Monday, June 15, 2015

On the Road to Bathgate: Great Uncle James Dyer Foster -- Teacher, Farmer, Assessor, Real Estate and Insurance Agent, and Agriculturalist

Readers of this blog know we have posted a series of stories about my ancestors, including on what I call the family's greatest generation. We wrote in depth on my grandfather Issac J. Foster (1861 - 1934) -- real estate man, rancher, farmer, civic servant, insurance agent, auctioneer and county sheriff -- and his brother George Sanderson Foster (1864 - 1946) -- Chicago lawyer, owner and developer of real estate, Democratic politician and banker. Ike and George were the two eldest of five sons born to William K. and Margaret Sanderson Foster between 1861 and 1871. 

My dad's first cousin, Etta Hoskins Meyer ,and her
husband, Phillip Meyer, opened KFYR TV in Bismarck,
North Dakota on December 19, 1953
We followed with posts about two of their brothers-in-law -- R. D. Hoskins (1860 - 1946), newspaper publisher and lawyer, first clerk of the North Dakota supreme court, and bookstore and florist proprietor, whose family went on to form a radio and TV media company in Bismarck, North Dakota, and Lyndon King Armstrong (1859 - 1942), pharmacist, engineer, miner and publisher of Spokane, Washington. Each of these men was worker, hustler, entrepreneur and pioneer to the core. Eash was a civic leader and dabbled in the political sphere.

With this post we open a chapter on the fourth son (Isaac was the first and George was the second) of William K. and Margaret Sanderson Foster. James Dyer, known as J. D., moved to the western frontier like his brothers. But J. D.'s migration hewed north, staying above the 49th parallel and maintaining a Canadian branch of the family. J. D. had the family's characteristic drive and a multitude of skills and interests. He led a fascinating and productive life. J. D.'s contributions to his community and his province were many.

Judge Jim Foster

Around the time I launched this research and blogging enterprise a few years back I learned of the existence a living second cousin not previously known to me. His name is James (Jim) Foster, grandson of J. D. Foster. James Foster resides in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada. Jim had a distinguished judicial career. In this video clip from last year, Jim pushes for a new Red Deer courthouse. The locality's booming population (driven by a vibrant energy economy) and resulting legal wranglings have outgrown the built-in-1982 courthouse to the point that Red Deer traffic court is now being held Mondays and Tuesdays at the Red Deer Lodge hotel. I wonder if the judges have to check out of their chambers by noon?

Lobbying for a new courthouse

Red Deer Court
Recently retired justice Jim Foster and Chris Rickards, president of the Central Alberta Bar Society say Red Deer needs a bigger courthouse. (Meghan Grant/CBC)
To properly accommodate the population, Rickards says 16 courtrooms are needed, up from the now seven.
He and recently retired Queens Bench justice Jim Foster are leading the push for a new courthouse.
Foster served as attorney general under the Lougheed government and was a judge in Red Deer for more than 20 years. He says a new building has been needed for decades.
"I understand that governments don't get around to building courthouses until there's a crisis …well, we're there and we've been there for a longtime."
Foster said 40 per cent of his time as a judge was spent on family-related matters. He said it's children who suffer the most when those issues aren't dealt with for months at a time.
"It's very damaging to children, these are little people, no voice and no vote and they're the ones most affected," explained Foster.  
In another interview, Jim Foster projected that court congestion will cause delays that violate defendants' rights to a speedy trial.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Obama Nation Chokes Off Bozeman Lunch Program

November through March I swim most every weekday at the Bozeman Swim Center, which is attached to the high school so it serves dual purposes as a community and a high school pool. While I do my laps at one one end of the Olympic size swimming pool, high school students swim in their PE classes at the other end. I see the students in their swimwear. Virtually all are fit and trim.

This isn't like back east and the urban ghettos. Our kids are not sedentary and fat. So here comes Barack and Michelle Obama deciding in their stilted mindset what our children (not theirs mind you) are supposed to eat. One size fits all -- from Washington DC and urban America top down dictates are playing out in Bozeman, Montana. Thank you Dear President. Thank you know-it-all First Lady. Thank you America. 

Today's front page news:

Drop out? Bozeman High weighs leaving federal lunch program

To fight an epidemic of obesity and get American kids to eat healthier food, the Obama administration has imposed new rules on school lunches.
Limited calories per meal. More fruits and vegetables. Whole wheat only. No more white bread, fattening chips, soda, brownies or ice cream sandwiches.
It may sound great to health-conscious parents, but at Bozeman High School, many teens are just saying no.
“They’re voting with their feet,” said Bob Burrows, support services and food service director for the Bozeman School District.
For the first time in 20 years, Bozeman’s school lunch program is losing money. As of February, revenue had dropped from $1.2 million to $1 million. Most of the loss happened at Bozeman High.
Michelle says it is "unacceptable" to run the program any
other way -- uninformed arrogance speaking. In Bozeman,
our children eat food, not labels.
The high school has long had an open campus at lunchtime. Students have the option to walk or drive off campus, and they can easily eat at nearby restaurants.
So Burrows is asking the Bozeman School Board for permission for the high school to drop out of the Obama administration’s Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act school lunch program.
It would mean losing $117,500 a year in federal subsidies. However, Burrows calculates the switch would raise more than enough revenue to cover that loss and put the high school lunch program back in the black.
For the past 32 years, the Bozeman School District has required its food service to be financially self-supporting so that it doesn’t eat into money dedicated to educating students.
One of the impacts of the Obamas' outreach is that it drives business to the burgeoning "Jesus Burgers" program across the street.

