Tuesday, Sep. 27th, 2022

Bozeman Installs Public Art Installation Celebrating Inclusivity in Downtown Bozeman

The City of Bozeman, Gender Equality Montana and the Downtown Bozeman Partnership are pleased to announce the completion of a public art installation created by local artists designed to provide a space for celebrating the LGBTQ+ community in Downtown Bozeman.
 
Intersection(al) Art features a splash of color around pedestrian crossings located at the curb bulb-outs at the intersection of Black and Babcock Avenues. The purpose of the project is to symbolize the communities’ continued commitment to inclusivity, provide a platform for queer artists to showcase their work, and improve the visibility and safety of pedestrians crossing a high traffic area.

 
Local artists and members of the LGBTQ+ community responded to a call to art and submitted design concepts, artists statements and an implementation plan for review by the City of Bozeman, Gender Equality Montana and the Downtown Bozeman Partnership. The designs were narrowed down to four and nearly 400 community members then voted on their favorite design through the City’s Engage Bozeman platform.

 
The project was made possible by the City of Bozeman, Gender Equality Montana, and the Downtown Bozeman Partnership.
 
For more information regarding the Intersection(al) Art Project, please visit: https://engage.bozeman.net/intersectional-art-project.

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Gallatin County Elections Office Encourages Early Voter Registration

Why wait?! The Gallatin County Elections Department encourages voters who need to register or update their registration to do so sooner than later to avoid Election Day lines.

Due to a recent court ruling, same-day voter registration will be permitted on Election Day for the upcoming federal general election on Nov. 8.

Voters can register to vote on Election Day, but can only do so at the Elections Office between 7 AM and 8 PM. Their ballots must be received by 8 PM.

Voters new to Gallatin County, who register on Election Day, will be required to vote provisionally. Their vote will be counted on Monday Nov. 14 once it goes through the Provisional Ballot verification process to ensure election integrity.

Gallatin County Elections staff urges folks to update your voter registration now! Be proactive and avoid long registration lines on Election Day. Depending on crowds, in years past folks have had to wait hours to get registered on Election Day. Come in now and our staff will have you in and out of our office in just a few minutes!

You can check your voter registration information at www.MyVoterPageMT.com. Remember – if you’ve moved or changed your name since the last election, you will need to update your registration.

Our staff makes it quick and easy to get registered. Simply print out this form and fill it out using blue or black ink. Then return it to our office either in person, by email or via email. For email forms, simply take a picture or scan your filled-out form and send it to gallatin.elections@gallatin.mt.gov.

Almost 17 and ready to vote in the upcoming election? Seventeen-year-olds with birthdays on or before Election Day on Nov. 8 can pre-register today!

Please note: Regular voter registration for the upcoming general election closes at 5 PM on Tuesday, Oct. 11. The late voter registration period begins on Wednesday, Oct. 12. During late registration, you must appear in person at the election office to register to vote or make changes to your current registration. Late registration ends at noon on Monday, Nov. 7. Then same-day registration is available on Election Day from 7 AM to 8 PM.

Other recent elections changes

A recent court ruling also updated laws around what is an acceptable form of ID for voting. A student ID is now an acceptable form of identification. Students can provide their current student ID to vote – no additional ID required.

The Gallatin County Elections Office is located at:

311 W. Main St.
Room 210
Bozeman, MT 59715

Reach us at 406-582-3060 or gallatin.elections@gallatin.mt.gov. Find more elections info at www.gallatinvotes.com.

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Saturday, Sep. 24th, 2022

FWP responds to recent bear conflicts in southwest Montana 

BOZEMAN – As fall approaches and bear activity increases, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks staff in southwest Montana have recently responded to many reports of bear conflicts. These conflicts stem from a mix of human safety concerns, habituated bear behavior, unsecured attractants and other issues.  

On Sept. 20, FWP bear specialists captured an adult female grizzly bear on private land in the Gardiner Basin. In the weeks prior to the capture, the bear had broken into a fenced compound, frequented a home that had no unsecured attractants or natural foods, and killed chickens secured by electric fencing. The bear was largely undeterred by hazing efforts, which included rubber bullets, paintballs, electric fencing and noise-making devices. The bear also had been captured and relocated twice in prior years because of similar conflicts.  

