Monday, May 4, 2015

Rockies Today, May 4

Posted By on Mon, May 4, 2015 at 12:54 PM

NPS takes public comment on congestion solutions for Glacier's Sun Road
On May 1, the National Park Service released five different options for clearing congestion on the popular Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park in Montana, as well as the hiking trails near the road, and public comment will be taken on the options through June 5.
Flathead Beacon; May 2

Montana's federal lawmakers support reauthorization of land, water fund
The Land and Conservation Fund, which uses federal offshore oil profits to fund purchases of property important for conservation, is up for reauthorization, and all three of Montana's federal delegates recently spoke in support of keeping the program funded.
Flathead Beacon; May 4

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When asparagus-toting drones go down in flames (and more from In Other News)

Posted By on Mon, May 4, 2015 at 9:00 AM

Curses, Foiled Again
Police responding to a drug complaint in Richmond, Va., spotted two men, who began running away. One of the fleeing men, later identified as Darnell Elliotte, 20, fired several shots at the officers. He missed them but shot himself in the leg, allowing his pursuers to apprehend him. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

A subcontractor told police he was working in a subdivision in San Antonio, Texas, when a man approached him, showed a black semi-automatic handgun and asked, “Can I rob the house?” The sub said he replied, “It is not my house,” and later saw the man exit the house carrying a microwave. He snapped a photo of the man putting the microwave into an auto, whose license plate led authorities to Danny Acosta, 30. (San Antonio’s KSAT-TV)

School Daze
German student Simon Schräder, 17, filed a freedom of information request asking the education ministry of North Rhine-Westphalia for the questions to standardized senior exams. The ministry acknowledged that it had received the request, which “is being processed.” (Britain’s The Guardian)

Cheating on statewide secondary school exams is common in Bihar, India, where students routinely smuggle in textbooks and notes, but this year local newspapers published photos of parents and relatives scaling walls of exam centers to pass on answers to test takers. Some even showed police officers posted outside the centers accepting bribes. “What can the government do to stop cheating if parents and relatives are not ready to cooperate,” Bihar Education Minister P.K. Shahi said. “Should the government give orders to shoot them?” (BBC News)

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Friday, May 1, 2015

Rockies Today, May 1

Posted By on Fri, May 1, 2015 at 12:58 PM

U.S., Canada roll out new safety standards for shipping oil by train
Today, regulators in the United States and Canada unveiled a new plan for railways to phase in the use of sturdier tank cars used to ship oil and other flammable liquids and to install new braking systems on trains of those tankcars, both steps designed to make shipping oil and other liquids safer.
Toronto Globe and Mail; May 1
  • Six U.S. senators propose fee on older rail tankcars used to haul oil
    Oregon U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, along with his colleague Sen. Jeff Merkley, and Senators Diane Feinstein of California, Charles Schumer of New York, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, and Mark Warner of Virginia, are proposing an escalating fee for shippers who use older tankcars to ship flammable liquids like oil, and an attendant tax credit for purchasing newer tankcars built to better withstand derailments.
    Flathead Beacon (AP); May 1
Economist: Federal royalty change won't raise price of coal much
A rancher north of Billings, who said that Montana has lost $30 million in coal royalties since 2008, and Cloud Peak Energy, a Wyoming-based company that mines coal from the Powder River Basin in both of those states, are on opposite sides of the Interior Department's proposal to change how, and when, federal royalties of coal are calculated, but an economist with Bozeman-based Headwaters Economics said the new royalty structure would add 30 cents in costs to a ton of coal.
Billings Gazette; May 1

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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Rockies Today, April 30

Posted By on Thu, Apr 30, 2015 at 1:46 PM

Colorado, Wyoming senators introduce National Forest Trails Act
On Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi of Wyoming and Colorado U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet introduced the National Forest System Trails Stewardship Act of 2014, a companion bill to the House bill introduced in February by Wyoming U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis and Minnesota Rep. Tim Walz, which will expand the role volunteers and partners in trail maintenance on national forest lands.
Durango Herald; April 30

Asia-Montana Energy Summit begins in Missoula
On Wednesday, representatives from five nations gathered at the University of Montana in Missoula to discuss Montana's role in Asia's energy future, and Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner Norman Bay and Adam Sieminski, administrator of the U.S. Energy Information Administration, kicked off the summit with their predictions that the U.S. would be a net energy exporter within the next decade or so.
Missoulian; April 30

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Rockies Today, April 29

Posted By on Wed, Apr 29, 2015 at 1:32 PM

Utah congressmen launch 'Federal Land Action Group'
On Tuesday, Utah U.S. Reps. Rob Bishop and Chris Stewart announced a new action group to hold a series of public forums with the end goal of producing measures to move federal lands to state control.
Salt Lake Tribune; April 29

Four states to share $4M to protect sage grouse habitat
On Wednesday, U.S. Secretary Sally Jewell announced the Bureau of Land Management will roll out a $4-million initiative in Idaho, Utah, Nevada and Oregon to address wildfire threats, invasive grasses and juniper trees that increase the risk of wildfire in sage grouse habitat.
Portland Oregonian (AP); April 29

