Friday, April 20, 2012

Turning 21: The Independent's very first issue

Posted By on Fri, Apr 20, 2012 at 10:35 AM


You may have noticed a little something in this week's printed issue of the Indy: a picture of the paper's very first cover, and an announcement about our 21st birthday party. Yes, most institutions mark anniversaries every five years with some big to-do. Not us. We decided 21 was a bigger deal because, honestly, do you better remember your 20th or your 21st? Maybe remember isn't the right word.

Anyway, we're celebrating. Throughout the course of the year you're going to see some nostalgic retrospectives in the paper, some big events in town, and, come fall, a special issue dedicated to the anniversary. But first things first: Go ahead and mark your calendar now for Indy Fest, which will serve as our birthday bash.

Indy Fest is Saturday, June 9, at Caras Park from 4 to 10 p.m.
It's FREE, of course, and will feature music, food, drinks and family-friendly activities.

The music lineup features Jameson and the Sordid Seeds, Sick Kids XOXO, Shahs, Off in the Woods, and Baby & Bukowski, plus tunes from the Tallest DJ in America, Aaron Traylor. On the food and drinks front, we're excited to unveil a limited edition beer, Indy Red Ale, brewed by Blacksmith Brewing Co.

In the meantime, keep an eye out for a favorite cover from our archives appearing each week in the printed paper. This week is the aforementioned debut issue — dated March 7, 1991 — with a story about Missoula's local peace movement, an interview with then-Mayor Dan Kemmis, and a report from Project Censored.

Republishing this cover turned out to be a little harder than you may expect. Long story short: Until a few weeks ago, we didn't have it. For years, it was rumored that all remaining copies of the first issue had been used as emergency rolling papers or were stashed in the walls of the old Fourth Street office with the dead bodies. The thing ceased to exist. Gone.

But one of the last copies turned up thanks to Becky Goodrich, part of the original Indy staff and now with Missoula Parks & Rec. It's in pristine condition and allows us to kick off our 21st in style.

Just be sure to pace yourself, party people. We've got a long way to go before we start ordering Bodega birthday shots or Feruqi's famed Flaming Blue Lamborghini. We're gonna be here a while.

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The Rockies Today, April 20

Posted By on Fri, Apr 20, 2012 at 10:32 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Public, private CO2 sequestration projects under way in Montana
At the annual Big Sky Carbon Sequestration Partnership conference in Great Falls this week, Montana State University reported on its planned carbon sequestration project and a California company has leased more than 130,000 acres in northeastern Montana for its project.
Great Falls Tribune; April 20

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Big Sky listed among Top 50 craft breweries

Posted By on Thu, Apr 19, 2012 at 2:45 PM

The Brewers Association released its annual list of the country's top breweries, and Missoula's own Big Sky Brewing Co. landed at No. 37.

The association is a nonprofit trade group that tabulates production statistics for U.S. breweries. Its rankings are based on 2011 beer sales, and broken into Top 50 Craft Brewing Companies and Top 50 Overall Brewing Companies. Big Sky made the former, ahead of well-known outfits like Gordon Biersch (40th), Breckenridge (41st) and Anderson Valley (50th). Boston Beer Co., the makers of Sam Adams, placed first among craft breweries and fifth overall.

There is a second local connection to the craft brewing list: Four Peaks Brewing, which tied Anderson for 50th and is located in Tempe, Ariz., was started in part by the same fine folks who created Tamarack Brewing Co. The beer recipes are reportedly different, but discerning customers will note that Tamarack's food menus in Lakeside and Missoula are almost identical to the one you'll find at Four Peaks.

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The Rockies Today, April 19

Posted By on Thu, Apr 19, 2012 at 10:18 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

EPA adopts regulations on emissions from oil, gas operations
The Environmental Protection Agency adopted new air-quality standards for oil and gas drilling sites on Wednesday that will require companies to capture toxic emissions and greenhouse gases from pipelines, storage facilities and drilling sites.
New York Times; April 19

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Bowl Lifty Keeps It "Groomed and Level"

Posted By on Wed, Apr 18, 2012 at 9:12 PM


Man, you gotta love these kids with their raps about life as a lift-op up at Snowbowl. This gal nails it when it comes to how the tireless lifties really feel about some of you gapers, but she may have a tough time getting rehired next winter with all this truth-speak. Luckily, her career as a rapper is well on its way thanks to a gratuitous sample of Wiz Khalifa's 2010 jam "Black and Yellow" and the accompanying music video.

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Seven Lake County cops could lose their badges

Posted By on Wed, Apr 18, 2012 at 11:42 AM

We reported last week on five more Lake County law enforcement officers being served with certification revocation notices. Myers Reece of the Flathead Beacon has unpacked the story some more.


He reports that Wade Nash, the Polson chief of police, who was among the officers served, is accused of failing to speak with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks during an investigation and tampering with a witness. The nature of the allegations against the other four officers is still unknown (though we have an idea).

