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  • The Postscript: Spring cold

    Carrie Classon|Updated Apr 16, 2024

    The fact is, I am spoiled. I never get sick. I’ve never spent a night in a hospital since I was born (and then, my mother stayed with me). I’ve never broken a bone. I’ve never had a major operation. I am absurdly healthy, and I can take no credit for any of this. So, naturally, when I get sick, I am insufferable. It always starts in the same way. I get a sore throat. First, I ignore it. I have found this is the best way to deal with imminent disasters. When I used to drive...

  • Second-most unpopular man wins presidency

    Updated Apr 16, 2024

    Because of the unique qualifications of contenders Joseph Biden and Donald Trump, the Havre Daily is able to provide readers this exclusive early 2024 presidential election wrap up. While some details will have to wait for November, one election shocker is here now: a majority of Americans are still mad, and mildly depressed by the outcome. In the aftermath of the hard fought unpopularity contest, election analysts point out that both Trump and Biden maintained their respective deficits to the finish line. Former President...

  • Looking out my Backdoor: Birthdays and other afflictions

    Sondra Ashton|Updated Apr 12, 2024

    I’ve never made a big deal of my birthdays. In childhood, my birthday presents were always books, which was exactly what I wanted. Coming from family raised during the Great Depression, a gift was a Big Deal. I’m pretty sure my dad never had a birthday present. For decades, beginning in my forties, I began skipping the “9” years. Instead of forty-nine, I became “almost fifty.” I did not see 49 as a positive gain. Almost sixty. Almost seventy. This year, a “9” year, I turned...

  • Clerk of Supreme Court position too important for Ellsworth

    Updated Apr 12, 2024

    Primary candidate for clerk of the Montana Supreme Court Jason Ellsworth doesn’t understand or respect separation of powers — a core tenant of our American democracy that protects us all. Demonstrated by his newly created “Judicial Oversight Committee” and now the subpoena he recently issued to the Montana secretary of state, Ellsworth continues to show, in addition to his personal criminal and civil records, that he doesn’t think the law applies to him. Worse yet, his actions undermine governmental accountability, judicial...

  • The Postscript: Bonanza!

    Updated Apr 9, 2024

    My husband, Peter, and I spend the winters in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. The center of the town is a designated World Heritage Site, which means the facades of the buildings must remain as they were in the mid-1700s. The streets are made of round and sometimes slippery cobblestones. The doors are stout and covered with hundreds of coats of paint, and on the top of every building is a rooftop terrace where people can watch the fireworks that go off for no reason that anyone has ever been able to figure out. It is...

  • One for the road

    Updated Apr 9, 2024

    I just finished “Democracy in America,” which is a book by a Frenchman named Alexis de Tocqueville on… well, it’s in the title. To write this book, Tocqueville and his friend Gustave de Beaumont, who was the Dr. Watson of the duo, only without a mustache, sailed to the United States to check out its capital attractions. Not McDonald’s. Prisons. These two splendid gents got the French government to sponsor their jaunt across the Atlantic by promising they’d bring back loads of stuff on prisons. Wouldn’t you know, the plo...

  • I would bring accountability to Washington

    Updated Apr 5, 2024

    During my second tour to Iraq as a U.S. Marine, my unit was tasked to help secure the Syrian border. We had received intel that Iran was sending weapons into Syria to smuggle across the border for use against American troops. At the same time, refugees from all over the country were flooding the border to escape the war. We successfully accomplished the mission of securing the border that deployment. It is an absolute shame the Biden administration will not do the same and is allowing an unsecure southern border in our very...

  • Looking out my Backdoor: Sometimes when life

    Sondra Ashton|Updated Apr 5, 2024

    Sometimes when life gives you lemons, well, you can’t make lemonade when life drops the whole tree on your head, can you? The entire last month has been terrible for my friends, Ana and Michelle. First one of the cats got strange. Cats can be strange, so what! However, when something is wrong, something is wrong. After several visits to the nearest small animal vet in Tala (Havre to Loma), Blue was diagnosed with diabetes and Cushing’s disease. Blue is on medication, blood jab...

