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Opinion

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
Like I Was Saying

Myrt Webb, the Reality Check

Myrt Webb has quickly become rather unpopular. The man who stepped in as Kalispell’s interim city manager – since the previous one, Jim Patrick, also rather unpopular, was fired – has told the council his blunt view of its finances. In short, he said if the city doesn’t begin making more staff cuts it will […]

By Kellyn Brown
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