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Monday, Feb. 18th, 2019

MSU develops unique set of resources for Montana parents

When Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services staff members wanted to advance their efforts to curb underage drinking, they knew that parents are the No. 1 influence on whether youth engage in risky behaviors. And they knew they wanted to bring in new expertise and fresh ideas.
"We wanted to make something that would really empower parents to work with their kids in a positive way," said Vicki Turner, director of DPHHS Prevention Resource Center.
That's when they teamed up with Montana State University researchers who specialize in tackling complex social problems. The result, announced by Gov. Steve Bullock on Jan. 23, is a one-of-a-kind suite of online resources that gives parents guidance not only about teenage alcohol use but also the day-to-day challenges that come with parenting children of all ages.

 Available at, the tools include step-by-step tips for dealing effectively with a 5-year-old's meltdown, a 13-year-old's back talk and a 17-year-old's chore responsibilities, among other things. The guidance, categorized by age and topic, is grounded in the leading science on childhood development and parenting, according to Turner.

"We're already hearing from other states who are interested (in doing something similar)," Turner said.
MSU's Center for Health and Safety Culture developed the website as well as the associated videos and media campaign. What started for the center as a project focused on underage drinking grew into something more comprehensive after the center conducted a survey of Montana parents in 2017.
According to Center for Health and Safety Culture manager and research scientist Annmarie McMahill, the survey showed some things that wouldn't surprise most Montanans, including widespread support for reducing underage drinking. But the study also showed that many parents struggle with having the kind of daily social and emotional engagement with their child that contributes to dealing effectively with drinking and other risky behaviors.

"If parents can handle the day-to-day challenges in an effective way, then they have a solid platform when the bigger issues come along," McMahill said.
With that understanding, the project broadened, McMahill said. The center and DPHHS saw an opportunity to reduce underage drinking by getting at the root causes. Moreover, the parenting strategies would foster healthy social and emotional development in children, which has been shown to further reduce underage drinking, substance use and suicide, McMahill said.

"This makes Montana a leader in the nation," McMahill said, adding that she is not aware of any other resource like
Jay Otto, the principal scientist at the Center for Health and Safety Culture, and McMahill were the principal investigators for the project. Both attended the Jan. 23 news conference in Helena where Bullock announced the project.
The Center for Health and Safety Culture will continue to support the project over the next five years. Turner said she is interested to applying a similarly holistic approach to other outreach projects.
"It's been a wonderful partnership," she said.
The Center for Health and Safety Culture, housed in the Western Transportation Institute in MSU's Norm Asbjornson College of Engineering, serves communities and organizations in their efforts to cultivate healthy and safe behaviors and is dedicated to applying research to develop sustainable solutions to complex social problems.

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Friday, Feb. 15th, 2019

Roads reopen around SOBO Lofts after fire

Bozeman officials will reopen road closures that were in place all day Thursday and most of Friday. Roads will open by 5 PM on February 15, 2019. The closures, which were located along Babcock between 6th and 8th avenues and 7th avenue between Olive and Main, were put in place for the safety of emergency responders and Bozeman citizens during a fire of an under construction building known as SOBO Lofts.

The Bozeman Fire Department will continue to monitor the area but at this point there is no longer a need for an onsite presence. The area has been safely secured by a fence.

The Bozeman Fire and Police departments are continuing their investigation into the origin and cause of the fire however the property has been turned back over to the owner. Both Bozeman Fire and Police Departments will continue to collaborate and communicate with the owner and their insurance companies as the investigation moves forward.

There has been no determination as to the cause of the fire at this point.

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Statement from Matthew Savery

Matthew Savery will be voluntarily leaving his position as Music Director and Conductor with the Bozeman Symphony. Matthew expresses his gratitude for and appreciation to the Symphony for the opportunity to serve and is grateful for his time with the exceptional musicians who have made the Symphony a success. He is thankful to the donors and community who have supported live symphonic music in Bozeman and who will continue to do so in the future. He wishes nothing but success for the Symphony in the future and encourages the community to continue in its support going forward.

