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November 21, 2018

November 11, 2018 East Helena Veterans Day Parade and Ceremony at Main Street Park

(Click on small photos to see Full Size)

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FALL FEST & APPLE PRESS

East Helena Food & Culture Hub ~ Saturday, October 20, 2018

Click on images to see full size!

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Main Street Park,

East Helena, Montana

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PRICKLY PEAR ELEMENTARY IS OFFICIALLY OPEN! 

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the opening of Prickly Pear Elementary on August 27, 2018:
Attendees included: Ron Whitmoyer, Superintendent ~ Scott Walter, School Board Chairman ~ Steve Bullock, Governor ~ Mike Cooney, Lieutenant Governor ~ Scott Walter, School Board Chair ~ Jill Miller, Prickly Pear Elementary Principal ~ James Schell, East Helena Mayor

This is the final image in the series for the photo-essay: 
Prickly Pear Elementary Construction
started on June 1, 2017

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Please remember that vehicles must be parked parallel with the edge of the roadway headed in the direction of traffic.
No angle or straight in parking is permitted without City Council approval and designated angle parking signage. Double parking is not allowed.

Click this link to read related “Method of Parking” City Code.

Please click this link to view the East Helena website “Public Notices” page for upcoming Public Meetings on changes to existing City Code or call City Hall at 227-5321 for more information.

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J4 Automotive Update for 2018

Kit and Vi Johnson started J4 Automotive over 22 years ago in 1994 with an SBA loan, some help from family members and a lot of prayers. Fast forward to today and we find the shop doing close to 1 million dollars in gross sales and still family owned and operated. The second generation of Johnson’s are now working in the business, with Kit and Vi’s daughter Nikita and her husband Chris carrying on the strong tradition of outstanding automotive repair and service and giving back to our community. The third generation of Johnson’s (the grand kids shown sitting with Viola) are growing up in the shop just like their mothers did and will most likely continue the family tradition well into the future.

J4 Automotive’s mission statement stresses community service, which they do a lot of. The yellow veterans ribbons, the kids activity tent in the Christmas stroll, sponsor of the spring school clean-up, the Halloween movie in the park and Frite-night are but some of the events Kit and Vi and the J4 Crew organize and participate in. Their experienced staff of seven, including three Master Mechanics, fix all makes and models of vehicles and are the recipient of many awards. The National Technician of the Year, and the Helena Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year are just a few examples of their commitment to excellence.

J4 Automotive is a Better Business Bureau A+ rated member, AAA Top Shop and NAPA AutoCare center that enjoys a 5 star Google and Yelp rating. Give them a call next time you need advice or maintenance and repair on your vehicle and use their convenient pick-up service while you work! 227-8622 or make an appointment on line at j4 Automotive.com.

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Sales of my artwork and art books on the ETSY Art/Craft website 
help support Prickly Pear Junction “CLOUD”.
Click on a book cover to see it on ETSY!

Click on this cover to view my book: “Step by Step: How to Cover Bottles With Fine Macramé” on my ETSY Store.

Click on this cover to view my book: “Step By Step: How To Make a Macramé Lamp ” on my ETSY store!

Click on this cover to view my book: “Macrame: String Theory” on my ETSY store!

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METG ~ East Helena

The following photo essay is a record of the two year project to reconstruct the Prickly Pear Creek floodplain to reduce the contact of groundwater with contaminated soil.

METG ~ East Helena

Summer 2016 ~ Work begins

Slide #1

METG ~ East Helena

Summer 2016 ~ Work begins

Slide #2

METG ~ East Helena

Summer 2016 ~ Work begins

Slide #3

METG ~ East Helena

Summer 2016 ~ Work begins

Slide #4

METG ~ East Helena

Summer 2017
Wetlands in reconstructed Prickly Pear Creek floodplain

Slide #5

METG ~ East Helena

Summer 2017
Reconstructed Prickly Pear Creek floodplain

Slide #6

METG ~ East Helena

Summer 2017
Wetlands in reconstructed Prickly Pear Creek floodplain

Slide #7

METG ~ East Helena

Summer 2017
Wetlands in reconstructed Prickly Pear Creek floodplain

Slide #8

METG ~ East Helena

Summer 2017
Slag pile with wetlands on the right

Slide #9

METG ~ East Helena

Summer 2017
Wetlands in reconstructed Prickly Pear Creek floodplain – former Lower Lake area

Slide #10

METG ~ East Helena

Summer 2017
Reconstructed Prickly Pear Creek floodplain – north section

Slide #11

METG ~ East Helena

Summer 2017
Inlet structure for the reconstructed Prickly Pear Creek

Slide #12

METG ~ East Helena

Summer 2017
Reconstructed Prickly Pear Creek floodplain – south section

Slide #13

METG ~ East Helena

Summer 2017
Inlet structure for the reconstructed Prickly Pear Creek

Slide #14

METG ~ East Helena

Summer 2017
Inlet structure for the reconstructed Prickly Pear Creek

Slide #15

METG ~ East Helena

Summer 2017
Berm to bypass channel – allows water to enter the bypass channel in high flow events – protects newly planted vegetation

