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Tag Archives: Bozeman

Fancy Footwork: Insights from Bozeman’s Dancing Guy

Let's face it: teenagers no longer flock to weekly Cotillion classes. The old-fashioned “dinner and dancing” date is now only a romantic myth heard around campfires. In fact, many folks run rapidly for the bathroom when they hear mention of taking a spin on the dance floor. In this day and age, dating involves juggling text-messages, emails, and special ring-tones instead of meeting for a night filled with the subtle flirtations of partners dancing cheek to cheek. But I’d like to argue that we should bring back the romance. Dancing is one of my top three favorite activities (right up there with eating and beer-drinking). I’ve found over the years that partner dancing--swing, salsa, two-step, and (everyone’s favorite) polka--is even more exhilarating than just gettin’ down w’ my bad self by my own self. Plus, it’s a good way to meet guys and do a quick check on whether there’s any of that lovely chemistry. My most recent dancing partner, who I’ll creatively call Dancing Guy, lives in Bozeman. Turns out that he’s not only insightful about swing flips and tango ochos, he’s also got some interesting perspectives on how dancing relates to male-female interactions off the dance floor. Check out this email exchange a few weeks ago between myself (BS, of course) and DG.

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Bicycling To Work Makes Sense—If You Can Do It

Did you know that May 14-18 is National Bike to Work Week? Okay, now that you're informed, what are you going to do about it. As millions of Americans say they're willing to make lifestyle changes to address global warming, save money on high gas prices at the pump, and to stay in shape, how many of us will actually follow through? Today, just two percent of Americans bicycle to the office. In the story that follows, Carol Flaherty of the Montana State University News Service takes a look at how faculty who work at Bozeman's campus of higher learning are setting an example not only for students but the entire car-commuting city. But it isn't without hassles. What is your town doing to promote public transportation and non-motorized routes? Let us know.

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What Jackson Hole Can Learn From The Big Apple

When Westerners get their city fix in the Big Apple, some return home with nothing but relief. Lifestyle statistician and commentator Jonathan Schechter got something else: A revelation about the similarities between the green heart of New York City and his own turf in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. His epiphany grew out of conversations he had with investment gurus who told him the best strategy for ensuring sustainable prosperity is to plan ahead and take a long view of the mountainous horizon that, more and more, Americans are coveting. Despite Jackson Hole's reputation as being a refuge for the ultra rich and famous, Schechter notes that the way it approaches growth and plots its own future is still bamboozled by a poor man's mentality in thinking about development. As always, his essays deliver lessons about where the West has been and where it's headed.

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When Ed Anacker Made Cyclists Eat His Dust


John Anacker and his brothers grew up in the shadow of an outdoor legend when their town was a different place and the West a different kind of region. As the sons of Bozeman's legendary athletic hedonist Ed Anacker, now a spry octogenarian, they remember slogs with their patriarch who defined himself by acts of extreme physical endurance — this in an age well before the word "ultra" and lucrative sponsorship deals ever entered the vocabulary of American recreation. As the longtime head of the chemistry department at Montana State University, Ed Anacker in his free time put men one third his age to shame, including when he designed the brutal course of the notorious Ed Anacker Bridger Ridge Run held every summer in Bozeman. In writer John Anacker's first essay about his father, he chronicled a climb to the pinnacle of Montana's highest summit, Granite Peak. With this sweet second piece, he tells the tale of what happened when his dad raced a beater bike against the fashion and techno mavens of modern cycling. —Todd Wilkinson

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Bozeman Organic Food Hub Ponders Peril Of Staying Small

Editor's Note: Small may be beautiful and quaint, but sometimes small means having less opportunity to think big and make a difference in changing the world. Around Montana's Gallatin Valley within the growing legion of people who have joined the healthy food movement, rumors have been persistant that the Community Food Co-op of Bozeman, located at 908 West Main Street, is considering opening a second store. The speculation, in fact, was confirmed this week in a story written by Dean Williamson, a Co-op Board member, in the newsletter Community Food News. Where the new store would break ground is still a matter of discussion but even talk of it has spurred wider chatter that is relevant to every sister co-op in America. As anyone who tries to shop healthy knows, buying organic foods isn't cheap when compared to fruits, vegetables and meats grown on industrial farms and sold in the supermarkets. In fact, it has caused many to question if there isn't a growing chasm not only between economic and social haves and have nots, but a gap between those who can afford to eat healthiest and working class folks whose limited incomes prevent them from being able to purchase organic products. In yet another provocative essay from Kelly Dean Wiseman, general manager of the Community Food Co-op, the topic is partially addressed as the local center of healthy food thinks about where to invest its profits.

