Friday, July 31, 2009

An electrifying proposal

Posted By on Fri, Jul 31, 2009 at 1:17 PM

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) has resurrected a series of 2008 proposals to electrify campsites in five state parks, sparking a second storm in the outdoor recreation community.


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Rigoletto ends on a high note despite hitches

Posted By on Fri, Jul 31, 2009 at 11:35 AM


Last night, the Montana Lyric Opera debuted its first semi-staged professional opera, Giuseppe Verdi's famous Rigoletto to a packed crowd at the University Theatre. The story of a womanizing Duke (Brandon McReynolds), the hunchbacked court jester, Rigoletto (Rob Barfield) and Rigoletto's jilted daughter Gilda (Monica Yunus) had the audience clapping enthusiastically after every aria.

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

House passes Food Safety act

Posted By on Thu, Jul 30, 2009 at 3:35 PM

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009 today, after voting last night not to pass the bill without debate. Consumer advocate groups nationwide pushed Congress to fast-track this one, and farmers have condemned the bill for a host of reasons.


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Waste Time at Work: Listen to Pearl Jam

Posted By on Thu, Jul 30, 2009 at 10:17 AM


You know Jeff Ament; the Missoula bassist and Big Sandy native plays in Pearl Jam, which happens to be my all time favorite band. Pearl Jam’s ninth studio album, Backspacer, hits stores Sept. 20 which is exactly 52 days away, but who’s counting, right?

Anyway, the band has a nifty little publicity stunt going on today. It’s a treasure hunt. Political cartoonist Tom Tomorrow designed Backspacer's cover art, which, I’m assuming, consists of nine images. Those nine images are scattered about the web. Find all nine, and the band rewards you with a free download. Pretty rad, if you ask me.

Start your treasure hunt here.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Watered down

Posted By on Wed, Jul 29, 2009 at 4:00 PM

The feature story in this week’s Indy looks at how Sen. Max Baucus emerged, somewhat improbably, as the point man on health care reform. Like it or not, whether he’s beholden to big money or not, Montana’s senior senator wields an enormous amount of power as Congress crafts legislation.

The story cuts across day-to-day heath care reform news and its nuances. In the past couple days, though, a few details of the long-awaited Senate Finance Committee bill leaked, shedding a little light on the trajectory of Baucus’ bipartisan negotiations—and sharpening criticism of them.

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Flathead Lake real estate market tanks

Posted By on Wed, Jul 29, 2009 at 9:10 AM

On July 22, the home at 648 Lakeside Blvd in Lakeside, with 170 feet of Flathead Lake frontage, sold for $1,106,000, according to Trails West Real Estate. The transaction would appear unremarkable, except for the fact that it was put on the market two years ago for $3,999,000—and it’s the first lakefront property to be sold all year.

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Local wood

Posted By on Tue, Jul 28, 2009 at 12:00 PM

The media is paying plenty of attention to Sen. Jon Tester’s Forest Jobs and Recreation Act, but at last night’s Missoula City Council meeting, a small resolution regarding the city’s role in the wood products industry nearly escaped notice.

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Monday, July 27, 2009

Kevin Costner: "I'm no dummy"

Posted By on Mon, Jul 27, 2009 at 5:00 PM

That's what the actor/musician/everyman wanted to get across in a short interview with the Indy today.

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Council to take up panhandling

Posted By on Mon, Jul 27, 2009 at 1:00 PM


Tonight, Missoula's City Council takes up a pair of panhandling ordinances. You can read the fine print here and here. City spokesperson Ginny Merriam, who served as the coordinator for the Panhandling Working Group, says the group grappled with methods to quell the most aggressive solicitors. The idea of the first ordinance, as I understand it, is not to chase the city’s homeless population to, say, Frenchtown, but to arm police officers with a law for when someone crosses the line from solicitation to shake down.

The other ordinance concerns sleeping in a public place, and it's received harsh criticism through Bob Jaffe's listserv and local blogs like 4&20 and Red Tape. While council kicks around the details tonight, I do know that the proposed consequence for a violation of either ordinance is a fine. The punishment may seem a little counterintuitive for a population that already begs on the street, but jail time costs the city money and the idea, as Merriam explains it, is to deter harassment, not round up the homeless.

If you have any thoughts about panhandling in Missoula, attend tonight’s meeting.

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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Lofty changes

Posted By on Sat, Jul 25, 2009 at 9:00 AM


The posh Loft of Missoula, an exclusive second-floor business club on Main Street, will come under new ownership Aug. 1. Negotiations for a sale and transfer of management have been on-going for over a month, according to Loft founder Chad Wold.

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