Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Fallout from the "Three Cups of Tea" expose

Posted By on Tue, Apr 19, 2011 at 12:27 PM

If you happened to miss the "60 Minutes" story on Bozeman philanthropist and best-selling author Greg Mortenson, you can watch the entire segment below. What's happened since it aired has been a pretty interesting study in damage control.

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Monday, April 18, 2011

You have a few more hours to finish your taxes

Posted By on Mon, Apr 18, 2011 at 9:30 AM

In honor of tax day, we'd like to point you in the direction of a recent story about tax myths by former New York Times reporter David Cay Johnson. The article was commissioned by the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies and ran in some publications last week. Whether you're scrambling to file your returns today, or you've already spent your refund, Johnson has some information that may interest you.

A sample:

4: Many of the very richest pay no current income taxes at all.

John Paulson, the most successful hedge fund manager of all, bet against the mortgage market one year and then bet with Glenn Beck in the gold market the next. Paulson made himself $9 billion in fees in just two years. His current tax bill on that $9 billion? Zero...

You can read the whole story here.

Extra, extra: In Other News, online

Posted By on Mon, Apr 18, 2011 at 9:00 AM

In this week's installment: Montana's "equal opportunity maulers," a botched murder-suicide, and a woman impales herself with a toilet paper holder.


Curses, Foiled Again
Facing five years in prison for forging drug prescriptions, Michelle Elaine Astumian, 41, appeared for sentencing in San Luis Obispo County, Calif., with a doctor’s note requesting a postponement. Prosecutor Dave Pomeroy called the doctor, who declared the note was a forgery. (Associated Press)

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Remembering Walter Breuning

Posted By on Thu, Apr 14, 2011 at 8:40 PM

Walter Breuning, the world's oldest man, died Thursday in Great Falls. He was 114. We posted a video of Breuning talking about his amazing life after his last birthday, in September, and it seems appropriate to re-post his words of wisdom now.

Best of Missoula polls open

Posted By on Thu, Apr 14, 2011 at 8:10 AM

It's that time again, Indy readers. Today's issue includes the official 2011 Best of Missoula ballot, the starting point to the paper's annual celebration of everything and everyone that makes Missoula what it is.

Here's what you need to know:

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You can vote with a paper ballot by picking up this week's print edition, filling out a ballot and dropping it off in a ballot box. Or you can vote online, where there are tons of special online-only categories.

This year's contest includes a few first-time categories (Best Bar Food, Best Missoula Character, Best Green/Eco-Friendly Business), as well as the usual suspects (Best Restaurant, Best Local Band, Best Category We Forgot). All we ask is that you fill out at least 30 categories, and don't fill out more than one ballot.

If you have problems with the online balloting, don't fret. Let us know and we'll help.

Lastly, mark your calendars now for the annual Best of Missoula party on Thursday, July 7, at Caras Park. There will be music, food and drinks, and that's when the winners will be announced.

That's it. Now, get out and vote.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Your future, a little early

Posted By on Wed, Apr 13, 2011 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): In her blog, Jane at janebook.tumblr.com answers questions from readers. A recent query went like this: “Who would win in a steel cage match, Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny?” Jane said, “Easter Bunny, no question; he has those big-ass teeth.” But I’m not so sure. My sources say that Santa has more raw wizardry at his disposal than the Bunny. His magical prowess would most likely neutralize the Bunny’s superior physical assets. Likewise, Aries, I’m guessing you will have a similar edge in upcoming steel cage matches—or any other competitions in which you’re involved. These days you’ve simply got too much mojo to be defeated.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Advocate lists Rep. Bennett among its top 40 under 40

Posted By on Tue, Apr 12, 2011 at 12:45 PM

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The Advocate rolled out the first part of its "Forty Under 40" feature article today, and Missoula Rep. Bryce Bennett, the first openly gay man elected to the Montana Legislature, made the list.

