Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Happiest Hour: Big Hole Brewing cans

Posted By on Tue, Nov 24, 2015 at 2:47 PM

The backstory: Earlier this fall, a new pair of Montana brews began showing up in four-packs on store shelves. The 16-ounce cans boasted they were from Big Hole Brewing, a name some might recognize from the mid-1990s. The company started up back in 1996 during Montana’s first real brewery boom and in 2004 began contract brewing through Madison River Brewing. The label disappeared for a number of years with no real explanation, but thanks to a production/canning agreement with Bozeman-based Outlaw Brewing, Big Hole is back.
  • Alex Sakariassen

The beer:
Both of the new Big Hole brews are on the lighter side, around 7 percent ABV. Fans of a spicier beer can go for the Mythical White Grand Reserve, a balanced and malty golden ale. Those looking for a hoppier excursion should pick up Mythical White’s counterpart, the aptly named Headstrong Montana Pale Ale. With a smooth, almost smokey start and a bitter, hoppy finish, Headstrong falls into a weird place taste-wise, somewhere between a porter and an IPA.

The packaging: Big Hole Brewing is also the latest Montana brewery to jump onboard with cardboard packaging. The trend started up locally years ago with the release of Kettlehouse’s cans in four- and eight-packs. Since then Tamarack and Flathead Lake have latched onto the idea. From a practical standpoint, it’s certainly a handy way to keep your empties from straying.

Where to find it: Big Hole Brewing’s new cans are available at select grocery stores throughout Missoula, Kalispell, Butte and Bozeman. Keep your eyes open for the brewery’s unmistakable bison logo.

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

Beer and wine service planned for new Carmike theater at Southgate Mall

Posted By on Tue, Nov 24, 2015 at 10:28 AM

As part of a proposed multimillion-dollar expansion, legal filings indicate that Southgate Mall is partnering with Carmike Cinemas to launch a new movie theater that will offer beer and wine.

An application filed with the Montana Department of Revenue indicates that Carmike Cinemas plans to operate a new theater as part of Southgate Mall's planned redevelopment. - JCM ARCHITECTURE
  • JCM Architecture
  • An application filed with the Montana Department of Revenue indicates that Carmike Cinemas plans to operate a new theater as part of Southgate Mall's planned redevelopment.

Carmike Cinemas plans to serve alcoholic beverages at a theater called “Ovation 9” at 2901 Brooks Street, the same location as Southgate Mall, according to an application filed on Oct. 1 with the Montana Department of Revenue. Carmike is purchasing the beer and wine license formerly owned by the Wilma, before the venue was sold to current owner Nick Checota in March.

The move is in line with previously announced plans for Southgate’s upcoming $70 million expansion, which includes a movie theater as part of its first phase.

Developer Peter Lambros, with Southgate Mall Associates, says in a time when many traditional malls are struggling the goal is to offer engaging experiences that will draw people—and their wallets—out of their homes.

“Everything in the industry right now is saying if you’re going to go out and spend money, it’s got to feel different,” he says. “A lot of people have a big screen TV at their house. So it’s got to feel special.”

Carmike Cinemas’ new line of “Ovation” theaters aim to provide “cinematic dining” while screening the latest blockbusters, according to a Carmike press release. The Ovation 12 opened in Athens, Ga., in July, offering amenities including a restaurant and full bar in the lobby, as well as built-in trays, lights and call buttons on theater seats allowing patrons to order from a server. Ovation 12 customers can also reserve seating online and pay for their concessions at the same time as their movie ticket.

Lambros declines to confirm that Carmike will be operating the new theater at Southgate, saying there’s more work to be done before any formal announcement. “It’s not official, but you can connect the dots,” he says. Carmike representatives did not return requests for comment.

Currently, the mall is asking for almost $7 million in city funds to develop a new public road and widen Mary Avenue to become a direct vehicle access between the mall and South Reserve Street. A Missoula City Council committee is still reviewing the request.