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Bozeman Leader Responds To His Town’s Impugned Honor

Steve Kirchhoff

It definitely touched a raw nerve. When Stephen Matlow, editor of the Livingston Enterprise newspaper, wrote an editorial recently calling high and mighty Bozeman, Montana "butt ugly", a town rapidly losing its community soul, many citizens residing in Matlow's intended target reacted with the outrage of defensiveness. Current Bozeman City Commissioner Steve Kirchhoff, a former mayor and home-grown community leader who was once a school teacher in urban Chicago but in the 1990s with his physician wife decided to return to his native town to raise their family, took Matlow's semi-satirical observations to heart. And Kirchhoff's own assessment may surprise you. Like former Missoula Mayor Dan Kemmis [now director of the O'Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West], Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson and others, Kirchhoff believes that what defines the modern West is not just the innovative approaches being employed to make money or selling real estate -- an improvement over the boom and bust days of frontier gold rushes -- but its capacity to see community as something more than economic, social and religious homogeneity. For Kirchhoff, it's the stuff that doesn't appear on ledger books that matters just as much as what's visible in statistics to bean counters. —Todd Wilkinson

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Are Trends In Jackson Hole Applicable To Other Western Towns?

Jackson Hole has been largely insulated from many of the economic hiccups swirling in the outside world around it. The Tetons, though, also have served as a bellwether for assessing how ultra-wealthy communities relate to the landscape and neighboring towns, creating their own ripple effect. In this piece, ace economic commentator Jonathan Schechter looks into his crystal ball for the coming year and makes some predictions about what might lay ahead for his home valley. Will the bursting national real estate bubble have an impact on Jackson Hole and what might the popping portend for other similar outdoor-oriented economies in the Rockies? Realtors, take note. Something else: Jackson Hole's economy is going green.

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Montana Newspaper Editor Calls Bozeman ‘Butt Ugly’

Bozeman, Montana has always assumed an air of superiority when referencing Livingston— that smaller neighboring, bare-knuckled, blue-collar, railroad and river town on the eastern side of Bozeman Pass along Interstate 90. Back and forth across the Pass, the friendly civic jeering has gone on for years, like crowds at a high school football game heckling one another from opposite sides of the field. Now, in another act of attempted one upsmanship, a fresh barb has been cast at Bozeman in the form of an editorial hand grenade lobbed by Stephen Matlow, managing editor of the Livingston Enterprise. "Once a beautiful town in an ideal setting," Matlow wrote, "it has now turned into something butt-ugly where any Californian would feel comfortable."

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A Primer On Climate Change From The NY Times Andy Revkin

When it comes to writing about climate change and the continuing evolution of the political discussion in America, no reporter does it better or more astutely than Andrew Revkin of The New York Times. Andy's work is crackerjack and he, too, has been a reader of the reports on climate change that have appeared here at New West. As a journalistic colleague and friend, I have the utmost respect for his work. The following is a note that Andy passed along today and New West readers should find it to be of great interest, for it illustrates how the discussion over global warming is light years ahead of the so-called "debate" occurring in the Rockies. Here are a couple of links, based on Andy's suggestion, you're sure to enjoy.

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When Granite Peak Loomed As Something More

Bozeman native son John Anacker and his near-mythical father, Ed.  A trailblazer and today an octogenarian, Ed Anacker made extreme endurance sports respectable before they were fashionable.

John Anacker and his brothers grew up in the shadow of a mountain. In this case, the mountain was a man. As the sons of legendary Bozeman outdoorsman Ed Anacker, now a spry octogenarian, they remember slogs with their patriarch who defined himself by acts of extreme physical endurance — this in an age well before the word "ultra" ever entered the outdoor vocabulary of America. As the longtime head of the chemistry department at Montana State University, Ed Anacker in his free time would do such things as setting out with a goal of, in a single day, riding his bicycle 400 miles across Montana from the Yellowstone gateway town of Gardiner to the Canadian border. Anacker also laid out the notorious course for a footrace that runs the spine of the Bridger Mountains. Today, the 20-mile Ed Anacker Bridger Ridge Run is considered "the most rugged technical trail race" in existence, attracting participants from around the country every summer. To many, Anacker is a near-mythic hero, but for every person whose public reputation is larger than life, there is also the reality back home among family members of the mortal human who is loved not for his heroic deeds but for simply being there. What is it like to be Ed Anacker's son? John Anacker, a novelist, painter, and journeyman, explores the question in a series of short essays beginning with this one about a family quest to scale Granite Peak, the highest summit in Montana.

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