Thursday, April 9, 2015

Wait a second, what’s different about my printed Indy?

Posted By on Thu, Apr 9, 2015 at 10:42 AM

First off, thanks for asking. We’re glad you noticed.

This week’s Indy debuts a new trim size. It also features an overall improvement in print quality, as evidenced by the color and crispness in our photos, graphics and ads. We’re pretty excited about the latter but realize you may have questions about the former. After all, it’s the first time in about 20 years we’ve noticeably altered the size of the paper.  

Why the change? Without getting too far into the weeds of our printing setup, the new trim size allows our paper to be printed on a larger, more modern printing press in Great Falls, as opposed to the older unit we had been using. That means fewer problems with registration and color accuracy, which, frankly, have caused some headaches. (Just last week, discerning readers may have noticed the crisp blue sky on the cover had turned … purple?)

“We’ll save a small amount on paper costs,” Publisher Lynne Foland explains, “but we’re mainly doing this to improve the look and feel of the printed product. We’re excited about it and, so far, advertisers have responded positively to the change and the promise of improved quality.”

The change will not affect our regular news and arts coverage. We will continue to deliver the same level of reporting, reviews, profiles and investigative pieces—like this week’s feature by Alex Sakariassen—you expect from the Indy.

If you have any feedback on the new trim size, please let us know. We’d love to hear from you. Otherwise, thanks, as always, for reading.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Rockies Today, April 8

Posted By on Wed, Apr 8, 2015 at 12:36 PM

Wyoming company to pull broken pipeline from under Montana river
Bridger Pipeline Co., the Wyoming operator of the pipeline that broke under the Yellowstone River in Montana in January, releasing 30,000 gallons of oil into the river, said it will be removing the broken section of the pipeline from under the river and have it tested to see why it broke, while Phillips 66 has begun work to bury a new line to move petroleum products under the river near Billings, with plans to bury the line 40 feet below the riverbed.
Flathead Beacon (AP); April 8

Two mining projects in NW Montana leap toward approval
The Montanaore and Rock Creek mining projects, both underground mining proposals to pull copper and silver from under the Cabinet Mountains in Northwestern Montana, have been in the works for more than a decade, and last month, both made significant progress toward opening, with the Kootenai National Forest issuing a final environmental impact statement and draft record of decision for the Montanaore project, and Hecla Mining Co.'s announcement that it was buying the Revett Mining Company, which owns the Rock Creek project.
Flathead Beacon; April 8

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Comment period extended for Marshall Woods Restoration Project

Posted By on Wed, Apr 8, 2015 at 11:15 AM

In response to mounting public pressure, the Lolo National Forest announced last week it was extending the public comment period for its proposed Marshall Woods Restoration Project through April 30.
  • Cathrine L. Walters

The 13,000-acre project is intended to address a variety of management issues in the Rattlesnake and Marshall creek drainages, from ecological health to the potential for high intensity wildfires. But the inclusion of roughly 225 acres of commercial timber harvest in the main corridor of the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area has turned a number of longtime collaborators on the project into vocal critics.

Jake Kreilick, chair of the Lolo Restoration Committee, says the subject of commercial logging has been a point of contention in the Marshall Woods discussion for years. The committee first brought the project to the Lolo National Forest in 2008 and became a key collaborator. But given the historic sense that the Rattlesnake NRA is “wilderness-lite,” Kreilick says, those involved in the project could never reach a consensus on timber harvest.

“This element of logging the Rattlesnake was controversial in 2010, and it’s controversial now,” Kreilick says.

Rattlesnake resident Cass Chinske is particularly perturbed by the issue. Chinske authored the first draft of the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area and Wilderness Act back in 1980 and lobbied heavily for its passage in Congress. He also helped write the committee report for the U.S. House outlining the intent of the bill—a document that specifically states the Rattlesnake is “unsuited for … timber harvest.” When he first heard about the logging proposals included in the Marshall Woods Environmental Assessment released in February, he says he was “stunned.”

“It’s like somebody going into the Sistine Chapel with a high-pressure tank on their back with hydrochloric acid and spraying all those Michelangelo paintings,” Chinske says. “You just don’t do things like that in the Rattlesnake.”

The portion of the Marshall Woods EA that has sparked backlash calls for the harvesting of 80 log-trucks worth of timber from two units in the Poe Meadows area, about three miles up from the main Rattlesnake trailhead. That work would require use of mechanized equipment and result in the U.S. Forest Service closing the main trail to public use for as much as 30 to 40 days.

In the April 2 release announcing the comment period extension, Missoula District Ranger Jennifer Hensiek stressed that the Lolo has “never had a ‘preferred alternative’ and no decision has been made.” Along with the extension, forest officials will host two field trips for the public to explain the details of the Marshall Woods project; one will be held April 14, the other April 18. Several concerned groups including Sierra Club and Friends of the Rattlesnake will hold an April 22 wine tasting and comment writing party at Ten Spoon Winery.

“The most important issue is what the Rattlesnake is,” Chinske says of the debate. “What is up there? All the animals, the different species of plants and trees, the incredible waters … and the type of experience that people go up there to enjoy. It’s a sacred area.”

