Articles from the April 1, 2021 edition

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  • Vaccine eligibility expands to 16 and older as cases rise

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Apr 1, 2021

    Missoula County opened COVID-19 vaccine availability to all county residents 16 and older on Sunday, March 28. This was four days earlier than the state of Montana which opened vaccine eligibility April 1. Those over the age of 16 can receive a Pfizer vaccine while anyone over 18 can receive the Johnson & Johnson or Moderna vaccine. “With Missoula County cases again on the rise, we have entered the race between vaccine rates and case rates that experts warned us about,” Health Officer Ellen Leahy said. “It is the right time to open vacci... Full story

  • Local beekeeper optimistic for summer

    Henry Netherland, Pathfinder|Apr 1, 2021

    SEELEY LAKE - Seeley Lake resident Bob Homuth has only been beekeeping for a couple of years but he is already looking towards doubling his colonies this upcoming spring. While he loves just watching the bees work, one of the sweetest rewards of his hobby is sharing the honey with friends and family and receiving positive feedback. Homuth moved to Seeley Lake in 2015 to become a service technician for Energy Partners after living in Missoula since 1986. He was born in North Dakota and moved to...

  • New owners to use motels as employee housing

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Apr 1, 2021

    SEELEY LAKE – This past January, The Resort at Paws Up (Paws Up) purchased The Wilderness Gateway Inn and the Seeley Lake Motor Lodge on Highway 83. They are excited to use both properties and the RV Park behind the Motor Lodge to provide a high-quality living space for year-round managers and seasonal employees and enhance their long-term investment in the local community. While the current plan is employee housing, they are contemplating seasonal public availability as long as it improves t...

  • Pathfinder starts local Gossip Column

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder Editor|Apr 1, 2021

    After years of being asked to start a gossip column, the Pathfinder has finally decided to bend to the wishes of the masses and start our own April 1. Taking our cue from editors of the past, we will be highlighting the goings-ons of our readership, including the who’s, who and what’s, what. We hope that everyone, especially those without access to social media, can feel more informed and connected. • This past Thursday, Mike Marshall found a dirty magazine in the trash can at the Post Office addressed to...

  • Can we agree on one thing?

    Doug Richards, Seeley Lake, Montana|Apr 1, 2021

    I can’t believe what is happening to our country. My father was in the Army in World War I. I lost cousins at Normandy in World War II. I joined the Marine Corp and served in Korea. I am saddened to think of the many American men and women who gave their lives and limbs to keep our freedom as promised by our Constitution and the Bill of Rights, not to be altered, misinterpreted or just ignored by the president, speakers of the House and Senate and all its members. We have 40,000 homeless veterans in our country. But rather than address this, t...

  • My two cents on the wildlife bills

    Dale Terrillion, Proctor, Montana|Apr 1, 2021

    My, oh my, all those folks – specialists with all those degrees speak’n out against those bills in the legislature. I’m impressed. You may have noticed I don’t have any degrees just a lifetime out ‘n the woods. Sixty-five years of trap’n from wolves, lynx, wolverine and everything in between. I was wonder’n if all those folks who signed that letter to the editor in the March 25 Pathfinder (Bills are harmful to wildlife and hunting heritage in Montana) ever lost any livestock or dogs to predators? Anyway, I will agree with ‘um on the snare th...

  • Sewer budget and assessment

    Jean Curtiss, Seeley Lake Sewer District Manager|Apr 1, 2021

    Each year there is confusion regarding the budget for the Sewer District and the Annual Assessment Methodology that is sent to property owners with the cost of the assessment per parcel. I hope to explain the relationship between the two items and point out ways to be involved and give the Board input on the budget and plan of work before the budget is adopted. As you know, the qualified electors did not approve the bonds required to repay the loan portion of the project the District has been working toward for years. Therefore, at the March 18...

  • Residents of all ages invited to go egg hunting, April 3

    Henry Netherland, Pathfinder|Apr 1, 2021

    SWAN VALLEY – Children and adults of all ages can get in the Easter spirit this year at Condon's annual Community Easter Egg Hunt starting at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 3 at the Condon Community Ball Field north of the Condon Airstrip on Highway 83. Face masks and gloves are optional but participants must bring their own baskets. Participants will be separated into five different hunts for the following age groups: 0-5, 6-12, 13-20 and 21+. Among the 3,000 candy filled eggs will be some that c...

  • CRC seeks community input

    Emily McGuirt, Clearwater Resource Council|Apr 1, 2021

    SEELEY LAKE - The Clearwater Resource Council is embarking on a watershed planning process to identify, prioritize, and better coordinate efforts to protect and restore natural resources within the Clearwater region (from Highway 200 up to Summit Lake). This work is funded by the Bureau of Reclamation and will aid in future on-the-ground restoration activities in the watershed. The goal of the watershed plan is to outline baseline conditions for the watershed and develop a prioritized matrix of...