“Before we have conclusion to this process, really connecting with that neighborhood and finding common ground is really paramount,” Lambros says.

Lambros adds that construction on the first phase of the Southgate Mall’s redevelopment, including the new theater, would ideally begin in 2016.

The Montana Department of Revenue is currently accepting public comment on Carmike Cinemas’ application for a beer and wine license at Ovation 9. Public communications officer Mary Anne Dunwell says the comment period ends Nov. 30.

Your future, a little early

Posted By on Tue, Nov 24, 2015 at 9:00 AM

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

ARIES (March 21-April 19): “We are torn between nostalgia for the familiar and an urge for the foreign and strange,” wrote novelist Carson McCullers. “As often as not, we are homesick most for the places we have never known.” I’m guessing that these days you’re feeling that kind of homesickness, Aries. The people and places that usually comfort you don’t have their customary power. The experiences you typically seek out to strengthen your stability just aren’t having that effect. The proper response, in my opinion, is to go in quest of exotic and experimental stimuli. In ways you may not yet be able to imagine, they can provide the grounding you need. They will steady your nerves and bolster your courage.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): The Pekingese is a breed of dog that has been around for over 2,000 years. In ancient China, it was beloved by Buddhist monks and emperors’ families. Here’s the legend of its origin: A tiny marmoset and huge lion fell in love with each other, but the contrast in their sizes made union impossible. Then the gods intervened, using magic to make them the same size. Out of the creatures’ consummated passion, the first Pekingese was born. I think this myth can serve as inspiration for you, Taurus. Amazingly, you may soon find a way to blend and even synergize two elements that are ostensibly quite different. Who knows? You may even get some divine help.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Author Virginia Woolf wrote this message to a dear ally: “I sincerely hope I’ll never fathom you. You’re mystical, serene, intriguing; you enclose such charm within you. The luster of your presence bewitches me . . . the whole thing is splendid and voluptuous and absurd.” I hope you will have good reason to whisper sweet things like that in the coming weeks, Gemini. You’re in the Season of Togetherness, which is a favorable time to seek and cultivate interesting kinds of intimacy. If there is no one to whom you can sincerely deliver a memo like Woolf’s, search for such a person.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Some people are so attached to wearing a favorite ring on one of their fingers that they never take it off. They love the beauty and endearment it evokes. In rare cases, years go by and their ring finger grows thicker. Blood flow is constricted. Discomfort sets in. And they can’t remove their precious jewelry with the lubrication provided by a little olive oil or soap and water. They need the assistance of a jeweler who uses a small saw and a protective sheath to cut away the ring. I suspect this may be an apt metaphor for a certain situation in your life, Cancerian. Is it? Do you wonder if you should free yourself from a pretty or sentimental constriction that you have outgrown? If so, get help.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): “Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted,” wrote Leo author Aldous Huxley. That’s the bad news. The good news is that in the coming weeks you are less likely to take things for granted than you have been in a long time. Happily, it’s not because your familiar pleasures and sources of stability are in jeopardy. Rather, it’s because you have become more deeply connected to the core of your life energy. You have a vivid appreciation of what sustains you. Your assignment: Be alert for the eternal as it wells up out of the mundane.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): In their quest to collect nectar, honeybees are attuned to the importance of proper timing. Even if flowering plants are abundant, the quality and quantity of the nectar that’s available vary with the weather, season, and hour of the day. For example, dandelions may offer their peak blessings at 9 a.m., cornflowers in late morning, and clover in mid-afternoon. I urge you to be equally sensitive to the sources where you can obtain nourishment, Virgo. Arrange your schedule so you consistently seek to gather what you need at the right time and place.

