As the year draws to a close, I’d like to thank MACDEP members for their continued support of the Association; Membership fees for 2010 are due at the end of the month so look for the renewal email or contact me at: .
MACDEP Happenings/Member News
MACDEP Minutes Posted
The Draft Minutes from our October 20 Annual Business Meeting are posted on-line and available for viewing; please send any comments or edits to so we can incorporate changes.
NACDEP Election Nominations Sought
Nominations are now being sought for various NACDEP offices. The nomination period is through December 16, 2009. More information is available at the NACDEP web site.
Poverty Rate Jumps in Rural America
Per The Daily Yonder, the difference in poverty rates between rural and urban counties narrowed in the 1990s and through the first few years of this century. From 2003 to 2008, however, poverty rates in rural America jumped.
Montana Slips to #26 in National Health Rankings
New statistics out recently show Montana fell one spot in the ranks of the healthiest states in America. Additional information is available on the America's Health Rankings website, including a summary of "Significant Changes" in Montana.
The Geography of Obesity
Obesity has reached epidemic proportions in America. More than 72 million American adults are obese, according to estimates from the National Center for Health Statistics. But obesity varies greatly by state. The map below, from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), shows the obesity rate for the 50 states, measured as the share of people with a Body Mass Index (BMI) over 30 which the CDC classifies as “obese.”
Stay or Go? The Quandary of the Rural Brain Drain
Does staying in a rural community mean young people must sacrifice economic and educational opportunity? A new study looks at an old dilemma. In their new book, Hollowing Out the Middle: The Rural Brain Drain and What It Means for America, sociologists Patrick Carr and Maria Kefalas undertake an ethnographic study of youth pathways to adulthood. The figure below shows the counties most affected by the brain drain, as featured in the book.
Community Development “In the News”
Montana's Capital City to Get 'Smart-Grid' Technology
NorthWestern Energy was among the 12 utilities in the northwestern United States to get a $178 million grant to test various smart-grid technologies, and NorthWestern's portion of the project will be tested in Montana in Helena at the Capitol Complex and the surrounding neighborhood. Helena Independent Record; Nov. 30
Gallatin Valley Groups Propose “One-Stop” Workforce Training Center
A lack of short-term, affordable workforce training for those who fall through the cracks of the educational system has prompted two Belgrade nonprofit organizations to join forces to create a multi-use training facility in Gallatin County. Bozeman Daily Chronicle; Nov. 21
Rocky Boy Online Company Seen as Economic Development Tool
The Chippewa Cree Tribe of Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation has started a new business in an effort to stimulate economic development. Havre Daily News; Nov. 20
88th Meeting Of The Montana Taxpayers Association
December 3, 11:30 AM, Best Western Great Northern Hotel, Helena. “Our annual meeting has become the leading forum in Montana to learn about current issues important to all Montana taxpayers;” said Mary Whittinghill, President of the Montana Taxpayers Association. The meeting format provides an excellent opportunity for our members to interact and share ideas on these top issues. The annual meeting is open to all interested persons. Contact: Mary Whittinghill (406) 442-2130.
December 6, 12:00 PM, University of Montana, Urey Hall, Missoula. The first quarterly blogger's social. BLOGGALACTIC™ 1.0 will feature technical presentations on website development (i.e., templating, site enhancement, and code review - especially that geared towards blogging), the state of the blogosphere in relation to online collaboration, and a peek into recently released products such as Google Wave and browser-specific plugins. Although BLOGGALACTIC™ is geared towards blog owners, the event is open to all website managers, Web surfers, and interested parties.
MSU Extension to Hold 2 Days of Training on Wind Energy
December 7, Great Falls, December 8, Cut Bank. The Montana State University Extension has scheduled two one-day training sessions that will address various aspects of wind-energy development such as leasing land to wind-energy developers and installation of small wind-energy systems.
Major Donor Management And Solicitation Presented By Kim McKelvey
December 17, 11:30 AM, MonTec Conference Room, Missoula. The Missoula Nonprofit Network is hosting Major Donor Management and Solicitation, a workshop with time-tested and cutting edge tips for major donor solicitation and stewardship. From the right vehicles and techniques to ask for donations to ideas for appropriately thanking and involving major donors, this workshop will inspire you to reach out to your major donors before the end of the year.
Poverty 101 Online Class
January 4 - March 20, 2010
We're now taking registrations for Poverty 101. Gain a broader understanding of poverty in America and earn 3 college credits from Portland State University.
Build Your Expertise in Sustainable Planning, Public Participation, Urban Design or Real Estate
Courses begin January 6th. Do you want to build expertise in environmental planning, public participation, form-based codes or real estate development? The Bloustein Online Continuing Education Program can help. We offer a wide variety of online courses that allow you to share ideas with other professionals while learning at your convenience. The classes are designed to help the best and brightest in our fields get smarter.
Grant Proposal Writing Workshop
January 7 - 8, 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM each day, Montana Tech of The University of Montana, Butte. Instructor: Janet Cornish, Community Development Services of Montana. As competition for funding has become more brisk, good proposal writing skills are critical for managers in both the public and private sectors. This two day seminar will provide participants with key strategies to help them put their best foot forward on paper, while "demystifying" the grants process.
