Thursday, July 28, 2016

Missing pet pigeon recovered by owner

Posted By on Thu, Jul 28, 2016 at 2:20 PM

Lili, the missing pet pigeon, has been found by its owner.

This week's Indy includes a story about a Missoula man's bond with an injured feral pigeon he retrieved from downtown. The pigeon went missing on July 15, and even owner Scott McKay figured the chances of finding her were slim.

But as the story went to press, McKay found Lili after receiving a tip from a guest at the Red Lion Inn. According to McKay, the guest noticed a pigeon acting strange around his hotel room, including sleeping on an air conditioning unit during the night and trying to land on his daughter's shoulder. The Red Lion guest called McKay after walking his dog Wednesday morning and seeing a "lost pigeon" poster.
Scott McKay found his pet pigeon, Lili, after she went missing for nearly two weeks. - PHOTO PROVIDED BY SCOTT MCKAY
  • Photo provided by Scott McKay
  • Scott McKay found his pet pigeon, Lili, after she went missing for nearly two weeks.
McKay put up posters in the area after a YouTube video surfaced of Lili encountering some people outside the Poverello Center.

The bird lost about half her weight during her two weeks on the streets, McKay says, but returned to form once reunited. 

"This sort of experience sort of eliminates my pessimistic view of the world," McKay says.

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Rockies Today, July 28

Posted By on Thu, Jul 28, 2016 at 1:07 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 27, 2016

Landowner seeks injunction against the Bitterroot National Forest's Westside management project (updated)

Posted By on Wed, Jul 27, 2016 at 5:20 PM

After months of feeling helpless and ignored, a property owner south of Hamilton has decided to take the fight against a controversial logging proposal on the Bitterroot National Forest to the next level.

Yesterday, Fred Rohrbach, along with the Hamilton-based company Bitterroot LLC, filed a legal complaint against the U.S. Forest Service alleging the agency's approval earlier this month of the Westside Collaborative Vegetation Management Project violated several environmental laws. Furthermore, the plaintiffs claim the decision notice and finding of no significant impact signed by forest supervisor Julie King were arbitrary and capricious, and constitute "an abuse of discretion." 
Residents near the Westside Collaborative Vegetation Management Project are now seeking an injunction, hoping to prevent the Bitterroot National Forest from commencing commercial and non-commercial work in areas like the Coyote Coulee trail, pictured here. - COURTESY JEFF LONN
  • Courtesy Jeff Lonn
  • Residents near the Westside Collaborative Vegetation Management Project are now seeking an injunction, hoping to prevent the Bitterroot National Forest from commencing commercial and non-commercial work in areas like the Coyote Coulee trail, pictured here.

Rohrbach's complaint echoes many of the criticisms leveled against the Bitterroot National Forest by property owners adjacent to the project area, who formed the collective Westside Collaborative Residents last fall. In response to the forest's July 6 decision notice, the group issued a statement alleging that a majority of public comment throughout the review process had been "completely ignored." One of the residents, Michele Dieterich, told the Indy several weeks ago that she hoped someone would take the initiative to pursue legal action.

The Bitterroot National Forest had anticipated commencing some non-commercial thinning work associated with the project within the next month or so, with commercial timber harvests to follow as early as this fall. The request for injunctive relief would not only prevent those efforts but also prohibit the forest from advertising bids or entering into any contracts. The plaintiffs also hope to keep the Bitterroot from proceeding with the construction of new permanent roads and a bridge over Camas Creek. 

"Despite the Forest Service’s assessment and conclusion to the contrary, portions of the Westside Project will have significant adverse environmental impacts," the complaint states, "and will affect public health and historical and cultural sites in the project boundary."

Bitterroot National Forest Supervisor Julie King had not yet seen the complaint when she spoke with the Indy Thursday morning. However, she acknowledged her office did anticipate some sort of legal action.

"We worked really hard to settle all the objections and concerns," she said. "All in all, this is a good project and much needed. I guess I'm hopeful at this point in time, but I don't know what's all being complained about."

King added it “remains to be seen” how the complaint will impact the timeline for the project.

Rockies Today, July 27

Posted By on Wed, Jul 27, 2016 at 3:04 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: Rough Stock Saloon

Posted By on Wed, Jul 27, 2016 at 10:38 AM

Where you are: The Rough Stock Saloon. It’s gone by the name for six years, and before that it was called Swede’s for “forever,” according to one regular. The Rough Stock is just off Drummond’s Front Street, parallel to the train tracks and down from the Conoco gas station. There’s an open outdoor patio with a view across the tracks that on a clear day stretches off toward the Pintlers.

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Why you’re here: Perhaps you’re stopping here on your way to or from Philipsburg , or because you just fished a stretch of the upper Clark Fork. Or maybe, like the group of elderly ladies in bathing suits who catcalled an Indy reporter last Friday evening, you’ve just been tubing and drinking the afternoon away, far from the crowds in Missoula. For whatever the reason, The Rough Stock offers a cool and dark interior that’s perfect for hiding from a hot summer day. 

What you’re drinking: A domestic can or bottle, probably. They’re cheap ($3 for a Bud Light), although the microbrew selection is also pretty good, featuring beers from Great Northern in Whitefish and The Front Brewing Company in Great Falls. 

The scene: “Rough stock,” for the uninitiated, refers to the bulls and horses raised to buck off cowboys in rodeos. Just across the river from Drummond’s rodeo grounds, the Rough Stock holds true to its name with a corner full of photographs signed by rodeo riders. Most signatures thank the bar for “a good time,” though one stands out as thanking the bar “for the kind glass of water."

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

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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