Articles from the August 13, 2020 edition

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  • Market value assessment chosen, bond election discussed

    Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder|Aug 13, 2020

    SEELEY LAKE – The Seeley Lake Sewer District Board voted to stick with a market value excluding improvements method for spreading the cost of the annual District operating budget at a Special Board meeting Aug. 3. Then they set the assessments at a hearing Aug. 6. The Board held another special meeting following the hearing, where they voted to continue seeking information regarding a bond election that could change how the District pays for the proposed sewer system. At the Aug. 3 special meeting Manager Jean Curtiss presented the Board w...

  • New welcome sign greets visitors

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Aug 13, 2020

    SEELEY LAKE – For those traveling south on Highway 83, their arrival into Seeley Lake is now announced with a new "Welcome to Seeley Lake" sign. It was installed last week by Clearwater Mini Storage, which is listed at the bottom of the sign. Kevin Wetherell, managing partner of Clearwater Mini Storage, has been involved in the Seeley Lake Community Foundation and Seeley Lake Area Chamber of Commerce board of directors off and on over the last 20 years. He said the "Welcome to Seeley Lake" s...

  • Changing attitudes key to addressing ageism

    Kathy Beeks, Valley Journal|Aug 13, 2020

    Who's getting older? We all are. Yet denial, misinformation and fear often characterize this universal experience. One hundred years ago life expectancy was about 47 years. According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, by 2050 one in five Americans will be 65 or older. Lengthening lifespans require a more informed and positive approach to aging, both for individuals and society. Ann Karpf, British author of "How We Age," said, "Each time we see an older person, we ne...

  • A historic "Farm to Fair" in the books

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Aug 13, 2020

    MISSOULA – While it was still dark Thursday morning, Aug. 6, Seeley Lake Trailblazer Dani Sexton was giving her steer Pickles a bath. It was the big day for him to show in the Western Montana Fair, something Sexton had being working on since purchasing him from Two Creeks Ranch this spring. He was loaded and rolling towards Missoula from their home in the Woodworth area south of Seeley Lake by 5 a.m. For the past 10 years the first week in August was all about the Fair for Sexton. However w...

  • Say it like it is, the lions were killed

    Lori Micken, Livingston, Montana|Aug 13, 2020

    Andi Bourne’s headline on the front page of the July 30 Pathfinder should have read “Four young mountain lions killed at Seeley Lake” or maybe “shot” or “slaughtered?” The euphemism “dispatched” was used once in the article. I do not understand why Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks and others don’t “tell it like it is,” and say “killed.” Bourne assured us four times that “human safety is the priority” in such incidents. I would like to see an in-depth article from FWP on why, “in Montana they don’t relocate [lions].” Do other states? The repo...

  • The mutts

    Dale Terrillion|Aug 13, 2020

    Some of us who have been fortunate enough to have some great dogs: seeing eye dogs, military dogs, comfort companions for folks who live alone, guard dogs and hunting dogs. Stock dogs and kids who can remember growing up with children's best friend. Anyway, I read a story once about a starved pup thrown out of a passing car near an old ranchers' place. They gathered him up and the Misses slowly nursed him back to health. The dog grew to be a first-class stock dog. After a while the wife passed...

  • Facing the challenges ahead for school

    Dr. Erin Lipkind, Missoula County Superintendent of Schools|Aug 13, 2020

    When I first took office in January 2011, like most elected officials I had little idea what my position would entail. County Superintendent of Schools is an unusual position. While my duties are outlined in statute, what the job requires on the ground varies widely by county and is certainly different from what principals and hired superintendents do on a day-to-day basis. In my position, I serve as the sole administrator for Sunset School in Greenough and Woodman School on Highway 12....

  • Firefighters keep fires small

    Kristin Mortenson, Montana DNRC Fire Prevention|Aug 13, 2020

    SEELEY LAKE - The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation Southwestern Land Office ended last week with 17 fires--12 lightning and five human caused. All are controlled or out except for the Elevation Mountain fire, which started Aug. 8 in the BLM Wilderness Study Area southeast of Greenough. The Elevation Mountain fire is approximately 10 acres, burning in heavy timber with a lot of dead and down fuels in rough and remote terrain. Two hot shot crews, the Deer Lodge prison crew, six jumpers, and a few overhead are working to...

