Sunday, June 20, 2010

Video of the Billings tornado

Posted By on Sun, Jun 20, 2010 at 11:59 PM

The Billings Gazette has the full story, but the clearest video comes from an amateur shooter who captured the tornado ripping apart the MetraPark. You can view the full footage below. (Note: Lee Newspapers has a shorter version that edits out some of the, say, emotion of the moment. If you don't like colorful language, you can see it here.)

Also, footage of the wreckage:

Thursday, June 17, 2010

UPDATE: Tester's retort

Posted By on Thu, Jun 17, 2010 at 1:23 PM

UPDATE: Click here for the new draft (and note that this draft revises only Title I of the Forest Jobs and Recreation Act).
This morning Sen. Jon Tester offered the outlines of a new version of his forest bill. It includes, of course, the logging mandate, a key part of the bill as originally proposed. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee removed the mandate in its recent "discussion draft."

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Relive UM's 2010 commencement (minus the hangover)

Posted By on Wed, Jun 16, 2010 at 8:00 PM

UM photo student Devin Schmit and the university's Department of Information Technology produced a pretty cool time-lapse video of the historic May 15 commencement ceremony. It was the first time in UM's 117-year history that the festivities took place on the Oval, and it's captured here in 62 seconds:

Not My Bathroom is taking the city, county to court

Posted By on Wed, Jun 16, 2010 at 7:32 PM

According to a lawsuit filed today with the Fourth Judicial Court, Not My Bathroom (NMB) chairman Tei Nash, a new group dubbed “Right to Vote Missoula” and Missoula resident John Porter are accusing Missoula City Attorney Jim Nugent and Missoula County Clerk and Recorder Vickie Zeier of employing “intentional and discriminatory tactics” to prevent NMB from initiating the legal process required to overturn Missoula’s new anti-discrimination ordinance.

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Schweitzer takes meeting with caregiver Rick Rosio

Posted By on Wed, Jun 16, 2010 at 5:30 PM

Gov. Brian Schweitzer will be in Missoula tomorrow and his schedule includes a meeting with Montana Pain Management owner Rick Rosio to discuss the state's embattled medical marijuana law. The Indy wrote about Rosio last November, identifying his Third Street clinic as the city's first storefront dispensary. Law enforcement and other caregivers frowned upon some of Rosio's business practices at the time, but Rosio expressed confidence, saying, "I've worked tirelessly with a group of individuals to make this a reality. Does it push the envelope? I think it's long overdue. But I think the model that we're what the law intended."

According to Schweitzer Communications Director Sarah Elliott, Rosio requested a meeting with the governor to discuss the state's medical marijuana law, and the governor accepted.

Schweitzer spoke about the law with Matt Gouras of the AP in a story last week, saying it has not worked out as voters planned, and that he believes the state needs a legislative fix. Gouras reports:

Schweitzer says he is watching proposals as they come forward and expects lawmakers, convening in January, will have a lot of options. The governor says one of his agencies may pitch its own plan.

Schweitzer says one part of the solution could be to require genetic branding of medical marijuana, which would allow police to trace illegal pot to see if it originated from a caregiver selling medical marijuana.

Your future, a little early

Posted By on Wed, Jun 16, 2010 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): Istanbul is the world’s only mega-city that spans two continents. Many Turkish commuters take the 15-minute ferry ride across the Bosphorus Strait, traveling from their suburban homes in Asia to the urban sprawl in Europe. I’m seeing a comparable journey for you, Aries: a transition that happens casually and quickly, but that moves you from one world to another. Prepare yourself, please. Just because it unfolds relatively easily and benevolently doesn’t mean you should be nonchalant about the adjustments it will require you to make.

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Ride the Divide's local flavor

Posted By on Tue, Jun 15, 2010 at 4:00 PM

Ride the Divide is a documentary produced by Hunter Weeks and Mike Dion, both of Colorado, but the soundtrack provides a little touch of Missoula. Local musician Jon Schumaker wrote the instrumental "Off in the Woods" and it's included in the film.

Keep an ear out for it when you check out the documentary tonight at the Wilma Theatre. The film chronicles several Tour Divide bicycle racers as they pedal their way down the Continental Divide from Banff, Alberta, to the New Mexico/Mexico border in a race that covers 2,745 miles of off-road terrain and 200,000 feet of climbing.

