Monday, November 28, 2011

The Rockies Today, Nov. 28

Posted By on Mon, Nov 28, 2011 at 8:59 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Headwaters News.

Watersheds in Montana national forest worst in four-state region
Region 1 of the U.S. Forest Service covers forests and grasslands in Montana and portions of Idaho and the Dakotas, and the watersheds contained within the Helena National Forest are in the worst shape in that region of the U.S. Forest Service.
Helena Independent Record; Nov. 28

Montana DEQ quantifies problems with Little Blackfoot River watershed<
The Montana Department of Environmental Quality released its report on the state of the Little Blackfoot River watershed and what can be done to improve water quality in that watershed.
Helena Independent Record; Nov. 25

EPA, W.R. Grace in talks about waterborne asbestos in Montana river
Asbestos is being washed from the W.R. Grace vermiculite mine near Libby into streams and creeks and, ultimately, the Kootenai River in Montana, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials and W.R. Grace representatives have been working on a remediation plan for the mine that includes a plan for Rainy Creek, the stream that contains the highest level of asbestos.
Ravalli Republic (AP); Nov. 28

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Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving leftover links

Posted By on Fri, Nov 25, 2011 at 11:30 AM

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That headline isn't meant to imply these stories aren't pressing, only that they didn't result in a stand-alone blog post this week for one reason or another. For instance, that image above of the UC Davis meme reaching Montana didn't reach our inbox in a timely fashion because of technical difficulties. (The Indy's entire computer system was down Monday, making it one heck of a deadline week for the print crew.) Other items were covered by other people, or came in late, or ... really, we just wanted to headline a holiday blog post like this.

Anyway, here we go.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Neil Livingstone wanted $10 million to help get Qaddafi out of Libya, according to The New York Times. Intelligent Discontent and MT Cowgirl picked up on the news right away, noting that Livingstone's campaign has been struggling for a few months.

Missoula's own Linsey Corbin finished second in the 2011 Ironman Arizona, and, despite running 26.2 miles, swimming 2.4 miles, and biking 112 miles, she was able to conduct this cheery post-race interview. The race marked the end of her season.

The Missoulian has a new blog by Gwen Florio called "Book Buzz." Any opportunity to read more Florio is a good thing, and there's certainly plenty to cover. Example: Kate Davis at Raptors of the Rockies took home a National Outdoor Book Award.

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Former Missoulian Jim Messina isn't just in charge of President Obama's re-election campaign, he's also responsible for planning one heck of a basketball game. With the NBA currently locked out in a labor dispute, multiple NBA stars are playing in "The Obama Classic" to raise money for the campaign.

The New York Times is now covering the Jesus statue bruehaha, so it must be super important. Or at least more important than every member of the Montana delegation writing to ESPN about its football coverage.

Alas, Missoula's submission to HUMP! did not win an award at the amateur porn film festival. There's always next year.

While we're at it, are you following the Indy on Twitter? Find the paper @Missoula_Indy or me @sbmontana.

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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Posted By on Thu, Nov 24, 2011 at 8:45 AM

Did you know a magazine editor is partly responsible for making today a holiday? Learn more in the video below, and enjoy your holiday. Oh, and don't forget carousel rides are free all day today.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Barry Beach granted new trial

Posted By on Wed, Nov 23, 2011 at 11:05 AM

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Barry Beach has spent 28 years in jail for a crime he says he did not commit. Yesterday, District Judge Wayne Phillips of Lewistown ordered a new trial in Beach's 1985 murder conviction for the 1979 death of Poplar teen Kim Nees.

In light of this news, we're re-posting Jessie McQuillan's award-winning 2006 feature story about Beach's legal battle. After McQuillan's story was published, Beach's conviction received national attention, including a 2008 special on "Dateline NBC." McQuillan is now executive director of the Montana Innocence Project.

Here's how the article, titled "The Wrong Man?", begins:

Barry Beach can’t shake the memory of his first long walk up the steps of the Glasgow courthouse, where a jury would eventually convict him of the brutal murder of Kim Nees, his high-school classmate. As he passed through the courthouse doors that spring day in 1984, he came face to face with a class of waist-high children who stood, along with their teacher escort, and stared.

“That’s something I’ll never forget as long as I live,” Barry says now, his voice shaking, in an interview at the Montana State Prison in Deer Lodge. “The teacher didn’t even know me. I hadn’t been convicted, hadn’t even been in the courtroom yet, and this teacher points me out to these little, tiny kids and says, ‘That’s what a murderer looks like.’”

Read the full feature here.

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The book reading that's really a beer tasting

Posted By on Wed, Nov 23, 2011 at 10:45 AM

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The new book by Shmaltz Brewing Co. founder Jeremy Cowan includes a chapter titled, "Pomegranates and Cocksuckers." If ever there was an example that Cowan, his brewery—which brews such delicious items as He'Brew Beer—and his new book, Craft Beer Bar Mitzvah, were a little different, that's it.

Want another example? Cowan will appear at Fact & Fiction tonight for a book reading and beer tasting, making him one of the few authors to ever combine the words bar mitzvah, beer and book reading at a Missoula event.

