Articles from the August 31, 2017 edition


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  • Evacuations Ordered for Rice Ridge Fire

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Aug 31, 2017

    SEELEY LAKE – The Rice Ridge Fire gained steam this week nearly doubling the acres burned from 16,117 last Tuesday to 30,661 acres Aug. 29. Several more evacuation orders were given during the week and Monday night evacuations were ordered for a large portion of Seeley Lake east of Highway 83. The fire crossed into the Bob Marshall Wilderness Sunday, Aug. 27 near Devin Peak. It continued to spread north and east through Pyramid Pass and toward Leota Peak on the north and Monture Mountain to t...

  • Cost Estimates Provided, Questions Answered

    Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder|Aug 31, 2017

    SEELEY LAKE - The first of two public meetings aimed at educating property owners in the Seeley Lake Sewer District was held Aug. 23. Presenters Dr. Walt Hill, Craig Pozega, professional engineer from Great West Engineering and District Manager Greg Robertson provided information on the project background, community and environmental impacts, the proposed sewer system, financial impacts and the process ahead. The presenters then took questions from the audience. Joe Nickell from the public relations firm PartnersCreative ran the meeting. Dr....

  • Seeley Lake Resonates with Shakespeare's "Macbeth"

    Betty Vanderwielen, Pathfinder|Aug 31, 2017

    SEELEY LAKE – Chuckles rippled through the audience gathered on lawn chairs and blankets at the Double Arrow Lodge grounds when the three witches from Shakespeare's "Macbeth" spoke of scattering into "the fog and filthy air." Yet not even the "filthy air" emanating from the Rice Ridge Fire kept an estimated crowd of nearly 150 from venturing out to see Montana Shakespeare in the Parks' (MSIP) production of "Macbeth" Thursday, Aug. 24 on the Double Arrow Lodge grounds. That the play would not b...

  • Swan Valley Library Renovations Complete

    Aug 31, 2017

    SWAN VALLEY – The Swan Valley Library is open for patrons after being renovated this summer. The library has a brand new look. Not only was the roof replaced and logs treated on the structure, there were also several safety improvements. On Sept. 13, 2016 the Montana Department of Labor and Industry conducted a limited service safety and health consultation for the Swan Valley Library. The consultation was requested by Shelly Block, Risk Management Coordinator for Missoula County Risk and B...

  • Stork Report - Alakai Laurence Wold

    Aug 31, 2017

    SEELEY LAKE - Wyatt, Ethan, Kyerah and Jaden announce the birth of their baby brother Alakai Laurence Wold. Alakai was born Aug. 8 to parents Ahkayneh Richardson and Chris Wold of Seeley Lake. He weighed 6 pounds, 11 ounces and was 19.5 inches long. Alakai was also welcomed by his proud grandparents Bruce and Kelli Wold of Seeley Lake, Alan Richardson of Condon and Fawn Richardson of Missoula....

  • Dear Friends of Seeley Lake, Lets Not Take our Lake For Granted

    Debby Titus Kelly and Dave Kelly, Great Falls and Seeley Lake, Mont.|Aug 31, 2017

    SEELEY LAKE – Fifty-one years ago, the Titus Family spent their first summer at Seeley Lake. It was magical for us all. Not only did we play endlessly in the water but we drank from it and have continued to do so for many years, taking our clean water for granted. However, since the lake was closed, many of us have come to realize how important the lake really is. Now the lake is polluted. Our family recently had two tests done with the Department of Environmental Quality. They found coliform (feces) levels that were unacceptable to the h...

  • More Issues That Need Answers

    Troy Spence, Seeley Lake, Mont.|Aug 31, 2017

    SEELEY LAKE - Well here we go again residents of the Seeley Lake Sewer District. After attending the public meeting, I actually thought I was watching CNN but realized this was worse than that. I wrote questions that were ignored (couldn’t answer them honestly)? This board has failed to honestly represent the town of Seeley Lake and has used the liberal approach that they are for it, if they benefit. I have followed this sewer project since the beginning. I have spoken to past board members and have gotten the facts. They are just the o...

  • Mis-management of Fires Similar to Sewer

    Don Larson, Seeley Lake, Mont.|Aug 31, 2017

    The government mis-management of the Florence Lake and Rice Ridge Fires and the Seeley Lake Sewer proposal are eerily similar... In the case of the fires, we have state and federal mis-management of the lands, allowing fuel build-ups to incendiary levels and the loss of millions of dollars in timber. Then we have incredible mis-management of the fires themselves which cost a firefighter his life and at last count no less than $21.5 million taxpayer dollars to fight. Then we have the hundreds of thousands in lost revenues to the local tourist...

