Thursday, June 16, 2016

Rockies Today, June 16

Posted By on Thu, Jun 16, 2016 at 12:38 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 15, 2016

Rockies Today, June 15

Posted By on Wed, Jun 15, 2016 at 11:37 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


NMCDC lands funds for downtown affordable housing project

Posted By on Wed, Jun 15, 2016 at 10:33 AM

Just north of Kiwanis Park, a green-and-pink Victorian home has nearly 150 years of Missoula history in its bones and a football-sized rock in the front room. The rock likely entered through a bay window, beneath which shards of glass and a crumpled can of Rainier sit suspended in some shrubs.

The building at 503 East Front St. is a freakish structure that has been abandoned since city officials condemned it in January 2015. What started as one of Missoula’s earliest log cabins and a backdrop for some bizarre moments in city history ended up a 10-unit apartment complex where period architecture was patched up—and often over—with cheap repairs.

It’s hard to say whether Bob Oaks, executive director of the North Missoula Community Development Corporation, is more excited about the site’s storied past or its now-promising future. Oaks should have a chance to celebrate both later this summer, as funding falls into place that will allow NMCDC to deconstruct and study the historic building, then erect a new affordable housing development in its place.

The complex, to be called Lee Gordon Place, will be NMCDC’s fourth such project since 2002 and the first to bring its new model of affordable homeownership to downtown Missoula.
After receiving the historic home at 503 East Front St. as a donation, the North Missoula Community Development Corporation has pieced together various grants that will allow it to demolish the structure and build affordable townhomes. - PHOTO BY DEREK BROUWER
  • photo by derek brouwer
  • After receiving the historic home at 503 East Front St. as a donation, the North Missoula Community Development Corporation has pieced together various grants that will allow it to demolish the structure and build affordable townhomes.

Much like the house itself, which was jury-rigged over the years into its present state, NMCDC is piecing together a slew of grants and funding sources to make the project happen. The bulk of the money is coming from federal housing programs, and on June 13 the Missoula City Council approved a Brownfields grant of up to $125,000 to remediate the property.

In endorsing the funding during a council committee hearing, Councilman Bryan Von Lossberg called the allocation “one way we chip away” at the city’s affordable housing problem.

Like with prior projects such as the Burns Street Commons, the Front Street townhomes will be offered as part of NMCDC’s community land trust, which Oaks says keeps the units permanently affordable. NMCDC plans to offer seven townhomes at a price point under $150,000 to buyers who make less than 80 percent of the city’s median income.

In 2015, only 10 percent of homes sold in the Missoula urban area were priced below $150,000, with the median sales price increasing again to $238,700, according to the Missoula Organization of Realtors.
The Lee Gordon Place will be sold as part of NMCDC's community land trust, an affordable homeownership model in which the trust retains the land beneath the home while the homeowner builds limited equity. - ARCHITECTURAL DRAWING PROVIDED BY NMCDC
  • Architectural drawing provided by NMCDC
  • The Lee Gordon Place will be sold as part of NMCDC's community land trust, an affordable homeownership model in which the trust retains the land beneath the home while the homeowner builds limited equity.

Oaks, a founding member of Preserve Historic Missoula, says deconstructing the building will be “a greater contribution to history” than trying to preserve what’s left of it. Both city and state preservation officers have “reluctantly” endorsed its demolition, as city senior grants administrator Nancy Harte told council members. (Unlike the Mercantile building, the Front Street building is not individually listed as a historic structure and is not subject to Historic Preservation Commission review.)

NMCDC has approached the Missoula Redevelopment Agency for aid in deconstructing the home and is seeking private foundation money to fully investigate its history with a local researcher.

Oaks calls these sorts of projects “very difficult” to pull off, adding that NMCDC wouldn’t have been able to acquire the property if the heirs to its deceased owner, Lee Gordon, hadn’t donated it.

“There just isn’t money out there to buy land,” he says.

