Thursday, May 31, 2012

Somebody stole Discovery's welcome sign, and Discovery would like it back

Posted By on Thu, May 31, 2012 at 9:20 PM

Not cool, broheims. Somebody stole Discovery Ski Area's Ram sign — you know, the big wooden one that signals you're mere moments from a lift. Naturally, they'd like it back. And they're being extremely chill about it.

Here's the very polite message posted on Disco's Facebook page earlier today:

Around the end of April, someone decided to steal the Discovery sign at the gate to the ski area road. This Ram's head was painted specifically for Discovery Ski Area and is very difficult to replace. Making it more disappointing, I can't help but feel that the culprit is someone who regularly skis at Discovery.

If this is just a result of some late night fun gone a little far, we would love to have the sign back and would gladly accept with no questions asked and no involvement from law enforcement. If you know who took it and see this, please ask them to return it as it has significantly more value to Discovery than the person who has taken it.

Thanks for any help!

Find the sign, folks. And if you do, contact Disco at 406-563-2184 or via its Facebook page.

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The Rockies Today, May 31

Posted By on Thu, May 31, 2012 at 10:25 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Montana governor says Corps' Fort Peck dam repair plan 'unrealistic'
The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers' estimate that it would take $225 million to repair and improve the Fort Peck Dam on the Missouri River in Montana was questioned by Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, who said Congress was unlikely to provide that kind of money.
Great Falls Tribune; May 31

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Darby dog to be euthanized today

Posted By on Wed, May 30, 2012 at 2:39 PM

Over the Memorial Day weekend, Rocky had his last romp through the woods. The young German shepherd ran around the Tin Cup area west of Darby with his owner, Greg Bergren, and Bergren's daughter and a couple of her friends. Rocky also played ball in the yard. And, as Rocky always does, he trailed everyone in the family—Bergren has four kids—around the house. "You can't even go in the bathroom without him following you in there," Bergren says. "He's a family member. That's the tough thing about this."

Rocky with Greg Bergrens son Tyler
  • Courtesy of Greg Bergren
  • Rocky with Greg Bergren's son Tyler

Darby City Court Judge Chee Burnsides recently ordered Rocky to be euthanized after the dog allegedly bit two people, including a 14-year-old boy, in March and April, bites that Bergren isn't certain Rocky is guilty of. But Bergren pled guilty anyway, thinking a death sentence wasn't a possibility. He wishes the judge had offered an option that would spare Rocky's life, he says, even if it meant Bergren couldn't keep him.

Bergren, who owns the People's Market grocery in Darby, has had Rocky, who's about 19 months old, since the dog was a pup. He's with Bergren "24-7," often in a kennel behind the People's Market. Bergren says Rocky's never aggressive toward the salesmen and vendors who come and go all day.

That's why Bergren was surprised when the Darby police accused Rocky of biting a boy in the boy's yard. Bergren says he was skiing that day in March when Rocky apparently escaped his chain-link kennel at home. Bergren was cited for having a vicious dog. He was cited again last month after an officer claimed Rocky had bitten another person, though Bergren insists that at the time of the incident, Rocky was home with Bergren's sons.

The Darby police officer involved wasn't available for comment. Judge Burnsides didn't return calls seeking comment.

Bergren delayed Rocky's euthanization until Burnsides's imposed deadline, May 23. That day, Bergren says he and the entire family drove Rocky to the Bitter Root Humane Association, in Hamilton, but it was closed. By missing the deadline, Bergren is risking arrest.

Bergren says he's scheduled to have Rocky euthanized at a Hamilton veterinary clinic later today. “I don’t want to but I don’t really have any options," he says.

Vicki Dawson of the Bitter Root Humane Association is suprised by Burnsides's order. "I've been here eight years, going on nine now, and it's extremely uncommon," she says, adding that euthanizing a dog is in some cases necessary, but that "a deep consideration needs to be made whether or not the animal is truly endangering the community."

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Jeff Ament helps build a skatepark

Posted By on Wed, May 30, 2012 at 10:45 AM

Jeff Ament is the subject of a cool new video that highlights the Missoula resident's passion for skateboarding and how he's hoping to promote the sport in underprivileged communities. Images of MOBASH and Ament's personal skatepark play prominently as the Big Sandy native describes what his deck meant to him while growing up in rural Montana — and still means to him as he pushes 50.

"I don't think there's anything like that thing of walking to the edge of a new bowl and looking at it and thinking, 'Oh my god, I can't believe they built this thing and they built it so good,'" he says. "You have that 14-year-old shake where you're so excited that your body can't contain itself. Skating still gives me that feeling. It takes me back to that 14-year-old kid who isn't jaded at all and is just full of wonder."

More importantly, the video shows how Ament helped build a new community skatepark on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Home to some of the highest poverty and teen suicide rates in the Western Hemisphere, the park represents a possible game-changer to the reservation's youth.

The video is part of an online series produced by Van's and titled "Pass the Bucket." It looks at "the humanitarian side of today's most celebrated action sport athletes, musicians, artists and foundations. A raw and transparent conversation of today's shocking realities and potential solutions."