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Monday, November 23, 2015

Rockies Today, November 23

Posted By on Mon, Nov 23, 2015 at 2:10 PM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News:

Alberta's sweeping climate change policy focus of meeting today
All of Canada's premiers and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will meet today in Ottawa, with the focus of the first ministers' meeting devising a plan for the country prior to the international climate change talks in Paris next week, and Alberta's far-ranging plan that imposes a province-wide carbon tax and limits emissions from oilsands operations will take centerstage at the meeting.
Toronto Globe and Mail; Nov. 21

  • Pipeline, oil companies praise Alberta's proposed climate change plan
    The climate change policy released by Alberta on Sunday that would impose a carbon tax across all sectors of the economy, phasing out all coal-fired plants in the next 15 years, requiring a 45 percent reduction in methane emissions by the oil and gas sector over the next decade, and taking a new approach for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from oilsands operations earned praise from Suncor, Canada's largest oil company, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers and TransCanada, as well as the Pembina Institute.
    Calgary Herald; Nov. 23

Old, New West collide in rural Idaho
In areas of Idaho, and other open-range states, motorists that hit cattle that roam rural areas where they're not fenced out of, are not only be responsible for their wrecked car, but also for the animal they hit, and some say that it's time for open-range laws to change, given the changes in the landscape in recent decades, and the fatal encounter between an Idaho rancher and two deputy sheriffs in Adams County after a vehicle struck a bull on open range has reignited the call for those laws to change.
Twin Falls Times-News; Nov. 23

Idaho U.S. Sen. Risch to hold meeting on Lochsa land swap
On Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Jim Risch will hold a meeting in Grangeville to discuss a legislative approach on a federal land swap that has been under review for eight years, with Western Pacific Timber Co. offering 39,000 acres in Idaho's Upper Lochsa Basin for U.S. Forest Service lands of similar value, primarily in Idaho County near Grangeville.
Idaho Statesman (Lewiston Tribune); Nov. 23

Wyoming senator introduces bill to take wolves off endangered list
On Nov. 10, Wyoming U.S. Sen. John Barrasso introduced companion legislation to that introduced by Rep. Cynthia Lummis in the House that would remove federal protection for wolves in the state. The bills would also return management of wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan back to the states, and allow wolf hunts in those states to resume.
Jackson Hole Daily; Nov. 23

Debate on Washington coal ports focus on jobs vs. the environment
Proponents of the two proposed coal export terminals in Washington state cite the jobs the terminals will support, not only in the state but in coal mines in Wyoming and Montana, but opponents said that it's wrong to export the climate effects of burning coal and that trainloads of coal have their own environmental impact.
Bellingham Herald; Nov. 23

Montana initiative seeks to increase use of renewable energy
John Soderberg, former minister of the Bozeman United Methodist Church, and lawyer Russ Doty have drafted a ballot initiative that would require investor-owned utilities operating in Montana to increase the amount of renewable-energy in their portfolios to 19 percent by 2018, 40 percent by 2025, 70 percent by 2040 and 80 percent by 2050. If the language of the initiative is approved by the secretary of state, an estimated 25,000 signatures of registered voters in the state would have to be obtained to put the initiative on the ballot in November next year.
Flathead Beacon (AP); Nov. 23

Renters again scramble in Boise as new owner of another complex orders them out
Increasing demand for rentals in Idaho's Treasure Valley has made apartment complexes a hot item, and just a couple of months after the new owners of the Glenbrook Apartments notified the 400 tenants that they had to move so the complex could be renovated and rents raised nearly 40 percent, now the new owners of the 43-unit Westwood Apartments gave those renters 30 days to relocate, and some of those renters are looking at the very real possibility of being homeless.
Idaho Statesman; Nov. 23

Montana man starts group that seeks 1 percent for conservation
Jeff Sposito modeled his One Percent for Conservation, which will ask companies to commit to give one percent of their annual sales to habitat conservation, on Patagonia's 1% for the Planet, which donates one percent of its sales to environmental initiatives. Beginning in 2016, companies can join OPC and use the group's logo on their merchandise.
Billings Gazette; Nov. 23

Mountain West News is a project of the Center for the Rocky Mountain West at The University of Montana. It provides a daily snapshot of news and opinion in the Rocky Mountain region of North America, giving the changing mountain West a tool to understand itself and a platform for the exchange of ideas.