  • Fair taxes now

    Updated Apr 5, 2024

    We are a house divided against ourselves. The evidence is everywhere. Neighbors are angry with neighbors. Republicans and Democrats accuse each other of treason and stupidity. Our government, churches, colleges and universities, scientific community, corporations and other institutions are subject to abuse and skepticism. People are even asking, “Shall we trade our democracy for authoritarianism?” There is plenty to be angry about. In that sense, the anger is understandable. There are so many problems that we could solve if w...

  • State-level marijuana legalization has been a stunning success

    Updated Apr 5, 2024

    It’s been over a decade since Colorado and Washington became the first two states to legalize marijuana for adults. With the benefit of hindsight, it’s fair to ask: Has this policy been successful? Absolutely. A policy of legalization, regulation, and education is preferable to a policy of criminalization, stigmatization and incarceration. Let’s be clear. Legalization didn’t create or normalize the marijuana market in the United States. The market was already here. But under a policy of prohibition, this market flourished und...

  • Opponents to SB 442 spewing false information

    Updated Apr 2, 2024

    Hello, my name is Todd Devlin, a fourth-generation farmer/rancher in eastern Montana. I have been a Prairie County Commissioner since 1995, and a past president of the Montana Association of Counties (MACo) in 2016-2017. I have been very involved in public land and natural resource issues both at the state and national level for over 30 years. Currently, I am the chair of the National Association of Counties Public Lands Steering Committee and the executive director of the Montana Natural Resource Coalition of Counties....

  • The Postscript: Perfection

    Carrie Classon|Updated Apr 2, 2024

    I was lying in bed the other night in the little apartment my husband, Peter, and I rent in Mexico, and thinking that things were perfect. Then I wondered what that meant. Because, without trying very hard at all, I could come up with things that were far from perfect — in the world, in the neighborhood, even in my body if I really started digging. But it did not prevent me from feeling that — at that moment, lying in bed, listening to the distant cacophony of noises out...

  • State Senate pushes back on a judicial Trojan horse

    Updated Apr 2, 2024

    A majority of the Montana Senate has delivered letters to the Montana Supreme Court, Governor, and Secretary of State outlining our concern that a recent court order is unconstitutional. It’s easy to get lost in the weeds of the issue, but the heart of the matter is pretty simple. It’s about the separation of powers among our three branches of government. The Legislature is the branch closest to the people. We cannot abide a situation where the people’s voice in Helena is ignored by the other branches. First, it’s importa...

  • Help protect climate for our children

    Updated Apr 2, 2024

    The American Academy of Pediatrics was the first major medical society in the US to write a policy statement on climate change. Our updated policy was just published in March 2024. In the 14 years since the first edition, a vast body of peer-reviewed medical literature has emerged showing even more harm from heat and air pollution to health and mental health of children. There is strong evidence that exposure to heat and air pollution for pregnant women affects the health of the unborn baby resulting in more preterm births,...

  • Looking out my Backdoor: Will you still love me, when I'm 96?

    Sondra Ashton|Updated Mar 29, 2024

    Michelle’s mother, and our friend, fell and broke her other hip. Jane is 96 years old. It was only three or four years ago that Jane fell and broke a hip. Wasn’t easy but she recovered. Surgery is extremely high risk for this woman. It was risky then and is even more so now. Jane has been in the hospital several days, waiting while certain medicines leach out of her body. Surgery is not our only worry. Our small hospital, which we are fortunate to have, is staffed by exc...

  • A letter to the citizens of Montana about SB 442

    Updated Mar 29, 2024

    County commissioners from across Montana appreciate the widespread support that Senate Bill 442 enjoyed throughout its legislative process. Marijuana revenues are new to Montana, and the bill’s thoughtful distribution of this higher-than-expected new revenue stream included some funding for county roads. Bipartisan and impactful legislation backed by such a wide variety of Montanans is a rarity, and we commend Senator Lang and the bill’s many proponents for their efforts. Even after Gov. Gianforte exercised his right to vet...

  • A respectful response from Sen. Lang on arguments about SB 442

    Updated Mar 29, 2024

    The separation of powers among the three co-equal branches of government are essential; and I agree that no branch should be able to overreach it’s bounds. I want to tell you why this overreach is not happening with SB 442! In Montana, our Constitution does not allow the Executive branch to have the final say over bills adopted by the Montana Legislature, which is the Senate and House of Representatives collectively. The ongoing dispute regarding SB 442 is about preserving the separation of powers. The Executive branch exerci...

