In its third year of handing out grades, the Ski Areas Citizens’ Coalition continues to raise awareness about the environmental impacts of skiing. Unfortunately, neither the Coalition nor the local media seem too concerned about the details. From Kalispell to Missoula, nothing has been reported about the F-grade earned by Whitefish ski resort Big Mountain. The failing grade comes thanks to Big Mountain’s ambitious expansion plan and efforts to oppose both the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and roadless area legislation.

This year’s failing mark is a drop from the D Big Mountain received each of the last two years. The Coalition says that’s because it’s tightened its criteria, which would be welcome news if it were true. Last year, the Coalition’s score card produced results that could be tallied up so many different ways, the final numbers carried little weight. This year, a comparison between Big Mountain and Big Sky Resort offers more insight into the dubious grade-tallying methods employed by the Coalition.

At Big Sky, which received a C, the Coalition insists the resort isn’t doing anything to harm the habitat of “threatened, endangered, sensitive or candidate animal species.” But the Coalition offers no documentation to back the claim. A Coalition spokesperson admitted that his group is unable to gather a baseline set of data that it can use to judge all resorts equally. One problem is the difficulty of comparing resorts like Big Sky, which is located on private land, and Big Mountain, where ski terrain is cut out of national forest. Maybe the Coalition should try a sliding scale.


“But your honor, in Porky’s it just seemed like good, clean fun.” Pee Wee, Billy, Tommy and Mickey, the four chronically horny high school protagonists of the Porky’s movies, were accused only of hilarity (that is if you think drilling a hole in the wall of the girl’s shower is hilarious). Three students at Powell County High School are accused of something much more disturbing.

The suspects—all 18 or younger—face charges of burglary and “surreptitious visual observation or recordation” for their ingenious operation. The high school boys are accused of sneaking through a drop ceiling in the girls’ locker room and secretly videotaping the goings on during girls’ volleyball tournaments over the past two years.

The suspects, if convicted, face fines of up to $50,000 and/or 20-plus years in prison. Ha ha.

Powell County officials haven’t revealed to the public who, if anyone, has seen the video tapes, but officials have asked school districts across Montana to alert female volleyball tournament participants that there is a possibility they may be featured on the tapes.

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