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 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    October 19, 2017 

Looking out my Backdoor: She's an angel - She's a devil

It is dangerous to invite a stranger into one’s home, one’s sanctuary. Can the guest be trusted to display simple rudimentary manners? What if we’re not compatible? What if our schedules...

 

Build Montana's workforce, build Montana's future

As communities across the nation work to recover from recent natural disasters, many are discovering that while they have plenty of rebuilding to do, they lack the manpower to do it. This circumstance comes as no surprise to the Montana...

 

Let the dead teach the living

Last Monday, the Havre Daily News published an article reporting a driver killed by a collision with a deer. As unfortunate as this death was, the article was a grim reminder of what is not published — the unreported causes of death in the Havre...

 

The Supreme Court may take a knee

Three decades ago, the U.S. Supreme Court probably settled the current controversy involving protests within the National Football League about freedom of speech. The recent public shakeup with some players “taking a knee” or “linking arms”...

 
 By Pam Burke    Opinion    October 13, 2017

View from the North 40: The universe's pre-Halloween scary vibe

The universe is getting a jump start on Halloween this year, and it’s doing a pretty good job of setting up a good creepy vibe. Let’s just jump right in with the spiders, the biting spiders. Huntsville, Alabama’s Fire and Rescue Station 17...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: Not my best day

Every day should be my best day! There I go, thinking I “should” be grateful and, truly, I am. However, “should” can take a hike into the out beyond and stay there. But my reality is that I...

 
 By Paul Dragu    Opinion    October 12, 2017

Getting to the top of the hill: a birthday column

When I was in my 20s I never thought about getting old. When you are young you will never be old. It’s not that I thought my edgy, action-packed, high-risk life would lead to early death. Although I had some close calls in my youth, I knew I...

 

Growing high-paying Montana jobs

Technology is the great equalizer. There’s no reason Missoula can’t compete with Silicon Valley and that’s the message we heard at the Montana High Tech Jobs Summit. On Monday, close to 700 Montanans came out to the University of Montana to tal...

 

It's time to start new chapter in health care

After nine months of debate over repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, it’s time to start a new chapter in the history of access to high quality and affordable health care. The ACA certainly isn’t perfect. A bipartisan Senate effort to...

 
 By Pam Burke    Opinion    October 6, 2017

View from the North 40: The real challenge surviving a power outage

A total of 44 hours without power starts out all fun and games, but after a while things get real, and nothing spoils the mood like real. The great winter storm of early autumn 2017 kicked into gear Monday, overwhelming our electricity with its...

 

Looking our my Backdoor: Day to day in the land of perpetual spring

October brings on the melancholia of autumn. Even here. I recently read an extensive political and economic history of Mexico. Early Spanish invaders called this area in which I live, the land of...

 

View from the North 40: An ongoing battle, no one is winning

Straight up front I have to say that I do not believe in the use of torture. Torture is inhumane. Torture is an ineffective tool in bringing about true change. And I believe that the pain inflicted with torture actually scars the spirit of the...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: A simple can of tuna fish

Are you safe? Are you in the earthquake zone? Did you feel the quakes? Is there flooding in your area? What about the hurricanes? Do they reach you? The volcano? What has reached me are the concerns...

 

Looking Out My Backdoor: Times when you wonder

Do you ever have times when you wonder who you are? I mean, you might be sitting under the cottonwood tree, perfectly content one moment; the next moment you feel like the essence of you is outside...

 

Wildfires, the smoking gun of western climate change?

As cooler temperatures and precipitation finally bring a hint of relief to smoke-weary Montanans, the unusual nature of summer 2017 is coming into focus and the influence of climate change is impossible to ignore. Extreme weather has no doubt been...

 

Cutting bone

Like Montanans across the state, each month my husband and I sit down at our kitchen table and balance our checkbook. We pay our bills, we look at our bank account, we readjust our budget, and we do our best to put aside money for the months and...

 

View from the North 40: And on the 319th day ...

Break out the second layer of clothes, dust off the galoshes, turn up the thermostat and take out the parka, we finally got rain, a cold first-of-the-fall dribbling soaker. I couldn’t be happier unless it was snow. I thought I’d go a lifetime wit...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: The seven deadly sins?

“Can you name the seven deadly sins?” she asked. I lay on Bonnie’s table, my body full of acupuncture needles. “I hope there is no wrong answer,” I countered, considering my vulnerable...

 

Big Sandy: Small school, big potential

Times are changing, people are changing, our education system is changing, but we are learning and growing right along with it. As members of the student body at Big Sandy High School, in a dual-credit education class, we took it upon ourselves to...

 

The choice: Either we manage the forests or they will manage us

Montana’s crisis isn’t too much water or hurricanes — it’s fire. It’s smoke filling Big Sky Country and filling our lungs, communities being evacuated, structures lost and tons of fuels just lying on the forest floor waiting for a spark to...

 
 By Pam Burke    Opinion    September 8, 2017

View from the North 40: Just leave the prima donnas at home

All I’m saying is that it’s a good thing it’s not against the law — legally, biblically or otherwise — to covet thy neighbor’s horse, or I would’ve been busted last week — thrown in the hoosegow, tossed out the pearly gates or otherwi...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: Tequila lifts her skirts

Sunshine! After a solid week of all-day, all-night rain, the sun shines. Tropical Storm Lidia whooshed unrelenting rainclouds our way before veering off with a huff into the Pacific, energy dissipated...

 
 By Pam Burke    Opinion    September 1, 2017

View from the North 40: The need to gather what is mine

In the face of impending doom, my instinct is to collect up everyone precious to me, like a hen gathering chicks or me filling my plate with my 20 favorite treats in a dessert bar. Mine. Mine. Mine. You are all mine. Come here to me. At the first rep...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: It's a 'fur' piece

From there to here. I’m not sure what sparked my curiosity, but from Havre in Montana to Etzatlan in Jalisco, Mexico, the distance is 2449.9 miles. That mileage does not take into consideration any...

 

Both parties war-torn, increasingly feeble

My dad’s grandmother lived more than 80 years, and never voted for a Democrat. On the porch of her farmhouse near Independence, Iowa, in election year 1928 she told him why: “The Democrats killed two of my brothers.” They were on her porch 63...

 

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