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Your future, a little early

Posted By on Wed, Apr 29, 2015 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): Chris Moneymaker was employed as an accountant in Tennessee. On a whim, he paid $39 to enter an online poker tournament. Although he knew a lot about the game, he had never competed professionally. Nevertheless, he won the tournament. As his award, he received no money, but rather an invitation to participate in the annual World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. Can you guess the storybook ending? The rookie triumphed over 838 pros, taking home $2.5 million. I don't foresee anything quite as spectacular for you, Aries, but there may be similar elements in your saga. For example, a modest investment on your part could make you eligible for a chance to earn much more. Here's another possible plot twist: You could generate luck for yourself by ramping up a skill that has until now been a hobby.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): eBay is a multi-billion-dollar e-commerce business that has been around for almost 20 years. But it had an inauspicious beginning. The first item ever sold on the service was a broken laser pointer. Even though the laser pointer didn't work, and the seller informed the buyer it didn't work, it brought in $14.83. This story might be a useful metaphor for your imminent future, Taurus. While I have faith in the vigor of the long-term trends you are or will soon be setting in motion, your initial steps may be a bit iffy.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Poetically speaking, it's time to purify your world of all insanities, profanities, and inanities. It's a perfect moment for that once-in-a-blue-moon Scour-a-Thon, when you have a mandate to purge all clunkiness, junkiness, and gunkiness from your midst. And as you flush away the unease of your hypocrisies and discrepancies, as you dispense with any tendency you might have to make way too much sense, remember that evil is allergic to laughter. Humor is one of the most effective psychospiritual cleansers ever.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): I was in the checkout line at Whole Foods. The shopper ahead of me had piled her groceries on the conveyor belt, and it was her turn to be rung up. "How are you doing?" she said cheerfully to the cashier, a crabby-looking hipster whom I happened to know is a Cancerian poet and lead singer in a local rock band. "Oh, I am living my dream," he replied. I guessed he was being sarcastic, although I didn't know for sure. In any case, I had a flash of intuition that his answer should be your mantra in the coming weeks. It's time to redouble your commitment to living your dream! Say it 20 times in a row right now: "I am living my dream."

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): As I awoke this morning, I remembered the dream I'd just had. In the dream, I had written a horoscope for you. Here's what it said: "The Kentucky Derby is a famous horse race that takes place on the first Saturday of every May. It's called 'The Run for the Roses' because one of the prizes that goes to the winning horse and jockey is a garland of 554 roses. I suspect that your life may soon bring you an odd treasure like that, Leo. Will it be a good thing, or too much of a good thing? Will it be useful or just kind of weird? Beautiful or a bit ridiculous? The answers to those questions may depend in part on your willingness to adjust your expectations."

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Don't calm down. Don't retreat into your sanctuary and relax into protective comfort. If you have faith and remain committed to the messy experiment you have stirred up, the stress and agitation you're dealing with will ripen into vitality and excitement. I'm not exaggerating, my dear explorer. You're on the verge of tapping into the catalytic beauty and rejuvenating truth that lurk beneath the frustration. You're close to unlocking the deeper ambitions that are trapped inside the surface-level wishes.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Happiest Hour: Most anticipated beers at the Garden City BrewFest

Posted By on Tue, Apr 28, 2015 at 2:55 PM

In advance of Saturday’s Garden City BrewFest, the Indy staff highlights the beers they most want to taste.

Draught Works’ Little Richard Session IPA
Ted McDermott: According to the brewer’s description, this IPA can “barely even be considered an IPA.” As someone who likes the taste of hops but finds most IPAs overwhelmed by their presence, that sounds like just the thing. And if this beer tastes half as good as “Tutti Frutti” sounds, it’s bound to hit the spot.

Grand Teton’s 5 O’Clock Shadow Black Lager
Kate Whittle: The 5 O’Clock Shadow lager flips all of my beer-nerd switches: A clever name, a somewhat unusual style and a hefty ABV at 7.6 percent. Grand Teton’s website says their Munich-born brewmaster’s mother drank black lagers while breastfeeding him. I’ll settle for drinking this while nursing my beer belly.

Carter’s Ghost Train Double IPA
Alex Sakariassen: While IPAs have an undeniably large and loyal following, I’ve never counted myself much of a hop-head. But fellow craft beer fanatics can’t stop gushing about Carter’s Brewery, and with Billings a good five-hour drive away, it seems dumb to let a personal stylistic hangup stand in the way of verifying that reputation.

Angry Orchard’s Hop N’ Mad Cider
Courtney Anderson: This classic sweet-and-tart cider might help clean the palate for your next beer. Also, those with celiac disease can hang out with a safe cider while enjoying BrewFest.

Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy
Erika Fredrickson: When we were young and undiscerning, my friends and I made a version of the shandy by filling a large cooler full of Pabst and lemonade (and maybe some vodka) and drinking it all afternoon. Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy kind of gets a bad rap because artisan beer snobs see it as just another egregious way to water down beer. I, however, see it as a way to elevate the shandy and, on a personal note, recall those carefree summer days of yore.