Slide #16

METG ~ East Helena

Summer 2017
Oxbow bend in the reconstructed Prickly Pear Creek floodplain

Slide #17

METG ~ East Helena

Summer 2017
Reconstructed Prickly Pear Creek floodplain

Slide #18

METG ~ East Helena

Summer 2017
Reconstructed Prickly Pear Creek floodplain – north section, shot from slag pile

Slide #19

METG ~ East Helena

Summer 2017
Reconstructed Prickly Pear Creek floodplain – north section, shot from slag pile

Slide #20

METG ~ East Helena

Summer 2017
Reconstructed Prickly Pear Creek floodplain – north section, shot from slag pile

Slide #21

METG ~ East Helena

Summer 2017
Reconstructed Prickly Pear Creek floodplain – north section, shot from slag pile

Slide #22

METG ~ East Helena

Summer 2017
Reconstructed Prickly Pear Creek floodplain – north section, shot from slag pile

Slide #23

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If you are relatively new to East Helena you may have wondered what those little yellow “ribbon” signs with names on them signify. You can see them on many power poles all over town. Recently I spoke with Kit Johnson (of J4 Automotive) and he told me this story:

Kit and Vi Johnson of J4 Automotive, having served our country as a veteran family of Desert Storm, wish to pay tribute to our fellow military members and families of the East Helena community. Kit and Vi have been granted permission from the City of East Helena and Northwestern Energy to attach yellow ribbons to the power poles that align Main Street in East Helena. These yellow ribbons pay tribute to the Men and Women of the East Helena community who so bravely serve our country and defend our freedom.
To qualify, the soldier must either be on active duty or a National Guard or Reservist who has been deployed for active duty. The ribbon will be removed in three years or when it has deteriorated due to weather or damage.

If you have more questions or want to nominate a soldier for this honor, please contact Kit or Vi at J4 Automotive, 227-8622.

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HIGH PLAINS SHEEPSKIN

Twenty three years ago I bought a building on Main Street in downtown East Helena for a practical reason: it was the closest commercial building to my house that I could afford. I had in mind to change the nature of my business from retail to mail-order and do away with most of the products I produced before and concentrate on making sheepskin footwear, slippers to be exact. It turned out to be a great decision because of something that I didn’t expect initially. What I didn’t know then was that East Helena is a truly great place to have a business.  I sure know it now, and it keeps getting reinforced. Downtown may only be a couple of blocks long but it has filled up with experienced businesses in for the long haul.  Most buildings have been upgraded and there are still a few vacancies offering opportunities for people with the next good idea.  There are several reasons that East Helena works out so well for an independent business. The business space is reasonably priced and still an easy distance from the population of the whole Helena area.

Access to banks, post office, and city services are a few things that are just down the street. The primary element that makes for a good location is intangible but East Helena has it in abundance: great neighbors – both in the business community and residents of the town. I could start listing the great neighbors, but I don’t want to play favorites or omit anyone. However I will single out one East Helena institution for special mention. We are a mail-order business and we ship out over two thousand packages a year. The East Helena Post Office is a local partner that we could hardly do without.   Don,  Dorrie, Staci and now Terry really go out of their way to streamline the process and get our goods into the postal stream as effortlessly as possible. I owe those folks a big thank you. HIGH PLAINS SHEEPSKIN was started in the cold, windy basins of southern Wyoming (hence the “HIGH PLAINS”) in 1975. My first shop was in Laramie, Wyoming. After 9 years there, we moved to Last Chance Gulch in Helena, Montana. In 1993 we moved a few miles down the road to our current location at 5 West Main in East Helena.  We are across the street from Dave and Annie’s Main Street Eats and Dr Aichlmayr’s Rocky Mountain Dental Clinic, we are next door to Stacks. This is our factory, warehouse, shipping center and retail outlet all rolled into one. Prior to starting High Plains, I had several years of experience in the tanning and industrial sheepskin business. In the tannery I worked as a sheepskin finisher and grader. As an apprentice under an old school Czech craftsman, I made sheepskin paint rollers, industrial applicators and saddle pads. This has always been a small business. Right now I work with Zach who hired on a few years ago; he is getting the hang of this work real fast. The two of us work all year to make the thousands of slippers, hats and mittens that we ship to all 50 states, Canada and overseas.

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Great Northern Carousel Helena, Montana, Photos: David George Hill http://davidhill.tv

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“KNOWN BUT TO GOD” The four graves in the East Helena Cemetery were marked with a brass star and four small plaques identifying those buried there only as “Unknown Soldier.” But this is now changed – in part because of misguided acts of some vandals. The East Helena VFW Post had a monument made in their honor which now marks the soldiers’ final resting place. The soldiers will no longer be buried in near obscurity, but they will remain a mystery. The star is marked with GAR and they could have fought in the Civil War or in the West’s Indian wars. The cemetery’s records do not go past beyond the 1920’s. So on Veteran’s Day, November 11, 1996 a very impressive “Unknown Soldier Dedication” was held to honor these veterans.”