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Category Archives: Guest comment

My Hanukah in the Bitterroot

By Elliott Oppenheim, MD, JD, LLM Health Law, Florence    Recently, as I prepared to perform on my trumpet, I watched a music teacher in Ravalli County rehearse kindergartners’ Christmas carols. I observed that most people in the county are unfamiliar with Jews and with Hanukah. I wanted to add my family’s Jewish story to…

American Legion deserves praise

By Jim Hamilton, Chaplain, Florence American Legion Post #134   I would like to commend Corvallis American Legion Post #91 for undertaking the mission of ensuring that a deceased former soldier from Noxon receive a funeral service with full military honors (Missoulian, 11/29/17). The veteran, Jerry Sauve, died almost two years ago in a VA…

Special session in the rearview mirror

By Rep. Ron Ehli, Hamilton, House Majority Leader     The special session of the Montana Legislature is behind us – yet another thing to be thankful for in this season. Taking center stage was concern for the most vulnerable populations in Montana. What avenues should be taken to address taking care of them? How…

Modernizing tax code will help Montana small businesses

By Rep. Greg Hertz, Polson     It has been 30 years since the last time our nation’s tax code has been overhauled.  In that time, the tax rate we levy on businesses has become one of the highest in the world, the tax code itself has become an incomprehensible mess, and special interests have…

Workshop could offer solutions to public land management issues

By Rep. Theresa Manzella, HD85, Hamilton     The Montana Department of Environmental Quality lists Premature Mortality as a health risk associated with breathing wildfire smoke (DEQ.mt.gov). This summer, Ravalli County spent 34 days in some level of health-compromising air quality conditions. Scientists estimate that fires in the continental U.S. and Alaska release 44 metric…

Fee increase proposed for national parks is a symptom

By Michael Hoyt, Corvallis   In a press release dated October 24, 2017, the National Park Service (NPS) opened the 30-day public comment period for their proposed “peak season” fee increases at 17 of our nation’s most-visited parks—Glacier, Yellowstone, and the Tetons are among the 17 listed. Using the currently acceptable weasel-words of bureaucratic doublespeak,…

Cuts to seniors are scary

By Tracy McPherson, Hamilton   The proposed $420 million state budget cuts scare me because like a lot of people I have a hard time making ends meet right now. I’m a caregiver in Hamilton, where I’ve lived for the last 26 years caring for my disabled son. If I didn’t care for him he…

Re: ‘smoke and flames’ – Daines wrong

By Michael Hoyt, Corvallis   If you live in Montana, you recently received a flyer titled “Smoke and Flames” from Steve Daines, one of the state’s two senators. Besides the obvious false choice between “mismanagement” and “global warming” that he offers Montana’s citizens, several things bother me about this mailing. First, is that line of…

Time to create a new high tech vision for our National Forests.

By Margaret Gorski, Stevensville   Senator Daines, you have been in the press a lot lately; 1) on the need for forest management reform to reduce the risk of wildfire and 2) about the High Tech Industry conference you recently held in Missoula. Thank you for promoting a call for action to solve Montana’s problems….

Public lands protections boost local economies

By Drew Callaghan, Missoula   My wife and I recently ventured from our home in Montana on a two-week road trip to the Southwest. The excursion took us deep into Utah’s majestic canyon country and the West’s ongoing clash over our federal public lands, a conflict most recently inflamed by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s recommendation…