Friday, Jun. 14th, 2019

Anaconda to be Designated as Continental Divide Trail Gateway Community


ANACONDA, Mt. (June 13, 2019) – While Anaconda has been known for decades as the home of The Stack, the town has recently gained fame for something else entirely – the incredible outdoor recreation potential just waiting to be discovered by visitors and locals alike. In the latest development in the town’s burgeoning reputation as a hub for those looking to get outside, Anaconda is set to become a Continental Divide Trail (CDT) Gateway Community. On Saturday, June 29th, in Washoe Park, representatives from Anaconda-Deer Lodge County and the Continental Divide Trail Coalition (CDTC) will join to officially designate Anaconda as part of the growing network of towns and counties that are renowned for welcoming those traveling on the 3,100-mile National Scenic Trail.

“We are thrilled to welcome Anaconda as an official CDT Gateway Community,” said Teresa Martinez, Executive Director of the CDTC. “This designation helps us celebrate the important connections between those who travel the CDT, and the communities that live along the Trail. Anaconda is such a welcoming town, and a great place to stage an exploration of the rugged Anaconda-Pintlers – it’s a perfect fit for our grassroots movement to complete, promote and protect the CDT.”

Launched in 2013 by the Continental Divide Trail Coalition, the CDT Gateway Community program serves to help communities benefit from their proximity to the CDT. Gateway Communities are recognized for their part in promoting awareness and stewardship of the CDT and creating a welcoming environment for people traveling along the Trail. Since 2016, volunteers from the Anaconda Trail Society have run an Adventure Camp in Washoe Park to welcome long-distance hikers and cyclists to town with free bike loans, WiFi, and other resources.

“People in Anaconda truly embrace outdoor activity,” said Robin McKernan, Chair of the Anaconda Trail Society. “We love to hike, ski, and camp, and we are excited to be sharing our community and its gorgeous surroundings with those traveling through Anaconda. CDT Gateway Community designation will bolster our local economy by reinforcing the identity of Anaconda as a major stop along the Trail. Whether people are hiking the entire 3,100 miles or just looking for a beautiful place to spend a weekend with their families, we know that folks using the CDT will feel welcome in Anaconda.

To make the designation official, members of the Anaconda-Deer Lodge County Commission and Ms. Martinez will co-sign a proclamation in Washoe Park at the Anaconda Trail Society Adventure Camp at 2 PM on Saturday, June 29. The ceremony will be followed by a celebration for the community of Anaconda where members of the public can learn more about the CDT and enjoy an afternoon in the park. The public is encouraged to attend.

 
Anaconda residents are eager to welcome travelers, and the town boasts many trail-friendly amenities in its walkable downtown business district filled with restaurants, coffee shops, a post office, and the Hearst Free Library. Within Anaconda’s backyard lies the Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness–and the classic section of the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) that runs through it. The 158,656-acre wilderness, tucked in the southwestern corner of the state, is named for the Anaconda Range. About 65 miles of the CDT traverses the backbone of the wilderness, hewing close to the Continental Divide of the Americas, which separates the waters flowing to the Atlantic and the Pacific.

 
About the Continental Divide Trail
The CDT is one of the world’s premiere long-distance trails, stretching 3,100 miles from Mexico to Canada along the Continental Divide. Designated by Congress in 1978, the CDT is the highest, most challenging and most remote of the 11 National Scenic Trails. It provides recreational opportunities ranging from hiking to horseback riding to hunting for thousands of visitors each year. While 95% of the CDT is located on public land, approximately 150 miles are still in need of protection.

 
About the Continental Divide Trail Coalition
The CDTC was founded in 2012 by volunteers and recreationists hoping to provide a unified voice for the Trail. Working hand-in-hand with the U.S. Forest Service and other federal land management agencies, the CDTC is a non-profit partner supporting stewardship of the CDT. The mission of the CDTC is to complete, promote and protect the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail, a world-class national resource. For more information, please visit continentaldividetrail.org.

