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Opinion

Closing Range

The Adorable Sea Kittens

So the animal-rights cranks at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) are sending letters to schools with “fish” in their names, asking for a change to “Sea Kitten.” Whitefish isn’t the only town that got a letter from PETA. Spearfish, South Dakota got one, too, from PETA’s “youth outreach” flack. Spearfish principal Steve […]

By Dave Skinner
Like I Was Saying

Desperate Measures in Desperate Times

On Jan. 8, two of the Flathead Valley’s largest employers announced massive layoffs in a day of reckoning that left another 345 people without jobs. There is little to do but shake your head and hope that collectively we find a solution to stem the bleeding. This region owes much of its prosperity to the […]

By Kellyn Brown
Opinion

Montana Should Set Goals for Long-Term, Sustainable Growth

It’s easy to be a pessimist these days when you hear about job losses, bailouts and other bad economic news. Many Montanans are starting to feel the real effects of this worldwide fiscal downturn. Montana, however, is actually doing better than the rest of the country. At the moment, it looks like we may be […]

By Dan Bartel
Business Is Personal

Policy, Schmolicy, I Want My Skis!

For months, my youngest boy has been saving up for new skis. In an instant gratification world, it’s nice to watch a kid save for something he really wants. With over 5 feet of snow hitting the mountain in the last week, the timing was perfect to pick them up this past weekend. Saturday was […]

By Mark Riffey
Like I Was Saying

Flathead Officials Should Start Begging

Instead of debating the merits of an inevitable federal government stimulus plan and arguing over whether such an influx of money will shore up the U.S. economy, Flathead Valley municipalities should get in line early and start begging. Fortunately, it appears that they already have their respective hats out. No longer is there a question […]

By Kellyn Brown
Opinion

Bailing Out Bank Executives

When do we say enough is enough? Opening the local paper we were treated to yet another story about corporate CEO largess. There is nothing new in the story itself. Year after year we have been treated to occasional news stories about golden parachutes, stock options and various perk packages handed to the managers of […]

By Ken Toole
Business Is Personal

Locked Hubs, Snowy Boots and a New Hat

Last week, we talked about building a laundry list of things for each functional area of your business, so this week, we’re going to add to it (you knew that was coming, right?) A little advice about last week’s laundry list: Stick to it. Make the business of fine tuning your business into a part […]

By Mark Riffey
Closing Range

Not One More Acre

With the economy tanking, government budgets exploding, global warming (Not!), Israel and Hamas “celebrating” Christmas – all both Wild Bill Schneider and former Congressman Pat Williams can write about is the so-called “wilderness drought,” leading everyone off on the “wilderness” tangent for what seems like the bazillionth time. Don’t be surprised. After all, “Wilderness” is […]

By Dave Skinner
Like I Was Saying

A New Year Needed

A new year, a fresh start? I hope so. The last one turned sour about midway through and ended on an especially bitter note when the Columbia Falls Aluminum Co. announced just a few days before Christmas that it was shutting its doors. When, exactly, did 2008’s optimism fade? The year began with presidential primaries […]

By Kellyn Brown
Opinion

Looking Forward to Working With Land Board

Each December at its monthly meeting, the Board of Land Commissioners has a ceremony when the Superintendent of Public Instruction is presented with checks demonstrating how much revenue has been generated from activities on Montana’s state trust lands that benefit our school children. This year there was one check for $53.5 million that will provide […]

By Ellen Simpson
Business Is Personal

Making a Laundry List

Whether your business had its best year ever (and some did) or its worst, tomorrow brings the start of a new year. What are you going to do about it? With that in the back of your mind, let’s make a couple of lists and see what floats to the top. First, start with what […]

By Mark Riffey
Like I Was Saying

Tester: The Wrong and Right Bailouts

Sen. Jon Tester voted against the $700 billion bailout for the nation’s financial industry because he couldn’t find anyone who could tell him “it would do any good.” He then opposed a bailout for Detroit’s automakers because the “big three’s” business plan “wasn’t really a business plan.” It put him in a unique position, as […]

By Kellyn Brown
Opinion

Wilderness for Next Christmas

Next year, at this time, Montana’s Congressional Delegation can lay a wonderful gift under our Christmas tree – Wilderness. Montana’s few remaining unroaded lands deserve protection and the vast majority of our citizens want these lands to remain just as they are: wild and free. All of us realize that our state is now and […]

By Pat Williams
Business Is Personal

Vigilance, Wooden Toys and Evil Realtors

Myers Reece’s story last week about the Northwest Montana Association of Realtors (NMAR) hiring a Governmental Affairs Director set off a colorful discussion about the evils of Realtors in the story’s online comments area. Unfortunately, that colorful discussion missed the most important point brought up by Myers’ story: that small business owners must be vigilant […]

By Mark Riffey
Closing Range

We Live in Interesting Times

The federal government just announced 573,000 Americans filed initial jobless claims for the first week of December, the worst since 1982. And in the third quarter of 2008 alone, household net worth fell 5 percent – $2.8 TRILLION in stocks and home “value” gone poof. As one economist told the Washington Post, Americans “have to […]

By Dave Skinner

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