding a glass of beer. “What some people do is pop one open for the holidays, save one or two to age, and then they give the rest away,” Alviar says.
Where to find it: Big Sky is rolling out All Souls at its taproom at 5417 Trumpeter Way on Fri., Dec. 13., starting at 11 a.m. You can reserve yours now by calling Alviar at 546-4697. Go to imaginemissoula.org for more info.
Happiest Hour celebrates western Montana watering holes. To recommend a bar, bartender or beverage for Happiest Hour, email firstname.lastname@example.org
This story was updated Tue., Dec. 10, to reflect the correct ml size of the All Souls bottle.
Montana, Wyoming battle for tourists' dollars
Tourism is the second-largest industry in both Wyoming and Montana, and the epicenter in the battle for tourists between those states is Yellowstone National Park, where nearly all of the park's lands lie in Wyoming, but three of its five entrances are in Montana.
Casper Star-Tribune; Dec. 9
Developers pitch proposals for 4 different hotels in Montana city
The Downtown Bozeman Improvement Plan, adopted by the Montana city in 2010, cited a need for a "boutique" hotel, and currently there are proposals for four very different hotels, ranging from a 16-room, hostel-type project to an eight-story, 102-room hotel.
Bozeman Daily Chronicle; Dec. 7
Curses, Foiled Again
While leading police on a high-speed chase on the Massachusetts Turnpike, two men in a stolen minivan struck another vehicle from behind and then crashed into the median. The men fled on foot, but driver Vini Bunted Proeung, 18, was arrested when he tried to run through a state police barracks in Charlton. (Worcester’s Telegram & Gazette)
Johnny Deleon, 20, was thwarted in his attempt to steal hubcaps from cars parked outside a restaurant in Harris County, Texas, where law officers were holding a retirement party. After an officer who spotted Deleon confronted him, about 30 deputies inside the restaurant rushed outside to assist. Noting that Deleon failed to notice the parking lot held “a multitude of marked and unmarked police vehicles,” Assistant Chief Tim Cannon commented, “Unfortunately for him, his zest for thievery overrode any form of common sense which placed him straight into the hands of law enforcement’s finest.” (Houston Chronicle)
Debate on Idaho's Boulder-White Clouds area focus on access
For mountain bikers, hikers, outfitters and others who spend hours of their lives in the Boulder-White Clouds area of Idaho, proposals to either designate the area a national monument or a wilderness have prompted concerns about what either of those designations would do to their access to their favorite places.
Twin Falls Times-News; Dec. 6
Idaho auctions off two cabin sites on Priest Lake
At least one of the two families who lost their long-standing leases on a cabin site on Idaho's Priest Lake at a conflict auction this week is pursuing litigation to overturn the results of the auction.
Spokane Spokesman-Review; Dec. 6
Federal, Montana bills tackle issue of access to public lands
Expanding access to public lands is a hot issue at both the federal and state level, with two bills pending in the U.S. Senate, the Sportsmen's and Public Outdoor Recreation Traditions Act, co-sponsored by Montana Sen. Jon Tester, and the Hunt Unrestricted on National Treasures Act, and the Unlocking State Lands Program in Montana, which passed this year that provides a $500 tax credit to landowners that provide access across their property to adjacent state lands.
Great Falls Tribune; Dec. 5
Montana county, city officials share rail traffic concerns with GAO
As part of a study requested by Montana Sen. Max Baucus, the chairman of the Transportation Subcommittee of the Committee on Environment and Public Works, officials of the Government Accountability Office held a conference call with officials from Billings and Yellowstone County to discuss the effects increased coal and oil train traffic is having in the city and county.
Billings Gazette; Dec. 5
Just for the record, it's a 750 ml bottle. Which makes it just that much…
Jamie Olson you are a disgusting filthy waste of human skin. I hope you break…
Congratulations from Artisan Craft Distilling Institute!!