Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Breaking News
Home » Local Issues Forum (c8)

Local Issues Forum (c8)

Missoula Joins Other Western Cities on Marijuana Prioritization

Missoula voters were not alone in their decision to de-prioritize adult marijuana offenses this month. The Garden City joins the ranks nine other western cities with similar measures -- possibly 10 if San Francisco passes one this week. If the San Francisco Board of Supervisors gives it the nod, San Francisco will join Seattle, Denver, a slew of California cities and of course, Missoula. On Election Day, Missoula County voters passed Initiative 2 with 54 percent approval. Missoula city and county leaders are still weighing options with how to handle the mandate and are concerned with some of the possible impacts on the community.

Read More »

Ravalli County Gets New Subdivision Regs With Key Change For Planning Efforts

Ravalli County commissioners adopted revisions to their subdivision regulations Monday and the changes included a significant move toward long-range planning. Now, instead of having the county Planning Board hold public hearings and review subdivision applications, that duty will fall directly to the county commissioners. The subdivision regulations revisions were due Oct. 1, and for the past several weeks, the revisions have been a top priority for a swamped Ravalli County planning office. Two weeks ago, the commissioners and planning board had a joint meeting to discuss the revisions. That meeting was continued until Monday. The change in direction for the planning board is welcome, said board chairman Dan Huls. With the amount of growth the county is experiencing, the planning board has become more like a subdivision review board, Huls said.

Read More »

City Residents in Ravalli County Not Able to Vote on Zoning Ballot Issues

Voters in Ravalli County’s four municipalities – Darby, Hamilton, Pinesdale and Stevensville – may be surprised this morning as they come to polls and find out they can’t vote on two of the biggest local issues facing all county residents election. Two ballot measures dealing with zoning are not on the ballots of residents living in the county’s incorporated towns. One measure would repeal an emergency ordinance approved this past summer by county commissioners limiting the size of box stores to 60,000 square feet. The other measure would institute an emergency zoning ordinance limiting development county-wide to one house per two acres.

Read More »

New Impact Fee Advisory Committee Needs Members In Missoula

If you want to have a say in the regulation of development around Missoula, here’s your chance. The Mayor's Office and the City Clerk's Office are taking applications for volunteer positions on the new Impact Fee Advisory Committee. As growth continues to shape the landscape of Missoula County, appropriate allocation of resources is an integral piece of the development puzzle. Under Senate Bill 185, which legislators passed in 2005, local governments can impose fees on new development to help fund public infrastructure needed to support the development. State law requires that a local advisory committee meet when there are proposed amendments to impact fee ordinances or resolutions and thus, the creation of the nine-person committee in Missoula County. The Mayor appoints seven committee members and the City Clerk's office appoints two.

Read More »

HD90 Race: Working to Build a Better Bitteroot

John F. Kennedy once said that “Things do not happen, they are made to happen.” He was referring to the precious opportunity that each one of us to has to make a lasting and positive impact on our world.

Read More »

Tom Catmull and the Clerics Nail New Album

The last five years have seen a boom of local musicians buying multi-track recorders and software, and converting their basements or spare bedrooms into recording studios. The result has been a few full-length CDs that sound every bit as good as the $18.98 Major Label slabs being delivered by the pallet to Wal-Mart. The line between computer geek and musician has blurred -- that pierced hipster in the trendy glasses you see at the coffee shop just might be mixing down an album on his laptop while he sips his triple mochaccino. Like my recent release, "American Piehole," (which seems destined to become this generation’s "Sgt. Pepper") "Tom Catmull & the Clerics" is a home-brewed project, one that Catmull has been sweating over for upwards of two years. The majority of it was recorded in Tom’s basement, on his Tascam digital multitracker. Other tracks were recorded here and there, and the whole thing was mixed at his guitarist's kitchen table. This album has more of a country feel than Catmull's previous releases, but I mean authentic, traditional country. Not that plastic, soft-rock ringtone bait they’re churning out these days in Nashvegas. Right from the first listen, TC&C is polished, confident, and achieves a consistent level of musical and lyrical poise, yet is as comfy and easygoing as an old leather jacket. It’s tasty. It's chewy. Hell, by the fourth song, you want to spread cream cheese on the damn thing and eat it. The aural depth and expansiveness of the mix belie the fact that the album was recorded ten feet from Catmull's washer-dryer.

Read More »

Lewis and Clark County Takes Bold Step with New Zoning Ordinance

When you drive around the Helena Valley in central Montana, it's hard to use the word "planning." Because, of course, there hasn't been any. Now, finally, after 15 years of work and frustration, Lewis and Clark Commissioners have decided to do something about it. On September 12, the commission voted 2-1 to pass the "intent" to implement a sweeping zoning ordinance. It was sweeping in the sense it provides some land use planning in a rapidly growing community where there has been none, but county officials readily admit it's only the first step in guiding growth around Helena. Like any zoning plan, this one has been burdened with controversy.

Read More »

Tony Hawk Brings Thousands Out for Missoula Skatepark Opening

Thousands were already packed into the skate park by 11:00 a.m. in anticipation of Tony Hawk's arrival. Two hours later he arrived by police escort surrounded by cameras and reporters from Fuse TV, The New York Times and local outlets. By the time the pros hit the cement the crowd had doubled to an estimated 8,000. Skating fans young and old were crushing the metal barricade around the bowls. Security couldn’t get them to move much. Teenage girls were in the front ranks screaming for “BAM.” Bam Margera, the bad boy of Hawk's troop was in attendance along with skating legend Mike Vallely and Hawk’s son Riley. The bowl demo was followed by the vert-ramp show. The Birdman, as 38-year-old Hawk is known, skated both shows. New West exculsive video gallery, By Kerry McMannis (all as Quicktime movies):

  • Click here to watch Tony Hawk riding the bowl.
  • Click here for an interview with Mike Vallely
  • Click here to watch Bam Margera
  • Photo: Tony Hawk skates in Missoula, by Steve Saroff. For more photos, check out this photo gallery from Darren Guyaz.

    Read More »

    Party for Peace: Jeanette Rankin Peace Center Celebrates 20 Years

    Jeanette Rankin Peace Center is celebrating its 20th anniversary this Sunday from 4-9 in Caras Park. The party is the center's biggest fundraiser of the year. Peaces of the Past is the theme of the 19th annual peace party. Traditionally the Peace Party included a potluck style chili dinner and auction. Over the years the party has evolved into a catered event with live and silent auctions, a raffle and entertainment. Chili will be on the menu this Sunday in tribute to the early years of the celebration. The silent auction is one of the largest in Missoula, says Betsy Mulligan-Dague, executive director of the Peace Center. There are 181 items and counting to bid on this year.

    Read More »

    Leaders Launch Campaign for Missoula County Open Space Bond

    A simple message framed on a green sign -- "Yes to Open Space" -- stood behind Missoula County Commissioner Jean Curtiss this morning as she officially launched the campaign to pass a $10 million open space bond in Missoula County this November. A group of around 30 supporters and reporters gathered at 11 a.m. for this launch on the viewing deck behind Caras Park. Advocates of the bond, including Mayor John Engen, spoke against the backdrop of the already-protected open lands of Mount Sentinel to their right and the roar of the Clark Fork River funneling down Brennan's Wave at their back.

    Read More »