Friday, March 30, 2012

UM dancers will bring "MEAT" to Washington D.C.

Posted By on Fri, Mar 30, 2012 at 3:45 PM

This is a different kind of meat adventure than what Jon Tester had in D.C.

In “MEAT,” 11 dancers in nude underwear take the stage in front of a backdrop that evokes an industrial factory. They hold their arms semi-bent in front of their bodies in an unnatural manner—faces vacant—and they move in odd, sometimes beautiful ways as if they were super-robots (who only just look like humans) in a Minority Report-style.

The fascinating and kind of creepy piece, choreographed by UM alumnus Brian Gerke and his Icelandic dance partner Steinunn Ketilsdóttir, was chosen to represent UM’s Dance Program at The National College Dance Festival at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. May 24—27.

“MEAT” and another UM piece “My Body,” choreographed by Collin Ranf, hit the American College Dance Festival Association’s regional conference in Salt Lake City earlier this month— it's one of 11 regional conferences in the country competing for the national showcase. “MEAT” was one of 30 pieces chosen out of all the regional showcases to go to D.C. This is the second time in as many years that UM made it to the national stage. Last year, the piece “Prey” by renowned choreography Bebe Miller, made it to the national stage.

Steinunn & Brian have created a big buzz in the Missoula dance community for their quirky, sometimes funny, sometimes uncomfortable and usually intriguing style.

Check out these photos from “MEAT,” by the amazing Neil Chaput de Saintonge.

The Rockies Today, March 30

Posted By on Fri, Mar 30, 2012 at 10:55 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Canada's federal budget features streamlined environmental reviews
The streamlined environmental review process reflected in Canada's federal budget appears to be crafted to directly address opposition to the $6.6-billion Northern Gateway pipeline that would carry Alberta crude west to the B.C. coast.
Toronto Globe and Mail; March 29

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Trapped wolf photo sparks outrage, threats

Posted By on Fri, Mar 30, 2012 at 9:47 AM

The director of the Missoula-based anti-trapping organization Footloose Montana received what appears to be a death threat directed at family members after she posted to the internet photos of a live Idaho wolf caught in a foot-hold trap, John Adams of the Great Falls Tribune reports.


Anja Heister, executive director of Footloose Montana, on March 22 posted a series of photos gleaned from an online trapping forum called on her personal and Footloose Montana Facebook sites.

Heister said she opened Footloose Montana's email inbox on Monday and found what she believed to be a death threat directed at family members of the organization:

"I would like to donate (sic) a gun to your childs (sic) head to make sure you can watch it die slowly so I can have my picture taken with it's (sic) bleeding dying screaming for mercy body. YOU WILL BE THE TARGET NEXT BITCHES!" the message read.

More here.

And a couple more graphic photos here, at the Earth Island Journal.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Anderson Cooper 360 investigates Pinehaven

Posted By on Thu, Mar 29, 2012 at 1:45 PM

Pinehaven Christian Children's Ranch in St. Ignatius is no stranger to controversy. The Indy has reported on the boarding school and allegations of abuse for years. A March 2011 story about runaways found in Missoula included a number of alumni and former employees speaking out about a history of abuse.

According to notarized affidavits and written testimony from five past ranch employees, Pinehaven staffers allegedly use excessive force—like choking, for instance—to subdue residents. Former youth home employees assert in those documents, obtained by the Independent, that kids also receive insufficient medical and psychiatric care. And, on at least two occasions, once in 2004 and again in 2006, Pinehaven employees engaged in sexual activity with residents under the age of 18.

Pinehaven founder and director Bob Larsson has always disputed the allegations and stood by the school's practices. Now, he's allowed CNN to film on the campus.

Anderson Cooper 360 and reporter Gary Tuchman launched this week a three-part look at Pinehaven in connection with the show's ongoing "UnGodly Discipline" series. You can see the first two installments here. The last one airs tonight.

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More UM woes

Posted By on Thu, Mar 29, 2012 at 1:00 PM

The Indy has confirmed via the Missoula Police Department's online jail roster that Officer John Martini arrested Houston Leon Roots, age 22, yesterday, March 28, on a charge of partner or family assault, and that he was released at 6:13 p.m. the same day after posting $500 bond. Roots is a former cornerback for the University of Montana's Griz football team. According to the University of Montana directory, Roots is still listed as a student.

Whether Roots's arrest had any bearing on this morning's firing of UM athletic director Jim O'Day and football coach Robin Pflugrad has not been confirmed. UM officials have not yet commented on the motives behind the firings, beyond releasing a statement on the firings wishing both O'Day and Pflugrad the best. The last few months have seen a rash of allegations of sexual assault at UM, including allegations against several past and present football players.

