Community briefs for March 7

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Tree trimming

Flathead Electric Co-op work crews are set to trim and, if necessary, remove trees growing too close to power lines within the FEC right-of-way in Whitefish. Trees growing near and into power lines can create public safety hazards, start fires and cause power outages. FECís tree trimming program is an industry best practice designed to prevent dangerous situations and ensure electric reliability.

FEC understands members value trees (as does FEC). Thatís why crews strive to find a balance between reliable power and healthy trees. All work will be completed by professionals who have been trained on safe, proper and environmentally responsible practices.

For more information regarding FECís tree trimming program, visit their website (flatheadelectric.com), where you can also learn more about how to plant the right tree in the right place to avoid conflicts with power lines.

FEC meeting

All Flathead Electric members (anyone who pays a bill to FEC) are invited to attend the Co-opís 81st Annual Membersí Meeting March 10 at Canvas Church, located at 255 Summit Ridge in Kalispell.

Registration and breakfast will begin at 8:30 a.m., followed by entertainment with local 1950ís Rock ní Roll band Zino and the Bel Aires at 9 a.m. The business meeting will get underway at 10 a.m. and adjourn by noon. Child care will be provided. Members in attendance will learn about the financial stability of the Co-op and Flathead Electricís continued focus on power supply, rates, growing technologies and more. They will also hear from those running for Board of Trustee positions.

There will be prize drawings for those in attendance, including the grand prize of a $500 energy bill credit. Four $500 scholarships will also be awarded to area high school seniors planning to enroll at an in-state college or university. To be eligible for scholarships, the studentsí parent or guardian must be a member of Flathead Electric and the student must be present at the meeting to win.

Staff and Trustees look forward to visiting with members at Flathead Electricís Annual Meeting, and to recognizing the Co-opís 81 years of service in our community.

Blood drive

The American Red Cross will host its next Whitefish Community Blood Drive on Thursday, March 15 at The Wave from 11 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Appointments are recommended and a blood donor card or a driver license is required at check-in. To schedule your appointment for March 15th, please call Jean at 406-862-4332 or go online to www.redcrossblood.org and search for blood drives in the 59937 zip code. Walk-in donors are welcome; however, there may be a short wait. It is suggested that you eat a hardy meal and drink plenty of water prior to giving blood. Snacks, water and juices will be provided for you at the blood drive.

Canvas & Cookies

Stumptown Art Studio is holding Canvas & Cookies for ages 7-13 on Friday, March 9 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. One Friday evening each month is set aside for young artists to have their own special time creating. Tickets $20 members/$25 not-yet members. For more information, call 406-862-5929 or visit www.stumptownartstudio.org.

Art Club

Stumptown Art Studio is holding the next Cultural and Art History Club on Tuesday, March 13 at 1:30-3 p.m. at National Park Realty. The club will discuss California painter, Phil Dike and naturally that could lead to more. Dike was a professor at Scripps College, Claremont, California between 1960-64. Many of the craftspeople and artists at this school were World War II veterans. Drop-in fee is $5 or free with an annual membership to the Stumptown Art Studio. For more information, call 406-862-5929 or visit www.stumptownartstudio.org.

Honor Band

The Flathead Valley Eighth Grade Honor Band Festival will take place in the Whitefish Performing Arts Center on Thursday, March 22 at 6:30 p.m. This yearís guest conductor will be Russ Newbury, a well-known figure in the band world and a graduate of Whitefish High School. Newbury recently composed a band piece specifically for this event titled ďGoing to the Sun.Ē The piece representing the historic building of the National Historic Landmark route through Glacier National Park. Top student musicians representing six area middle schools will have the opportunity to rehearse and perform under Newburyís baton during the festival. Bands will come from Kalispell Middle School, Libby Middle School, Stillwater Christian School, Columbia Falls Junior High School, Whitefish Middle School, and Bigfork Middle School.

Fire talk

The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation is hosting a panel discussion with local fire management land managers on Thursday, March 8 from 6-8 p.m. at Flathead Valley Community College in room AT139. Land managers from DNRC, Flathead National Forest, and Glacier National Park, as well as Stoltze Land and Lumber, and NW Montana Hazardous Fuels program will provide an opportunity for discussion and questions.

Choir

The Columbia Falls Community Choir is gearing up for itís annual concert. Concerts will be March 24 at 7 p.m. and March 25 at 2 p.m. in the Columbia Falls High School Little Theatre. The choir is under the direction of Steven Holte and accompanied by Dawn Hashley. Eighty-five adult voices combine to produce an amazing sound of music. Singers are from Columbia Falls, Whitefish, Kalispell, Coram, Bigfork and Olney. Guest accompanists include Jenny Krueger on piccolo and Wai Mizutani on violin. Admission is free, but a freewill offering will be taken.

Haskill Basin

The next meeting of the Haskill Basin Watershed Council has been scheduled on April 3 in the Riverside Plaza second floor conference room, 100 Second St. East, Whitefish, at 6 p.m. Enter from back of building on the second floor. For more information, contact Flathead Conservation District at 752-4220 or see the agenda posted on the website, www.flatheadcd.org.

Audubon Society

The Flathead Audubon Society will provide an informative and entertaining program on loons on Monday, March 12 from 7-9 p.m. at the Gateway West Community Room, US Highway 2 West in Kalispell. Chris Hammond, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Regional Nongame/Mitigation Biologist in Kalispell will discuss the history of Common Loon conservation in Montana and summarize research from the Montana Loon Study in the early 1990s and the Loon Ecology Project from 2002 to 2008. He will share the successes and what he believes to be potential failures, as well as what we may expect to see in the future. Hammond is responsible for survey, inventory, management, and conservation of primarily nongame wildlife species. He also works on mitigation projects that involve conservation easements, acquisitions, and habitat restoration. His undergraduate and graduate work focused on the ecology of common loons in northwest Montana. In 2010, with collaboration from members of the Common Loon Working Group, he completed the Conservation Plan for Common Loons in Montana. Hammond is currently a co-chair of the Montana Common Loon Working Group. The meeting is free and open to the public. For more information go to www.flatheadaudubon.org.

Tickets available for Mountainfilm

Tickets are now on sale for the Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundationís 2018 Mountainfilm on Tour, scheduled to stop in Whitefish on March 22.

This event will feature a number of short environmental and outdoor adventure films, as well as food, beverages and raffle prizes. Tickets cost $15 and proceeds benefit the Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation.

Online tickets may be purchased until Sunday, March 18 at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3224411. A $1.52 service fee will be added. They will be available for pickup in the Will Call line the night of the event. Organizers anticipate that a limited number of tickets will be available at the door.

To donate raffle prizes or volunteer, email trails@bmwf.org.

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