Recent Posts

Opinion: Answers needed on Tester’s prescription-drug vote


A public servant’s worth is directly proportional to his willingness to seek advice from his constituents. On this score, U.S. Sen. Jon Tester earns high marks for his visit to Billings on a frigid Saturday morning to learn about how repeal of the Affordable Care Act would affect Montanans. Sen. Steve Daines and Rep. Ryan Zinke could take a lesson from Tester.  (more…) Continue Reading →

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Montana Viewpoint: Hidden spending needs review, too


Montana is experiencing a cash flow problem and the governor and legislators are looking at ways to balance the budget. To do this, the Republican-controlled Legislature is looking at cutting funding to services that benefit Montanans. Gov. Steve Bullock, a Democrat, is looking at cutting some of that funding as well, but he is also looking at raising revenue to prevent cuts by increasing taxes on incomes over $500,000, basically recovering a portion of a tax break enacted in 2003, discussed below. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Opinion: Fighting back against stalking


Aurora was terrified. She had received another rose delivered at her place of work. It was from an anonymous sender, but she knew it was from Adam. Her co-workers couldn’t understand Aurora’s reaction—crying and insisting she needed to leave work early to contact law enforcement. They thought the flower was sweet and romantic, even though Aurora had broken up with Adam six months earlier. Continue Reading →

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At Interior, Zinke should embrace stewardship


Secretaries of the Interior are called to be public stewards. On behalf of all Americans, they oversee our great national heritage of forests, grasslands, fisheries, national parks, wildlife, waterways and mineral wealth. U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke, if approved for his nomination to that post, will have the opportunity to prove himself in the long line of great stewards that have preceded him. I wish him well, but there is cause for concern. (more…) Continue Reading →

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The irony of the Real ID


Like the footfalls of a villain in a thriller movie, Montana’s Real ID imbroglio comes ever closer … and ever more ominous. Another footfall, closer and more ominous than the earlier ones, was heard on Jan. 5 when Washington declared that “Montana is not in compliance with the Real ID Act and Federal agencies will not accept driver’s licenses” issued by Helena. (more…) Continue Reading →

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When was America great? Let’s try 1927


Weary of waiting for America to become great again, I went searching for a time when America already was great. What drove me back in time may have been yet another letter to the editor admonishing no-Trumpers to give it up and admit the election is over. Fair enough, if the letters did not support the election of a man who took more than seven years to acknowledge that his predecessor was legally elected. If he gets seven years, don’t we get seven weeks? Angrily, I climbed aboard my time machine and headed to 1927. Continue Reading →

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Opinion: What we lose if we lose the grizzly bear


I’ve always been attracted to grizzly country, or in other words, I’ve always been drawn to wilderness. Perhaps there’s no way around it: having grown up in Montana it’s likely a key strain of my DNA. We don’t call it real wilderness in Big Sky Country unless the place is inhabited by grizzlies, or at least what few still remain. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Opinion: Bipartisan ideas for a better public defender system

Kimberly Dudik

The Montana Constitution requires state government to provide public legal defense to individuals who cannot afford their own legal counsel when they are charged with crimes involving imprisonment, facing involuntary commitment because of a mental disorder placing them or another at risk, or facing loss of parental rights. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Opinion: For MSU Billings, the day of reckoning has come

MSUB Main Hall

The impending departure of Montana State University Billings Chancellor Mark Nook to become the president of the University of Northern Iowa raises the question of whether Montana and Billings are really invested in the future and success of MSU Billings. In the past decade, MSUB has had four chancellors, four provosts and four deans of the College of Business. It also saw the departure of a long-time director of libraries. The MSU Billings Foundation has its third president in three years. (more…) Continue Reading →

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