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 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion

Looking out my Backdoor: The path math hath

Back when the earth was still cooling, back when I was a student at Harlem High, algebra was a high school subject. Now they start the kids learning simple equations in pre-school.... — Updated 3/3/2023


Try protecting kids instead of harming people

As the executive director of the Montana Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence — MCADSV — for 17 years and lobbyist for the coalition for 19 years, I cannot tell you how many bills I’ve heard claiming to protect... — Updated 2/28/2023


Looking forward to a break

Last week was the last week to get bills transferred over to the opposite legislative house in time to beat the bill cutoff known as transmittal. If the bill hasn’t moved by this week, unless it is a revenue bill, it is likely... — Updated 2/28/2023


Pseudo-Republicans censure real Republican

The Montana Republican Party’s Executive Committee recently approved a resolution rebuking former Montana Republican Gov. Marc Racicot, saying Racicot’s actions in recent years disqualify him from saying he’s a... — Updated 2/28/2023


Let's work on bipartisan solutions on climate change

Did you hear about the climate rally at the state capital? Nobody desecrated any paintings, but it was about what you’d expect: a chorus of progressives calling for “climate justice.” Except, we were there too. We were... — Updated 2/28/2023

 By Pam Burke    Opinion

View from the North 40: It's when that sinking feeling gushes over you

In a good two week’s worth of miscues and mishaps and daily trips to the plumbing store on our way to a fully functioning kitchen sink, my husband, John, won the Video-worthy... — Updated 2/24/2023


Historic victory results in drug price relief for Montanans

Here in Montana, tens of thousands of seniors will get relief thanks to a new law that helps to reduce out-of-control drug prices. After years of urging Congress to make prescription drugs more affordable, older Americans won the... — Updated 2/24/2023


A report from the House

The Montana Legislature is in full swing. Over 1,000 bills and resolutions are making their way through the House and Senate. As busy as it has been, the pace will pick up as we near the first transmittal deadline on March 4. The... — Updated 2/24/2023

 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion

Looking out my Backdoor: Spring, Sprang, soon to be Sprung

Please don’t grimace like that, Mrs. Hunter. I’m drunk on spring love and language is ours to play games. Spring arrives quickly here in Jalisco, the Garden State of Mexico. I... — Updated 2/24/2023


Scientific fact, business tax exemptions in the Legislature

Editor, In week 7, the Senate confirmed a number of Gov. Greg Gianforte board appointments; a couple of north-central Montana locals were on the list. The governor appointed Tony Miller from Joplin to the Board of Respiratory Care... — Updated 2/21/2023


Citizen grand juries would desecrate constitution

House Bill 405 proposes a substantial amendment to the Montana Constitution in an attempt to create something known as a “citizens’ grand jury.” Apparently, the bill is meant to fulfill the objective of a “Platform Principl... — Updated 2/21/2023


SB 382 set to help with housing crisis

There is no singular cause for Montana’s housing crisis. Rising costs of land, materials, and labor combined with people moving into our communities, further straining our infrastructure, has made for an increasingly critical hou... — Updated 2/21/2023


The Postscript: Not stubby

My mother has a pet squirrel named Stubby. He is not, technically, her pet, as he lives outdoors as a wild squirrel. But he spends much of his time sitting on the railing, watching my mother, and my mother spends much of her time... — Updated 2/21/2023


Letter to the Editor - Friends looking for more friends of Beaver Creek Park

Editor, The Friends of Beaver Creek Park was organized in December 2011 to help support our most-beloved park in the Bear Paw Mountains. We assist in off-setting costs associated with maintaining such a large, beautiful facility.... — Updated 2/17/2023

 By Pam Burke    Opinion

View from the North 40: OK … but what aren't they saying?

My bar for evaluating news content is pretty old-school: Is it factual, truthful and unbiased? Sometimes, though, I desire more of this than is provided in article, not in the sense... — Updated 2/17/2023


Amending Montana's Constitution thoughtfully

2022 was the year of celebrating the 50th birthday of Montana’s Constitution — its visionary provisions and the unique bipartisan approach adopted by the citizen delegates who wrote it. Our perspective is from a combined... — Updated 2/17/2023

 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion

Looking out my Backdoor - To the tune of, "Will you still love me, when I'm 95!"

I went to Oconahua to Jane’s birthday celebration for cake and homemade ice-cream. Ninety-five full years. From the stories Jane has told and from stories her daughters told with... — Updated 2/17/2023


Heavy debate on Senate Bill 99

As I started week six, Judy and I had the opportunity to have a 2023 Senior from Havre High join us for the week. Paige Bertelsen signed up to be a 68th legislative page for the... — Updated 2/14/2023

 By Carrie Classon    Opinion

The Postscript: Valentine gift

My husband, Peter, does not believe in Valentine’s Day. I mean, he knows it is a thing. It’s just a thing he prefers to ignore. “Stupid!” That is Peter’s verdict. Peter... — Updated 2/14/2023


Montana's Right to Repair

Montana farmers and ranchers face numerous challenges. Some of these challenges such as weather, commodity prices, and bank loan rates are beyond a single farmer’s ability to manage. On the other hand, there are challenges faced... — Updated 2/14/2023


Redistricting SNF Apportionment Commission needs no fixing

The redistricting wrangling is now over. The Commission has made its decision, will formally file the legislative district structure, and the 2024 elections will move forward. For the sixth time that the difficult and politicallych... — Updated 2/14/2023

 By Pam Burke    Opinion

View from the North 40: Hmphy Valentine's Day to one and all

Valentine’s Day is one of the oddest holidays of the year. I can remember back in grade school being required to fill out little Valentine’s cards for all my classmates and... — Updated 2/10/2023

 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion

Looking out my Backdoor: Confessions

Some say confession is good for the soul, and growing up Catholic, I’m a believer. Here is something I seldom talk about. First, though, the catalyst. For the past week, on my... — Updated 2/10/2023


From the Legislature: Talking taxes in the Legislature

In Taxation Committee, Week 5 started with bills to lower taxes for certain types of income or property taxes. SB 194 proposed to give tax credits to landlords who lower rent to below market rate, with taxpayers picking up the tab... — Updated 2/7/2023

 By Carrie Classon    Opinion

The Postscript: Barely remembered

“The worst thing,” I told my mother, “was when you made us eat venison sausage for lunch. That sausage lasted forever!” I am visiting my parents, and we somehow got to... — Updated 2/7/2023


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