Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Rockies Today, June 29

Posted By on Wed, Jun 29, 2016 at 11:58 AM

Mountain West News is a service of the O’Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West — a regional studies and public education program at the University of Montana. The Center’s purpose is to serve as an important and credible resource for people in the state and region in understanding the region’s past, present, and future. For more, visit mountainwestnews.org


Your future, a little early

Posted By on Wed, Jun 29, 2016 at 9:00 AM

Find Rob Brezsny's "Free Will Astrology" online, every Wednesday, one day before it hits the Indy's printed pages.
astrologyblog_copy.jpg

ARIES (March 21-April 19): During winter, some bears spend months hibernating. Their body temperatures and heart rates drop. They breathe drowsily. Their movements are minimal. Many hummingbirds engage in a similar slow-down – but they do it every single night. By day they are among the most manic creatures on earth, flapping their wings and gathering sustenance with heroic zeal. When the sun slips below the horizon, they rest with equal intensity. In my estimation, Aries, you don’t need a full-on immersion in idleness like the bears. But you’d benefit from a shorter stint, akin to the hummingbird’s period of dormancy.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): “Dear Dr. Brezsny: A psychic predicted that sometime this year I will fall in love with a convenience store clerk who’s secretly a down-on-his-luck prince of a small African country. She said that he and I have a unique destiny. Together we will break the world’s record for dancing without getting bitten in a pit of cobras while drunk on absinthe on our honeymoon. But there’s a problem. I didn’t have time to ask the psychic how I’ll meet my soulmate, and I can’t afford to pay $250 for another reading. Can you help? - Mopey Taurus.” Dear Mopey: The psychic lied. Neither she nor anyone else can see what the future will bring you. Why? Because what happens will be largely determined by your own actions. I suggest you celebrate this fact. It’s the perfect time to do so: July is Feed Your Willpower Month.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Of all the concert pianos in the world, 80 percent of them are made by Steinway. A former president of the company once remarked that in each piano, “243 taut strings exert a pull of 40,000 pounds on an iron frame.” He said it was “proof that out of great tension may come great harmony.” That will be a potential talent of yours in the coming weeks, Gemini. Like a Steinway piano, you will have the power to turn tension into beauty. But will you actually accomplish this noble goal, or will your efforts be less melodious? It all depends on how much poised self-discipline you summon.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Once upon a time, weren’t you the master builder who never finished building your castle? Weren’t you the exile who wandered aimlessly while fantasizing about the perfect sanctuary of the past or the sweet safety zone of the future? Didn’t you perversely nurture the ache that arose from your sense of not feeling at home in the world? I hope that by now you have renounced all of those kinky inclinations. If you haven’t, now would be an excellent time to do so. How might you reinvest the mojo that will be liberated by the demise of those bad habits?

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): In accordance with the astrological omens, I have selected three aphorisms by poet James Richardson to guide you. Aphorism #1: “The worst helplessness is forgetting there is help.” My commentary: You have the power to avoid that fate. Start by identifying the sources of healing and assistance that are available to you. Aphorism #2: “You do not have to be a fire to keep one burning.” My commentary: Generate all the heat and light you can, yes, but don’t torch yourself. Aphorism #3: “Patience is not very different from courage. It just takes longer.” My commentary: But it may not take a whole lot longer.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Happiest Hour: Apricot Fresh Kombrewski

Posted By on Tue, Jun 28, 2016 at 12:00 PM

PHOTO BY CHARLIE WYBIERALA
  • Photo by Charlie Wybierala
Why you’re here: Beer would indisputably be the greatest beverage on Earth, except, cruelly, in large quantities it’s not great on digestion. Kombucha, with its restorative properties for the stomach, could similarly be considered a fermented gift from the gods, except for the unfortunately minuscule alcohol content. For years we fans of fermentation have faced a bleak future wending pitifully between these two hard truths, like Republican politicians who must endorse Trump while simultaneously distancing themselves from most of what he says. But into this bleak future has stepped a middle path, courtesy of Kettlehouse Brewing and local kombucha producers Nourishing Cultures. Into this bleak future has stepped the Kombrewski.

What you’re drinking: To be specific, the Apricot Fresh Kombrewski, a combination of apricot kombucha and Fresh Bongwater Hemp Ale. This is the second manifestation of this fermentation experiment, the first being a Raspberry Kombrewski that took home a silver medal from the 2016 North American Brewers Association. 

What it tastes like: The Kombrewski front loads with a strong apricot flavor in a beer so silky smooth it almost feels like it was poured on nitro and so refreshing you won’t know it’s good for you. Taphouse manager J. Ryan Weingardt suggests ordering one quickly because it’s flying out of the keg.

How it works: The execution is rather simple. Both Kettlehouse’s Fresh Bongwater and Nourishing Culture’s apricot kombucha are fermented separately, then mixed together prior before going on tap. Weingardt says they’re estimating an alcohol content somewhere between 3.5 and 4.5 percent. 

Where you’re drinking: At the Southside Kettlehouse and in a pint glass, as it’s not on tap on the Northside and they’re not filling growlers with this brew. Find the taproom at 602 Myrtle St. 

