Opinion / Guest Column


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  • Rocking the Atlantic into the Big Apple

    Alan Muskett MD|Jun 13, 2024

    It is evening at Liberty Landing Marina, New Jersey, which is directly across the Hudson from Manhattan, New York City. The fading sun is glinting off the glass skin of the Freedom Tower, which replaced the destroyed World Trade Centers. In the distance is the Empire State Building, now dwarfed by more modern edifices. We arrived here after a 132-mile run from Cape May, New Jersey, having toured the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays. We don't usually go that far in a day, but weather might have...

  • June is busy at the library

    Carrie Benton, Seeley Lake Librarian|Jun 13, 2024

    Summer Reading Program — “Adventure Begins In Your Library” This year’s Summer Reading Program at your Seeley Lake Public Library welcomes explorers of all ages to embark on an exciting journey of discovery, imagination and learning. The Summer Reading Program begins on Monday, June 17. Come by the library to sign up and receive your free bag of goodies. Lots of prizes will be available throughout the summer, including coupons for small ice-cream cones from the Ice Cream Place for complet...

  • Driving an EV in Ovando

    Elaine Caton|Jun 13, 2024

    A lot of what we hear in the media about electric vehicles can be discouraging to anyone even considering buying one, and I had a lot of those concerns as well. Can you find places to charge them? Are they affordable? Do they just trade one environmental problem for another? Are they more dangerous to drive? I’ve found out that a lot of what we hear is exaggerated or just untrue. My husband and I bought an electric vehicle a year ago. We spent a fair amount of time researching EVs and talking to people who have them. We settled on a Chevy B...

  • People from our Past - William Andrews Clark Jr.

    Tom Browder, Seeley Lake Historical Society|Jun 6, 2024

    If you studied Montana history in the eighth grade many years ago, you read about the Copper Kings: Marcus Daly, William A. Clark and Augustus Heinze — the one we never remember. Clark, born in 1839, came west to work in the mining camps, ran a freight business from Salt Lake City to Montana and became a banker in Deer Lodge. In this latter role he foreclosed on mining claims in the Butte area, just when electrification in major cities back east created a huge demand for copper. Once he went off to Washington D.C. to serve in the U.S. Senate ...

  • Please vote for me

    Alan Muskett MD|May 30, 2024

    Greetings from the Chesapeake Bay. We have been working our way up through Virginia, now Maryland, through the lands of earliest English exploration, American Revolution, Civil War and other scrimmages/wars/skullduggery that created this country. Last week we visited the very battlefield at Yorktown, where English General Cornwallis blew a fourth quarter lead and surrendered to George Washington. All this history has filled me with patriotic fervor, a desire to give back to honor all the...

  • Forestry rooted in Montana

    Missoula Chapter Society of American Foresters|May 30, 2024

    Montanans appreciate our locally grown food, from vegetables to huckleberries, raw honey and grass-fed beef. Can we say the same about our wood products? By supporting the forest industry in Montana, you are ensuring that wood products are coming from forests managed with some of the most stringent environmental laws in the world. The Missoula Chapter of the Society of American Foresters (SAF) supports investment in our local forest products industry. Montana’s identity is rooted in our forests. Sustaining the capacity for active forest m...

  • Seeley Lake Historical Society - Memorial Day Open House 2024

    Tom Browder, Seeley Lake Historical Society|May 23, 2024

    Memorial Day, when we honor those members of our armed forces who died while serving their country, has a long history. Once known as Decoration Day, it was first celebrated in 1868. Although it has been in existence for 156 years, it has only been since 1971 that the holiday has been observed on the last Monday in May. Before that, Memorial Day always fell on May 30. This year, we encourage everyone to join the ceremony on Monday, May 27 at 11 a.m., at the Seeley Lake Veterans Memorial Garden....

  • Getting outdoors has measurable health benefits

    Dr. JoDean Nicolette MD|May 23, 2024

    Your feet hit the dirt and the sound of cars is replaced by the call of a yellow warbler. The majestic trunks of Nordic pine and Tamarack shield you from the concrete. You smell the Ponderosas and let the huckleberry leaves brush your legs. Exhale and relax. It feels great, and it is. Most of us know that getting out into nature is beneficial, whether it's exercise, clean air, vitamin D production, or simply taking a break from our frenetic daily lives. Science has discovered that visiting a...