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Wednesday, Jun. 12th, 2019

Local Non-Profit for Assault and Abuse Survivors Launches Podcast

Becoming HER was featured on iTunes New and Noteworthy and Features the Voices of 7 Bozeman Survivors

We Are HER — Becoming HER, a podcast for survivors of abuse or assault, features the stories of seven Bozeman survivors, which was launched by local nonprofit We Are HER.

Becoming HER is hosted by HAVEN’s outreach coordinator Emily Kempe. Each week, she has a conversation with a different survivor. Together, they discuss each survivor’s personal story, including their path toward healing, and educate their audience on intimate partner violence. The podcast gives an inside perspective on what domestic violence really looks like in Bozeman.

The podcast was also featured on iTunes “New and Noteworthy” section, which has given it an international audience.

“The podcast is important not only because it provides a platform for survivors to share their story, but also because of the medium itself,” said Kempe. “Our podcast format allows survivors to have more control over how they tell their story, which increases safety. I truly believe in Becoming HER, and I hope that it provides support to survivors and educated communities all over the world.”

You can find the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, and other popular podcasting platforms.
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About We Are HER
We Are HER is a local nonprofit that serves survivors worldwide to be Healed, Empowered, and Restored through story sharing, education, and community building.

HER was started in 2016 by Bozeman resident Stevie Croisant. For more information, please email Stevie at stevie@weareher.net or contact our host Emily at emily@weareher.net.

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Tuesday, Jun. 11th, 2019

MSU to offer non-credit course on Robert Pirsig and his book ‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance’

Montana State University’s Continuing, Professional and Lifelong Learning program will offer a non-credit summer course on former MSU professor Robert Pirsig and his book “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.”

The course will be taught by visiting scholar Peter B. Olson from Mississippi State University and will meet from 3 to 6 p.m. on July 9, 16 and 23. It is open to the public.

Students will explore how Pirsig’s philosophies can help people find balance in an increasingly fast-paced world. The course aims to provide a context where students can reflect on their own cultural concerns and reconsider ways to find a more harmonious relationship to their world.

Students will also have the opportunity to learn more about Pirsig and his literary contributions by visiting MSU’s Special Collections and Archive and examine the Robert Pirsig collection. Pirsig taught at MSU in the late 1950s. The author returned to Bozeman later in his life, where his hikes in the Gallatin range influenced his novel’s holistic view of nature that he associates with a Zen perspective. 

Registration for the course costs $169. For more information or to enroll, visit http://ato.montana.edu/continuinged and click on Personal Enrichment or call 406-994-6550.

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Monday, Jun. 10th, 2019

Pennington Bridge FAS closes due to migrating river channel

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks will be permanently closing the Pennington Bridge Fishing Access Site on the Big Hole River, four miles south of Twin Bridges. The closure will take effect June 17. 

The closure has become necessary due to the river channel’s migration and the subsequent threat of latrine contents contaminating the river. The site was leased from a local landowner, but due to these evolving river conditions, the lease has been terminated, and the latrine will be removed. 

As an alternative, Big Hole River floaters can use the public boat ramp located on river left, immediately upstream of the Pennington Bridge FAS, under the bridge. 

For more information, please call 406-994-6931.

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Friday, Jun. 7th, 2019

3 Things to Consider Before Starting a Family in Montana


If you’ve lived in Big Sky Country for awhile, you know that there are plenty of great reasons to love the state. It has tons of wonderful areas to explore nature, skiing and snowboarding are fantastic and the craft beer scene is huge.

You may also be aware of some of its challenges, like the lack of housing, frigid winters and low-population density. But all places have their advantages and disadvantages.

If you’re thinking about adding another member to your Montana family, you should look below first to make sure you have all of your bases covered before you start trying to add a baby to your family.

Are You Ready to Become Parents?

