Commentary

Commentary - June 25, 2014
3:27 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Cambodia Connections and Internationalizing Montana Youth

Last week, my family hosted a gathering at our home for friends both old and new.  I hadn’t seen our friend Joe in a while, and he asked how things were at the Mansfield Center.  Ironically, on that day, we were welcoming home two Missoula professionals returning from working with youth in Cambodia, and sending off 20 Montana high school students and two teachers for a program in Cambodia.  Things could not be better, on a day when we had such tangible expressions of our work to promote global understanding.

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Commentary - June 24th, 2014
3:22 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Lessons from Cambodia

I recently returned from a trip to Cambodia through an economic empowerment program hosted by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center at The University of Montana.   Congress created this international exchange in 1961, the same year the Berlin Wall was built.  The Cold War was entering the deep freeze and the Vietnam conflict was ramping up.  Montana’s great statesman Mike Mansfield hoped that an economic and cultural exchange program would build bridges between the U.S. and Southeast Asia.

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Commentary - June 23rd, 2014
3:18 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Art Ortenberg

This past winter, Art Ortenberg passed away at the age of 87, some 7 years after his longtime partner, wife and friend Liz Claiborne passed.  Although they were very wealthy New Yorkers and could live anywhere in total seclusion, they chose a far more visible path-engaged and active in their communities.  They loved Montana and the folks that live, work and play here.

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Commentary - June 18th, 2014
3:14 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

On the Ownership of Public Lands

Few topics in the West stir up controversy more quickly than public lands—those places all Americans own together.  The latest headline involves some Utah county commissioner planning an ATV rally on public lands of archeological importance.  While some people see public lands management as federal land grabs and liberty restrictions, others value public ownership as protection for places from private exploitation.  But what does it really mean to own these lands?

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Commentary - June 20th, 2014
1:39 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

A Glimpse into Modern Day Slavery in Montana

It is an all too familiar story: A young girl with hopes for a better life and a brighter future; a girl desperately trying to escape the poverty she has experienced her whole life, the violence and abuse that surrounds her day in and day out; The girl is introduced to a man who promises her that he can turn her dreams into reality. A man who appears to truly care for her, who tells her he loves her, and that all she needs to do is trust him and everything will be alright… and so she does…she obeys when he takes half-naked pictures of her and posts them online.

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Commentary - June 19th, 2014
1:52 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

School Gardens: Digging into Healthy Habits

How many times have you heard a parent say, “I can’t get my kids to eat vegetables!” While this is, unfortunately, sometimes true, over the last two years as a FoodCorps Service Member at Hyalite Elementary School in Bozeman, I’ve heard AND experienced the exact opposite. Just last week, I had to ask a kindergartner to STOP eating spinach. He was picking it from the school gardens and shoving it into his mouth so fast that I feared he would strip every plant of its leaves, leaving none for others to try. What a quandary—having to ask a child to stop eating his vegetables!

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Commentary - June 17th, 2014
2:40 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Veteran's Viewpoint

This is Dan Gallagher with Veteran’s Viewpoint.

There’s a lot to talk about in the veterans’ world these days.  For example, on May 30th VA Secretary Shinseki resigned that position--but I find neither pleasure nor optimism in that action, mostly because of the way it came to be.

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Commentary - June 11th, 2014
11:18 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Elder Abuse Awareness

Good evening.  I’m Susan Kohler, CEO of Missoula Aging Services, the Area Agency on Aging for Missoula and Ravalli counties.  Tonight I want to raise the unpleasant but important topic of elder abuse in recognition that June 15 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. I hope to increase your awareness of this growing “silent epidemic” and suggest ways we can all help stop its spread.

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Commentary - June 12th, 2014
10:06 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Clean Power Plan Good for Montana: Daines Opposition Misguided

Last week the federal Environmental Protection Agency released a proposal it is calling the Clean Power Plan.  If enacted, it would cut carbon pollution nationally by 30 percent from 2005 levels by the year 2030.   Because Montana has already taken steps since 2005 to promote renewable energy and invest in energy efficiency, our state would only need to reduce our carbon pollution by 21 percent from existing levels.  Under this new proposal, Montana would be afforded enormous flexibility to craft regulations that fit our economy, our natural resources, and our power needs.

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Commentary - June 10th, 2014
2:28 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

The Insidious "Cost-of-Living" Raise

Once a year, for most employers and employees, the issue of cost-of-living raises comes up.  As currently practiced, they are more accurately labeled "Cost-of-maintaining-current-lifestyle" or "Cost-of-Maintaining-Poverty" raises.

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