Opinion

Like I Was Saying

The EPA’s Fatal Indifference to Libby

The accusations are damning, yet the accused aren’t likely to be held accountable for anything. As the lungs of Libby residents choked on asbestos, as 200 of them died, as 2,000 more fell ill, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sat on its bureaucratic hands. Documents and e-mails obtained from the EPA last week by U.S. […]

By Kellyn Brown
Opinion

Placing Blame Won’t Fix the Economy

“I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore! You’ve got to say it! Then we’ll figure out what to do about the depression and the inflation and the oil crisis.” Peter Finch delivered these classic lines in his Oscar-winning performance as a newscaster in the movie “Network.” His words are eerily […]

By John D. Zaiss
Business Is Personal

Your Own Personal Bailout?

While the media is full of discussion, arguments and political posturing about the gazillion dollar bailout of the financial industry, no one is talking about the 27 million+ Main Street businesses that must survive on their own. Here are three strategies to help weather the storm swirling in Washington and New York, without spending a […]

By Mark Riffey
Closing Range

Supreme Injustice

Here in Montana, we directly elect our Supreme Court justices, in a “non-partisan” race. Once we do, we’re stuck with them for eight years. Do you know for whom you’ll vote? Justice Pat Cotter is running unopposed for re-election, while Mike McGrath and Ron Waterman are vying for Chief Justice. Who the heck are these […]

By Dave Skinner
Like I Was Saying

Kalispell’s Lost Art of Communication

As the city of Kalispell has stared down unhappy unions, frustrated developers and a budget shortfall, its staff and council have appeared severely out of sync. There’s either a communication gap among these decision-makers, or they have opted to ignore each other. In late July, when city officials announced that Kalispell Fire Chief Randy Brodehl […]

By Kellyn Brown
Opinion

Bigfork’s Storm Water Dilemma

In 2000, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s summary of national waters reported that about 40 percent of streams, 45 percent of lakes and 50 percent of estuaries that were assessed were not clean enough to support fishing and swimming; polluted mostly by sediments, excess nutrients and harmful microorganisms. Could that happen in Bigfork? At present, […]

By Sally Janover
Like I Was Saying

Local Politics: a Cure for the Jaded

When Beacon writer Dan Testa and I sat down last week to start prepping for the peak election season, we began by making a list of every local race in our coverage area. It was daunting, more than three-dozen candidates deep, filled with men and women who sell shoes, manage restaurants and ranch as their […]

By Kellyn Brown
Opinion

To Lower Gas Prices, We Need All Options On The Table

At the beginning of the 21st Century, America sits on the edge of an energy revolution not unlike the digital revolution we had in the waning years of the 20th Century. The increased use of computers and digital technology didn’t happen overnight. Developing a new economy around energy alternatives is no different. While no one […]

By Rep. Denny Rehberg
Closing Range

The Alaska Factor

There’s been much talk about Sarah Palin, Alaska’s new governor and an even newer candidate for vice president. Here’s some more: Almost 30 years ago, I had the good fortune to score work as a summer employee for the Alaska Railroad. As was usual in the railroad industry back then, I landed the job through […]

By Dave Skinner
Like I Was Saying

Don’t Blame Paul

The eyes of much of the country, especially party insiders, last week were fixed on the GOP convention, for the rollout of vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and on John McCain’s acceptance speech. Yet just a few days earlier in the town next door, thousands booed Republicans as loud as Democrats. Ron Paul supporters gathered […]

By Kellyn Brown
Opinion

Do More to Protect Our Children

As a parent of a Bigfork High School football player, I have become increasingly disillusioned along with other parents, (who wish to remain anonymous fearing their football player will be benched) at the lack of action from the Bigfork School District. Last year, at the beginning of the football season, we (the community, coaches, and […]

By Serra Valentine
Like I Was Saying

Schweitzer’s DNC Coronation

On the second day of a Democratic convention that even party loyalists had panned as dull, a sweating Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer took the podium. He yelled, waved his arms and brought a previously unenthused audience to its feet. He slammed the Bush administration’s energy policy while tying it to that of presumptive Republican nominee […]

By Kellyn Brown
Opinion

When Walsh Presided Over the Convention

Our Democratic and Republican national conventions are the grand spectacles of our political tradition. Today they are choreographed by programming professionals. Segments are timed precisely. Media savvy politicians skillfully rally the faithful and stimulate them to action. The unexpected is carefully guarded against. Any “suspense” is planned. Historically, conventions have not been staged events. They […]

By Bob Brown
Closing Range

Trampling the Roadless Travesty

In case you missed it, on Aug.12 in Cheyenne, federal Judge Clarence Brimmer issued a permanent injunction against the Clinton Administration’s so-called “roadless rule.” The roadless rule, of course, was the “most significant public lands measures of the last century,” according to the Wilderness Society. Or, the biggest political con job ever … as Judge […]

By Dave Skinner
Like I Was Saying

With Tax Law, State Micromanages Cities

City budgets across the state are in such dire straits that those in the unenviable position of managing municipal money have joked amongst themselves about which one will go bankrupt first. While not funny “ha! ha!” it is, perhaps, a way to lighten the mood when staring down untenable numbers. Right now, it appears Billings […]

By Kellyn Brown

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