The book itself tells the story of Shmaltz Brewing's 13-year evolution from "inside joke into a thriving and award-winning craft brewing company." His publisher goes on to describe it:

Divulged are the small-business challenges and marketing strategies that helped Cowan go from hand-squeezing pomegranates and delivering beer in his grandmother’s Volvo to producing two of the most respected and unique craft beer brands in America: He'brew the Chosen Beer and Coney Island Craft Lagers. Included alongside the sage advice for entrepreneurs and the humorous personal anecdotes are suggested beer pairings for each chapter, a hangover rating system, and 16 pages of full-color photograph collages.

That hangover rating system could come in handy this weekend. In the meantime, see Cowan at F&F downtown tonight at 5, and then mosey over to The Rhino for an after party with several Shmaltz beers on draft.

L'Chaim!

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The Rockies Today, Nov. 23

Posted By on Wed, Nov 23, 2011 at 10:20 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Headwaters News.

Editor's note: The Rockies Today will not be published Thursday and Friday. Happy Thanksgiving.

Chinese company wants to build electric buses in Idaho
Officials of Zonda USA, the authorized representative of the Zhongda Industrial Group, a China-based company that builds electric buses, said Idaho's proximity to Pacific ports and its business climate, as well as the fact that it is the only right-to-work state in the region, makes it a good location for a manufacturing facility.
Idaho Statesman; Nov. 23

Federal appeals court rules Yellowstone grizzlies need federal protection
A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision Tuesday that will keep grizzly bears in the Yellowstone ecosystem under federal protection.
Missoulian; Nov. 23

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Your future, a little early

Posted By on Wed, Nov 23, 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): “Basic research is what I am doing when I don’t know what I am doing,” said rocket scientist Werner von Braun. I think it’s an excellent time for you to plunge into that kind of basic research, Aries. You’re overdue to wander around frontiers you didn’t even realize you needed to investigate. You’re ready to soak up insights from outside the boundaries of your understanding. In fact, I think it’s your sacred duty to expose yourself to raw truths and unexpected vistas that have been beyond your imagination’s power to envision.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Jon Tester has trouble with his reading glasses

Posted By on Tue, Nov 22, 2011 at 2:30 PM

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That breaking news comes courtesy of The Hill. It's a little less newsworthy than the publication's weekend story on how the NRA may be the deciding factor in Tester's big Senate race against Denny Rehberg, but so be it. Here's what the "In the Know" column found:

C-SPAN cameras captured Tester’s black-rimmed eyewear becoming a victim of gravity time and time again — moving down his schnoz until they appeared as if they were about to fall off.

The Hill goes on to report that Tester may have trouble with his reading glasses, but his campaign does not struggle with spinning silly glasses stories into digs on Rehberg.

When ITK inquired about how Tester’s eyesight aid just wouldn’t stay put, his campaign manager, Preston Elliott, saw an opportunity to turn the focus on Tester’s GOP rival for his Senate seat in 2012, Rep. Denny Rehberg: “Jon’s reading glasses may slip every now and then, but that’s pretty minor compared to Congressman Dennis Rehberg, whose entire career slipped after he sued Montana firefighters.”

Oh, snap! No he didn't.

(This is going to be a long campaign.)

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Bison, birth control, and the latest brucellosis solution

Posted By on Tue, Nov 22, 2011 at 10:25 AM

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A new story in The Atlantic dives into the sticky issue of GonaCon, a contraceptive vaccine for wildlife. The USDA is considering using GonaCon on West Yellowstone bison in hopes that temporary sterilization can prevent the shedding of bacteria-riddled afterbirth and help block brucellosis transmission.

Originally developed by the USDA as a non-lethal form of pest control, GonaCon works by lowering the concentration of sex hormones in the bloodstream to weaken fertility and the urge to mate. The contraceptive was recently approved in Maryland and New Jersey for curbing the population of wild deer. Now researchers are hoping to use GonaCon to stop the spread of brucellosis, an infectious bacterial disease that causes pregnant ungulates to abort their calves.

Needless to say, the Buffalo Field Campaign isn't thrilled with the idea. They refer to the USDA study as "an experiment in population control" and wonder why wild bison remain the emphasis for brucellosis management.

Meanwhile, the USDA is conducting an environmental assessment to help determine whether the GonaCon study should move forward.

The assessment is scheduled to wrap up by early January, and the results will be made available for public comment. If approved, work could begin this spring—around the time a new generation of bison calves tests their wobbly legs.

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The Rockies Today, Nov. 22

Posted By on Tue, Nov 22, 2011 at 10:10 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Headwaters News.

Former USFS chief puts agroforestry back into practice in Montana
Agroforestry, which incorporates trees into agriculture, either by alternating crops with trees or growing crops under trees, is making a comeback, having been used extensively in the Dust Bowl era in the United States, and on a two-acre plot on a forested hill near Helena, Mont., Marc and Gloria Flora, the former supervisor for the United States Forest Service, are growing apple, pear, black walnut and other trees under towering fir and pine, and below the smaller trees, a wide range of shrubs, vines and medicinal plants.
New York Times; Nov. 22

U.N. report: Greenhouse gases at record levels
The United Nations weather agency's report released Monday said that levels of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide are soaring, and that since 1990, those greenhouses gases and other heat-trapping emissions have increased 29 percent.
Salt Lake Tribune (AP); Nov. 22

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