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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Valley News at a Glance

Second Lone Rock town meeting held

Call for artists

Horse Welfare Council to meet

Second Lone Rock town meeting held

On Thursday, January 27 the Lone Rock Town Meeting II was held at the Lone Rock School. This meeting was the second of a series of meetings to bring together the members of the Lone Rock Community to seek out common goals and directions for the school and the community at large.

The first town meeting in mid-January revealed hundreds of ideas about what steps to take to move forward. At last Thursdayıs meeting the community took on ideas for improving education in the community and ideas for utilizing the talented people all across the district. This meeting also included short introductions by Lone Rock Board of Trustees members Dan Metully and Gary Leese.

Metully began the meeting with the idea that the Montana Digital Academy, a new program that offers a wide range of classes to Montanaıs high school and home school students, could possibly be offered to local citizens who wanted to learn a language, improve their computer skills or choose from a wide range of classes that are offered. Metully also brought the local residents up to date on their tax payments and the good news that the wing of the elementary school that was built in 1992 will be paid off next year. When this debt is retired, people with a home in the district worth $100,000 will stop paying $6.00 per month for building projects and instead pay about $3.00 per month for the debt only on the middle school.

Trustee Gary Leese updated the community on the fact that the school had saved $104,000 over the past five years to improve the septic system and to pave the parking lot. He asked those present for their opinions about whether the school should move forward with this project, sighting that costs should be lower due to a slowdown in the economy and lower construction costs.

The top action ideas that came forth from the community dialog regarding education in the Lone Rock Community included: new gym with stage, locker room and a senior citizen exercise facility; provide more Title I classes so there are smaller classes; increase middle school programs, activities and electives; add a research based elementary reading program; provide more video technology and online courses; maintain Lone Rockıs independence as an individual school district; and maintain high quality education in small classes.

The top action ideas that came forth from the community dialog regarding the people/human resources of Lone Rock were: tap into retired volunteers; increase community awareness with publicity; share community talents/expertise with our youth/adults; connect volunteers to service projects; offer teen activities; establish a community coordinator through Americorp; and have one or two large community gatherings (picnics, events) to bring in new people.

Another meeting is planned to look at the community input about groups, organizations, economics, values and the benefits of the location of Lone Rock. The school will notify the public when the next meeting will be held.

-Submitted by David Cluff

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Call for artists

Artists Along The Bitterroot will hold their annual juried studio tour June 3-5, 2011. Any artist or artisan living in Ravalli County is welcome to submit. For applications and more information visit the website or call 406-381 7898. Application deadline is Feb. 20th.

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Horse Welfare Council to meet

Horse owners from throughout Montana will gather to discuss the welfare of horses in our state on Saturday, February 19 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Humane Society of Western Montana, 5930 Highway 93 South in Missoula.

The new Montana Horse Welfare Council has begun addressing issues facing many Montana horses and their owners, including veterinary care, feeding and equine cruelty investigation, in addition to related issues. Council project manager Kathy Luedtke of Stevensville said, "Horse welfare councils across the nation are addressing a wide range of issues. We address issues particular to Montana. One goal is to find ways to help horse owners in financial crisis who are having difficulty caring for and feeding their horses. The council offers unique opportunities for people to get involved and make a tangible difference for horse welfare. With meeting locations moving across the state, we hope for a constant flow of new participants and their ideas."

Tax deductible donations can be made to the Montana Horse Welfare Council. If you are interested in donating, contact the Council's treasurer, Susan Favro, (406-864-8000).

Everyone is invited to attend the Council's February 19th meeting in Missoula. Lunch is brown bag.

Meetings are open to the general public. Participants are encouraged to share their ideas on life-saving methods to help horses and actively participate in this effort. The topic of horse slaughter will not be discussed at council meetings.

Montana's Horse Welfare Council invites all Montanans to participate. For more information, contact any of the meeting organizers:

Jane Heath, Montana Horse Sanctuary, (406) 264-5300
Wendy Hergenraeder, Humane Society of the United States, (406) 633-0689
Kathy Luedtke, Montana Grassroots Horse Coalition, (406) 396-8758.

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