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 By Pam Burke    Opinion    February 23, 2018 

View from the North 40: Nature is wondrous, but not always pretty

Nature is all around us, and sometimes it’s a little too much in-your-face. A Cooper’s hawk in upstate New York is helping one city with its pigeon problem, but not everyone is appreciative. A red-eyed, crow-sized raptor, the Cooper’s hawk...

 

Conservation easement would be win for all Montanans

Montana’s farms and ranches are an essential part of our state’s economy. They also provide important habitat for wildlife and, often, public access for hunting and other recreation. Working lands support big game, upland birds and waterfowl, as...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: Sometimes life - Soup or salad?

First serving: soup. When I hug friends goodbye, friends whom I see once a year or less frequently, I go into a three-day funk. My life feels like metaphorical soup, seasoned with a dollop of...

 

Making fiscal responsibility a priority

Thomas Jefferson favored amending the Constitution by “taking from the federal government the power of borrowing.” He also favored a requirement that taxes would have to be sufficient for each generation to pay its own debts. Managing debt has...

 

Washington is addicted to spending

When I was elected to Congress, the people of Montana sent a clear message: they wanted more jobs and less government. But the bloated budget deal passed by Congress last week is the very definition of more government.   As Montana’s voice in...

 

The safety of our children and communities

Washington, D.C., is broken. Our representatives choose time and again to bend to the interests of lobbyists and corporate donors at our expense. I have spent my entire career as a consumer protection advocate, fighting for people who have been...

 

Another brick in the wall

Clearly, building the wall on our southern border is high on President Trump’s agenda, and it should be. There has been a lot of controversy and political rhetoric over expense, feasibility, etc. Often the rhetoric turns to marginalizing the...

 

President's budget would worsen hunger, poverty and hardship in Montana

A federal budget reflects our values and vision for America. President Trump’s FY19 budget, released last Monday, abandons our long-held values of caring for our neighbors, helping people during hard times, and the belief that no one in this...

 

Bipartisan legislation seizes opportunity for local growth

Partisanship has taken hold of our political lives from Washington to right here in Northwest Montana. Despite all the political ill will, there appears to be one issue that Republicans and Democrats can agree on — promoting local economic growth...

 

Help available to Quit Spit Tobacco during Through With Chew Week

Through with Chew Week is observed in Montana Feb. 19-23. The Bullhook Dental Clinic is partnering with the North Montana Tobacco-Free Coalition to provide free oral cancer screenings to spit tobacco users during this week. Early detection is a key...

 
 By Pam Burke    Opinion    February 16, 2018

View from the North 40: How to Kill a Joke 101

I always said the quickest way to kill a joke was to explain it, but I think scientists have discovered, unbeknownst to themselves, that the most efficient way to kill a joke is to research it and explain the research. Thoroughly. Apparently,...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: The flamenco and the bulls

Ai-yi-yi, what a week this has been. A few days ago, tongue in cheek, I mentioned to my friend Dan in Fort Worth that I would be returning to my “quiet and uneventful life.” Dan thought I was...

 
 By Pam Burke    Opinion    February 9, 2018

View from the North 40: In the end, the lessons proved to be good

February must be a month to revisit topics because I’m back with marijuana-infused news, this time home-grown here in the U.S. and as wholesome as a Girl Scout working the annual cookie sales gig. Last week I reported on two Canadian cops who...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: A simple phone, please

Last night, Don and Dorothy, former neighbors, made arrangements to meet me to go to Loony Beans in Cerritos for breakfast. I went to the lobby at 8:50. I like to be prompt. I waited until 9:45...

 

Next Legislature must stand up for Montana

Montanans are now seeing the real-life consequences of budget decisions made by the Republican legislators who make up the majority of our state legislature. Over the next year, 28 property assessment offices will be closing their doors in addition...

 

Administration approach to sage grouse conservation hurts Montana's people, economy

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke long has long claimed to be a “Roosevelt Republican.” He has said time and again that he will stand with the West and not allow the overreaching arm of Washington, D.C., to hold us within its grasp. But his recent...

 
 By Pam Burke    Opinion    February 2, 2018

Keystoned cops in Canada suspended

Toronto newspapers are reporting that two of the city’s police officers have been suspended with pay pending an investigation on allegations that they consumed cannibis edibles while on duty. No charges have been filed and any criminal activities a...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: Piggy, selfish me

This afternoon I waved goodbye to Don and Denise, with hugs and kisses and tears, as they got into the taxi to carry them to the airport. Now I’ll feel an empty place inside me for the next couple...

 
 By Pam Burke    Opinion    January 26, 2018

View from the North 40: Solid gold news no one can really use

Much to my surprise, a North 40 column from a few weeks ago created a confused hullabaloo among a few readers who were concerned that President Donald Trump actually might be, as I suggested, authorizing a wall of such grand proportions between the...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: Hit the ground running

After a week on the beach, my guests, Don and Denise, and I, boarded the Primera Plus Autobus in Mazatlan, and climbed across the Sierras to my home in Etzatlan. In a country where not everyone has...

 

It's time for Congress to work like Montanans

The first news stories of each New Year usually feature people working around the clock to make our communities great. Routine coverage includes the men and women who protect our neighborhoods, maintain our roadways and make it possible to access...

 

Let's celebrate innovation in Montana's public schools

During National School Choice, it is important to recognize and celebrate academic innovation that is happening in public schools across Montana. Our state’s education system is unique. We have over 400 hundred school districts and over 800...

 

Zinke ignores sage grouse comments

In the final hours of 2017, when most of us were with our families enjoying the holiday season, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke and the Trump administration announced that they were making major changes to the sage-grouse land management plans....

 

APR's bison restoration plan is wrong-headed, delusional

The disdain for the American Prairie Reserve’s wooly-minded plan to put free-roaming bison back on the prairie continues to grow amongst rural Montanans who also find it incredible that a nonprofit organization is allowed to pursue its land...

 

Tempel thrilled to announce running for re-election

In December 2016, four county central committees and the county commissioners of Liberty, Chouteau, Cascade and Hill counties appointed me to the vacated District 14 Senate seat midway through my predecessor’s four-year term. It was a great honor...

 

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