I saved Mr. Banks before escaping tomorrow

A review of two very different movies shot on Disney Grounds

I recently had the privilege of watching both Saving Mr. Banks
Disney Pictures tale of Walt Disney and author P.L. Travers’
disagreements on Mary Poppins — and the guerilla-filmed Escape from
in a 24-hour span. I went into this mini Disney-marathon with
high expectations for the first and thirsty curiosity for the later.

If you’re not aware of the two movies, you must not be a Disneyland
nerd like myself (and congratulations.) My family and I spend a fair
amount of time and money in the “park that Walt built” and have for
three generations. Disneyland, to me, will always be bigger than the
Disney brand, but to each his own.

I was pretty sure what I was going to get from Mr. Banks and Disney
hit that bulls-eye with this movie. The story follows the making of
the 1964 Disney Classic Mary Poppins and gives a somewhat
fictionalized version of how Disney and Travers eventually made a
motion picture they both approved of. Tom Hanks is wonderful as Walt
Disney, but it’s hard to think of Mr. Hanks as anyone but Mr. Hanks.
Hanks nails many of the famous Disney’s nuances — even gets busted
with a cigarette — and is believable as Disney. I knew next to
nothing about P.L. Travers prior to watching Mr. Banks, but that
didn’t matter (at least if you don’t care about facts.) Thompson
brought the character to life and I enjoyed her portrayal of British
fish-out-of-water in 1960’s southern California.

The real reason I watched this movie was to see how they captured
Disneyland on film. In the past, Disneyland has only been used as a
backdrop in a major motion picture two times (40 Pounds of trouble in
1962 and That Thing you Do in 1996) and Walt Disney wasn’t portrayed
in either. The footage shot in the park in Mr. Banks takes us in a
limo ride through the main gates and up to the Mickey Mouse planter at
the foot of the Main Street Rail Road stop. From there, Walt and P.L.
travel up Main Street and through to Fantasyland were the two ride
King Arthur’s Carousel together — Emma Thompson aboard Jingles (and
if you know who Jingles is and haven’t seen the movie,
congratulations, your are a Disneyland-nerd too.) The exterior shots
of the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank were a pleasant bonus and I have
no doubts I will add this title to my DVD collection.

Though the movie left me wanting to see more of the two main players
in Disneyland, what was used was colorful and fun. The movie turned
Disneyland into a character instead of just a setting. Combine that
with the music, the comedy and side players (the Sherman Brothers
nearly steal this film and Paul Giamatti is always a rock star) and
what you have is a great movie even if you don’t care about or
particularly like Disney.

Going from the colorful and Disney created Mr. Banks to the black and
white, independently filmed, Escape from Tomorrow, at first, felt
like someone had started the Clockwork Orange’s Ludovico Technique on
me. The tone and feel of this movie, obviously, is way darker than Mr.
Banks. It was like switching from water to Red Bull.

I knew all of the backstory surrounding Escape and how the Disney
Corporation felt the best way to deal with the film — which itself
portrays the Disney parks as a type of poison — was to simply ignore
it. That tactic has, so far, seemed to work as the movie has not
earned back the money it cost to make it. That could all change when
Escape from Tomorrow goes to DVD in April of this year and after
watching it myself, I think the title could have the legs into the
future and possibly become a cult-classic. (even a Disneyland

Though the movie is shot in both Disneyland and Disney World in
Florida, I enjoyed all the of the cinematography in this film, not
just the stuff from my favorite place. Since the movie is a satire, it
is easy to understand why both parks were complied into one as the
story and the film makers go from the Contemporary Hotel in Florida to
the base of the Matterhorn in California as if it where a two-minute

The story follows a family of four who have spent their fare share of
time vacationing at the Disney property and are obviously suffering
burnout. I wont go into the movies plot too much because the story is
strong — often uncomfortable and always depraved — but be forewarned
that this is a movie that shouldn’t be viewed on Family Night (pop in
the original Mary Poppins again and relive that gem if that is your
intent.) For something this dark and depraved, the movie used
Disneyland — and World — as an intriguing character that has
swallowed it visitors and is slowly digesting them. As much as I like
Disneyland, and almost always enjoy my time there, I have also spent
enough time there to feel like I was also in the belly of the beast.