Due to the recent conflicts and the bear’s history, and in consultation with the U.S. Fish Wildlife Service (USFWS), FWP euthanized the bear on Sept. 21.  

The female grizzly was accompanied by a small cub, which was captured on Sept. 21. The cub will be transferred to a zoo in the coming weeks. 

Montana’s archery hunting season overlaps with the time of year bears are more actively seeking food. Several hunters have reported encounters with grizzly bears this year.    

On Sept. 20, FWP received a report of an adult male grizzly bear that was shot and killed in self-defense by a group of hunters on private land west of Emigrant. The hunters were not injured. FWP and the USFWS confirmed the grizzly bear mortality and are still investigating the incident.  

On Sept. 14, a group of hunters reported they were charged by a grizzly bear near Rock Creek in the Tom Miner Basin. One of the hunters shot at the bear with a pistol, and the bear ran away. The U.S. Forest Service issued a temporary road closure while FWP wardens and bear specialists investigated the incident. After searching from the ground and from a helicopter, no sign of an injured bear or bear tracks were found. The area was reopened with an advisory of high bear activity.  

In recent weeks, FWP game wardens and bear specialists have also responded to numerous conflicts with black bears in residential areas of Bozeman, Belgrade, Big Sky, Helena and Butte. Several black bears have had to be euthanized after they gained access to garbage and other unsecured attractants, creating human safety risks and habituated bear behavior.  

Be Bear Aware 
Unsecured attractants, such as garbage and bird feeders, can lead to human safety risks and property damage. Relocating and releasing bears that have associated human activity with food usually leads to further conflicts because bears often return to the same area where they were captured to look for food. Unfortunately, bears in these situations can’t be rehabilitated, so they often must be euthanized.  

Montana is bear country. Grizzly bear populations continue to become denser and more widespread in Montana, increasing the likelihood that residents and recreationists will encounter them in more places each year. Bears also become more active in late summer and fall as they spend more time eating in preparation for hibernation.  

Avoiding conflicts with bears is easier than dealing with conflicts. Here are some precautions to help residents, recreationists and people who work outdoors avoid negative bear encounters:  
• Keep garbage, bird feeders, pet food and other attractants put away in a secure building. Keep garbage in a secure building until the day it is collected. Certified bear-resistant garbage containers are available in many areas. 

• Never feed wildlife. Bears that become food conditioned lose their natural foraging behavior and pose threats to human safety. It is illegal to feed bears in Montana.  
• Carry bear spray and be prepared to use it immediately.  
• Travel in groups whenever possible and make casual noise, which can help alert bears to your presence.  
• Stay away from animal carcasses, which often attract bears.  
• Follow food storage orders from the applicable land management agency.  
• If you encounter a bear, never approach it. Leave the area when it is safe to do so.  
Hunting in places that have or may have grizzly bears—which includes areas of Montana west of Billings—requires special precautions:  
• Carry bear spray and be prepared to use it immediately.  
• Look for bear sign and be cautious around creeks and areas with limited visibility.  
• Hunt with a group of people. Making localized noise can alert bears to your presence.  
• Be aware that elk calls and cover scents can attract bears.  
• Bring the equipment and people needed to help field dress game and remove the meat from the kill site as soon as possible. 
• If you need to leave part of the meat in the field during processing, hang it at least 10 feet off the ground and at least 150 yards from the gut pile. Leave it where it can be observed from a distance of at least 200 yards.  
• Upon your return, observe the meat with binoculars. If it has been disturbed or if a bear is in the area, leave and call FWP.  

Grizzly bears in the lower 48 states are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Management authority for grizzlies rests with the USFWS, working closely in Montana with FWP, the Forest Service, the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Geological Survey, Wildlife Services, and Native American tribes. This collaboration happens through the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee.  

For more information and resources on bear safety, visit fwp.mt.gov/conservation/wildlife-management/bear.  

