Home Ground

Sunday 11:10 AM -11:40 AM

Home Ground Radio with Brian Kahn

Home Ground Radio is a half-hour public affairs program with topics that range from the environment to the politics of Montana and the rural west. In each program, host Brian Kahn conducts one or two in-depth interviews.

Brian Kahn talks with Dana Toole, Bureau Chief of the Children's Justice Bureau in the Montana Department of Justice, and Rep. Jenny Eck, member of the Montana Legislature. The topic: initiatives at the DOJ to improve how the department responds to victims of child sexual abuse, and prevention strategies.

Randy Stiles

As part of a plan to address climate change, a proposed 2014 EPA rule would reduce carbon pollution from existing power plants nationwide by an average of 30% by 2030. (Montana's proposed target is 21%.) The EPA's Clean Power Plan has directed states to develop strategies to reduce CO emissions.

From Hitler's 1941 invasion of Russia until the Nazi surrender in 1945, 24 million Russians died. Yedika Ivanonva served as a medic in the Red Army for all four years of the Soviet-German war. Now 94, she recalls: 

The Helena Business Improvement District and Downtown Helena Inc

In small or medium-sized towns, "anchor" stores benefit many nearby businesses. Billie Shepard, owner for the last seventeen years of The Pan Handler Store on Last Chance Gulch in Helena, MT, thrives on supplying cooks with their tools and demonstrating how to use them. She also provides health insurance, sick leave and vacation pay to her employees and frequently helps pay for their training and education.

Bill Gallagher, former Montana Public Service Commission Chairman
Montana Public Service Commission

Bill Gallagher had a key vote in the MT Public Service Commission's decision to approve NorthWestern Energy's proposal to buy 11 of Montana's hydroelectric dams from PPL Montana. How did he make his decision?

(Broadcast: "Home Ground Radio," 12/21/14. Listen weekly on the radio, Sundays at  11:10 a.m., or via podcast.)

2011 Century Council

Montana Governor Steve Bullock discusses Medicaid expansion, early-childhood education, infrastructure spending, the upcoming legislature, and more with "Home Ground" host Brian Kahn.

Here are some highlights from the interview:

Medicaid Expansion

Gov. Bullock says the "Healthy Montana" plan is a unique solution that will insure thousands of Montanans and help relieve the burden of uncompensated care on small hospitals.

For a state in the richest nation in the world, it's an awkward truth that many Montanans go hungry. In Helena, approximately fourteen percent of residents face hunger. Host Brian Kahn talks about it with Ann Waickman, Executive Director of Helena Food Share.

Who comes to Helena Food Share?   

"We really try to never have to come in here, but we usually end up here a few times a year.  I haven't been paid in three weeks and my wife's job just won't cover all our bills."  -HFS Client

Flickr user, BigRedSky

It's 1848 and you're heading 2,200 miles up the Missouri River, spending two months literally pulling the keel boat upstream. When you arrive at the American Fur Company trading post of Fort Benton, you're in for a surprise. It's a barter post rather than a military fort, where Blackfeet and white traders exchange goods, not hostilities. In fact, many of these traders are related through marriage.

Whitney Hall. Courtesy of the Montana Raptor Conservation Center

Montana's hawks, owls and eagles get injured by collisions with cars and windows (not to mention bullets), by electrocution, and by poison. In some cases, a young bird will "imprint" on humans, leaving it unable to live in the wild. Bozeman's Montana Raptor Conservation Center works to heal these raptors and return them to the wild; about 40% of the birds at the center get released.

Kim Metez

Chef Ben Thorpe, a home-schooled native of rural Idaho, is the chef at Fort Benton's Grand Union Hotel. From seminary, to an abbreviated career in classical dance, to ministerial work, then a stint as a wine steward, Thorpe came to his culinary career in a roundabout way. "I think the ability to please people, to take ingredients and put them together, and to see people truly feel happiness, is really life-changing.

When we think of "health," we often think about the well-being of an individual. But Lindsey Krywaruchka, Emily Epperson, and George Burns work on behalf of a different definition of "health:" the well-being of an entire human population. All three work in the public health programs of Montana's Department of Public Health and Human Services.

courtesy of Deep Springs College

Nearly one hundred years ago, L.L. Nunn, an electrical pioneer and the manager of a Colorado power company, founded a two-year college for young men in California's Deep Springs Valley. Deep Springs College isn't the typical American junior college: it's tiny, with just twenty-six students. No one pays tuition or fees.  It's located on a remote cattle ranch and alfalfa farm. The student-faculty ratio is 5:1.

Flickr user, Meet the Media Guru

"My way of learning was never through a book - it was always through experience. Going out and finding things and thinking about them is basically how I have learned everything. When it comes to teaching a student something, I want that student to do the same thing. I think reading is overrated, quite frankly, and I think there's no reason to read a book and learn about someone else's idea. I think it's more important to experience something and have your own idea."

Jim Winstead

Greg and Susan Gianforte started a hi-tech business in a spare bedroom of their home in Bozeman. Fourteen years later, they sold RightNow Technologies, Inc. to Oracle for $1.5 billion.

In the 2014 general election in Montana, perhaps the most interesting statewide race is for a seat on the state supreme court. The winner will make decisions about the constitutional rights of all Montanans.

