Monday, Jun. 3rd, 2019

An Evening of Art 2019 Ennis MT

The famous theologian, Thomas Merton wrote: “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” Some folks say art is a luxury. Others believe it is a necessity in our lives. No matter where one falls on the spectrum, maybe we all can agree that art is fun to create, fun to look at and fun to own.

Come to Ennis MT this summer to find yourself and lose yourself and have fun while you do! Ennis is an artist enclave with four of the friendliest and finest art galleries in Montana: Gallery 287, The Cattleman Gallery of Western Art, Artists on Main, and Right Angles. Every category of art that you can name can be found in our galleries. All four galleries have artwork from local and surrounding Montana artists. Some internationally acclaimed and collected artists that live in our community and who are represented in these galleries are: Todd

Connor, David Lemon, Ed Totten and Cathy Toot.

We have a number of events happening this summer in Ennis that will give you an opportunity to meet and watch artists at their craft. On June 8 and 9, 10 am to 4 pm is the Madison Valley Open Studio Tours. There will be a potter, jeweler, painters, pyrographer, woodworker, musician and more! Some will have snacks and door prizes.You can get your flyer and maps at Gallery 287 LLC (50 Mt Hwy 287, Ennis, MT 59729 (406) 490-1453) or the Ennis Chamber of Commerce (201 E Main St, Ennis, MT 59729 (406) 682-4388). This special two day event is Free.

An Evening of Art 2019 will be held on four Fridays throughout the summer at Gallery 287 and The Cattleman Gallery of Western Art. Enjoy refreshments and meet the featured artists on June 21, July 19, August 16, and Sept 20. All starting at 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Free and open to all ages. Bring your guests and friends!

And mark your calendars! Saturday, August 10th is the Ennis Arts Association’s 24th annual Madison Valley Arts Festival. The event features 57 juried artist booths, live music, food, face painting and an art raffle. This fun, family friendly and free event will take place from 10 am to 5 pm in beautiful Peter T.’s Park on Main Street in Ennis.

The Ennis Arts Association (EAA) was established in 1972 with the mission to promote the arts in Madison Valley. The Ennis Arts Association is a non-
profit 501(c)3 organization. Membership fees as well as the annual arts festival fundraiser are used to support art in Madison Valley through programs, scholarships, and events held by the EAA. The proceeds from the EAA arts festival allows the EAA to give back to our community, such as the Madison Valley Public Library, Shakespeare in the Schools, Madison County Fair Art Awards, Ennis School Science Fair Awards, and Madison Farm to Fork: Good Thyme Summer Camp. The Ennis Arts Association awards art-related Tuition Scholarships annually.

Give yourself a break from your routine. Take a day trip and visit our town, Ennis. We have great restaurants and shops and friendly people! Check out our fabulous galleries and spend the day. You won’t regret it.

Elizabeth McCambridge
EAA Face Book Page Manager

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Thursday, May. 30th, 2019

4 Things to Consider Before Starting a Construction Business

                                                                                                                                         photo from pixabay

Almost everywhere you go, there is some kind of construction. So many roads are being expanded or redone, a new house is being built down the street and that new shopping center is popping up.

You may leave for a few months and come back to a part of town that looks completely different than it did before.

Construction is also a job that seems to have endured all the tests of time and a job sector that is expecting growth over the next decade. Unfortunately, nothing ever stays in absolute perfect condition and people will always want buildings or homes to look newer.

If you’re thinking about getting into the construction business, consider the following list before making the big jump.

Design your Business Plan
You’ll want to think of what exactly your business will be doing. Construction can be a broad term. Are you going to build houses? Remodeling? Additions? All of the above?

Think about going deep instead of going wide. It’d be great if you could service anything and everything out there, but that’s not possible.

Lay out a clear plan for yourself so you’re not left wondering what the next step is going to be. It’s just like when you had to write a paper for your English class in high school; having that outline was a great way to keep you focused and lasered in on your next objectives.

