Archive for January 2nd, 2008

by Pete Talbot

Can Missoula support a progressive radio station? It couldn’t the last time around. Radio station KKNS lasted a few months before its owner, Simmons Media, pulled the plug.

But according to writer Robert Struckman over at New West, a station with the call letters KMPT is going to give it another shot. The station will go on the air Thursday, Jan. 3, the story says, and can be found at 930 on the AM dial.

(I’m wondering what’s up with Missoula Community Radio. This independent, non-profit station was in the process of raising funds and filing for a license with the FCC. Can anyone out there give 4&20 readers an update?)

Anyway, Missoula is a small market with a lot of radio saturation already, so I wish both stations “good luck” and I’ll be listening.

The general election this year is on Tuesday, Nov. 4. I’m guessing that the Montana Democratic Party will be urging Montana males to go to the polls on Nov. 5.

According to a poll taken by Lee newspapers, men favored Republicans over Democrats by 44 percent to 28 percent while women supported Democrats by 40 percent to 30 percent for Republicans. The rest of the folks polled were undecided.

Also, a little more than half (56 percent) of men thought they’d see adverse impacts from global warming. That number was 68 percent with women. And 86 percent of Democrats versus 42 percent of Republicans think global warming will lead to adverse impacts.

There must have been an awful lot of Republican men in a coma last summer as forest fires ravaged our state.

NASA released partial results of an air safety survey of pilots who complained about fatigue, problems with air traffic controllers, airport security and the layouts of runways and taxiways.

NASA would have released more data, such as trends, but didn’t want to “harm the airlines’ bottom lines.”

I didn’t realize that NASA was on the payroll of United, Northwest, Delta, American … Why else would it keep the details of the report secret? I’d feel safer knowing everything that’s in the survey. One quote was released that I found a little unnerving:

“Pilots asleep on the flight deck is a problem,” one pilot said.

For those that don’t make it down to the comments section at blog sites, here’s an update from Missoula Community Radio:

“We submitted our application(s) on time for two different signals based in the Bitterroot (with a plan in place to buy and operate a translator in Missoula to boost our signal); only planning to keep one. We learned a month later that we are competing with two other groups – three groups for two signals.

We are in the process of negotiating with one of the organizations to jointly to establish a signal that would be available from Hamilton to Missoula. The other organization is not compatible enough with our (or we with their) mission to consider working together, so they would drop one of their applications and in turn win the other signal.

This is all good news, as we could have our build permit in the next few months, as opposed to the next few years (The FCC is saying a three year wait on all applications that are not able to settle on their own). Hopefully we should have some significant news to share in the near future.

BTW, we have almost reached our initial fund raising goal, but need to raise more! Please donate if you can at our website and contact us if you have any questions or would like to get involved!!!

If you would like to learn more about Missoula Community Radio please visit http://www.MCRFM.org and the issues we are interested in at


by Jay Stevens

Seeing our last few discussions about downtown were so incendiary, I thought I’d point out this report from the Missoulian about the Loft’s recent success:

The Loft of Missoula – the new, private social club located at 119 W. Main St. – hasn’t yet been open for a month, but already business has been brisk.

So brisk, in fact, that co-owner Chad Wold expects he’ll sell out all available memberships to the club within the next three months.

“The reception downtown has been really fantastic,” said Wold. “We’ve sold about 75 percent of the available memberships already.”

Wold also mentioned that the Loft hosted several fundraisers for local charities, although “he declined to name the beneficiaries of those fundraisers.” And no wonder, what with the reception that his after-hours club and its members received here not long ago.

I think many of us can agree that the idea of a ritzy after-hours private club doesn’t fit our image for downtown, but likewise I think we can agree that it’s a good sign for Missoula’s vitality that new business models succeed there. And I think we can all agree that there’s no need to attack folks who are doing good work at the Loft.

Frankly, I think folks should do with their money what they will. If it’s to gather at the Loft, drink wine, and donate to worthy charities, that’s cool with me.

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