Opinion

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.

A Glimpse into Modern Day Slavery in Montana

Jun 20, 2014

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.

School Gardens: Digging into Healthy Habits

Jun 19, 2014

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!

Veteran's Viewpoint

Jun 18, 2014

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.

Elder Abuse Awareness

Jun 12, 2014

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.

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.

The Insidious "Cost-of-Living" Raise

Jun 11, 2014

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.

Fixing the Student Loan Mess

Jun 5, 2014

I do not accept, carte blanche, the reigning conservative belief that higher taxes directly shrink the economy and reduce economic growth.  However, that macro-economic premise drives decisions in Congress that have made it virtually impossible to approach our economic challenges in a balanced manner.  As a result, the only balancing that has been occurring is the balancing of our economic solutions on the backs of middle and lower income families.  Meanwhile, money is allowed and even encouraged to continue to “trickle-up” to the wealthy, increasing income and wealth disparity --

Court Secrecy Kills, Again

Jun 5, 2014

Al Smith, Montana Trial Lawyers Association.

In April I spoke about GM, its problem ignition switches and the lax federal regulatory system. GM hid dangerous defects from the public and federal regulators, and as a result Americans have needlessly died. Last month, federal regulators fined GM and further investigations are underway.

A Call to Action

Jun 4, 2014

In Fire and Brimstone: The North Butte Mining Disaster of 1917, author Michael Punke describes a time in Montana when the “Copper Kings,” William Clark and Marcus Daly, reigned supreme through graft, corruption, bribery, and greed.  Even Mark Twain who knew William Clark personally commented about Clark, “by his example he has so excused and so sweetened corruption that in Montana it no longer has an offensive smell.”  As the sordid story of Clark’s purchase of a Senate seat unfolded, however, a group of people did find the smell of his dealings offensive, and they set out to make

A Path Forward for Energy Production

May 29, 2014

I’m Shelby DeMars with Count on Coal Montana, a coalition advocating for increasing Montana’s coal production to provide new jobs and opportunity for our state, and to supply the world with affordable energy.

I’d like to talk about two of the most serious problems facing us today: climate change and energy poverty.   Both are big, difficult challenges, and they’re so inextricably intertwined that we can’t discuss one without the other.

First, what are the facts?

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