Ask for Help
Starting a construction business is similar to starting any other small business. So when you start your business, you might have to wear a lot of hats at once. When you come to an area you don’t feel particularly well-versed in, it’s time to ask for help.

You may need an HR rep to help you lay out your policies and hire people. You will need an accountant to help you on the money side of things. You may need an assistant to help you take calls, plan everything or find an office space.

There is no shame in asking for an expert’s opinion. They studied long and hard to put themselves in that position and you would be wise to ask for their assistance.

The Red Tape
You can’t simply walk outside and say, “Right now, I am starting a construction business” and have it be so. You’ll need to obtain a license and insurance.

For starters, every state has different licenses for different trades. If you plan on doing anything from electrical work, plumbing, HVAC, gas fitting or construction, you are going to need a license. You’ll need to head down to your local state business office to get any information on what you’ll need or what you’ll have to do.

You may also need surety bonds, depending on exactly what kind of work you’re in. Surety bonds ensure that a third party will pay your client if you are unable to fulfill your duties outlined in the contract.

Lastly, you’ll need insurance, and a lot of it. A construction area can be a dangerous place and you’ll want to protect yourself from anything and everything. You may need to get insurance on your equipment, business, workers, vehicles and anything else.

The Money Side
You’re going to be putting a lot of money into the business to start and it’s a good idea to look where you can save money. You don’t want to buy the cheapest equipment but you can look to rent when the time comes up.

Examine your business from top-down and see what kind of items you’ll need right off the bat. You’ll want to get an exact number so you don’t buy too much or too little.

There are lots of places that offer small business loans to get you off the ground and you’ll want to examine each one and see which is best for you. Do you research and talk to experts before making any big decisions.

When it comes to hiring, you'll generally be pulling from four areas: subcontractors, hired employees, labor brokers or independent contractors. Hire people with solid reputations and those you can trust. This is where having a good accountant and tax expert can help you weave your way through hiring each different kind of employee.

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Examsnap Highlights: Top 6 Reasons for CompTIA Security+ Popularity among Security Professionals

Cybersecurity challenges are consistently appearing in organizations. Therefore, there is a high demand for the professionals who have the capability to mitigate these threats and attacks. There are numerous job titles coming up on a regular basis in the field of IT. They are a penetration tester, a cybersecurity analyst, and an ethical hacker. These jobs were not popular some time ago, but today, they have taken the top place. Besides, even more professions will be created as time goes on.

What is the implication of this?There will be continuous demand for security experts in the world of IT. This potential has given rise to the development of certification contents by institutions and organizations. These credentials are designed to validate the skills, knowledge, and experience of professionals in cybersecurity. One of these certifications is CompTIA Security+. To earn this credential or any other cybersecurity certificates, the candidates are expected to go through an exam process to prove their knowledge and skills on specific contents.

Your ability to pass the test shows that you have what it takes to perform optimally in a job role meant for a Security+ certified professional. To pass the exam, there are some recommended study tools that you need to use. Examsnap offers some unique and highly relevant materials that will ensure your success in the exam. You should check the website to find the practice tests and guides for your specific exam.

Reasons for the Popularity of CompTIA Security+ Certification
As mentioned earlier, there are many certification providers that offer security credentials for the professionals in the field of IT. However, Security+ has remained the most pursued one among all the others. Of course, there must be some reasons for that. Examsnap has done some research and gathered some of the top reasons why the security professionals choose CompTIA Security+ over many other certificates. Let’s explainit in detail.

CompTIA Security+ is the industry standard
The CompTIA Security+ certification is considered the standard for all cybersecurity credentials across the world. It is approved by ANSI and it is intended to validate the ability of a candidate to use the knowledge and skills required to be ISO 17024 standard compliant. In other words, having this credential in your resume indicates that you have the skills, knowledge and the integrity required to perform some security tasks in any situation. The exam involves performance-based questions, which stands it out among the rest.

CompTIA Security+ doesn’t require any prerequisites
The credential is entry-level, which means you don’t need to have many years of experience in the industry before you pursue it. The implication of this is that wherever you are in your career, you can pursue the Security+ certification. This is why many professionals in other industries who want to work in cybersecurity consider it as the first certificate to choose.

