Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Happiest Hour: Montana Brewery Passport

Posted By on Tue, Sep 30, 2014 at 1:41 PM

What it is: A way to track your travels to the state’s nearly 50 breweries, and have fun while doing it. The passport works like, well, a passport. Visit a brewery, order a beer and get your passport marked with an official Montana Brewery Passport stamp. There’s also space to mark down tasting notes and to rate your experience. For those needing a little help, the passport includes tasting recommendations, facts about beer and other useful info.

Where it came from: Local beer expert Ryan Newhouse, author of Montana Beer: A Guide to Breweries in Big Sky Country, calls himself “a list keeper.” He remembers once filling a similar type of passport for national parks and thought the idea would translate to Montana’s many breweries. He launched a Kickstarter campaign earlier this year to print the passports and make the stamps, raising $5,500 from more than 100 backers.
“Montana is a big, beautiful state with exceptional breweries in every corner of the state, literally,” he says. “This is something people can do as they explore and visit those breweries, something that provides a deeper level of engagement.”

Who’s involved: Every existing brewery—and a few scheduled to open soon— is listed in the passport, including newcomers like Great Burn and Lolo Peak. Newhouse says every taproom also now has stamps to fill your passports.
Part of his plan was to make the passport program all-inclusive and not a burden for the breweries. That makes it different from the Montana Brewers Association’s “Brew Crew” punchcard, which only applies to member breweries. (Not all breweries are MBA members, including local favorites like Kettlehouse and Big Sky.)

The prize: Newhouse often gets asked about what happens when/if someone visits every brewery. Right now, those adventurous souls receive a couple pint glasses and their own stamper. Newhouse is also exploring the possibility of offering winners custom T-shirts.

Where to get one: Visit montanabrewerypassport.com to order one directly for $10. Newhouse says some breweries are also carrying them, so ask at your favorite taproom—and then get your first stamp.

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

Rockies Today, September 30

Posted By on Tue, Sep 30, 2014 at 11:21 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

BNSF races to upgrade Montana system to deal with increased rail shipments
The unanticipated increase in shipments of oil by rail have strained Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway's system across Montana to beyond capacity, where trainloads of grain, oil and other freight have to wait their turn on the two lines the railroad runs through the Big Sky State.
Prairie Star (Billings Gazette); Sept. 28

Hearing today on Wyoming's new rule on wolf management
U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, whose decision last week put wolves in Wyoming back under federal protection, will hold a hearing today on Wyoming's new administrative rule put in place last week to cure the deficit addressed in Jackson's ruling, which the state says should allow the wolf hunt scheduled to start Oct. 2 to go forward.
Casper Star-Tribune; Sept. 28

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Monday, September 29, 2014

Slideshow: UM Homecoming Parade

Posted By on Mon, Sep 29, 2014 at 3:25 PM

Thousands of onlookers lined up along Higgins Avenue and University Avenue to watch the annual Homecoming Parade on Sept. 27. Here are a few of our favorite images from the morning. 

Slideshow: UM Homecoming Parade
Missoula Childrens Theater Missoula Childrens Theater Big Sky High School Marching Band Montana Super Skippers Flathead High School Marching Band Forestry Club/Foresters Ball Florence-Carleton High School Marching Band Sentinel High School Marching Band

Slideshow: UM Homecoming Parade

Photos from the 2014 University of Montana Homecoming Parade in Missoula.

By Cathrine L. Walters

Click to View 16 slides

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Rockies Today, September 29

Posted By on Mon, Sep 29, 2014 at 11:59 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Genetically modified wheat found again — this time in Montana
For the second time in less than two years, genetically modified wheat, which has not been approved in the United States, has been found growing there, with the latest discovery at a university research center in Montana, where Monsanto legally planted a test plot 11 years ago.
Flathead Beacon (AP); Sept. 29

Yellowstone Park superintendent discusses new business model
Dan Wenk, the superintendent of Yellowstone National Park, spoke last week at a conference hosted by Bozeman-based Property and Environment Research Center about the need for the park to be more financially self-sustaining, and Wenk said he'll come out with a new fee schedule for the park by next year, which could have considerable implications in the states in which the iconic park lies.
Idaho Statesman; Sept. 26

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Open call for "One Day in Missoula" photo essay

Posted By on Mon, Sep 29, 2014 at 10:59 AM

Our first "One Day in Missoula" cover, in 1998.
  • Our first "One Day in Missoula" cover, in 1998.
What’s “alternative” in Missoula?