Meanwhile, the legislative Law and Justice Interim Committee is holding a hearing in Helena on Friday to look into the Lake County investigations, though the committee’s chairman, Sen. Jim Shockley, said two of the investigating state agencies invited to attend the hearing – Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and the Department of Justice – have indicated they won’t participate, a decision he believes is improper and makes him “suspicious that we stumbled on something big.”

The Montana Public Safety Officer and Standards Training Council served law certification revocation notices to Polson Police Chief Wade Nash and Officer Cory Anderson; Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Officer Jason Nash; former Lake County Undersheriff Karey Reynolds and Sheriff’s Lieutenant Mike Sargeant. They join Lake County Sergeant Dan Duryee and Ronan Police Chief Dan Wadsworth, who were previously served. They all face revocation hearings.

More background here, here, here and here.

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Schweitzer slipping in silly 2016 polls

Posted By on Wed, Apr 18, 2012 at 10:45 AM

Public Policy Polling is a lot of fun because it stays busy polling people days, months and even years before any of the numbers really matter, and gives us something to prematurely chew on. One example: Montana Republicans couldn't get enough Newt Gingrich in November. Now, he's penguin food.

The latest PPP poll offers some troubling news about Brian Schweitzer and his prospects for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. He's coming in at 1%, trailing Hillary Clinton (57%), Joe Biden (14%), Elizabeth Warren (6%), Andrew Cuomo (5%), Russ Feingold (3%), Mark Warner (2%) and probably Jag, his dog.

The good news: He's tied with Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley and still included in polls like this one (and this one) despite never contending.

We're not worried.

For one thing, Schweitzer repeatedly insists he's not interested in Washington. Just this week he said the place "disgusts" him. For another, it's 2012. If Schweitzer changes his mind, he has plenty of time to raise his national profile after terming out of local office. Plus, the governor likes a good narrative as much as anyone, and polls like this—combined with a "Well, someone has to clean up D.C." message—will make for one heck of a come-from-behind underdog story in four years.

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The Rockies Today, April 18

Posted By on Wed, Apr 18, 2012 at 10:27 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Montana DEQ sued over water-quality enforcement at Colstrip coal mine
The Montana Environmental Information Center and the Sierra Club filed a lawsuit in federal court in Helena against the state Department of Environmental Quality alleging that the agency is not doing enough to protect water quality at the coal mine operated by Colorado-based Westmoreland Coal Co. near Colstrip, and requests that the state make the company address water-quality concerns before it be allowed to expand its operations.
Great Falls Tribune; April 18

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Your future, a little early

Posted By on Wed, Apr 18, 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): You had to take the test before you got a chance to study more than a couple of the lessons. Does that seem fair? Hell, no. That’s the bad news. The good news is that this test was merely a rehearsal for a more important and inclusive exam, which is still some weeks in the future. Here’s even better news: The teachings that you will need to master before then are flowing your way, and will continue to do so in abundance. Apply yourself with diligence, Aries. You have a lot to learn, but luckily, you have enough time to get fully prepared.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Missoula runners remember "Caballo Blanco"

Posted By on Tue, Apr 17, 2012 at 4:43 PM

A couple of weeks ago, Dean McGovern, Kiefer Hahn, Kevin Twidwell and Rick Wishcamper went for a run, which they often do. But this run was dedicated to one of their friends and heros, Micah True, better known as Caballo Blanco. The nomadic ultra-marathoner, made famous by the best-selling book Born to Run, was found dead in New Mexico March 31. The quartet ran from the Wilma Theatre, where True gave a speech to a full house of running enthusiasts in October of 2010, and over the North Hills and into the Rattlesnake, one of the routes they ran with True during his visit. They talked about True’s influence on them and his simple message of “running free.”

Dean McGovern, center, running with Micah True, right, in Missoula in October 2010
  • Dean McGovern, center, running with Micah True, right, in Missoula in October 2010

When McGovern learned True had gone missing in the Gila National Forest, in southwestern New Mexico, in late March, he figured True would turn up. “My first thought,” he says, “was, ‘Oh, come on. He’s out for a run. Of course he’s not on a trail you can see. He’s out running.’ I do that all the time in the Rattlesnake—just get lost, lose track of time.”

But then a few days went by, and True was found dead, his legs still dangling in a creek, with his water bottle next to him and no obvious signs of trauma. He was 58. Autopsy results haven’t been released.

For years, True lived on and off with the Tarahumara Indians in Mexico’s Copper Canyons, one of the most remote wildernesses in North America. The tribe is known for its remarkable health and athletic endurance. They do without modern running shoes, instead running in sandals on the balls of their feet, their legs acting as shock absorbers. In 2006, True started the annual Copper Canyon Ultra Marathon, which author Christopher McDougall participated in and documented in Born to Run. McGovern, Hahn, Twidwell and Wishcamper ran the 51-mile Copper Canyon Ultra Marathon in 2011. McGovern calls it “the most epic adventure I’ve ever been on.”

True was “not that mythical, amazing superhero” as Born to Run portrayed him, McGovern says. “He’s just a guy. He had sharp elbows and sharp opinions, and he would throw his barbs just like anyone else. He had imperfections. But his simple message was profound and it moved a lot of people...literally.”

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