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Friday, Sep. 23rd, 2022

How to Get Car Insurance Papers Legally


Every driver needs to carry proof of insurance with them at all times. If you get pulled over, get into an accident, or try to register your vehicle, you'll need to produce it.

A printed or mailed insurance ID card from your car insurance provider is the most common proof of insurance. Most people store theirs in the car's glove box, where it can easily be accessed in case of an emergency and where vital information like policy information can be easily accessed. Some insurance companies for motor vehicles accept electronic proof of insurance. If you need more help, continue reading.

In what ways can you demonstrate that you have insurance?

Authorities can verify a valid auto insurance policy if you provide proof of insurance through a card, printout, or electronic document. In several everyday driving scenarios, you may be asked to provide proof of car insurance, usually in the form of your auto insurance card.

• For example
• If the police pull you over
• The exchange of auto insurance information following an accident
• When you go to the Department of Motor Vehicles to register a newly acquired 
    vehicle or to renew your license plate.
• A financial institution, if you're getting a car loan

The automobile insurance ID card your provider mails you is the most common form of insurance proof. Suppose you don't have access to a printer. In that case, many insurance companies will email you a card to print. Others will let you verify your coverage with a photo of your driver's license or other identifying information on your smartphone.

You can find your policy number and other relevant details about yourself and your vehicle on your insurance ID card. Details may include:

• Number of the insurance policy
• Policy Start and End Dates
• ID Number of the Car (VIN)
• Model Year of Vehicle
• Specification of Vehicle
• Particulars of a few plans

A Guide to Obtaining Your Insurance ID Card

All three options for obtaining proof of auto insurance are quick and easy.

The most convenient method for obtaining a proof of insurance card for a vehicle is to submit a request to the insurer. When you sign up for a new insurance policy, the company will likely send you multiple physical insurance cards.

The card can be emailed to you by your agent or the company; print it out, fill out the necessary information, and store it in your vehicle's glove compartment.

There are a few companies offering mobile apps that let you view your vehicle insurance card.

What a health insurance card looks like?

On a typical insurance card, you'll find the company's name and details about the policyholder and the insured vehicle. There won't be a picture of the driver, and an address may not even be listed.

Justification for requiring insurance documentation

Because driving without insurance is illegal in nearly every jurisdiction, you'll need to produce proof of coverage. Almost every traffic stop is a check for car insurance, and exchanging insurance information is mandatory if you're ever in an accident.

It is assumed that you do not have affordable auto insurance unless you provide proof of insurance to the Department of Motor Vehicles, law enforcement, or a lender. This will cause you the hassle of proving your insurance status later.

Inability to provide proof of insurance

Assuming you are covered, the penalties for not having proof of low-cost auto insurance are usually mild. Within a specified timeframe, you must provide evidence to a government agency that you are covered, even if you do not have a card or other proof of coverage. A quicker effort to find a resolution would be appreciated.

If you follow these steps, you may be able to avoid paying a fine entirely or have a minimal one imposed. For instance, motorists in the state of California and the state of Tennessee will each pay $20–$25. The minimum fine for not carrying proof of insurance is $100, but the consequences can be much more severe if an accident occurs while you are uninsured.

Falsified insurance documents

You should not try to get or use phony insurance documentation. You shouldn't get behind the wheel if you didn't provide proof of vehicle insurance or a means of supporting yourself financially.

With the help of databases, law enforcement can quickly locate your insurance details. Any documents tampered with are doubtful to pass such a test, and the consequences could be severe.

Conclusion

Motor vehicle laws stipulate that you must have insurance on your vehicle, so driving without it could land you in legal hot water. Besides this, auto insurance provides financial protection against expenses arising from accidental damages, theft, or other related perils. It is, therefore, crucial to maintain a current auto insurance policy. You should be familiar with the steps in obtaining a replacement copy of your cheapest auto insurance policy if the original is misplaced.

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Thursday, Sep. 22nd, 2022

Montana State research expenditures top $200 million for first time


BOZEMAN
— For a fourth straight year, Montana State University recorded an all-time high for research expenditures, which support scientific discovery, rural outreach and a variety of scholastic pursuits, as well as providing hands-on opportunities for students to engage in science and creative activities that build skills for careers after they earn their degrees.

