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Columns

A year in review: reporter says farewell

When I moved to Ronan in August of 2009, I didn’t know what to expect.  For reasons I won’t delve into, I was terrified of driving and grocery stores made me cry. At city council meetings, I would slip into Russian when taking notes and only notice it a short while later. I was petrified of city officials and police officers reminded me of the KGB. And I couldn’t understand why the streets of Ronan always seemed bereft of playing children. After a few years working as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Central Asia, I felt like a fish on a bicycle working as a reporter in Ronan.  But here I was, trying to swim along with spokes and handlebars. My expectations of...


In search of silence

Ah, silence. It seems more rare and precious all the time.  Even when I’m surrounded by it, it’s hard to quiet the mind; my never-ending mental to-do list starts ticking off the next hour or day’s required tasks.  Sometimes I wish I could wrap myself in silence like a blanke...


Young trendsetters spot frugal fashion

Only eight years out of high school and I’m already falling behind. As much time and energy as I devote to fashion, I can never be as hip as today’s youth. And what is it that makes them so trendy? Effortlessly, our teen fashion experts roll out of bed every morning in the cutest, most colorfu...


Build a stronger community, support local business

“Shop local,” is a common slogan. Now more than ever, the advice is sound for Montana economies and communities. We all have the opportunity, in fact a personal invitation, to shop locally while enjoying a celebration of the re-opening of Polson’s Main Street this Friday.  Downtown ...


Fashionista forgoes shopping for donating

I couldn’t stand it another moment. My closet — dark, cluttered, impenetrable. Clothes littered the floor, a Polaroid camera next to the chicken wire, and my forlorn sewing machine shoved next to mismatched socks and strapless dresses fallen from crooked hangers.  Every morning I have the...


Freedom of speech, however abused, must be protected

Picketing at a funeral takes a special caliber of person. One of those oh-so-righteous types – so crazed by their own sense of morality and so sure they alone are carrying out the will of God that they spread hate and animosity instead of the more fruitful bearing seeds of Christianity – love and...


Projected budget shortfall is $368 million

It wasn’t all bad news in Helena last week. My committee, Legislative Finance, heard the yearly fire costs for this biennium. We spent just under $2 million dollars. That leaves $22.5 million remaining in the fire suppression account. We’ve been very lucky the last three years. The forests fro...


Making a new family tradition

Remember being a kid and raking a huge piles of leaves just for the joy of jumping into them? The lovely earthy smell of fall leaves enveloping you as you happily tossed, kicked and crunched to your heart’s content … we carry those simple pleasures with us into adulthood.  In this electr...


Big Red Machine finally makes appearance in October

I’m very glad for some of the things my dad passed down to me. I’m glad I was one of his lucky sons that got any kind of semblance of his work ethic.  I’m glad that I got his sense of humor. If I couldn’t laugh at myself, I would be in serious trouble. And I’m glad...


Flu vaccines available early for seniors

The Area VI Agency on Aging would like to let seniors more than 65 years of age know they are eligible to receive flu vaccinations early, before flu season ramps up.   Medicare clients can get the flu vaccine at no cost. There is no coinsurance or copayment applied to this Medicare benefit, nor is it...


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