Ride the Divide screens at the Wilma Theatre tonight, Tuesday, June 15, at 7:30 PM. $10, with live music and a Q&A session included. Visit

Monday, June 14, 2010

Aid in dying and elder abuse

Posted By on Mon, Jun 14, 2010 at 2:30 PM

Our editorial last Thursday on Sen. Greg Hinkle's opposition to physician-assisted suicide in Montana generated a flood of feedback in letters, e-mails and online comments, proving once more that this is one of the more contentious debates facing the 2011 Legislature. Voices in support of banning aid in dying point to both potential and documented abuses of the practice, especially when it comes to elderly patients.

Elder abuse also happens to be the focus of a release today from Compassion & Choices, the national group pushing for physician-assisted suicide legislation. The notice comes in advance of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day June 15 and touches on the very concerns Hinkle and other critics have expressed. Compassion & Choices poses an interesting counter-question to those afraid that aid in dying is in fact a form of elder abuse: Isn't allowing a patient to suffer extreme pain at the end of life also a form of abuse?

When an 85-year old man like William Bergman, dying of mesothelioma, moans in pain with every breath, as his daughter pleads with doctors to prescribe more effective pain medication, that is elder abuse. Compassion & Choices won a court judgment to that effect, the first of its kind, in 2001.

When an 82-year-old woman like Margaret Furlong receives full cardio-pulmonary resuscitation in violation of her Advance Directive, and endures ten days of intensive care despite squeezing her son’s hand to communicate her desire to have her hands untied and machines discontinued, that is elder abuse. Yet when Compassion & Choices helped bring this case as elder abuse and failure to honor an advance directive, it was thrown out of court.

When medical providers encourage irrational hope in endless rounds of chemotherapy for advanced, end-stage cancer, that research indicates are unlikely to extend life but sure to degrade its quality, that’s elder abuse.

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Extra, extra: In Other News, online

Posted By on Mon, Jun 14, 2010 at 9:00 AM

In this week's installment: How chocolate helps fight aging, condom issues in D.C., and your chance to win a ticket to the finale of "The Biggest Loser."

Curses, Foiled Again
A woman in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., reported hearing a man outside her bedroom window telling someone on a cell phone, “I’m about to commit a crime.” She awoke her boyfriend, who said he observed the intruder sit down on a nearby deck and continue his call. Later, he heard a glass door breaking. An Okaloosa County sheriff’s deputy who responded followed a trail of blood from the glass door to a nearby intersection, where he found Kevin Wayne Weathersby, 30, sitting on a curb bleeding.

A worker counting the night’s take at a Burger King in Pine Bluff, Ark., told police a man approached with a gun, threatened to kill her and demanded the cash. When he set the gun down so he could put the money in a bag, the worker grabbed it, shot the robber during a struggle, then put him in a headlock and called police, who arrested Jason Robinson, 22.

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Friday, June 11, 2010

Dennis Hopper, Pearl Jam and Ted Haggard

Posted By on Fri, Jun 11, 2010 at 3:25 PM

Our semi-regular look at what other alt weeklies have been writing about.

L.A. Weekly remembers the late, great Dennis Hopper, including an interesting bit we hadn't read before about Hopper being told as a child that his father, an agent in the OSS, had been killed in WW II. He hadn't. It was a security measure, and helped shape Hopper's distrust of authority figures.

Gambit Weekly, in New Orleans, has done a masterful job covering the oil disaster in the Gulf. Its latest profiles a family of oyster harvesters who have been working Caminada Bay for four generations, and whose livelihood is shattered.

That's when Nick, who is rational, calm and articulate about the situation, begins to choke. "When I was a kid, I used to swim with the dolphins right here; I'd feed them silver eel from the nets. It was an awesome place to grow up. It hasn't sunk in yet, to see all this ruined. I can't even think it. But it doesn't look good. I heard the guys from Alaska talk about the Exxon Valdez. Twenty-one years later, there's still oil. It doesn't look good for the fishing industry. And Jaden [Nick's 7-year-old son], he already knows he wants to oyster. What's he going to do?"

It's been a while since we heard from good ol' Ted Haggard. Thank God, the Colorado Springs Independent reports he's starting a new church.

Writer and photographer Don Jones went to Iraq for Fort Worth Weekly in 2006, and saw eleven Marines die during the time he was with their unit. Now he's in Afghanistan, to take a look at America's longest running conflict.

John Tebbutt of Calgary Scene reviews the coolest DVD box set you'll never finish.

Finally, Tom Tomorrow, illustrator of the "This Modern World," which you can see every week in the Indy, writes about his relationship with Pearl Jam (he did their latest album cover). While the article is short on (part-time Missoula resident) Jeff Ament info, it does reveal that Eddie Vedder has a four-story firepole running through his house. So, there's that.

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