No stranger to the front lines, the 26-year-old Democrat previously worked for Forward Montana as a field organizer to pass the state’s first LGBT nondiscrimination ordinance in Missoula last year. “We are told over and over by society that we shouldn’t be proud of who we are and that we shouldn’t rock the boat,” he says. “Being openly gay lets me be out front to make waves.”

The Advocate, which started in 1967, describes itself as America's leading gay news and entertainment magazine. The current cover story highlights young "entrepreneurs, activists, politicians, artists, and athletes [who] are much more than ahead of the curve, they're out, proud, and changing the world."

Bennett was elected last November in a tight District 92 race against Republican Don Harbaugh. Since arriving in Helena, he's been one of the easiest legislators to follow thanks to his prolific use of Twitter. In fact, we learned about his mention in The Advocate through his Twitter feed.

Bennett isn't the first local politician, of course, to make a national magazine's list of under-40 rising stars. Time included Rep. Ellie Boldman Hill on its list of political up-and-comers last year.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Crowbar crusader Kathleen Folden tells her story

Posted By on Mon, Apr 11, 2011 at 4:48 PM

Remember Kathleen Folden, the Kalispell trucker who drove to a Colorado gallery last fall and took a crowbar to a controversial sexual depiction of Jesus? Well, as the Daily Inter Lake reports, she recently launched a website, www.givegodlove.com, to tell her version of the events that led to her arrest. (Actually, the website isn't about her arrest as much as it's about the Antichrist and end times.)

Anyway, the site includes this 10-page account of the incident (PDF). Here's a snippet:

...upon hearing about Jesus in a dress, having breasts, and being serviced by a man with a big, ugly, red tongue, I was utterly calm and steadfast.

That doesn’t mean I was unafraid. My knees were unsteady and I asked God if I was indeed the right person for the job. Was he sure there wasn’t someone who had a recent prison conversion who better knew the ins and outs of serving time and committing crimes? I didn’t really even understand about bail, etc.

Those doubts were fleeting. If I could be a trucker in New York, I could and would do this. I put on the “Tougher Than Nails” T-shirt to draw strength from Jesus and to help feel His nearness.

I wasn’t sure about whether or not to take the crow bar inside. I thought about hiding it in the bushes outside. Fortunately, it fit perfectly inside my doubled over fleece jacket

Extra, extra: In Other News, online

Posted By on Mon, Apr 11, 2011 at 9:00 AM

In this week's installment: smoking out squirrels, the cost of avoiding checked-baggage fees, and when cremation isn't enough.

Curses, Foiled Again
After Daniel Rahynes, 35, told tellers at a bank in Harrisburg, Pa., that he wanted to open an account, he gave the bank his information, then announced he was there to rob the bank. Police said he drove away with a small amount of cash but left behind the two forms of identification he showed to open the account. He was arrested after he crashed his car during his getaway. (Associated Press)

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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The deal with the duck pond's dead fish

Posted By on Wed, Apr 6, 2011 at 3:15 PM

After tests conducted by FWP, it's been concluded that the 50 100 or so dead fish that filled the duck pond on the city's south side were domestic goldfish.

A pretty big, very dead domestic goldfish
  • A pretty big, very dead domestic goldfish
A cause of death hasn't been determined.

We first reported on the gross scene last week after hearing a report from a concerned neighbor. Morgan Valliant, the city's conservation lands manager, said officials didn't know what caused the kill, nor what kind of fish they were.

Valliant says the FWP's tests confirm the fish are goldfish — albeit really big ones. "They grow to the size of their tank," he explains. There are two theories on what killed them: Either a population of the fish lived there for a long time and died due to the harsh winter weather, or someone dumped mature goldfish into the pond and they didn't survive. Either way, goldfish aren't an invasive species, so there's no cause for alarm.

"The main thing to learn is that if it had been invasive, we would have had a large environmental issue to deal with," Valliant says.

Residents wondering whether they'll see actual ducks rather than dead fish at the pond can rest easy, as well. Valliant says wildlife have taken care of most of the fish and the pond is mostly clear.

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