Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Rockies Today, Sept. 24

Posted By on Tue, Sep 24, 2013 at 11:45 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Groups petition USFWS to protect fishers in Montana, Idaho
Six environmental groups petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect fishers, small weasel-like predators found in old-growth forests in Idaho and Montana, as a threatened or endangered species; a similar petition filed in 2009 was rejected in 2011.
Flathead Beacon (AP); Sept. 24

Montana DEQ sets meeting Monday to discuss Belt Creek water quality
Old coal mines near Belt are the source of acid and heavy metals that flow into Belt Creek, and on Monday, the Montana Department of Environmental Quality will hold a public meeting in Belt to discuss water-treatment options.
Great Falls Tribune; Sept. 22

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Monday, September 23, 2013

Rockies Today, Sept. 23

Posted By on Mon, Sep 23, 2013 at 2:06 PM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Montana tribe joins coal fight
Members of the Lummi Nation in Washington state traveled to the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation in Montana last week, to take part in ceremonies to fight the development of coal resources in Montana.
Great Falls Tribune; Sept. 23

U. of Utah researcher says swarm of Yellowstone Park earthquakes 'unusual'
While Yellowstone National Park experiences a fair amount of seismic activity, three recent simultaneous swarms in the park were categorized as "remarkable," by Bob Smith, a University of Utah geophysics professor.
Idaho Statesman (Jackson Hole News & Guide); Sept. 23

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Why it's dangerous to drive with a blow-up doll (and more from In Other News)

Posted By on Mon, Sep 23, 2013 at 9:00 AM

Curses, Foiled Again
While neighboring groups of campers at Scotland’s Loch Earn argued, Barry McCutcheon, 25, who was camping between them, asked them to calm down, prosecutor John Malpass told a Perth court, “and that wasn’t received kindly.” Then someone in one group yelled, “Bring the hatchets.” McCutcheon fled but was stabbed in the back several times with a hatchet. Investigators identified Craig Shaw as the attacker after finding a receipt for the hatchets that led them to a store surveillance video, which showed Shaw. (Scotland’s STV)

James Patrick Andrews, 43, tried to withdraw money from a Bank of America ATM in St. Petersburg, Fla., but after the machine informed him that his account had a negative balance, he robbed the bank. Police reported that Andrews made off with $1,000, but they had his photo from the ATM and the getaway car’s license number and arrested him. (Tampa Bay Times)

Revenge of the Dead
A 51-year-old hunter who shot an elk outside Vernal, Utah, was trying to roll the 600- to 700-pound animal over when one of its antlers punctured his neck behind the jaw. Uintah County Undersheriff John Larson said the victim phoned for help and was airlifted to the hospital. (Associated Press)

Better Than Armed Guards
The Glendale, Calif., school district paid a private firm $40,500 to monitor 14,000 middle and high school students’ posts on Facebook, Twitter and other social media. School officials insist the purpose isn’t snooping but student safety. The contractor, Geo Listening, which has other school clients, searches public postings, looking for possible violence, drug use, bullying, truancy and suicide threats. “We enforce the code of student conduct for every school we serve” by compiling a daily report to send each principal,” CEO Chris Frydrych said. The firm employs 10 full-time staffers and hires freelance workers to work no more than four hours a day, Frydrych said, because “the content they read is so dark and heavy.” The firm intends expanding its monitoring capacity by offering a smartphone app that lets students and parents notify school officials of conduct violations. (CNN)

Deflated Protest
After British police stopped a chartered party bus for carrying nine passengers instead of the allowed eight, driver Bash Ali, 41, objected, pointing out that the ninth passenger was actually a blow-up doll. Lacking money for a lawyer, however, Ali pleaded guilty in Manchester court, which ruled “that the vehicle was overloaded and that they were all human beings.” Ordered to pay $688.86 in fines and cost, Ali declared, “I have no faith in the justice system.” (United Press International)

When Guns Are Outlawed
Earl Morgan III, 29, tried to kill himself by drilling into his head with a power drill, according to police in Anderson, Ind. Police official Joel Sandefur said that Morgan was in serious condition at an Indianapolis hospital. (Associated Press)

After Steven Lowe, 41, resigned from the Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., police department because of allegations that he impersonated a teenage girl online to entice young boys to send him nude pictures, authorities said he committed suicide by shooting himself in the chest “multiple times” with a nail gun. (Associated Press)

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Friday, September 20, 2013

Audio of the controversial Montana State video that includes a rape joke and forced a prominent CEO to apologize

Posted By on Fri, Sep 20, 2013 at 3:30 PM

The Brawl of the Wild rivalry between Montana and Montana State got a little weird this week. It all revolves around a not very funny video and one particular lyric that makes fun of sexual assaults in Missoula. The fallout includes lots (and lots) of message board and social media comments, and a public apology from the CEO of Wheat Montana for his role in the making of the spoof.

