Articles from the July 9, 2020 edition


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  • Preparing for peak fire season, adjustments made for COVID-19

    Griffen Smith, Pathfinder|Jul 9, 2020

    As Montana enters into July, the 2020 fire season is expected to put the state’s prevention and containment capabilities to the test. Not only is the current climate being compared to years like 2017 but officials are also working to present the spread of the coronavirus between firefighters and camps. “Fundamentally COVID is just another twist we go through when assessing our fires,” said Seeley Lake District Ranger Quinn Carver. “[The season] probably won’t be a lot different. You still don’t know where the fire will start and you don’t k...

  • Building educational supports for more than 20 years at SLE

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Jul 9, 2020

    SEELEY LAKE – It was just another day for John Devins out practicing with his little league team at the Seeley Lake Elementary baseball fields until SLE superintendent John Hebnes came out and encouraged him to apply for the maintenance position. With a degree in education, teaching experience and working as a carpenter for almost 20 years, Devins applied for the opportunity and was hired more than 20 years ago. He will close the door on this chapter as he retires July 8. "I have been g...

  • Keeping the fireworks display afloat

    Griffen Smith, Pathfinder|Jul 9, 2020

    As dusk approached Seeley Lake's Fourth of July, Tamaracks Resort owners Jessica and Jeff Kimmel waited patiently as the first ever fireworks show that they put on for the community was about to begin. "Right at 10:30 p.m. all the boats on the water started honking their horns and we armed the barge, punched in the code and hit go," said Jessica. "And 28 seconds later it went off." The display went off without a hitch. In past years the Seeley Lake Area Chamber of Commerce hosted the official...

  • Daines continues opposition to Stewardship Act

    Klaus von Stutterheim, Seeley Lake, Mont.|Jul 9, 2020

    It’s time for Senator Steve Daines to get with the program and be a real champion for Montana’s public lands. Daines likes to talk about how supportive he is of our outdoor way of life but we see right through it when he refuses to support common-sense measures like the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act. This made-in-Montana solution would protect nearly 80,000 acres of beautiful Montana wilderness while boosting access to recreation areas and creating jobs. A bipartisan group of stakeholders from all around Montana -- from sportsmen to ran...

  • Land-value method unfair assessment, borders illegal

    Frank Dufresne, Seeley Lake, Mont.|Jul 9, 2020

    SEELEY LAKE - Coming soon will be increased sewer tax assessments for ‘water-linked’ properties ranging from $1,200 to $2,000 to pay ADMINISTRATIVE sewer costs. Other properties in the district are assessed only $90 to $700 for exactly the same purpose. Your new tax can be found in a 10 page, small print document called: “FY21 Assessment Methodology Assessment Options.” Even if you still support the sewer project, I assume you’ll INSIST on being treated FAIRLY in the process. This change in assessments was conceived out of fairness....

  • Added protection against predators

    Jeff Wisehart, Seeley Lake, Mont.|Jul 9, 2020

    After reading about the person that lost their dog to a mountain lion recently, I thought I would send a picture of my Schnauzer "Buddy" wearing his "Coyote Vest." It is made of Kevlar and has 2.5" spikes down the back and around his throat. I lost a Schnauzer to a pair of foxes three years ago. I wanted something that would give my new pup some measure of added protection. We are fortunate to live in such a beautiful part of Montana with lots of wildlife. Lots of the wildlife that live around...

  • Fourth success "hooks" 10-year-old

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Jul 9, 2020
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    SALMON LAKE - To land a northern pike that is half as long as one is tall is definitely an accomplishment. Ten-year-old James Hocking of Butte, Montana did just that while fishing on Salmon Lake over the Fourth of July weekend. When Hocking set the hook, the pike went straight to the bottom and nearly took him with it. His step-mother Samantha grabbed him and the rod and kept him in the boat while netting the fish. His grandparents Norm and Charmin Bernstrauch of Seeley Lake were there for the...

  • Fire danger Moderate, outdoor burning with a permit closed

    Missoula County Fire Protection Association|Jul 9, 2020

    MISSOULA - Warmer, drier conditions recently have tilted the scales in fire danger from Low to Moderate, indicating the start of fire season in Montana. Even though grass is green, the primary indicator of fire danger is the dryness of dead fuels. In response to the move to Moderate fire danger, Missoula County is closing Outdoor Burning by Permit, effective Tuesday, July 7. There were thousands of burn permits activated in Missoula County since outdoor burning by permit was opened in March. Missoula County Fire Protection Association agencies...

