Thursday, September 22, 2011

Not everyone psyched about Montana's end-of-life choices

Posted By on Thu, Sep 22, 2011 at 11:25 AM

Last week we linked to an editorial by Barbara Coombs Lee, president of national nonprofit Compassion & Choices, titled "How Montana Is Revolutionizing the Movement For End-of-Life Choice."

Bradley D. Williams, coordinator of Montanans Against Assisted Suicide, took exception to the post and wrote a rebuttal.

Williams' letter appears in its entirety after the jump. If you want to read Coombs Lee's column at Huffington Post, it's here.

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The Rockies Today, Sept. 22

Posted By on Thu, Sep 22, 2011 at 10:54 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Headwaters News.

Warming West welcomes invasion of pine, spruce beetles
The landscape of the Rocky Mountain West will change dramatically in the next few years as millions of acres of trees are killed by the mountain pine and spruce beetles, which are gaining ground due to warmer winters, overgrown forests, and dwindling government budgets that have too little funds for too many projects.
Salt Lake Tribune; Sept. 22

Megaloads quietly making their way through Montana
Lawyers for Imperial Oil will be in a Montana courtroom today to make their case for lifting an injunction on their plan to transport massive pieces of oilsands mining equipment across Lolo Pass from Idaho through the state to Alberta, but massive pieces of other kinds of equipment are already on the move through the Big Sky State via Interstate 90 and other routes, although it's hard to track those shipments since the state doesn't have any agreement with the other companies to provide real-time information as to where those truckloads are.
Missoulian; Sept. 22

Montana, Helena NF release study on disposal of Mike Horse Mine waste
The Montana Department of Environmental Quality and Helena National Forest released a study that examines options for the permanent disposal of 1 million cubic yards of tailings from the Mike Horse Mine that remain in the soil at the headwaters of the Blackfoot River.
Helena Independent Record; Sept. 22

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Just so you know, Dennis Washington still really rich

Posted By on Wed, Sep 21, 2011 at 10:45 PM

Forbes has released its latest list of the 400 richest people in America, and Missoula's own Dennis Washington still ranks high with a net worth of $5 billion.

Washington, 77, slipped a bit this year, falling to No. 60 on the list. In 2010, he hit No. 58. Forbes again focused on Washington's $200 million yacht renovation when writing about the charitable businessman:

This summer, Dennis Washington completed a nearly four year, estimated $200 million renovation on his latest yacht, the breathtaking 332-foot Attessa IV; it's the 10th yacht he's fixed up over the years. Another recently finished project is the $30 million construction of a middle school campus at the Washington Family Ranch, the Oregon camp he donated to Young Life, a Christian youth organization. Altogether he's spent $60 million on the camp. Washington made his luck and fortune "the old fashioned way," in businesses like construction, railways and mining. His Washington Co. controls a copper mine in Butte, a tugboat and barge business in Vancouver, and Montana Rail Link. The child of divorced parents, he had a tough start, "I went to seven grade schools. I was a god damn cripple," he says, referring to his childhood bout with polio, from which he fully recovered. He eventually settled down in Montana with his grandparents. After working for his uncle's construction company he went out on his own and got a $30,000 loan from a local Caterpillar dealer to start his own highway construction firm. Though he doesn't spend much time in the office these days, Washington still gets updates at least every other day and signs off on any transaction. "I know what's going on, so I can stop and raise hell," he says.

Other Montanans making Forbes list include:

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The Rockies Today, Sept. 21

Posted By on Wed, Sep 21, 2011 at 10:00 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Headwaters News.

Report issued on fatal mauling of hiker in Yellowstone National Park
Bear experts from around the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem that included representatives from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, the U.S. Forest Service, the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and Yellowstone National Park completed an investigation of the fatal mauling of Brian Matayoshi on July 6 in the park, and released a report that said Matayoshi and his wife likely contributed to the attack by running away from the bear and yelling as it began to chase them.
Jackson Hole News & Guide; Sept. 21

Former Interior official joins law firm that represents BP
Tom Strickland, who was Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's chief of staff in April of 2010, when the worst oil spill in the United States' history occurred in the Gulf of Mexico, has taken a job with WilmerHale, a law firm that is defending BP in the ongoing investigation into the oil spill.
Denver Post; Sept. 21

Montana takes public comment on proposed wildlife management area
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is taking public comment on a plan to acquire a 3,594 acres of former Plum Creek Timber land near Drummond purchased by the Nature Conservancy in 2004 as part of the 89,000-acre Blackfoot Community Project, and create the Douglas Creek Wildlife Management Area (WMA) on the land. A public hearing on the proposal is set Oct. 4 in Drummond.
Helena Independent Record; Sept. 20

Groups warn Montana lawsuit may be filed over coal mines' water permits
The Montana Environmental Information Center and Sierra Club put Montana on notice that they may file a lawsuit against the state if nothing is done to protect water quality downstream of coal mines.
Great Falls Tribune; Sept. 21

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Your future, a little early

Posted By on Wed, Sep 21, 2011 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): “I have a simple philosophy,” said Alice Roosevelt Longworth, a self-described hedonist who lived till the age of 96. “Fill what’s empty. Empty what’s full. Scratch where it itches.” That’s not an approach I recommend you pursue all the time, Aries, but I think it could be both wise and fun for you to do so in the coming weeks. Given the upcoming astrological omens, you have a mandate to find out where the most interesting action is, and dive in with the intent to generate even more action. The catalysts need another catalyst like you.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Blue October cancels

Posted By on Tue, Sep 20, 2011 at 10:40 AM

Knitting Factory has announced that tonight's Blue October show at the Wilma is canceled due to a "band member family emergency."