So, how'd this all start?

Last Sunday, a user at BobcatNation posted video of "C.A.T.S.," and described it as the "much anticipated followup to last year's hit 'Blue Bobcat Cup.'" Immediate reaction to the video ranged from "Frankly, I've never been more humiliated" to "That's going to be hot, hot, hot for years to come." A few commenters specifically noted in the forum the line that attempted to make fun of sexual assaults in Missoula. "haa its funny that one part about the no means no because i think they are talking about the grizz raping," wrote "Buck N."

The same day, the video reached a forum at eGriz, where the reaction ranged from "That has to be the worst POS I have ever seen" to "The little no means no line in there is pretty.... Classless."

Someone also called attention to the YouTube description of the video — since removed — that included this:

Larry Aasheim and Dean Folkvord of F&A Productions and producer Markus Zetler/Heroshots Productions, the team that brought you last year's hit "Blue Bobcat Cup", are back with "C.A.T.S"! A musical tribute to Montana State University and the fighting Bobcats and a parody of the beloved song "Y.M.C.A." by the Village People.

Aasheim is the co-founder of Universal Athletics. Folkvord is the CEO of Wheat Montana. As criticism of the video mounted, especially in regards to the "no means no" lyric, some users called for a boycott of the companies. That prompted Folkvord to post a public apology (also since removed) on his company's Facebook page:

I am issuing this official apology to all Wheat Montana customers, and friends, who have posted comments about the CATS video.

My friend and I did do a despicable thing, with the line "No-means-No". Accordingly, I've embarrassed myself, our company, our public institutions, and my fellow Montanan's.

I am making this personal apology to you, because it was wrong, and you have made your feelings known.

I am sorry to have caused this condition and am equally sorry to others that I have touched with this cruel statement.

Today I was in personal contact with administrators at UM, and have issued a formal, written, apology to them.

You can be sure that I have learned a lesson.

In Montana we enjoy a rich Cat/Griz rivalry that challenges our two major universities to become better. While attempting to be funny, I clearly crossed the line and pray that you will forgive this one episode of bad judgement and poor taste.

Dean Folkvord, CEO

It's worth noting that a day after the "C.A.T.S." video was posted, MSU administrators suspended two fraternities after reports of rapes during weekend parties.

The video quickly disappeared from the internet. Most fans have moved on, but many haven't had a chance to hear what prompted such a fuss. The Indy received an audio file of the song, which you can stream below.

Rockies Today, Sept. 20

Posted By on Fri, Sep 20, 2013 at 11:24 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Colorado now tracking nearly a dozen oil spills in flooded areas
Two of the 10 oil and gas spills being monitored in flood-damaged areas are large ones, while the remaining eight are classified as minor by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.
Denver Post; Sept. 20

Montana DNRC hears from both sides on proposed water well regulation
The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation is proposing a change to water well rules to require developers of subdivisions to prove their new wells won't affect existing water rights, a move conservation groups and ranchers said is needed, but drillers and contractors said the regulation is unnecessary.
Great Falls Tribune; Sept. 20

Montana landowners' lawsuit alleges petroleum pollution near Cut Bank
Forty-six landowners in Montana filed a federal lawsuit earlier this month alleging that petroleum pollution from an area near Cut Bank known as Tank Hill is migrating onto their property.
Great Falls Tribune; Sept. 20

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

What is glamping, anyway?

Posted By on Thu, Sep 19, 2013 at 3:40 PM

Retired Associated Press editor William Kronholm and his wife recently spent six days on the Salmon River in Idaho, rafting during the day and enjoying a gourmet meal with wine each night before retiring to their tent, complete with a mattress, fluffy pillows and floor rug. Kronholm, whose previous standard for wilderness luxury was simply having a dry pair of socks, wrote an article describing the experience as a “delightful shock.” He calls it “glamping,” a mashup of glamorous and camping, and informs us that a similar six-day trip could be ours for the price of roughly $2,500.

