Friday, August 29, 2014

Bitterroot farm receives national attention

Posted By on Fri, Aug 29, 2014 at 10:39 AM

On Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal's featured House of the Day was just down Highway 93, in Hamilton, on 69 acres of land along the Bitterroot River. It's called The River Farm, it's listed for $2,495,000 and, yes, there's a potting shed, a greenhouse, a tree nursery, "a bunk room with a real climbing tree to access the upper bunks," two wine cellars, great "view plains" and "an elevated dog wash." Also, in case you were wondering: "The pond in front of the house has a beach and is big enough for kayaking." Now that's a pond.

  • Heidi A. Long

The sellers are Brian and Ann Bachman. He's a retired technology executive, and she's a textile artist. They designed and built the house themselves:

The Bachmans designed the approximately 7,800-square-foot house to capture the views of the river as well as the Bitterroot Mountains. Mr. Bachman, age 69, says the home, which sits a third of a mile from the nearest road has privacy while being just minutes from downtown Hamilton, where he recommends stopping by Taste of Paris, a French bistro, or 2nd Street Sushi. Ms. Bachman, also 69, recommends the local farmers market, which sells everything from produce to log furniture. "It's a step back in time," says Ms. Bachman of the town. "It's the last best place."

According to the Journal, "The Bachmans say they are selling because, since their divorce Ms. Bachman has downsized and Mr. Bachman has decided to move to the West Coast to be closer to family."

If The River Farm doesn't sound like quite what you're looking for, don't worry. Hall and Hall, the real estate agency selling the house, has a lot more to offer in the area. For $5.7 million, they've got a more than 1,100-acre ranch along Skalkaho Creek. Or $17.5 million will get you the Bitterroot Valley Ranch, which once was going to become the Bitterroot Resort and still has the ski runs to prove it. Act fast, though: the price was recently reduced.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Missoula Brewing Company to build new brewery off North Reserve

Posted By on Thu, Aug 28, 2014 at 2:54 PM

It’s been just over six years since Missoula Brewing Company revived Missoula’s original hometown label, Highlander, and owner Bob Lukes announced this afternoon that the company will soon begin construction on a 15,000-square-foot facility off North Reserve set to house a taproom, brewhouse and pizza kitchen. The plan, Lukes tells the Indy, is to roll out a host of new brews on tap and in bottled six-packs under the Highlander name, as well as a line of speciality products in 22-ounce bottles. MBC expects to break ground on the new building in September and open by the middle of next year.


“The craft beer industry in Montana is thriving,” Lukes says. “They’re incredibly fun places to go to, they end up being great community centers, so we’re so excited to be able to do that here. It’s something I’ve personally dreamed about doing for most of my life. Bringing back Highlander was the first little step in that, and this is really bringing it full force.”

Since spring 2008, MBC has contracted with Great Northern Brewing in Whitefish to produce its Highlander Scottish red ale. Lukes says the company will now work with Great Northern to determine when the transfer of production will take place. “They’ve been great,” he adds. “We’ve had a great relationship with them, and they’ve made great beer for us.”

MBC initially hoped to find an existing warehouse in Missoula, but a variety of logistical challenges prompted Lukes to pursue purchasing property and constructing a new brewery from scratch. He expects the purchase of the 1.5-acre plot at 200 International Drive to close within the next couple weeks, and intends to keep locals updated on construction progress via Highlander’s Facebook page.

“Even though it’s in kind of a commercial area, it’s a charming little spot I think,” Lukes says.

MBC aims to start its new operation with 12 tap handles and a bottling line, with the possibility of canning down the road. Lukes confirms the company does have a brewer lined up but declined to comment further except to say “he’s not local. We haven’t gone in and stole somebody’s local brewer.” The existing Highlander recipe will remain unchanged, but MBC hopes to roll out several new brews under the Highlander label.

“The Scottish Red Ale that we have made since 2008, it’s designed to stay the same,” Lukes says. “The plan, hopefully within a year, is to have four different types of Highlander. Exactly what those are going to be right now is undecided, but we believe that one of them will be a robust lager.”

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Happiest Hour: The John Daly

Posted By on Wed, Aug 27, 2014 at 2:25 PM

What you need: Two parts sweet tea vodka (Firefly or Jeremiah Weed), two parts lemonade, some ice and, if you want to get fancy, a lemon wheel or wedge for garnish.

How you make it: Fill a Collins glass with ice. Pour in sweet tea vodka. Pour in lemonade. Stir. Add lemon.

Why you’re drinking it: Labor Day weekend marks the end of summer and, thus, one last chance to enjoy this light, refreshing, easy-to-make cocktail.

What it tastes like: An Arnold Palmer, but with vodka. If you don’t know Palmer, he’s a world-famous golfer who invented the popular summertime drink of lemonade mixed with iced tea.