Jesus Burgers is starting up this WEDNESDAY!
(Jesus Burgers is our weekly outreach to Bozeman High School. At 10:00am we start cooking and preparing for the 250 students who walk over to have a free burger in our church) We are in need of help. We need grillers, people to help set up and clean, and servers. If you've never been to Jesus Burgers come and join us and I promise you'll love it! If you can help please contact Pastor Patrick at the church or leave a comment. THANKS!

Financially self-supporting is not a term in Obama's vocabulary. Here they can and will do the right thing. In Washington they won't and don't. Pay no attention people. Move on. 

UPDATE: As someone who was 5'10" tall when I started high school and weighed in at 112 pounds, I can vouch for the reality that for many maturing youths the Obama program is mean spirited bunk. As a parent of three appropriate weight children I am tired of seeing my kids come home starving because they couldn't stomach the muck that was being served up in the schools. So I am happy to report that the Bozeman School board did the right thing.
The Bozeman School Board voted 5-3 Monday to leave the National School Lunch Program because its nutrition rules, designed to fight the national obesity epidemic, were deemed too strict. 
The school’s food program lost $35,000 last year, and while that wasn’t as bad as the $205,000 mid-year loss, the program is supposed to be self-supporting to avoid eating into classroom dollars. Officials predicted that losses would deepen as federal food rules tighten in the next few years. 
School Board trustees, in a rare split vote, agreed to adopt Superintendent Rob Watson’s recommendation to suspend the high school’s participation in the national lunch program. Bozeman’s elementary and middle schools will stay in the program.
Bozeman High’s dropping out will mean losing a $117,000 federal subsidy, but it will let teens have choices like Rice Krispy treats and other snacks, which will be outlawed under the Obama administration’s food rules this coming school year.“We’re going to continue to serve healthy, wholesome meals,” promised Bob Burrows, food service director. He argued Bozeman High can continue to follow the old federal guidelines for making lunches healthier, and may actually be able to do more with local foods under more flexible food rules.
Burrows said the “one-size-fits-all” federal limit of 850 calories per meal was too low for active kids like athletes. And its limits on salt in future years would make it tough to offer most meals with meats.
Last school year under the federal program, white bread, Gatorade, tater tots, mini-burgers, goldfish crackers and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were banned from the menu, and cookies were shrunk in size. Next year, cocoa and other snacks would have been off limits.
With Bozeman High’s long tradition of an open campus at lunchtime, that would mean more students voting with their feet and eating at nearby fast-food restaurants and grocery stores. 
“I think we can do far better than the federal program’s restrictions,” Vice Chair Andy Willett said. There’s a risk of a public backlash, he added, but the school district just spent $4.5 million to renovate and expand its food service building to create a top-notch food program. 
“Our kids are far better off if they stay on campus than if we send them out into the world of fast food,” Trustee Douglas Fischer said. 
Kenzie Bradley, a Montana State University student, told the board that the cafeteria can offer food that’s “as nutritious as you want,” but if teens don’t think it’s good, they won’t eat it.
We will identify the three one-size-fits-all communist thugs who voted against free choice and work to ensure they are not re-elected in future school board elections.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Gallitan River Whitewater Fatality

Sad lessons are taught every day.

Live your life to the fullest. Take risks for sure. But calculate them carefully. One of the risks not to be taken lightly is whitewater rafting during the height of the spring run off. Wait until July or August and live to tell about it lest you too end up being the subject of a sheriff's office report.
On May 31st, 2015 at 4:17 pm, the Gallatin County Coroner’s Office was dispatched to Bozeman Deaconess Hospital for a 43 year old male who had drowned in a white water rafting accident. The individual has been identified as Brian Niedermeyer of Bozeman, MT. Mr. Niedermeyer was one of 8 individuals who were on a guided white water trip when the raft flipped, just north of House Rock.  According to the Geyser White water company had safety measures in place to include 2 rescue Kayaks and 2 people on land with safety line throw bags. Mr. Niedermeyer failed to grab the safety lines as they were thrown to him.
Here is the full report.