  • Forests and Fires

    Bob Sheppard, Ovando, Mont.|Aug 31, 2017

    We are seeing the results of an accumulated series of mismanagement procedures on our forests. This is not a sudden or new thing. It has been going on for years and we have for the most part been either sitting idly by or actually helped in the mismanagement process. Ms. Randi de Santa Anna is partially correct when she says that there is no easy way to thin our forests back down, but there is a way to achieve a portion of that goal. A short lesson in history is in order. Years ago, we put fires out aggressively when they started. There were lo...

  • Out N' The Woods Again

    Dale Terrillion|Aug 31, 2017

    It’s been a while since I lived in the Seeley-Swan. And many things and people there I truly miss. But I wouldn’t miss the smoke. Us old folks with health problems are having a time of it, even over here in Proctor. Like I said many years ago the Forest Rangers of yesteryear must be rollin’ over in their graves. The way the Forest Service lets these fires go till it’s humanly impossible to put them out, it’s a disgrace. Some Forest Service person, when asked why they didn’t jump on the Rice Ridge Fire when it was 60 acres or less, his answer...

  • Public Invited to Attend Trumpeter Swan Release

    Blackfoot Challenge|Aug 31, 2017

    OVANDO - Join the Blackfoot Challenge and partners next Thursday, Sept. 7 near Ovando for the 13th Annual Trumpeter Swan Release. This annual event offers the public a rare opportunity to take an up-close look at Trumpeter Swans and learn about their habits, biology, and recovery in the Blackfoot watershed. Since 2004, the Blackfoot Challenge and a host of partners including private landowners, the US Fish & Wildlife Service and Blackfoot watershed schools, among many others, have been working cooperatively to restore native Trumpeter Swans to...

  • Community Foundation Continues to Soar

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Aug 31, 2017

    SEELEY LAKE – Fifteen years ago, supporters of the Seeley Lake Community Foundation took their seats at Lindey's Prime Steak House and buckled their safety belts for the first annual fundraising event. Lindey's was packed Sunday evening, Aug. 27 as many more joined the journey at the "Passport to Adventure" fundraising banquet. "Despite what is going on outside, I want you to know that this is the healthiest night in the whole entire community," said Foundation President Carla Schade. "[In t...

  • A Place for All

    Cathy Kahnle, Executive Director, Clearwater Resource Council|Aug 31, 2017

    SEELEY LAKE - It is interesting that the title to this article is also a good description of the Seeley Lake Trails Project purpose. Three years ago, a diverse group of people got together to talk about working toward a trail system in Seeley Lake. The one overarching theme that came out of the first meeting is that the trail system had to give something to every user group. That every person in the group had to be willing to fight just as hard for the "other" groups as for their own. We also di...

  • Sunset School – New at School for 2017-2018

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Aug 31, 2017

    GREENOUGH – Sunset School started classes Monday, Aug. 28 with eight students in grades K-8. This year they are starting a new pre-kindergarten program. Supervising teacher Toni Hatten will be teaching fourth- through eighth-graders with teacher Hali Miller returning to teach kindergartners through third-graders. Ashley Mitchell will teach art again this year, Andrea Tougas will teach Special Education and Jo Schapley will be the visiting counselor. Sunset School is looking for substitute teachers, with or without teaching credentials. Miller w...

  • SSHS – New at School for 2017-2018

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Aug 31, 2017

    SEELEY LAKE – Seeley-Swan High School is in full swing with students filling the halls Tuesday, Aug. 29. New this year includes new music director Kristen Cottom and Secretary Cathy Novak will be teaching art. Students were also welcomed by four air scrubbers working non-stop to filter out the wildfire particulates in the air and can look forward to continuing Challenge Success and starting Naviance, a college/career readiness program. Cottom is a first-year teacher that will be teaching band, choir and the History of Rock n’ Roll. She was sel...

  • Our Days are Numbered

    Bruce Rippy, Pastor - Condon Community Church|Aug 31, 2017

    Psalm 39:4 “Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered— how fleeting my life is.” We have no guarantee of life tomorrow--let alone of living a long life. At some time, either death will come to us or Jesus will return to bring an end to life on this earth as we know it. God has numbered our days but has not revealed that time to us. Your life could be over at any time. We need to be ready to meet our Maker (Amos 4:12). Friend, please take heed. None of us is assured of even one more hour of life...

  • ALERT SEWER Sub-District #4 and Probably a Few Other Sub-Districts

    Beth Hutchinson, Seeley Lake, Mont.|Aug 31, 2017

    Were you aware that, under sewer general manager Greg Robinson’s desire to determine equitable sewer debt and Operation and Maintenance costs, 40+/- historically residential properties in Sub-District or Phase 4 have become “businesses”? Such a business designation burdens us with the privilege to pay double for sewer charges — even though our parcels have never functioned as business properties and are hardly likely to become businesses after 50+/- years of us enjoying our homes. As non-business “businesses”, we cannot deduct such charges fro...

