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Columns

The joy of worrying The joy of worrying

I used to live a carefree life. I didn’t worry about the future or wars or the economy. I drove on sketchy roads up mountains and even climbed those mountains on occasion. I spent too much money on impractical shoes. I ordered my chili extra spicy and wore white after Labor Day. I rode a bike without a helmet and drove a car without a seatbelt. I ate fast food and drank sloe gin. I held snakes, dined on sushi and rode rollercoasters with both hands in the air. And then everything changed. I had kids. Four of them to be exact. Oh sure, kids bring love and liveliness and spirit and stickiness to your life. They make you think and rethink everything. They also cause you to pay attenti...


Growing eggplant Growing eggplant

Eggplant is not often grown by home gardeners in Western Montana, but a good crop can be harvested and seed saved for next year if you give it what it needs. Eggplant is native to warm, subtropical regions in India and China and has been cultivated for more than 6,000 years. The botanical name of the species...


Three boys on the beach

They were splashing in the waist-high water of the lake. Boisterous and loud. Three boys on either side of about 10 years old – if my estimate was accurate. I sat on the dock, observing from a distance.  The sun shone from behind a splattering of light cloud cover in the otherwise blue sky. The...


The epidemic that’s hurting us all: meth

On my most recent telephone town hall with 28,000 Montanans, nearly 95 percent agreed that meth is a problem in Montana. Certainly, Barbara from Billings knows this to be true – she shared with me that her son is currently recovering from meth.  One third of the record 3,400 children in Montana...


Growing carrots Growing carrots

Carrots, botanically classified Daucus carota, have been grown in gardens for centuries. The Romans grew them, but they were not very popular until the Middle Ages. The earliest carrots had white, purple, red, or yellow roots. Orange colored carrots appeared as a mutation of yellow carrots during the sevente...


Legislature must address statewide infrastructure needs Legislature must address statewide infrastructure needs

At the end of the legislative session we wish to say thank you for times legislators worked across the aisle to pass sound legislation for all Montanans. Like minds came together and agreed upon many issues, from public lands to suicide prevention. Also, legislation was passed that addresses some of our c...


Mission Valley Shooting Club awards scholarships Mission Valley Shooting Club awards scholarships

It has been a busy year for the shooting range. New board members Allen Cornelison and Mike Webster were voted in at the first of the year to join Fred Webster, Rob Olson and Ray Aylsworth. Mike and Allen are replacing long time board members Cory Badgley who moved and Monty Lucht who passed away after watch...


Citizen involvement in city government increasing Citizen involvement in city government increasing

I want to take a minute to say thank you to all who participated in our Town Hall meetings last month – the Ward Commissioners who hosted the meetings, City staff who helped plan the meetings, and the citizens who attended. Ideas were shared, issues were brought up, and relationships were made. The ...


Pulling weeds Pulling weeds

I pull the dandelions out of the garden, without consciousness or appreciation of their sunny yellow dispositions. They are weeds, after all. Gardeners think nothing of pulling weeds in order to make room for the nonweedy, desirable plants. But who decides which is which? It’s in the eye of the b...


Guard against ransomware attacks with regular backups

Summer has finally arrived and so has our Family Summer Reading Program. The theme this year is “Build a Better World” and our Youth Services Librarian, Kendra, has planned some really fabulous programming and prizes to tie-in to the theme. This year our registration has gone to a digital form. Y...


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