The ply-based toilet paper scandal plaguing Toronto (and more News of the Weird)

Posted By on Mon, Nov 23, 2015 at 9:00 AM

The Patient Will See You Now
Professional patients now help train would-be doctors, especially in the most delicate and dreaded of exams (gynecological and prostate), where a becalming technique improves outcomes. One “teaching associate” of Eastern Virginia Medical School told The Washington Post in September that the helpers act as “enthusiastic surgical dummies” to 65 medical colleges, guiding rookie fingers through the trainer’s own private parts. The prostate associate might helpfully caution, “No need for speed here,” especially since he will be bending over for as many as nine probings a day. A gynecological teaching associate, mentoring the nervous speculum-wielder, might wittily congratulate pupils on having a front-row sight line the “GTA” will never witness: an up-close view of her own cervix.

Latest Religious Messages

American Sharia: (1) U.S. parents have a right to home-school their kids, but are subject to varying degrees of regulation, with Texas the most lax, and one El Paso family will have a day before the Texas Supreme Court after one of its kids was reported declining to study because education was useless since he was waiting to be “raptured” (as described in the Bible’s Book of Revelation). (2) U.S. courts increasingly allow customers to sign away state and federal rights by agreeing to contracts providing private arbitration for disputes rather than access to courts—even if the contract explicitly requires only religious resolutions rather than secular, constitutional ones. A November New York Times investigation examined contracts ranging from Scientology’s requirement that fraud claims by members be resolved only by Scientologists—to various consumer issues from home repairs to real estate sales limited to dockets of Christian clerics.

Leading Economic Indicators
First-World Spending: According to estimates released by the National Retail Federation in September, 157 million Americans “planned to celebrate” Halloween, spending a total of $6.9 billion, of which $2.5 billion would be on costumes, including $350 million dressing up family pets.

At a ceremony in Kabul in November, prominent Afghan developer Khalilullah Frozi signed a $95 million contract to build an 8,800-unit township and was, according to a New York Times dispatch, toasted for his role in the country’s economic rebirth. However, at nightfall, Frozi headed back to prison to resume his 15-year sentence for defrauding Kabul Bank of nearly $1 billion in depositors’ money. Because he remains one of Afghanistan’s elite, arrangements were made for him to work days but spend his nights in prison (in comfortable quarters). Said one Western official, laconically, “(I)f you have stolen enough money, you can get away with it.”

Cultural Diversity
Before the terrorist murders gripped Paris, President Francois Hollande and Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani had been trying to arrange a formal dinner during Rouhani’s planned visit to the city to celebrate the two countries’ role in the recent accord limiting Iran’s nuclear development. France’s RTL radio news reported that “dinner” is apparently more vexing than “nuclear weaponry”—as Rouhani demanded an alcohol-free meal, which was nixed by Hollande, who insisted that the French never dine without wine.

Continue reading »

Friday, November 20, 2015

Rockies Today, November 20

Posted By on Fri, Nov 20, 2015 at 4:16 PM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News:

Colorado water plan calls for all residents, water users to cooperate
First and foremost under Colorado's sweeping water plan released this week is the need of everyone to make the most efficient use of water they can, from residents taking shorter showers to farmers finding other options than selling their rights to cities, and the most challenging aspect of the plan might be finding the funds to pay the $20 billion tab.
Denver Post; Nov. 20

Critics warn water is rising fast at Mount Polley mine in B.C.
Imperial Metals, the owner of the Mount Polley mine in British Columbia where an impoundment dam breached in August of 2014 sending more than 3.8 billion gallons of water and mine slurry into Polley Lake, has been seeking a permit since July from the province to release clean water through a recently completed $2-million treatment plant, but the province has put off the decision on the permit three times, and this week, the mayor of Lake Williams berated Premier Christy Clark for the province's indecision, which has allowed water in the mine's containment pond to reach critical levels.
Vancouver Sun; Nov. 20