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Your future, a little early

Posted By on Wed, Jun 15, 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 coming months will be a favorable time to boost your skills as a cagey warrior. I don't mean you should push people around and get into lots of fights. Rather, the goal is for you to harness your aggressiveness constructively and to wield your willpower with maximum grace. In the face of fear, you will not just be brave, but brave and crafty. You'll refrain from forcing storylines to unfold before they're ready, and you'll rely on strategy and good timing instead of brute strength and the decree "Because I said so." Now study this counsel from the ancient Chinese statesman Zhuge Liang, also known as Crouching Dragon: "The wise win before they fight, while the ignorant fight to win." 

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Everything you do in the coming days should be imbued with the intention of enhancing the Flow. It's high time to identify where the energy is stuck, and then get it unstuck. You have a sacred mandate to relieve the congestion . . . to relax the tweaks. . . to unravel the snarls if you can, or simply cut through them if necessary. You don't need to tell anyone about your secret agenda. Just go about your business with zealous diligence and unflagging purpose. If it takes more effort than you wished, so be it. If your progress seems maddeningly gradual, keep the faith.  

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): My long-term predictions for the next 15 months are a blend of hopeful optimism and a reasonable interpretation of the astrological omens. Here we go: 1. You will have an excellent chance to smooth and soothe the rough spots in your romantic karma. 2. You will outgrow any addiction you might have to frustrating connections. 3. Unrequited love will either be requited, or else you'll become bored with the futile chase and move on. 4. You'll be challenged to either refresh and reinvent an existing intimacy, or else get shrewd enough not to repeat past mistakes in a new intimacy. 5. You will have an abundance of good ideas about how to install the theme of smart fun at the heart of your strongest alliances. 

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Author Courttia Newland quotes the pre-Socratic philosopher Meno: "How will you go about finding the thing the nature of which is totally unknown to you?" In response to this riddle, Newland riffs on what it means to him: "Even more important than the journey itself, is the venture into the unknowable. The ability to find comfort moving forwards without quite knowing where you are going." I nominate these to be your words to live by in the coming days, Cancerian. Have open-hearted fun as you go in search of mysterious and impossible secrets! I'm confident you will track them down – especially if you're willing to be lost.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Your homework is to write a story about the life you're going to live between now and next April. The length of this predictive tale should be at least three pages, although it's fine if you produce more. Here are some meditations to lubricate the flow of your imagination. 1. What three questions would you love to have answered during the next 42 weeks? 2. Of the numerous adventures that might be fun to explore, which are the two that would be most consistently energizing? 3. What is the one thing you'd most like to change about your attitude or revamp about your life? 4. What new privilege will you have earned by April 2017?

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): According to an old Chinese proverb, if you want to get rich, you must have a nickname. My meditations on your future suggest that this curious formula may have some validity. The next 15 months will be a favorable time to attend to the groundwork
that will ultimately increase your wealth. And your luck in doing this work is likely to be oddly good if you add a frisky tweak to your identity — such as a zesty new nickname, for example. I suggest you stay away from clichés like Ace or Vixen or Sharpie, as well as off-putting ironic monikers like Poker Face and Stonewall. Instead, gravitate toward lively choices like Dazzler, FluxLuster, Hoochie-Coochie, or FreeBorn.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Happiest Hour: The Montana Distillery wins gold

Posted By on Tue, Jun 14, 2016 at 12:19 PM

What you’re drinking: A Grizzly Berry, made with The Montana Distillery’s signature Woody St. Premium Vodka, puree from local huckleberries and organic lemonade, topped with soda and a lemon wedge. It’s one of the cocktails available at the distillery’s downtown tasting room, located on (you guessed it) Woody Street, around the corner from the Silver Dollar Bar.

Why you’re drinking it: Woody St. Premium Vodka recently took gold at the Los Angeles International Spirits Competition, which featured more than 400 entries from 29 different countries in a blind taste test. The Montana Distillery became the only American micro distillery to receive gold in the vodka category. 

“It brings some awareness to what we’re doing and the quality of the product,” says owner Mark Hlebichuck. “It also hopefully helps spread the word about the great community of distillers and brewers in Missoula.”

What else you’re drinking: In addition to gold, The Montana Distillery collected two silver medals in L.A. for its cucumber and raspberry vodkas, as well as two bronze medals for its bacon and ginger flavors. All are available in bottles or mixed in various specialty cocktails in the tasting room.

