Archive for January 12th, 2010

by jhwygirl

The joint interim Water Policy Committee meets this Wednesday and Thursday to discuss water issues. Day one is pretty much water permitting and exempt wells, while Thursday will encompass coalbed methane (CBM) and its water-related issues.

You can listen or watch the sessions live by streaming from links on the legislative main page or watching it on local cable (channel 67 here in Missoula).

Some of you may recall that Governor Schweitzer had the good sense, this past session, to veto HB575, which would have given free reign for CBM developers to drain the aquifer and be limited to a minimal amount of liability to the ranchers they affect.

All very interesting stuff…and most interesting will be the discussion regarding exempt wells. Just last month, 5 senior water rights holders (including the Clark Fork Coalition) filed a formal request to the DNRC for new rules regarding exempt wells. Their request centers on the belief that failure to provide any review of exempt wells is ignoring and endangering senior water rights.

I mean – come on…..this state is allowing exempt wells in closed basins. How, pray tell, will they shut off all those exempt wells should a senior water right holder call for water?

Imagine the public health and safety issues.

It’s not clear what is to become of that formal request. Per state law, the state has 60 days to respond and either initiate the requested rule-making or explain why they don’t feel it’s necessary. Some might view it as the water rights holders having served notice: Get it done or we’ll see what the courts have to say.

Button Valley, of course, does a nice rundown on exempt wells and some of the issues that the Water Policy Committee will be looking at.

Montanan’s are lucky to have two water quality superstar advocates on the committee – Missoula’s Senator David Wanzenried and Bozeman’s Representative J.P. Pomnichowski. Both have worked tirelessly on water quality and quantity issues – and it’s good to see their institutional knowledge being continued in such an important committee for such an important issue.

Both are up for re-election, too…just in case you’re wondering where to h$lp on on a worthy legislator’s re-election.

Remember: What is Montana without its water?

by jhwygirl

Since when did Renee Mitchell ever give a ^#&* whether a developer was going to be able to “stay afloat”?

Good lord, the false trolling that woman will go through trying to scare up a big green ugly monster on something like a $5,000,000 grant to a developer who is going to rehab blight (increase tax revenues for the city) and provide essential housing for working class folk here in Missoula.

The Missoulian’s Keila Szpaller has the rundown on the grant, which passed after as much wrenching around as most of council could muster…the vote coming down 7-3 on the side of bringing $5,000,000 influx of economic development into Missoula.

I’m sure Jon Wilkins is so proud he’s aligned himself with these bitter petty individuals.

by jhwygirl

Well, the City of Bozeman didn’t waste any time did they? Just last Friday newspapers across the state brought us the news that the City of Bozeman was going to take up consideration of extending protections for sexual orientation and gender identity to its employees.

Well, tonight, amid the showdown in Big Sky (played out, notably, even on Missoula KECI late evening news), Bozeman city commission took up the matter of extending benefits and protections to…well….fellow citizens. People. Brothers and sisters, neighbors. Friends. Sons, daughters.

City Attorney did up a report that details quite a bit of information, not only locally, but nationally on how gays and transgendered people lack equal protections and access to the same types of benefits and services granted to their heterosexual counterparts.

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