Happiest Hour celebrates western Montana watering holes. To recommend a bar, bartender or beverage for Happiest Hour, email editor@missoulanews.com.

Missoula Area Central Labor Council settles discrimination claim

Posted By on Tue, Jun 28, 2016 at 10:23 AM

A Missoula woman has settled a discrimination claim against the Missoula Area Central Labor Council, whom she worked for in 2015. On June 27, the state Department of Labor's Office of Administrative Hearings awarded Debby Florence an undisclosed amount of damages for what she says was a hostile work environment.

In 2014, Debby Florence began volunteering for the MACLC for her practicum while seeking a master's in social work from the University of Montana. During that time, she launched the Work Through My Lens photography project depicting low-wage workers' lives. In early 2015, she says the MACLC hired her as a lead political organizer.

Florence's attorney, Ellie Hill Smith, says during Florence's brief period of employment she was subject to a hostile work environment created by her boss, Mark Anderlik, the president of MACLC.
WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • Wikimedia Commons

Human Rights Bureau records show Florence filed her case against the MACLC on Aug. 20, 2015. The MACLC rejected the Independent's request to review the investigation file, according to Department of Labor attorney Timothy Little, who served as a liaison. 

Florence declines to go into further detail about the case, but she says she's glad that the complaint was resolved.

"I’m just glad that people responded and the right thing was done," she says.

Hill Smith is also serving as the current representative for House District 94. Hill Smith says it was an unusual situation, given that she's been endorsed by the MACLC in her capacity as a legislator.

"So it’s all the inside baseball of Democratic politics," Hill Smith says. "And they were wrong... We’ve got to hold our own accountable."

She adds that the process to settle Florence's complaint was held up because Anderlik hadn't informed the MACLC board of directors about it and tried to serve as his own legal representation. According to Hill, the first settlement hearing in May ended when the judge realized Anderlik didn't have the authority to represent the MACLC.

The June 27 hearing took place after the MACLC hired Elizabeth O'Halloran to represent it.

The MACLC and its attorney didn't return requests for comment.

MACLC's mission, according to its website, is to "organize in the community to promote social justice for all working people."

Monday, June 27, 2016

Rockies Today, June 27

Posted By on Mon, Jun 27, 2016 at 11:47 AM

Mountain West News is a service of the O’Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West — a regional studies and public education program at the University of Montana. The Center’s purpose is to serve as an important and credible resource for people in the state and region in understanding the region’s past, present, and future. For more, visit mountainwestnews.org


Wood Tick Racing (and more News of the Weird)

Posted By on Mon, Jun 27, 2016 at 9:00 AM

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Getting Fannies in the Seats
The Bunyadi opened in London in June for a three-month run as the world’s newest nude-dining experience, and now has a reservation waiting list of 40,000 since it only seats 42. Besides the nakedness, the Bunyadi creates “true liberation,” said its founder by serving only food “from nature,” cooked over fire (no electricity). Waiters are nude, as well, except for minimal concessions to seated diners addressing standing servers. Tokyo’s Amrita nude eatery, opening in July, is a bit more playful, with best-body male waiters and an optional floor show–and no “overweight” patrons allowed. Both restaurants provide some sort of derriere-cover for sitting, and require diners to check their cellphones at the door.

Cultural Diversity

Milwaukee’s WITI-TV, in an on-the-scene report from Loretta, Wisconsin (in the state’s northwest backwoods), in May, described the town’s baffling fascination with “Wood Tick Racing.” The event is held annually, provided someone finds enough wood ticks to place in a circle so that townspeople can wager on which one hops out first. The “races” began 37 years ago, and this year “Howard” was declared the winner. According to the organizers, at the end of the day, all contestants, except Howard, were to be smashed with a mallet.

Government in Action
The Department of Veterans Affairs revealed in May that between 2007 and last year nearly 25,000 vets examined for traumatic brain injury at 40 VA facilities were not seen by medical personnel qualified to render the diagnosis–which may account for the result–according to veterans’ activists, very few of them were ever referred for treatment. (TBI, of course, is the “signature wound” of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.)

The Entrepreneurial Spirit!
Basking in its “record high” in venture-capital funding, the Chinese Jiedaibao website put its business model into practice recently; facilitating offers of “jumbo” personal loans (two to five times the normal limit) to female students who submit nude photos. The student agrees that if the loan is not repaid on time (at exorbitant interest rates), the lender can release the photos online. The business has been heavily criticized, but the company’s headquarters said the privately negotiated contracts are beyond its control.

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Friday, June 24, 2016

Devlin drops suit against Missoulian

Posted By on Fri, Jun 24, 2016 at 3:00 PM

Former Missoulian editor Sherry Devlin has waived her discrimination and wrongful discharge claims against the paper, ending the second of two court battles between the company and former employees just as its newsroom is set to gain new leadership.

Devlin's attorney notified Missoula County District Court on June 17 that she was abandoning the suit, which was never served upon Lee Enterprises or Missoulian publisher Mark Heintzelman. Devlin dismissed her claims "with prejudice," meaning she cannot revive them at a later date.

