Commentary from a variety of Montana citizens expressing a range of viewpoints.

Views expressed by the commentators do not necessarily reflect the views of this station.

Death. Talk about it.

Nov 1, 2013

Hello.  I’m Maurika Wells, Administrator for Hospice of Missoula.  This is my 5 minutes and I am going to title it: DEATH.  TALK ABOUT IT.  Picture a black billboard, and in big white bold letters… DEATH. TALK ABOUT IT

Last week I watched a fantastic TED talk titled “LET’S TALK ABOUT DYING” by Peter Saul (I highly recommend this talk!) and in it he says... “How we die, lives on in the minds of everybody who survives us.”  Think about that. 

How WE die.  Lives on, in the minds of everybody who survives us.


Oct 30, 2013

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 share some information about Alzheimer’s disease which I learned at the UM Geriatric Education Center’s Conference in mid-October.  But first I’d like to say “Hats off!” to the GEC for providing this free, top notch conference broadcast to 25 sites in Montana.  What I share are snippets from a variety of the excellent speakers who discussed the latest research on treatments, and the interrelationship that lifestyle risk factors and genetic influence

Post-Shutdown: Where Do We Go From Here?

Oct 25, 2013

Last Thursday, sixteen days into a federal government shutdown, Congress passed a temporary budget that re-opened the government and raised the debt ceiling until January of 2014.  This agreement sent federal employees back to work and diverted a potential default on national debt, and that is inarguably a good thing.  However, for those of us that watched in dismay as partisan politics left our country uncertain, our economy weakened, and our government in disarray, there are larger lessons to be learned from the last few weeks.

The Importance of Learning Foreign Languages

Oct 25, 2013

Learning a foreign language is both time consuming and troublesome.  I still recall in high school and in college spending hours trying to memorize hundreds of vocabulary words in Spanish and Japanese and the dozens of ways to conjugate verbs.  I still cringe when thinking about the deep embarrassment of those awkward moments when I tried to express complex thoughts in front of my foreign language classes using kindergarten level terms because of my limited vocabulary.  Although these were difficult times in my international academic training, I certainly do not regret it.

The Stink Coming Through the Revolving Door

Oct 24, 2013

When one reflects on the recent federal government shutdown and Congress’ near “default” on the “full faith & credit” of the US Government, a whole lot stinks.

Buried in that stinking pile of refuse is a small item that reminds us of a big problem -- the pervasive power that special interests have through their lobbyists and the benefits they gain from the revolving door between Congressional members and staff and those same special interests.

Common Core Craziness

Oct 23, 2013

"You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension - a dimension of sound and fury, a dimension of fright. You're moving into a land of shadow and little substance, of things and ideas fiercely believed, though barely believable. You've crossed over into the Fact-Free Zone."

What's The Cause of Rising Health Care Costs?

Oct 23, 2013

Well, the rhetoric over the Affordable Care Act, Obama Care, is heating up. Amazing that a private health insurance plan that Republicans touted as a solution not so long ago, is now being attacked by those same Republicans as being “socialist,” while Democrats who supported a national single payer system, now defend a private insurance plan. We even have disagreement as to whether it is a good idea for every citizen to have insurance coverage.

 The Montana Chamber of Commerce recently attacked EPA’s regulation of the emissions from coal-fired electric generators. That regulation, the Chamber argued, would have catastrophic consequences for both controlling carbon emissions and for the Montana and American economies.

Population Health

Oct 18, 2013

Most health insurance companies in 2013 remain focused on the financial health of their organization.  In today’s environment most large employer groups self-insure and pay all their own medical costs and a fee for services to the insurance company.  When providing coverage for individuals, insurance companies now avoid people who are likely to use much in the way of medical care.  This means trying to insure only people who are likely to remain healthy and who have no history of serious disease.  The sad truth is that looking for ways to improve the health of the people they insure is not

Indian Identity - Part 1

Oct 16, 2013

Walk into any law library in this country and peruse the wall of US Code, that record of Congressional statutes, and among the 51 volumes there you will find titles such as The Congress, Agriculture, Railroads, Minerals and Mining, War and National Defense – all subjects common and particular enough to the US that no one would think twice about their presence.  But among these volumes you will also find one titled “Indians” – Title 25 to be exact.  A second perusal of the wall of Congressional law should be enough to show you that no other group of people in this country have been made dist