Legislators grill Colorado AG about filing EPA lawsuit
On Thursday, Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman appeared before the Legislature's Joint Budget Committee, where Democratic legislators grilled her about her decision to file a lawsuit against Gov. John Hickenlooper's wishes that challenges the Environmental Protection Agency's rule to curb greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants. Coffman said she had common law authority to represent the citizens of Colorado that goes beyond specific duties of her office.
Denver Post; Nov. 20

Report says Montana's compliance with Clean Energy Plan will cost 7K jobs
A study commissioned by NorthWestern Energy and done by the Bureau of Business and Economic Research at the University of Montana predicts that if the coal-fired Colstrip Plant and its transmission line are shut down to allow the state to comply with the federal Clean Power Plan, 7,000 jobs will be lost in Eastern Montana leading to a half a billion dollar decrease in personal income. But Jeff Fox, the Montana Policy Manager for the group Renewable Northwest, and former Public Service Commissioner Tom Schneider, both say the BBER study overlooks alternative strategies to meet federal goals.
Montana Public Radio (MTPR.org); Nov. 20

USFS again considers roadless exception for Colorado coal mine
In 2012, Colorado's plan to manage 4.2 million acres of roadless U.S. Forest Service lands that provided exemptions in certain areas for mining activities was approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and that year Arch Coal proposed clearing 20,000 acres of forest lands in the North Fork Valley for roads and mining pad, a plan that was struck done, due in part because the Forest Service did not address the climate change effects of mining the 350 tons of coal, but now the proposal is back, although the exception seeks approval for mining 173 million tons of coal.
Denver Post; Nov. 20

BLM's draft plan reduces leases on Colorado's Thompson Divide
On Wednesday, the Bureau of Land Management released its draft Environmental Impact Statement of 65 energy leases in the White River National Forest in Colorado that would cancel 18 existing leases and reduce the size of seven other leases on the Thompson Divide. Groups pressing for protecting that area cheered, while energy interests criticized the plan. Public comment will be taken beginning today, Nov. 20, through Jan. 8, and public meetings are set on Dec. 14 in Glenwood Springs, Dec. 15 in De Beque, and Dec. 16 in Carbondale.
Glenwood Springs Post Independent; Nov. 20

Colorado town, county to pursue Superfund listing for mine wastewater
Silverton and San Juan County officials have, for more than two decades, resisted a Superfund designation to address the problem of contaminated water flowing from abandoned and inactive mines in that area of Colorado, but after the Aug. 5 mine blowout that released 3 million gallons of water into the Animas River, and after visiting several other Superfund sites in the state, representatives from both the town and the county said that their respective governing boards would pass resolutions at their next meetings to request such a designation.
Durango Herald; Nov. 20

Montana senators join 12 others to push for Land, Water funding
Montana U.S. Sens. Jon Tester and Steve Daines, Colorado Sens. Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner and New Mexico Sens. Michael Heinrich and Tom Udall were among the 14 senators from both parties that signed off on a letter to Senate leaders calling for full reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
Missoulian; Nov. 20

At Montana meeting, Yellowstone Park officials back off bison reduction
At a meeting on Thursday with representatives from federal and Montana agencies and members of American Indian tribes, Yellowstone National Park officials backed off their plan to remove 1,000 bison from the park this year. The park proposed delaying trapping of the bison until Feb. 15, although some tribal governments suggested the trapping be delayed until March. The park must have a new plan in place by Dec. 31 or the plan used last year will take effect.
Idaho Statesman (Bozeman Daily Chronicle); Nov. 20

Mountain West News is a project of the Center for the Rocky Mountain West at The University of Montana. It provides a daily snapshot of news and opinion in the Rocky Mountain region of North America, giving the changing mountain West a tool to understand itself and a platform for the exchange of ideas.

Barry Beach goes free after Bullock grants clemency

Posted By on Fri, Nov 20, 2015 at 12:40 PM

Barry Beach was released from prison Friday after Gov. Steve Bullock approved his clemency application, ending a decades-long struggle to prove Beach was wrongly convicted of a 1979 murder.

