Big Sky school levies pass

By Amanda Eggert EBS Senior Editor

BIG SKY – Voters in the Big Sky School District approved a $110,110 general fund levy and a $541,730 five-year building reserve levy on May 2.

The general fund levy will be used for operating expenses and district maintenance, including additional staffing for the 2017-2018 school year. Big Sky School District Superintendant Dustin Shipman said the administration is looking to hire three teachers to split classes nearing state-mandated maximum enrollments, as well as a special education teacher.

“We’re thrilled,” said Big Sky School District Superintendant Dustin Shipman. “I think it speaks volumes about how the community values education and what we’re doing.”

The measure passed with 358 individuals voting for it and 294 opposed. With 652 responses of the 1,809 ballots mailed, voter participation was somewhat low in this election at 36 percent.

The building reserve levy will replace the current five-year levy, which is expiring this year. It will provide $108,346 of funding per year, for five years, to fund facility maintenance and repairs, grounds maintenance and improvements, and equipment upgrades.

Specific projects identified for the funds include the installation of updated Internet cable and wiring throughout the high school, refurbishing parking lot asphalt and markings, security upgrades to exterior doors and carpet replacement at the high school gym entrance.

Stacy Ossorio will join the Big Sky School District Board as a trustee. Ossorio, a local real estate broker, was the only person who filed for the position and she’ll take the school board seat that’s being vacated by Maggie Luchini.

Streamflow forecasts above average for spring and summer

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

After low flows in some of Montana’s rivers last summer caused issues for irrigators, anglers and recreationists, the spring and summer runoff this year looks to yield above average streamflows, according to snowpack data released by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Snowpack across the state is above normal for May 1 in all but a few sub-basins.

“Last month there was some concern over the lack of snowpack in some basins east of the Divide that provide irrigation and municipal drinking water, but April provided relief via abundant mountain snowfall and valley precipitation,” said Lucas Zukiewicz, a Bozeman-based NRCS water supply specialist.

“Delayed onset of snowmelt generally provides more efficient runoff and helps to keep the water in the mountains until it is needed to sustain streamflows later in the summer,” Zukiewicz said. “Over the last three years there has been early runoff of the seasonal snowpack, which has led to below average flows later in the season.”

As of May 1, the snow water equivalent—more commonly referred to as the snowpack—for the Gallatin River Basin is at 110 percent of normal and 124 percent of last year. The Upper Yellowstone River Basin is at 137 percent of normal and 180 percent of last year.

Precipitation for these basins as of the first of the month are:

Gallatin River Basin: 154 monthly percent of average and 132 water year percent of average.
Upper Yelllowstone River Basin: 140 monthly percent of average and 145 water year percent of average.
Monthly Water Supply Outlook Reports can be found at nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/mt/snow/waterproducts/basin.

Anime film club meets weekly in Big Sky

EBS STAFF

The newly established Lone Peak Anime Club will study the Japanese culture by watching and discussing anime—Japanese animated movies—each week in the theater room at Luminous Audio and Video. Every Wednesday at 6 p.m. community members of all ages are invited to join the club in watching a selection from Kinga Wilson’s own anime collection.

Wilson established the club to study and learn about the impact of Japanese culture on Americans by way of cartoons. After each showing the group will discuss the ramifications of anime, looking at cultural references and impressions.

“I don’t just want them to look at [the movie] and say ‘that was a great movie,’ I want them to know why it was a great movie,” Wilson said.

The club will also learn Japanese phrases and will watch anime in both Japanese and English. By watching a film in the original language, as well as in English, viewers are able to understand cultural references. Something funny in Japanese, Wilson said, may not be as funny translated to English because there are cultural differences.

The first anime viewing was April 19, but each week the club watches a new movie and has new discussions. To start, Wilson will be showing Hayao Miyazaki movies, and she says movie selection will always be based on the age group in attendance.

To learn more about Lone Peak Anime Club look for the group on Facebook.

Annual Celebrity Golf Tournament set for July 9-10

BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS OF GALLATIN COUNTY 

Soon it will be time to tee it up again for the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Gallatin County’s 16th annual Celebrity Golf Tournament, which will take place July 9-10. 

Confirmed celebrity players include former NFL players LeRoy Irvin and Tom Newberry; NFL coaches Jeff Fisher and his son Brandon; Chris Kirkpatrick, a founding member of the pop music group NSYNC; Paul Goodloe, a meteorologist for The Weather Channel; famed Western artist Tom Gilleon; Mike Van Diest, head football coach at Carroll College; and coaches and staff from the Montana State University Bobcat Athletics association.    

The event is open to the public by invitation and will kick off with a cocktail party at 7 p.m. on Sunday, July 9, at Big Sky Resort’s Summit Hotel. Guests will enjoy hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar and live music by Mike Haring. 

Guests can bid on silent and live auction items to benefit the Big Sky branch of BBBS of Gallatin Valley. The live auction will start at 8:30 p.m. on Sunday. Items to be auctioned off include an autographed painting by Gilleon, and a package donated by Boyne Resorts that includes an all-expenses-paid trip to Mexico, a luxurious Big Sky dining experience for eight, and a Big Sky Resort ski valet and “rock star parking.”

The celebrity golf tournament will begin at 11 a.m. on Monday, July 10. Registration starts at the Big Sky Resort Golf Course at 9 a.m. Lunch will be provided and the day will conclude with an awards ceremony and reception at the Bunker Bar & Grill.

Space in the tournament is still available. To register or find out more about BBBS, call (406) 587-1216 or visit bbbs-gc.org. The event committee is calling for silent auction items from area businesses. To donate to the silent auction, contact Jolene Clark at (406) 855-6544.