Beth Anne Austein

Host and Producer

Beth Anne Austein has been spinning tunes on the air (The Folk Show, Dancing With Tradition, Freeforms), as well as recording, editing and mixing audio for Montana Public Radio and Montana PBS, since the Clinton Administration. She’s jockeyed faders or "fixed it in post” for The Plant Detective; Listeners Bookstall; Fieldnotes; Musicians Spotlight; The Write Question; Storycorps; Selected Shorts; Bill Raoul’s music series; orchestral and chamber concerts; lecture series; news interviews; and outside producers’ programs about topics ranging from philosophy to ticks.

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Home Ground Radio
5:00 am
Sun December 21, 2014

Why Did Bill Gallagher Approve Northwestern Energy's Dam Purchases?

Bill Gallagher, Chairman of the Montana Public Service Commission
Credit MT PSC

Bill Gallagher had a key vote in the MT Public Service Commission's decision to approve NorthWestern Energy's proposal to buy 11 of Montana's hydroelectric dams from PPL Montana. How did he make his decision?

(Broadcast: "Home Ground Radio," 12/21/14. Listen weekly on the radio, Sundays at  11:10 a.m., or via podcast.)

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The Food Guys
5:00 am
Sun December 21, 2014

Greg's 2014 Favorite Baking Books

Greg rolls out a list of his favorite half-dozen new and classic baking books:

1. Rose Levy Beranbaum: "The Baking Bible"

2. "Maida Heatter's Book of Great Desserts"

3. Dominique Ansel: "The Secret Recipes"

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The Plant Detective
5:00 am
Sat December 20, 2014

Mistletoe I: A Parasite That Can Hurt Or Heal

European mistletoe (Viscum album). (CC BY 2.0)
Credit Flickr user, free photos

Mistletoe, a parasitic plant that grows on a wide range of host trees, shows up on every continent but Antarctica - and on each continent, it's been used in folk medicine. From ancient Greece into twentieth-century America, it was prescribed for epilepsy. Over the centuries, arthritis, many menstrual problems, miscarriage (through controlling bleeding), hypertension and pain are just a portion of the long list of conditions it has treated. It's prescribed frequently in Europe. But don't try any of these uses without a trained health practitioner, because mistletoe can be toxic.

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Field Notes
5:00 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Ruffed Grouse: Strolling On And Exploding From The Snow

Ruffed grouse (Bonasa umbellus). (CC BY 2.0)
Credit Flickr user, Seabamirum

Their cryptic brown and white coloration makes ruffed grouse hard to see - often, the first sign you'll have of one is the deep sound of wings flapping, followed by an eruption of feathers nearby. A classic sound of spring in areas where ruffed grouse live is the booming sound of the male grouse, drumming atop a rock or log or mound, simultaneously announcing and defending its 6-10 acre territory. The sound has been described as "an engine trying to start."

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Musician's Spotlight
5:00 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Dolce Canto

Dolce Canto began in 2001 with eight members, friends who missed the a cappella compositions they had studied and performed together in high school and college. On a whim, they decided to gather in order to read through some works. One public concert led to another. Since them, the group has grown to an auditioned ensemble of over thirty singers. John Floridis talks with director Peter Park and singers Tom Bensen and Beth Mast about the release of the group's second recording, "A Joyful Season."

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Reflections West
5:00 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Brenna Reitmann & Bill Kittredge

"My grandmother has no fingerprints. Her hands are lean, soft on the back, and wrinkled.

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Mountain West Voices
5:34 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Home Of The Adventurous: A Unique Montana Community In A Post-Apocalyptic Setting

Saint Marie, Montana
Credit Clay Scott

Saint Marie, in a remote part of northeastern Montana, is the site of an Air Force base that was shut down in 1968. Now 500 people live in a town that was designed to house 12,000. Nine out of ten houses are boarded up and choked with weeds. But in this setting - winter temperatures drop to minus 40, the nearest store is 20 miles away, and one resident admits it looks like a war zone - there is a thriving community of hardy souls intent on being left alone.

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Mountain West Voices
5:00 am
Mon December 15, 2014

A Salish Education: Montana's Nkwusm Immersion School

Indigo Sherman, cutting up a deer
Credit Clay Scott

A visit to the Flathead Indian Reservation in Montana, where students immerse themselves in Salish language and culture at the ground-breaking Nkwusm School.

(Broadcast: "Mountain West Voices," 12/15/14. Listen weekly on the radio on Mondays, 3:00 p.m., or via podcast.)

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The Food Guys
5:00 am
Sun December 14, 2014

Leave The Wheat, Take the Chocolate: Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Gluten-free chocolate chip cookies. (CC BY 2.0)
Credit Flickr user, Kim

Greg and Jon discuss Greg's recipe for crisp, gluten-free chocolate chip cookies, inspired by Ruth Wakefield's original Toll House "chocolate crunch" cookie recipe. Brown rice flour, tapioca starch and potato starch substitute for wheat flour. "For any chocolate chip cookie, you must refrigerate the dough at least overnight," Greg commands. "It's the magic of chemistry at work in your refrigerator."

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The Plant Detective
5:00 am
Sat December 13, 2014

Relax, It's Passionflower

Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata). (CC BY 2.0)
Credit Flickr user, Audrey

Passionflower is a beautiful climbing vine native to the Americas whose corona reminded people of the crown of thorns worn by Jesus during his crucifixion. It's a sedative, milder than valerian or kava - often, you'll find it used in combination with other calming herbs like lemon balm. Passionflower calms the nervous system, reduces anxiety, and soothes insomnia and muscle spasms. Scientists think it increases levels of gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. Don't use passionflower if you're pregnant or breastfeeding; it's a uterine stimulant that can over-sedate your baby.

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