In an executive order, Bullock commuted Beach's 100-year prison sentence to time already served, plus ten years of probation. Beach walked out of the Montana State Prison in Deer Lodge at noon. Images posted to Twitter showed Beach wearing a blue prisoners' clothing as he spoke to television reporters outside.

Bullock's executive order did not address Beach's longstanding claim of innocence in the brutal slaying of a Kim Nees in Poplar while both were teens. Instead, Bullock pointed to Beach's time served and good behavior while also acknowledging the unusually harsh nature of his sentence. The Governor did not release a statement upon signing the order.

Barry Beach in 2011, during his earlier, brief release from prison. Gov. Steve Bullock commuted Beach's sentence Friday, setting him free after three decades behind bars. - PHOTO BY CATHRINE L. WALTERS
  • Barry Beach in 2011, during his earlier, brief release from prison. Gov. Steve Bullock commuted Beach's sentence Friday, setting him free after three decades behind bars.

Beach's plea for freedom has played out in the courts and the public eye after his case was taken on by Centurion Ministries, which helped advocate for his innocence. His conviction in 1984 was based almost entirely on a confession given to law enforcement in Louisiana while being questioned for an unrelated crime. Beach, however, argued the confession was coerced and that none of the gruesome physical evidence found at the crime scene could be matched to him.

Beach and his supporters were ceaseless in their quest, petitioning repeatedly to have his case reviewed and his sentence overturned. He was released from prison in 2011 after a judge granted a request for a new trial, only to be sent back to Deer Lodge 18 months later when the Montana Supreme Court disagreed. Beach learned he would return to prison from an Indy reporter who was completing a profile on him at the time.

The Montana Board of Parole and Pardons has rejected numerous petitions for clemency, but a new law that went into effect last month allowed the Governor to overturn the board's decision.

In commuting Beach's sentence, Bullock noted that Beach's earlier stint of freedom indicated he could his successfully transition into society.

While speaking with another Indy reporter back in 2006, his 23rd year in prison, Beach imagined the travails that would lie ahead should he ever go free. 

 “I don’t have a 401K to go home to; prison doesn’t have a retirement plan. You don’t get out of here after twenty-some years and have a secure future," Beach said. "Most importantly, even if I beat this and get to go home, society will never, ever accept me, because every time I go sign up for something I have to mark that little box that says I’m a convicted felon. So I’m fighting with everything I have to go back to a society that’s never going to accept me.”

The reporter, Jessie McQuillan, went on to found the Montana Innocence Project.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Rockies Today, November 19

Posted By on Thu, Nov 19, 2015 at 2:13 PM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News:

Obama administration formally opposes Land, Water fund overhaul
On Wednesday, Kristen J. Sarri, principal deputy assistant Interior Department secretary, testified before the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee that the Obama administration opposes Utah U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop's bill to revamp the 50-year-old Land and Water Conservation Fund, because the measure diverts funding for recreation to the oil and gas industry. Sarri said the administration supports another bill that has 195 co-sponsors that revives the Land and Water Conservation Fund as it existed when it was allowed to sunset.
Salt Lake Tribune; Nov. 19

Colorado water plan to be released today
Gov. John Hickenlooper will get the 480-page plan to manage Colorado's water through 2050 today, and the first order of business will be trying to parcel out the $20 billion estimated cost of the plan, although Front Range communities are expected to provide the largest share.
Denver Post; Nov. 19

Wyoming governor leads bipartisan group on reforming Endangered Species Act
Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead made reform of the federal Endangered Species Act a focus of his term as chairman of the Western Governors' Association, and last week in Cody, he held the first of a series of workshops in his Conservation and Endangered Species Act Initiative. The next workshop in the series will be held in Boise on Jan. 19, and then in Oahu, Hawaii, on Feb. 12. One will also be held in Colorado on a date yet to be determined.
Powell Tribune; Nov. 19