  • Blackfoot Challenge summer stewardship happenings

    Jennifer Schoonen, Blackfoot Challenge Director of Communications and Fund Development|May 23, 2024

    Summer brings the field season for Blackfoot Challenge program staff - teaming up with landowners, state and federal partners and fellow conservation organizations to make hay while the sun shines. From new electric fences to piles of biochar, here are a few updates on Blackfoot community stewardship work happening around the watershed. Education In spring and fall, school-based education events are in full swing. In May, Challenge staff took part in an all-day bear-aware event for Seeley Lake...

  • Please don't ground me

    Alan Muskett MD|May 16, 2024

    When we started this boat trip around the Eastern United States, we kept hearing about Bob423. It seemed odd that a group of retired boomers, who seem to have a bottomless appetite for classic rock (one more rendition of "Margaritaville" in a seaside restaurant and my cranium will fragment like a grenade) would be so devoted to a rapper. Turns out that Bob423 is not a rapper, but a 70-ish retired engineer who looks like your high school civics teacher. His retirement passion has been to cruise t...

  • Missoula Aging Services Resource Center in Seeley-Swan offers tips and support to save money

    Allison Strekal, MAS Development Director|May 16, 2024

    The Missoula Aging Services (MAS) Resource Center in Seeley Lake serves older adults in the community in various ways. This includes in-home needs assessments, consultations for families and neighbors caring for older adults, information about Meals on Wheels and community lunches, Medicare and Medicaid resources, volunteer opportunities and more. But did you know your local Resource Center can also help find ways to make your money go further in 2024? Located in the Seeley Lake Community Foundation building (3150 MT-83 N, Seeley Lake, MT 59868...

  • Alpine Artisans' Open Book Club presents Brad Orsted reading from Through the Wilderness

    Alpine Artisans|May 16, 2024

    When Brad Orsted's 15-month-old daughter, Marley, died mysteriously at the home of Brad's mother, he descended into madness. Blaming himself, he plunged into an abyss of grief, guilt and self-recrimination fueled by prescription drugs and alcohol. He planned his suicide as his wife, Stacey, searched for a new beginning. She finally found a job in Yellowstone National Park, and with their daughters Mazzy and Chloe, the pair fled Michigan, looking for refuge and redemption in the 2.2 million...

  • High Water Chronicles 2024, Vol. 1 - safety afloat

    Chuck Stranahan|May 16, 2024

    Safety any time you're on the water begins with preparation. For the wading angler this means gearing up for safety (and comfort) before going out. Comfort, you say? If you're miserable it follows that you might put yourself in danger. Getting chilled in a sudden downpour might not lead to hypothermia, but why take the chance? Slick-soled sandals or running shoes instead of purpose-built wading footwear? I've done it and survived the falls, but I've outgrown that silliness and don't recommend...

  • New color printer, copier coming soon

    Carrie Benton, Seeley Lake Librarian|May 9, 2024

    The Blackfoot Communications Board of Trustees is awarding the Seeley Lake Branch Library $1,000 toward the purchase of a new color copier/printer. The machine will also have faxing capabilities. Thank you to everyone who shared with me about this desired resource for our community. Please note there will likely be an increase in printing fees (currently 10 cents a page) to account for the higher cost of colored ink. The public will be kept informed as to when it is ready for use and any...

  • Boy Scout (and river safety) motto - be prepared

    Chuck Stranahan|May 9, 2024

    Safety begins with preparation. When you wade fish in streams, be they big rivers or small creeks, you stalk your fish. That usually means getting into the water, staying at angles where you are concealed, and positioning yourself away from swift currents and slippery rocks as you prepare to make your first cast. Preparation begins with respecting the swift currents and staying out of them. That's not where the trout are anyway. They're along the edges of those currents. At any time of year,...

  • What happens when my ship comes in

    Alan Muskett MD|May 2, 2024

    Back when Ulysses Grant was President, my fiancé and I attended a - required by the church - weekend seminar called "Engagement Encounter." The idea was to improve the chances of marital success by having the couples engage in serious discussions about core issues - money, communication, in-laws, respect and so forth. We were posed questions that we answered in notebooks, then shared the answers with each other. Messages such as "please don't get fat," and "if you turn into a drunk my divorce...