Laughing Dog’s Dogfather Imperial Stout
Skylar Browning: This Sandpoint brewery had me at “aged in charred bourbon barrels.”

Elysian’s Superfuzz Blood Orange Pale Ale
Cathrine L. Walters: As a girl who regularly mixes her vodka with San Pellegrino’s Aranciata Rossa I was intrigued to see that Seattle’s Elysian Brewing combined the delicious crimson citrus with their hops. I figure it can’t disappoint because if blood oranges are great mixed with vodka why wouldn’t they be good mixed with beer?

For a full listing of beers and event map, see the Indy's Garden City BrewFest guide on stands now, or download the Findmytap app on your smartphone and look up "Garden City BrewFest" under Beer Festivals and Events.

Rockies Today, April 28

Posted By on Tue, Apr 28, 2015 at 1:11 PM

Extinction warning on sage grouse rocks Wyoming's remapping of habitat
The report, "Greater Sage-Grouse Population Dynamics and Probability of Persistence," which warned that rapid decline of sage grouse in the Great Plains management zone, including the Powder River Basin, could mean that the species "could be dropping into an extinction vortex,” was immediately challenged by Wyoming Fish and Game, but the report is becoming a discussion point as the state remaps its core habitat areas to be protected for the species.; April 28

Idaho legislators pass slate of energy-related bills
Oil and gas drilling has been knocking on Idaho's door for years, and for the past four, legislators and regulators have been working to craft a regulatory framework for those operations, and this year, a number of laws were passed, including setting application fees, requiring oil and gas production records be made public, developing how companies seeking to tap the same pool of resources would work together, and allowing companies to exclude federal land from a drilling unit.
Idaho Statesman (AP); April 28

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Monday, April 27, 2015

Rockies Today, April 27

Posted By on Mon, Apr 27, 2015 at 12:38 PM

Utah wants to boost coal exports with $53M investment in California port
To expand access for Utah's coal industry to markets in Asia and Latin America, Utah is proposing investing $53 million in a deep-water port on California's coast, a plan that has drawn the ire of Californians—and Utahns.
Salt Lake Tribune; April 27

'Dinosaur autobahn' discovered in NE British Columbia
In the northeast corner of British Columbia, an area the size of three Canadian football fields contains hundreds of footprints dinosaurs 100 million years old, and paleontologist Rich McCrea is pressing the province to protect the area, the location of which is still a secret.
Toronto Globe and Mail (Canadian Press); April 27

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Why you don't use a homemade flamethrower to kill mice (and more In Other News)

Posted By on Mon, Apr 27, 2015 at 9:00 AM

Curses, Foiled Again
Tyler Lankford, 21, entered a bakery with a loaded and cocked revolver, pointed it at the 58-year-old clerk and demanded money, according to police in McKeesport, Pa. The clerk emptied the register, but when the robber picked up the money, he put the gun on the counter. The clerk grabbed it and chased away the robber, whom police identified from surveillance video. (Pittsburgh’s KDKA-TV)

Casey Hueser, 30, pulled into a driveway, left the car running and entered the house, police in St. Joseph, Mo., said. When homeowner Marti Wilson returned, she saw the car, removed the ignition keys and slashed the tires. She confronted the burglar, who regained the keys during a struggle and drove off. Wilson called police. “His front left tire had a big hole it, and apparently, with my description of the vehicle, and the fact that he wasn’t moving really fast, and then they found a bunch of the rubber out in the road,” she said, “so he kind of left a trail.” (Kansas City’s WDAF-TV)

Verlin Sexton, 48, told authorities investigating a fire that destroyed his garage and damaged his house in Fremont, Ohio, that it started while he was using spray paint and a lighter as a torch to kill a mouse. He also said he went to the garage to smoke, noticed black smoke filling the garage and saw flames in the corner, so he ran to get a pan of water; when he returned, the fire was out of control. Then he said he saw flames in boxes and tried to kick the fire out, but it spread. He was charged with intentionally setting the fire. (Fremont’s The News-Gazette)

Scott Kemery, 44, told authorities investigating a car fire in Eastport, N.Y., that he believed his rental car was filled with bedbugs, so he doused the interior with rubbing alcohol. Confident it worked, he got back in the car and lit a cigarette, igniting the alcohol. He fled the vehicle but suffered first- and second-degree burns. The rental car was destroyed, and intense heat from the fire badly damaged two other cars. (Newsday)

Mohammed Almarri, 21, illegally entered his neighbor’s apartment in Tampa, Fla., forced the owner to retreat to his 30th-floor balcony, put the owner’s wallet in a microwave oven and turned it on, according to fire officials who responded to a report of a fire and a man trapped on a high-rise balcony. The victim told them Almarri also took the victim’s collection of lighters, piled them on the floor next to a small electric heater and turned the heater on. No fire was found, but Almarri was charged with first-degree arson. (Tampa Bay Times)

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