  • The Postscript: Living with a cat

    Carrie Classon|Updated Mar 26, 2024

    We have had our adopted Mexican street cat, Felix, for a month now. “Has he bulked out?” I asked my husband, Peter, as we watched Felix, standing on his back legs and walloping the tattered mouse hanging from his sisal scratching post. Felix looked like a boxer, beating the remaining stuffing out of his helpless little toy mouse. Bits of fur and mouse innards were strewn around the kitchen. But the carnage was not limited to the kitchen. Living with a cat, you start to eye gra...

  • Looking out my Backdoor: Thing One and Thing Two and Thing Three

    Sondra Ashton|Updated Mar 22, 2024

    I have perfected English muffins. What that means is that I got hungry for English muffins, not available on the shelves of any tienda in town. I made my first batch, which exceeded my expectations. Unfortunately for me, I made the breadly goodness on a social day and within a couple hours had none left. I called that batch “Thing One.” I’d eaten one hot off the griddle with butter and jam but wanted a breakfast sandwich muffin on the order of the classic from the Golde...

  • SB 442: A bill for all Montanans

    Updated Mar 19, 2024

    The legislative session in Montana is a full-contact sport. Bills get introduced that stoke controversy and debate. My bill (SB 442) was no different to begin with, but we ended up with a bill Montanans could be proud of. Thousands of Montanans were able to convince 130 of 150 legislators to vote for SB 442. It was popular because Montanans were able to put aside long-standing disagreements and work with their neighbors to help craft a bill that invests in every single one of us. As legislators get ready to override Gov....

  • The Postscript: Useful

    Carrie Classon|Updated Mar 19, 2024

    I had a discouraging day yesterday. I don’t expect anyone to keep track — heck, I can’t keep track half the time. But I got another rejection of my book from another editor with another publishing house. I’ve read the stories of how long it has taken well-known authors to sell their first novel. A publisher has to put a lot of money into a new book, and the odds are slim that a writer’s first book will ever earn that money back. Publishers know this and so they are understan...

  • Speak softly and carry a can opener

    Updated Mar 19, 2024

    You shouldn’t need the arm strength of a gorilla to open a can of tuna. We live in a country where marketers insist opening cans is easy. And it is easy, if you define hard as easy. Maybe the American packaging industry wants to suss out foreign spies who grew up with jars. On my part, I’m just about ready to donate my cans to the local ballpark so I can see flying fish. Right now, the only thing I can see is a metal cylinder I’ve kicked around my kitchen. My walls have dents in them, but as far as I know, the fish are okay....

  • Looking out my Backdoor: Spring is sprung

    Sondra Ashton|Updated Mar 15, 2024

    The wolf-whistle bird is back. This sharp-voiced bird returns every spring. It has two very distinctive calls. When I hear its voice, I instinctively jerk my head around to see who is either trying to get my attention (Hey you, over here!) or is teasing me with admiration (Wolf-whistle, I kid you not). Then I laugh at myself. Foiled again! The wolf-whistle bird doesn’t sound anything like a love bird, does it? This avian character sounds more like the kind of birds your m...

  • The Postscript: Rod Stewart hair

    Carrie Classon|Updated Mar 12, 2024

    “I like your hair!” a woman at the party said. This is always nice to hear. My hair is my least endearing feature, primarily because there is not much of it. But since my husband, Peter, started cutting it, I worry a lot less. “How does my hair look?” I ask as I head out the door. Peter always pretends to take this question very seriously. (He should, as my hairdresser.) He scrutinizes the top of my head for a long moment. He asks me to turn all the way around. Then he reac...

  • Montana should lead in regenerative agriculture and ranching

    Updated Mar 12, 2024

    We are members of Montana Health Professionals for a Healthy Climate, an organization formed by a broad coalition of health professionals, working together to address climate change as a public health issue, due to the threats the climate crisis poses to the health and future of our communities. The food we eat is a significant contributor to chronic medical conditions, and even death in the US. Despite providing bountiful food, industrial agriculture also yields many products used for highly processed foods which are...

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