Opinion / Column

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 By Pam Burke    Opinion 

View from the North 40: What does your the flag fly for?

The overwhelming number of videos about the D.C. protest-turned-siege of the U.S. Capitol didn’t make me think of my grandpa until I saw an entirely unrelated video that seemed... — Updated 1/15/2021

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion

Looking out my Backdoor: When summer sausage is a slice of bliss

Jim from Missouri, funny how we label people, isn’t it, was talking with me the other day, distanced and masked, when, in an idle comment, I mentioned that I miss summer sausage,... — Updated 1/14/2021

 
 By Carrie Classon    Opinion

The Postscript: My treat bag

Dax stared at me in disbelief. I am the Treat Lady, and I had no treats. It was inexplicable. Dax is one of my regular customers. He is a young black dog with a lot of energy. His s... — Updated 1/13/2021

 

Montana cannot afford devastating budget cuts while providing tax breaks for the wealthy

The Montana Budget & Policy Center is a nonprofit organization providing research and analysis on budget, tax, and economic issues. Imagine someone gave you a million dollars and told you to spend $1,000 every day and come back... — Updated 1/11/2021

 
 By Pam Burke    Opinion

View from the North 40: In times of stress ...

With plenty of opportunities lately to participate in one of my favorite self-health activities — stress eating — I was prompted to do some research on one of my go-to stress... — Updated 1/8/2021

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion

Looking out my Backdoor: Beginnings, mysteries and a mixed bag of nonsense

Bob T, a long-time friend from my past, used to compare life to a battery. In order for it to work, life must have both positive and negative poles. I, of course, wanted only the... — Updated 1/7/2021

 
 By Carrie Classon    Opinion

The Postscript: Swedish surprise

My 2021 calendar is hanging from the closet door. Every year I’ve lived in this house, I’ve gotten a cloth calendar, hung from a dowel. My mother’s mother always had a cloth... — Updated 1/6/2021

 

The humbling privilege serving as Montana's governor

As any parent knows, time is more often measured by the milestones of our children than our own lives. When I first entered this office as Montana’s 24th governor, the sounds of young children laughing and playing rang through... — Updated 1/4/2021

 
 By Carrie Classon    Opinion

The Postscript: When every day is Sunday

This week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is a strange time, a time when every day feels like Sunday. This morning, I made a big mistake. I checked the temperature. At 10:00... — Updated 12/31/2020

 

Our pandemic

Now, after a year, the numbers have become numbing. We can’t blame the media, who were simply doing their job by reporting facts, but as thousands became hundreds of thousands it became impossible to maintain a sense of scale.... — Updated 12/31/2020

 
 By Pam Burke    Opinion

View from the North 40: The event boundary you didn't know you needed

The annual build-up of anticipation for New Year’s Day is, I think, the clearest proof of mankind’s eternal, stalwart and irrational optimistic nature. How many times have we... — Updated 12/31/2020

 
 By Carrie Classon    Opinion

The Postscript: Throw out the empties

A fellow I know was grousing about the past year. His birthday was coming up and he felt, once again, that this year failed to meet his expectations. He was unhappy with the year,... — Updated 12/30/2020

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion

Looking out my Backdoor: Merry Christmas

The phone rings. I grab my mask with one hand and the phone with the other. “Merry Christmas.” My new habit. Masking has become automatic. Before I leave the house I grab a... — Updated 12/24/2020

 
 By Pam Burke    Opinion

View from the North 40: I have a wish that's bigger than Christmas

Holidays are complicated. Have you ever tried to make one up on your own? Sure it’s easy to say “That (fill in the blank) is so awesome, everybody should celebrate it as a... — Updated 12/24/2020

 
 By Carrie Classon    Opinion

The Postscript: As much christmas as possible

Whatever you think about Christmas, I think you would have to agree we need one this year. Everyone I know seems determined to do as much Christmas as it is possible to do. My... — Updated 12/23/2020

 

Striking a balance in Beaver Creek Park

It was encouraging to hear that the Hill County Park Board is initiating a process to document a policy for trapping in our Beaver Creek Park. Hopefully this policy will address more than just lethal trapping of beavers and... — Updated 12/22/2020

 
 By Pam Burke    Opinion

View from the North 40: What is going on with the crazy news this month?

I try to stay positive, but there’s just a whole lot of nope in the paper this week, and I hate to say that it’s affecting me, but here we are and I’m starting things off... — Updated 12/18/2020

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion

Looking out my Backdoor: Oblivious me

I am a marked woman. Last week I announced to my little world that I am studying Spanish, obviously a language tagged as subversive. When next I arrive in Havre, I'm likely to be... — Updated 12/17/2020

 
 By Carrie Classon    Opinion

The Postscript: Midcentury modern Christmas

“I’ve forgotten the funny name of the tree you helped us pick out,” my mother said. “Our tree this year is named Melinda.” The greenhouse where my parents get their... — Updated 12/16/2020

 

Faith. Hope. And Charity

In a position where my organization — the Montana State University-Northern Foundation — relies on the generosity of others, I have been wondering, is generosity an innate characteristic or is it learned? Is it part of our... — Updated 12/16/2020

 

Legislature needs to use common sense to keep people safe

Nearly nine months into a pandemic, COVID-19 has impacted Montanans in every corner of the state. Nearly 800 Montanans have lost their lives to the virus and many others have gotten sick and are experiencing long term impacts that... — Updated 12/15/2020

 

We are better than this!

The communities of Havre/Hill County are better than our current behavior reflect. I think an apt comparison to our current situation is to compare our response to the Bear Paw/Beaver Creek fires a couple of years ago. This was an... — Updated 12/11/2020

 
 By Pam Burke    Opinion

View from the North 40: Hope summiting 2020 at 29,032 feet

In a time when American politics has been all about dueling realities, you’ll be happy — in a misery-loves-company kind of way — to know that it’s not just us. Nepal and... — Updated 12/11/2020

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion

Looking out my Backdoor: The Rain in Spain - go away!

I’m a Sun Bunny. Sun worshipper. Sun seeker. For the past week if or when a tiny patch of sun parts the clouds, I rush out to sit, face raised toward the bounteous warmth,... — Updated 12/10/2020

 
 By Carrie Classon    Opinion

The Postscript: Lower expectations

It is a year of lower expectations. Every year, there is a chorus of folks urging us to lower our expectations for the holidays — buy less, consume less, worry less about having... — Updated 12/9/2020

 

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