Besides the plot, which is both humorous and horror-filled, I enjoyed
looking at the Disney parks and all of the unsuspecting extras in the
film(i.e the park visitors who had no idea a movie was being filmed.).
I’ve only seen Escape once, but so far I can’t claim that me or anyone
I know is in the movie, but I do look forward to watching it again to
people watch.

Though this movie can at times become absurd, it is a fun flick and
worthy of your time if you have ever been to a Disney park and either
loved it, hated it or fell somewhere in between.

— 30 —


P.S. here’s my new resume for 2014, forward it to anyone you would like.

Mark Hebert_Resume_2014

Superior Ranger District Prescribed Burning Spring 2012


, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Superior Ranger District has numerous prescribed burns planned for the spring of 2012. The burn units range in size from single harvest units to large wildlife burns. Some, but not all, of the scheduled burns will be implemented this year. The exact timing and execution of individual burns is dependent on factors such as weather, fuel moisture, staffing, airshed restrictions, and budget.

Burning is planned throughout the District, in the following areas:

  • Second Creek – 430 acres in 2 units, 1 mile east of Lozeau
  • Mayo Gulch – 385 acres, ½ mile north of St. Regis
  • Wolf Creek – 400 acres in 2 units, 4 miles northwest of St. Regis
  • Eddy Creek  – 200 acres, 3 miles east of Lozeau
  • Deep Creek – 250 acres, 4 miles east of Lozeau
  • Drury Peak – Multiple units up to 2000 acres, 8 miles north of St. Regis
  • Olson Peak – 245 acres, 7 miles north of St. Regis
  • Donlan Peninsula – 160 acres, east of Donlan Flats, across the river
  • DeBaugan – 36 acres, ½ mile north of Haugan
  • Little Joe Creek – 325 acres, 5 miles southwest of St. Regis
  • Cedar Creek – Up to 500 acres in 2 units, 8 miles southwest of Superior
  • Sloway Gulch – 140 acres, 4 miles southeast of St. Regis, just north of I-90
  • CC Divide – 20 acres, near Knox Pass
  • Pardee Creek – 60 acres, 5 miles north of Superior
  • Blazing Saddles – 20 acres, just north of I-90 at Sloway Campground

Prescribed fire is an effective tool for a variety of natural resource management purposes. It is used after timber harvest to treat slash created by logging activities, and to prepare sites for planting or natural regeneration. Prescribed fire is also used to reduce hazardous natural fuels, to increase forage for big game, and to maintain fire-dependent forest communities.

Smoke will be visible during burning and often for several days afterwards. We understand that smoky conditions can be unpleasant, and we will do our best to minimize smoke effects and impacts on the public. All burns must comply with air quality regulations, guided and monitored by the Montana/Idaho State Airshed Group. Burns will occur when air dispersion and weather forecasts are favorable.

For more information on the burning program please contact the Superior Ranger District at 822-4233.

Daines joins chorus of critics blasting Rehberg’s federal land-grab bill


, , , , ,

Republican House candidate says H.R. 1505 allows ‘more power than needed’

BILLINGS, Mont. – Steve Daines, a Republican candidate for Montana’s lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, has joined a chorus of critics in blasting H.R. 1505, Congressman Dennis Rehberg’s federal land-grab bill.

During a live interview on Tuesday’s Voices of Montana radio show, Daines said Rehberg’s unpopular bill will allow the federal government “more power than needed.”

H.R. 1505, the misnamed “National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act,” undermines at least 36 existing laws in order to give the U.S. Department of Homeland Security unprecedented control over public lands within 100 miles of Montana’s vast northern border with Canada.

“When I start seeing those things, I realize we’ve got people back in Washington that don’t understand the importance here of states’ rights,” Daines said of Rehberg’s bill.  “We don’t need to just have a bunch of federal bureaucrats and federal authorities here usurping the rights and the authorities here we have here in the state of Montana.”

In November of 2010, Daines announced plans to challenge Jon Tester in Montana’s U.S. Senate race.  He later switchedto run for the U.S. House after Rehberg announced plans to run for the Senate.

Rehberg continues todefend his H.R. 1505 despite overwhelming opposition from Montanans across the political spectrum—from hunting and fishing organizations to advocates of smaller government.  Conservative Montana blogger Dr. Ed Berry calls the legislation a “fatal betrayal of America.”  The U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security said last week that Rehberg’s bill is “unnecessary” and “bad policy.”