Your future, a little early

Posted By on Wed, Apr 8, 2015 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): Uitwaaien is a Dutch word that means to go out for a stroll in windy weather simply because it's exhilarating. I don't know any language that has parallel terms for running in the rain for the dizzy joy of it, or dancing through a meadow in the dark because it's such nonsensical fun, or singing at full volume while riding alone in an elevator in the mad-happy quest to purge your tension. But in the coming weeks, you don't need to describe or explain experiences like this; you just need to do them. Experiment with giving your instinctive need for exuberance lots of room to play.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Your nasty, nagging little demon isn't nasty or nagging any more. It's not doing what demons are supposed to do. It's confused, haggard, and ineffective. I almost feel sorry for the thing. It is barely even keeping you awake at night, and its ability to motivate you through fear is at an all-time low. Here's what I suggest: Now, when the demon's strength is waning and its hold on you is weak, you should break up with it for good. Perform an ultimate, non-reversible exorcism. Buy it a one-way bus ticket to the wasteland and say goodbye forever.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): When he was in his fifties, French painter Claude Monet finally achieved financial success. He used his new riches to buy a house and land, then hired gardeners to help him make a pond full of water lilies. For the first time in his life, he began to paint water lilies. During the next 30 years, they were his obsession and his specialty. He made them a central feature of 250 canvases, which now serve as one of his signature contributions to art history. "I planted my water lilies for pleasure," he said. "I cultivated them without thinking of painting them. And then suddenly, I had the revelation of the magic of my pond." I regard the imminent future as a good time for you to do something similar, Gemini: Create or find a source of beauty that will stimulate your sense of wonder and fuel your passion to express yourself for a long time.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): "Everything we do in life is based on fear, especially love," said Cancerian comedian Mel Brooks. Although he was joking, he was also quite serious. More often than we like to admit, desperation infects our quest to be cared for. Our decisions about love may be motivated by a dread of loneliness. We worry about whether we are worthy of getting the help and support we need. It's a fundamental human problem, so there's no reason to be ashamed if you have this tendency yourself. Having said that, I'm happy to report that you now have the necessary power to overcome this tendency. You will be able to summon tremendous courage as you revise and refine your relationship with love. It's time to disappear the fear.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Do you ever feel reverence and awe, Leo? Are there times when you spontaneously yearn to engage in acts of worship? Is there anyone or anything that evokes your admiration, humility, and gratitude? The coming weeks will be a good time to seek out experiences like these. According to my reading of the astrological omens, you will get tender jolts of transformational inspiration if you blend yourself with a sublime force that you trust and respect.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): A lot has happened since you were . . . uh . . . indisposed. You've missed out on several plot twists. The circle has been broken, repaired, broken again, and partially repaired. Rumors have been flying, allegiances have been shifting, and riddles have been deepening. So are you ready yet to return to the heated action? Have you learned as much as you can from the commotion that provoked your retreat? Don't try to return too early. Make sure you are at least 70 percent healed.

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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Happiest Hour: Bodega

Posted By on Tue, Apr 7, 2015 at 1:45 PM

Why you’re here: Fresh off the NCAA men’s tournament and on the cusp of the NBA playoffs, you’re jonesing for a little basketball—and Bodega is the only local bar with a regulation hoop and hardwood floor just a few steps from the taps. Yes, you can shoot free throws or challenge a buddy to a game of HORSE, with the loser buying next round. Just don’t expect to play any two-on-two. “That’s when the ball tends to get taken away,” says bartender Dave Sandau.


What you’re drinking:
Cold beer, Jack Daniels or shots, with a menu of the latter helpfully posted on a large whiteboard above the bar. Sandau says the Swayze (orange-flavored vodka and Red Bull; $6) is among the most popular “shooters.”

What your friend is drinking: If it’s their birthday, one of Bodega’s signature “tapeworm” shots (it includes a squeeze of mayonnaise that looks like a worm). If your friend has a sweet tooth, Sandau suggests the Gummy Bear, made with raspberry vodka, peach schnapps, Rose’s lime and Sprite. “It tastes exactly like a gummy bear,” he says.

What your friend should be drinking: Every day, from 5 to 9 p.m., Bodega offers Jack Daniels drinks for $2.50. That’s tough to beat.

What you’re eating: The Samburger—topped with ham, bacon and cheese—is, by far, the most popular thing on the menu, Sandau says. It’s $7.50. Runner-up? The bacon-wrapped hot dog for $4.50.

Where to find it: Bodega is located at 221 Ryman St., about a three-pointer away from Red’s and above Monk’s.

