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 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion

Looking out my Backdoor: Yesterday

We Human Beans are strange creatures, are we not? Oh, maybe not you, but me, my hand is raised. My mind works in strange ways. Take yesterday. Yesterday, I seemed determined to... — Updated 4/28/2023


Health care ban based on inaccurate information

A bill to prohibit critical health care for transgender Montana youth sits on Gov. Gianforte’s desk. His signature will come despite the objections of Montana’s health experts, child advocates, parents and the people who will... — Updated 4/28/2023


Make Earth Day every day

Earth Day 2023 was April 22 – that date marked 53 years since the first Earth Day in 1970. On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans — 10% of the U.S. population at the time — took to the streets, college campuses and hundreds... — Updated 4/28/2023


Working in the home stretch

When we first came to the 68th session in January, the goal was all about removing red tape and clutter from our laws. Having gotten to the final stretch, I can only hope we have removed more clutter than we added. There have been... — Updated 4/25/2023


The Postscript: Fireworks in the morning

I start noticing the planes overhead when it’s nearing the time to go. Planes don’t fly low over this small Mexican city. San Miguel de Allende doesn’t have its own airport, so the few planes flying overhead are high in the... — Updated 4/25/2023


Leadership Montana flagship class visits Havre

The Leadership Montana Flagship class will be in Havre this week. This is a class of 40 leaders from across Montana representing business, healthcare, labor, education, non-profits and government coming together to form a strong... — Updated 4/25/2023

 By Pam Burke    Opinion

View from the North 40: O vent pipe, vent pipe, wherefore art thou, vent pipe?

1. “The vent pipe is not regarded as lost until you realize it’s lost” — Mehmet Murat Ildan. The vent ducting had to be installed on the range hood before any other major... — Updated 4/21/2023

 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion

Looking out my Backdoor: This is the way we wash our clothes

This is the way we wash our clothes, early Monday morning. Mid-cycle, my washing machine quit working. I mean quit. Dead in the water. I mean, dead, full of water and soggy... — Updated 4/21/2023


Montana budget bill leaves out working Montanans

It was a couple of weeks ago that the main state budget bill — House Bill 2 — passed the House of Representatives. I voted against it, and I want to be clear about why. HB 2, as it stands now, falls far short of meeting the sca... — Updated 4/18/2023


Drag show at the Legislature

I would not have believed there would ever be a drag show on the Capitol Steps of the Montana State Building. Not only that, but most of the participants were also in the gallery of the Senate when we started our floor session.... — Updated 4/18/2023


Turning 65? Know about Medicare options

More than 10,000 Americans turn 65 every day. That’s more than 3.6 million new people learning to navigate Medicare each year. If you were born in 1958, you are joining the over 250,000 individuals in Montana eligible for the... — Updated 4/18/2023

 By Carrie Classon    Opinion

The Postscript: 3,002 suns

Our landlord, Jorge, loves his suns. I am sure he loves his son, Jorge Jr., as well, but I am talking about the other kind of sun. This is why there are nearly 3,000 smiling sun... — Updated 4/18/2023


The case for urban hens in Havre

As a new resident and homeowner in Havre, I was surprised to learn the city does not allow backyard chickens within the city limits. Historically, throughout the U.S., as small towns transformed into small cities, they prohibited... — Updated 4/14/2023

 By Pam Burke    Opinion

View from the North 40: I don't even like goldfish in a bowl

While I was talking with an avid fisherman in late February, he confessed he was tired of ice fishing and had put all of his ice fishing gear away, even though it meant he may not... — Updated 4/14/2023

 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion

Looking out my Backdoor: Happy secret birthday, me

Remember when you couldn’t wait? When each additional year brought joyful anticipation, jumping up-and-down glee? What? When you were 6. Then 10. 18. Even, in a different way,... — Updated 4/14/2023

 By Carrie Classon    Opinion

The Postscript: Burro in pants

I saw the burro wearing pants and carrying a basket filled with paper flowers. “Oh, my gosh!” I said. “That poor burro.” There are several burros with this job in this... — Updated 4/11/2023


Budget bill transmittal

This past Monday we had a push to get all Senate bills through our Senate chamber for another transmittal cutoff, this time for budget bills. In order to accomplish this, we had early committee meetings and ran an all-day floor ses... — Updated 4/11/2023

 By Pam Burke    Opinion

View from the North 40: Spring, it's pretty much its own sport

Yes, folks, it’s finally that time of year we’ve all been waiting for — the annual running of the snowmelt. The celebration has, as we all know, experienced several delays... — Updated 4/7/2023


Legislature sees 1,640 so far

With slightly over 20 days left in Montana’s 68th Legislative Session at the time this was written, a record 1,640 total bills, resolutions and other measures have been introduced. Working through this amount of potential law... — Updated 4/7/2023


Republican legislators try to twist U.S. Senate election

In Montana, we pride ourselves on working together, fair dealing, finding common ground, and protecting our Montana values.  Our fellow Montanans might not expect a former Republican governor, the current chair of the Libertarian... — Updated 4/7/2023

 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion

Looking out my Backdoor: Life wants to live

John stopped by and plunked a book the size of a dictionary onto my table. When we get together we invariably weave words into a maze of history, philosophy, politics: world... — Updated 4/7/2023


Lots of bills in Education Committee

In looking back at the list of bills and resolutions the Education Committee has heard or are going to hear, this is what I found: 68 total bills were heard, of which 31 were potentially going to be a cost to the state, 21 of the t... — Updated 4/4/2023

 By Carrie Classon    Opinion

The Postscript: Dog friends

My husband, Peter, is trying to impress a local collie. Peter knows better than this. He had a collie for many years. Collies are not easily impressed. They have their own... — Updated 4/4/2023


Help kids stay substance-free

April is Alcohol Responsibility Month. As the weather begins to get warmer, it’s a great time for Montana families to start conversations about alcohol at home to prevent underage drinking. As the father of two adult children, I... — Updated 4/4/2023

 By Pam Burke    Opinion

View from the North 40: My apologies for the cuteness overload

I was going to move on from the whole drama of my illness, but I have one more thing to say about being sick and then I’ll let it go — my pets deserve a shout out for their... — Updated 3/31/2023


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