So, who the hell is John Daly? A golfer known for his whopping tee shots, garish outfits and redneck roots. He’s recorded two (mostly unlistenable) country albums and started a clothing line called Loudmouth. He also struggled with an alcohol addiction, hence earning the dubious distinction of having a vodka drink named after him. But don’t fret—the enterprising Daly capitalized on this popularity and started Grip It & Sip It, a company that sells “the original John Daly cocktail.” Bottles are available in some southern and western states, but not Montana. Oh, and the company shares its corporate office with Hooters.

Where to find it: Firefly and Jeremiah Weed are stocked at almost every local liquor store. In addition, many local bars happily serve a delicious John Daly.

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

Four days gone

Ravalli County inmate seeks answers after unexplained injuries

Posted By on Wed, Aug 27, 2014 at 11:00 AM

Thomas Corbisiero walked into the Ravalli County Adult Detention Center on Aug. 9. Four days later, he was taken from the jail in an ambulance with two fractured neck vertebrae and failing kidneys. Witnesses, including the Hamilton Police Department officers who arrested Corbisiero, say he was in good condition when taken into custody. What happened between that time and his trip to the hospital is a mystery Corbisiero and his family are now working to solve.

“I remember getting booked,” Corbisiero says. “After that, I kind of went blank.”

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Your future, a little early

Posted By on Wed, Aug 27, 2014 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): In the coming weeks it will be important for you to bestow blessings and disseminate gifts and dole out helpful feedback. Maybe you already do a pretty good job at all that, but I urge you to go even further. Through acts of will and surges of compassion, you can and should raise your levels of generosity. Why? Your allies and loved ones need more from you than usual. They have pressing issues that you have special power to address. Moreover, boosting your largesse will heal a little glitch in your mental health. It's just what the soul doctor ordered.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): The Icelandic word hoppípolla means "jumping into puddles." I'd love to make that one of your themes in the coming weeks. It would be in sweet accordance with the astrological omens. You are overdue for an extended reign of freelance play . . . for a time of high amusement mixed with deep fun and a wandering imagination. See if you can arrange to not only leap into the mud, but also roll down a hill and kiss the sky and sing hymns to the sun. For extra credit, consider adding the Bantu term mbuki-mvuki to your repertoire. It refers to the act of stripping off your clothes and dancing with crazy joy.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): During the course of its life, an oyster may change genders numerous times. Back and forth it goes, from male to female and vice versa, always ready to switch. I'm nominating this ambisexual creature to be your power animal in the coming weeks. There has rarely been a better time than now to experiment with the pleasures of gender fluidity. I invite you to tap into the increased resilience and sexy wisdom that could come by expanding your sense of identity in this way.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): I'm getting the sense that in the coming days you will be more casual and nonchalant than usual. More jaunty and unflappable. You may not be outright irresponsible, but neither will you be hyper-focused on being ultra-responsible. I suspect you may even opt not to be buttoned and zippered all the way to the top. It's also possible you will be willing to let a sly secret or two slip out, and allow one of your interesting eccentricities to shine. I think this is mostly fine. My only advice is to tilt in the direction of being carefree rather than careless.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): In his novel Les Miserables, French author Victor Hugo chose to write a convoluted sentence that was 823 words long. American novelist William Faulkner outdid him, though. In his book Absalom, Absalom!, he crafted a single rambling, labyrinthine sentence crammed with 1,287 words. These people should not be your role models in the coming weeks, Leo. To keep rolling in the direction of your best possible destiny, you should be concise and precise. Straightforward simplicity will work better for you than meandering complexity. There's no need to rush, though. Take your time. Trust the rhythm that keeps you poised and purposeful.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): As you know, real confidence has no bluster or bombast. It's not rooted in a desire to seem better than everyone else and it's not driven by a fear of appearing weak. Real confidence settles in when you have a clear vision of exactly what you need to do. Real confidence blooms as you wield the skills and power you have built through your hard work and discipline. And as I think you already sense, Virgo, the time has come for you to claim a generous new share of real confidence. You are ready to be a bolder and crisper version of yourself.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Tuesdays with "Camp Sleepover"

Posted By on Tue, Aug 26, 2014 at 11:53 AM


Josh Quick's "Camp Sleepover" usually appears every Tuesday online, and in the Indy's printed pages every Thursday, but it will be on hiatus following this week's installment.  

The New York Times on the haven tribal lands offer rare species

Posted By on Tue, Aug 26, 2014 at 10:29 AM

For yesterday's New York Times, Missoula native Nate Schweber wrote a fascinating story from Fort Belknap about how native species have been able to thrive on reservation land here in Montana and elsewhere in the West:

Wildlife stewardship on the Northern Plains’ prairies, bluffs and badlands is spread fairly evenly among private, public and tribal lands, conservationists say. But for a few of the rarest native animals, tribal land has been more welcoming.

