Brian Kahn

U.S. Senator Mike Mansfield (Left) and Everett Dirksen conversing.
(PD)

It's hard to describe the career of this program's guest, but let me take a stab at it. Early on, grocery delivery boy. A little later, sailor, soldier, marine, Montana miner, history professor, United States congressman, United States senator, Senate majority leader, statesman, ambassador. You must have guessed by now, I'm talking about Mike Mansfield.

Without water, we perish. For 30 years, the Confederated Salish-Kootenai Tribes and the state of Montana have disagreed about tribal water right claims. But this year the legislature approved a comprehensive water rights agreement. Melissa Hornbein was one of the lead attorneys in the negotiations, working for Montana DNRC and the Montana Reserved Water Rights Commission. Hornbein talks with Brian Kahn about the legal and emotional challenges of negotiating the Flathead water compact.

Montana's national reputation is based on who we are and where we live, not on what we make. Quite a few people are putting their hearts into trying to change that. Brian Kahn visits the Made in Montana Trade Show, where he roams the booths, talking with artists and vendors about how they make and market their products.

What Drives A Montana Lobbyist?

Jun 17, 2015

Between them, Mona Jamison and Stuart Doggett have almost sixty years' experience lobbying in the Montana Legislature. "Lobbyist" isn't a word that wins any popularity contest. Why do they do it?

Sheila McShane

Sheila McShane directs Clinica Maxeña, part of the Guatemala Mission of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena, Montana. McShane arrived in Guatemala 1966, one of two young American RNs who constituted the only trained medical staff at the new mission. The presence of electricity, a rarity in the region, determined the clinic's location.

Restored From Ashes: John Mix Stanley's West

May 31, 2015

Before 1850, paintings and the first black and white photographs provided the sole source of visual imagery of the West to Americans. Among the most remarkable of the explorer-painters employed by government expeditions and railway surveys was John Mix Stanley, whose wanderlust and technical prowess as a draftsman and portrait painter - as well as timing - put him in a position to paint American Indians just as their traditional ways of life had begun to collide with westward American expansion.

Flickr user, Bit Boy

In 1961, Fidel Castro's new Cuban government organized a massive literacy campaign, recruiting 100,000 teenagers to move to the rural areas and teach illiterate farmers how to read and write.

Brian Kahn talks with Gen. Gene Prendergast, retired adjutant general of the Montana National Guard, founder, and Jan Rouse, Executive Director of the Montana Youth Challenge Academy in Dillon, MT.

courtesy of Linda Gryczan

Linda Gryczan served as lead plaintiff in a 1993 legal challenge to Montana's deviate sexual conduct statute, which made gay sex between consenting adults a crime.

Brian Kahn talks with faculty members Sam Koenen and Beth Stohlmann, and junior Nathan Mayville, of Petra Academy of Bozeman, MT. Petra is an accredited member of the Association of Classical and Christian Schools.

Brian Kahn talks with writer Richard Manning, co-author with Harvard Medical School professor and M.D. John J. Ratey of the book "Go Wild." (2014 Little, Brown).

From the book's introduction:

Forest Service Northern Region

Growing out of forest restoration efforts around Helena, Montana, in 2014, a cooperative stewardship agreement between the state of Montana and the U. S. Forest Service was developed, the first of its kind in the United States.

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.)

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.

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.

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)

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)

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,

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)

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