  • People and places from our past, the Seeley-Swan role in Western Montana logging

    Tom Browder, Seeley Lake Historical Society|May 2, 2024

    We are learning a lot about how the timber industry has been such a key part of the Seeley-Swan Valley for over 100 years. Our forests provided logs for lumber, and our loggers and truckers have worked tirelessly to make these logs available for mills. Let’s take a look back and see what the timber industry was like during the boom years following the Second World War, and how our area was involved. Dr. Horace H. Koessler, owner of the Gordon Ranch, started a sawmill on the ranch in 1946, using local timber. The following year, along with s...

  • You never know - on the very next cast

    Chuck Stranahan|May 2, 2024

    Sometimes you just need to go fishing. You just need that time alone, time away from what doesn't give you peace. You might catch a trout or two but that doesn't really matter. The trout aren't what you're after. You need for your peace to return and know, when you fish, that you're connecting with something greater than yourself that will restore your peace. At other times it's about being with those rare people with whom you share a special bond - it's about strengthening the bond and...

  • Innovation in action: The Mobile Support Team

    Dr. James Quirk, Chief Medical Officer at Partnership Health Center|Apr 25, 2024

    The need for compassionate and effective approaches to mental health crisis intervention has never been more pressing. In Missoula, an innovative response to this need, The Mobile Support Team (MST), has emerged as a benchmark for mental health crisis interventions in our region. When someone in Missoula calls 911 with a concern about a behavioral health issue, the Missoula Mobile Support Team (MST) springs into action. Comprised of a licensed mental health clinician, an emergency medical technician (EMT) and a case facilitator, the MST...

  • It's not just a philosophy - catch, revive and release

    Chuck Stranahan|Apr 25, 2024

    What I see on too many YouTube videos makes me wince. Some of the trout, I'm sure, don't survive. Most of them probably make it, despite the rough handling they're subjected to. Wild trout are hearty creatures, but still, they're deserving of our respect. They deserve - and require, if they're to remain viable when subjected to natural stresses and unnatural fishing pressure - informed and responsible handling that will give them an optimal chance of survival. I've written comments in response...

  • Rock me like a hurricane

    Alan Muskett MD|Apr 18, 2024

    Greetings from Beaufort (Be-you-fert) South Carolina, where we are precariously tied to the very outside dock of a marina, which is perfectly aligned to allow us to fully experience the 1984 hit by the Scorpions entitled "Rock Me Like a Hurricane." It is not technically a hurricane, but when the toaster oven and the coffee maker become deadly projectiles, it seems that way. We have been cruising up the coast, from Key West now to Beaufort, soaking up the history and geography as well as soaking...

  • Cardiometabolic health - early prevention and diagnosis options

    Camilla Peterson MD|Apr 18, 2024

    Cardiac health and management of cardiac disease has been and remains a key focus in our healthcare with more than 50% of all healthcare monies directed toward diagnosis and treatment of cardiac disease. With more and more investment directed toward innovation for disease management, mainstream science is also seeing the emergence of high-end toolkits directed toward early diagnosis and front-end prevention. We now have the ability to utilize innovative imaging, wearable and laboratory testing technology to screen for early markers of...

  • March (Brown) madness in April and other spring flies

    Chuck Stranahan|Apr 18, 2024

    You see the same thing every year: on the Bitterroot, some anglers get so fixated on the skwala hatch that they forget everything else. Never mind, especially in a year like this one, that the hatch might sputter from day to day. The angler armed with the hot new skwala fly, or a proven old one, for that matter, might find himself out of luck. These big brown-olive stoneflies bring the big fish up when they're present. And when they're not, the fish might still come up for them. It's no wonder...

  • Taking care of the trout - Preserving our fisheries, part one

    Chuck Stranahan|Apr 11, 2024

    It's ultimately up to us to take care of our fisheries. Montana's Fish, Wildlife & Parks has a complex job to do, but when it comes to taking care of western Montana's fishery resources, the most critical jobs are in our hands - literally. I'm talking about how we handle trout. Last week I promised I'd write more about the best ways to do that. Catch and release fishing is an effective management tool for preserving and conserving wild trout fisheries. For some, it borders on a religious...

  • Seeley Lake Library April news

    Carrie Benton, Librarian|Apr 4, 2024

    Spring is in full swing. We’ve got plenty of books on gardening and venturing outdoors. New titles in both fiction and nonfiction are arriving this month. Now is the perfect time — with road construction season also in full swing — to check out a new book to have on hand as you wait at the stoplight around Salmon Lake. A local patron has donated various materials on brain injuries and brain health. Due to their own injury and subsequent experience of people not understanding, the patron did t...

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