Even if you might jump at the question and answer “yes!”, both you and your partner should examine if you’re both ready.

There are a lot of factors to determining if you’re ready for the next step. Where are you in your relationship? Are you married, engaged or neither? Does it matter to you to be married before having children?

Are both of you 100% on board with wanting to have a kid? It can’t be a one-way ride, with one of you managing the GPS and driving around while the other takes a nap in the backseat. It has to be a joint decision and joint effort from here on out.

It’s also wise to start thinking if you’re mature enough to take this next step. In all honesty, no one is ever 100% ready to be parents. Sure, you may have taken care of kids before but being a parent is a huge step. Do you feel like you’re up for it?

Once the child comes, your schedule is going to change dramatically. Those happy hour outings with your coworkers might get shelved. Going out on a date will mean calling a babysitter. Your priorities will become a distant second place to that of the child.

Are You Financially Ready?

When it comes to finances, are you prepared to welcome a new member into your family financially? While Hollywood and books may make it seem like having a child is just a regular thing that happens and everyone is OK with whatever results, the truth is there is a lot of preparation work that comes into play before.

If the mother is going to have to take time off to stay with the baby, can you both survive on one salary? Will the father need to put in extra work hours, even if it means being away from the family? Be sure and think about all this well in advance.

You’ll also have to start thinking about different savings account, college funds, etc. Talk with a financial professional to get the full scoop and big picture.

Is Bozeman a Good Place For Families?

Even if you’ve been a Bozeman resident for awhile, you may never have thought about this question.

After going through some doom and gloom, it’s time to look on the bright side. The short answer is yes, Bozeman is a fantastic place for families. The city is regularly filled with different events and activities for families.

As you probably already know, with Bozeman’s small population, the city truly brings out a small town feel and you can become quite involved in your community and get to know tons of people in the area. They often say it takes a village to raise a child and you’ve got a village around you at all times.

The city is also home to Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital, a fantastic hospital with plenty of amenities to make the parents-to-be feel welcome and at home.

Thinking way far in advance, Montana State University, the city’s largest employer, routinely ranks around the Top 100 in public universities and the city encourages entrepreneurship and has a growing tech scene as well.

Zooming out a bit, you will also be comforted to know that the state of Montana as a whole performs very well in the educational sphere. The high school graduation rate beats out the national average and students within the state test out better in math as well. If you’re in Montana, you can rest assured knowing you’re in a great place with a great future ahead of you and your family.

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Thursday, Jun. 6th, 2019

The Salvation Army, Family Promise and Love INC host “Tools for School” back to school drive

Nonprofits team up to help children go back to school
The Salvation Army, Family Promise and Love INC host “Tools for School” back to school drive
 
BOZEMAN, MT (June 6, 2019) – More than 300 children in Gallatin County will receive back to school support through the “Tools for School” campaign, a partnership between The Salvation Army, Family Promise and Love INC.
 
The campaign collects school supplies for children and runs from June 10 – July 26. Barrels will be at local churches, Staples and Office Depot. Additionally, 50 children will benefit from a Back to School Shopping Spree at Walmart to get outfitted in new school clothes.
 
School supplies needed include: backpacks, crayons, markers, colored pencils, #2 pencils, erasers, highlighters, scissors, glue, 2” binders, notebooks, rulers and other standard school supplies. To donate, please call The Salvation Army at 406-586-5813 or Love INC at 406-587-3008.
 
Families will receive donated items at a community event on Saturday, August 10.
 
What:   “Tools for School” Back to School Event
                Hot dogs, chips, drinks, popcorn, games
When:   Saturday, August 10
Where: The Salvation Army Bozeman
                32 S. Rouse Avenue, Bozeman, MT 59715
 
Families looking to register for supplies can call Love INC after June 7 at 406-587-3008. Children in grade K-12 are eligible to receive a backpack and school supplies.
 