MSU reported to the National Science Foundation that research activities accounted for roughly $201 million during the fiscal year that ended in June. That figure marks a 4% increase over last year’s total and the first time in Montana history that such expenditures at an institution of higher education have topped $200 million.

“The vast majority of these dollars come from the federal government and are won through incredibly competitive granting processes,” said Alison Harmon, MSU’s vice president for research and economic development. “This record is a credit to the work ethic, competitiveness and high caliber of our faculty.”

Exceeding $200 million in research expenditures is a metric set in MSU’s strategic plan, “Choosing Promise,” as part of the university’s goal of achieving the highest standards of research and creative outcomes. The plan calls for reaching that metric by 2024, meaning MSU has met the goal two years ahead of schedule.

“Research and creative activity makes a difference for the health and well-being of Montana’s people, our environment, food and fuel security, and our state’s growing industries,” Harmon said. “Research dollars help Montana State fulfill its land-grant mission by supporting the learning experience of students at all levels, providing resources for community engagement and allowing our faculty to reach their full potential in scholarship.”

Among MSU’s academic colleges, the College of Agriculture recorded the largest figure at $49 million, followed by the Norm Asbjornson College of Engineering at $22 million and the College of Letters and Science at $20 million. The Mark and Robyn Jones College of Nursing had a total of $15 million in expenditures, while the College of Education, Health and Human Development had $5 million.

The expenditures in 2021-2022 directly supported 755 undergraduates, providing funding through programs like MSU’s Undergraduate Scholars Program for students to work on research projects. The funds also supported 618 graduate students, up from 540 last year. A total of 478 faculty and professional staff served as principal investigators or co-investigators on grant projects.

Funding from federal agencies including the departments of Defense and Agriculture, NSF and NASA accounted for 89% of this year’s spending, with roughly 8% coming from private sources and the remainder coming from the state. During the fiscal year MSU researchers were awarded 689 new grants or contracts totaling $157 million, a 30% increase from last year. That funding will support research as it is spent over coming years.

MSU is one of only 146 institutions in the U.S. to receive an R1 designation for its very high research activity by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, and among those, MSU and Utah State University are the only two that also have an enrollment profile of “very high undergraduate.” MSU has also been named among the top universities in the world for its scientific impact and collaboration, ranking 163 out of the top 202 in the U.S. recognized for the largest contributions to international scientific journals by the CWTS Leiden Ranking.

“Our faculty and researchers continue to show why MSU is one of the top research institutions in the country,” said Bob Mokwa, MSU provost. “Their proposals get funded because Montana State is conducting impactful research that will ultimately improve lives in Montana and beyond, and their eagerness to involve our students and provide them the experience of being on the cutting edge is inspiring.”

Scholarship highlights from the past year include:

  • Researchers from MSU’s College of Agriculture and Norm Asbjornson College of Engineering will collaborate with wheat producers around Montana to collect and analyze data as part of a 15-state precision agriculture project backed by a $4 million USDA grant.
  • Under a four-year, $2.8 million grant from the U.S. Health Resources Services Administration, MSU’s Mark and Robyn Jones College of Nursing is addressing a rural nursing shortage by preparing nursing students for practice in community-based primary care settings and providing professional development opportunities to registered nurses.
  • With a new $1.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, engineering researcher Dilpreet Bajwa is leading a project to turn the pulp left over from processing sugar beets into a specialized material for improving how heat is captured and recycled in a variety of industrial settings.
  • As part of a renewed $63 million partnership with one of the nation’s top medical schools, MSU will play a leading role in improving medical care and public health across the Northwest through collaborative research.
  • With a recent $20 million NSF grant, MSU physics and engineering researchers are establishing the MonArk Quantum Foundry to pioneer ways of harnessing quantum mechanics to generate advances in secure communications and innovative computing.
  • Two MSU professors in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering won the NSF’s top award for early-career researchers, carrying funding of $600,000 or more: Yaofa Li is exploring innovative techniques for cooling supercomputers, while Cecily Ryan is leading a project to advance 3D printing so it could incorporate biological and biodegradable components.
  • Jennifer Woodcock-Medicine Horse, instructor in the School of Art in MSU’s College of Arts and Architecture, received a $50,000 grant from the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums to create a multimedia website showcasing contemporary Native American art of the region.

