Opinion

Business Is Personal

Man, I just Love Heavy Traffic

From time to time, I hear complaints about Kalispell’s “awful” traffic, even though Kalispell’s rush hour is thankfully more like a rush five minutes. Heavy traffic is a very good thing if you’re a retailer or restaurant owner. Traffic is what Wal-Mart brings. There’s been lot of talk about the new Wal-Mart Supercenter at Hutton […]

By Mark Riffey
Business Is Personal

Legislating Montana Small Businesses Out of Business

Normally this could wait until my next column’s deadline, but with so many small business owners in Montana making and selling handmade items for kids – it can’t wait another minute. If you sell or make handmade toys, clothing, backpacks or certain other children’s items, it’s possible that you will be out of business as […]

By Mark Riffey
Like I Was Saying

Affordable Housing as a Scapegoat

NEWSFLASH: Flathead County has been sued. Actually, that’s not really news. This county gets sued all the time. So often, in fact, it’s hard to keep track of all its alleged illegal activity. It’s most often sued in response to rules and regulations involving property. Gravel pits, road requirements, you name it. The Montana Building […]

By Kellyn Brown
Opinion

A Simple Step in Easing Economic Woes for Montana Seniors

Montanans are struggling financially. This is evident every time I travel throughout the state. The day-to-day living expenses are starting to add up as the instability of the U.S. economy continues. While the bad news has been piling up, there are reasons to be confident. In fact, just days ago on so-called “Black Friday,” we […]

By Rep. Denny Rehberg
Closing Range

They Shoot Horses

Since Congress passed the first wild-horse-and-burro laws in 1971, national policy on wild horses – which mostly roam land managed by the Bureau of Land Management, with half of the total in Nevada – has gotten crazier and crazier. This year, BLM estimated there are 29,500 wild horses on public lands. Since 2001, BLM has […]

By Dave Skinner
Like I Was Saying

Developers’ Upper Hands

When the books are in the black and coffers are overflowing with tax revenue, cities hold sway over developers. In boom times, a steep upfront fee is a small price for potential commercial tenants to pay to do business within a thriving city. Well, times have changed. At a Kalispell City Council meeting last week […]

By Kellyn Brown
Opinion

“Black” Friday Turns Deadly

“Black Friday,” traditionally known as such as a ledger reference for retailers making profits on pre-Christmas sales the day after Thanksgiving, has now acquired another meaning as well: “black” as in death. At a Valley Stream, N.Y.,Wal-Mart, “A temporary Wal-Mart worker died after a throng of unruly shoppers broke down the doors and trampled him […]

By Bradley Harrington
Business Is Personal

I’m Not Madly in Love With Their Mailbox. Really.

I’m not madly in love with their mailbox. Really, I’m not. You’ll see. Last week, my comments about direct mail mistakes were far from complete. We could discuss that stuff for days, maybe longer. None of us have time to do that, but I do feel obligated to elaborate a bit. Stamps vs. Indicia While […]

By Mark Riffey
Opinion

Low-Income Homeowners Not the Problem

Recently, television commentators, pundits and bloggers have started to blame low-income homebuyers for the problems the mortgage and financial markets face today. These same folks are suggesting that the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) also played a hand in creating the problem. Nothing could be further from the truth; not in the nation and especially not […]

By Douglas Rauthe
Opinion

Diet Your Way to Fitness

I was getting the edges sharpened on my five-year-old, end-of-ski-season, 50-percent-off skis, when I ran into my old ski buddy Obie Fast. He is almost 75 years old, and I asked him how he will get into shape for the upcoming ski season that is just around the corner. Here is his story: As you […]

By Warren Miller
Closing Range

PAC-ing the Mailbox

Don’t you wonder who sent you all that election junk mail this year? Groups you’ve never heard of? Will never hear from again? Me too. Until 2006, requesting hard copies of campaign paperwork from the Montana Commission for Political Practices, an expensive pain, was the only option for the curious and annoyed. Now, we can […]

By Dave Skinner
Like I Was Saying

Consolation and Gravy

As a recession takes root, it’s an ominous time to break bread and reflect on that for which we are most thankful. From plummeting 401(k)s to skyrocketing jobless claims, a litany of concerns squeezes a general public already feeling pinched. Add to that the stress of the holidays – mall crowds, picky spouses and plump […]

By Kellyn Brown
Business Is Personal

Do You Make These 5 Costly Direct Mail Mistakes?

It’s easy to waste a lot of money by making a few simple mistakes when sending direct mail. Here are five common mistakes that are particularly costly: Using pre-printed postage (indicia) instead of real stamps The first goal for anything you mail to someone is to get it opened. Not read. Not replied to. Opened. […]

By Mark Riffey
Like I Was Saying

Crisis Creeps Closer

As Semitool, Columbia Falls Aluminum Company and Plum Creek Timber scale back their respective operations, many of our Flathead Valley neighbors are carrying pink slips in their pockets. It has been a brutal couple months. The stock market has fallen off, banks have failed and mortgages have gone unpaid. Yet the vast majority of locals […]

By Kellyn Brown
Opinion

Ensuring the Promise of our Constitution

The U.S. Constitution requires that all people receive the equal protection of the laws. “Equal Justice Under Law” appears over the main entry to the U.S. Supreme Court in our nation’s capitol. If folks cannot reasonably access their courts, I believe it goes without saying that equal protection of the laws and equal justice under […]

By Karla M. Gray

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