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Columns

Montana has spending problem Montana has spending problem

Montana has a spending problem. During the last month we have seen headlines like “Montana, broke and burning” and “Governor: Budget cuts will ‘Hurt’ Montana residents.” Montana is not broke, although we are having some financial challenges, and thankfully the fires are contained and no longer filling our skies with smoke. But rather than address the root cause of Montana’s budget challenges, Gov. Bullock and his surrogates are using headline scare tactics to attempt to drum up support for tax increases. The truth is, since 2012, general fund revenue is up 14 percent, but at the same time general fund spending is up 32 percent. Our state governme...


Festival of Trees event continues

This letter is to inform our faithful supporters of the upcoming changes to our mission and plans for the future. First, there will be a Festival of Trees auction this December. Some people have asked if the Festival of Trees event will cease due to the closure of the Cantlon Family Youth Home. Absolutely no...


Library to host ‘Observe the Moon Night’ Oct. 28

Autumn always brings about a change in our neck of the woods as leaves begin to turn beautiful colors and fall from the trees that were green and full only a month before. Animals begin their ritual of preparing for winter hibernation and pumpkin spice, sweaters and scarves are everywhere. With this changing...


Montana tax policy needs solutions, not sound bites

We all know that Montana is in a very difficult budgetary situation. Over the past few weeks, I have heard the same message over and over again from worried Montanans: the proposed cuts would cripple—if not eliminate—essential services that families across our state rely upon to survive. One thin...


Misdemeanor anarchy: the real costs Misdemeanor anarchy: the real costs

Following 30 years of law enforcement experience involving hundreds of arrests, three major incident ribbons and the honor of being awarded two bronze stars for bravery, I can unequivocally state I hate lawlessness. These events came with a cost, some personally, but more importantly a price to the community...


Learning new things

We’ve known each other for more than 30 years and I’m still learning new things about him. This weekend it was all about scented candles. Most of us enjoy the aroma of a nice scented candle. I do. I guess I didn’t realize he did. I never really thought about it. As chief procurement offi...


Frank talk about wildfires Frank talk about wildfires

This summer’s catastrophic wildfire season and hazardous, persistent smoke pollution has all Montanans talking. The fires took the lives of two young men, destroyed homes and Sperry Lodge, blew a hole in the state budget, discouraged tourism and other businesses and burned more than 1.2 million acres o...


Difficult budget decisions are governor’s job

Droughts. Firestorms. Crashed commodity prices. Coal fired energy plants shutting down. Stores on main street closing. One doesn’t have to look far to see Montanans suffering. When the Executive proposes tax increases as the preferred solution for government’s current shortfalls, I find myself un...


Legislature must do job and fund public services

My legislative email is blowing up with desperate messages from Montanans pleading for a special legislative session to save our essential public services. These are heartfelt, tearful cries for help from people with disabilities and mental illness, seniors, child care workers, parents, public school teacher...


Ode to Feliz Ode to Feliz

I thought I was ready. I’d made the appointment. I’d cuddled on the couch with her and taken some last photos. And I’d explained to our kids that our cat was very old, a grandma kitty, and she wasn’t going to be with us much longer. In her final act of kindness my sweet cat of almo...


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