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An IR View: New Townsend clinic, memorial nature trail, fake mask exempt cards

An IR View: New Townsend clinic, memorial nature trail, fake mask exempt cards

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Congratulations to St. Peter's Health for opening its $2 million medical clinic in Townsend.

The new clinic has six exam rooms, as well as an EKG and new X-ray machines. The staff at the clinic includes a physician assistant, a registered nurse, an X-ray technician and a medical assistant, along with specialists such as a urologist and surgeon who visit once a month.

St. Peter’s was the primary health-care provider for many in the Townsend area even before it opened the new clinic, which will save them many trips to Helena and streamline referrals for those who need to see a specialist.

This will be a tremendous resource for Townsend, and we hope to see similar projects in other rural communities St. Peter's serves.

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What better way to honor the life of a Helena birding legend than with a nature trail dedicated to her memory?

After a trail at Spring Meadow Lake State Park was taken over by underbrush, the Last Chance Audubon Society raised funds and secured grant dollars to rebuild the pathway as a tribute to the late Jane Schull Beasley. An avid nature lover and artist, Beasley opened the popular downtown store Birds and Beasleys in 1993 and hosted a backyard birding radio show for nearly 20 years before her death.

The restored trail begins at Montana Wild and passes through the willows on the south side of the park. It is a great place to look for the 170 to 180 different species of birds that have been identified at Spring Meadow, and we’re sure Beasley would have loved it.

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Although Montana’s face-covering mandate includes an exception for those with a legitimate medical condition that makes wearing a mask unsafe, officials are warning about fake mask exemption cards circulating in some parts of the country.

Some of the cards claim that wearing a face mask poses physical or mental risks and threaten to levy fines of $75,000 if any questions are asked. They use the Department of Justice’s official seal and cite the Americans with Disabilities Act, but both federal agencies warned that they have not issued and do not endorse the fraudulent cards.

Montana’s mask order also includes exemptions for people who are eating or drinking, participating in strenuous exercise or swimming, communicating with the hearing-impaired or engaging in a live performance, and no exemption card is required.

Don’t be duped by those trying to convince you otherwise.

This is the opinion of the Independent Record editorial board. 



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As open-government advocates throughout the nation were preparing for this week’s celebration of access to public information, some members of Helena’s governing body were robbing the public and their peers of their constitutional right to observe and participate in a decision-making process that will reverberate for years to come.

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