Opinion / Pathfinder Editor


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  • Pathfinder welcomes a new editor

    Keely Larson, Editor|Feb 1, 2024

    I empathize with Mr. Jasper B. Seely and his brother, Elmer. People really like to add an extra “e” in my name, too. According to Cabin Fever: A Centennial Collection of Stories About the Seeley Lake Area, passed on to me from the Pathfinder’s most recent editor, Griffen Smith, the word “Seeley” gained an extra “e” on accident when a survey crew was renaming Clearwater Lake to Seeley Lake, in honor of the Seely family. Jasper became Seeley’s first forest ranger on what was then known as the Le...

  • Pathfinder editor to exit role this month

    Griffen Smith, Pathfinder Editor|Jan 11, 2024

    It is with a heavy heart that I announce I will be leaving the role as Pathfinder editor in the coming weeks. Seven months ago, I started the job wondering if anyone still read the newspaper, or if the days of local journalism had come to a close. I quickly realized that the local news is alive and well in Seeley Lake, because you, the reader, care. In my time as editor, I have seen concerts, heated meetings, infrastructure issues and the roar of the Seeley Swan High School gym during a good basketball game. It has been an honor to cover each...

  • Letter from the Editor

    Griffen Smith, Editor|Jun 29, 2023

    One of the most impactful things when I worked for the Pathfinder in 2020 was the sheer amount of public comment that I saw in the newspaper. Whether thanking a service member, or blasting a public official over Holland Lake Lodge, I know this community has deep-seeded opinions that often do not show up anywhere in print. That’s why I write to you, reader, to send your opinions in. Since I started two weeks ago, I have seen just one Seeley-based letter to the editor. In the past I recall almost 10 in a single issue. The opinions are i...

  • Op-Ed: A conflicted nature of legacy and memory

    Asa Thomas Metcalfe|Apr 20, 2023

    When I was seven years old, my great-grandmother died. I had been told that she was dying, so it wasn’t a sudden event and as my mother sat deeply into her squatting legs in the twilight morning and woke me so many hours before school, I knew what she was going to say. “Grandma Virginia is dead.” I rolled over and cried. I cried for the woman who taught me to crochet; for the frail woman in long dresses whom I remembered from summers in Oklahoma. I cried because I felt that I was supposed to. But the truth about Virginia Tally is more compl...

  • Anniversary gift from the past is still rest in the chaos

    Gwyneth Hyndman, Interim Editor|Dec 15, 2022

    Six years ago this month, my parents gifted John and I a wooden bowl as a wedding gift. It had been carved out of one of the eight walnut trees in the backyard I had grown up in, after they decided to cull the trees on the orchard our house had been built on back in the 70s. In the last few years the walnut bowl has lived in different spots around our home in Philipsburg. I haven't known exactly how to make use of it. Its ridges are as rough as the limbs my brother and I built tree forts on; it...

  • The beauty of winter is not lost when relaxing

    Gwyneth Hyndman, Interim Editor|Nov 24, 2022

    Our house is dark on this cold November night, and by the soft glow of cheap, supermarket candles I've lit along the bookshelves, I can watch the snow fall. Every year I forget how mesmerizing it is, to just lay on the couch and follow the slow, gentle descent of white flakes outside the windows, as Gabe the dog snores at my feet, an open book resting on my stomach. I have my husband's good bourbon, my kids' Halloween candy, and the final pages of our book club choice, Daisy Jones & The Six....

  • A few thoughts from the new old guy

    Vince Lovato, Editor|Nov 3, 2022

    Five weeks ago, I was semi-retired. On Monday, I put out my fourth issue of the Pathfinder with lots of help (the Bournes’) and lots of mistakes (mine). How did this happen...? Anyways, I have used Lovato at Large to talk directly to readers over the decades and I hope to put it to good use here. After about a month in this Shangi La (which is much like the rest of Western Montana), it’s time for me to reflect on a few things. and clarify others. • I am not the new owner. The paper is now owned by Ponderosa Publishing. I am just the edito...

  • Vaccination debate to continue

    Andi and Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder Editor and Publisher|Mar 10, 2022

    In reference to the pandemic, few things have sparked such emotional debate as masks and vaccinations. Our Letters to the Editor policy has not allowed national topics that have no possible local resolution to keep the Pathfinder’s content hyper-local. However, after much consideration, we are going to allow this vaccination debate to continue in the letters to the editor. While it is a national issue, we recognize that it affects each one of us locally when choosing whether or not to vaccinate ourselves and/or our children. The decision c...