  • Road resurfacing projects start in Seeley-Swan area

    Missoula County Public Works Department|Jul 9, 2020

    Missoula County is planning to resurface portions of Holland Lake Road, Frontier Drive, Canyon Drive and Placid Creek Road. The project is scheduled to begin Monday, July 13, though scheduling will be dependent on the Montana Department of Transportation’s contractor for a separate project on Highway 83. Missoula County will receive millings from the MDT project on Highway 83. MDT’s contractor will deliver millings to the four county roads and Missoula County Public Works Road Division will then place and compact the milled material along the...

  • Lolo National Forest partners to plant over 200,000 seedlings

    US Forest Service - Lolo National Forests|Jul 9, 2020

    Less than three years have passed since the fires of 2017 and the Lolo National Forest is still making significant steps toward recovery in areas impacted by severe wildfire. Working in close partnership with the National Forest Foundation (NFF), a national nonprofit partner of the U.S. Forest Service, crews have completed planting of over 240,000 Ponderosa Pine and Western Larch seedlings across the Missoula, Seeley Lake, Superior and Plains-Thompson Falls Ranger Districts located in Missoula, Mineral and Sanders counties. Planting occured...

  • Seeley Lake's first Fourth of July fireworks

    Eddie Coyle - unknown date, Reprinted with permission from the Seeley Lake Historical Society|Jul 9, 2020

    In 1949 you could buy some pretty powerful fireworks, fairly cheap compared to today’s prices. A big choice of all kinds of roman candles, buzz bombs with metal propellers, you had to be very careful where you set them off. They usually went straight up, but sometimes they didn’t and would scoot along the ground until they hit something solid. If a person was in the way they could be hurt pretty bad. There was a piece called a serpent, when you set that off it went thru the air slithering like a big snake, leaving a big string of sparks beh...

  • De profundis

    Pastor Erik Iverson, Faith Lutheran in Condon and Holy Cross Lutheran in Seeley Lake|Jul 9, 2020

    Imagine that you have never owned a home, but one day someone offers to sell you theirs (with ample property) for pennies on the dollar. There is only one catch...your country has just been invaded and that property lies within what is now enemy territory. To make matters worse, you are in the one city still left standing, with the enemy literally crashing the city walls, and you know for a fact that very soon everything will be destroyed, and the majority of your people will shortly either be executed or taken captive to a foreign land. Would...

  • Demystifying the world of grants

    Claire Muller, Executive Director, Seeley Lake Community Foundation|Jul 9, 2020

    As a small rural town, grant funding is an important source of dollars to help bring community ideas to life. Let’s explore this topic behind the scenes a bit. Grants help our local ski and snowmobile clubs keep trails maintained, provide programs like the 21st Century grant helping get kids outside at the elementary school and so much more. There are federal grants, state grants, private foundation grants, public foundation grants and each type typically requires different levels of complexity for the application and reporting. For a c...

  • Potomac School prepares for fall

    Sigrid Olson, Pathfinder|Jul 9, 2020

    POTOMAC - During the June 29 school board meeting via Webex, the Potomac School Board approved a series of policies that will give the school district the flexibility to address whatever conditions and/or requirements the school district will face in August as they prepare to return to school for the 2020- 2021 school year. Potomac School Principal John Rouse said, “Our intention is to provide quality in-person classroom instruction unless required to do otherwise by the Governor’s office, the health department or our local school boa... Full story

  • The new and traditional blend for Seeley Fourth

    Griffen Smith, Pathfinder|Jul 9, 2020

    SEELEY LAKE - The Seeley Lake Volunteer Fire Foundation pancake breakfast kicked off the Fourth of July activities in Seeley Lake. Even though they modified a few things to accommodate with the Health Department regulations surrounding the coronavirus, the community still had the opportunity to start their celebration with the traditional pancake breakfast. In the afternoon, Highway 83 was empty but a new boat parade was launched thanks to the organizational efforts of Tamaracks Resort. The...

