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Opinion

Opinion

Profit from Nonprofits

Here we are looking to a new year with a combination of hope and fear. Hope that real change can move us in a positive direction, and yet some fear that past transgressions may be difficult to overcome. Here at the Museum at Central School in Kalispell we’re in pretty decent shape, considering the circumstances, […]

By Gil Jordan
Business Is Personal

Stimulated, That’s What I Am

That is, I’m stimulated by H.R. 1, the warmly and fuzzily named “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009”, which doesn’t appear to impress the Wall Street Journal. At first glance, my thought was that if Phyllis Diller was a House bill, she’d be H.R. 1 (For those who don’t know Ms. Diller, she’s had […]

By Mark Riffey
Closing Range

Fundamentals 101

Last Wednesday morning, I scammed a free yuppie breakfast, courtesy of Montana West Economic Development. MWED hosted Jim Kelley from Kelley Appraisal and PhD economist Gregg Davis of FVCC before a jam-packed room. I’m glad we ate before the presentation. Back in the old days, before environmentalism, the Internet, the “new West,” hedge funds and […]

By Dave Skinner
Like I Was Saying

Budget Bravado

Gov. Brian Schweitzer has come out of hiding. He’s putting pressure on Montana lawmakers to begin crafting a state budget as only he can – by comparing himself to an off-road vehicle: “I was in 2-wheel drive, and now I have put it in 4-wheel drive. I am going to use the strength of the […]

By Kellyn Brown
Opinion

More Horses Left Behind: Blame the Economy

I read, “As Costs of Ownership Rise, More Horses Left Behind,” by Dan Testa in the Flathead Beacon printed on Jan. 14, 2009. The article points out that the three people who were interviewed say that, although the abandoned horse story is widely reported, it isn’t something that they’ve seen. Calls of “abandonment” lead to […]

By Lori Hackman
Opinion

Finally, some good CPSIA News: One year stay on testing

After an unbelievable amount of time and effort by people all over the U.S., a one year stay of enforcement and *some* testing has been put in place by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. I can’t urge strongly enough that sellers and manufacturers of children’s products READ the press release. Starting with a few people […]

By Mark Riffey
Business Is Personal

Selling The Early Adopters

Not long ago, I was in a box store in Kalispell, sauntering by an iPod Touch, almost on a whim. For those who read my Buy Local pitch a few weeks ago, no one in Columbia Falls carries the item I needed. Last year, we talked about the productivity that a custom iPhone application could […]

By Mark Riffey
Like I Was Saying

Acting on Cynicism

Kalispell unveiled a revitalization plan for its urban core earlier this month, complete with an optimistic rendering of what the center of the Flathead Valley’s largest city could look like with a substantial facelift. It was greeted, at least by many of our readers, with both skepticism and cynicism: “People will be colonizing the planet […]

By Kellyn Brown
Opinion

Leaving a Legacy for Future Generations

This time of year is always one where I spend some time pondering the past and considering the future. One of the first things that always comes is how fortunate I am to live here in Montana. We live in a truly special place. Our heritage is woven together by generations of Montanans from diverse […]

By Carol Bibler
Opinion

Microsoft Lays Off 1,400

It isn’t just the building, trades and manufacturing businesses – even Microsoft is hit by the state of the economy. Today Microsoft announced 5,000 layoffs, starting with 1,400 effective immediately. For those who might celebrate such an event, I wouldn’t suggest it. Microsoft uses vendors in the valley and they might employ one of your […]

By Mark Riffey
Business Is Personal

Tossing and Turning

One of the questions I often hear from clients is “Where do I get ideas for new products and services?” Of course, the most obvious place would be “Your customers”, but sometimes it isn’t quite that simple. Customers are a valuable source of feedback in this area, but they aren’t perfect. If every business waited […]

By Mark Riffey
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