  • Keeping letters local

    Nathan and Andi Bourne, Pathfinder Owners|Jul 22, 2021

    As a hyper local publication, we focus our energy on local news and stories to bring our readers a paper full of original content that can’t be found elsewhere. After much consideration we are going to extend that concept to our Letters to the Editor section. The Pathfinder will no longer print letters regarding national issues or politics that are not directly tied to local happenings. Our goal with the Letters to the Editor has always been to offer a public forum for our readers to discuss and debate issues and help shape our communities. W...

  • Exercise your right to know

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Mar 25, 2021

    Last week was Sunshine Week. It is a week spearheaded by the News Leaders Association to help the public understand the importance of open government and the dangers of excessive and unnecessary secrecy. As the name implies, the goal is to shed light on our government agencies and bring transparency to the people. Have you ever sat through a board meeting and wondered what the board was discussing? Have you ever wanted more information about an item listed on the agenda or document being discussed prior to the meeting so you better understand i...

  • Keeping it local for the holidays

    Andi and Nathan Bourne|Nov 12, 2020

    As the Holiday Season approaches, many of the annual events that our communities know and love are being cancelled due to the ongoing pandemic including Old West Christmas in Ovando, the Rich Ranch Community Appreciation Day, Christmas Comes Home in Potomac, the Seeley-Swan Mountain Bells concert and the Frostbite Festival in Condon. Even though crafters and artisans may have had ample time to produce their wares, the opportunities to sell them is also greatly diminished with the cancellation of most of the craft shows and holiday bazaars that...

  • Get mad, show up and build a better community

    Andi and Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder Editor and Publisher|Aug 20, 2020

    Ryan Craig, the editor and publisher of the Todd County Standard - a weekly newspaper in Elkton, Kentucky, ran a story encouraging farmers to attend a very important meeting on agricultural zoning. The future of farming could be changed at this meeting but the crowd at the meeting was sparse. The next morning at the local greasy spoon, Craig walked up to the table full of farmers and asked why they didn’t come to the meeting. Didn’t they know how important it was? One of the farmers stopped eating his eggs, looked up and said, “We didn’t go bec...

  • Protecting your freedom of speech

    Andi and Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder|May 21, 2020
    1

    We have had a lot of questions and criticism lately regarding our Letters to the Editor section. Readers have questioned why we are willing to “print lies,” “spread hate and discontent” and “further divide the community by printing such garbage.” The answer to this is simple for us - Letters to the editor are a vehicle to exercise freedom of speech. It is a platform we offer to EVERYONE whether we agree with it or not. First and foremost, letters to the editor are run in the opinion section of the paper because they are just that, someone’s t...

  • Candidates needed for elections

    Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder|Feb 6, 2020

    There is a lot riding on upcoming local elections with many opinions being shared on different sides of issues. However there is a lack of candidates. With nearly 30 positions up for election there is currently only eight candidates signed up. If there are not enough candidates most of these positions will be filled either through acclimation or the boards will have to try and find people to appoint to remaining vacancies. That is not a good thing as elections are critical in our system of government. Without elections, boards are often left to...

  • Pathfinder policy change

    Nathan and Andi Bourne, Pathfinder Editors|Oct 10, 2019

    In light of the issue raised by the Seeley Lake Water District the Pathfinder is changing its policy. Going forward, classifieds must contain contact information or the name of the submitting party to be run. This prevents opinion from being run without attribution and ensures that questions and concerns can be directed towards the responsible party. Nathan and Andi Bourne Pathfinder Editors...

  • Two weeks left to vote for the best

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|May 23, 2019

    We have a little over two weeks left of the Best of the Valleys voting, the votes are adding up. Make sure to cast your before June 8 so you will be counted. Winners will be announced in the July 4 issue! This is the third year we have sponsored the Best of the Valleys. Our 2017 intern Micah Drew proposed the idea, helped us create it and helped us produce the first “Best of the Valleys.” Our intent has been to help promote local businesses by encouraging people to visit area businesses, recognize those that rise to the top in a popular vote th...

  • A picture is worth a 1,000 words...

    Andi and Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder|Mar 28, 2019

    SEELEY LAKE – We’ve received a handful of comments regarding the editorial cartoon printed in the March 14 issue on page 2. We always appreciate constructive feedback – it helps us better serve our readers. First, the editorial cartoon was not the opinion of the paper. It was drawn, submitted, paid for and signed by S. Herbert, a Pathfinder subscriber. It represents the cartoonist’s opinion only. After several readers pointed out that typically editorial cartoons represent the opinion of the paper, we realized that while it appeared on the Opi...

