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 By Pam Burke    Opinion    May 17, 2019 

View from the North 40: When a job is more than a job

We’ve read the reports of how joblessness is down, seen all the help wanted signs and listened to the ’70s generation talk about how “jobs were so scarce back in my day, there was 80 people applying for every job listed, and if you didn’t...

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    May 16, 2019

Looking out my Backdoor: Shake, rattle and roll with the punches

When Guadalajara rumbled with a 3.9 quake, I neither felt nor heard it but at the same time a weird wind seemingly blowing from all directions hit us hard. That night I lay in bed looking up at the...

 

The Postscript: Lipstick 12-step

As long-time readers of The Postscript know, I do not delve into politics or current events. You might think this comes from a desire to find common ground with all my readers. You might think I am trying to bridge the divide in a time when there...

 
 By Pam Burke    Opinion    May 10, 2019

View from the North 40: Lenten muskrat, anyone?

While the Catholic Church gets bashed frequently for its outdated church-sanctioned laws and pressured to modernize its ways, I’m here to lend some non-church support for one of those canons which started in the Detroit-area in the 1700s: muskrats...

 

Legislature came together to send message on child sexual abuse

Actions speak louder than words. But words create the environment and world in which we live. Our actions and words matter greatly — and the actions and words of the Montana State Legislature in the 2019 session were clear: Montana will not allow...

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    May 9, 2019

Looking out my Backdoor: When life weaves magic

My son Ben lives in Poulsbo, a lovely town across the water from Seattle, where I lived with my family for 25 years. He sent the following email to me and it is a better story than any I could write....

 

Oversight is not optional in democracy

After (falsely) claiming total exoneration from the release of a redacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report, President Trump has dug in his heels even further, telling reporters that the White House was fighting “all the...

 

UM provides tomorrow-proofing

When I was a student at West Point in the 1990s, the military component of my education focused on high-intensity conflict and Cold War-era strategies and tactics. Those were the wars of recent memory, so that’s what we trained for. After my gradua...

 

Legislature passed gains for wildlife, habitat

The 2019 turned out to be a success for wildlife legislature and habitat. We look back at a session that had more than 80 bills affecting our core issues of wildlife, habitat and access, and see many wins and a handful of losses when it comes to...

 

It's time to fix up the people's house

In the waning hours of Montana’s 66thLegislative Session, good public policy squeaked through, including Medicaid expansion and an infrastructure bill. But, public works can’t fix the deferred maintenance of the outdated way these bills made it...

 

Economic development creates opportunity, prosperity in Montana

Economic Development Week is a time to reflect on the many successes of public-private partnerships to grow businesses, create jobs and strengthen the economy. This year, Montana has something extra to celebrate with the bipartisan passage of House...

 

The war of the Republicans

A half-century ago the power in Montana politics was the Montana Power Company. Created to provide electricity for the operations of the Anaconda Copper Company, “the terrible twins” dominated Montana both economically and politically for most...

 

Montana is a shining example of how our political system should work

At the start of the legislative session, I delivered my fourth and final State of the State address. I shared my optimism that in Montana we can still be a shining example of how our political system is supposed to work and that as elected leaders...

 
 By Pam Burke    Opinion    May 3, 2019

View from the North 40: What are the odds?

Winning the big payout in any lottery is rare because the odds are astronomically against that happening, but that holds true for a lot of things. Because the lottery folks are in the business of making money, they take paying it out very seriously....

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    May 2, 2019

Looking out my Backdoor: Bamboozled

I know that I said (quite plainly), “I am not going to buy any more pots for my plants.” I spoke these words quite sincerely, often, back when I had accumulated a total 100 (plus a small number)...

 

Cattlemen's Association disappointed in Montana Country of Origin Labeling failure

The Montana Cattlemen’s Association is very disappointed that the Montana Legislature refused to enact a Montana Country of Origin Labeling law (Mt-COOL). Although the bill did receive limited bipartisan support, it was primarily the majority...

 

State-mandated placarding not COOL

I firmly believe Montana farmers and ranchers care deeply about developing and growing consumer confidence and trust in the products we painstakingly raise. It’s a key goal in helping a growing urban demographic understand why we’re so...

 

The session ends

This past Thursday was the last day of Montana’s 66th legislative session. In the Senate, after passing some key bills to fund the state for the next two years, a motion was made to do something about tie votes in interim committees. As everyone...

 

Republicans met some goals in legislative session

The 66th legislative session has come to an end. As speaker of the House, it was my goal to uphold the integrity of the House. As a leader in my caucus it was my goal to foster unity not conformity. We can be united behind the primary ideals of our...

 

Wildlife data must be protected

Montana has for decades been at the forefront of wildlife conservation among states in the West. We have the best hunting and angling in the country, and Montana has long set the standard in hunting ethics. As Montanans we value fair chase as an...

 

View from the North 40: Those crazed cat days of winter

I have been struggling with how to broach an indelicate personal subject with the polite words needed in a public platform such as this, but I don’t know if there is a delicate way to say that my cat Tony has fallen deeply, madly and...

 

Missing women is not a partisan problem

When women and girls go missing in our state, it’s not a Democratic problem or a Republican problem — it’s a Montana problem. And it’s an urgent one. Not much research exists on the epidemic of Indigenous women and girls going missing or...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: As a matter of fat

Several weeks or months ago, all the women in the Rancho jumped onto the latest diet-craze roller coaster. One at a time. I’m not sure how or why. Each is beautiful in her own way. I say “all...

 

Pages serving in the state Senate

This past week, I had the pleasure of having my grandson J.R. Seewald not only stay with Judy and me in Helena, but also work with me on the floor of the Montana state Senate as a page. The first...

 
 By Pam Burke    Opinion    April 19, 2019

View from the North 40: English speakers unite - for a better vocabulary tomorrow

Earlier this week a friend of mine was puzzling over why English speakers use the word “disgruntled” all the time, but we never drop the “dis” prefix and say “gruntled.” A “disgruntled” customer can file a complaint, but why don’t...

 

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