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Cyndy Andrus to Receive NASAA 2022 Distinguished Public Service Award

BOZEMAN – The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) has named Cyndy Andrus, former chair of the Montana Arts Council, the recipient of its 2022 Distinguished Public Service Award. The award honors volunteer leaders of the state arts agency field whose outstanding service, creative thinking, and leadership significantly impact public support for the arts in their state and across the country. The award will be presented on September 24 during NASAA Assembly 2022 in Kansas City, Missouri.

 
Cyndy Andrus has lived and worked in Bozeman, Montana, for nearly 30 years. She is a member of the Bozeman City Commission, serving her second term as mayor. She is one of only four women to serve in that position and, in 2018, received the Bozeman Business and Professional Women's Woman of Achievement Award. She has served on the city commission since 2010 and was the driving force behind the 1% for the Arts ordinance in Bozeman, requiring one percent of eligible construction costs of City Capital Improvement projects over $1,000,000 to be allocated for public art.

 
Before moving to Bozeman, Andrus worked as an interpretive naturalist ranger in Yellowstone National Park and as a ranger on the Alagnak Wild River in Alaska. Andrus is an active community member and an ardent supporter of the arts. She worked in the tourism industry for more than 25 years and was a governor's appointee to the Montana Tourism Advisory Council, serving ten years, including two years as chair.

 
Andrus is the former chair of the Montana Arts Council, serving three governors for 18 years. She is a board trustee of WESTAF (Western States Arts Federation) and a former NASAA and National League of Cities board member.
 
When she is not volunteering or performing her official duties, you can find Andrus exploring the backroads of Montana with her husband in their 1982 Volkswagen camper van, attending the Red Ants Pants Music Festival, or sharing with her siblings the management duties of her family's beer garden at the Minnesota State Fair (chocolate chip cookie beer, anyone?).

 
Andrus is married to Brady Wiseman (former Montana legislator) and has a lifelong passion for travel, culture, and the culinary arts. She loves football, black licorice, and the occasional sipping of a single malt (Speyside).
 
"A dedicated public servant, Cyndy Andrus is thoughtful, forward-thinking, and innovative in her many roles," said NASAA President and CEO Pam Breaux. "She's guided by a strong sense of community and has a real passion for the arts and the many ways they enhance and deepen civic life. Wherever she serves, at every level, she brings a positive attitude, a sense of possibility, strategic focus, and a truly impressive ability to work with others to achieve the goals at hand. I can think of no one more deserving than Cyndy to receive this award based on her decades of service to the arts, to Montana, and NASAA."

 
Founded in 1968, the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies is the nonpartisan membership organization that serves the nation's 56 state and jurisdictional arts agencies. NASAA helps state arts agencies fulfill their many citizen service roles by providing knowledge services, representation, and leadership programs that strengthen the state arts agency community. NASAA also serves as a clearinghouse for data and research about public funding and the arts. To learn more about NASAA and state arts agencies, visit www.nasaa-arts.org.

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Tuesday, Sep. 20th, 2022

GVLT completes 122nd easement in partnership with Bos Hay and Grain in Gooch Hill area

Gallatin Valley Land Trust (GVLT) is pleased to announce the completion of a new conservation easement in partnership with the Bos Family. Ron and Janice Bos founded Bos Hay & Grain, a large crop production agriculture business that produces hay and grain throughout the Gallatin Valley. Earlier this year, they partnered with GVLT to complete a conservation easement on their own 300-acre farm located in the historic Gooch Hill area.

Ron and Janice have been a hardworking part of the agricultural community in the Valley since their grandparents emigrated from the Netherlands to Montana in the early 1900’s. They began farming in 1965 and established Bos Hay & Grain in 2002 with their son, Craig. That same year, Ron and Janicepurchased the 300-acre property from the Hanks family, which is part of their larger farming operation.The majority of the hay that Bos Hay and Grain produces is distributed within a 200-mile radius of the Gallatin Valley to feed Montana livestock. They also raise wheat, barley, and canola.  The company is staffed year-round with 10 employees and an additional 10-15 seasonal employees during harvest.

