Breaking News
Home » Missoula Living

Missoula Living

KettleHouse Amphitheater Highlights Western Montana

Missoula, Montana has a new outdoor hotspot that some residents hope will become the “Red Rocks” of western Montana: the KettleHouse Amphitheater.

Read More »

New West Daily Roundup for Jan. 13, 2016

big sky documentary film festival, missoula, wilma theater

Today in New West news: Big Sky Documentary Film Festival unveils this year’s lineup, Frontier Airlines to add three nonstop flights from Denver International Airport, and Yellowstone National Park has busiest year on record.

Read More »

Missoula Real Estate: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

If you look at the most basic measure of the health of the local real estate market, you might conclude that Missoula doesn't have much to worry about. The median home price in Missoula County -- $217,000 as of June 30 -- has fallen less than 1 percent since its peak in 2006, according to the Missoula Organization of Realtors. By comparison, the National Association of Realtors reports that the median home price in the U.S. has dropped 21 percent during the same period, from $219,000 in 2006 to $173,000 in May of this year. But when you dig a little deeper, you find plenty of indicators that all is not well in the local real estate market -- especially when it comes to new development. New construction has hit a 20-year low, foreclosures are on the rise, and the list of active real estate listings is growing long enough that prices may continue to creep downward. Some two-dozen conversations with local builders and realtors, moreover, reveal no small amount of nervousness about the state of the market. “So far we’ve fared fairly well,” said Bryan Flaherty, president of the Missoula Organization of Realtors (MOR). The lower end of the market in particular is continuing to see a lot of activity, and some realtors are reporting sales numbers that are comparable to years past. Remodeling activity is also stable, and helping to keep some contractors in work. But even Flaherty admits to seeing worrisome signs.

Read More »

Caring Deeply: Missoula Couple Working to Dig a Well in Zanzibar

Clean water. For Missoula residents Said and Sara Hemed, it would be a dream come true if they could finish digging a well in Said’s native Zanzibar village so people there could have water to drink and use for washing -- without having to walk a mile to a water pump and haul it back in buckets. Said (pronounced sye'-dee) and his wife, Sara, a Montana native, have other dreams too. They want to provide classes for adults and children on the six acres Said owns in Mchekeni, a village of about 300 people in Zanzibar, a small island off the coast of Tanzania. Along the way, they’ve launched a group, Artisans for Africa, and are selling handmade arts and crafts -- batik purses, screen-printed fabrics, leather baby booties, jewelry -- to raise the money needed to finish digging a well on the property.

Read More »

Downtown Missoula Snags $1 Million From Feds

The Missoula Downtown Association today announced that the federal government is sending more than $1 million in economic stimulus money to downtown Missoula. The money will be used to beautify and boost user-friendliness on North Higgins Avenue between Broadway and Circle square, providing more safety for cyclists and pedestrians. The ultimate goal? "Creating a more inviting, attractive and interactive street environment" to stimulate the downtown economy, according to the announcement from the MDA. Another chunk of the allotment money will pay for repaving three blocks of downtown Higgins, the association says.

Read More »

Mulch Obliged: Missoula Volunteers Vow to Plant 1,000 New Veggie Gardens

Got lawns? Yep, most homeowners do, in Missoula and nearly everywhere else. Thanks to a national lawn obsession that has roots deeper than leafy spurge, America holds about 40 million acres of lawns and turf, a vast green carpet that’s a huge source of wasted water, CO2 and air pollution (thanks to gasoline-powered mowers), and toxic run-off from pesticides, insecticides and fertilizers. Enter former Missoula Redevelopment Agency director Geoff Badenoch, who had an idea this February during a meal with Max Smith, a freshman at the University of Montana: Why not get a group of gardeners, a generous bunch at heart, to help other people grow foods instead of lawns? The notion took root and grew. By April 26, dozens of volunteers for a new group, 1000newgardens, held a “Dig Day” and helped transform 10 local backyards into food plots.

Read More »

Missoula City Council Hears Nays and Yeas About Zoning Rewrite

After more than five hours of hearing public comment Monday night, the visibly exhausted Missoula City Council sent the proposed zoning rewrite ordinance revision back to the Plat, Annexation and Zoning committee for re-evaluation. If passed, the new zoning ordinance would replace the existing zoning ordinance, which Office of Planning and Grants Director Roger Millar described as confusing and contradictory. “Everything we do depends on zoning, and our regulatory foundation is broken,” Millar said during his brief presentation last night. “It’s time for a change.” Following Millar’s presentation and continuing until past midnight, about 50 Missoula residents representing commercial, organizational, neighborhood and personal interests lined up in the aisles of the Council Chamber and, one by one, voiced their concerns before the weary Council members, Mayor John Engen and City Attorney Jim Nugent. The meeting was adjourned at 12:30 a.m.

Read More »

Downtown Missoula Starbucks Grinding to a Halt

Here's the skinny: the Starbucks coffee shop in downtown Missoula is slated to close. The three-year-old business in the Trailhead building is the only one of the five Starbucks in the area that will shutter its doors owing to the global financial slowdown, which (apparently) no amount of caffeine has been able to cure. Last summer the company announced it would close more than 600 stores in the U.S.; this winter, it announced it would close an additional 300 locales in the U.S. and abroad, due to lackluster performance.

Read More »

Watson Children’s Shelter Gets Needed Money

There’s good news this week for the Watson Children’s Shelter, a 16-bed emergency shelter in Missoula for abused and neglected children in Western Montana. Montana Congressman Denny Rehberg announced today that he’s secured $500,000 for the shelter, which has suffered dwindling donations amid a crisis of need. In addition, KPAX’s Angela Marshall reports that the Missoula City Council and Mayor John Engen on Monday awarded the shelter $215,000 in grant money for construction of a much-needed second 16-bed children's facility on Buckhouse Lane in Missoula. The funds “are included in the Community Development Block Grant and are restricted to the construction of the new facility,” KPAX says.

Read More »

The Travel Less Roaded

If life is a highway, we’re in trouble--unless we start making highways safer for wildlife, wildlands and the planet. Simply put, America’s ever-expanding web of streets and freeways is a noxious force that threatens to "pave over the landscape.” So says Division Street, a beautifully filmed and notable new documentary premiering Thursday, June 11, at the Roxy Theater in Missoula. The 7 p.m. showing will be followed by a panel discussion featuring filmmaker-producer Eric Bendick and officials from Transportation for America and American Wildlands.

Read More »