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Support Healthy Montana initiative

Tobacco addiction has taken too many lives in Montana. The Healthy Montana initiative, I-185, will raise the tax on tobacco products, keeping kids from starting a deadly addiction and helping adults who smoke quit. As organizations focused on health,...

 

Presidents in Montana

Donald Trump is the 19th president to visit Montana. Our people have welcomed each of them, Republican and Democrat, since 1883 when our 21st President, Chester A. Arthur, a Republican from New York City, rode a horse out of Yellowstone Park and...

 
 By Pam Burke    Opinion    July 13, 2018

View from the North 40: Literary analysis of conflict 101

On days we feel the world has too much conflict, it’s good to remember that literary-minded folks, who are rarely good for practical things, remind us that conflict is good because it inspires passion about ideas, people and things. A story...

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    July 12, 2018

Looking out my Backdoor: I'm not there; I'm here

I like to mix my metaphors. Images impossible evolve. In partnership with Jim I bought a pig-in-a-poke, a hot tub that wasn’t working when we bought it. Between Jim’s persistence and Josue’s...

 

We are not Pocahontas

As Indians growing up in our local communities, we know that Montanans have diverse political values. We understand and appreciate those differences. One of our state’s special attributes is that it is home to seven Indian reservations and 12...

 

Montana farms need trade agreements

The economy of Montana depends on partners around the world for success. Each year, millions of tourists visit our beautiful state, while at the same time millions of bushels of grain grown by Montana farmers flow out of the Pacific Northwest to cons...

 
 By Pam Burke    Opinion    July 6, 2018

View from the North 40: Who's the good girl now?

There is nothing like an enforced daily session on a very specific exercise in both patience and urgency to drive a training point home with a young horse and really help you put your own life in perspective. The first point is a good thing, the...

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    July 5, 2018

Looking out my Backdoor: Everything changes

Remember when the Big Store in Havre was Buttrey’s? What a magnificent place to shop, in the Atrium, with an escalator. That was truly “down town”. And Havre boasted many, many smaller stores,...

 

Montana farmers deserve a clean Farm Bill

This fall, when farmers will be busy wrapping up their harvest and planning for next year, the current Farm Bill is set to expire. It would be nice to think that the Farm Bill — and its many ways of supporting family farmers and strengthening...

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    June 28, 2018

Looking out my Backdoor: Overload-Where's the off switch?

It’s my own fault, of course. I’ve hit the wall. Can’t go any further. A day of rest would do wonders. Two days might put me back to myself. If I’m not myself, who am I? I feel like a brainles...

 

Let's change the conversation about wildfire

Nature is one of Montana’s greatest treasures, and wildfire occurs each summer only because we’re so fortunate to live amid millions of acres of unspoiled forests and prairies. Although wildfire plays a natural role in ecology, there’s no...

 

Reminiscing with Carlson at NARC

This past week, I attended the Northern Agricultural Research Center tour. All the wagons were loaded and ready to roll when a downpour hit. Everyone ran for the tent and witnessed .6 inches of rain fall in 15 minutes. I have to hand it to the...

 

Where 'neighbor' is a verb

When I was ten years old, a tornado came through and wrecked our farm. The three-hundred-year-old Cathedral Pines crashed down all around us, ruining fence lines and clipping the barn.  I remember seeing the apple trees my great grandfather...

 
 By Pam Burke    Opinion    June 22, 2018

View from the North 40: 'The Twilight Zone': It was all real

When I was a kid one of the small handful of television networks that our TV would pick up regularly ran reruns of “The Twilight Zone,” and that program really kept us alert because we didn’t know what we were going to get each week ...

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    June 21, 2018

Looking out my backdoor: Just blindly bumping along

Went to the artisans' tianguis (street fair) in Tonala and got me a man. Yep, brought home a genuine Mexican man. Next I wrote to my women friends and you should have heard the response. Oh, my. I...

 
 By Pam Burke    Opinion    June 15, 2018

View from the North 40: Belly up to the bar for a shot of beaver

The Associated Press reported Tuesday that a New Hampshire distillery has created a new bourbon, Eau De Musc, which derives its flavor in part from secretions extracted from a beaver’s castor sacs. Do you remember the coffee bean that became...

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    June 14, 2018

I love a rainy night

By the time I got from beneath my covered patio to my front door, a few steps, I was drenched and dripping rain. Already the floor filled with standing water, a shallow lake, half-way across the...

 

Senate Committee Farm Bill protects SNAP

The U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee released its version of the 2018 Farm Bill June 8, presenting an opportunity for the Senate to reaffirm our national commitment to reducing hunger. Montana Food Bank Network applauds Montana’s Sen. Steve...

 
 By Pam Burke    Opinion    June 8, 2018

View from the North 40: You say @#$^&, I say ha, ha, hah

At one point in the evolution of the North 40’s motherland, we took down some barbed wire fence and put up a one-wire electric fence to temporarily split our two main pastures. I swear we did this for practical purposes. The pain and torture were...

 

On its 112th birthday, Antiquities Act faces threats

Happy birthday to the Antiquities Act, which turns 112 today. What an illustrious history it has, and what amazing gifts it has given to the American people. What does the Antiquities Act do, and why is it important to you? First, the act made it...

 

Losing one of Montana's greatest champions

So great is the loss of Steve Browning to our state and its communities, the flags should be lowered to half-staff and a moment of silence observed across Montana. Steve died May 15, 2018, after a long battle with pulmonary fibrosis. The legacy he...

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    June 7, 2018

Looking out my backdoor - As the worm turns

Paradise. Yes, I live in a garden of Paradise. I suppose there is a snake in every garden. My snake is gray. Pure deep gray with diamond shaped markings like fish scales. I’m told he is harmless. Ev...

 

It is we the people who have the power

Don’t tell me the people lack power. “We the people” is the powerful phrase opening the U.S. Constitution. We the people have been a powerful force throughout U.S. history — and Montana’s history. The Fraternal Order of Eagles at its 1921...

 

Transportation Commission update

About a year ago, I published an update in local papers about the plans by the Montana Department of Transportation to reconstruct the remaining 10 miles of U.S. Highway 2 between Chinook and Havre. This project, known as Lohman East and West, is...

 
 By Pam Burke    Opinion    June 1, 2018

View from the North 40: They'll bite you when you're down

For all you people who feel like bad things keep happening to you when you’re stressed and overwhelmed by life already, a group of researchers at the University of Liverpool in England offers one more set of data to help prove that it’s not just...

 

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