  • No-cost phone legal document clinic

    Linda Howard, Resource Specialist, Seeley-Swan Resource Center|Apr 1, 2021

    This month I would like to share with you an excellent state program to assist with completing your estate planning documents – Phone Legal Document Clinic. The Montana Legal Services Developer Program in DPHHS-Senior and Long-Term Care Division, P.O. Box 4210 Helena, MT 59604 Phone: 1-800-332-2272, provides preparation of estate planning documents for adults 60 and older at no cost. Clinics are conducted one-on-one via the phone. A member of the legal team works with each client to complete t...

  • Walls of water, grasses & raspberries

    Molly Hackett, Master Gardener|Apr 1, 2021

    Last year I started my tomato plants in walls of water. The walls did protect my plants from cold temperatures, so that I had earlier tomatoes than usual. But one of the walls fell over. By the time I noticed, part of the tomato plant had been smashed under the wall. The plant recovered but never grew as big as the others. Have you ever heard of this happening? Yes, occasionally. It happened to me once, when I first was using walls of water but never again. Let me pass on a few tricks for...

  • Little deaths: A Holy Week contemplation

    Rev. Carrie Benton, Pastor, Mountain Lakes Presbyterian Church|Apr 1, 2021

    This is Holy Week for Christ-followers. The time when we intentionally contemplate the events and attitudes which lead up to the crucifixion. It is a challenging week, focusing on all the moments where Jesus offers life and freedom, and those in power--the political and religious elite--try to find ways to silence him, kill him. At first glance, the crucifixion seems to show how those in power always win--they seemingly succeed in silencing the voices longing for healing, for wholeness, for rest...

  • Watercraft inspection stations open

    Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks|Apr 1, 2021

    Montana's first watercraft inspection stations opened for the 2021 season. Inspection stations near Dillon and Ravalli opened earlier this month. The watercraft inspection station at Clearwater Junction will open April 17 and operate from dawn to dusk. The Anaconda station opened March 20 and intercepted the first mussel-fouled boat of the year. A used motorboat that had been recently purchased in Wisconsin was found with zebra mussels attached to the anchor. The Anaconda inspectors reported...

  • The Seeley-Swan valley real estate markets are red hot

    Kevin Wetherell, Clearwater Montana Properties, Inc|Apr 1, 2021

    HOW WE GOT HERE Between the years of 1970 and 2001, the Seeley-Swan Valley real estate market was a consistent market demonstrating slow upward trends in values and sales. Land sales in 2000 were between $2,000 and $4,000 per acre. Beginning in the early 2000’s, real estate in the Seeley-Swan Valley experienced increased awareness from buyers from around the world due to the proximity to two major airports in Missoula and Kalispell, mountain views, scenery, wildlife and wilderness access to the Bob Marshall and Mission Mountain Wilderness a...

  • SSHS student artwork featured in Gallery 83

    Henry Netherland, Pathfinder|Apr 1, 2021

    SEELEY LAKE - Seeley-Swan High School art students had the opportunity to have their work showcased in a public forum at Gallery 83's Open House Friday, March 26. Brandy Wyckoff, art teacher and gallery owner, said 20 pieces by students were featured in a specific section of the gallery. There was no overarching theme submissions had to adhere to. A nearby computer flashed graphic design submissions also made by the students. Junior Chase Haines' multimedia project featured imagery based on the...

  • Students recognized in wildfire prevention art contest

    Henry Netherland, Pathfinder|Apr 1, 2021

    The Southwestern Land Office (SWLO) of the Montana Department of Natural Resources & Conservation (DNRC) and Keep Montana Green announced the southwestern Montana regional winners of the 60th Annual Keep Montana Green Wildfire Prevention Art Contest. Local winners included third grader Maggie Applegate from Helmville School who placed first in the primary division (kindergarten through third grade); sixth grader Michael Goettle from Helmville School who placed second in the intermediate division...

  • Board approves permissive levy, election for general fund levy

    Henry Netherland, Pathfinder|Apr 1, 2021

    SEELEY LAKE – At their monthly meeting March 22, the Seeley Lake Elementary School Board unanimously approved a resolution of intent to impose an increase in levies for transportation, building reserve and tuition fund and to run a general fund levy election. The general fund levy will appear on the May 4 mail-in election for those within Seeley Lake School District #34. Ballots will be mailed April 14. For the permission levy, transportation saw a 1.72 decrease in mills for an estimated revenue change of -$15,275.71. Building reserve saw a ....