  • Sewer Facts or FUD Factor?

    Dennis Clark, Seeley Lake, Mont.|Aug 31, 2017

    SEELEY LAKE - Prior to the Public Information meeting regarding the sewer last Wednesday, members of the Citizens for Sensible Wastewater Solutions (CSWS) were handing out a flier on light green paper. The flier is titled Some Facts about the Proposed Seeley Sewer. This same document has been made available at various locations around town. As a summer resident interested to learn about both sides of this important issue, I brought this Fact Sheet home and read it. The following is what I learned. I was interested to see that CSWS are so...

  • Salmon Bake Tournament Huge Draw to Double Arrow Golf Course

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Aug 31, 2017

    SEELEY LAKE – The smoke and surrounding fires didn't stop the more than 130 senior golfers who took to the Double Arrow Golf Course this past weekend for the annual Salmon Bake Tournament. Golfers competed for bragging rights and pro shop credit. One lucky golfer had the chance to putt for a new golf cart. Double Arrow Golf Pro Tim Bakker said this is just one of the many tournaments the course puts on during the summer. This one fills quickly with golfers from the area and as far away as S...

  • Lady Blackhawks Season Underway Despite Smoke

    Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder|Aug 31, 2017

    The Seeley-Swan Lady Blackhawks traveled to Arlee for the first match of the volleyball season Aug. 25. They then headed to Philipsburg for the traditional start of the season tournament on the 26th. “With all the fire activity and smoke, it has definitely started out as one of our more interesting seasons,” said Lady Blackhawks Head Coach Tammy Lewis. The team managed to get in their required practices ahead of the Arlee match but the smoke has been limiting the intensity of practices. “We are making the best of it and look forward to putti...

  • Smoke Takes Toll on Blackhawks

    Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder|Aug 31, 2017

    CHARLO - The Seeley-Swan Blackhawks season kicked off Aug. 25 against last year’s state runner up, Charlo. Blackhawks Head Coach Ryan Sokoloski said they didn’t play as bad as the score, 6-52, would indicate. He felt there were some really good plays and they moved the ball well early on. The team has not been able to physically train as hard as Sokoloski would like due to the smoke in Seeley Lake. They have been taking it day by day as to how much they can practice. “As the game went on, you could see the ability to keep up, our kids were...

  • Business People - Stand Up and Be Counted

    S. Akane, Seeley Lake, Mont.|Aug 31, 2017

    Potential residential customers outnumber commercial in the Seeley Lake Sewer District nine to one. So for every commercial customer who would pay $104 per month, NINE residents will pay $71 per month. Those are the preliminary cost estimates for monthly sewer service put out last week at the Sewer Board’s show. The Sewer District boundaries were drawn back in the 1980s to reflect the lowest per-capita-income possible to better-qualify their project for federal funding. So, stated another way: the lowest income residents in the district are c...

  • Don't Forget To Protect the Water

    Debbie Bardwell, Great Falls, Mont.|Aug 31, 2017

    SEELEY LAKE - As the fires and smoke continue to cause worry and stress for so many of us who live in and care about Seeley Lake, it also seems important to not forget the importance of protecting the water in our lives. My parents bought a small cabin on the lake in 1964 and we began our trips back and forth from Great Falls, enjoying the activities of the lake and the people of the community. I admit that there are times when I miss the small, quiet area that I experienced for many years. However, as is the course of life, change happens. The...

  • Sewer Will Improve Community - Right Choice for the Future

    Betsy Titus Allen, Seeley Lake, Mont.|Aug 31, 2017

    As a long-time summer resident of Seeley Lake, I’ve seen many changes throughout the years. Our community has developed and grown in many ways. The Seeley Lake Sewer District has an opportunity to improve our community and provide the right choice benefitting future generations. By going forth with this project it will create a number of positive things for our community. It will reduce ground water contamination. We have been aware of this issue for decades and it’s time to take care of our ground water. Additionally, it will help reduce the...

  • Community Briefs

    Aug 31, 2017

    How’s your Moose IQ? SEELEY LAKE - Learn from Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Moose Expert Nick DeCesare 7 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 31 at the Seeley Lake Historical Museum and Visitor Center. DeCesare is a research biologist with FWP. He is currently leading a study of moose population dynamics in Montana, begun by FWP in 2013. DeCesare will discuss the 10-year moose study, including preliminary results collected during the study’s first four years. He is currently based out of Missoula but has worked on wildlife research projects in various par...

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