There are no compulsory requirements for the certification test. The only recommendation is that individuals taking the exam should have at least two-year working experience in the fields of networking and security to enhance their success. If you managed to earn the CompTIA Network+ certificate, this will also be a great advantage. However, if you don’t have the experience, you can still attain the desired score. All you need is to take a training course and practice questions to prepare for the exam. Examsnap can help you in this regard.

CompTIA Security+ is a vendor-neutral certification
This is one of the major reasons why it is popular among security experts. Irrespective of the products you want to specialize in, the CompTIA Security+ certificate will be suitable. The credential is not restricted to any specific technology or any specific vendor’s security. It covers the general fundamentals and components of the cybersecurity field. The knowledge and skills learnt during the certification process make you marketable in any area of cybersecurity.

CompTIA Security+ offers huge career opportunities
The specialists with expertise and credentials in the field of cybersecurity are very much in demand by private and public organizations. The CompTIA Security+ certificate offers you an advantage. It allows you to take up network and security administration job roles in any organization. You can choose from a wide range of positions. Some professional areas you can fit in with your Security+ certification include Access Control and Identity Management, Compliance and Operational Security, Threats and Vulnerabilities, Cryptography, and Data Security.

CompTIA Security+ offers great income potentials
The professionals with this certification have better earning power than their non-certified counterpart. Working as a network engineer, and the individual with the CompTIA Security+ credential can earn an average annual salary of $42,140 and $95,840. A certified professional who also possesses some years of experience can get $66,895 annually. It is essential to point out that the salary of an individual is dependent on many factors other than the credential. However, the certification plays a significant role in higher income potential.

CompTIA Security+ provides an opportunity to work in Government Agencies
If you want to explore a career in networking or cybersecurity in government agencies, the Security+ credential will pave way for you. This is because it meets the standard of U.S DoD 8570,which is a prerequisite for both Management Level One and Technical Level Two positions.

The CompTIA Security+ certification has many advantages. If you are just a newbie in the field of IT and desire to succeed in cybersecurity, this credential is a good way to launch your career. When it comes to your SY0-501 exam preparation, you can find a lot of resources on Examsnap. You can explore training courses, practice tests, exam dumps, and a host of other tools to help you make the best of your learning.When you finally earned your credential, you can move higher and set new goals.

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Monday, May. 20th, 2019

New boat ramp installed at Highway 89 Bridge Fishing Access Site

A new boat ramp has been installed at the Highway 89 Bridge Fishing Access Site on the Yellowstone River east of Livingston. The new ramp extends farther into the river at a more gradual slope than the previous ramp.

This will make the site more user friendly for boaters, especially during periods of low flows. The entire project was completed using capital improvement funds from Region 3 of Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks. FWP continues to remind boaters who plan on taking out at the Highway 89 Bridge FAS to use caution in avoiding the bridge pylons just upstream from the boat ramp.

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MSU researcher co-authors book on new approach to traffic safety

A new book that explores an emerging approach to reducing vehicle crashes is co-edited by Montana State University's Nicholas Ward, director of the university’s Center for Health and Safety Culture.

"Traffic Safety Culture: Definition, Foundation and Application" is the first book to deal comprehensively with the values, assumptions and beliefs that influence how drivers and others behave while on the road, according to Ward.  The cultures associated with the groups people belong to — family, friends, school, workplaces and others — are defined by those values, assumptions and beliefs, he said.

"It's a new way of looking at an old problem," said Ward, who has been active in the field for almost three decades. "Traffic safety has traditionally looked at engineering, enforcement and education as a way to make drivers behave safely. Because most crashes are the result of driver behavior, it is imperative to understand how culture influences driver behavior.”

The problem of traffic safety is a big one, and it is expected to grow, according to the book's editors. In their preface, they note that the World Health Organization estimates that more than 1.25 million people are killed annually and 50 million are injured on the world's roads, and that fatalities are expected to grow to 1.9 million by 2030 without increased prevention.

