Friday, August 26, 2011

The Rockies Today, Aug. 26

Posted By on Fri, Aug 26, 2011 at 10:35 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Headwaters News.

Federal appeals court declines to put Idaho, Montana wolf hunts on hold
A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit denied the request of environmental groups to suspend planned wolf hunts in Idaho and Montana while a lawsuit over the removal of endangered species protection of wolves by Congress makes its way through the courts.
Idaho Statesman (AP); Aug. 26

At meeting on wolf plan, Wyoming legislator expresses concerns
At a meeting on the proposed wolf plan hosted by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department Wednesday in Jackson, state Rep. Keith Gingery said he was concerned about one aspect of the plan, which classifies wolves as predators in much of the state, including southern Teton County for much of the year, and under state law, stockmen can kill predators on others' property, an aspect of the plan that Gingery said could impinge on private property rights.
Jackson Hole Daily; Aug. 26

TransCanada poised to begin Keystone XL pipeline work
In anticipation of what has been said will be a favorable environmental assessment of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline project from the U.S. State Department, TransCanada has begun lining up contractors, negotiating rights-of-way and buying components for the pipeline that will carry Alberta crude from the province's oilsands operations to U.S. refineries.
Toronto Globe and Mail; Aug. 26

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Happiest Hour: The Badlander DJ nights

Posted By on Fri, Aug 26, 2011 at 10:32 AM

It's the weekend, and as the smoke clears and then reappears, we're looking for indoor places to free our minds. What does that mean? It's dance party time, and this week we look at the various ways The Badlander bar lets us cut loose on the dance floor.

Why they're pros: In the mid-1990s, The Badlander used to be a house over in the lower Rattlesnake where some of the first electronic-based dance parties were held, to the chagrin of the neighbors. Now those kids who threw rambunctious parties have a legit place to bring in DJ talent.


Take your pick: You can find a dance party at The Badlander at least three times a week. Prehab Thursday nights is the newest addition, which kicks out hip hop and electronic music from popular DJs Kris Moon, James Two and Vyces. Every few Fridays or so, you might get lucky enough to hit Fishbowl Friday, where you’ll witness the Ebola/BassFace Crew throw down house and dubstep. And on Saturday, Monty Carlo and other DJs rock the house with a pretty eclectic collection of popular dance music.

Atmosphere: If you show up on Thursday Prehab dance party night expect to feel like you just stepped inside a trippy disco ball. The walls and floor are covered in a myriad of revolving lights. Small television screens offer a mishmash of “Sesame Street” episodes, vibrant underwater ocean scenes, and retro aerobic exercise classes. Discombobulated images flash across the whole west side of the wall as dance music pulses through the air.

Happy hour: You pay $2 to get into the party night on Thursdays, but for that small fee you can enjoy $1 well drinks and $1 Pabsts from 9 PM to midnight. Fishbowl Friday doesn’t happen every week, but when it does—watch out. Fishbowls are dangerously delicious potions, at a cost of $5. Saturdays offer 2 for 1 Absolut vodka drinks from 9 to 11 PM.

What you’re drinking: When dancers aren’t indulging in happiest hour specials, they’re diving into the Red Bull for a little energy boost. One favorite: mandarin orange infused vodka with Red Bull. It’s called the Patrick Swayze or Roadhouse. Natch.

Where to find it: The Badlander is at 208 Ryman at the corner of Higgins, across from Red’s and The Bodega.

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

The "other" Koch brother

Posted By on Fri, Aug 26, 2011 at 9:30 AM

A lot has been written recently about billionaire conservatives David and Charles Koch, and especially their "Running on Empty Tour." Jessica Mayrer wrote about the tour's Missoula stop in this week's paper, and Montana bloggers have been hitting the Koch pinata on a regular basis.

But what do you know about Bill Koch?

The Broward/Palm Beach New Times alt weekly (and a few other New Times papers) ran a cover story this week about Bill that reveals how the "black sheep of the family" operates. He's definitely conservative, a little strange (he has a $2 million photo of Billy the Kid), and not a friend to environmentalists, but he's also much different than his brothers.

Now that Charles and David are alternately reviled and admired for their Tea Party ties, "Wild Bill" Koch has been cast in a peculiar new role: the good brother. He donates tens of thousands of dollars to mainstream Republican candidates such as John McCain and Mitt Romney but doesn't publicize his opposition to President Barack Obama. Rather than funding Tea Party groups, he gives money to impoverished kids in Palm Beach County and to hospitals and schools in Colorado, where he has another home. In September, he will open a private high school, Oxbridge Academy, in West Palm Beach. "Bill Koch isn't Charles Koch, and he isn't David Koch," says his spokesman, Brad Goldstein. "He's not his brother's keeper."

The article, titled "Out of the Shadows," is worth a full read.

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Podcast: Montana's Energy Future

Posted By on Thu, Aug 25, 2011 at 11:00 AM

"We have so dang much coal, that it is almost a renewable resource ...," says Gov. Brian Schweitzer in this three-part podcast from Ceres. He admits he'll be criticized for saying that, but "do a little math for god's sake," and you'll understand, he says.

