Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Premiere of RNDM's animated video: Just in time for the Missoula show

Posted By on Wed, Oct 31, 2012 at 12:57 PM

RNDM, the new band featuring Jeff Ament from Pearl Jam, hits the Badlander complex tonight for the Halloween bash. The band premiered a new video today.

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It's full of colorful, hypnotic animations that coincide with the band's song "Throw You to the Pack." It's just the thing to get pumped up for what's sure to be a colorful Missoula night.

The Rockies Today, Oct. 31

Posted By on Wed, Oct 31, 2012 at 11:23 AM

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Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Utah Supreme Court upholds Alton Coal's expansion permit
The Utah Chapter of the Sierra Club, which challenged the state's permit for Alton Coal's proposed expansion of its mine on state and private lands near Panguitch, said it was disappointed with the Utah Supreme Court's decision, but said Alton has many more hurdles to clear before the Bureau of Land Management approves its expansion plans.
Deseret News; Oct. 31

More groups want to weigh in on Montana stream access lawsuit
The eight-year-old lawsuit over public access to waterways in Montana has drawn the interest of three new groups, with the United Property Owners of Montana and the Political Economy Research Center filing friends of court briefs asking the state Supreme Court uphold a Madison County district court decision, and Montana Trout Unlimited supporting the Public Lands Access Association on the other side of the dispute.
Montana Standard; Oct. 31

Megaload on its way from Idaho to Alberta arrives in Montana
A piece of water purification equipment bound from Idaho to Alberta's oilsands is now in Montana, and the 520,000-pound, 300-feet-long, 20-feet-wide and 22-feet-high megaload will travel between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. along the same route the disputed ConocoPhillips shipments would have taken.
KPAX.com; Oct. 31

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Your future, a little early

Posted By on Wed, Oct 31, 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): Big opportunities are coming up for you. Even if you cash in on them, though, they aren’t likely to make an immediate practical impact. They are subtle and deep, these prospects. They have the potential of catalyzing monumental shifts in your long-term unfolding, but will take a while to transform your day-to-day rhythm. So what are these openings? Here are my guesses: 1. You could root out a bad seed that got embedded in your subconscious mind before you knew any better. 2. You could reinterpret the meaning of certain turning points in your past, thereby revising the flow of your life story. 3. You could forgive yourself for an old sin you thought you’d never let go of. 4. You could receive a friendly shock that will diminish some sadness you’ve carried for a long time.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tour Big Sky Country via vintage postcards

Posted By on Tue, Oct 30, 2012 at 11:08 AM

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If you're feeling a little nostalgic on this lazy Tuesday, we've got just the thing for you: 91 hand-colored vintage Montana postcards. The collection comes courtesy of the Boston Public Library's Flickr page, and features "landmarks" circa the 1930s and '40s.

You'll find plenty of cards of Glacier and Yellowstone, as well as lesser known attractions like the Motel Royal in Great Falls and Bunker's Up and Up Cafe in Havre. Personally, it's the unexpected entries, like hospitals and airport lounges, that make the set so enticing.

The Missoula section is sparse, but does contain The Frontier Drive-In, noted for its 24-hour service (and steaks).

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It's hard not to peruse them all, but here are a few other favorites:

Lloyds of Butte — Not of London
Loyal Order of the Moose, Kalispell Lodge No. 462
Range Riders Bar and Cafe in Miles City
The Stage Coach Inn in West Yellowstone
Trailing range cattle, Eastern Montana Badlands

(H/T Great Falls Public Library)

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The Rockies Today, Oct. 30

Posted By on Tue, Oct 30, 2012 at 10:57 AM

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USFS embarks on 'Little Belts Restoration Journey' in Montana
At the first of three public hearings scheduled in Montana, Lewis and Clark National Forest officials said nearly all the trees in the Little Belt Mountains are roughly the same age, putting the landscape at higher risk of severe wildfires and insect infestations, and attendees were asked to participate in the planning process, rather than wait until projects are proposed.
Great Falls Tribune; Oct. 29

PBS to air documentary on campaign cash in Montana tonight
"Big Sky, Big Money," a documentary on how the Citizens United ruling has changed political campaigns in Montana, will air tonight on PBS.
New York Times; Oct. 30

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Monday, October 29, 2012

Election 2012: ProPublica, Frontline investigate American Tradition Partnership

Posted By on Mon, Oct 29, 2012 at 12:35 PM

We're not the only ones taking a deeper interest in what American Tradition Partnership is really up to in 2012.

The Colorado-based 501(c)(4) made national headlines earlier in June when it succeeded in seeing Montana's 100-year-old Corrupt Practices Act overturned in the U.S. Supreme Court. Now, ProPublica and PBS's Frontline have dug even deeper, investigating a stack of documents recovered from a Colorado meth house that appear to prove ATP's past illegal collaboration with political campaigns in Montana and Colorado. ProPublica released its report today, shortly after midnight; Frontline will air the story tomorrow evening, Oct. 30, as part of an ongoing series on dark money in politics titled "Big Sky, Big Money".

Frontlines report on dark money in Montana politics airs Oct. 30.
  • Frontline's series on dark money in Montana politics begins Oct. 30.