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Dear Bozeman Symphony Supporters

Dear Bozeman Symphony Supporters,
Two weeks ago, the current Board of Directors of the Bozeman Symphony received a list of past allegations regarding Conductor Matthew Savery. Within hours of receiving this communication, the Board hired an impartial, third party investigator.  The investigation is ongoing.
Yesterday, Mr. Savery tendered his resignation, and the Board wishes him well in his future endeavors.
The investigator’s work is ongoing; upon completion the Board will review the report to identify opportunities to better serve musicians, staff, patrons, volunteers, and our community.  The Symphony Board deeply appreciates the dedication and professionalism our talented musicians have always shown, and especially during the past several weeks. Thank you.

The Bozeman Symphony has been woven into the fabric of Montana’s cultural heritage for decades.  For the past fifty years, musicians, staff, donors, patrons, community partners and volunteers have shared their love of music with residents and visitors of Bozeman. We are honored and eager to chart a prosperous, creative future for the next fifty years.

We will be embarking upon a national search to identify a new Music Director and Conductor in the coming weeks and months. Members of the orchestra, staff, board members, and community symphony supporters will be a part of this process.
Orchestra members and staff have been fervently preparing for our spring concerts in March and April, and we are delighted to have secured guest conductor Elliot Moore for the March concert dates. We hope to see many of you during the spring performances, as we celebrate the immense musical talent our community holds.

The Symphony is also planning our annual June fundraiser, and as plans develop for a fun evening celebrating the arts we hope you’ll consider joining us.
For more information or to buy tickets for our spring concert series March 2-3 and April 13-14, please visit our website at:
Kindest regards,
Bozeman Symphony Board of Directors

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Thursday, Feb. 14th, 2019

Bozeman area emergency responders actively working fire at SOBO Lofts

Bozeman Fire Department and other responding agencies are currently on scene at an active fire of a under construction four story apartment building known as SOBO Lofts located on Babcock St between 7th and 8th avenues. At this point no injuries have been sustained by any emergency responders or civilians. The building is still on fire and emergency responders are actively working to extinguish it.

Roads are closed in the area. 7th Street is closed from Main Street to Olive Street. Babcock Street is closed from 6th avenue to 8th avenue. Members of the public are asked to stay away for their own safety as well as the safety of those responding. Due to the nature of the fire, work will continue throughout the day. Updates will be sent out as things change.

                                                                                                                       photo: Ken Thorsen
On the morning of February 14, 2019 at 12:19 AM a 911 call was received by the City-County 911 center concerning a fire. Crews were dispatched at 12:21 AM and arrived to the scene within minutes. The first emergency responder on scene was a Bozeman Police Officer who reported fire coming from the exterior of the building.

The first Bozeman Fire unit that arrived on scene identified that the building was under construction. Due to the large amount of fire the crew made the decision not to enter the building and chose to fight the fire from the exterior of the building. Because the building was determined to be under construction, to the best of the knowledge of the Fire Department the building was unoccupied.

Fire Departments immediately called to the scene included Bozeman Fire Department, Hyalite Fire Department, Central Valley Fire Department and Ft. Ellis Fire Department. Additional resources were requested and received from Bridger Canyon Fire Department, Gallatin Gateway Fire Department, and Manhattan Fire Department.

In addition to fire response, additional support was provide by Bozeman Police Department, Gallatin Sheriff’s Office, Montana State University Police Department, Bozeman Public Works, and Northwestern Energy. Local businesses also assisted first responders by opening their doors to provide coffee and refreshments.

Moving Forward:
Fire Department crews will remain on scene throughout the day continuing to extinguish hot spots. Law Enforcement will also remain in the area and some residential streets will be closed. Members of the public can expect to see smoke but should not be alarmed.
A coordinated effort between the Bozeman Police Department and Bozeman Fire Department will be investigating the fire. At this point there are no determinations that can be made about the cause of the fire.
A huge thank you is extended to all cooperating agencies for their quick response and good work. The Bozeman community is also thanked for their continuous support.

