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Letter to the Editor - Don't let legislators end sex education

The current debate surrounding SB 99, Planned Parenthood, and sex education in schools awakened old memories. While researching teenage pregnancy as a nursing student in 1977, I interviewed a pair of junior high school principals.... — Updated 3/22/2021

 By Pam Burke    Opinion

View from the North 40: It's the column in which I take a shot at philosophy

As I said in a column a few weeks ago, I’ve taken up archery and am completely enamored with it, largely because it has turned out to be one of those things in life that just... — Updated 3/19/2021


How will COVID-19 be remembered?

I’ve been having trouble sleeping lately, and among the many reasons for that is a question that seems to buzz around in the back of my head before I close my eyes: How will COVID-19 be remembered? To be frank, I fear the... — Updated 3/19/2021

 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion

Looking out my Backdoor: The constancy of change

It’s a paradox. Constancy — firm, steadfast, permanent, consistent, un-changing. We can count on something with the property or nature of constancy. One thing we can count on... — Updated 3/18/2021

 By Carrie Classon    Opinion

The Postscript: Cheese fondue

It’s our anniversary, and Peter and I will be celebrating, like everyone has this past year, the best we are able. We have not yet won the vaccine lottery. I recently received a... — Updated 3/17/2021


Legislative Efforts Coming in Waves to Support Milk River Project Rehabilitation

As we approach the one-year anniversary of the collapse of Drop Structure #5 of the St. Mary’s Diversion, the spotlight remains on the unaffordability of critical repairs to the Milk River Project’s aged infrastructure. From... — Updated 3/17/2021


Public shut out of wildlife decisions by Legislature and FWP

Montana hunters are being shut out of major decisions on future access to elk. The new approach in Helena, led by Speaker Wylie Galt and Fish, Wildlife and Parks Director Hank Worsech, is to spring legislation on us. Making major... — Updated 3/17/2021


Letter to the Editor - Thanks to Tempel on vote for right to repair

To the editor: I’d like to thank state Sen. Russ Tempel for his vote on SB 273, which would have given farmers the right to repair and diagnose their own farm equipment. The largest equipment manufacturers brought in their most... — Updated 3/16/2021


Letter to the Editor - American citizen's fellowship

Editor, Throughout Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, he vowed if elected he would unite a deeply divided country. The reason behind an obvious national division could be up for a reasonable debate. And this letter is not meant... — Updated 3/16/2021


Letter to the Editor - Tell legislators to vote no on taking public out of nuclear reactor decisions

Editor, The Montana Legislature is back in session and I was more than a little concerned when I read that Republican Derek Skees introduced HB273. HB273 if passed would overturn Initiative 80, a long-standing initiative that... — Updated 3/16/2021


Letter to the Editor - HB 505: A key to the public trough

Anyone who watched or participated in the FWP committee meeting on HB 505 last week had to be amazed at the people who introduced the bill, those who showed up as proponents, and the opponent’s logical arguments. First Rep.... — Updated 3/16/2021


Tribal health leaders critical for statewide health collaborations

As leaders in the health care, patient advocacy and public health community, we applaud the State House Appropriations Committee vote to retain the Department of Public Health and Human Services’ two positions dedicated to... — Updated 3/16/2021


Legislature back to work

The first week after transmittal is always like starting refreshed, with new vigor and looking forward to seeing what the House folks have for our committees. This week, I sponsored Emma Wickum as a Senate Page. Emma is looking to... — Updated 3/16/2021


Masks in school

Dear Montana Education Leaders, In his recent directive implementing Executive Order 2-2021, Governor (Greg) Gianforte highlighted that “access to school is essential to the developmental, social, mental, and educational needs... — Updated 3/15/2021

 By Pam Burke    Opinion

View from the North 40: As luck would have it

Apparently, the coronavirus social distancing guidelines haven’t slowed down the Good Luck Fairy from spreading her magical glittery stardust around the world. Good Luck Fairy,... — Updated 3/12/2021


Denying the climate crisis will only make it worse

We all know what happens to the frog in a gradually warming pot of water. Too slow to react it eventually boils to death. Since the Industrial Revolution humans have been steadily turning up the heat in this big pot we call planet... — Updated 3/12/2021


Letter to the editor - Tester not a friend to working Montanans

Editor: With his rumpled suit, his old-school haircut, and his folksy ways, Sen. Jon Tester would have us believe he is a friend of working Montanans.  Do not be fooled. When Sen. Tester had a chance to vote to raise the minimum... — Updated 3/11/2021

 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion

Looking out my backdoor: An out-of-mind experience

Because of the pandemic, health cautions and precautions, these past several days, I’ve found myself to be the only gringo in town, or to be precise, on the ranch. Tom and Janet... — Updated 3/11/2021

 By Carrie Classon    Opinion

The Postscript: March inspiration

I’ve never been a fan of March. March is supposedly spring, but we all know it’s not. In much of the country, more snow falls in March than any other month. But it doesn’t... — Updated 3/10/2021


Letter to the Editor - Everyone should get their vote

Editor, Here in the United States, and Montana especially, free and fair elections are the cornerstone of our democracy. We have focused a great deal on how everyone gets one vote this year, but not enough on how everyone gets one... — Updated 3/10/2021


In and out of transmittal

Week eight was a short, but long week. As transmittal was looming, over 200 bills were dropped in the last two weeks. This led to a crunch last Saturday and again Monday. Saturday was a disappointing day for me. There were around... — Updated 3/10/2021


Letter to the Editor - Thanks for the vaccinations

Editor, Thank you to the staff at Northern Montana Hospital, the volunteers, and everyone who has played a part in delivering the COVID vaccine to our community. We recently received our vaccinations and found the process to be... — Updated 3/9/2021


Letter to the Editor - A different viewpoint on the legislative transmittal

Dear Editor: Since there was no non-partisan transmittal legislative update in north central Montana, here is the update for your readers from my viewpoint of what went on, on the other side of the aisle — Democrats. There were... — Updated 3/8/2021


Letter to the Editor - Right to work for less

Editor, I applaud the defeat of right-to-work legislation in Montana, where the House of Representatives voted 62-38 in a bipartisan rejection of the anti-worker bill-HB 251 Right to work sounds good on paper, but in reality it... — Updated 3/5/2021


Letters to the Editor - Bad laws have consequences too

Editor, We are just past at the halfway point in the 2021 legislative session in Helena. I am impressed with the speed in which the Republican-controlled Legislature and the new Republican governor have ushered their agenda... — Updated 3/5/2021


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