“When kids go to school with everything they need, they are more confident and perform better,” says Lieutenant Jenn Larson, Administrator for The Salvation Army in Bozeman. “We’re excited to provide this opportunity for children of Gallatin County, so we can eliminate some of the barriers that keep kids from thriving.”

 
For more information about The Salvation Army, please visit bozeman.salvationarmy.org

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Montana Contemporary Arts Coalition Art Show Exhibition Dates: Monday, July 1st -Friday, July 13th, 2019


Montana Contemporary Arts Coalition is pleased to announce the opening of their first group art show at Kountry Korner Cafe located at 81820 Gallatin Rd, Bozeman, MT 59718. The show will be on exhibit Monday, July 1st through Saturday, July 13th 2019. A reception will be held on Monday, July 1st, 2019 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. and will be free and open to the public. Hors d'oeuvres will be served, as will a cash bar.

On view will be the works of 8 artist from the Bozeman Area. The following disciplines  will be represented: painting and ceramics.

This will be the first group show of the Montana Contemporary Arts Coalition. The exhibited works will be salon style and are an example of the talented artist we have in the Bozeman area.

The following artists will be in the exhibition: Kenadie Pings, Johanna Elik, Carlos Palmer, Skylar Martinell, Rachel Kurle, Paul Rolfes, Duncan Bullock, Jeri Sparks, Jade Lowder, Hilary Honadel. The subject matter will be as diverse

The Montana Contemporary Arts Coalition Exhibition will be on view from Monday, July 1st - Saturday, July 13th, 2019 at Kountry Korner Cafe The located at 81820 Gallatin Rd. Bozeman, MT 59718 in 4 Corners. Business  Hours: Tuesday- Saturday 6am- 8pm, Sunday 6am- 3pm

For more information on this exhibition, The art show or on Montana Contemporary Arts Coalition in general, please visit www.montanacontemporaryartscoalition.com  or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MCAC67.

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Tuesday, Jun. 4th, 2019

With its own honeybee colony, MSU Culinary Services furthers university’s ‘farm-to-campus’ efforts


Montana State University’s Culinary Services is buzzing with plans to produce honey from its own honeybee colony.

MSU already buys honey as well as meat, vegetables, fruits and other ingredients directly from more than 100 Montana producers, according to Kara Landolfi, MSU’s Farm to Campus coordinator. Those include purchases of beef, pork, lamb and goat from MSU programs.

In May, the bees were released at a new wooden hive – painted gold in honor of MSU – on the university’s horticulture farm just west of campus. The bees came from the Montana Honey Bee Company in Bozeman, and the hive came from the Polson Honey Bee Company.

A few thousand bees were delivered, said Jill Flores, MSU executive chef, and more are expected to hatch. A typical colony usually has 30,000 to 60,000 bees, she said.  

Flores, Landolfi and Culinary Services Director Richard Huffman will tend the hive, with assistance from David Baumbauer, manager of MSU’s Plant Growth Center. Flores said it’s uncertain how much honey the bees will produce at first. She anticipates the honey that is produced will be used in the special farm-to-campus themed dinners Culinary Services hosts on campus, such as the first dinner of the fall semester, which is a picnic on the Romney Oval. Landolfi said the university will continue to purchase honey from local producers, as well.

One reason Culinary Services opted to purchase the hive was for the educational opportunities it will enable, Flores said. Culinary Services has created educational posters about honeybees to share with students and engaged students via social media to name the queen bee. Out of more than 400 suggestions, Queen Freddie MercurBee was the winning name.

Montana State University Culinary Services staff tend to a beehive at the MSU Pollinator Garden Thursday, May 30, 2019 in Bozeman, Mont. MSU photo by Kelly Gorham.

“It will be a good education tool not only for students but for staff, as well,” she said. “When we harvest honey, we’ll have chefs be part of that. It’s good to get our chefs out to the farm to see where food is being produced.”