Meeting today in Montana on plan to reduce Yellowstone Park bison herd
Yellowstone National Park officials will meet today in Montana with representatives of the state, federal agencies and American Indian tribes to discuss a plan to reduce the number of bison in the park by 1,000 animals, most of which will be cows and calves to help curb reproduction rates. The park currently has nearly 5,000 bison.
Flathead Beacon (AP); Nov. 19

Colorado utilities board votes to retire coal-fired plant by 2035
The Colorado Springs Utilities Board voted 6-3 on Wednesday to close down the coal-fired Martin Drake Power Plant by 2035.
Denver Post (Colorado Springs Gazette); Nov. 19

Canada's oilsands producers take full brunt of OPEC's policy aimed at U.S. producers
In an effort to undermine U.S. oil producers on the international market, OPEC nations declined to slow production, a decision that has sent oil prices down 60 percent, but Canada's oilsands operators, whose costs are significantly higher than shale producers south of the border, have been hit much harder than U.S. producers.
Calgary Herald (Bloomberg News); Nov. 19

Montana high court issues split ruling on road near Anaconda
On Tuesday, the Montana Supreme Court issued a split ruling on public access on the Modesty Creek Road, located about 15 miles north of Anaconda. The high court affirmed the district court's decision that said the lower portion of the road was a public road, but overturned the lower court's decision and found that the upper portion of the road where it splits off to meet a Forest Service road was private. A former county commissioner called the ruling "ridiculous," because the lower portion of the road leads to "nowhere."
Montana Standard; Nov. 19

Idaho's tab for wildfires in 2015 was nearly $80 million
The nearly $80 million tab Idaho incurred this year for fighting wildfires was a 600 percent increase over the average cost the state paid in recent years, and Rocky Barker of the Idaho Statesman recently spent time with Sam Bonovich, chief of the rural Clear Creek Fire Department, about his personal experience on the Walker Fire that erupted in October that cost the state nearly $5 million to fight. Bonovich discusses the challenges of protecting homes of landowners who don't work to make them safer from wildfires.
Idaho Statesman; Nov. 14

Mountain West News is a project of the Center for the Rocky Mountain West at The University of Montana. It provides a daily snapshot of news and opinion in the Rocky Mountain region of North America, giving the changing mountain West a tool to understand itself and a platform for the exchange of ideas.

Turkey, stuffing and still more pie: Eight years of Indy holiday recipes

Posted By on Thu, Nov 19, 2015 at 5:15 AM

Hungry for more recipes after reading this week's feature?

We've got you covered with links to the last eight years of the Indy's holiday food issue. 

2014: Flipping the bird
Featuring: Chipotle Chile and Garlic-Stuffed Prime Rib Roast from Laughing Grizzly, Creole Peanut Soup from Butterfly Herbs, tips to making the perfect turkey and more. 

2013: Fresh Eats 
Our theme was fresh food from some of Missoula's newer restaurants. That included Braised Beef Short Ribs from Burns St. Bistro, a pork belly and baby spinach salad from Top Hat Lounge, Goat Cheese and Beet Terrine from Plonk and a festive fall cocktail from Montgomery Distillery, among other recipes. 

2012: Deer, beer and wild 'shrooms
Well, you're going to find recipes for Marinated Venison Steak from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Amber Ale Gratin from Tamarack and Confit of Matsutake Mushrooms from the Resort at Paws Up. Not to be missed: a salad from Biga Pizza and dessert courtesy of Buttercup Market. 

2011: A Moveable Feast
Turkey Liver Pate from The Silk Road, Curried Sweet Potato-Apple Soup from Rattlesnake Gardens and Beef Wellington from Red Bird — and that's just the beginning. 

