Author Archives: david

Prime Location

Heck of a location!

Heck of a location!

What should be built on the space currently occupied by this decrepit building? Wait, don’t tell me: a mattress store! Or a bank! Or a casino!

Kidding.

Actually, “what should be built there?” is not the right question.

The question is actually: Will the City of Great Falls force the owner to do something about it?

City officials will discuss this week a resolution which states that “…if the owner fails to abate said nuisance as ordered and within the time allowed, the City Staff is directed to take any and all steps necessary to abate the nuisance with all expenses to attach as a lien against the property.”

I agree that the building is pretty much an eyesore – and it has also sparked the imagination of many, many people over the years.

The location – right along the west bank of the Missouri River by the Central Avenue bridge – seems ideal for many ventures — a riverside restaurant, for instance, or perhaps an events center.

And when this news article was posted on KRTV, people weighed in with their answers to the first (but incorrect) question.

Among the suggestions:

Holly Gordon: Turn it into something so that the high schoolers and young adults have some else to do in this town.

Mamie Ann Webster Carter: This would make a beautiful restuarant, overlooking the river, patio for outside dining. Great Falls needs good restaurants with good service.

Desiree Boothe: I would love love love to see it be turned into a reception hall for weddings! I think it could be turned into a beautiful place! Especially since Great Falls has NOTHING like that in town.

Nikki Pearson: I wish there was a way to save this building.. It would make a great spaghetti factory! It’s a neat looking place but needs something done with it.

Zaeda Denae June: My mom always wanted to do kayak and bike rentals, a small arcade, smoothie/coffee bar and like an info center & little family fun area there. A little of everything for everyone.

Corey Hughes: I wish we had a comedy club here, its a nice spot though kinda limited parking if you planned something there. Curious what of will become.

Patty Kelly Morris: I thought maybe an ice/skating rink or a very nice steak house or sushi place

So there’s a sampling of what people think.

As for me: well, sure, it would be cool to have that spot used for something…cool.

But unless someone is willing to give me several million dollars to turn it into the coolest Starbucks / skating rink / art gallery /events center, the decision is up to Ken Holman, the owner of the property.

Crimestoppers (August 2016)

Tyler Valley nancy

Great Falls/Cascade County Crimestoppers has released the August 2016 “Most Wanted” list.

If you have information about the location of any of the people on the list, you’re asked to call the 24-hour Crimestoppers Hotline at 727-TIPS (8477).

If you believe that any of the information contained on the list is inaccurate, call the Cascade County Sheriff’s Office at 406-454-6820 Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Anyone who uses information contained in the list to commit a criminal act against someone else is subject to criminal prosecution.

Click here for the Crimestoppers page on Facebook.

(PS – you can meet Tipper, the adorable Crimestoppers mascot, on August 9th at Lions Park!)

TIpper the Crimestoppers mascot!

TIpper the Crimestoppers mascot!

Bison Day!

I got to feed bison!!!

I got to feed bison!!!

I recently had one of the most wonderful experiences of my life – I got to visit some bison!

Roy and Shellie have a small bison ranch near Great Falls, and they were kind enough to let us visit a few weeks ago.

The young bison are out front; they are about a year old. They absolutely *love* eating loaves of bread (from JJs bakery!). The smallest one is named Goliath, and he was a little bit shy.

Then we hopped into Roy and Shellie’s SUV and got to drive to the “back yard” where the adult bison live – and WOW.

The big fella is named Squirrel, and he is as majestic as you can imagine. There were a few calves, too – and no, we did not attempt to put one in the back of the SUV.

There was also one pregnant bison who kept her distance – she was due to have her baby any day.

HUGE THANK YOU to Roy and Shellie (and Kim and Andrea!) for letting us visit these beautiful bison!

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: Don’t forget – these are BISON, not BUFFALO. There is a difference.

Fire Evacs

Smoke from the fire, as seen from 2nd Street NE and 36th Avenue.

Smoke from the fire, as seen from 2nd Street NE and 36th Avenue.

Tuesday’s fire hit close to home – literally. For the first time that I can remember, there were some evacuations ordered in Great Falls.

People living on the extreme north side of Skyline neighborhood – along with residents of Countryside Village just a little to the east – were ordered to evacuate at about 6 p.m. last night, as the fire and smoke from a field fire got closer.

The fire, believed to have been sparked by farm equipment, started before noon several miles north of there, along Vinyard Road.

My house is only about six blocks away from the evacuated area, and while I was at work, my wife was watching scores of people driving past our house TOWARD the fire, despite warnings from GFPD, GFFR, and others to *not* go near the area.

The evacuation order was called off a few hours later, and thankfully the fire did not actually reach any of the houses.

And you know those “Safety Check-In” things that Facebook (and Google) sometimes activate after natural disasters or terrorist attacks? Apparently, Facebook automatically created one for “The Wildfire in Great Falls, Montana,” based (as far as I can tell) on the surge of people in the area using trigger words such as “fire” and “evacution.”

safetycheck

Here’s the article with more details + video of the fire.

Photos of the fire from KRTV friends:

14 Years!

Today marks 14 years since I arrived in Great Falls. I truly can not put into words how happy it makes me. A few months ago, at about 13 years + 8 month, this officially became the place where I have lived longer than anywhere else in my life (although that previous record was set during two periods in one hellish location).

As a military brat who then spent 20 years on active duty, “home” was never a tangible, concrete thing for me – I had a vague understanding of what it meant, and knew that other people had a “home,” but until I arrived in Great Falls, the true nature and feeling of “home” was something I honestly never thought I would feel.

If you know me, or have been checking out my blog over the years, you know how much I love Great Falls, and how I fell in love with this community literally within days of arriving.

I believe the first meal I had in Great Falls was at the Apple Mill Grill (in the mall parking lot); it became Fiesta En Jalisco a few years later. The next evening, I had Howard’s Pizza – ’nuff said.

Thank you so much, Great Falls and Montana, for being the only place that I have ever lived that truly feels like – and is – home.

Here is one of the very first photos I took after arriving in Great Falls (on a then-fancy 640x360px camera phone!).

bigsky

Please, Please

Hand-written sign posted above the urinals in an eatery – any guesses which one?

NOTE: do not let the sign discourage you – trust me, this place has the BEST BURGERS in Cascade County.
Also kick-ass French fries, and an internet-connected jukebox that lets me groove to my heart’s content.
PLUS super-friendly service. Seriously.

Yes, the sign is admittedly pretty yucky, but I ain’t picking places to eat based on the restrooms.

1-urinals

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