The university has additional links to honeybees. To support healthy populations of bees and other pollinators, MSU recently joined a nationwide initiative certifying the university's pollinator-friendly practices and programs, an effort that led to its designation as a Bee Campus USA by the international nonprofit Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. MSU was the first Montana campus to qualify and enroll; the program also includes 58 other campuses nationwide.

MSU is also home to the Pollinator Health Center, which carries out research that aims to improve pollinator health, mitigate pollinator losses and engage with learners of all ages at educational events. The center brings together faculty from disciplines across MSU, as well as expertise from federal and state agencies. More information about the center is available at montana.edu/pollinators.

Landolfi said the honeybees are an extension of edible landscaping that is present on campus and used by Culinary Services. Working in collaboration with MSU Facilities Services, Culinary Services harvests fruit, herbs and edible flowers that grow on the MSU campus. Those edibles include apples, crabapples, cedar, parsley, chives, nasturtiums and violets, she said.

“Facilities Services is proud to support our sister department’s farm-to-campus initiative,” said E.J. Hook, director of Facilities Services. “As a school with deep agriculture roots, it only makes sense to share the bounty we currently grow on campus. It also serves as an example that landscapes can serve multiple purposes – in this case aesthetics and edible food.”

In addition, Facilities Services and Culinary Services plan to partner later this summer to grow food – including cherry tomatoes – in planters outside Rendezvous Dining Pavilion, Flores said.

MSU Culinary Services provides more than 12,000 meals in its dining facilities each day during the academic year, Flores said. More information is available at montana.edu/culinaryservices/.

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MSU computer scientists help expand horizon of genetics research


A tweaked gene or two among the millions or even billions of proteins that make up an organism's DNA are often all that distinguish the drought-tolerant plant or the person pre-disposed to cancer.

That's why a better understanding of genetic variation within a species could, among other things, help improve selection of crops for local conditions and detection of disease, according to Joann Mudge, senior research scientist at the nonprofit National Center for Genome Resources.

A generation ago, recording an organism's DNA from beginning to end was so laborious and expensive that scientists celebrated when they completed the task for a single bacterium. But as genome sequencing becomes faster and cheaper, scientists increasingly have access to insights about which genes do what, Mudge said.

"We're sequencing multiple individuals of some species," including plants and other complex organisms, Mudge said. That allows scientists to begin to sort out which segments of DNA form a species' core genome and which correspond to traits shared by only some individuals, she said.

But the growing field of pangenomics, as it is called, presents a major analytical challenge. That's why NCGR recently partnered with Montana State University computer scientists to develop software that can compare multiple genomes and make sense of the results. The project is backed by a three-year, $662,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.

"We've been very happy with the way it's working," said Brendan Mumey, professor in the Gianforte School of Computing in MSU's Norm Asbjornson College of Engineering. He and Mudge are co-leading the project.

According to Mumey, previously available software struggled with analyzing pangenomes for relatively primitive organisms such as the common yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, whose genome contains only 12 million of the DNA units known as base pairs. (By comparison, the human genome contains 3 billion base pairs.) Among the known strains of the yeast, minor genetic variations account for physical adaptations such as the ability of brewer's yeast to survive alcohol during the making of beer and wine.

"It's a classic 'big data' problem," Mumey said, referring to the field of computing that deals with exceptionally large and complex data sets.

MSU assistant professor of computer science Indika Kahanda, a member of the research team, specializes in developing the "machine learning" models that help the new software adjust its gene-sorting analysis according to input from scientists. That approach has helped the team, which includes NCGR research scientist Thiru Ramaraj, identify genes of interest in a yeast pangenome that includes roughly 100 strains. Ramaraj earned his doctorate in computer science in 2010 at MSU, where Mumey was his adviser.

Mumey said the researchers' next step is to continue to refine the software so it can handle larger and more complex genomes, such as those of plants. The computational techniques being used "are still in their infancy," he said.

