Wednesday, February 29, 2012

"Drinking Made Easy" debuts Missoula episode tonight

Posted By on Wed, Feb 29, 2012 at 3:00 PM

Well, the show hits the Testy Fest. And "Drinking Made Easy" downs tapeworm shots at Bodega (see video below), a feat that we can confidently say is anything but "easy."

The HDNet program also visits Big Sky Brewing and features Roughstock Montana Whiskey, among others.

Missoula, this is the local imbibing that gets highlighted on the national stage. Learn all the details — plus recipes — at the show's website. Or simply watch our town in all its beer- and liquor- and mayo-soaked glory tonight at 8 p.m. EST on HDNet.

If you don't get HDNet (looks like it's only on Dish Network in our area), rest easy: The Rhino and Red's are hosting viewing parties.

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My bet with Gov. Schweitzer

Posted By on Wed, Feb 29, 2012 at 11:35 AM

Gov. Brian Schweitzer made international headlines last week when he referred to "jackasses" in Washington, D.C., holding up the Keystone XL pipeline. Buried in the same interview, below the governor's colorful commentary of Beltway bureaucrats and a funny description of Texas Gov. Rick Perry, he said he'd bet cold hard cash that the pipeline would be built.

Gov. Schweitzer bet $100 the Keystone XL pipeline will be built.
"It's coming through," he told The Canadian Press. "I have $100 burning a hole in my pocket that I will bet you that it gets built. I'd say construction will start in 2013."

As of Tuesday morning, Jayson O'Neill, the governor's communications and policy advisor, confirmed there'd been no takers for the wager.

I told O'Neill I wanted the bet. He said he'd get back to me.

A few minutes later, O'Neill called back and said Schweitzer was in as long as the winner donates the money to his favorite charity. The governor chose the Montana Food Bank Network. Considering the issue, I've chosen the Northern Plains Resource Council, which has been outspoken on the pipeline. We agreed to shake on it next time Schweitzer visits Missoula.

So, why make the bet?

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The Rockies Today, Feb. 29

Posted By on Wed, Feb 29, 2012 at 10:30 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

BLM accepts Signal Peak's bid for Montana coal
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management awarded Signal Peak Energy five tracts of coal near the company's mine in Montana, after the company bid $10.65 million, or 30 cents per recoverable ton, which was double the amount the company bid for the coal when the BLM offered it for sale last year.
Billings Gazette;

Montana approves expanded bison tolerance zone near Yellowstone Park
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and the state Department of Agriculture announced Tuesday that the tolerance zone for bison that wander out of Yellowstone National Park into Montana would expand by 75,000 acres.
Billings Gazette (AP);

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Your future, a little early

Posted By on Wed, Feb 29, 2012 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): At one point in his book The Divine Comedy, the Italian poet Dante is traveling through purgatory on his way to paradise. American poet T.S. Eliot describes the scene: “The people there were inside the flames expurgating their errors and sins. And there was one incident when Dante was talking to an unknown woman in her flame. As she answered Dante’s questions, she had to step out of her flame to talk to him, until at last she was compelled to say to Dante, ‘Would you please hurry up with your questions so I can get on with my burning?’” I bring this to your attention, Aries, because I love the way you’ve been expurgating your own errors and sins lately. Don’t let anything interfere with your brilliant work. Keep burning till you’re done. (Source: “A New Type of Intellectual: Contemplative Withdrawal and Four Quartets,” by Kenneth P. Kramer.)

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Rockies Today, Feb. 28

Posted By on Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 10:59 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Montana rural telephone company presses FCC on dropped calls
Large companies' use of "least-cost routing," the practice of bouncing long-distance telephone calls around the United States to find the cheapest carrier, has resulted in a large number of lost calls, and a rocketing increase in complaints to the Federal Communications Commission by rural telephone cooperatives, including Range Telephone Cooperative in Montana.
Billings Gazette;

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Monday, February 27, 2012

R.I.P., Aaron Bolton

Posted By on Mon, Feb 27, 2012 at 6:30 PM

Aaron Bolton, a longtime staple of the Missoula nightlife and music scene, was found dead in Seattle this morning. He was 36.

Bolton was a co-owner of the Badlander/Palace complex, which he helped open in 2007, and worked at Ear Candy. Over the years he's been a DJ, drummer and run a local record label. He also helped open The Loft in 2005. Reports are he was in Seattle to pick up new speakers for the Badlander.

A construction worker first found Bolton's body at 7 this morning floating near Pier 57 in Elliot Bay, according to a story from KOMO News in Seattle. Police say there are no signs of foul play or trauma, and an investigation is ongoing. The story only identifies the victim as a 36-year-old man from Montana, but the Independent has confirmed it was Bolton.

The news has rocked the Missoula community, including staff at the Independent, and friends have gathered this evening at the Badlander to mourn. We'll add to the story when more details are available, but in the meantime our thoughts and prayers go out to Bolton's family and friends.

This post was updated at 6:50 p.m. Nickell's Bag also has a new post with additional details.

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The Rockies Today, Feb. 27

Posted By on Mon, Feb 27, 2012 at 10:50 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Montana governor: Keystone XL will be built despite opposition from Washington D.C.
In an interview with the Canadian Press, Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer said he was confident the Keystone XL pipeline, which would pass through Montana on its way from Alberta to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast, will be built, despite opposition from "jackasses" in Washington D.C.
Winnepeg Free Press Canadian Press;

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Extra, extra: In Other News, online

Posted By on Mon, Feb 27, 2012 at 9:00 AM

In this week's installment, Winnipeg, which has enjoyed its third-mildest January in more than a century, trucks in 200 loads of faux snow for its annual snow-sculpting competition.

Curses, Foiled Again
Police arrested convicted cockfighter Danny Pham, 36, for violating his parole after he showed up at the post office in Lake Worth, Fla., to claim a live rooster delivered through the mail. Pham insisted the bird in the box was “not his chicken” and that he was “picking it up for a friend.” Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputies found 89 roosters in cages in Pham’s backyard. (The Palm Beach Post)

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Friday, February 24, 2012

Winning documentary subject of 2010 Indy cover story

Posted By on Fri, Feb 24, 2012 at 2:15 PM

The Big Sky Documentary Film Festival awarded Chasing Ice, the story of environmental photographer James Balog, top honors, and something about that film sounded familiar. That's because Balog and his Extreme Ice Survey, which, in part, documented the eroding glaciers at Glacier National Park, were the subject of a 2010 Indy cover story.

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The Rockies Today, Feb. 24

Posted By on Fri, Feb 24, 2012 at 11:00 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Watershed protection in the West wins support of utilities, communities
Before the U.S. Forest Service made protection of watersheds a priority last May, cities such as Denver and Santa Fe were working with local Forest Service officials and groups to come up with plans to restore the health of watersheds that provide those municipalities with water, but the response to other watershed restoration work, including one proposed by Bozeman and the Gallatin National Forest in Montana, face challenges from environmental groups.
High Country News;

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