Opinion / Column

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 By Pam Burke    Opinion    August 23, 2019 

View from the North 40: History 101: Wassup with Greenland

I don’t know what you’ve heard about Greenland, but it’s a strong, independent, saucy country that don’t take no nonsense off of any countries, even Denmark, which it is married to but not necessarily living with. If you know what I mean....

 

Looking out my Backdoor: The quality of light

My backyard pulls me out of the house. I take a book with me, as always, but cannot focus when surrounded by such magical glory. This is the same yard, the same beauty, the same powerful stillness...

 

The Postscript: Second sunset

I spent the last couple weeks visiting my parents. I’ve been lucky in the parent department. It’s fashionable to recall some pivotal incident that occurred when we were eight and extrapolate how every difficulty experienced in our life since is...

 

Deadline approaching on new infrastructure grant program

Homeowners know that when a leaky roof is spotted, it’s important to act quickly to find and fix the leak. If left unattended, that slow drip overhead can turn into a ceiling that collapses — costing far more to repair and threatening the...

 
 By Pam Burke    Opinion    August 16, 2019

View from the North 40: Thoughts from my pretty little brain

I was going to start this column with the eye-catching phrase: I am tired of being a woman. But that’s not true. I’m just tired of all the falderal around the status of womanhood as a whole. Are we objects like doormats or arm candy? Are we...

 

Don't be fooled about big pharmacy

Don’t be fooled by the current Washington rhetoric about “reforming” the pharmaceutical industry. Most recently, Sen. Chuck Grassley has been promoting his bill which would place inflation-based caps on Medicare drug prices. There are also...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: Confessions of an unknown poet

Times Were Simpler We like to imagine Times were simpler then. We brag to grandchildren, Honey, when I was your age I walked a mile To school every day, Barefoot, through the snow, Uphill both ways. They laugh. We romanticize the past, Ignore ugly pa...

 

The Postscript: Made to last

She wore it for one day in 1919 and it looked as if it was sewn with this in mind. My grandma’s wedding dress was more than a little worse for wear. It had been folded up in a small box and kept safe by my cousin, Jill. (How Jill ended up with it,...

 
 By Pam Burke    Opinion    August 9, 2019

View from the North 40: Consider the modern miracle of the 1260 spin

Professional skateboarder Mitchell “Mitchie” Brusco, 22, competing Saturday in Skateboard Big Air at the X Games Minneapolis 2019, became the first skateboarder in history of the world to land a 1260 in the competition. That’s a spin of 3.5...

 

Out my Backdoor: Strange days and strange ways

Do you ever wonder if the big ol’ sun up there looks down and thinks, “Those are some mighty strange beings down on that little ball of mud, especially that one there, standing by the mango tree,...

 

Conservation con job: Why won't Daines fully fund the LWCF?

There’s a simple principle savvy citizens use when evaluating politicians: to understand their priorities, don’t pay attention to what they say or how they vote during the re-election cycle. Focus on the voting record from earlier in their term....

 

The Postscript: Dusty surprises

The surprises just kept coming. When I moved in with Peter a few years back, I brought my clothes, a few books, and some artwork. I rented out my house, gave away my furniture, and everything else was consigned to “things I’ll deal with...

 

Reviewing a summer winding down

The summer months are often filled with car events for Judy and me, and this summer holds true. We attended the June Geraldine Fun Days and car show in Geraldine. A friend of ours, Bob Farmer, who was promoting the event, invited us to bring our...

 

A look at mysterious death of Montana senator

His sensational investigation of the Teapot Dome scandal made Montana U.S. Sen. Thomas Walsh a national figure, known for his ironclad honesty, and his earnestly disciplined approach to his senatorial duties. There is no known picture of him...

 
 By Pam Burke    Opinion    August 2, 2019

Medicine isn't always pretty, but it could be

Many ancient and traditional medicinal recipes call for animal parts, but modern medicine has its share of animal ingredients, too, and I ain’t just talking about how grandma told you chicken soup would cure your cold. From bear gallbladders to...

 

Looking out my Backdoor: The color of laughter

Yesterday my computer went strange on me, would not let me make any of my usual connections. So after trying everything I knew (not much) I phoned my son for help. Ben was at work, so he said he’d...

 

The Postscript: The Wren House

Nobody was using the old wren house. My grandfather built it. Grandpa started building birdhouses when he retired from milking cows and his second oldest son took over. That son, my mother’s brother, is now 87 and retired 20 years ago. It’s a...

 
 By Pam Burke    Opinion    July 26, 2019

View from the North40: It's not planes, trains and automobiles

When I was about 15 years old a friend of my family rode his 10-speed bicycle on a 330-mile road trip from Salmon, Idaho, to our home in northwest Montana and then home again — a 660-miles that took about a week each way, averaging something under...

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    July 25, 2019

Looking out my Backdoor: Piecing a partial picture patchwork past

DNA and ancestry search sites are the latest greatest. I’m not sure I want unknown relatives crawling out of the woodwork. The relatives I know are scary enough. Of my background, I know I am...

 

The Postscript: Marital privilege

I’ve been having my husband, Peter, cut my hair. I’m not sure I would recommend this to everyone, but I have almost no hair. Actually, I have the usual number of hairs, but they are so fine that a hair that falls from my head into the sink is...

 

In Trump era, GOP leaders lack courage and integrity

“These are the times that try men’s souls,” as true today as in Thomas Paine’s time. Each day our president trashes something important to the continuation of the longest functioning Democracy in the world. An independent judiciary, designed...

 
 By Pam Burke    Opinion    July 19, 2019

View from the North 40: I hope appearances aren't that important

The biggest problem with living a secluded lifestyle in the country is that you forget about the possibility of visitors, how to fit other living beings into the sum total of your day, or that you need to look in a mirror before opening the front...

 

This Montana Marine veteran is sick and tired of 'anti-American' rhetoric

I’ve met Montana Sen. Steve Daines a few times. I’m a constituent. Although I don’t agree with him on a lot of issues, he always seemed nice, professional and respectful. He was good to my son Cory, who has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Once, wh...

 
 By Sondra Ashton    Opinion    July 18, 2019

Looking out my Backdoor: Bats in my belfry

I was sitting on my front patio talking with my gardener, Leo, when a velvety brown bat fluttered between us and landed in a hollow metal rafter supporting the patio roof. Ah, I had wondered if bats...

 

The Postscript: Summer birthdays

It was my birthday this week. Those of you with summer birthdays know it’s a little different. In the middle of March, everyone says, “Wow! A birthday party!” You bring treats to school and everyone is happy for an excuse to celebrate. It’s...

 

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