“The government’s role here is to protect the rights of the individual, and our individual rights, our individual liberties,” Daines said Tuesday.  “We’ve got to look through that filter—that prism—whenever we look at legislation that’s coming out of Washington that is looking to expand authority here of the federal government.  We’ve got to come back to the rights of the individual.  And that’s why I have concerns.”

Here is a verbatim transcript of Steve Daines’ remarks:

“I share concerns as we see—as we deal with the threats abroad, here. But also ensuring that we do not compromise the rights of the American people.  And, you know, there’s been a couple of pieces of legislation out there—one related to border security and so forth, here, where it’s going to allow the federal government to have what I believe to be more power than needed here, you know, extending 100 miles south of [Montana’s northern] border here, which puts a pretty big dent here in Montana.  And when I start seeing those things, I realize we’ve got people back in Washington that don’t understand the importance here of states’ rights, and the importance here of ensuring that—I want to see Montanans taking care of the state.  We don’t need to just have a bunch of federal bureaucrats and federal authorities here usurping the rights and the authorities here we have here in the state of Montana. So I think as we look at the legislation that’s going to come out, there’s a path of wisdom to walk on this… The government’s role here is to protect the rights of the individual, and our individual rights, our individual liberties.  And we’ve got to look through that filter—that prism—whenever we look at legislation that’s coming out of Washington that is looking to expand authority here of the federal government.  We’ve got to come back to the rights of the individual.  And that’s why I have concerns over the legislative pieces you mentioned.” [Voices of Montana3/13/2012]

Obamacare Presentation: A Must Attend Event

The March meeting of the Sanders County Republicans will be held at the Plains Bible Chapel, 8 East Fork of Combest Creek Road,  Plains, Montana, on Thursday, March 22nd at 7:00 p.m.

This month’s speaker is the State Director of the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB ). NFIB and 26 states sued the federal government on Obamacare Legislation.  If you remember, their suit was successful at the Federal District Court with Judge Vinson striking down the individual mandate and the abuse of the Commerce Clause; claiming no sever-ability in the legislation. They (the NFIB and 26 states) will be arguing the case before the Supreme Court of the United States on March 26th. Riley Johnson will be here to discuss the NFIB’s position, its strategies, and concerns, and some of the Amicus Briefs filed on behalf of their lawsuit. He will also speak to some of the NFIB’s success in the Montana Legislature last year. 
The Patient Protection and Affordability Act (PPACA), otherwise known as Obamacare, will be litigated on three distinct issues: (1) The individual mandate (Does the federal government have the right to require citizens to purchase a product under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution?); (2) The sever-ability of the PPACA (Does the Act stand without the individual mandate, and if so, to what extent?); and (3) The Constitutionality of the PPACA’s expansion of the federal medicaid program. The impact of how the US Supreme Court defines and decides these issues will have lasting effects.
The PPACA, as it stands now, will have a SIGNIFICANT IMPACT on all Montanans and America. Not only will each of us be required to purchase health insurance, but our state taxes will increase substantially to pay for this program. In crafting this legislation, the federal government substantially expanded the medicaid program. Montana is now required to provide a matching percentage of support to the federal medicaid funding our state receives. That percentage is set to progressively increase over the next ten years under the Obamacare legislation, putting the financial burden of this program on the states. (The state of California estimates the annual financial obligation of this program to the state to exceed $10 billion.) Do the citizens of Montana want this …but a better question might be, can we afford this?
Congressman Rehberg’s office will be at our meeting to discuss the Amicus Brief’s his office is a party to in defense of NFIB’s position and that of the other 26 states. Please note that Governor Schweitzer and Attorney General Bullock CHOSE not to have Montana support this lawsuit. 
The PPACA is one of the foremost issues of our day. This decision out of the Supreme Court is being labeled a “Legacy Decision” and is expected to define the Supreme Court under Chief Justice Robert’s Court. Not since the Voting Act of 1966 has a piece of legislation gone to the Supreme Court that has the ability to so fundamentally impact every American life. 
Small businesses are a hallmark of capitalism and the American entrepreneurial  spirit. The NFIB works on behalf of small business in America. Small businesses in American have been an economic engine of our society. Will the PPACA stile their existence, growth, prosperity?