Watch the full Ament episode here:

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The Rockies Today, May 30

Posted By on Wed, May 30, 2012 at 10:33 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Oil companies seek leave to do seismic testing along Montana Front
Montana has leased other state lands on the Rocky Mountain Front for energy development, but the 9,450 acres of state-managed school trust land in western Teton and Pondera counties that Alberta-based Primary Petroleum and Fairway Exploration of Texas want to do seismic testing on are the first such lands that actually abut the mountains.
Great Falls Tribune; May 30

Montana senators ask federal gov't to take brucellosis off security list
U.S. Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester have requested the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to remove brucellosis from the list of potential biological warfare agents, because the Montana senators said including the bacteria that occurs naturally in wildlife in and around Yellowstone National Park on such a list is ridiculous.
Great Falls Tribune (AP); May 30

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Your future, a little early

Posted By on Wed, May 30, 2012 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): “Let’s waltz the rumba,” said jazz musician Fats Waller, suggesting the seemingly impossible mix of two very different types of dancing. That’s an excellent clue for you to follow up on, Aries. I suspect that in the coming week you will have an unusual aptitude for hybridization. You could do folk dancing and hip-hop moves simultaneously. It will make sense for you to do the cha-cha as you disco and vice versa. You’ll have a knack for bringing the spirit of belly dance into the tango, and for breakdancing while you do the hokey-pokey.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Sneak peek: Montana Hutterites make TV debut tonight

Posted By on Tue, May 29, 2012 at 12:32 PM


The National Geographic Channel debuts an all-new series this evening that's sorta like "Keeping Up with the Kardashians," but the opposite.

"American Colony: Meet the Hutterites" follows the rituals and everyday living of a small religious colony in rural Montana. But instead of high-profile dalliances, tabloid follies and pimping luxury items like on the Kardashians, the Hutterites do stuff like kill a pig for the annual harvest party.

In fact, aside from that pig we're told the opening episode includes a major scandal at the harvest party. In the name of all that is holy, please don't let the scandal involve Kris Humphries.

"American Colony: Meet the Hutterites" debuts tonight at 8 (channel 165 if you're an Optimum customer). Watch a clip below, or visit National Geographic to see a slideshow of Hutterites by photographer William Allard, a part-time Missoula resident.

Continue reading »

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The Rockies Today, May 29

Posted By on Tue, May 29, 2012 at 11:20 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

National Bison Legacy Act introduced in the U.S. Senate
Senators from Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota and Rhode Island co-sponsored legislation introduced last week that would make the bison the national animal, giving wild bison some additional national recognition but no additional protections.
Flathead Beacon (AP); May 26

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Montanans summit Everest

Posted By on Tue, May 29, 2012 at 10:02 AM

So, what'd you do this weekend? Take a little trip? Complain about the cruddy weather? Bunker down and watch the Star Wars marathon on cable TV? While you were doing that, a crew of Montana State University researchers and famed mountaineer Conrad Anker, who lives in Bozeman, reached the highest point on Earth.

Emily Harrington atop Everest
  • North Face climber Emily Harrington atop Everest
National Geographic reports that an initial team of five climbers, including MSU alum Kris Erickson, reached the top of Mount Everest at approximately 8 a.m. Nepal time on Friday, May 25. The team was supported by geologists from Montana State University working to re-survey Everest as well as conduct an eight-week online science course for thousands of Montana high school students. The expedition was sponsored by National Geographic and The North Face.

Anker decided against climbing to the summit with the main team in order to lend support from camp during the descent, but the next day he decided to go out on his own. From NatGeo:

After the team had summited and safely arrived at lower elevations, Anker made a push for the summit himself. He summited without oxygen via the South Col at 10:10 a.m. on May 26 and is now reunited with the team at Camp 2. This marked Anker's third Everest summit, yet his first summit via the Southeast Ridge.

The expedition, which began March 15, continues to be documented online at On Everest: Dispatches from the roof of the world and via @natgeo on Instagram.

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Monday, May 28, 2012

Big tests for Baucus

Posted By on Mon, May 28, 2012 at 10:55 AM

Never mind that there's a historically expensive race for U.S. Senate between Jon Tester and Denny Rehberg, or that there's no clear consensus on who takes Rehberg's seat in the U.S. House — some folks want to focus on the challenges facing Montana's other leader in Washington, D.C.

Politico published Friday a story on Max Baucus that highlights "the biggest campaigns of his career." Specifically, he's gunning to re-write the Tax Code while also worrying about his reelection bid in 2014.

It’s all risky business for Baucus: He’s vulnerable back home in a state that has voted for a Democratic presidential candidate only once in the past 40 years. And a full-blown revision of the Tax Code is a once-in-a-generation undertaking certain to spark an all-out lobbying war on Capitol Hill and at the White House.

  • Courtesy of White House
“This is probably the biggest thing he’s ever faced in his life,” said Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), a senior Finance Committee member who spent an hour with Baucus recently trading tax reform ideas. “The politics line up against it, but the country’s requirements line up for it.”

Politico labels Baucus as "vulnerable" because of his efforts to pass the unpopular health care bill in 2010 and the equally messy Tax Code fight. The article notes he's already building a war chest and campaigning. (Heck, he poured beers at the Garden City BrewFest a few weeks ago, shaking hands like it was already 2014.) Plus, polls show termed-out Gov. Brian Schweitzer, if he were to reverse course and show an interest in D.C. politics, would trounce Baucus.

But Baucus and his buddies, like Tester, say it's all much ado about nothing.

“Max is a force — he’s been a force in Montana politics for a long, long time,” Tester told Politico. “I’ve seen some of the polls that are out there. I don’t think they take into account his intestinal fortitude.”

At least we have a couple years to take everything into account.

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