Kearns and Sons RS Aesthetics

Category Archives: Guest comment

Size matters: bigger is better for wilderness

By Howie Wolke, Livingston When it comes to wilderness, bigger is better. From a human perspective, it is difficult to experience wilderness values such as awe, oneness with nature, solitude and challenge in isolated natural areas hemmed in by roads or noisy machines. The authors of the Wilderness Act rightly understood that if folks accepted…

Concerns over President’s budget proposal

By United States Senator Jon Tester, Democrat, Big Sandy When my wife Sharla and I sit down to do our budget each year we outline our priorities. Whether it’s spending more money on new equipment or spending a little less and fixing it up yourself—it’s a balancing act and you see what our priorities are….

Dam safety always a top priority

By Lorri J. Gray, Regional Director, Bureau of Reclamation, Pacific Northwest Region   Last month, many people watched anxiously as communities near California’s Oroville Dam were evacuated due to the threat of potential flooding, wondering if a similar situation could occur elsewhere. Abundant snowpack and precipitation levels have resulted in increased flows in rivers and…

Governor’s budget is a balanced approach

By Heather O’Loughlin, Co-Director, Montana Budget and Policy Center The qualify of life we enjoy in Montana is directly connected to the public investments we make in our communities – modern schools and quality education for our children, safe roads, updated water and sewer systems, and an affordable college education for our future workforce. However,…

Montana’s public lands deserve robust public discourse

By State Senator Fred Thomas, Majority Leader, Republican, Stevensville Montana is blessed with vast landscapes of public lands. Our great outdoors attracts millions of visitors each year and is part of why I love Montana so much. And in Montana, conversations about our public land often go hand in hand with talking about the federal…

Support for special congressional election by mail

By Regina Plettenberg, Ravalli County Election Administrator and President of Montana Association of Clerk & Recorders   Many letters and opinions have been written about running the upcoming May 25th Special Congressional Election by mail. I have been running elections for our county for going on 19 years now. When I first started, elections were…

Fred Whiteside – a Montana historical treasure

By Bob Brown, Helena   “Fred Whiteside is one of Montana’s authentic unsung heroes.” Thus observed Great Falls Tribune reporter and columnist Frank Adams in 1980, a year after a plaque was installed in an obscure capitol hallway, the only monument in recognition of Whiteside who was perhaps Montana’s most courageous statesman. Barely 20, Fred…

Something must be done about local dams

By Dallas D. Erickson, SOS the Bitterroot, Stevensville   For years I have been involved in the area of disaster preparation (which includes mitigation) and response through various organizations. As I have reviewed the possible disaster scenarios it has been plain to me and others that one of the greatest disasters for the Bitterroot Valley…

Real talk about the Montana state budget

By Representative Nancy Ballance, Chair, House Appropriations   Following the Governor’s State of the State address and the response by the Speaker of the House, the media reported on the stark differences the two made regarding Montana’s fiscal condition. However, the more important point that needs to be made is an explanation of the underlying…

Thomas looks down his nose on Montanans

By Tony Jones, President, Ravalli County Fish and Wildlife Association   Over 1,000 Montanans rallied to show their strong support for our public lands at our state capitol on a cold, January day. It was a sign of a healthy democracy – cars, trucks, minivans and buses full of Montanans converged on the People’s House…