ATP, formerly known as Western Tradition Partnership, was founded in Montana in 2008 by former Congressman Ron Marlenee and former state Rep. John Sinrud. The nonprofit is now headed by Donny Ferguson, who has also worked on Texas Republican Steve Stockman's U.S. House campaign this year. Initial organizational filings for Friends of Congressman Steve Stockman in April 2012 listed Ferguson as Stockman's campaign treasurer. The files were amended in mid May, and Ferguson's name was dropped from the position.

Aside from its ongoing legal challenge against Montana's campaign contribution limits, ATP has riled Democrats recently with a political mailer disguised as a newspaper called the "Montana Statesman." ATP openly declares it paid for the mailer, touting the faux paper as "Montana's most trusted news source" and listing a return address at a Bozeman post office box. In truth, the mailer is a blatant attack on Democratic gubernatorial candidate Steve Bullock. The front page declares that "1 in 4 sex offenders go unregistered" due to failure on Bullock's part as the acting Montana Attorney General. There are four pictures below the headline. Three are identified as convicted sex offenders in cutlines; the fourth is an image of Bullock. The insinuation seems fairly obvious.

According to ProPublica's report, the documents at the core of this latest story contain evidence potentially tying ATP not only to a number of past Republican campaigns but to several groups including the Montana Committee to Protect the Unborn and the anti-union Montana Citizens for Right to Work. It's a fascinating read, and personally, we can't wait for the first Frontline report tomorrow night. Watch the teaser below.

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The Rockies Today, Oct. 29

Posted By on Mon, Oct 29, 2012 at 10:36 AM

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Oil boom changes life in tiny Montana town
An Alberta company is building a rail loading facility and a man camp near Bainville that will more than double the population of the tiny northeastern Montana town in the next couple of years.
Billings Gazette; Oct. 29

Pine beetles' march West has foresters in the East on alert
Pine beetles have infested forests from British Columbia south through the Rocky Mountain West, munching on a wider variety of pines than previously thought, and with no sign that the infestations are slowing, foresters in the Northeast United States are concerned.
Salt Lake Tribune; Oct. 28

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Extra, extra: In Other News, online

Posted By on Mon, Oct 29, 2012 at 9:00 AM

This week, the Chinese suggest a gig for unemployed men out there: freelance sperm donation.

Curses, Foiled Again
When the metal detector at the Kane County, Ill., courthouse sounded while Alex Robinson, 37, was entering, security guards asked him to empty his pockets so the contents could be scanned. Robinson, on his way to a probation hearing, dropped a bag with three grams of cocaine into the bin and was promptly arrested. “I don’t know how you forget,” sheriff’s Lt. Pat Gengler said. “It’s not like you don’t know there’s a checkpoint coming up.” (Chicago Sun-Times)

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Friday, October 26, 2012

The Rockies Today, Oct. 26

Posted By on Fri, Oct 26, 2012 at 10:53 AM

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NWF asks Montanans to support bison plan
In an effort to address what is becoming a polarized debate about restoring bison in and around the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge in Montana, the National Wildlife Federation sent letters to about 6,000 households in Montana's Phillips and Valley counties describing the not-for-profit wildlife group's support for the plan.
Great Falls Tribune; Oct. 26

Federal judge in Wyoming rejects wrongful death lawsuit in bear mauling
U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Freudenthal said Wyoming's Recreational Use Act was the basis of her decision to summarily dismiss the wrongful death lawsuit filed by the widow of a man who was killed by a grizzly bear that had been tranquilized and released near Yellowstone National Park.
Billings Gazette (YellowstoneGate.com); Oct. 26

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Dear underage drinkers...

Posted By on Thu, Oct 25, 2012 at 7:41 PM

How about giving the Badlander Complex a break?

Owners of the popular downtown super-venue recently decided to close their doors for three non-consecutive days in response to their third violation for underage drinking. In addition to the closures on Tuesdays Nov. 6, 13 and 20, the Badlander will host two high school level live music and DJ events (one on First Night and the other still TBA) to educate underage folks on the rules and dangers of drinking.

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The complex's liquor license is especially vulnerable to punishment since it covers several bars: the Badlander, Palace, Savoy and Golden Rose and, previously, The Central. So, that means, every kid who thinks it's worth it to sneak into the joint for a Jager-bomb, puts a lot in jeopardy for everyone else—including a big chunk of the music scene.

Here's a statement from the Badlander Complex owners, which sheds a little light on what happened:

December of 2011, we at The Badlander Complex were cited for its 3rd violation for non compliance in a three year period. The Central and The Golden Rose received the previous two violations. Although our security measures in place at the time of the compliance check would have prevented any minor from consuming alcohol, we were still subject to a violation as the bartender failed to ID the minors. While a technical violation of the law, it was the presence of the bouncer who prevented these minors from ever taking possession of the alcohol that resulted in this negotiated settlement with the Department of Revenue. This resolution while difficult to accept is necessary to continue our business. We could no longer afford the legal fight or uncertainty of the outcome.

We take underage drinking very seriously and will forever be pro active in our education and prevention of underage drinking.

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