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 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    July 21, 2016

Looking Out My Back Door: Muck's a good thing - mud is just fine

And “the best things in life are dirty,” the gospel according to Ben Rumson (Lee Marvin) and Pardner (Clint Eastwood), words to live by from “Paint Your Wagon.” Amen. A lot of spiritual... Full story

 By Pam Burke    Opinion    July 15, 2016

View from the North 40: I swear yoga is for everyone

I started taking a yoga class for all the usual reasons: to work on strength, flexibility, balance, humiliation. Now, if I were writing this column strictly for my family to read, I could stop at... Full story

 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    July 14, 2016

Looking Out My Back Door: Oh no, don't let the rain come down

The lyrics, “Ah, ha, oh, no, don’t let the rain come down, my roof’s got a hole in it and I might drown” woke me as once more waters pounded my roof and the lake of run-off lapped against the... Full story

 Opinion    July 13, 2016

Guest column: Finding common ground – the Montana way

Now that the primaries are over, many folks are taking the temperature of Montana’s political climate. It feels “hot” or divisive, and many believe it will only get hotter as the political season advances. They may also agree that the November... Full story

 By Pam Burke    Opinion    July 8, 2016

View from the North 40: Leading edge of home decor

In pursuit of the perfect flooring for my some-day new-to-us home, considerable research and countless hours of analysis paralysis have led me to this: I’m bringing dirt floors back into fashion. Th...

 Opinion    July 8, 2016

Guest column: Havre band trip was a great experience

(Havre High School band member Amelia Beard wrote about the band’s recent trip to Washington, D.C.) The D.C. trip was amazing and the experience to march in the D.C. parade was absolutely outstanding. This is a memory I will never forget. This...

 Opinion    July 8, 2016

Guest column: Holocaust Museum tells incredible story

(Jessica Otto, a Havre High School band member, was impressed by her visit to the Holocaust Museum.) The most memorable part about Sunday was indefinitely the Holocaust Museum. At the beginning before you start the tour they give you a card asking...

 Opinion    July 6, 2016

Column: The feeling is just incredible

The Havre Daily News asked some members of the Havre High School Band to reflect on their trip to Washington over the Fourth of July holiday when they participated in the National Independence Day Parade. Band member Meggan Smith gave her thoughts...

 By Pam Burke    Opinion    July 1, 2016

View from the North 40:

The trouble with using sarcasm as your favorite communication device and then doubling down on that by writing a humor-based column is that it hurts your credibility. It’s not that people think...

 Opinion    June 30, 2016

Looking Out My Back Door: The birds, the bees and flush toilets

Every morning at first light a symphony of birds sings me awake. I don’t say it’s necessarily pretty birdsong. The New York Philharmonic it is not. But it is loud. And it is a mixture of voices of whatever birds are hanging out in this part of...

 Opinion    June 29, 2016

Guest column : Company is coming … Are we ready?

I love Havre in the spring and summer, and this year it’s so green and beautiful. A kind of new beginning. New calves in the field, robins and meadowlarks singing on the fences, budding trees, the spring and summer flowers are making their showing...

 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    June 23, 2016

Looking Out My Back Door: 100 degrees of solitude

“So, Sondra, why aren’t you married?” Bonnie questions my back. There I am, lying unclothed on a bed, needles poking all over me, getting an acupuncture treatment for sciatica and related...

 By Pam Burke    Opinion    June 17, 2016

View from the North 40: Lists aren't just for to-do

Something in the human mind loves lists: Top 5 businesses to work for and Top 5 not to work for; 10 most impressive acts of laziness in history; 24 things women over 30 shouldn’t wear; 24 things...

 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    June 16, 2016

Looking Out My Back Door: When a crisis isn't a crisis

Back when people first began using e-books, I guess that is what one calls them, my daughter, Shea, said, “Mom, you are such a voracious reader. You should get one of these. You’d like it.”...

 By Pam Burke    Opinion    June 10, 2016

View from the North 40: RIP week, long live next week

Tragedy has been stalking my household since last we met, and I feel beholden to offer my condolences during these sad times in which I am living. RIP my perfectly ergonomic computer mouse which has...

 Opinion    June 9, 2016

Looking Out My Back Door: Just when I wanted to forget, I remember

Sink? Swim? Tread water? — Jump in the deep end. I’m not much of a swimmer. Those who tried to teach me gave up. My first husband said if ever I was in trouble in the water, he’d swim the other way for fear I’d drag him under. That episode...

 By Pam Burke    Opinion    June 3, 2016

View from the North 40: Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker's man

Eleven kids aren’t that many. Any teacher would be happy to have that many kids in a classroom. A baker could make a regular dozen doughnuts and still have one left. So, yeah, 11 is nothing, unless...

 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    June 2, 2016

Looking Out My Back Door: Hard-headed woman finds treasure in backyard

Eureka. I’ve just discovered my backyard. That’s not to say I never knew I had a backyard. But I dismissed it. “Dismiss.” Hang onto that word. My first focus, of necessity, centered on my humb...

 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    May 26, 2016

Looking Out My Back Door: Technology or inventiveness?

I treasure a postcard from Missoula in the early ’80s. The card pictures an earth-moving business in the background. In the foreground perches a stand from which the proprietor sells croissants. It...

 Opinion    May 23, 2016

Celebrating Box Elder spirit

If a year from now you are in need of a healthy dose of inspiration, drop into commencement ceremonies at Box Elder High School. This is a great time of the year for those of us in the news business. We get to cover graduation ceremonies at school...

 Opinion    May 20, 2016

View from the North 40: The little doggy that still can

For the record, I’m not one of those people who thinks her dog is her child, but since this is going on the record I do have to say that my dog is as awesome as any child — even cuter than a good number of them. Cooper is 10 years old, which...

 By Pam Burke    Opinion    May 13, 2016

View from the North 40: As the Revolution turns

I have been watching a television series based on events and people involved in the American Revolution and it is clear to me that, had I lived at that time in history, the likelihood of my survival t...

 Opinion    May 12, 2016

Looking Out My Back Door: There's a serpent in my garden

I live in a garden in paradise. I have met the Snake. He is big. He is bad. He is beautiful. And if I eat of the apple from this Snake, I shall surely die. And that is where the similarities to the Other Garden Story end. My garden is lush with...

 Opinion    May 6, 2016

View from the North 40: Trolling shallow waters for laughs

When my column-idea machine is locked up and not producing even a widget of an idea, I go straight to the news and start fishing for an interesting headline to land a big tuna of inspiration. No. That’s a lie. When my column-idea machine is locked...

 Opinion    May 5, 2016

Guest column: An ocean view on the Montana prairie

I attended a social gathering several years ago in the Bitterroot Valley. As the hostess stood nearby, I admired the mountains framed by the tall windows in her home. “The view out my window is the most stunning in the state!” she said. “It’s...


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