  • Easier said than done...

    Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder|Nov 22, 2018

    It’s hard to be a small business owner let alone run a newspaper in a small town. In the last month and a half we have printed approximately 50 letters to the editor and ran dozens of political ads. A few of them have been complete nonsense but we print them just the same. Anyone who thinks we personally agree with all that we print is crazy. We don’t even agree with some of the articles we write and publish. However our job isn’t to judge and censor it from our readers. The Pathfinder is an open forum for everyone no matter which side their...

  • The gift that is helping change the world for those diagnosed with DIPG

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Nov 1, 2018

    Addy Trevino has made a huge impact on the Seeley Lake community. But as her parents know, Addy did not stop at touching lives in our community. Addy’s gift to cancer research is changing the world for families facing DIPG. I interviewed the Trevinos and Addy’s neuro-oncologist Dr. Nick Vitanza, known to the family as Dr. Nick, about the amazing gift Addy provided to cancer research. I had the opportunity to share this story at the Addy’s Celebration of Life Saturday, Oct. 27. Two months before Addy’s third birthday, she was diagnosed with Di...

  • What is news in Seeley Lake ?

    Andi and Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder|Aug 30, 2018

    Last week’s article “Petition calls for change” brought up strong emotions for many in the community and created significant discussion. We appreciate all of the dialogue we have had with concerned and even angry members of the community – you help make us better at what we do. However, because of the questions and attacks, we feel we need to offer a little more explanation. Contrary to several readers’ beliefs, the petition requesting the Lolo National Forest leadership to remove the current Seeley Lake District Ranger is not a small iss...

  • Sackett is the real deal

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Aug 2, 2018
    1

    After reading the article on Seeley Lake veteran James Sackett in the July 26 issue of the Pathfinder, some readers found it hard to believe he had earned seven Purple Hearts, two Silver Stars and one Bronze Star along with several other badges and medals during his 27-year career in the U.S. Marine Corps. Furthering the skepticism, it was printed his days as a Marine ended in 1984 yet he served in the Gulf War. The Pathfinder printed 1984 in error. Sackett retired in 1994 and did serve in the Gulf War. Regarding the medals, a 27-year Army...

  • 1,000 People in Our Seat

    Andi and Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder|Mar 15, 2018
    2

    SEELEY LAKE – We take our seat and flip on our recorder. Often the only "public" in the room, we represent more than 1,000 readers. Many of the local boards welcome us because our articles provides the public information about what they are doing while others would rather conduct their business without the publicity. But it's not about publicity, it's about sunshine. The week of March 11-17 is the 17th annual Sunshine Week. News outlets nationwide will promote the idea that democracy works only...

  • Questions Over Sewer Protest Procedures

    Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder|Nov 30, 2017
    1

    SEELEY LAKE - Since the start of the Seeley Lake Sewer District’s protest period I’ve received a handful of questions from landowners regarding the process. Generally speaking if we receive enough questions from people we look into it for an article because most likely there more people out there with the same questions. Normally that works great, we get peoples’ questions answered and move on. I put out an email with these questions to District Manager Greg Robertson but he has refused to answer any of them saying that if people want their que...

  • Rice Ridge Fire Impacts?

    Andi and Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder|Oct 5, 2017

    SEELEY LAKE – It is no secret that the Rice Ridge Fire took a huge toll on our community mentally, physically and economically. This also happened in 2007 during the Jocko Lakes Fire. Community members are quick to say the economic loss was in the millions with Highway 83 shut down for nearly two weeks and half of the area evacuated. However no one ever tried to quantify the impact. The Rice Ridge Fire added a whole new issue with the worst air quality ever reported in Missoula County. There were also lake closures and evacuations of more than...

  • Once a Firefighter, Always a Family

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Jul 27, 2017

    "Those are the fun ones," I thought to myself as I looked at the photo of the Florence Fire sent to the Pathfinder by pilot Scott Newpower the morning of July 19. Those small fires that were less than a couple acres were fun. I put in some long, hard hours of work with incredible folks for a day or two and then we went home and onto the next fire. I miss it...spending four summers as a firefighter on the Seeley Lake Ranger District and six additional seasons between Minnesota, Alaska and...

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