  • Warm weather increases risk of Harmful Algal Blooms

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Aug 13, 2020

    Summer is in full bloom. Before you take a dip in the lake this summer, state agencies are urging Montanans to know the health risks of Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs). Clearwater Resource Council received reports of possible blue-green algae in Seeley Lake. Water samples have been sent it to test for toxicity. The HAB website listed a report dated Aug. 6 that read, “No visible bloom, but a dog presented with acute neurologic signs and death in less than an hour after swimming in the river that leads into Seeley Lake. Last week a different dog s...

  • Bullock: Counties given option for all mail-in ballot

    Griffen Smith, Pathfinder|Aug 13, 2020

    Governor Steve Bullock announced Aug. 6 that like the June primary, counties will be able to opt in to an all-mail voting system. He also directed early voting to be expanded based on recommendations from the Montana Association of Clerks, Recorders and Election Administrators. "The local election administrators stressed there is serious ethical concern about conducting an election under standard procedures," Bullock said in a press conference Aug. 6. "The risk of viral transmission and... Full story

  • Health Department outlines process for close contacts and testing requirements

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Aug 13, 2020

    MISSOULA – That last phone call someone wants to receive is from the health department identifying them as a close contact to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. However, a phone call from a someone pretending to be involved with contact tracing could not only cause undue mental stress, it could also cost money unless identified as a scam. The Missoula City-County Health Department (MCCHD) laid out the process for identifying close contacts and testing requirements to help residents d... Full story

  • Stories of stewardship

    Sara Schmidt, Blackfoot Challenge Communications Director|Aug 13, 2020

    Stewardship: The careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care. What does it mean to be a good steward? This is something we think about a fair bit at the Blackfoot Challenge. Whether we find ourselves stewarding the lands and waters that we rely on or the communities that we are a part of, stewardship in all forms requires a commitment to place and a commitment to the future. We believe it also requires a commitment to one another – and to learn, adapt and share. We h...

  • Increased visitation presents challenges for land managers

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Aug 13, 2020

    Despite the pandemic, the Seeley Lake and Swan Lake Ranger Districts are seeing very high visitor use on roads, trails, dispersed camping sites and in the developed campgrounds. Both Districts are actively working to increase their presence to manage public safety, protect resources, work to benefit visitor experiences and accommodate the increased use they have been seeing this year. "I think it is really cool that the public is rediscovering their public lands. That is a very positive thing...

  • Pulling your hair out

    Betty Vanderwielen, Pathfinder|Aug 13, 2020

    The phrase "that just makes me want to pull my hair out" has origins that go back to Egypt and Greece and the Christian Bible, but probably has most connection to an obsessive/compulsive syndrome disorder. In ancient Egypt, hair pulling was a customary part of a funeral ritual. A sculpture relief in Gizah clearly shows a man holding his arms up and pulling his hair in two opposite directions. Other reliefs and paintings show women in funeral processions plucking hairs from the top of their...

  • One certainty in an uncertain world

    Kapp L. Johnson, Retired pastor living in Seeley Lake|Aug 13, 2020

    When I was in graduate school at Gonzaga University a few years ago, I was asked to read a book by sociologist Zugmunt Bauman called "Liquid Times: Living in an Age of Uncertainty." He wrote a series of books over 10 years using the term "liquid" to describe the risk, fear and uncertainty of current global actions and confrontations. As I re-read the small book, I was struck with his observation of how institutions and social forms are decomposing faster than it takes to cast them. This...

  • Teams sought for invasive lily removal competition

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Aug 13, 2020

    SEELEY LAKE – Everyone is invited to join the Clearwater Resource Council for its first annual lily removal competition Aug. 15 from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Placid and Salmon Lakes. Please register at by 5 p.m., Friday, Aug. 14 to ensure they have enough lunches. Teams of two are encouraged to bring their own watercraft and will be provided with the tools and training to remove as many fragrant waterlilies as possible for the free event. Any type of watercraft is acceptable, but please make sure to follow clean, drain, dry procedures to...