As tribes have welcomed back and protected threatened species ranging from bison to black-footed ferrets, Schweber writes, members have benefited not only from reforging connections with animals long absent from their land but also from an influx of funding and jobs related to conservation:

In late 2013, during the painful federal sequestration that forced layoffs on reservations, Mr. Azure authorized the reintroduction of 32 bison from Yellowstone and 32 black-footed ferrets. That helped secure several thousand dollars from the nonprofit Defenders of Wildlife and kept some tribe members at work on the reintroduction projects, providing employment through an economic dip and advancing the tribe’s long-term vision of native ecosystem restoration. The next project is an aviary for eagles.

And the story isn't short on great details about the people these conservation efforts have affected: "In the employee directory of the Fort Belknap Reservation, Bronc Speak Thunder’s title is buffalo wrangler."

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Rockies Today, August 26

Posted By on Tue, Aug 26, 2014 at 9:56 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Tribal lands in Montana, other states provide haven for rare native animals
The unplowed, native prairie lands of tribes in Montana, the Dakotas and Nebraska provide the habitat needed for bison, swift fox and black-footed ferrets, and a new generation of tribal leaders are coming home to help those species survive.
New York Times; Aug. 26

Idaho completes cataloguing of water rights
On Monday, Idaho officials gathered to acknowledge the completion of adjudication of the 158,000 water rights in the state, putting Idaho in the ranks of Colorado, Washington and Wyoming, where adjudication is also complete, while such efforts in Arizona, Montana, New Mexico and Oregon tumble over such obstacles as lack of funding.
Twin Falls Times-News; Aug. 26

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Wrong side of the tracks

Posted By on Mon, Aug 25, 2014 at 2:08 PM

On Aug. 19, at 2:32 a.m., a call came into the Missoula County 911 Center from Montana Rail Link. A trespasser was in the rail yard, near the intersection of Sherwood and Milton, and MRL wanted him removed from their property. When Missoula police arrived, they found a 22-year-old man on the ground, on the south side of the yard. He was conscious, according to a police report, but it was apparent his foot had been run over by a train, likely while he was trying to crawl through a westbound grain train that had been stopped but started moving. Though his foot was not severed, as some media initially reported, blood and bone fragments were discovered at the scene.

Before he was rushed off to St. Patrick’s Hospital for treatment, the man told police he’d been drinking downtown and was on his way home when he attempted to take a shortcut by going across the tracks.

Pete Lawrenson, MRL’s chief of security and safety, says people regularly walk across the tracks, often cutting through the chain link fence in order to force their way in. However, it’s often much simpler than that. There are numerous gaps in the yard’s fencing as well as long, open stretches that allow for easy access. As for the man injured last week, whose name is not being released, MRL spokesperson Lynda Frost believes he entered where the fence is open to accommodate a branch line of track that leaves the yard near the Ceretana Granary. “All he had to do was walk onto the property,” she says.

Even where there is fencing, Lawrenson says people often just cut through it. As a result, MRL operates 24-hour-security.

“We don’t keep people out of the yard to be mean,” Lawrenson says. “We keep people out of the yard because it can be very dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing and you’re not adhering to the safety rules.”

Lawrenson says people trespass “on a regular basis” and that it’s “not uncommon” for those trespassers to be injured. According to Federal Railroad Administration data, there were 10 trespasser deaths and 12 trespasser injuries on MRL property between 2004 and 2013.

Though MRL generally prosecutes those who intentionally trespass, charges have not been pursued against the man injured last week.

When tennis balls wreak havoc in sewers (and more from In Other News)

Posted By on Mon, Aug 25, 2014 at 9:00 AM

Curses, Foiled Again
Police charged Danielle Saxton, 27, with shoplifting from a boutique in West Frankfort, Ill., after investigators saw pictures of her wearing the stolen clothing and jewelry that she posted on Facebook. Police Chief Shawn Talluto said officers used background images to determine the suspect’s exact location and found her still holding the stolen merchandise. (Carterville’s WSIL-TV)

Police investigating the theft of a wallet found a photograph of the suspect after she used the stolen credit card at a beauty-supply store in Ocala, Fla. When the woman said she didn’t have photo identification, the clerk asked the woman if she would have her photo taken with the credit card. The suspect agreed and then bought $430 worth of beauty supplies. Police posted the photo of the heavily and distinctively tattooed woman, asking the public to identify her. (Ocala Star-Banner)

Life Lessons
When a hailstorm rolled through Woods Canyon Lake, Ariz., a man authorities described as in his 30s, lifted a metal chair over his head to shield him from the hail. A lightning bolt struck the chair, sending the man to the hospital with an entry wound on his shoulder and exit wounds on both feet. (Phoenix’s KTVK-TV)

Francesco Schettino gave a two-hour lecture on best emergency practices to a criminology seminar at Rome’s La Sapienza university. Schettino was vilified as “Captain Coward” in the 2012 sinking of the cruise liner Costa Concordia after he reportedly abandoned ship before his passengers were safe. “I was called to speak because I am an expert. I had to talk about panic management,” Schettino told La Nazione newspaper, explaining that he used a 3-D model of the doomed vessel to demonstrate how emergency evacuations are conducted. (Australia’s

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