Everyone has skin in this issue. Everyone needs to educate themselves on this issue, what it means, how it impacts us…and what our next steps might be. Please consider attending. 
Our business agenda is light due to this guest speaker.
We are in the process of re-scheduling last month’s speaker, Stewart Rhodes, founder of Oath Keepers. He had to cancel at the last minute due to a family medical emergency
Hope to see you there. We invite and encourage you to attend.
Katy French, Sanders County

Superior, Montana Man Announces Campaign for House District 14, Debuts Website


, , , , , , , , , ,

Nicholas Schwaderer, a fifth generation Montanan and 20-year resident of Superior, Montana has announced his candidacy for House District 14 as a Republican. HD14 covers all of Mineral County, part of Missoula County (Frenchtown) and Sanders County (Dixon).

Schwaderer, who built Mineral County’s first radio station (101.3 KTGC), graduated valedictorian from Saint Regis High School in 2006. He worked at Tricon Timber (St. Regis) and Tombstone Pizza Factory (Wisconsin) to pay for part of his university; he is currently finishing a degree in law at the University of Plymouth in England.

Schwaderer’s dealings with policy include covering local affairs for his local newspaper from 2006-2010, writing for the Montana Policy Institute in Bozeman from 2008-present and also for the Freedom Foundation in Olympia, Washington the summer of 2011 and in 2012.

His primary interest in running stems from a keen desire to serve the public and apply his skills and knowledge to help his community. He also notes that this process was initiated when he was openly asked by members of his community to run for office.

He believes that the appropriate role of the state is to adhere to constitutional principles while respecting freedom, prosperity, liberty, property rights and personal responsibility. He is particularly interested in scrutinizing taxation and spending policy to help deliver Montanans an efficient, smaller government.

Those interested in learning more about his campaign can visit his aptly-named website: www.schwad.net – there visitors can read more about the issues, sign up for frequent updates, watch an introductory youtube video and even sign up to volunteer or donate.

Schwaderer wants to know what issues are important to Montanans and welcomes your emails, just shoot a message to nicholas.schwaderer@gmail.com and you will receive a timely response.

Mineral Community Hospital Announces Naming of New St. Regis Clinic

Mineral Community Hospital (MCH) today announced the naming of its new clinic in St. Regis, Montana as The Jack Lincoln Memorial Clinic at its ribbon cutting ceremony. The clinic is named after Jack Lincoln, a local businessman who started several local businesses including Durango’s, The St. Regis Travel Center, and Lincoln’s 10,000 Silver Dollar Bar & Gift Shop.

Jack Lincoln came to the area in 1960 and was known, not only for his astute business acumen, but also for his philanthropy.  He was a supporter of many and varied causes in Mineral County and took great pride in being able to give back to the Community.  He worked tirelessly behind the scenes to put St. Regis on the map and watching the development and growth of the community gave him a tremendous amount of personal satisfaction.

The Clinic Manager at MCH, Holly Blaylock, remembers working for Jack Lincoln when she was the manager of Durango’s in the 1980’s. “Jack told us to never turn away someone who was hungry, he said if someone came in who needed food, to give them a sandwich and the biggest bowl of soup we had.” Blaylock said she learned a lot working for Lincoln and was proud of the compassion that was shown to people in need.

Jack’s son, Grant Lincoln, made a generous donation of $100,000 to help make construction of the clinic possible. That donation, along with financial support from the St. Regis Resort District, the Human Resource Council, and a zero-interest loan from Blackfoot Telecommunications through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development will help provide access to quality healthcare for the people of Mineral County.

“I have been very fortunate and I believe that being raised in St. Regis has played a big part in that” said Grant Lincoln.  “The small town values of helping when you can and giving back to your community have been fundamental principals in our family for over 50 years in Mineral County. I am extremely pleased to continue that tradition on behalf of my family for such a vital project that we truly believe will be a center piece of the community.”   Lincoln added “my father would be extremely proud and humbled by this recognition.  I truly thank all the people at the Mineral Community Hospital who worked so hard to make this a reality and who have been generous enough to bestow this wonderful honor on us.”

Mineral Community Hospital is a Critical Access Hospital (CAH) and Level-IV Trauma Center located in Superior, Montana. They provide a full range of healthcare services to residents of Mineral, Sanders and Missoula Counties, as well as to residents from eastern Idaho. For more information, you can visit their website at www.MineralCommunityHospital.org.