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Wednesday, Feb. 13th, 2019

The Writer’s Voice to Receive $10,000 Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts

National Endowment for the Arts Acting Chairman Mary Anne Carter has approved more than $27 million in grants as part of the Arts Endowment’s first major funding announcement for fiscal year 2019.  Included in this announcement is a Challenge America grant of $10,000 to The Writer’s Voice for the 2019 High Plains BookFest. Challenge America grants support projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations—those whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability.

“The arts enhance our communities and our lives, and we look forward to seeing these projects take place throughout the country, giving Americans opportunities to learn, to create, to heal, and to celebrate,” said Mary Anne Carter, acting chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts.
The 18th annual High Plains BookFest scheduled for October 10-12, 2019 will be a three day event of free public readings, workshops and panel discussions in Billings, Montana, by contemporary authors from the American West and Canada. The BookFest is held in conjunction with the High Plains Book Awards.

More than 200 authors from seven western states and three Canadian providences will be vying for book awards in 13 categories; the three finalists in each category will be invited to the BookFest. However, none of the authors receive honorariums. A grant from the NEA will help pay for transportation costs to Canadian finalists to attend the BookFest in Billings in October.

Touring support by U.S. or Canadian publishers is rare and cross border touring is too expensive for the many authors to do out-of-pocket. Hence, new literary work, particularly international work, is seldom heard. This grant addresses that concern, and provides opportunity for more Canadian authors to share their work with audiences in Montana. Nearly 1/3 of all books entered in the Book Awards are from Canadian authors.

“Montana and Canada share a rich cultural history and several writers such as Richard Ford, Guy Vanderhaeghe, Thomas King, and Allen Safarik have explored those common themes and connections,” said Writer’s Voice director Corby Skinner, “One of my goals for the BookFest is to open the cultural highway between our two countries,” he added.

The line that divides the US and Canada is a political reality, but as Thomas King said in The Inconvenient Indian, “historical figures such as Chief Joseph, Sitting Bull and Louis Riel moved back and forth between the two countries, and while they understood the importance of that border to Whites, there is nothing to indicate they believed in its legitimacy….stories go wherever they please.”

For more information on the BookFest and Book Awards, go to

For information on this National Endowment for the Arts, visit

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The Draft Downtown Bozeman Improvement Plan Released

The City of Bozeman and the Downtown Bozeman Partnership have released the draft of the 2019 Downtown Bozeman Improvement Plan.
The 2019 Downtown Improvement Plan builds on a long, successful planning history and lays out a clear vision and flexible framework for the next decade. The plan cohesively integrates multiple key elements including: mixed land uses; development density and form; public space activation; multi-modal transportation; continued historic preservation; and infrastructure improvements. The plan defines Downtown’s importance within the growing community and defines actionable projects for near and long-term implementation.

The planning process began in June 2018 with the selection of a team of national, regional and local consultants including Agency Landscape + Planning (Cambridge, MA), Leland Consulting (Portland, OR), Intrinsik Architecture (Bozeman, MT) and Groundprint (Bozeman, MT). The Downtown Plan community outreach efforts informing the draft plan included: 26 meetings with over 100 stakeholders; 8 community events with 230 participants; and nearly 2,300 individual public comments received.

Upon adoption in April 2019, the Downtown Plan will be a neighborhood plan within the Bozeman Community Plan which is also known as Bozeman’s growth policy. Written public comments about the plan can be sent to the City Commission at or the City Community Development Department at The Downtown Plan adoption schedule includes the following public meetings:

Downtown Urban Renewal District Board Meeting
12:00pm Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Commission Room, City Hall, 121 North Rouse Avenue
Downtown Business Improvement District Board Meeting
12:00pm Wednesday, February 20, 2019
Commission Room, City Hall, 121 North Rouse Avenue
City of Bozeman Planning Board Meeting
7:00pm Tuesday, March 5, 2019
Commission Room, City Hall, 121 North Rouse Avenue
City Commission Meeting
6:00pm Tuesday, April 15, 2019
Commission Room, City Hall, 121 North Rouse Avenue
For more information and to download the Downtown Bozeman Improvement Plan visit:

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Tuesday, Feb. 12th, 2019

New PoKos Smart Aware TM Patent Injects Privacy into WiFi AwareTM Marketing and User Communications

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued PoKos Communications Corp a key patent for improving privacy in communications among nearby and remote devices. PoKos’ U.S. Patent No. 10,206,089 (PoKos S mart Aware TM ) leverages other patented company technology to teach new methods and systems for users to maintain their privacy while taking advantage of network capabilities to discover, communicate and share with marketers, networks and other people around them – both nearby and around the globe.

“This breakthrough technology creates exciting opportunities for people everywhere to extend their communications while controlling their privacy,” exclaims PoKos Founder and CEO timo platt. “People can connect based on their interests, proximity or other desired criteria. But they also want to control the who/what/when/where, or the ‘Four Ws’, that are central to every communication: who they talk to, in what c ontext, and when a nd where t he conversation takes place.”

This critical innovation will be essential to driving the widespread use of Neighborhood Aware Networking (NAN), according to PoKos. WiFi AwareTM and NAN offer the allure to marketers and humans of satisfying their implicit yearning to sense what others nearby are thinking, and to connect them with an interesting story. But NAN has not been able to deliver on this promise, because users shun unwanted solicitations, spam, and privacy intrusions. By enabling devices to authenticate without exchanging contact data or other personal information, PoKos Smart AwareTM arms users with control of the Four Ws, thus assuring their trust of NAN/WiFi Aware communications.

NetworkspoweredbyPoKos SmartA wareTMshouldusherinanewgoldeneraof communications, platt predicts: “users will be more willing to share their stories that bring them together – in person, as well as intellectually, emotionally, psychologically, spiritually, and socially – and enhance understanding.

Smart AwareTM is a trademark of PoKos Communications Corp. WiFi AwareTM is a t rademark of WiFi Alliance , the worldwide network of companies that brings you Wi-Fi® , a registered trademark of the Alliance.


“From a larger perspective, this invention brings us one step closer to our vision of a communications globe where people are making continuous connections with others, while maintaining their privacy and anonymity,” states platt. “When combined with PoKos sixth-sense technology, users can discover, connect and anonymously share with devices and servers everywhere, creating a universal communications field akin to the earth’s electromagnetic magnetic field or gravitational force”.

The broader PoKos communications platform is thus well-designed to answer the need for a solution to the competing demands of personal privacy and public safety, as highlighted by the continuing public policy standoff between device makers and civil libertarians, on the one hand, and governmental agencies, on the other. The PoKos platform protects users’ identity and privacy via anonymous communications, while enabling public officials with appropriate legal or judicial authority to identify communications relating to terrorist or other unlawful activity.


About PoKos - PoKos Communications Corp is creating the next-gen dial-tone to the Internet, basedonitspatentedsixth-sense,randomizeddeviceIDandPoKos SmartA ware TM technologies. Each component in the PoKos platform extends users’ communications capabilities while improving their privacy. PoKos is based in Bozeman, MT USA.

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Draft Housing Needs Assessment brings critical data to Bozeman’s housing conversation

A draft Housing Needs Assessment has been developed and will be reviewed by Bozeman’s Affordable Housing Working Group today, February 12th at 3 PM at the Bozeman Public Library (Community Room.) The group is made up of stakeholders from all aspects of Bozeman life –realtors, business owners, bankers, lenders, non-profits, government agencies—and has been tasked with providing ideas and guidance as the City of Bozeman works toward creating a comprehensive, community-wide Affordable Housing Action Plan.

The draft Housing Needs Assessment is a 112 page document brimming with data that paints the picture of housing in Bozeman and surrounding communities. The numbers are compiled from a variety of sources including Census data, realtor data, focus groups sessions and a survey of nearly 500 employers (representing 30% of all jobs) in Bozeman.