Here's the refund info:

Ticketfly tickets bought on line, or by phone will automatically be refunded.

Tickets purchased at Rockin Rudy’s must be returned to the store.

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The Rockies Today, Sept. 20

Posted By on Tue, Sep 20, 2011 at 10:25 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Headwaters News.

Abbey assures Montana ranchers no national monuments in the works
Bob Abbey, the director of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, told a small group of ranchers in Montana on Monday that there will not be any surprise announcement of new national monuments in the state.
Great Falls Tribune; Sept. 20

Groups urge Alberta to close access, protect habitat for grizzly bears
Four environmental groups are seeking a meeting with Alberta Sustainable Resources Minister Mel Knight to discuss a moratorium on new roads or trails allowing motorized access into grizzly habitat until the province comes up with a provincewide plan to protect remaining grizzly bear habitat.
Calgary Herald; Sept. 20

At BLM hearing on Gateway West, Idaho residents voice concerns
At the Bureau of Land Management's public meeting in Twin Falls on the proposed Gateway West Transmission Project, Idaho residents questioned the configuration of the towers used to support the 1,100-mile long high-voltage transmission line, and others questioned the route it would take. Additional open houses are scheduled this week in Jackpot, Nev., as well as in Burley and Almo, Idaho.
Twin Falls Times-News; Sept. 20

Montana-Idaho transmission line proposal to be studied again
The Mountain States Transmission Intertie, a proposed power line project that will stretch from Townsend, Mont., to southeastern Idaho near Jerome, will get an independent, third-party review by Jefferson and Madison counties in Montana, NorthWestern Energy, Western Environmental Law Center, Headwaters Economics, Sonoran Institute, Craighead Institute and Future West.
Montana Standard; Sept. 20

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Monday, September 19, 2011

Possible lead in search for Noah Pippin

Posted By on Mon, Sep 19, 2011 at 4:14 PM

Alex Sakariassen wrote a cover story last month about a former Marine last seen in the Bob Marshall Wilderness in August 2010. The Associated Press reports that that Montana Army National Guard planned to fly about two dozen people to a remote wilderness area to follow a new lead in the search for Noah Pippin.

The planned two-day search comes several weeks after a troop of Boy Scouts found clothing that could be linked to the man.
The search has been delayed due to forest fires burning in the area.

The search started this morning and will continue through tomorrow. We'll follow the story, but you can also track updates at the family's "Have you seen Noah Pippin?" Facebook page.

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50 documentaries to see before you die

Posted By on Mon, Sep 19, 2011 at 2:40 PM

A friend recently turned me on to Current TV's list/series on 50 documentaries to see before you die. My friend had seen 16 of the films. I had seen 35, and realized the high number had less to do with my available free time and much more to do with the exceptional programming of our local Big Sky Documentary Film Festival.

Hoop Dreams (1994)
  • Hoop Dreams (1994)

Among the documentaries that made Current's list and have screened during the festival are The King of Kong, Brother's Keeper and Paradise Lost (both part of the 2009 Joe Berlinger retrospective), Jesus Camp, and GasLand. The top film was a deserving if unsurprising choice: Steve James' 1994 classic, Hoop Dreams. James has also attended BSDFF for his own retrospective.

Lists like Current's are made to be debated, and sure enough the BSDFF influence plays a part there, as well. Why didn't Marwencol, the haunting, twist-filled film that screened at last year's festival, make the cut? And what about the gorgeous Montana-based Sweetgrass, which was part of the 2010 schedule? I'd take either of those BSDFF selections over Current's 49th choice, Madonna: Truth or Dare.

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The Rockies Today, Sept. 19

Posted By on Mon, Sep 19, 2011 at 10:40 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Headwaters News.

BLM director in Montana this week
U.S. Bureau of Land Management Director Bob Abbey is in Montana for a three-day visit, with his first stop in Great Falls for a meeting with members of the Friends of the Missouri Breaks Monument.
Great Falls Tribune; Sept. 19

BLM director gets a close up look at Colorado wilderness area
Bureau of Land Management Director Bob Abbey is on a three-week listening tour of the West, and last week he hiked and floated through the Gunnison Gorge Wilderness Area in Colorado.
Denver Post; Sept. 19

Two areas in Montana make BLM's potential wilderness list
Last July, Bureau of Land Management Director Bob Abbey asked state BLM directors to supply their recommendations about "crown jewel" areas in their states that would have strong local support for wilderness designation by Congress, and Montana's Sleeping Giant and Sheep Creek wilderness study areas in Lewis and Clark County have made the list of potential recommendations.
Great Falls Tribune; Sept. 19

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