“Farms are only as good as the people working for them, and we have good people,” Ron said.

Craig and his wife, Allison, plan on continuing the family farming tradition as they own and operate Bos Hay & Grain.  They intend to steward the scenic and wildlife habitat values of the 300-acre property while keeping it in agricultural production. Over the years, the Bos family has watched as land that they leased was developed before their eyes. Ron and Janice can now retire knowing that their land will remain in agricultural production forever.

“The easement was a tool for our family succession planning,” Craig said. “We are thankful for the opportunity to continue agriculture in the Gallatin Valley.”

“The Bos family is so passionate about this land and passing their legacy onto the next generation of Bos farmers,” said GVLT Lands Program Manager Chad Klinkenborg. “The agricultural, scenic, wildlife, and historical values that dominate the Gooch Hill area are unparalleled in the Gallatin Valley. Conserving the working farms that remain is a tangible way to honor this landscape’s rich agricultural heritage while guiding sustainable development and shaping our valley’s future.”

Within a four-and-half mile radius of Bos Hay and Grain, there are 16 additional easements, held by both Montana Land Reliance and GVLT, totaling 3,400 acres permanently protected under conservation easement deeds. This increasing network of protected lands on Gooch Hill serves to maintain the scenic agricultural and open-space landscapes specific to Gallatin County and greater southwest Montana. The public will forever enjoy the scenic open-space value of the Bos Hay & Grain Conservation Easement from Gooch Hill, Johnson, Enders, South 19th, Bozeman, and Cottonwood Roads.

“I’m only a steward of the land for a little while,” Ron said. “Then the next generation comes along.”

The Bos Hay & Grain project represents GVLT’s 122nd overall for a grand total of 52,208 acres conserved. GVLT would like to extend deepest gratitude to the Bos family for their conservation vision and dedication to preserving agricultural land.

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What is a conservation easement? The Gallatin Valley Land Trust (GVLT) partners with private landowners to conserve working farms and ranches, fish and wildlife habitat, open lands and scenic views.  To protect these special places, GVLT uses conservation easements, which are voluntary agreements with landowners that limit development on a property while keeping it in private ownership.  Each easement is tailored to the specific property and runs with the title of the land in perpetuity. GVLT is responsible for upholding the easement’s terms.  Because a conservation easement limits development rights and therefore decreases the value of the land, landowners may be eligible to write off the difference as a charitable donation. In some cases, landowners receive financial compensation for a portion of the value of the conservation easement.  The public benefits from the protection of conservation values such as prime agricultural soils, wildlife habitat, river corridors and the overall character of our region.

About Gallatin Valley Land Trust

Gallatin Valley Land Trust connects people, communities, and open lands through conservation of working farms and ranches, healthy rivers, and wildlife habitat, and the creation of trails in the Montana headwaters of the Missouri and Upper Yellowstone Rivers. For more information, visit www.gvlt.org.

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5 tips that will help while living in Portugal as an American


Living abroad has its perks. For one thing, you get to live in a country that is completely foreign to you. That means you get to learn about another culture and explore a place that may not be familiar to you.

For example, I lived in Spain for two years. I had no idea what was going on there until I moved there. And once I learned Spanish, I realized that I didn't know much about my own country either.

I'm sure you've heard stories about ex-pats who complain about everything. They say that life overseas sucks because they don't understand the language or the customs.

Well, I'm here to tell you that those stories aren't true. Sure, it's challenging sometimes, but most ex-pats find that living abroad opens their eyes to a whole new world.

I liked my experience in Spain, then I decided to continue living in Europe, and found  in the neighboring country, Portugal, both an opportunity for investments as well as a place I can now call HOME. The investment opportunity opened the doors of the Portugal Golden Visa program, so I've got a residence permit that allows me to travel around Europe hassle-free!

