By Tristan 

Darts and Laurels


Laurel — The H. Earl Clack Memorial Museum is one of 14 museums along the Montana Dinosaur Trail. It must be a popular place. Every summer, a competition is held to see who can sell or stamp the most Montana Trail passports. The Clack Museum won this year. The contest results show that the museum is well-attended. The prize is a real catch for the museum, a skull of the dinosaur Stygimoloch, which will take up permanent residence at the Clack.

Dart — Montana's financial picture is better than just about any state in the country. But the state teacher pension plan is in dire straits. Maybe it's not as bad as pension systems in Illinois or California, but the system needs an immediate infusion of $633 million. School districts and the state government may have to chip in, and pension benefits may have to be cut. The state never should have gotten into this predicament.

Dart — The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has ruled that people using medical marijuana cannot purchase guns. The federal and state governments have been at odds on the issue of medical marijuana, and the decision sounds to us like an effort by the feds to take a shot at the legalization of medical marijuana in Montana and several other states. But it is none of the business of the federal government if people are using medical marijuana, and it would be impossible for gun sellers to know. The feds ought to back off.

Laurel — Stacey Small has been something of a thorn in the side of tribal leaders at Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation. Last year, he challenged the results of the Business Committee elections on what we considered dubious grounds. He lost. This year, he was the top vote-getter in the Business Committee elections. Then a suit was filed seeking to overturn those results. The court ordered another election. Maybe people thought Small was being treated unfairly because this time he won the special election by an even-greater margin than the first time.

Laurel — Volunteers from a variety of Chinook groups will be going door to door Saturday to collect food for the Chinook Food Bank. Like most food banks, their need for food is greater than the supply. Be generous when volunteers come to your door on Saturday.

Laurel — Many area churches are facing tough financial times. Some are merging staffs or congregations. So, it was good to hear that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is expanding because the size of the congregation is growing so rapidly.


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