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 By Pam Burke    Opinion 

View from the North 40: Nothing like a little research to get your blood pumping

Nerds look things up, that’s who we are — sometimes that more for worse than for better. It started with “confab,” as in this simple reply: “That sounds fun, but John and... — Updated 3/5/2021


Stand with Montana counties! 

Whew! The election’s over. And Hooray!  We don’t have to watch thousands of political ads or respond to the all too numerous requests for donations from various candidates running for office... until the next election... — Updated 3/5/2021

 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion

Looking out my Backdoor: The day my mimeograph machine broke

Back in the olden days, in grade school, teachers used low-tech machines which made copies for all manner of school work, from pictures to color (don’t color out of the lines) to... — Updated 3/4/2021

 By Carrie Classon    Opinion

The Postscript: Travel fantasies

I know I am not the only one having travel fantasies. My husband, Peter, and I were not planning to do a lot of traveling in the past year. That was our plan, and we certainly made... — Updated 3/3/2021


Legislators should't meddle with judicial elections and appointments

The three of us have known each other dating back a half century when Dorothy Bradley and Bob Brown were young legislators and Marc Racicot was emerging as a top prosecuting attorney. Over the decades we have been fierce... — Updated 3/3/2021


Legislature moves into transmittal

Week eight is the lead-up to what is called transmittal. As I mentioned last week, all non-revenue bills must move from one house to the other by transmittal: House bills to the Senate and Senate bills to the House. Our job in... — Updated 3/2/2021

 By Pam Burke    Opinion

View from the North 40: This is long, but surprisingly pointless

You know a word that we don’t hear very often? Giddy. And that’s a cryin’ shame. Well, of course, giddy doesn’t mean cryin’ shame. It means happy, joyful, elated,... — Updated 2/26/2021


Alley project becomes beautiful reality

Havre’s Art Alley is a reality! Following the completion of the mural project in September of 2019, which culminated in the colorful artwork that adorns the west side of the Hill County Printing building, the work of the local... — Updated 2/26/2021

 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion

Looking out my Backdoor: Stick, stab and jab at the lab

Have you ever felt like you don’t really know what’s happening until it’s over? If I’m not around people to mirror back to me what I’m doing or saying, it is easy to fool... — Updated 2/25/2021

 By Carrie Classon    Opinion

The Postscript: Entertaining Remington

I remember, a long time ago, when I used to have a social life. My husband, Peter, and I have been visiting his sister, Lori, once a week while she battles cancer. She was in... — Updated 2/24/2021


Snowbird Fund will help people with search for missing

Selena Not Afraid. Ashley Heavyrunner Loring. Kaysera Stops Pretty Places. For decades in Montana, Indigenous people — mostly women, like these three — have gone missing, many times murdered and leaving behind families to... — Updated 2/24/2021


Week 7 wraps up at the Legislature

The weather has warmed up and so has the legislative process. Up until now, the bills have been trickling into my committees. I picked up a bill, Senate Bill 284, that I am carrying for the counties. It is what folks are calling th... — Updated 2/23/2021


Why I voted against a mask mandate

I clearly voted against the Board of Health’s mask order last week in our meeting, and I’d like to comment on that meeting. We are in direct opposition to all surrounding counties and the entire Hi-Line with our order. It will... — Updated 2/23/2021


Tax breaks for the wealthy now will cost Montana later

Helena’s contentious debate on the role of taxes has brought Montana to a critical crossroads: Do we follow the path of states like Kansas, which paid for tax cuts for the wealthiest with major cuts to education infrastructure,... — Updated 2/23/2021

 By Pam Burke    Opinion

View from the North 40: My childhood still might be the death of me

I don’t mean to alarm anyone, but I almost died of a heart attack Wednesday night and, frankly, I’m too old to be having this kind of heart trouble. Specifically, my heart... — Updated 2/19/2021

 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion

Looking out my backdoor: Dear Leanore,

I love it when Leo comes from the post office with a real letter in hand. Here it is mid-February and I just received your Christmas card. Denise’s arrived last week. I’ll not... — Updated 2/18/2021


Elections have consequences

Since winning the Legislature in 2011, Republicans have introduced multiple pieces of legislation undermining Montana’s great hunting and fishing. Fortunately, successive Democratic governors vetoed them. The veto pen now... — Updated 2/17/2021

 By Carrie Classon    Opinion

The Postscript: Sea shanties

I am not exactly a connoisseur of contemporary culture. I haven’t seen the latest series on Netflix or anything else. I don’t follow Twitter or Snapchat or Instagram. But... — Updated 2/17/2021


Legislature finishes Week 6

We just finished our 30th day of the 67th Legislature, making one third of this biennium session complete. The bills have been coming slower than normal, maybe because of COVID, the fact that two thirds of Democrats are Zooming,... — Updated 2/16/2021


Letter to the Editor - Governor rejecting Campbell symbol of dark days ahead

Editor, Friday, Feb. 12, was a dark day. On a 30-19 vote, the Montana Senate voted not to confirm Margie Campbell, a former legislative colleague, to complete her four-year term on the Montana Human Rights Commission. She was... — Updated 2/16/2021

 By Pam Burke    Opinion

February Guinness World Records - I don't know why

Maybe this winter is getting long for everyone, but it definitely has been too long for some people aching to get into the Guinness Book of World Records — those folks have been... — Updated 2/12/2021

 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion

Looking out my Backdoor: February is the longest month

Into every life some rain must fall. Okay. I understand. Go throw up and come back to let me explain. Our particular metaphoric “rainfall,” the whole world over, no humans... — Updated 2/11/2021


Legislature needs to fund state veterinary diagnostic lab

I would like to inform everyone regarding our Montana State Veterinary Diagnostic Lab that is managed through the Board of Livestock. The Diagnostic Lab is located on the Montana State University campus in Bozeman. The lab is... — Updated 2/11/2021


Legislature passes through Week 5

This week, many of the Governors Board appointees have come to the different committees. In the Energy Committee, we confirmed the new members of the Hard Rock Mining Board, the Coal Board, the Pacific NW Electric Power and... — Updated 2/9/2021


Take the bull by the horns, Legislature

Consumers have the right to know the origin of their beef purchases, and ranchers have the right to a fair and competitive market. This is a reasonable expectation. However, since 2015 Congress specifically exempted beef and pork... — Updated 2/9/2021


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