Rockies Today, April 7

Posted By on Tue, Apr 7, 2015 at 12:40 PM

U.S. officials seek immediate upgrades of oil train tankcars
Citing four recent oil train derailments in which the newer model of tankcars, which were designed to not rupture after a derailment, actually did split open, U.S. Transportation Safety Board officials said that tankcars be upgraded immediately to make them sturdier, and in the interim, slow oil trains down to avoid incidents.
Flathead Beacon (AP); April 7

Montana's Smith River makes American Rivers' most endangered list

American Rivers has been issuing an annual list of 10 rivers considered endangered due to a variety of reasons since 1984, and this year, Montana's Smith River made the list due to a proposed copper mine on a tributary of the river. The Columbia River in Oregon and Washington also made the list, as did the Chuitna River in Alaska and the Rogue-Smith watersheds in California.
Missoulian; April 7

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Monday, April 6, 2015

Rockies Today, April 6

Posted By on Mon, Apr 6, 2015 at 12:54 PM

U. of B.C. study: Rocky Mountains to lose 90% of glaciers by 2100
University of British Columbia researchers used observational data, computer models and climate simulations to forecast the future of the more than 17,000 glaciers in Alberta and British Columbia, and predicted that the Rocky Mountains could lose up to 90 percent of their ice by 2100, while the coastal mountains in northwestern B.C. could lose up to half their ice during that time.
Calgary Herald; April 6

Montana company designs, markets cheaper wind turbine

John Nelsen, a Montana State University mechanical engineering graduate, formed Morone Wind Energy Co. and hired four students from his alma mater to help him produce a horizontal wind turbine that costs thousands of dollars less than turbines in use today.
Bozeman Daily Chronicle; April 6

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When skyscrapers don't cast shadows (and more from In Other News)

Posted By on Mon, Apr 6, 2015 at 9:00 AM

Curses, Foiled Again
A burglar used the homeowner’s devices to log on to porn, YouTube and his Facebook account, but authorities in Monroe County, Fla., quickly identified him because he forgot to log off Facebook. Sheriff’s official Becky Herrin said the 16-year-old suspect also ate a Pop Tart and drank a soda. (Miami Herald)

Burglary suspect Christopher Wallace, 24, eluded sheriff’s deputies in Somerset County, Maine, for several weeks but then unwittingly alerted them to his whereabouts by revealing on Snapchat that he had just returned home. A second post followed that deputies were at his home and coming inside, but he was hiding in a cabinet. Social media-monitoring deputies then headed for the cabinet and found “a pair of feet,” the sheriff’s department’s Facebook page reported. “The feet just so happened to be attached to a person, and that person was Christopher Wallace.” (Kennebec Morning Sentinel)

Thank You for Your Service
Shortly after Will Swenson was named to receive the Medal of Honor for heroism in Afghanistan, the Army placed the outspoken critic of Army leadership under surveillance because his name appeared, along with others, in a one-paragraph book review on Swenson, whom the book itself didn’t mention, said agents questioned him, pawed through his trash and rattled his girlfriend. Then-Secretary of the Army John McHugh agreed the Amazon review triggered the surveillance, which, he suggested, “was really about his award, his criticism of the Army and the hope that agents would find something to shut him up.” (The Daily Beast)

Double Trouble
Arthur Mondella, 57, spent five hours with investigators answering complaints that his New York City factory, which makes Maraschino cherries, was dumping syrup and “cherry-related waste” in the waters around the warehouse. When agents noticed a flimsy shelving system attached to an office wall and asked Mondella about it, they said he excused himself, went into the bathroom and shot himself in the head. After the shooting, agents were surprised to uncover “a huge marijuana-growing operation” underneath the warehouse, including 80 pounds of pot, hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and several high-end vehicles. (New York Daily News)

Paper Tiger
The developer of Tiger Woods’s new restaurant in Jupiter, Fla., said it couldn’t be named after the golfer because Tiger Woods doesn’t own commercial rights to his name. Nike does. (CNN)

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Friday, April 3, 2015

Rockies Today, April 3

Posted By on Fri, Apr 3, 2015 at 12:40 PM

Proposed coal terminal in Oregon gets water quality OK
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality issued a water quality certification to the proposed terminal to unload railcars full of coal from Wyoming and Montana and load the coal onto barges at Boardman, but the Coyote Island Terminal still needs approval from the state land agency, which rejected the site of the project because it could interfere with tribal fishing rights, a decision that has been appealed.
Casper Star-Tribune (AP); April 2

Montana FWP: Wolf population down by 73 at end of 2014

The number of wolves in Montana continued to decline under state management in 2014, but the 554 wolves keep the state above federal recovery goals.
Flathead Beacon; April 3

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Thursday, April 2, 2015

Rockies Today, April 2

Posted By on Thu, Apr 2, 2015 at 12:42 PM

Western governors group releases sage grouse report
On Thursday, the Western Governors Association released its "2014 Sage-Grouse Inventory," a 32-page report detailing conservation work done last year, with an 101-page appendix attached that shows projects undertaken since 2011.
Corvallis Gazette-Times (AP); April 2
Read the WGA's 2014 Sage Grouse Inventory Report
Western Governors' Association; April 2

Public access to public lands a moving target in Montana

In 1992, the precursor agency to the Government Accountability Office found that more than 50 million acres of land under the authority of the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, primarily in the West, lacked adequate public access, and around Montana's Crazy Mountains, public access has recently decreased as new landowners closed off access points.
Missoula Independent (High Country News); April 2

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