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Lots of comments coming in on legislation

Apparently, this last Thursday there was a positive COVID test in the Capitol. I was notified late in the day Thursday, and, as of this writing, what will happen this coming week is up in the air. Friday’s Senate floor session an... — Updated 4/19/2021

 By Pam Burke    Opinion

View from the North 40: Animals sing the songs of their people

We all have a voice, and for good, bad or weird animals do too. NPR’s Madeline Sofia talked March 25 to U.S. Department of Agriculture entomologist Sammy Ramsey about cicadas... — Updated 4/16/2021

 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion

Looking out my Backdoor: Down-in-the-dump-slump-lite!

Some days I can’t lose for winning. Sunrise, up earlier than I wanted. I moped around, felt mildly depressed. Not real depression. Real depression is serious stuff. Me, I’m in... — Updated 4/15/2021

 By Carrie Classon    Opinion

The Postscript: Stable footing

The tree was lying on its side when I got to it. It was a nice-looking pine tree, fluffy and full and as tall as me. The strong winds coupled with some unstable footing had caused... — Updated 4/14/2021


Protecting Montana's future

This past Friday was the 68th Legislative Day in Helena. We have 90 days per session to accomplish all we set out to do at the legislature, so that means we are quickly approaching the end of the session. But I am proud of what we... — Updated 4/13/2021


SB 379 is bad for business

Senate Bill 379 is a bill that is anti-jobs and anti-economic development. For a legislature supposedly focused on the governor’s rightful concerns for entrepreneurship, it’s a real step backward. Higher electricity bills will... — Updated 4/13/2021


Rushed tax bill will result in uncertain and regressive outcomes

State legislators are rushing a massive overhaul of our income tax system through the legislature at the last minute. Senate Bill 399 would cost the state millions in revenue and result in one in five Montanans paying more in... — Updated 4/13/2021


SB 182 puts health of Montanans at risk

After surviving the past year, 2017 seems like a lifetime ago. But for individuals with disabilities, it was a pretty memorable and terrible year in Montana.   As a reminder, in 2017 Montana experienced a revenue downturn, and... — Updated 4/13/2021


Republican voter suppression agenda is un-American

Voters turned out in record numbers in 2020. Hundreds-of-thousands of folks in our state cast their ballots and exercised their most fundamental right as an American. Unfortunately, Republicans across the nation and here in... — Updated 4/12/2021


Is your insurance company doing what they're supposed to?

Have you ever been the victim of an automobile accident and had the other driver’s insurance company partially blame you for the accident and require you to pay part of the claim? Nearly every driver in the United States will sub... — Updated 4/12/2021


Legislature back to work after Easter

Judy and I spent a few days home for the short, long Easter break. Our daughter, family and a friend were down from Cut Bank and Butte for Easter Dinner. It was fun sharing the day with everyone and getting help with a couple... — Updated 4/12/2021

 By Pam Burke    Opinion

View from the North 40: It's all shabby without the chic

It’s hard to pretty up a home when you have all the decorating instincts of an average sixth-grader. I have countered this lack of style savvy, though, with all the ambition and... — Updated 4/9/2021


Resurrect bill to help with impact of coal revenue and lost jobs

Instead of tackling coal revenue and job loss, Montana Republicans tabled HB646, substituting an alternative 2023 “study” about dwindling coal use. The “study” will be too late for coal-impacted communities like Sidney;... — Updated 4/9/2021

 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion

Looking out my Backdoor: This week I started smoking again

I used to have a photo of my Dad in his crisp uniform, just back from Overseas. “Overseas” is a lost word, known to us older folks. Dad was in the Army Air Force in WWII. I was... — Updated 4/8/2021

 By Carrie Classon    Opinion

The Postscript: Nocturnal negotiations

It’s amazing that anyone shares a bed. I know there are plenty of married and cohabiting couples who have separate beds, or even separate bedrooms, and I can see the logic in... — Updated 4/7/2021


The time is right to expand access to high-speed internet service -broadband

Over the last year, the pandemic has opened our eyes to the reality that high-speed internet is essential for Montanans across the state. The pandemic also reminds us of the painful truth that Montana ranks 50th in the nation when... — Updated 4/7/2021


Another View: The Choteau Acantha Legislature should not add strings to ARPA funds

The Montana Legislature is working this week on plans to appropriate the nearly $3 billion American Rescue Plan Act funding package that Montana will receive from the federal government. Unfortunately, the Legislature is... — Updated 4/6/2021


Governor needs to veto Putin-like bills

I didn’t study political science in college. I’m a soil scientist. So when people sling political terms around, I have to look them up in Webster’s Dictionary. Webster writes that “socialism is when government takes over... — Updated 4/5/2021

 By Pam Burke    Opinion

View from the North 40: 'No deaths have been reported' - Yet

I’ve been around animals enough in my life to know that they can sense when humans are vulnerable, and most of them are perfectly willing to capitalize on our weak moments ... — Updated 4/2/2021


From the Fringe … Why not take Dr. Harada's advice?

I won’t pretend I understand. I won’t say I get it when it comes to COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy, or the anti-vaxx movement in general. In fact, I don’t really understand any... — Updated 4/2/2021

 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion

Looking out my Backdoor: My world and mathematics

There is magic in my world. If I do not see it, it doesn’t matter. If I do see it, it doesn’t matter. Every day is a song. Yesterday’s music fell to earth, gone. Today’s... — Updated 4/1/2021


Legislators, governor enabling commercialization of hunting

For decades, Montana’s outfitting community provided their services in a fair fashion respecting the shared interests of hunters and landowners. Outfitters were partners in wildlife management, landowner relationships, and the... — Updated 4/1/2021


Letter to the Editor - Keep all Montana voters selecting Supreme Court judges

Editor, I’m starting with Tuesday legislation House Bill 325. So many bad bills this session, but this one is brought forward by a bitter crying woman who lost her election twice to the Montana Supreme Court and she’s exacting... — Updated 3/31/2021

 By Carrie Classon    Opinion

The Postscript: Out like a lion

March is winding down and my sister-in-law, Lori, is going with it. There is too much food and too many flowers because that is what we do when someone is dying, when we don’t... — Updated 3/31/2021


The state flag, coal trust and school trust lands

I have always admired the Montana State flag. It tells a story of Montana’s past and our assets as a state. Currently in the Montana House, there are folks who feel we should either have a vote on whether we should keep what we... — Updated 3/29/2021


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