Commentary

Commentary
4:45 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

Getting Control of College Costs and Student Debt

     Young people graduating from high school face a conundrum: Going to college has gotten more and more expensive while the economic payoff from having a college degree has increased in value. College tuition and fees have continued to grow much faster than most other costs in the economy. At the same time, state legislatures have become increasingly reluctant to subsidize college operations.

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Commentary - August 21st, 2013
1:24 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

American Youth Leadership Program

Montana summers are filled with great things for teenagers – sports camps, swimming, family reunions, sleeping – but for 20 Montana high school students, a month of their summer was spent on an educational exchange in Cambodia. Through the State Department’s American Youth Leadership Program, or AYLP, the Maureen & Mike Mansfield Center selected 20 talented young leaders and two innovative high school teachers to participate in an intensive environmental studies and cultural exchange program in Cambodia.

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Commentary - August 16th, 2013
9:42 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Drugs and Prisons Dominate the Week’s News Cycle

Drugs and prisons hit the news cycle this week with the force of a coordinated campaign. New York City’s stop-and-frisk policy was found unconstitutional and we learned that the NSA shares intercepted information with the DEA to use against American citizens. It is the DEA’s policy, then, to makes up stories to cover up how they got their leads.

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Commentary - August 14th, 2013
1:53 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

Food and Community

In July, NPR’s “All Things Considered” reported on the Farm Bill. Legislators failed to pass the bill before vacation, which angered farmers who sell food locally. The bill contains the “Local Farm, Food and Jobs Act.” This act marks an important policy shift to promote local foods. Supporters argue that locally grown foods are healthier and better for the environment. Less discussed is the importance of local food and farming for building community and strengthening democracy.

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Commentary - August 16th, 2013
1:47 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

The benefits of community supported agriculture

The buzz around buying local is fairly widespread and luckily our community has many options for access to locally grown and produced food.  Local food can be purchased in many retail grocery stores and from May to October there are a number of Farmer’s Markets available.  How can we take the idea of supporting our local food system one step farther? The answer is Community Supported Agriculture.  You may have heard of Community Supported Agriculture also known as CSAs or CSA shares or a CSA box or maybe even food shares. But really…what is it?

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Commentary - August 12th, 2013
9:30 am
Tue August 13, 2013

Teaching and Learning in a Digital Information Age

Teaching and learning are under multiple pressures to make heavier use of the Internet’s vast capability to provide access to information and almost instantaneous communication to and from the most remote of locations.

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Commentary- August 8th, 2013
3:56 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

President Obama’s Climate Plan Deserves Our Support

The signs of climate change are all around us.  2012 was the hottest year on record in the country.  Last October Superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc on the nation’s largest city.  And the Southwest is locked in another severe drought this summer.  Here in Montana, it’s hard to travel on any mountain highway and not notice the large swaths of beetle-killed forests, and we had evening fishing closures kick in for a time as early as July this year.  The planet is warming and extreme weather events are becoming more common. 

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Commentary - August 7th, 2013
3:00 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Assisted living

Good evening.  I’m Susan Kohler, CEO of Missoula Aging Services; the Area Agency on Aging for Missoula and Ravalli Counties. This evening I would like to share some of my perspectives about the issues raised in the recent Frontline episode on public television.  It was called “Life and Death in Assisted Living.” 

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Commentary - August 5th, 2013
2:34 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Montana’s Extreme Weather

You know the old saying:  if you don’t like the weather in Montana, just wait five minutes. We’re a state that’s known for its wild weather changes.  But in recent years even our extremes have become extreme.  Our fire seasons start sooner, last longer, burn hotter, and cost more to fight.  Just two years ago the historic floods of 2011 became one of the most expensive natural disasters in state history.  And in the past month alone we’ve seen intense wildfires, and destructive flash floods - both of which have threatened lives and destroyed property.

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Commentary - August 2nd, 2013
2:34 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Food Stamps Work for Montana

One of these days I am going to get on the radio and talk about how Congress has really put partisan politics aside and gone back to the good ol’ days of legislating - coming together to invest in programs and services that make our families and communities stronger. Well, today is not one of those days. Today, I get to talk about the newest ideological debate - whether we make sure that our neighbors don’t go to bed hungry - today we get to talk about food stamps.

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