Thursday, October 1, 2009

Reining in reckless bicyclists

Posted By on Thu, Oct 1, 2009 at 4:15 AM

After successfully getting the city to address aggressive panhandlers, downtown business owners have now set their sites on reining in reckless cyclists.

“Bikes should not be ridden on sidewalks in the urban setting,” says Rod Austin, operations director for the Downtown Business Improvement District. “That’s just another reason for people to not come downtown.”

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Interference ordinance heads to council

Posted By on Thu, Oct 1, 2009 at 4:14 AM

Downtown business owners, police and Missoula City Council members hashed out last-minute changes to the contentious pedestrian interference ordinance Wednesday during the city’s Public Health and Safety Committee meeting.

The council aims to make downtown safer and more shopper-friendly by curbing unsavory behavior like sleeping and lying on sidewalks. The code would, if approved by the full council Monday night, dovetail with a recently passed ban against aggressive panhandling.

And so, on Wednesday, committee members tweaked the ordinance, aiming to keep downtown healthy, while not criminalizing poor people.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

City okays Clark Fork Terrace

Posted By on Tue, Sep 29, 2009 at 7:30 PM

After extended wrangling, the Missoula City Council Monday night unanimously approved the 38-lot Clark Fork Terrace subdivision south of Interstate 90 near the Canyon River Golf Course. The move secures a 300-foot riverfront easement, which, if the city gets its way, will become part of a public trail system that connects an extended Kim Williams Trail with the Clark Fork River.

The development approved Monday night, dubbed “Clark Fork Terrace one,” is part of a larger project planned by Bob Brugh’s firm, Neighborhood by Design. The firm also aims to build 33 additional homes on 47.38 adjacent acres.

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Remember, we loved it first...

Posted By on Tue, Sep 29, 2009 at 11:15 AM

First an ice cream flavor, now a national award? Cold Smoke's on a roll, folks. Missoula's fav flav sloshed away from this weekend's 28th annual Great American Beer Festival in Denver with a bronze medal in Scotch Ales. The Kettlehouse was fast to the bragging rights, setting off the tap list on Myrtle Street with stars and block "bronze winner" letters on Monday afternoon.

Cold Smoke beat out 26 of its 28 opponents in the Scotch Ales category. Not exactly the Michael Phelps of brewskies, but the medal gives you just one more reason to try out that funky Cold Smoke milkshake. Railbender Ale from Erie, Penn., took the gold in Scotch Ales while Kilt Lifter from Tempe, Ariz., claimed silver.

One Montana beer did walk away with a gold medal: Stillwater Rye from the Montana Brewing Co. in Billings. The three-day festival hosted 3,308 brews in all.

Monday, September 28, 2009

UM student's DREAM scenario

Posted By on Mon, Sep 28, 2009 at 3:00 PM

Former Indy staffer and current Great Falls Trib scribe John S. Adams sneaked into our neck of the woods to file a profile of UM student Carlos Rivera. The biz major is about to be deported, maybe, despite having lived in the U.S. since he was 6 (his mom arrived, with him, illegally from Mexico). His best shot at staying and completing his degree: the DREAM Act currently in front of Congress.

More on this — including reaction to some strong online comments — at the Lowdown, as well.

Higher, faster, spendier

Posted By on Mon, Sep 28, 2009 at 1:25 PM

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President Obama announced today that he'll jet over to Denmark to pimp Chicago's effort to win the 2016 Summer Olympics. Is it too late to stop him?

The Boston Phoenix points out, quite convincingly, that "there are billions of reasons why every debt-saddled American should hope that the U.S. does not get the gold in 2016."

Friday, September 25, 2009

Fun with press releases

Posted By on Fri, Sep 25, 2009 at 4:30 PM

It's not uncommon for our newsroom to get slammed with never-gonna-be-a-story, puzzlingly inappropriate or just plain bizarre press releases. It's part of the job at every paper to sort through these things, and, rest assured, we're alwaysmostly polite and thankful for receiving such thoughtful, albeit strange, heads ups.

This week, however, three releases caught our attention for the wrong reasons.

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We heart charts, part two

Posted By on Fri, Sep 25, 2009 at 4:00 PM

And now for something completely different ...

We were recently turned on to Information is Beautiful, David McCandless' blog about "ideas, issues, knowledge, data -- visualized!" I'm not a big fan of exclamation points, but McCandless deserves his.

Sample topics on the site: time travel, swine flu, troops in Afghanistan (especially telling), media scare stories and surface area required to power the world via solar farms. An informative and consuming time-waster, for sure.

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Week in Review: Transgender, Talkdemonic and road signs

Posted By on Fri, Sep 25, 2009 at 1:30 PM

This week we're leading with the most interesting stuff from the world of alt weeklies.

The Santa Barbara Independent tackles the tricky topic of 9/11 truth seekers and what really brought down the Twin Towers. Why did Santa Barbara jump into this? A local professor is the leader of a group that believes explosives — not just terrorist-piloted planes — caused the buildings' collapse. The comments here are just as interesting as the story.

The Colorado Independent provides an intimate look at the struggles of the transgender community despite a new state law that protects from discrimination based on sexual orientation.

You know and love The Stranger for Dan Savage, great arts coverage and its sense of humor (tagline: "Seattle's Only Newspaper"), but the rag's news reporting often gets overlooked. Just read this week's investigative feature on the mind of an alleged murderer for an example of the paper's quality hard news work.

Now, in our neck of the woods:

Electric City and 2 Helena Handbaskets think Rehberg challenger Dennis McDonald is "silly" for feigning moral indignation over Denny's decision to get into a motorboat with an allegedly impaired captain.

Speaking of Rehberg, he's mounting a fight against the most evil waste of taxpayer money ever in the history of humankind: road signs. Specifically, road signs that tout the use of stimulus money to improve roadways. May this horrendous injustice come to a stop really quickly. Like, quicker than the month-long (and still ongoing) investigation into Rehberg's boat crash.

NewWest examines an odd add in the daily.

From hot air to dead air for controversial radio host John Stokes up north.

Missoula writer (and Indy contributor) Jeremy N. Smith interviews UM alum and novelist Andrew Sean Greer in the latest High Country News. (Note: subscription needed for full interview, but get one. It's worth it.)

Also at High Country (and free) is a great commentary on the sad state of the Butte Pacific pasture along the Clark Fork River written by Bryce Andrews of the Clark Fork Coalition.

Lastly, we highly recommend checking out tonight's KBGA Birthday Bash at the Badlander and Palace. Aside from what's sure to be a celebratory Volumen CD release party, we find Talkdemonic — drummer, violist, laptop — to be among the best bands in the northwest. Whoa, are we prepared to go that far? Among the best? Really? Sure. We can at least make a strong case, and believe the band will back us up this evening.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Tester town halls

Posted By on Thu, Sep 24, 2009 at 1:50 PM

Sen. Jon Tester's office announced two upcoming town hall meeting on his Forest Jobs and Recreation Act.

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The details:

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