BOZEMAN -A Bozeman man drowned Sunday after a whitewater raft he was on overturned on the Gallatin River.
"There were seven other people in the raft, nine with the river guide. The raft did go over just north of House Rock and the individual passed away," said Gallatin County Undersheriff Dan Springer.
Brian Niedermeyer, 43, was on a guided rafting trip with Geyser Whitewater Expeditions.
"According to the company they had their safety measures in place.  They had two safety kayaks as well as two safety lines on land and I know that the other seven were self rescued or rescued by the company," Springer said.
According to Geyser Whitewater, Niedermeyer was wearing a life jacket and failed to grab safety lines when they were thrown to him.
House Rock on the Gallitan River.
"Most life jackets have a certain amount of buoyancy in them to keep your head above water most of the time.  But in the Gallatin River, there are a bunch of splashing waves, so it takes some conscious effort to stay out of the waves and float with your life jacket," Eric Becker, owner of Geyser Whitewater Expeditions.
Becker said a major incident on the Gallatin River is rare and it's usually safer to go with a guide.
"Typically it would be, especially if you are a beginner," Becker said.
With current river levels high,
Geyser Whitewater is no longer running trips by House Rock.  It will offer them later in the summer when levels come down. 
Montana Whitewater Raft Company is currently not running trips by House Rock either.
To check stream flows, click here

Brian Niedermayer's obituary was published Sunday. He leaves behind a widow and three young sons.

Brian Joseph Niedermeyer


Brian Niedermeyer passed on Sunday, May 31, 2015, at the age of 42 following a whitewater rafting accident on the Gallatin River in Montana.

Brian was born in Portland, Oregon, Nov. 2, 1972, and spent most of his life growing up in Oregon. He was an incredibly loving husband, son, brother, uncle, and friend who enjoyed being active. His bright blue eyes and smile lit up the room when he walked in. He made friends wherever he went and always left them smiling!

Brian married Angela Perry on Sept. 11, 1999. In 2000, Brian obtained a position at U.S. Bank in Merchant services and rose through the ranks to become one of the top merchant service representatives in the country. Brian's expertise lead to his current position where he put together complicated merchant service agreements for large corporations. Last week Brian celebrated his fifteenth anniversary with the U.S. Bank.

Brian was a consummate inventor, holding a number of patents related to data security and fraud protection, including a number of patents still pending. He leaves behind many family and friends who will miss him forever. Brian was a man with a huge colorful light and presence, remembered by everyone he met. 

Brian is survived by; his wife, Angela Niedermeyer and sons Charlie Niedermeyer, Bennett Niedermeyer and Finn Niedermeyer; brothers, Terrence Niedermeyer, David Niedermeyer, Patrick Niedermeyer and his wife Teresa, Paul Niedermeyer and his wife Lisa; and sisters, Maureen Ann Longton, Jeanmarie Courtney, Lisa Marie Niedermeyer, Karen McComb and Sister-in-law Ranee Niedermeyer. Brian also had many nieces and nephews; Erica Niedermeyer, Kristen Niedermeyer, Edward Niedermeyer, Nicole Niedermeyer, Timothy Niedermeyer, Kelly Chumbly, John Grove, Kimberly Grove, Emily Longton, Robert Courtney, Andrew Courtney, Aaron Courtney, Ryan Cavanaugh, Carly Cavanaugh, Kevin Cavanaugh, Jack Niedermeyer, and Anna Niedermeyer, Hunter Dupuis, Danielle Dupuis, Maximillian Niedermeyer, and Ava Niedermeyer.

Brian was preceded in death by his oldest brother Gregory Niedermeyer and parents Edward and Annamae Niedermeyer. A Mass of Christian burial will be held on Monday, June 8, 2015, at 11 a.m. at St. Thomas More Church in Portland, Oregon, followed by a reception at the World Forestry Center in Portland, Oregon.
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle from June 5 to June 7, 2015
- See more at:

Here is a video, one year previous almost to the day, shot at the House Rock location where Brian's raft flipped. Note that the first raft is under control and shoots through the rapids, whereas the second raft founders before entering the sluice and flips -- everyone survived last year.

The videographer said.

Published on May 29, 2014
Stopped down to check out house rock this evening and it was roaring. The rivers are moving with the snowpack melting and a few kayakers and rafters were out. A couple boats flipped but everyone swam to shore safely and then got back in the boats. I love to kayak but will wait to the levels go down.

May Brian Niedermeyer rest in peace. Out deepest sympathies to his family and friends.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Cube Square in Huntsville is Offering Leases

We said "the cubes are coming, the cubes are coming." Now the cubes are here. Cube Square is gearing up for the 2015-2016 school year, offering full year leases effective August 1. We blogged earlier this spring about the "cargotecture" movement and my in-laws development of Cube Square. The structures are built by stacking and knitting together sturdy steel shipping containers. Industrial chic cargotecture is the hottest new thing in apartment living.

Here is the floor plan.

For more information check out Cube Square's Facebook page.