Co-edited by Barry Watson, global road safety expert at the Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety in Queensland, Australia, and Katie Fleming-Vogl, researcher at the Minnesota Department of Transportation, the book contains chapters written by 22 contributing authors from Australia , Austria and the United States, including Ward and five other MSU researchers. The chapters cover theoretical approaches and practical recommendations as well as case studies.

"We tried to organize the book so that it is accessible both to academic researchers and practitioners," Ward said.
Better road infrastructure and enforced regulations can contribute to better road safety, according to Ward, but there's a growing awareness that the influence of people’s cultures on road user behavior is also a significant factor. By better understanding how culture influences road users’ behavior — such as whether to wear a seatbelt or drive after drinking alcohol — public agencies and others can be more effective at fostering safe behaviors, he added.

Besides Ward, the contributing MSU authors are Eric Austin, associate professor in the Department of Political Science; William Schell, associate professor in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering; and Kari Finley, senior research scientist, Kelly Green, research associate and Jay Otto, principal scientist, all three from the Center for Health and Safety Culture. The Center for Health and Safety Culture is housed in MSU's Western Transportation Institute in the Norm Asbjornson College of Engineering.

"Traffic Safety Culture: Definition, Foundation and Application" is available in hardback and ebook from Emerald Publishing Limited.

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Wednesday, May. 15th, 2019

Sweet Pea Festival Call For Art


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Sweet Pea Festival is celebrating its 42nd Festival! The past 40 years has brought about many great changes to our organization and its annual events. Growing from the initial idea in 1977 of a community's desire to celebrate the arts, Sweet Pea has taken great strides to bring a unique arts festival to the Bozeman community. This year, our juried art show will once again be hosted by our longtime sponsor ERA Landmark, at their Main Street Location. This exhibit will highlight great artists from our region. There will be cash awards to First ($500), Second ($250), and Third ($125) place winners. Click below for more information and to apply.

Sweet Pea's mission is to promote and cultivate the arts and the Festival not only brings Art to Bozeman but allows us to award grants and sponsorship to other arts organizations in town. Over the years we have given over $350,000 to support arts in our community. "Where art & community meet."

Sweet Pea Logo Transparent Background Purple Centered

Show Dates: July 12-August 4

ERA Landmark

9 E. Main St.
Opening Reception July 13 ArtWalk


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Bozeman Restaurants and Bars Use Technology in New Ways (And Offer Free Drinks!)

With over 200 restaurants and eateries in Bozeman, MT, locals and tourists have many options and bars and restaurants are continuously looking to earn diner’s business. Known as a rapidly growing tech town, even the restaurant industry is incorporating technology and getting creative.

How? A new mobile phone app called SWIG406. Launched in 2018, SWIG406 is a mobile phone app that was created to help Montanans and tourists alike explore Montana and experience the bars and restaurants that make their travelling adventures delicious.

As you travel the state, SWIG406 will show you the closest participating tavern to you. The app is free to download but if you wish to experience a free drink at each location, you can subscribe to the app for just $5 per month. That subscription provides you a free libation at each of the participating taverns across the state.

Some of the early adopters in the Bozeman area include: The Club Tavern & Grill, Rocking R Bar and The Cannery. Each offers a FREE alcoholic beverage once a month, all included in the $5 per month app subscription.

‘We’re excited to partner with SWIG406 and offer this to our regulars and folks traveling through Montana. It’s a fun way for customers to try new drinks on our menu and a new way for us to leverage technology. Patrons must be within 650 feet of the restaurant to redeem their Free Drink and Swig406 has done a great job of making the app easy to use’, says Arkinda Mickelson, The Club Tavern & Grill Restaurant Food and Beverage Manager.

To kick-off the partnership, The Club Tavern & Grill will be giving away free subscriptions to the app in the month of May on social media, in the restaurant and more.