  • MDT begins implementing new load posting signs on state's bridges

    Montana Department of Transportation|Aug 13, 2020

    The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) has begun implementation of new load posting procedures on public bridges across the state as mandated by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). As a result, motorists may soon start to notice new weight limits and signs on some bridges. The postings are part of recently updated federal requirements for bridge load rating and posting. Bridge weight restrictions are required when the engineering analysis of a bridge, known as a load rating,...

  • Grants available for Powell County non-profits

    Powell County Community Foundation|Aug 13, 2020

    The Powell County Community Foundation is accepting grant applications from non-profits throughout Powell County. The PCF awards grants, usually ranging from $500 to $2,000, for charitable purposes in the following focus areas: basic human needs, arts and culture, recreation, and economic development. The application deadline is Friday, Sept. 11. The short application form is available by writing to the PCF at P.O. Box 834, Deer Lodge, MT, 59722 or by contacting board members Kirk Sandquist, Steve Owens, Mary Ann Fraley, Claudia Dippold,...

  • 406 Connect bike tour comes through area

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Aug 13, 2020

    SEELEY LAKE – Monica Tranel, a two-time Olympic rower, a mother of three, and a candidate for Public Service Commission District 4, rode into Seeley Lake to meet with members of the community Aug. 4. This was on day five of her eight day, 550-mile 406 Connect bike tour across the seven counties of District 4 in an effort to learn what powers up and connects Montana communities. "Growing up with my nine siblings in eastern Montana, our family loved spending hours on Montana's open roads on our b...

  • Pinchot and the beginnings of the United States Forest Service

    Betty Vanderwielen, Pathfinder|Aug 13, 2020

    If the early history of Seeley Lake is intertwined with the lumber industry, the rise of the United States Forest Service is incontrovertibly intertwined with Seeley Lake and in particular with the Big Blackfoot Timber Sale of 1907-1910. Historian and member of the Camp Paxson Preservation Board Gary Williams has been researching that sale. The Seeley Swan Pathfinder will be bringing some of the interesting bits of information he has discovered about logging in the Seeley Lake area and also...

  • Remembering Hiroshima

    Nathan Bourne|Aug 13, 2020

    Sunday, Aug. 6, marked the 75th anniversary of the United States dropping an atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima, Japan. Seeley Lake resident Cheri Thompson shared her father Ivan Odom's account of the aftermath. Odom served in the Air Force as a cargo pilot and flew C-47s during the Pacific Theater in WWII. He joined the Air Force in February, 1943 and received orders to return home in December of 1945. During his time in the Air Force Odom wrote many letters to his parents including one...

  • Community Briefs

    Aug 13, 2020

    Produce boxes available at Seeley-Swan Community Food Bank SEELEY LAKE – Thursday, Aug. 13 at 4 p.m. there will be produce boxes available at the Seeley-Swan Community Food Bank, next to the multi-purpose room at Seeley Lake Elementary. There is a limited number of boxes available and will be distributed on a first come, first served basis. Veterans Memorial Gardens preparing for new kiosk SEELEY LAKE – In preparation for the new kiosk, some of the arches at the Seeley Lake Veterans Memorial Gardens north of Seeley Lake have been removed. The...

  • A Republican vote is a vote for jobs

    Edwin Johnson, Gardiner, Montana|Aug 13, 2020

    Montana governor candidate Greg Gianforte has brought high paying private sector jobs into Montana. Greg’s opponent Mike Cooney and his mentor Steve Bullock are lifelong politicians. Neither knows how to create private sector jobs. They never have. Sending Washington DC another politician to join Schumer, Pelosi, Bernie, A.O.C. and the Socialist Squad will not create jobs for Montana’s hard working families. Montana’s choice is clear. We can go with: more government, fewer jobs, open borders, sanctuary cities, defund the police, adopt cance...