Eventually, pangenomics could help medical professionals diagnose a variety of diseases that have a genetic component, Mudge said. Most inherited breast cancer can be traced to mutations in just two genes, but other genetic diseases are thought to stem from more complex changes across larger areas of DNA.

The improved pangenomics tool is already helping scientists break out of a mold of comparing genomes to a single, arbitrary reference, Mudge said. Instead, researchers can represent a species' entire genome with all its nuance and variety.

"It's a hard problem to solve," Mudge said. "This has been a great collaboration."

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Monday, Jun. 3rd, 2019

What to do With Your Kids During the Summer


Summer is the most exciting months of the year for kids in school, but for parents, it’s one of the most stressful times of the year. Many parents are stuck trying to find things for their children to do while they are at work. While some children are allowed to stay home, others are put into camps and more schooling. The anxiety around finding a place to send your child for at least the day is what most parents experience as soon as the school year ends.  

It is very costly to find ways to keep your kids occupied and looked after. It can create a hardship on families, but it is something that has to be done. Unless your kids are old enough to watch themselves at home, you must spend money on services that will allow you the peace of mind that they are okay.

Summer Camps
One of the most popular thing parents do with their kids during the summer is to send them to summer camp. Sometimes kids aren’t as excited to go to these camps but it is necessary. Summer camps can be quite beneficial to your kids’ lives. They will meet all kinds of new people, explore, and try new things. This will help them either create a new hobby or become more proficient in the ones they already have. Use your children’s interest to decide what kind of camps to send them to.

Summer camps allow kids to play and enjoy their summer while being supervised 100% of the time. Creating friendships are good to increase a child’s skill in personal interactions and building relationships for the future. Your kids will remain active throughout the summer and you won’t have to worry about them sitting in front of a screen for hours. Most camps are educational, whether it is academically or practically. Your child will be learning and having a good time. Parents usually check in on their kids but it isn’t advised to do it daily.

Nannies and babysitters
Some parents opt for hiring assistance while they are at work. Paying a nanny or babysitter to care and look after their children is what some parent tend to do. This option can get costly, but it is well worth it. Knowing that your children ate safe at home with a skilled supervisor can be comforting. Parents don’t want to add more stress to their lives and hiring someone helps with relieving the pressure.

Nannies are paid to be there with your kids all day long. Some families have a nanny on hand 24/7 which definitely helps when the summer months come around. When hiring a nanny for the summer make sure to start your search ahead of time to ensure there is care available as soon as school lets out. Make sure to include certain activities so your children aren’t stuck at home watching television or constantly using electronics. It’s important to get them outside so make sure your nanny knows to take them out to parks, swimming pools, and even amusement parks to keep their summer filled with fun. There are even thousands of games they can play together at home.

If you don’t have the funds to support a nanny or babysitter for the entire summer, appoint a family member or friend to help out. This especially works for ones that also have children.

Summer school
Summer schools are great if you want your child to continue their learning. This option is primarily for the student who needs extended schooling or for families that want to give their children something productive to do for the summer. Summer school has quite promising results and even though it may not be the most fun thing for your child, they will thank you later.

Many parents, students, and teachers usually look at summer school in a negative way so it gets a bad rep. But it is quite beneficial for strengthening the mind of your kids. When summer begins, children usually forget about all of the things they learned during the school year keeping them in school through the summer is an ideal option.

Work from home
If you have no other options for ways to get rid of your kids during the summer, you could consider working from home. Though some careers deem this impossible, it is quite beneficial to parents’ pockets and relationship building. Spending more time with your kids will boost your connection and create a stronger bond. It may get stressful to find the peace and quiet you need to work, but knowing that they are in your care and you’re the only one responsible for them is comforting.

In conclusion
Putting their children first is what parents do and the summertime can be a pain. There are many benefits to each way you keep your children occupied and all of them are options many parents choose. Don’t be afraid to send your kids off to a camp to make wonderful memories and have great adventures. Allow your kids to learn year-round to sharpen their academic skills.

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