The court filing did not make reference to a settlement between the editor and her employer of 30 years, and neither Devlin, her attorneys, nor Heintzelman responded to a request for comment.

Devlin had argued she was unfairly pushed from her post when Heintzelman became publisher in 2014, forced to take a lesser-paying role and harassed until she had no choice but to resign. Devlin claimed her treatment was based on her age and gender, underscored by the subsequent hiring of 37-year-old Matthew Bunk, a "much younger and much less qualified male," as her replacement.

Former Missoulian editor Sherry Devlin recently dismissed her legal claims against the newspaper. - PHOTO BY CHAD HARDER
  • Photo by Chad Harder
  • Former Missoulian editor Sherry Devlin recently dismissed her legal claims against the newspaper.

Devlin appeared to double down on her case in April by adding the discrimination claims to her wrongful discharge lawsuit after they were rejected by a Montana Human Rights Bureau investigator. The same month, Bunk resigned while suspended for bringing a handgun into the office.

In May, the Missoulian announced Seattle Times editor Kathy Best, 59, as its new editor. Best is scheduled to begin on June 27, according to the company.

Devlin dropped her suit one month after the Missoulian finalized a settlement with Heintzelmen's predecessor, Jim McGowan, who the company had accused of stealing advertiser information to jumpstart a rival agency after being demoted. McGowan later told the Indy that no money changed hands as part of his settlement.

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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Rockies Today, June 23

Posted By on Thu, Jun 23, 2016 at 12:09 PM

Mountain West News is a service of the O’Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West — a regional studies and public education program at the University of Montana. The Center’s purpose is to serve as an important and credible resource for people in the state and region in understanding the region’s past, present, and future. For more, visit mountainwestnews.org


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Rockies Today, June 22

Posted By on Wed, Jun 22, 2016 at 12:29 PM

Mountain West News is a service of the O’Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West — a regional studies and public education program at the University of Montana. The Center’s purpose is to serve as an important and credible resource for people in the state and region in understanding the region’s past, present, and future. For more, visit mountainwestnews.org


Your future, a little early

Posted By on Wed, Jun 22, 2016 at 9:00 AM

Find Rob Brezsny's "Free Will Astrology" online, every Wednesday, one day before it hits the Indy's printed pages.  
astrologyblog_copy.jpg


ARIES (March 21-April 19): “The past lives on in art and memory,” writes author Margaret Drabble, “but it is not static: it shifts and changes as the present throws its shadow backwards.” That’s a fertile thought for you to meditate on during the coming weeks, Aries. Why? Because your history will be in a state of dramatic fermentation. The old days and the old ways will be mutating every which way. I hope you will be motivated, as a result, to rework the story of your life with flair and verve.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): “Critics of text-messaging are wrong to think it’s a regressive form of communication,” writes poet Lily Akerman. “It demands so much concision, subtlety, psychological art – in fact, it’s more like pulling puppet strings than writing.” I bring this thought to your attention, Taurus, because in my opinion the coming weeks will be an excellent time for you to apply the metaphor of text-messaging to pretty much everything you do. You will create interesting ripples of success as you practice the crafts of concision, subtlety, and
psychological art.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): During my careers as a writer and musician, many “experts” have advised me not to be so damn faithful to my muse. Having artistic integrity is a foolish indulgence that would ensure my eternal poverty, they have warned. If I want to be successful, I’ve got to sell out; I must water down my unique message and pay homage to the generic formulas favored by celebrity artists. Luckily for me, I have ignored the experts. As a result, my soul has thrived and I eventually earned enough money from my art to avoid starvation. But does my path apply to you? Maybe; maybe not. What if, in your case, it would be better to sell out a little and be, say, just 75 percent faithful to your muse? The next 12 months will be an excellent time for you to figure this out once and for all.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): My meditations have generated six metaphorical scenarios that will
symbolize the contours of your life story during the next 15 months: 1. a claustrophobic tunnel that leads to a sparkling spa; 2. a 19th-century Victorian vase filled with 13 fresh wild orchids; 3. an immigrant who, after tenacious effort, receives a green card from her new home country; 4. an eleven-year-old child capably playing a 315-year-old Stradivarius violin; 5. a menopausal empty-nester who falls in love with the work of an ecstatic poet; 6. a humble seeker who works hard to get the help necessary to defeat an old curse.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Joan Wasser is a Leo singer-songwriter who is known by her stage name Joan As Police Woman. In her song “The Magic,” she repeats one of the lyric lines fourteen times: “I’m looking for the magic.” For two reasons, I propose that we make that your mantra in the coming weeks. First, practical business-as-usual will not provide the uncanny transformative power you need. Nor will rational analysis or habitual formulas. You will have to conjure, dig up, or track down some real magic. My second reason for suggesting “I’m looking for the magic” as your mantra is this: You’re not yet ripe enough to secure the magic, but you can become ripe enough by being dogged in your pursuit of it.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Renowned martial artist Bruce Lee described the opponent he was most wary of: “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” In my astrological opinion, you should regard that as one of your keystone principles during the next 12 months. Your power and glory will come
from honing one specific skill, not experimenting restlessly with many different skills. And the coming weeks will be an excellent time to set your intention.

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