The idea of luxury excursions in the wilderness is nothing new, but the term “glamping” is only a few years old; Google Trends shows that people started searching the term online in 2007. Recently I’ve seen the word come up quite a bit, which sparked my curiosity: What exactly defines the glamping experience? Does using the Thermarest LuxuryMap sleeping pad count? What about a winter ski trip to a wood stove-heated cabin? Or packing that extra dessert you know you’ll crave on the trail?

The Online Urban Dictionary defines glamping as: “Satisfying your craving for the outdoors and your penchant for a good meal, nice glass of wine, and a comfortable bed.” Another online dictionary describes it as like a hotel, but where your room opens to a beautiful landscape instead of a lobby.

I’ll admit, when I first heard the term, I rolled my eyes. I agreed with Ben Gadd, a Canadian wilderness guide, who called it “just silly.” Most summers of my childhood, my family would pack the mini van with our heavy, two-room Coleman tent, thick flannel-lined sleeping bags and fold-up cookstove. I learned to expect a week of great hiking and beautiful scenery, as well as dirty feet, mosquito bites and a lot of work. But it was a pretty cheap way for a family of five to vacation.

As an adult, I’ve begun to assemble my own array of camping gear. While fancy new gear isn’t at all cheap, a few luxuries really can make the experience, well, more attractive. Inflatable sleeping pads make the ground a lot softer, and fiberglass tent poles are incomparably lighter than our old Coleman steel frames. It turns out that I do like to stay warm in a down sleeping bag, and meals with a little bit of extra care — like pancakes spiced with cinnamon chips — taste amazing on the trail.

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Rockies Today, Sept. 19

Posted By on Thu, Sep 19, 2013 at 11:55 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

U.S. House approves bill to streamline mining projects on federal lands
The U.S. House voted 246-178 to approve legislation sponsored by Nevada Rep. Mark Amodei to speed up federal reviews of mining projects for hard rock mines on federal lands, which includes an option for federal officials to use state reviews of projects and requires environmental reviews be completed within 30 months.
Flathead Beacon (AP); Sept. 19

USFS shuts down megaload corridor along Highway 12 in Idaho
Complying with a federal court decision, the U.S. Forest Service issued a closure order for a section of Highway 12 in Idaho that stops, for now, the transport of oversized truck loads along the route.
Idaho Statesman (AP); Sept. 19

USFWS tries again to reintroduce of black-footed ferrets in Montana
Previous attempts to reintroduce black-footed ferrets in Montana were stymied by sylvatic plague, but the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Assiniboine and Gros Ventres tribes, World Wildlife Fund, Defenders of Wildlife and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation will try again in October, when up to 30 ferrets will be released on 1,000 acres on the Fort Belknap Reservation, where a healthy prairie dog population will provide a food source for the ferrets.
Great Falls Tribune; Sept. 19

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Rockies Today, Sept. 18

Posted By on Wed, Sep 18, 2013 at 12:34 PM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Annual report: Most Yellowstone-area grizzly deaths occur in Wyoming
The Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team published its annual report for 2012 last week that said 91 percent of the 34 "human-related" grizzly bear deaths in the Yellowstone Ecosystem occurred in Wyoming, which contains about two-thirds of the grizzly bear habitat in the ecosystem.
Jackson Hole News & Guide; Sept. 18

Oracle, Boeing execs vow dedication to Montana, jobs at Butte summit
At the Montana Economic Development Summit in Butte on Tuesday, Boeing CEO Jim McNerney announced the company would spend $35 million to expand its operations in Helena, adding between 20 and 25 jobs there, and Safra Catz, the president of Oracle, said the company will focus on the cloud technology services provided at its operations in Bozeman.
Montana Standard (Lee State Bureau); Sept. 18

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Your future, a little early

Posted By on Wed, Sep 18, 2013 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): "If Taylor Swift is going to have six breakups a year," observed comedian Bill Maher, "she needs to write a new song entitled 'Maybe It's Me.'" He was referring to Swift's habit of using her romantic misadventures to stimulate her lyric-writing creativity. With that as your prompt, Aries, I'll ask you to do some soul-searching about your own intimacy issues. How have you contributed to the problems you've had in getting the love and care you want? What unconscious behavior or conditioned responses have undermined your romantic satisfaction, and what could you do to transform them? The next eight weeks will be prime time to revolutionize your approach to relationships.

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tuesdays with "Camp Sleepover"

Posted By on Tue, Sep 17, 2013 at 11:50 AM


Josh Quick's "Camp Sleepover" appears every Tuesday online, and can be seen in the Indy's printed pages every Thursday.

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