Superior Senior Center wants you to design their new logo


, ,

Fancy yourself an artist? Are you Captain Catchphrase when it comes to business strategy? If so, The Superior Senior Center has just the contest for you.

The Superior Senior Center decided at their February meeting that they want a new logo for the organization as well as a new name, preferably one without the word “senior” in it.

The contest is open to everyone and you can enter as many times as you wish. The winners will be selected by the Center’s board of directors at its April meeting and those who propose the winning art and name can choose from a Senior Center Cookbook or a free dinner.

Entries can be brought to the Senior Center located at 611 5th Ave East in Superior on Wednesdays – or via snail mail – or they can be emailed to shanaG@blackfoot.net.

Thanks in advance and good luck.

2012 Mineral County Bowhunter Education Classes set for March


, , ,

Bow hunters in training, born after January 1, 1985 (including first time adults) are required to take the Bowhunter Education Classes and be issued a certificate of completion by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks(MFWP). Bowhunters to be must be at least 11-years-old at the time of the course to be certified and the classes are free of charge.

Students must attend all five classes with the first class set to start on Wednesday, March 14 and continue on March 19, 22, 26 at 7 p.m. until 9:30 with the last class taking place on Saturday, March 24 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Registration can be done at the MFWP website (link) or for more information you can contact John Benda at 406-546-2555.

MFWP also offers an online course, though the course costs $20 and students must be 18 years of age.

Superior Idol Contest packs in the crowd


, , , , , , ,

This sister's Milender -- Payton and Bailey -- preform a Hula at last night's talent show in Superior.

The spaghetti was eaten, the acts were complete and when the votes were tallied everyone in attendance at the Second Annual Superior Idol Contest was a winner.

The Superior Elementary School held their annual event on Tuesday night as a fund raising project in order to purchase new equipment for the school’s playground.  Nearly 30 contestants preformed 18 different acts on the night including a dance troupe that “shook their hair back and forth” to Willow Smith’s pop hit – the performance left the audience wondering how the five girls kept from passing out – and a Hula dance to Somewhere over the Rainbow by the Millender sisters.

Before the acts took the stage, a spaghetti feed was held, feeding the masses of hungry show-goers.

Harley Avila shows the crowd that he, in fact, let the dogs out.

As the talent portion of the night of the night started each act took the stage and was rewarded by hoots and hollers from the crowd. Superior third grader Harley Avila brought the house down with his interpretation of how a dog would dance, doing so the 90’s hit Who let the Dogs Out.  Kyler Francis played a tune on the school’s piano, Madison Mask impressed all with an a ccapella rendition of a song that this journalist can’t remember the name of Kimberly Parson’s changed the pace with a heavy metal song that school principal Scott Kinney said “would give him nightmares” … but in a good way.

Faith Rebich whips her hair back and forth -- and doesn't pass out -- to open the show last night.

To end the evening all the contestants, as well as many students from the show’s crowd, took to the stage for a star-studded version of the Chicken Dance. When all was said and done, and hour and a half had passed and a delighted crowd fled the school, some wondering how the show next year could possibly top last nights.

Only time will tell.

Side note: If your child preformed last night, I’ve got at least one picture. Email me at markhebert42@gmail.com and I will get you copies ASAP and thanks for supporting Superior Elementary School.

Chamber of Commerce seeking help in repairing I90 ‘Welcome’ signage


, , , ,

Travelers heading west on Interstate 90 come across a “Welcome to Superior” sign  moments before driving past the Mineral County Hospital and Superior Elementary School.

Problem is, the sign is anything but welcoming.

Years of neglect have left the pink-paint horizon of Mineral County looking dull and uninviting and the black-buck silhouette might leave travelers wondering if deer in area are missing legs and antlers.

But folks around town are looking to either update or upgrade the ‘welcome’ sign, headed by the Mineral County Chamber of Commerce. Chamber Vice President Nolan Webber is chairing this project and is asking for community volunteers to help in a new design, according to the organization’s website.

If interested in helping,  please contact Nolan via email (nolanwebber@msn.com) or phone (406) 822-4867.

Side note: if the ‘welcome’ sign does get it’s needed face-lift, and the Durango’s restaurant — which sits 100-yards away and recently was blown over — is fixed, travelers on I90  might be more inclined to join us for a visit in our community.