SWIG406 bars and restaurants can also add events and parties, helping travelers make plans to explore Montana. And each time SWIG406 users mark a bar as a favorite, they will be sent notifications when that establishment adds a new event. With the hashtag #LocalDrinksatLocalBars, SWIG406 promotes Montana-crafted beverages and the establishments that serve them.

The Swig406 app can be downloaded on iTunes and Google Play. Learn more at:

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Logjam Presents and the Rialto Partner to Bring More Music to the Bozeman Market

Bozeman venue the Rialto and Montana-based promoter Logjam Presents have entered into an exclusive agreement under which Logjam will promote and produce live entertainment events at the Rialto. The two companies will work together to ensure that the theater continues to serve as a music and culture hub for the Bozeman community.

“We are very excited to partner with Logjam at the Rialto,” said Matthew Beehler, General Manager for the Rialto. “Our goal has always been to bring great acts to Bozeman, and we believe this new partnership will help us deliver on that. We're so proud of what we've built at the Rialto, and want to ensure the venue is a vibrant part of downtown Bozeman. We believe Logjam will help us build a pipeline of great live music, comedy and other live performances that will take advantage of all the venue has to offer. While we hope to increase the frequency of acts, the Rialto will continue to host private events and be managed and operated by Columbia Hospitality.”

According to Nick Checota, owner of Logjam Presents, “Logjam is excited to partner with the Rialto to bring world-class artists to Bozeman. With the renovations made to the Rialto in 2018, the Rialto offers a best-in-class, 500 capacity venue to promote and produce live events for the Bozeman community. Having a venue of this quality will allow us to add many of the shows we currently bring into the Missoula market into Bozeman.”

As with its other venues, Logjam is committed to creating an exceptional concertgoer experience at the Rialto. The experienced team of Logjam will bring added expertise to venue booking, operations, production and promotions. According to Checota, “Logjam Presents promotes more live events than any company in the state of Montana. We bring the expertise of a large national promoter, but as a Montana-based and owned company, we also provide a commitment to our state and the Bozeman community.”

The agreement will be effective starting September 1, 2019.

About Logjam Presents
Logjam Presents is a venue operator and promoter of entertainment events and private functions. The Montana-based owners of Logjam Presents own the 1,500 capacity Wilma, the 4,500 capacity KettleHouse Amphitheater and the 600 capacity Top Hat Lounge as well as exclusive booking rights for the 14,000 capacity Ogren Park -- all four venues located in greater Missoula. Logjam is also currently constructing the ELM, a 1,500 capacity venue in Bozeman, Montana, slated to open January 2020. According to industry trade association Pollstar, Logjam Presents ranks in the top 100 promoters worldwide. With an exclusive focus on the Montana music scene, Logjam Presents is committed to creating a world-class customer experience in state-of-the-art venues. For more information visit

About the Rialto
Situated in the heart of downtown Bozeman, the iconic Rialto is an artistic, cultural and inspirational venue that features a dynamic theater, private meeting and event space, and bar overlooking Main Street. Originally built in 1908 as a storefront and converted into a theater in 1924, the Rialto re-opened in 2018 after sitting vacant for over a decade. The reimagined venue integrates historical elements and modern design to serve as a creative outlet for artists, audiences and guests alike. The Rialto is owned by a group of local partners and is managed by Columbia Hospitality. For more information, visit

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Friday, May. 10th, 2019

Watercraft inspection stations to open in southwest Montana

Several watercraft inspection stations in southwest Montana will soon become operative for the 2019 boating season. These stations help boaters meet state laws in preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species.
Boaters with either motorized or nonmotorized watercraft must stop at any inspection station they encounter in Montana. In addition, boaters must seek out an inspection prior to launching if they are coming into Montana from out of state, traveling west over the Continental Divide into western Montana, coming off Tiber or Canyon Ferry reservoirs, or launching anywhere within the Flathead Basin with a watercraft that last launched on waters outside of the Basin.