The goal of a housing needs assessment is to show the magnitude and scope of the housing challenges in an area. The draft report shines a spotlight on the societal and economic impacts of the problem in Bozeman. The resulting version of the needs assessment approved by the Working Group will be comprehensive and will set the stage for a data-driven discussion about solutions. The assessment brings reliable data to the conversation, giving community leaders a common starting point to begin the action-planning process.

City Commissioner Terry Cunningham – the liaison to the working group - is confident in the scope and talent of the Working Group that has been tasked with creating Bozeman’s action plan.
He says, “Bozeman is poised to take bold action, and that action will be informed by the working group. We are very confident that smart people looking at the same data can develop a Bozeman-specific set of tools to address this pervasive, all-encompassing issue.”
The draft Housing Needs Assessment can be viewed here. Comments on the draft can be made to or by any other methods for public comment found here.

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Friday, Feb. 8th, 2019

Clothes Shopping in Bozeman as a Plus Size Woman

                                                                                                                   photo from Unsplash
Clothes shopping for a plus size woman is hard enough with the majority of fashion outlets catering to smaller sizes. In Bozeman, the options may be much more limited but it’s not impossible to find cute outfits that fit, regardless of shape and size.

Where to find plus size clothing
Bozeman Magazine previously featured a junior’s clothing store that carries sizes for growing children and we need something like that for plus size women, too. Until then, curvy women will have to rely on big retailers for their clothing needs.

                                                                                                           photo: TJ Maxx Facebook
In Glamour Magazine’s list of the best stores that hold extended sizes, Bozeman has three of them, namely Macy’s, JCPenney, and T.J. Maxx. The first two department stores are a little bit more high-end, carrying brands like Calvin Klein and Michael Kors. Meanwhile, T.J. Maxx is a great source for fashionable yet affordable pieces from activewear to formal wear. Two other stores are Maurices and Target where you can find virtually all of your fashion needs for every kind of occasion.

How to dress for your size
Here are a few clothing tips that plus size women can follow to let their beauty shine through:

1. Ditch the baggy clothing. Many women think that wearing oversized clothes hides the parts of the body that they’re most insecure about. However, it can make you look more boxy or shapeless so it’s important that you choose clothes that actually accentuate your curves rather than hide them.

2. Fit over color. Forget the old rule that your wardrobe has to be composed of dark pieces to achieve that slimming effect. When it comes to clothing, it’s not actually about the color but the correct fit. You can wear light-colored tops and bottoms as much as you want as long as the clothes flatter your shape. If you’re a little bit wider in the hips, opt for tops with scoop or boat necks. To de-emphasize your midsection, high-waisted bottoms are a perfect choice, as well as tops with details near the waist. You can strap on a wide belt for more definition. When looking for denim, wide leg jeans are your best bet as Woman Within notes that the relaxed fit and added stretch can provide more comfort. The key is to balance out your proportions while wearing clothes that are neither too tight nor too loose.

3. Not all stripes are made equal. Patterns are not only playful, they can also make you look more svelte provided you choose the right ones. According to Verily Magazine, horizontal stripes are a no-no if you carry more weight on your top half. It can make you look wider. Instead, go for vertical stripes to give the illusion of length. But if you’re a classic rectangular shape, asymmetrical stripes can make you look more curvy. As for other prints, it’s better to try on an outfit to make sure that the patterns strategically play up or hide your features.

4. Vary the fabrics. If you like going for a nude or monochromatic looks, there are two basic rules you should follow. First, make sure that nude tones don’t match your exact skin color as it can be very unflattering. Shape Magazine clims that mixing up the fabrics is another golden rule. Mix denim with lace, velvet with knit, leather with silk, or any other combination. Don’t be afraid to play with textures and you’ll be surprised what works.

Every woman has the right to feel confident in the clothes that they wear. With these tips in mind, you’ll have an easier time shopping for clothes in Bozeman even with a narrower range of options.

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