Thursday, June 9, 2011

Sandbagging and social media

Posted By on Thu, Jun 9, 2011 at 11:45 AM

Missoula County and the mayor's office have been working overtime to keep residents aware of rising local rivers and how to help, but social media is also playing a part.

The Sandbagging on Tower Facebook page started calling for volunteers yesterday, and is looking for more help through 11 tonight. Reading through the comments shows that locals are responding — 32 have already marked they are "attending" the effort.

You can also visit the neighborbood's Facebook page to see a photo gallery of the flooding.

The Missoula County Sheriff's Office issued an evacuation warning for residents in "significantly affected areas." Those residents are urged to find alternate housing accommodations before conditions get worse. The High Water Public Information Line, 258-4636, can provide residents with guidelines to follow when evacuating their homes. From the release:

Currently, the Clark Fork River is expected to level off tomorrow. The river is projected to crest at 12.6 feet within 24 to 36 hours. The Bitterroot River is cresting currently. Both rivers will remain running very high for the foreseeable future.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Your future, a little early

Posted By on Wed, Jun 8, 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): You have a poetic license, as well as astrological permission, to be extra cute in the coming week. I mean you have a divine mandate to exceed the usual levels of being adorable and charming and delectable. Here’s the potential problem with that, though: Trying to be cute doesn’t usually result in becoming cuter; often it leads to being smarmy and pretentious. So how can you take advantage of the cosmic imperative to be wildly, extravagantly, sublimely cute—without getting all self-conscious about it? That’s your riddle of the week.

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Local outfielder drafted by Diamondbacks

Posted By on Tue, Jun 7, 2011 at 2:00 PM

Sentinel High and Missoula Maverick outfielder Ben Roberts was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the seventh round of the Major League Baseball amateur draft today. The D-backs, of course, are affiliated with our own Missoula Osprey, and discovered Roberts through a local tryout.

Roberts had been projected as a possible third-round pick, and is committed to play baseball at Washington State University. If he signs with Arizona instead, one would assume he'd be assigned to start his career with the hometown Osprey.

Baseball America notes that Roberts has been hindered by playing baseball (or, not playing, as the case may be) in Montana, but says he has the potential to be a complete center fielder. "He is still somewhat raw offensively and prone to the strikeout, but the tools are there for Roberts to succeed," the magazine says of the 6-4, 205 pounder.

“Physically, he’s got all the tools your looking for," Mavs manager Brent Hathaway tells Baseball America. "He’s got great size, great speed, good pop in his bat from the left side and more than an adequate arm. Baseball is a hard game, Benny’s still learning how to play it and he’s going to have to adjust to the college level. But he’s got the tools to do something special.”

National magazine tweaks Rehberg

Posted By on Tue, Jun 7, 2011 at 10:00 AM

U.S. News & World Report picked up on Denny Rehberg's recent "hard science" amendment. File this under another proud moment for the state on the national stage.

Rehberg and fellow House Republicans proposed the amendment to, in theory, keep government out of our daily lives. In practice, the amendment would require the Food and Drug Administration to quit using "soft science" when regulating controversial stuff like nutritional school lunches and kids smoking menthol cigarettes.

The U.S. News & World Report column by Democratic strategist Anson Kaye focuses on Rehberg's "gibberish" defense of the amendment. The Washington Post quoted Rehberg defining “hard science” as “perceived as being more scientific, rigorous and accurate” than behavioral and social sciences.

“I hate to try and define the difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist, between a sociologist and a geologist, but there is clearly a difference,” he told the House Appropriations committee.

Kaye couldn't let that go.

I mean, really. What is the difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist? I sure don’t know, and I’m equally sure there’s no way to find out.

And the difference between a sociologist and a geologist? That’s bedeviled great thinkers since the antiquity. (I think a sociologist is some kind of flying saucer and a geologist may have to do with socks, but that’s just a guess, and I blurted it out because I’m panicked.)

Kaye goes on (and on) with plenty of sarcasm. The message was pretty pointed to our Montucky congressman:

What Rehberg was saying was: Hey everybody, slow it down. We can’t go on making rules like this when we don’t understand the basics. Wheat bread vs. white bread? Green pepper v. Dr. Pepper? Kids should smoke or they shouldn’t? Who knows? The science just isn’t there yet.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Extra, extra: In Other News, online

Posted By on Mon, Jun 6, 2011 at 9:00 AM

In this week's installment: Increasing numbers of Arizona residents are painting their lawns green to avoid high water bills and fines from homeowners associations that can amount to thousands of dollars.

Curses, Foiled Again
A surveillance video showed the man who stole two 24-packs of beer from a convenience store in Lake Wales, Fla., making his getaway. Before he made it to his car, however, his sagging jeans dropped, causing him to fall to the ground and sending cans of beer rolling in every direction. He got up and jumped into the vehicle and drove off empty-handed. (Lakeland’s The Ledger)

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Saturday, June 4, 2011

Happiest Hour: Silver Dollar Bar

Posted By on Sat, Jun 4, 2011 at 8:26 PM

Why you’re here: Because you’re walking home from the farmers’ market on Saturday, and while it’s just past noon, your first vitamin D buzz in months compels you to step in for a celebratory beer.


Claim to fame: Bartender Matt Tschnider says the Silver Dollar has been owned by the same family since 1935. That was just two years after the end of prohibition, a barfly notes.

What you’re drinking: Tschider, wearing a PBR shirt, says PBR tall boys stand out as the most popular beverage. They’re $1.50 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. As for shots, it’s Fireball whiskey and Rumple Minze. “I already poured two of those today,” Tschider says of Rumple Minze, looking at his watch.

Who you’re drinking with: A person you recognize and reacquaint with. He’s drinking Rolling Rock in a can, and talks about the Silver Dollar’s nicknames. He calls it “The Buck.” Young patrons, he laments, call it “The Dirty Dollar.” “I’m offended,” he says.

Atmosphere: There are four flat-screens, three pool tables, and video poker machines. And air conditioning, as your friend notes on the first hot day of the year.

How to find it: Follow the brick road to 307 Railroad Street West, near Woody Street.

Happiest Hour celebrates western Montana watering holes. To recommend a bar, bartender or beverage for Happiest Hour, e-mail

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Your future, a little early

Posted By on Wed, Jun 1, 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): The film The Men Who Stare at Goats tells the story of the U.S. army’s efforts to harness psychic powers for military purposes. It’s not entirely a work of the imagination. In fact, there’s substantial evidence that such a program actually existed. As the movie begins, a caption on the screen informs viewers that “More of this is true than you would believe.” I suspect there’ll be a comparable situation unfolding in your life in the coming weeks, Aries. As you experience a rather unusual departure from your regularly scheduled reality, fact and fiction may be deeply intertwined. Will you be able to tell them apart?

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