Opinion / Column

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 By Pam Burke    Opinion    June 14, 2019 

View from the North 40: In a world, where teen justice reigns

A principal in West Virginia has been disciplined for plagiarizing the speech he gave to his school’s graduating seniors. Now-graduated student Abby Smith listened to the speech Parkersburg High School Principal Kenny DeMoss gave to her graduating...

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    June 13, 2019

Looking out my Backdoor - Living at-with-inside the zoo

After a whirlwind trip around eastern Montana last week, I’ve settled in a room with no view but, more importantly, with private bath, at my daughter’s new home in Glendive. At times in our...

 

The Postscript: New rhubarb

Spring came late and so, appropriately, did the annual deep cleaning of the refrigerator. A lot of stuff gets tucked into the refrigerator over the course of the winter. Obsolete condiments band together and take refuge deep in the corners. A...

 

Celebrate a smoke-Free Father's Day

Father’s Day is a day to celebrate dads for all they do. It is also a great time for dads to remember the important role they play in influencing the choices their kids make regarding tobacco use. Tobacco use among men remains a serious problem. Ac...

 
 By Pam Burke    Opinion    June 7, 2019

View from the North 40: Study reveals what's hiding behind those smiles

Scientific studies are great, but they often raise more questions than they answer, even if it’s just: “How much alcohol are we talkin’ here?” ABC4 News station WZTV, reported in April that a study by Penn State and University of Buffalo...

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    June 6, 2019

Looking out my Backdoor: We made omelet, mixed and magical

Bacon and eggs are common base ingredients, but we created a different kind of omelet at Char’s the other morning, a “Friend Omelet,” made of ingredients (ourselves), old friends and new. I had...

 

Coalition406 taking thoughtful approach on marijuana legalization

Montana and the nation are moving quickly toward marijuana legalization as public opinion rapidly evolves on the issue. A recent University of Montana poll found a majority of Montanans support ending the prohibition on marijuana for adults....

 

The Postscript: Frying eggs for Big Boy

My husband, Peter, decided to make friends with a raven. We have a lot of ravens around our house. Ravens are smart birds and Peter did some research on them. They mate for life and can live to be seventeen years old in the wild. They learn to...

 
 By Pam Burke    Opinion    May 31, 2019

View from the North 40: I'm hung up on swinging gates

The principles behind installing gates are so simple even I can mess them up. Gates are essential when you have livestock, pets, small children and other animals that you need to keep confined in or out of a fenced area. I have a few miles of fence...

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    May 30, 2019

Looking out my Backdoor: Do you ever get down in the mouth?

Depression by any other name is no rose, let me tell you. Steve and Theresa, my friends from my long-time home in Washington, are back in their home. We had a lovely time together; I especially...

 

Hill County DUI/Drug Court joins the nation in celebrating National Drug Court Month, 30 years of success

Nearly 30 years ago, the first drug court opened its doors with a simple objective: rather than allowing members to cycle through the system and become part of the incarcerated community, DUI, Drug and Specialty courts found a better way to...

 

The Postscript: Anxiety

I get anxious, as I might have mentioned. While I don’t think it’s anything requiring medication, fortunately, I became aware at middle-age that I have always had a sort of “hum” of anxiety going on in the background. I usually only notice it...

 
 By Pam Burke    Opinion    May 24, 2019

View from the North 40: Somewhere between a few minutes and forever

I’ve been a big, fat, liar, liar, pants on fire all week long. I’d be more concerned with this uncharacteristic laps in moral standards, but I’ve been on vacation and I just can’t muster the energy to show the proper amount remorse. This...

 

Support John Scott Hannon act as part of honoring Memorial Day

Earlier this week, the Wounded Warrior Project offered a great “Statement for the Record” to the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. WWP’s analysis focused on five different sections of “Senate Bill 785 — Commander John Scott Hannon...

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    May 23, 2019

Looking out my Backdoor: Reasons, seasons, and forever friends

Friends come in every size, color and flavor and I would not want it to be any other way. I’ve heard it said that some friends are for a reason. I’d agree with that. Take Benjamin, for example,...

 

Amtrak at risk again

Friends and neighbors, I attended the rail passenger conference on Saturday in Cut Bank. One takeaway from the meeting that everyone in Northern Montana needs to be aware of; the 2019 Legislature approved House Joint Resolution 34 – the Interim...

 

The Postscript: Forty Friends

The truth is, I don’t actually have 40 friends in my immediate community. I only recently moved to town when I married Peter. So, I just went around town and invited every person I recognized and, somehow, ended up inviting forty people to my...

 
 By Pam Burke    Opinion    May 17, 2019

View from the North 40: When a job is more than a job

We’ve read the reports of how joblessness is down, seen all the help wanted signs and listened to the ’70s generation talk about how “jobs were so scarce back in my day, there was 80 people applying for every job listed, and if you didn’t...

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    May 16, 2019

Looking out my Backdoor: Shake, rattle and roll with the punches

When Guadalajara rumbled with a 3.9 quake, I neither felt nor heard it but at the same time a weird wind seemingly blowing from all directions hit us hard. That night I lay in bed looking up at the...

 

The Postscript: Lipstick 12-step

As long-time readers of The Postscript know, I do not delve into politics or current events. You might think this comes from a desire to find common ground with all my readers. You might think I am trying to bridge the divide in a time when there...

 
 By Pam Burke    Opinion    May 10, 2019

View from the North 40: Lenten muskrat, anyone?

While the Catholic Church gets bashed frequently for its outdated church-sanctioned laws and pressured to modernize its ways, I’m here to lend some non-church support for one of those canons which started in the Detroit-area in the 1700s: muskrats...

 

Legislature came together to send message on child sexual abuse

Actions speak louder than words. But words create the environment and world in which we live. Our actions and words matter greatly — and the actions and words of the Montana State Legislature in the 2019 session were clear: Montana will not allow...

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    May 9, 2019

Looking out my Backdoor: When life weaves magic

My son Ben lives in Poulsbo, a lovely town across the water from Seattle, where I lived with my family for 25 years. He sent the following email to me and it is a better story than any I could write....

 

Oversight is not optional in democracy

After (falsely) claiming total exoneration from the release of a redacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report, President Trump has dug in his heels even further, telling reporters that the White House was fighting “all the...

 

UM provides tomorrow-proofing

When I was a student at West Point in the 1990s, the military component of my education focused on high-intensity conflict and Cold War-era strategies and tactics. Those were the wars of recent memory, so that’s what we trained for. After my gradua...

 

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