  • Trixi's Antler Saloon ventures into a new era with new owners

    Henry Netherland, Pathfinder|Apr 1, 2021

    OVANDO - Ryan and Tiffanie Zavarelli are ecstatic to be entering into a new phase of their lives as they take ownership of Trixi's Antler Saloon from Ryan's parents Cindy and Ray Francis beginning April 1. Tiffanie said come April the couple will be jumping right into their new positions with no transitional break in between. The couple recently moved back to Ovando in preparation of the change. They will be taking this on as an opportunity to "step out of city life" and be closer to Ryan's...

  • Community Briefs

    Apr 1, 2021

    Prescribed burn planned for Game Range on Bandy Ranch WOODWORTH – Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks in coordination with the University of Montana is planning to conduct an 80-acre prescribed burn on the Bandy Ranch, on the east side of the Blackfoot/Clearwater Wildlife Management Area Game Range. The burn will be conducted in April when weather, fuel conditions and air quality become favorable. Smoke will be visible from Highway 200, Highway 83 and the Woodworth area. According to FWP Wildlife Biologist Scott Eggeman, the purpose of the project...

  • Blackhawks return to the track

    Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder|Apr 1, 2021

    CORVALLIS - Athletes from 15 schools across western Montana converged at the Blue Devil Invitational March 27 for the first high school track meet in nearly two years. Seeley-Swan High School was one of six Class C schools who joined seven Class A and two Class B schools. The Seeley-Swan Girls took third place with 77 points behind Corvallis with 97 and Beaverhead County with 103. The Boys finished in sixth place with 50 points while Hamilton took the top spot with 111 points. On the track,...

  • Seeley-Swan golfers come out swinging

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Apr 1, 2021

    HAMILTON, MONTANA – At their first meet of the season March 25, the Seeley-Swan High School Blackhawks took to the Hamilton Golf Course in force. The Lady Blackhawks were the only school at the meet to have five players for a team. They won the meet with Tegan Mauldin and Bethany Hoag leading the Ladies. The Blackhawks placed second behind Clark Fork with Casey Carver leading the Blackhawks finishing in 13th place. This year the golf team has 13 players, eight boys and five girls. SSHS P...

  • Montana State Budget Clears House of Representatives, Lawmakers Consider Criminal Justice and Ag Bills in Week 12 of Legislative Session

    Austin Amestoy, UM Legislative News Service University of Montana School of Journalism|Apr 1, 2021

    Montana House of Representatives Advances State Budget in Partisan Vote The state budget cleared another major hurdle in the Montana Legislature after lawmakers in the House of Representatives passed it down party lines on Wednesday, March 24, with all 67 Republicans voting in favor and 33 Democrats against. House Bill 2 determines how much money state agencies will receive from a pool of about $12.6 billion over the next two years. Passing a balanced state budget is the only task the Legislature is constitutionally required to do. But, the... Full story

  • As GOP Lawmakers Drift Further Right, Custer Holds To Being 'A Reagan Republican'

    Austin Amestoy, UM Legislative News Service University of Montana School of Journalism|Apr 1, 2021

    Republican Rep. Geraldine Custer is not one to mince words. When a bill came up in February that would make it harder to vote by absentee ballot, the former Rosebud County clerk and recorder spoke up, and firmly. “This bill is probably the worst bill I’ve seen all session, and if you want the truth of the matter, it just needs to die,” Custer told her fellow committee members. The panel killed the bill the next day. Last week, she broke with her party to vote against a bill that would eliminate the decades-old local-option gas tax. “This... Full story

  • NorthWestern's Coal Kings want every one of us to pay them $15,000

    Monica Tranel|Apr 1, 2021

    Senate Bill 379, currently being considered by the Montana Legislature, may be a dream come true for Northwestern Energy, but for ordinary, hardworking Montanans, it’s a nightmare. In 2008, Northwestern bought a 30% share of the Colstrip 4 generating station for $187 million. The Montana Consumer Counsel testified that the book value of Unit 4 was $37 million, but NorthWestern managed to convince the PSC that it was worth a lot more than that: $404 million! The PSC decided that Northwestern could recover all that, plus a 10% return, from its cu...

  • The Free Money Game: When Will Republicans Wise Up?

    Roger Koopman, Bozeman, Montana|Apr 1, 2021

    Every election cycle, you can count on Republican candidates promising to reduce the size and cost of government, and in general, getting government out of our businesses and out of our daily lives. Yet the GOP’s commitment to controlling government and reducing welfare dependency is highly selective. For their friends, the free money game continues unabated. One of the most sainted of wealth transfer schemes for the Republicans is the Holy Tax Credit, generally targeted toward specific types of businesses and business activities that – so the...

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