In this episode of "Home Ground Radio", Brian Kahn sits down with incumbent Montana Supreme Court Justice Mike Wheat. They talk about judicial philosophy, the role of judges, judicial elections, and money in politics.

Big money is pouring into judges' elections. So how would you feel if the judge deciding your case had received $3.5 million from your opponent? Hugh Caperton knows. With attorney James Sample, he took his case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Dewey Vanderhoff

Carrie La Seur is a seventh generation descendant of homesteaders who came to Montana in 1864. As a child, Carrie was enthralled by stories of Montana life in the 19th and early 20th centuries. But her adult life as a lawyer has created a deep divide. To try to resolve it, she wrote a novel.

(Broadcast: Home Ground Radio, 9/23/14)

What Can We Learn From Wildlife?

Sep 18, 2014
Hunter J. Causey

Humans like to believe we're on the top of the pyramid when it comes to intelligence. Wildlife biologist Douglas Chadwick isn't so sure.

In our Clip of the Week, Chadwick talks about his experience working with big-brained animals, and explains two great reasons for studying wildlife.

In the midst of rapid change, history can seem so...out of date. But a visit with Jennifer Bottomly-O'Looney and Kirby Lambert at the Montana Historical Society shows why it matters.

(Broadcast: Home Ground Radio, 9/16/14)

Women's HIstory Matters

2014 marks the hundredth anniversary of women’s suffrage in Montana. How did Montana's non-native women win the right to vote from an all-male legislature, six years before equal suffrage was achieved nationwide?  Martha Kohl, historical specialist with the Montana Historical Society, details the strategies, struggles, and unexpected outcomes (think women bootleggers) of suffrage.

You can read much more about women's history in Martha's online project, Women’s History Matters.

Hunter J. Causey

Wildlife biologist Doug Chadwick, author of numerous books and articles about natural history and conservation, and longtime resident of grizzly bear habitat in Montana, describes himself as a "bear groupie."  Ursos arctos gobiensis, a Gobi Desert sub-species of grizzly bear,

National Park Service

Dan Wenk, Superintendent of Yellowstone National Park, walks in the footsteps of 142 years of leadership in the world's oldest national park. His decisions affect not only the park, but its neighboring landowners and businesses. "You don't answer the questions in national parks by building facilities. Oftentimes, it's (best) to leave the area alone. Try to give people a great, broad experience of what's in a national park, but don't commercialize that experience."

courtesy of Jim Hagenbarth

The settlers who came to Montana relied on livestock for their livelihoods and the lives. More than 150 years later, technology has removed most of us from the ranching life. But not Jim Hagenbarth. Far more than most, he understands the needs, complexities and rewards of ranching.

(Broadcast: Home Ground Radio, 8/19/14)

The Wilderness Society

Fifty years ago, Lyndon Johnson signed the Wilderness Protection Act, and ever since, the Wilderness Society has worked to protect wild landscapes and to inspire Americans to care about wild places. Former Montanan Jamie Williams is The Wilderness Society's new president, and some of his thinking might surprise you.

(Broadcast: Home Ground Radio, 8/5/14)

What is the connection between 16th century European history, writing, editing, and translating, and Waldorf education? Meet writer, historian and teacher, Jann Gates.

(Broadcast: Home Ground Radio, 7/29/14)

Finding Peace Between People And Elephants

Jul 24, 2014
David Western

Dr. Jonah Western, chairman of the African Conservation Centre, Nairobi, Kenya Western is a scientist studying conflict and co-existence between wildlife and humans. In community-based conservation, Western has discovered a model that could be useful not just in Kenya, but in Montana.

In our Clip of the Week he explains how two different  elephant encounters heavily influenced his view of wildlife and wildlife-human conflict.

Patrick Nouhailler

The natural world ignores many of the artificial barriers that humans designate, including the political one created by the U.S.'s embargo of Cuba. Daniel Whittle, of the Environmental Defense Fund, knows well that birds, fish and even oil spills connect the two countries. Whittle directs the EDF's marine and coastal conservation projects in Cuba, working on fisheries, coral reef conservation, and sustainable coastal development in Cuba and the region.

Dr. Jonah Western

Jul 14, 2014
David Western

7/15/14: This week on Home Ground Radio: Dr. Jonah Western grew up in the 1950s on the "elephant trail" of southern Tanzania, where elephants, their habitat, their hunters - and their protectors - enjoyed a last bastion. Western became a scientist, studying conflict and co-existence between wildlife and humans.

Montana DPHHS

7/8/14: This week on "Home Ground Radio:" Montana's largest stage agency employs 3,100 people, overseeing 2,500 contracts and 150 programs. What it is?  Who runs it? Meet Richard Opper, Director of Montana's Department of Public Health and Human Services.

Dr. Les Purce is the president of The Evergreen State College. The family photos on his wall are an American account of slavery, Indians, westward migration, hard luck and hard work.

In our Clip of the Week, Dr. Purce recounts a childhood experience with segregation.

Listen to the entire interview with Dr. Purce, or hear more episodes of Home Ground Radio online, via podcast or on the air on Tuesdays at 1:00 p.m.

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