But if Justin Tavenner is working behind the bar, you’re probably drinking his personal favorite, the Indian Paint-Brush. This spicy and sweet cocktail features pepper vodka, pomegranate, sweet-n-sour, jalapeño simple and fresh cracked pepper, served in a salt-rimmed martini glass.

“It’s just spicy enough to not be too sweet, and it’s just sweet enough to not be too spicy,” Tavenner says.

The Montana Distillery's Indian Paint-Brush
  • The Montana Distillery's Indian Paint-Brush

What you’ll be drinking soon: Right now, The Montana Distillery is focused on its line of vodkas. By the end of the summer, however, Hlebichuck hopes to unveil whiskey and gin.

Where to find it: The Montana Distillery is located at 631 Woody St. and it's open Monday through Saturday, noon to 8 p.m. Sundays include an extensive bloody mary bar from noon to 6 p.m.

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

Rockies Today, June 14

Posted By on Tue, Jun 14, 2016 at 11:35 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 


Monday, June 13, 2016

Rockies Today, June 13

Posted By on Mon, Jun 13, 2016 at 2:55 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  

Muammar Gaddafi's gold stash (and more News of the Weird)

Posted By on Mon, Jun 13, 2016 at 9:00 AM

Who's a Good Boy?
Life is good now for British men who "identify" as dogs and puppies, as evidenced by a BBC documentary, "Secret Life of the Human Pups," showing men in body outfits (one a Lycra-suited Dalmatian, "Spot"), exhibiting "sexual" expressions (stomach-rubbing, ear-tickling and nuzzling their "handlers"), eating out of bowls, gnawing on chew toys, wearing collars so as not to be a "stray", and jumping in the air for "treats." However, decency demands that a Pup must only feign urinating against a lamppost. Said Spot (aka Tom), "It's about being given license to behave in a way that feels natural, even primal." Added "Bootbrush," "(We) are trying to grasp the positive elements of the archetype of the dog."

New World Order
As an alternative to the more costly in vitro fertilization, researchers at a Dresden, Germany, institute announced (in the recent journal Nano Letters) that they had developed a motorized device tiny enough to fit around a sperm's tail, which could be commanded to propel it to "swim" faster toward the target egg, increasing the chances of fertilization. A prototype is still in the works.

The Internet pornography behemoth PornHub recently added to the glut of physical fitness "apps" with one designed to help users tone up sexual muscles. The BangFit's routines include the "squat and thrust," the "missionary press," and other ways to practice what the company describes as the "one activity people are always motivated to do and (for) which they are never too busy." Imagine, for example, wrote Mashable.com, "quantify(ing) your dry humps."

The Continuing Crisis
As Libya's central bank struggles to stabilize a halting economy, it could surely use the estimated $184 million in gold and silver coins that Muammar Gaddafi minted but left buried in an underground vault in the coastal city of Beyda, but the treasure is inaccessible because central bank officials don't know the lock's combination (as The Wall Street Journal reported in May). The latest plan is to have a locksmith squeeze through a 16-by-16-inch hole in the outer vault's concrete wall and once inside to try his hand. If unsuccessful, the government's bureaucrats likely cannot get paid, but even if successful, various anti-government factions may go to extremes to snatch the coins. 

Bright Ideas
Argentina's TV channels have many of the same taboos as U.S. broadcasting, including restrictions on women's hands-on demonstration of how precisely to examine themselves for breast cancer. However, as AdWeek reported in March, the agency David Buenos Aires apparently solved the problem with an explicit TV public service announcement featuring a model (facing the camera, topless) showing exactly how such an exam should go, e.g., where to press down, where to squeeze. The secret? The model was an overweight man with generous-sized "manboobs."

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Friday, June 10, 2016

CSKT announces formation of Bison Range Working Group

Posted By on Fri, Jun 10, 2016 at 10:51 AM

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes this morning announced the formation of a forum for public discussion on the proposed transfer of the National Bison Range into federal trust “for the benefit” of CSKT. Dubbed the Bison Range Working Group, the forum was rolled out alongside draft congressional legislation to facilitate the transfer. The working group will be accepting public comment on the legislative language starting today and ending at noon on June 24.
PHOTO BY JOE WESTON
  • Photo by Joe Weston

“The Bison Range is a treasure and, as good neighbors, we want to ensure that everyone is able to review and comment on the legislative language before it is finalized,” CSKT spokesman Rob McDonald said in a statement released today.