Ceres, a Boston-based nonprofit that "leads a national coalition of investors, environmental organizations and other public interest groups working with companies to address sustainability challenges," interviews Schweitzer, former US Forest Service Supervisor and environmental activist Gloria Flora and Western Representative for the American Wind Energy Association Tom Darin, about the future of low carbon and high carbon energy developments in Montana.

The first segment featuring Schweitzer is up now. It's about 15 minutes long.

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The Rockies Today, Aug. 25

Posted By on Thu, Aug 25, 2011 at 10:20 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Headwaters News.

Sources: State Department to find Keystone XL impact 'limited'
Sources briefed on the U.S. State Department's review of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which will carry crude from Alberta's oilsands operations south to refineries in the United States, could be released as early as Friday, and said that the review found the pipeline's impact would be "limited," clearing a major hurdle in the process.
Washington Post; Aug. 25

Alberta auction of non-oilsands drilling rights breaks record
Alberta Energy reported Wednesday that the latest sale of non-oilsands drilling rights raised $463 million, putting the total for the year at $2.68 billion, a new record.
Edmonton Journal; Aug. 25

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Missoula lost driveway issue, animated

Posted By on Thu, Aug 25, 2011 at 10:00 AM

Few things are better time-wasters than awkwardly animated videos of real-life Missoula events. First there was the Taiwanese animation of a local area bear attack. As some noted, it depicts the largest black bear ever.

Now, someone named "HipDeepinBullshit", who doesn't appear to be a big fan of the city, has uploaded an XtraNormal cartoon about the city eliminating neighborhood driveways. Keila Szpaller covered the issue last week, and Public Works said it would correct its mistake. But "HipDeep" says the video below will stay up until his/her driveway is replaced.

(Not familiar with XtraNormal? Anyone can make videos, like this popular one about journalism, in minutes.)

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Headwaters News: The Rockies Today, Aug. 24

Posted By on Wed, Aug 24, 2011 at 10:35 AM

U of Alberta study seeks to harness microbes to turn coal into gas.

Alberta has some of the world's largest reserves of coal, but only about 5 percent of its coalbed methane can be tapped using current technology, and researchers at the University of Alberta are participating in a national, three-year study of anaerobic bacteria that live in coal seams, and how to facilitate the growth and production of that bacteria to produce natural gas from the coal.
Edmonton Journal; Aug. 24

Relationship between mining companies, environmental groups evolves in Idaho
Since 1970, when Cecil Andrus' opposition to a molybdenum mine in the White Clouds Mountains led to his election as governor, the relationship between mining companies and the environmental community, including the Idaho Conservation League, has improved, yet there is one issue on which no compromise appears forthcoming—mining in the Boise River watershed is still met with fierce opposition.
Idaho Statesman; Aug. 24

Salazar vacations in Wyoming, sounds off on land, water fund
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who is vacationing in Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks with his family, called on Congress to fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which he said has been plundered to the tune of nearly $20 billion over past decades, defended Wyoming's deal with the federal government on wolf management, and touted the impact national parks have on states' economies.
Jackson Hole News & Guide; Aug. 24

Montana wildlife biologist: Wolves killed this week were pups
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks wolf biologist Liz Bradley said she was certain that the two wolves killed this week were the 4-month-old pups of the wolf the Bitterroot rancher killed five weeks ago as it ate a lamb.
Ravalli Republic; Aug. 24

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Your future, a little early

Posted By on Wed, Aug 24, 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): I predict that in the coming weeks, you will be able to extract an unexpected perk or benefit from one of your less glamorous responsibilities. I also predict that you will decide not to ram headfirst into an obstacle and try to batter it until it crumbles. Instead, you’ll dream up a roundabout approach that will turn out to be more effective at eliminating the obstacle. Finally, I predict that these departures from habit will show you precious secrets about how to escape more of your own negative conditioning in the future.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

We're #18

Posted By on Tue, Aug 23, 2011 at 5:30 PM

Gawker Media has been counting down the worst states in America, and I was sure the New York cool kids were going to bash Montucky as some sort of backwoods crazytown. You know, a smattering of the cheap Unabomber jokes, mountain-man cliches and bear attack references that scare away just enough Californians to keep the state as wild as it is, but that make locals wish for a bit more respect.

Well, we got ranked 18. That's worse than Wyoming, North Dakota and Idaho, but not, you know, in the bottom 10. Missoula earned some nice words, yet the Unabomber jokes, mountain-man cliches and bear attack references still crept in.

Here's the full write-up:

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Montana women, including Margot Kidder, arrested in Keystone XL protest

Posted By on Tue, Aug 23, 2011 at 4:45 PM


A group holding a sign that read, "Montana Women for an Oil Free Future," were among those arrested outside the White House this morning in the ongoing protests against the Keystone XL pipeline. The group included Margot Kidder who is active in the Montana Democratic party and best known for her role as Lois Lane in the Superman movies. Fellow actor Tantoo Cardinal (Legends of the Fall, Dances with Wolves, Smoke Signals) was also arrested. Kidder is wearing black and holding the sign in the above picture; Cardinal is on Kidder's right.

TransCanada’s permit for the Keystone XL pipeline calls for it to run from Canada, through Montana, and all the way to Texas.

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