But it also served as a quick path to an investment I was willing to make in Europe for quite some time. Buying a property for a third of the price I would pay in some areas of the US.

Now, as one of the many Americans living in Portugal, I think there are some tips that I can provide that might help you.

Here are the five tips that will help you while living in Portugal:

Learn How To Speak Their Language (the basics at least)

It sounds obvious, but learning how to speak the native tongue is essential. If you don't speak the language, it might be more difficult on a day-to-day basis.

While the best way it's still to get to speak with the locals, and from there improve your new language skills every day, nowadays, learning the basics of a new language like Portuguese is easier than ever.

There are plenty of resources available online to teach you the basics, which will definitely help you when meeting with locals.

Some of these online tools or apps include Duolingo, Rosetta Stone, Memrise, and FluentU.

These apps are designed to help you master the language quickly. But remember, you still need to practice speaking the language every single day.

Get Involved With Other Americans Abroad

When you first arrive in a foreign land, you probably feel alone. There are tons of ex-pats living abroad, but chances are you won't see anyone else who speaks English.

That's okay though. You don't have to be lonely. Instead, join a group of ex-pats who share similar interests. This way, you'll be able to connect with others who are interested in the same topics as you.

Some groups include ex-pat forums, Facebook pages, Meetups, and blogs. These sites are perfect places to ask questions and get advice from fellow ex-pats, especially when you are still settling in.

Find An Expat Community Nearby

Most countries offer expatriate communities. These communities usually consist of ex-pats who live nearby.

They often organize events such as parties, happy hours, and dinners. These events are great opportunities to socialize with other ex-pats.

In addition, these communities provide support systems for ex-pats. For instance, if you have any legal issues, you can contact lawyers who specialize in international law that are within the community. Also, they can assist you with finding housing, jobs, and schools for your children.

Join Local Clubs

A common misconception among ex-pats is that they have to leave their old lives behind when they move abroad.

However, joining clubs and organizations is a great way to maintain friendships and connections back home.

Many ex-pats enjoy participating in sports leagues, volunteering, and taking classes. These activities give you something to do after work and on weekends.

Stay Connected With Friends Back Home

Moving abroad isn't easy. It takes a lot of effort and commitment to adjust to a new environment.

But, if you want to truly embrace your new life, then you should try to maintain relationships with friends and family back home. And also, make it clear that the doors of your new host country will always be open to close family and friends. This doesn't mean that you have to visit your hometown every weekend. Instead, you could call your friends and talk to them regularly.

Remember, you're not abandoning your friends and family. Instead, you're expanding your horizons. By staying connected with people back home, you'll be able to experience the full benefits of living abroad. 

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Monday, Sep. 19th, 2022

Renowned Pianist Kevin Cole joins Billings Symphony on Saturday, Sept 24

Join the Billings Symphony for a celebration of American classical music on Saturday, Sept. 24 at Alberta Bair Theater, including an exclusive performance by renowned pianist Kevin Cole, playing the George Gershwin classic, “Rhapsody in Blue.”
 
Cole is a sought-after solo performer and an award-winning musical director, arranger, composer, vocalist, archivist, and producer. Cole’s tempos and deep understanding of harmony have earned him accolades from some of the foremost critics in America, and Cole has been dubbed by many as “America’s Pianist.” Saturday’s performance with the Billings Symphony will be Cole’s first time playing in Montana.

The evening also features Pulitzer Prize winning composer Jennifer Higdon’s “Cold Mountain Suite,” excerpted from her acclaimed Cold Mountain Opera, which debuted in 2015 and is based on the book “Cold Mountain” by Charles Frazier.
 
Higdon set out to write her first opera based on the book “Cold Mountain,” by Charles Frazier, a tragic love story set during the American Civil War. Taking that story from page to stage took 28 months, and “Cold Mountain” debuted in 2015, performed by the Santa Fe Opera. It won the prestigious International Opera Award for Best World Premiere and has since become a favorite of American opera fans.

 
The Billings Symphony performance of “Cold Mountain Suite” will be the suite’s Montana debut, and the Billings Symphony’s performance lands on the day after its international debut.
 