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UM to release statement on future of Jim O'Day and Robin Pflugrad

Posted By on Thu, Mar 29, 2012 at 11:47 AM

Speculation on the University of Montana campus for the past several hours has indicated that the administration has relieved athletic director Jim O'Day and Griz football coach Robin Pflugrad of their duties as of this morning. The Indy got a phone tip on the rumor around 10 a.m., and quickly followed the progression of the news on Twitter. UM announced it will release a statement within the hour.

The Missoulian reported the news as confirmed based on an email sent to staff by assistant athletic director Greg Sundberg this morning. The Indy will post additional news as UM releases more information.

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The Rockies Today, March 29

Posted By on Thu, Mar 29, 2012 at 10:44 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Utah approves oilshale project on SITLA lands
The decision by the Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining to approve Delaware-based Red Leaf Resources' proposed large-scale oilshale extraction project on 1,500 acres of school trust lands property in the Uintah Basin has already been appealed by an environmental group.
Deseret News; March 28

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Reaction to the Lee Enterprises bonuses, Montana newspaper layoffs

Posted By on Wed, Mar 28, 2012 at 4:25 PM

Yesterday news broke that Lee Enterprises CEO Mary Junck received a $500,000 bonus for "successfully" refinancing the company, while CFO Carl Schmidt got $250,000. Yesterday word also leaked that staffers were laid off at various Lee-owned Montana newspapers.

Mary Junck
  • Mary Junck
Today, there's continued reaction to the timing of the two moves. The tone is about what you'd expect.

Jim Romenesko's influential media blog picked up on social media updates and online comments that capture the frustration of current and former Lee employees. One describes Junck as "no strategist" and says "you could have thrown water balloons in the newsroom and hit 10 better candidates" for CEO. Another says Junck and other managers "crossed the line from managing to looting a long time ago." Romenesko's awaiting a return phone call from Junck to respond.

Former Missoulian reporter Robert Struckman, who now works for the AFL-CIO, blogged about the news with this strong opening line: "The biggest national news story of the past four years is playing out in miniature among the Montana newspaper holdings of Lee Enterprise — the top boss gets a huge chunk of change while the people who actually do the work get the shaft."

Struckman includes quotes from some of the Montana staffers who were let go or bought out. The Missoulian, of course, is owned by Lee. Last week, the Indy reported the local daily was offering voluntary buyouts.

The United Media Guild, which represents St. Louis-area media workers, didn't pull any punches in its assessment of the bonuses.

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Beer and politics

Posted By on Wed, Mar 28, 2012 at 11:15 AM

This post covers some news regarding President Obama's home brews, Big Sky Brewing, and the increasing possibility of shipping local beer via the United States Postal Service. Clearly, these are vital topics that local readers need to know about. All come from a recent Politico article that focused on beer's considerable influence inside the Beltway.

We'll cover each one in reverse order:

1. To help increase USPS revenue, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) introduced a bill last week that would allow USPS to ship wine and beer. The 21st Century Postal Service Act, which is co-sponsored by Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Scott Brown (R-Mass.), aims to increase USPS revenue and capitalize on the growing craft brewery market.

Can you imagine the requests from Missoula expats wanting shipments of Cold Smoke and Dump Truck Summer Bock?

2. The Senate Small Brewers Caucus met last month over beers from Big Sky Brewing. This is a direct result of Sen. Max Baucus being co-chair of the caucus. Montana's senior senator has been a proponent of small brewers, including them in his Montana Jobs Economic Engine Initiative and touting the fact Montana has the second-highest number of small breweries per capita in the nation. It's worth noting Rep. Denny Rehberg is on the House version of the same caucus.

One suggestion: Perhaps Baucus and Rehberg can influence state laws that put an unnecessary cap on otherwise thriving local brewers.

3. Did you know the White House brews its own beer? This isn't local, or new, but it's still cool. It started a year ago, and there are three varieties to date: White House Honey Ale, White House Honey Blonde Ale and White House Honey Porter. Even cooler: The beehive that supplies the honey is located on White House grounds.

Read more at Politico.

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The Rockies Today, March 28

Posted By on Wed, Mar 28, 2012 at 10:56 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Montana U.S. senator sponsors bill to block oil exports
Montana U.S. Sen. Jon Tester introduced legislation that would prohibit oil that flows from Alberta to U.S. refineries on the Gulf Coast via the Keystone XL pipeline from being exported to foreign markets.
Billings Gazette (AP); March 28

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