Several decontamination stations at Canyon Ferry Reservoir are scheduled to open in the coming weeks. Their hours of operation are Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., and Friday through Sunday from 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.:
    •    Canyon Ferry Bureau of Reclamation Visitor Center and Silos stations open May 11.
    •    Canyon Ferry Hellgate station opens May 18.
    •    Canyon Ferry Goose Bay station opens May 25.
Several other stations in and around the region are currently open or scheduled to open soon:
    •    The Dillon inspection station (Red Rocks Rest Area on northbound I-15, south of Dillon) is currently operating daily from 6:30 a.m. to 8:45 p.m.
    •    The Anaconda inspection station (westbound I-90) is currently operating daily from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
    •    The Helena Highway 12 inspection station (westbound) opens May 18. Hours of operation will be posted at the web address listed below.
    •    Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks’ Helena office inspection station operates weekdays from 9 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
    •    FWP’s Bozeman office operates weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
If regulations require you to get a watercraft inspection and you will be traveling past a station outside of operating dates and hours, please plan to go to FWP’s Helena or Bozeman offices during the hours listed above, or any other regional FWP office. Boaters are also asked to voluntarily clean, drain and dry their boat and equipment before launching in Montana waters.

For more information on how you can help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species in Montana, please visit

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Wednesday, May. 8th, 2019

4 Easy Suggestions for Starting a Small Business

Starting a small business is not an easy task. There is lots of planning, discussion, critical thinking, and even more planning. The most difficult part about all of it is in the end, it may not work. You might have to start over from zero multiple times before you can ever feel like you’re truly taking off.

                                                                                                                                    Photo Credit

Switching to a more positive tone, there are so many benefits to running your own business. For starters, it’s your business. You can be in control of everything from the name to who you hire. You get to be a part of the community. Above all, you can get that amazing sense of accomplishment that your business started from nothing and became something great.

There is no perfect blueprint for starting your own business, but there are certainly lots of different tips and suggestions to get you started.

Concentrate on What Your Business Will Do
“Well...of course,” you might be thinking. Your business has to be doing something, and chances are you already have a good idea of what exactly you want to be doing.

But when you’re providing any service or selling any product, it might be better to think about what your products or services will solve instead of what you will sell.

If you’re opening up an antique store, think about what you’re providing people the opportunity to have a beautiful home, garden or expand their antique toy collection. Don’t just think of yourself as selling items. Try and find a need and service that your town needs and how you will provide for that need.

Venture Online
Have you ever tried to find a business or restaurant by Googling them, only to find out they’re not online or don’t have their hours posted? That’s an easy way for this other place to quickly lose your business and for you to move on.

That’s why you need to get online now. You’ll want to go about making sure people can find you just as easily as they could with any other business. Even if you’re not open yet, make your website and make sure people know when you’re open. Head out to social media and advertise yourself through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. That is free marketing after all.

If you don’t consider yourself a tech person, it might be time to learn. Ask around or see what free courses or classes you could take as well. In this technological age, it hurts to be behind the curve.

Nail Down the Finances
Starting a business is a big risk, not only for your personal life, but also financially. In a recent survey, only 80% of small businesses make it to the second year and about 50% make it five years.

Many small businesses struggle to turn a profit over the first few years and others, plain and simple, just run out of money.

From Day 1, you need to make sure you’re on top of your finances and are prepared for anything that could happen. Plan out every business expense in meticulous detail and review everything until you know it perfectly. If you need help, reach out to a financial expert who can help you plan out your next steps, especially if you’ve taken a loan from the bank.

Become an Active Community Member
As a small business, you are what your name states you are, small. You’re not Walmart, Target or Best Buy. You’re going to be the friendly neighborhood small business.

Part of being that friendly neighborhood small business is becoming involved in your community. How can you do this? Here are some ideas:

• Partner with a local non-profit
• Sponsor a local sports team
• Offer discounts for special events around town
• Talk to everyone who comes into your store

The last one is the most important, as it will help you take the heartbeat of your town. You can find out what other services you could be offering or how you can fill other needs. Not only that, but it can help build connections and friendships that will only bring more and more people to your business. A smile can go a long way!

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