Sure, Missoula is a beautiful city. The tourism folks do a great job promoting our bucolic downtown, world-famous rivers and picturesque mountains, but we know there’s plenty more out there. Secret spots. Under-appreciated gems. Underground parties. Abandoned spaces. Simple moments. Those colorful elements too often overlooked or too long neglected are what we’re interested in for the 2014 “One Day in Missoula” photo essay

We’re asking photographers of all levels—iPhone experts to pros—to scratch our city’s shiny surface and uncover something a little different. As your local alternative news source, we’re excited to see how you define “alternative” and turn it into a stunning image (or images). The best shots will be published both online and in a special issue of the Independent.

Selections will be made based on composition, subject and overall execution. Anyone can enter. We only require that the images be taken within city limits and shot between 12:01 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 11. The result, we hope, will offer a compelling, contemplative and certainly alternative look at this place we call home.

Wanna learn more? Here’s the full rundown:
Last year's "One Day in Missoula" cover, by Seth Warren
  • Last year's "One Day in Missoula" cover, by Seth Warren

WHAT: “One Day in Missoula” community photo essay
THEME: Alternative in Missoula
WHO: Any and all digital photographers
WHEN: Photos must be taken between 12:01 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 11. (Make sure your camera’s internal clock is accurate. If you don’t know what that means, just don’t cheat.)
WHERE: All images must be taken within Missoula city limits
WHY: To celebrate what’s alternative in Missoula through photography

A limit of 5 images per photographer must be sent via email to dayinmissoula@missoulanews.com by midnight on Monday, Oct 13. Each image should include a basic caption and the time it was shot, as well as contact information for the photographer (name, email, phone number). Photographers will be notified by Friday, Oct. 17, if their image was selected. 

In ad
dition to publication in the Independent, one photographer will be awarded free admission to the Rocky Mountain School of Photography’s Photo Weekend, March 14-15, a $159 value.

The top images will be selected by the Independent and published both online and in a special issue of the Independent. By submitting entries to the Independent, the photographer grants us permission to print the image in the paper and use the image on our website.

Questions? Email us or call photo editor Cathrine L. Walters at 406-543-6609 x111.

When hikers serenade mountain lions (and more from In Other News)

Posted By on Mon, Sep 29, 2014 at 9:00 AM

Curses, Foiled Again
Police accused Ryan Mullins, 22, of breaking into a pharmacy in Swansboro, N.C., and stealing a safe containing prescription drugs. He made his getaway by tying a rope around the 100-pound safe and dragging it behind his vehicle for two miles before he passed a police cruiser. The officer noticed the safe being dragged and pulled him over. (New Bern’s WCTI-TV)

Robert D. Haught Jr., 42, aroused police interest by leaving an unattended van running in a handicapped parking space at a shopping mall in Burlington, Mass. An officer ran the license plate and learned it belonged to a different vehicle. As the officer approached the vehicle, Haught got in and drove off, leading police on a high-speed chase. He rammed two cruisers that tried to stop him and hit two other vehicles before abandoning the van. Police arrested him and found evidence in the van suggesting he was involved in a credit card fraud operation. Police charged Haught with multiple violations, including attempted murder, but not unauthorized use of a handicapped parking space. (Boston’s WCVB-TV)

Music Hath Charms
Kyra Kopestonsky said she was stalked by a mountain lion while hiking alone in Placerville, Colo., before she figured out how to shake it. “I don’t know why, I just started singing opera really loud,” Kopestonsky said, noting it got as close as 8 feet. “It kind of put its ears down and just kept looking at me, and it sort of backed away.” (Denver’s KUSA-TV)

Slightest Provocation
British baker Shane Thompson, 22, damaged a computer-operated sausage roll machine by head-butting it after it stopped working properly. “He admits he became frustrated with the equipment,” defending solicitor Robert Vining told a Yorkshire magistrates court, which ordered Thompson to pay $1,125 towards the cost of repairing the $42,000 machine. (Britain’s York Press)

Brothers Anthony Kelly and Ted Kelly injured each other with sticks when they got into a fight after Anthony accused Ted of stealing okra from his garden in Spartanburg, S.C. Police who arrested the pair said they were too intoxicated to give written statements. (Greenville’s WHNS-TV)

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Friday, September 26, 2014

Rockies Today, September 26

Posted By on Fri, Sep 26, 2014 at 12:51 PM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Underground gold mine in Montana clears another regulatory hurdle
The Butte Highlands Joint Venture gold mine project proposed in Montana south of that city cleared the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest's environmental assessment process, with that forest expected to issue a decision on the haul road needed for the underground mine in November.
Montana Standard; Sept. 26

Montana anglers, hunters to rally Saturday in Helena for public lands
Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, Montana Wildlife Federation and the Wilderness Society and local fishing and hunting organizations plan a rally on Saturday in Helena to show support for federal public lands and to oppose states' efforts to transfer those lands to state control.
Great Falls Tribune; Sept. 26

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Montana Festival of the Book faces uncertain future

Posted By on Fri, Sep 26, 2014 at 12:28 PM


Since its inception 15 years ago, the Montana Festival of the Book has featured headliners like Richard Ford, James Lee Burke, Ivan Doig and Pam Houston, David Simon of HBO’s hit series “The Wire” and Sherman Alexie. On the surface, this year’s event doesn’t seem much different than past years with Rick Bass, David James Duncan, Pete Fromm, Tami Haaland, Walter Kirn, William Kittredge and Annick Smith joining up-and-coming Missoula author Malcolm Brooks.