The tribes have spent nearly two decades attempting to negotiate with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for a more prominent management presence on the National Bison Range. As the Indy wrote earlier this month, FWS surprised the tribes this spring when federal officials offered to pass the refuge into a trust and allow CSKT to completely takeover operations. The offer came as an alternative to the ongoing conversation over a new annual funding agreement; according to documents released by the nonprofit Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, FWS Director Dan Ashe told a former refuge manager this April that the agency could no longer waste time on those negotiations.

“I think it’s safe to say that this was not something we saw coming,” McDonald told the Indy in late May, referring to the transfer.

CSKT has since been working with Montana’s congressional delegation to draft the legislation. Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility filed a lawsuit in late May attempting to block the transfer, leveling a number of allegations including a lack of public involvement in the process. McDonald confirmed for the Indy this morning that the legislative draft is an ongoing process and that there is no firm timeline for introduction of legislation. But today’s announcement did invite “conservation groups, non-governmental organizations and citizens” to provide comment. Those comments can be submitted via the working group’s website at www.BisonRangeWorkingGroup.org.

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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Your future, a little early

Posted By on Wed, Jun 8, 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): Mythologist Joseph  ampbell analyzed fairy tales for clues about how the human psyche works. For example, he said that a fairy tale character who's riding a horse is a representation of our relationship with our instinctual nature. If that character drops the reins and lets the horse gallop without guidance, he or she is symbolically surrendering control to the instincts. I bring this to your attention because I suspect you may soon be tempted to do just that that — which wouldn't be wise. In my opinion, you'll be best served by going against the flow of what seems natural. Sublimation and transcendence will keep you much stronger than if you followed the line of least resistance. Homework: Visualize yourself, as you ride your horse, keeping a relaxed but firm grasp of the reins.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): I will provide you with two lists of words. One of these lists, but not both, will characterize the nature of your predominant experiences in the coming weeks. It will be mostly up to you which emerges as the winner. Now read the two lists, pick the one you like better, and instruct your subconscious mind to lead you in that direction. List 1: gluttony, bloating, overkill, padding, exorbitance. List 2: mother lode, wellspring, bumper crop, gold mine, cornucopia.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): In his poem "Interrupted Meditation," Robert Hass blurts out the following exclamation: "I give you, here, now, a magic key. What does it open? This key I give you, what exactly does it open?" How would you answer this question, Gemini? What door or lock or heart or treasure box do you most need opened? Decide today. And please don't name five things you need opened. Choose one, and one only. Doing so will dissolve a mental block that has up until now kept you from finding the REAL magic key.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): The following excerpt from Wendell Berry's poem "Woods" captures the essence of your current situation: "I part the out-thrusting branches and come in beneath the blessed and the blessing trees. Though I am silent there is singing around me. Though I am dark there is vision around me. Though I am heavy there is flight around me." Please remember this poem at least three times a day during the next two weeks. It's important for you to know that no matter what murky or maudlin or mysterious mood you might be in, you are surrounded by vitality and generosity.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): A half-dead blast from the past is throttling the free flow of your imagination. Your best possible future will be postponed until you agree to deal more intimately with this crumbled dream, which you have never fully grieved or surrendered. So here's my advice: Summon the bravest, smartest love you're capable of, and lay your sad loss to rest with gentle ferocity. This may take a while, so be patient. Be inspired by the fact that your new supply of brave, smart love will be a crucial resource for the rest of your long life.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Five times every day, devout Muslims face their holiest city, Mecca, and say prayers to Allah. Even if you're not Islamic, I recommend that you carry out your own unique version of this ritual. The next three weeks will be a favorable time to cultivate a closer relationship with the inspirational influence, the high ideal, or the divine being that reigns supreme in your life. Here's how you could do it: Identify a place that excites your imagination and provokes a sense of wonder. Five times a day for the next 21 days, bow in the direction of this treasured spot. Unleash songs, vows, and celebratory expostulations that deepen your fierce and tender commitment to what you trust most and love best.

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