2010: Kitchen Confidential
We went behind the scenes with the culinary program at Missoula College. The recipes? Everything from Cider-Braised Sharptail Grouse to Chinese Barbecue Pork Buns

2009: Guess who's coming to dinner?
Here's how we described a lineup featuring Ranch Club, Finn & Porter, Lifeline Farms and Iron Horse Brew Pub, among others: 
The two main courses include a recipe for turkey (with bacon!) and another for duck (with beer!). The three sides feature fresh local veggies and easy alternatives to dishes that traditionally come from a can. The soup comes topped with bits of gingersnap cookies. And the two desserts put a little twist on the typical mousse.
2008: Talking Turkey
Well, there's a turkey recipe (duh) from the PEAS Farm, a venison recipe from UM's Mark LoParco, aka “The World Famous Omelet Guy,” and spiced apples with gingerbread baby cakes and caramel-mascarpone mousse from The Pearl. 

2007: Holiday Feast!
You're gonna want to check out Mayor John Engen's Southern Cornbread Stuffing, Uncle Bill's Stuffed Turkey Breast and the Winter Squash Soup from Scotty's Table, among others. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Your future, a little early

Posted By on Wed, Nov 18, 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): Urbandictionary.com defines the English word “balter” as follows: “to dance without particular skill or grace, but with extreme joy.” It’s related to the Danish term baltre, which means “to romp, tumble, roll, cavort.” I nominate this activity to be one of your ruling metaphors in the coming weeks. You have a mandate to explore the frontiers of amusement and bliss, but you have no mandate to be polite and polished as you do it. To generate optimal levels of righteous fun, your experiments may have to be more than a bit rowdy.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): You’ve arrived at a crossroads. From here, you could travel in one of four directions, including back towards where you came from. You shouldn’t stay here indefinitely, but on the other hand you’ll be wise to pause and linger for a while. Steep yourself in the mystery of the transition that looms. Pay special attention to the feelings that rise up as you visualize the experiences that may await you along each path. Are there any holy memories you can call on for guidance? Are you receptive to the tricky inspiration of the fertility spirits that are gathered here? Here’s your motto: Trust, but verify.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): English model and TV personality Katie Price has been on the planet for just 37 years, but has already written four autobiographies. You Only Live Once, for instance, covers the action-packed time between 2008 and 2010, when she got divorced and then remarried in a romantic Las Vegas ceremony. I propose that we choose this talkative, self-revealing Gemini to be your spirit animal and role model. In the coming weeks, you should go almost to extremes as you express the truth about who you have been, who you are, and who you will become.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): A flyer on a telephone pole caught my eye. It showed a photo of a nine-year-old male cat named Bubby, whose face was contorted in pain. A message from Bubby’s owner revealed that her beloved pet desperately needed expensive dental work. She had launched a campaign at gofundme.com to raise the cash. Of course I broke into tears, as I often do when confronted so viscerally with the suffering of sentient creatures. I longed to donate to Bubby’s well-being. But I thought, “Shouldn’t I funnel my limited funds to a bigger cause, like the World Wildlife Fund?” Back home an hour later, I sent $25 to Bubby. After analyzing the astrological omens for my own sign, Cancer the Crab, I realized that now is a time to adhere to the principle “Think globally, act locally” in every way imaginable.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): How well do you treat yourself? What do you do to ensure that you receive a steady flow of the nurturing you need? According to my reading of the astrological omens, you are now primed to expand and intensify your approach to self-care. If you’re alert to the possibilities, you will learn an array of new life-enhancing strategies. Here are two ideas to get you started: 1. Imagine at least three acts of practical love you can bestow on yourself. 2. Give yourself three gifts that will promote your healing and stimulate your pleasure.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): To activate your full potential in the coming weeks, you don’t need to scuba-dive into an underwater canyon or spelunk into the pitch blackness of a remote cave or head out on an archaeological dig to uncover the lost artifacts of an ancient civilization. But I recommend that you consider trying the metaphorical equivalent of those activities. Explore the recesses of your own psyche, as well as those of the people you love. Ponder the riddles of the past and rummage around for lost treasure and hidden truths. Penetrate to the core, the gist, the roots. The abyss is much friendlier than usual! You have a talent for delving deep into any mystery that will be important for your future.

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