But there is one major difference about this year’s Festival of the Book: It could be the last.

Humanities of Montana, the organization that has always hosted and funded the Montana Festival of the Book, has decided not to continue with the event. The decision comes in the wake of funding challenges.

“Key funders have withdrawn support for a variety of reasons,” says Ken Egan, Humanities of Montana’s executive director. “That dip in support has caused us to reflect about how best to focus our resources.”

The loss of the festival would be big for the Missoula literary community. The festival has become an anticipated event that offers three days of panels, readings and literary parties, bringing together bookworms and literati from around the region each fall at the Wilma, Holiday Inn Downtown and other local venues. Egan and associate director of programs Kim Anderson are currently approaching partners (they aren’t naming names) and festival book organizers to see if someone is interested in taking on the project for the future.

Egan says the organization, which serves as Montana’s independent nonprofit state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, spent the last six months planning its own future.

“We surveyed Montanans all over the state and what hit us between the eyes is that we really have to focus on serving the whole state,” Egan says.

The group’s sights are set on expanding a handful of its other key programs, including Hometown Humanities, now in its third year. “We partner with a single community or county in Montana for a full year and we offer a full palette of grants and programming,” Egan says.

Last year, Humanities worked in Dillon on several projects including a community discussion on settling water resources disputes. In Lincoln county this year, they’ll focus on “Standing Together,” a reading series for veterans and their families featuring literature of war and peace. There will be an emphasis, Egan says, on getting more historical presentations, reading programs, cultural speakers and public affairs discussions into communities around the state. In some ways, the new focus is a little more in line with what Egan sees as Humanities of Montana’s calling—though that doesn’t soften the blow for Festival of the Book fans.

Egan says Humanities of Montana plans to help the next festival organizers—whomever they may be—with some seed money.

“We have no concrete vision for where the festival will go,” he admits. “We’ve been hosting, organizing and funding the book festival for 15 years, and it’s been a wonderful adventure and we think it’s a wonderful gift to the community and to the region. It’s become an annual ritual—one that occurs at a gorgeous time of year and makes downtown alive. And we do recognize that. That’s why we’re going to put a lot of energy into seeing it continue under different leadership and management. I’m cautiously optimistic that will happen.”

This year's Montana Festival of the Book runs Thu., Oct. 9 through Sat., Oct. 11. Visit humanitiesmontana.org for full schedule.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Rockies Today, September 25

Posted By on Thu, Sep 25, 2014 at 12:25 PM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

U.S., Canadian tribes sign treaty to restore bison populations
Representatives of 11 tribes from the United States and Canada gathered Tuesday on the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana to sign an agreement to create an inter-tribe alliance to restore wild bison herds to their native ranges in the Rocky Mountain West and Great Plains.
Flathead Beacon (AP); Sept. 25

Colorado study casts doubt on need to thin forests to reduce wildfire risk
A team of researchers from the University of Colorado, led by fire ecologist Tom Veblen, studied 8,000 tree-ring samples, starting in 1996, and found that wildfires severe enough to kill trees at elevations above 7,400 feet have historically been the dominant type of wildfires, a finding that calls into question a policy of thinning thick stands of trees to reduce wildfire risk.
Denver Post; Sept. 25

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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Rockies Today, September 24

Posted By on Wed, Sep 24, 2014 at 11:39 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Federal court ruling puts wolves in Wyoming back under federal protection
A federal judge in Washington, D.C. ruled that Wyoming's lack of a mandatory number of wolves needed to sustain a viable population of the species made the state's plan inadequate under the federal Endangered Species Act, and put the wolves in that state back under federal protection, effectively putting the hunting season set to begin Oct. 1 on hold.
Jackson Hole News & Guide; Sept. 24

Companies propose 'Hoover Dam' of wind power project for Wyoming
On Tuesday, four companies unveiled an $8-billion project to produce wind-generated power in Wyoming, ship it to Utah and store it in salt caverns underground, and release it to California at times it's needed the most.
Casper Star-Tribune; Sept. 24

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