“I just want audience members to sit back and enjoy my music,” Higdon told the Billings Symphony in a recent interview. “I hope it makes them feel something, but I don't ever want anyone to feel that they must be knowledgeable about classical music to enjoy mine. If you find yourself patting your foot, wanting to cry, or humming a bit after the concert, then I've done my job.”

 
The Billings Symphony will also play music from “Porgy and Bess” and Leonard Bernstein’s “On the Town” as part of this celebration of music from the American Songbook. The performance starts at 7:30 p.m. at Alberta Bair Theater. This concert kicks off the Billings Symphony’s Classic Series, featuring seven performances at Alberta Bair Theater and also includes a performance at Faith Chapel of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s classic South Pacific. For tickets and more information, visit www.billingssymphony.org or call (406) 252-3610.

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MSU ROTC event celebrates Air Force milestone


BOZEMAN
— Roughly 160 people gathered in the Student Union Building Ballroom at Montana State University on Saturday to celebrate a milestone for the U.S. Air Force as well as the community that supports Montana’s only college-level Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps detachment.

Over 70 MSU ROTC student cadets joined alumni, Air Force officers and university administrators at the Air Force Ball for an evening of dinner, dancing and speeches, including by MSU ROTC alumnus Brig. Gen. Troy Daniels, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the military service.

“It’s a good opportunity for us cadets to hear words of wisdom from leaders in the Air Force and get their perspective on where the Air Force has come from and what they’re looking for in the next generation of Air Force officers,” said Cadet Addie Grainger, a junior majoring in mechanical engineering.

Similar events are held annually at Air Force bases around the world, providing a chance for the Air Force community to bond and celebrate outside the formality of its normal operations, Grainger said, and this year the cadets wanted to organize a ball to mark the anniversary.

Lt. Col. Lance Ratterman, professor in MSU’s Air and Space Studies department and commander of ROTC Detachment 450 housed in MSU’s Norm Asbjornson College of Engineering, commended the students for organizing the event.

"The cadets did the work to make this happen, gaining valuable leadership and planning experience," Ratterman said. "The 75th anniversary is a major milestone, and we didn’t want it to slip by without celebrating with those who are so invested in the success of these students."

Detachment 450 is the only college-level Air Force ROTC program in Montana. ROTC is an educational program designed to provide the opportunity to become an officer in the U.S. Air Force or Space Force while completing a bachelor’s degree. MSU students can enroll in ROTC as freshmen without any commitment to serve in the military, Ratterman explained. Cadets take ROTC classes and participate in weekly physical training in addition to their MSU courses. The majority of cadets earn some level of scholarship while in the program and upon graduation from MSU start active duty careers in the Air Force or Space Force.

“ROTC cadets at MSU are, first and foremost, full-time college students,” Ratterman said. “We have an abundance of scholarship and other monetary incentives, and upon graduating there are many exciting and rewarding career opportunities," including in engineering, logistics and other roles that are similar to jobs in the civilian sector along with many that are very unique, he said.

Grainger, who grew up in an Air Force family and lived for a time in Montana before graduating from high school in Japan, joined ROTC for career stability, she said. “You know you’ll have a job after you graduate,” she said. “It’s also a good opportunity to get leadership training.”

“I continue to be amazed in the quality of our ROTC cadets at MSU, both as students and as individuals,” said Yves Idzerda, dean of MSU’s College of Letters and Science, who attended the event. “This is another way that we can honor members of our military community and our students. I would like to congratulate Lt. Col. Lance Ratterman on his leadership and training of such fine young men and women who are willing to sacrifice so much for others.”

Ratterman is one of five active-duty airmen who provide oversight, guidance and mentoring to the MSU cadets. There are currently more than 80 active cadets at the university.

Established as a separate branch of the U.S armed forces in the wake of World War II, the Air Forceis rooted in an embrace of innovation and change, a theme of the anniversary as the Air Force looks ahead to its next 75 years, Ratterman said. Part of that mission is investing in the next generation of leaders, which is a basic purpose of ROTC, he added.

"We train and teach cadets to become leaders,” Ratterman said.

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