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Opinion

Opinion

Partisan Politics Getting in the Way of Common Sense

As Sharla and I buckle down for another harvest near Big Sandy, we’re feeling what all Montanans are feeling at home – the pinch of out-of-control energy prices. It’s an issue that I deal with every day as a U.S. Senator and as a family farmer. Our energy problems are the result of poor presidential […]

By Sen. Jon Tester
Closing Range

Blowing Smoke: The Fire Blame Game

Here comes fire season, along with plenty of toxic political smoke. In the last couple of weeks, the Idaho Statesman and Los Angeles Times have produced serial articles about the “wildfire problem,” and of course “solutions,” plus various advocates have started churning out their “fire is good and natural” press releases and op-eds. Overall, the […]

By Dave Skinner
Like I Was Saying

Whitefish Sign Law Encouraging Blandness

The hammer that is the Whitefish sign ordinance is, once again, swinging wildly. This time, no real lives are in danger – just a rosy mural on the side of a local café – a sharp contrast to a previous kerfuffle involving the dubious law. Then, North Valley Hospital officials had to convince the city […]

By Kellyn Brown
Opinion

Environmentalists Ignore Problem in Own Backyard

It’s high season for roiling, billowing and drifting dust on the North Fork Road. A low altitude flight at mid-day reveals a ribbon of dust wafting over the divinely colored waters of the North Fork River. The beauty masks the bull trout habitat being destroyed by the accumulation of barely measurable sediments. Looking east toward […]

By Robert Grimaldi
Like I Was Saying

Race Issues in ‘Fly-Over’ Country

The thorny issue of race recently surfaced on a national and local level. From a controversial national magazine cover to local assault accusations, it turns out there is little consensus on how to confront a topic that makes the media and its audience squirm. For this newspaper, the grappling began after we posted on our […]

By Kellyn Brown
Opinion

Why Cap and Trade Could Backfire

Environmentalists claim that capping greenhouse-gas emissions and creating a market for emissions trading – a policy prescription called “cap-and-trade” – would reduce carbon dioxide output and with it the risk of global warming. But it could achieve the opposite. Here’s how: By turning carbon emissions into commodities that can be bought and sold, cap-and-trade policies […]

By Justin Danhof
Closing Range

What is ‘Rational Management?’

The Supreme Court finally bit the bullet, ruling on the good old Second Amendment for the first time since the Dirty Thirties. Wow! “The people” have an individual right to keep and bear arms?!? One needn’t be enlisted in either the National Guard or Militia of Montana?!? Shazam! Handsprings and cartwheels! While some pundits feel […]

By Dave Skinner
Like I Was Saying

This Bud’s From Who?

Amid a creaky economy Congress has found a convenient scapegoat: foreign companies landing American contracts and scheming to take over our iconic brands. First, the Air Force awarded a deal to build refueling tankers to Airbus, a European company, instead of U.S.-based Boeing. And now foreigners are going after our beer. The prospect of Belgium’s […]

By Kellyn Brown
Opinion

All Voters Deserve to Hear From the Governor

I believe in democracy, and I believe that every vote counts and every citizen matters. That’s why, in late June, I challenged Governor Schweitzer to 18 debates around Montana – to give the large majority of voters the chance to hear directly from myself and Governor Schweitzer about where each of us stands on the […]

By Roy Brown
Opinion

How Old Would You be if You Didn’t Know When You Were Born?

Years ago, when I was romancing my wife Laurie, I convinced her that “I was a 14-year-old kid trapped in a senior citizen’s body.” That was then and this is now. I have just completed writing a book that is full of advice about how to live the second half of your life. This, incidentally, […]

By Warren Miller
Like I Was Saying

Library Bogged Down by Bureaucracy

The Flathead County Library Board of Trustees met last month and once again failed to make a decision, or even indicate a possible plan, on the future of the Kalispell library. Meanwhile, the abandoned Tidyman’s grocery store near downtown here continues to rot, its 52,000 square feet eager for books – or anything else to […]

By Kellyn Brown
Opinion

McCain’s Actions Speak Louder than Obama’s Words

Sen. Barack Obama’s Fourth of July visit to Butte, already his fourth to our state is proof, if anybody needed any, that Montana in 2008 is indeed a “battleground” state. Democrats see an opportunity to change the electoral map in Montana where Obama ran well in the June Democratic primary. His message of change seems […]

By Bob Brown
Closing Range

Dang Big Oil, Dang You Too

Well, this week I set ANOTHER record gassing up my weapons carrier. Dang, that hurts! Yet there are some who think paying five bucks or more a gallon is a good idea. I think they’re nuts. America is an energy economy. Remember the geezer in the post-Apocalypse epic Soylent Green, pedaling his generator to power […]

By Dave Skinner
Like I Was Saying

Two Bad Debate Offers

Republican gubernatorial candidate Roy Brown, succumbing to political saber rattling, challenged Gov. Brian Schweitzer to 18 debates. While Brown is doing what challengers do, shooting for the moon in an effort to put himself in front of voters while spending little money, the Democratic incumbent’s counteroffer was highly disappointing. Schweitzer wants to have five debates […]

By Kellyn Brown
Opinion

Weakened Forests More Susceptible to Infestations

Montana is under siege. And, no, I don’t mean by a bunch of politicians and their surrogates swarming all over the state pleading for votes. I mean Montana’s forests, both public and private, are being hit extremely hard by beetle infestations. There are different types of beetles such as mountain pine and Douglas fir as […]

By Ellen Engstedt-Simpson