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Some days (I'm) more crazy than others

Q: Does that mean I’m crazier some days than others or does it mean that I’m crazier than other people? A: Yes I dread to tell this story on myself. I could keep it secret. I’m committed to...

 

Hopefully Legislature can find compromise that will help everyone

I had planned a follow-up on the fun times Judy and I have had in the last little bit. But, as you have heard and read, Montana’s Governor has called for a Special Session, which is set to start Nov. 14. The scope he proposed is limited to what was...

 

"Great American Smokeout: It's never too late to quit

The average adult takes 15 to 20 breaths a minute — more than 20,000 per day, according to the American Lung Association. Healthy lungs are important to deliver clean air to our bodies’ organs and tissues, which convert oxygen into fuel to...

 

Legislators must cut bureaucracy costs

Hello constituents of Montana Semate District 17, from your state capitol in Helena. The special session, called by the Governor, of the 65th Legislature will begin on Tuesday, Nov. 14. Our local papers will be printed after this letter was written....

 
 By Pam Burke    Opinion    November 10, 2017

View from the North 40 - One person's felony incident …

Andrea Schmunk, a 28-year-old mother in Wisconsin, has been arrested on a felony charge of recklessly endangering safety after she allegedly used her 9-year-old son to help weigh down a plastic pool she had strapped to the top of a minivan. Yes, the...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: Some like it hot

I’m not sure when that vague wisp of an idea began to seem do-able. What I can tell you with certainty, though, is that once “vague wisp” grows to “might be do-able” and then morphs into “...

 

On the road and at home, public education rules Montana's economy

I know it. Most Montanans know it. At its core, the strength of Montana’s economy and our way of life relies on the power of a strong public education system. Nowhere is that more clear than on a road trip in Montana. Here is my most recent road...

 

Budget cuts are not healthy for Montana

In recent years, how we deliver and receive health care in Montana has been transformed. You may not see this if you don’t use a lot of medical care, but, it is happening every day in hospitals and doctors’ offices around our state. As a result,...

 

Urge Congress to keep program that boosts Montana economy

Many of us are keeping an eye on tax reform legislation and considering how federal changes could impact our livelihoods here at home. I want to help make Montanans aware of one federal program that has been working under the radar for the past 10 ye...

 

Honoring our veterans

One of the greatest privileges of serving Montana in Washington, D.C., has been hearing the most admirable stories of Montanans who have fought for our nation all across the globe. Dr. Joseph Medicine Crow served as an Army scout during WWII and...

 

FCC policy limits opportunities for rural broadband

The benefits promised by technology have always lagged a bit behind in rural America. While most urban areas have a profusion of choices for broadband access, people in many parts of Montana are lucky if they have even a single option for high-speed...

 

Johnson broke the barriers of her time

In this troublesome era of anger, violence and blame, it's well to look back to a kinder time, and the good and heart-warming story of a remarkable Montana character. Dorothy Johnson grew up in...

 
 By Pam Burke    Opinion    November 3, 2017

The team is one good man down

I am drawn to useful people, and somewhere along the line I realized that it’s as if — on some subconscious level — my brain is working to assemble a zombie apocalypse team. A team that could save the world. If it comes that we survive fire...

 

State needs to fix budget for economic health of Montana

The Montana Economic Developers Association, representing professional economic and community development practitioners across Montana, is deeply concerned about Montana’s biennial budget situation. Our concerns are diverse, but center around the...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: Some things stay the same

Back when I was young and filled with angst and drama, certain my life would end if I didn’t get what I wanted or if the heartache of the day didn’t cease or if I thought you looked at me...

 

Eliminating Big Sky Rx is bad medicine

With a looming budget crisis, state leaders are proposing deep budget cuts, which could result in a significant loss of funding for senior services.  Not only are programs like hospice and home care services in jeopardy, but Big Sky Rx is on the...

 

Senator vacations in Germany

I would like to give an update on what has been happening in my life. As you know, I was appointed to the Senate last December and spent the next four months in Helena at session. A retirement trip for January that I planned had to be put on hold....

 
 By Pam Burke    Opinion    October 27, 2017

View from the North 40: I'm definitely not sugar-coating this one

Sugar is evil, the article said. Give up the nectar of Satan, the research told me. Feel like you have an alert, newly minted brain, the health food zealots said. What fresh level of hell is this, my body is asking. I’m old enough to be born in...

 

Budget cuts will devastate Indian Country

As Montanans, American Indians, and members of the Montana Legislature, we share the frustration of people all across Montana. As the potentially devastating effects of these cuts have become clear over the past few weeks, Montana’s elected...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: The importance of negative space

Many years ago, I took oil painting classes with Julanne Campbell in Suquamish, Washington. I like everything about painting. Oil painting, water colors, painting the walls of my house. I like the...

 

October is Head Start Awareness Month

Dear Montana Head Start Programs: I am pleased to recognize October 2017 as “Head Start Awareness Month” in the state of Montana. I believe it takes a village to raise a child and we should recognize Head Start’s critically important work for...

 
 By Pam Burke    Opinion    October 20, 2017

View from the North 40: A video menagerie of glassworks: My obsession

I didn’t expect to become obsessed with glass-making videos, yet here I am spending several hours a week watching Youtube videos of the folks at the Corning Museum of Glass make the most beautiful glassworks. Just this morning I watched one of...

 

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...

 

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