  • Could a Japanese-style elder care insurance program work in Montana?

    Dave Erickson, Missoulian|Jul 9, 2020

    Last week in Graying Pains, the Missoulian's David Erickson examined the introduction and implementation of Kaigo Hoken, or care insurance, in Japan, the world's demographically oldest country. This week's conclusion of that story explores how a similar policy might translate to Montana, the oldest state in the American West. A full 13% of Montanans are in their 60s, and the "baby boomer" generation is nearing or entering retirement age. Care for the elderly will become an increasingly pressing...

  • Community Briefs

    Jul 9, 2020

    Lions Club firewood raffle winner SEELEY LAKE – Phil Hauck won this year’s Lions Club Firewood Raffle. Lion Boyd Gossard said the fundraiser went very well and they appreciated everyone’s support. Health Department considers mandating masks indoors, July 9 The Missoula City-County Board of Health will convene a special meeting on Thursday, July 9 from 12:15 - 2:15 p.m., to reviewing a proposed mask rule. Requiring masks would be to reduce the spread of the pandemic disease COVID-19 by increasing the use of face coverings among people in indoo...

  • Swan Valley comes together for Independence Day

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Jul 9, 2020

    SWAN VALLEY - While a few things like the huckleberry ice cream, annual book sale and displays in the Community Hall were missing, Swan Valley's Fourth of July activities continued on. With one of the only parade in the state, the Swan Valley American Legion Post #63 sponsored event was a lot of family fun followed by a barbecue sponsored by Condon Community Church and the O-Mok-See, games on horseback. The celebration ended with what was called a "great display" of fireworks over the...

  • Swan Valley comes together for Independence Day

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Jul 9, 2020

    SWAN VALLEY - While a few things like the huckleberry ice cream, annual book sale and displays in the Community Hall were missing, Swan Valley's Fourth of July activities continued on. With one of the only parade in the state, the Swan Valley American Legion Post #63 sponsored event was a lot of family fun followed by a barbecue sponsored by Condon Community Church and the O-Mok-See, games on horseback. The celebration ended with what was called a "great display" of fireworks over the...

  • Swan Valley comes together for Independence Day

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Jul 9, 2020

    SWAN VALLEY - While a few things like the huckleberry ice cream, annual book sale and displays in the Community Hall were missing, Swan Valley's Fourth of July activities continued on. With one of the only parade in the state, the Swan Valley American Legion Post #63 sponsored event was a lot of family fun followed by a barbecue sponsored by Condon Community Church and the O-Mok-See, games on horseback. The celebration ended with what was called a "great display" of fireworks over the...

  • Zinke disgrace to our country?

    Matthew Chappell, Choteau, Montana|Jul 9, 2020

    Fewer than three enduring years ago, Ryan Zinke, the former kleptomaniac Secretary of the Interior, slithered into the Oval Office of President Trump. Zinke's tedious graft and deceit completed, he delivered a barratry report recommending rescinding the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah. Similar to a sticky-fingered sutler swilling goods and profits from agency trade posts to siphon fat-in-the-fire kickbacks to Secretary of War, William Belknap, during President Grant's administration, Zinke became the modern version of the thieving Indian...

  • Disappointed by recent meeting with Governor Bullock

    Scott Sales and Greg Hertz, Helena, Mont.|Jul 9, 2020

    We recently met with Governor Bullock and the two minority leaders of the Montana legislature to discuss Montana’s failing economy and budget issues due to the Governor’s closures. While we appreciated the rare opportunity to discuss the pressing issues facing Montanans with the Governor, this meeting merely served as a press conference for the Governor’s campaign with hand-picked members of the press and provided no opportunity to have substantive conversations about the challenges facing Montana families. As a result of the coronavirus pande...

  • Missoula County requires masks in public spaces, with exceptions

    Griffen Smith, Pathfinder|Jul 9, 2020

    MISSOULA - The Missoula City-County Health Department board voted unanimously to require facemasks in every indoor public space in the county at their July 9 meeting. They received over 4,000 comments from the public before the hearing, of which roughly half were processed. The processed comments showed 80% support for the initiative. The ruling goes into effect immediately and makes face masks the new normal as coronavirus cases continue to rise across the county and Montana. “Our cases are up and they continue to go up, our number of c... Full story

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