Save the Date! 2010 Montana Housing Partnership Conference: Affordable, Sustainable, Accessible
For more information contact
or or call 1.866.587.2244.
New Grant Opportunities have been added the MSU Extension Website
FERC Approves Funding for Montana-Alberta Transmission Line
On Thursday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved a $161-million loan from the Western Area Power Administration to Canada-based Tonbridge Power Inc. to build the Montana Alberta Tie Line, a 214-mile, 230-kilovolt power line between Great Falls and Lethbridge. Great Falls Tribune; Nov. 20
Montana Public Asked to Comment on Energy Efficiency, Conservation
Committee members want to hear about specific changes in state law that the public believes are needed in these areas, as well as any other recommendations regarding them. MATR, Nov. 20
Montana Agencies Suspend Funding for Little Shell Tribe
After an audit questioned how the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians spent a grant designated for tobacco use prevention and a Montana agency questioned the tribe's accounting practices, several state agencies put a hold on $867,000 in grants and stimulus money for the tribe. Great Falls Tribune; Nov. 19
California Company Makes Pitch for Montana Manufacturing Firm
California-based Applied Materials Inc. has offered shareholders of Semitool Inc., a Montana based company that manufactures equipment and tools to make microchips, a premium price for their shares; Applied will have to get two-thirds of Semitool's shareholders to approve the sale. Flathead Beacon; Nov. 18
Dealing with Broadband's Rural Downside
Broadband will benefit rural communities. But it has downsides, too. Rural communities should plan now to make this new technology serve their interests. Daily Yonder; Nov. 18
Report: Montana's Carbon Dioxide Emissions up 36 Percent
A new report released by Environment America said that carbon dioxide emissions in Montana increased 36 percent from 1990 to 2007. Missoulian; Nov. 16
'Green Jobs' a Bright Spot in Nation's Economy
A primer on defining a "green job," how to train for them and how to get one. Los Angeles Times; Nov. 16
Interest in Preserving Ag Land in Montana County on the Rise
Community Food and Agriculture is taking inventory of agricultural land in Missoula County, the Montana county's Office of Planning and Grants is working on a policy to protect such land, and the Missoula Organization of Realtors and Missoula Building Industry Association are paying for a study of agricultural land and policies. Missoulian; Nov. 16
Company's Coal Lease in SE Montana Puts Pressure on State
Arch Coal's lease with Great Northern Properties for coal tracts in southeastern Montana puts pressure on the state to lease adjacent coal tracts. Great Falls Tribune; Nov. 14
Great Falls Development Authority Unveils Growth Plan
Great Falls Development Authority officials laid out a strategic plan at their annual investors' luncheon, which included goals, roadblocks and ways to overcome those roadblocks. Great Falls Tribune; Nov. 13
Monitoring Center Says 75% of the Country Out of Drought
The National Drought Mitigation Center began tracking lack of moisture across the nation 10 years ago, and the United States now has the smallest area affected by drought in all of that time. USA Today; Nov. 13
New PC to Encourage Older Users
A new computer aimed at people aged over 60 who are unfamiliar with PCs and the internet has been unveiled. BBC; Nov. 11
The Rise of Agile Organizational Development
There’s lots of buzz in the startup community about agile software development. The general idea is to create a team and a software process that is flexible, quick, and adaptive to feedback from the market. Put stuff out there, collect feedback on what works, kill what doesn’t, improve what does, rinse and repeat. Xconomy; Nov. 9
Montana Ag, School Officials Lead Drive for Locally Produced Food
There was a time that 70 percent of what Montanans ate was grown locally, but interstate travel and powerful, refrigerated trucks changed all that, but there's a move afoot to return to eating locally grown food, and the state's farmers, ranchers and school officials are leaders in that push. Billings Gazette; Nov. 9
Canadian, Irish Companies Propose New Montana Transmission Line
Officials of Ireland-based Gaelectric and Toronto-based Tonbridge Power Inc, want to extend the reach of that transmission line from Great Falls to the Bonneville Power Administration's 500-kilovolt Colstrip line west of Townsend or at Garrison, or possibly both, to provide transmission capability for wind-produced electricity.
Great Falls Tribune; Nov. 7
LEED for Weeds: New Program Will Rate Green Landscapes
A coalition of the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and the United States Botanic Garden has created the nation's first rating system for environmentally sensitive landscapes. New West; Nov. 6
West Among Nation’s Highest Uninsured Rates
The industries that drive the West often leave their workers on their own when it comes to health insurance. New West; Nov. 5
Climate, Housing and Health: A Tripartite Challenge for the Poor
The shift in climate has severely impacted life in informal settlements (slums), not the least of which is the already inadequate state of health. Informal settlements are found in cities and towns where urban poverty is rife. Residents are often unaware of the vulnerability of their housing - sometimes located directly on river floodplains. Planetizen; Nov. 5