We start the year off with another VOM replay of an earlier broadcasted show.
Bio for Jack Pelham
- Founder of the Society for Reality-Based Thinking
- Author (See titles below.)
- Musical Director for Sing, Montana! Men’s Chorus and Harmonic Fraternity
- Co-founder of The Pelham School of Arts & Sciences, Laurel, MT.
- Sole Proprietor of Big Sky Paintless—providing Paintless Dent Repair services for Montana body shops.
- The Extraordinary Visit of Benjamin True: The State of the Union as no one else would tell it
Available now on Amazon.com
- Reality-Based Thinking: How everyone—including you—can think better
Non-fiction. Available on Amazon in January 2018.
- What the Bible Says About Thinking
Non-fiction. Available on Amazon in January 2019.
On May 17, 1955, the Montana Telephone Association was founded in Great Falls, MT. Now called the Montana Telecommunications Association (MTA) and located in Helena, MT. MTA continues to provide public policy advocacy and consultation, communications, training and education, trade shows and related services to independent rural telecommunications service providers throughout Montana. The Association is actively engaged in state and federal legislative and regulatory affairs.
MTA member companies provide advanced telecommunications services to business and residential consumers in Montana. MTA members have over $500 million of fixed investment in place, and they invest over $80 million each year in capital and operating expenditures. With tens of thousands of miles of fiber optic facilities (over 20,000 miles) deployed throughout the state (see the Montana Fiber Map link), MTA members provide access to high speed broadband Internet service to over 80% (and often near 100%) of their customers. To learn more about how MTA members are conquering the challenge of low population density and high deployment costs, download the State of Rural Broadband Report at BroadbandMT.com.
MTA’s ConnectMT™ Initiative, announced in March 2014, adopts a goal to deliver up to gigabit broadband speeds to Montana’s school, libraries and other anchor institutions by 2020. MTA members took a major step in fulfilling this commitment by announcing that every school they serve will have fiber connectivity by the end of 2017. By investing in tomorrow’s technology today, MTA members are connecting rural Montana to the future.
A proud Montanan, Troy Downing has planted roots here and invested in the land and people who make our state.
Troy Downing began his career in education as a research scientist and educator at one of the largest private universities in the country. Troy would later found a technology startup company that would go on to merge with Yahoo!. Then came September 11th, 2001. Deeply affected by 9/11, Troy enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and served eight years in a Combat Search and Rescue squadron, including serving in two deployments to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom where Troy helped to evacuate countless wounded warriors off the battlefield.
Today here at home, Troy continues to support our wounded warriors and is actively involved with and serves on the advisory board of “Warriors and Quiet Waters Foundation,” which uses fly fishing and Montana’s natural beauty as a simple but powerfully effective healing therapy for our traumatically wounded veterans. Across Montana, Troy has worked side-by-side with organizations supporting at-need families, at-risk youth, our veterans, and our schools, including the local school in Big Sky and the Performing Arts Center. Troy now has a successful career in commercial real estate but once again heard the call to serve his state and country. Troy Downing feels the threat to our American Dream from the career politicians and special interests.
Troy is dedicated to defending our principles and ideals. Troy firmly believes that we need a true conservative in Washington to stand up for Montana against the federal government whenever necessary. Troy is a strong supporter of smaller government, the 2nd Amendment, and economic prosperity for all through lower taxes. An avid outdoorsman and hunter, Troy is a strong defender of public access to our great lands for recreational purposes.
Troy Downing is married to his wife Heather and they have four children.
We get an up to the minute update from Colstrip, Montana and just when will we see a closure and what will close?
What has the town of Colstrip and its citizens been told about their future and how many people will be let go and move away?
We will get some answers.
Tim Adams joins us to talk on taxes and global warming.
Wally Badgett is an artist. He’s a different kind of artist, though. His medium is a marker, and his most prominent subject matter is a beat up, life weary rancher named Earl, who seems to have as much success in ranching as I have on the basketball court. That’s not much, for those of you who have never played basketball with me. Wally draws upon years of growing up in ranching in Eastern Montana to come up with cartoons that make people laugh because of the truth in them. Baxter Black has pointed out that it’s the humor in tragedy that makes hard lives funny.
Wally rode bucking horses and bulls in his younger years. Having been reared on a ranch near Broadus, Montana, rodeoing became a natural progression, and by the time high school was over, Wally was on his way to Sheridan, Wyoming to lift and charge his way through college. While there, he was crowned the NIRA champion bull rider, and he eventually went on to qualify for the NFR in the bull riding. As with most, though, Wally started a family and headed back to Montana to work as a rancher and deputy sheriff.
However, during some down time brought on by a broken back, Wally began to doodle, something he had done his whole life, and he created a character based on the hard scrabble rancher. The character became Earl, a now famous individual whose humor graces calendars and newspapers across the country.
I was visiting with Wally during the College National Finals Rodeo, this summer. He was there coaching the college rodeo kids from Miles City, but we had struck up a conversation about his son Brett’s artwork. Brett is a phenomenal sculptor, and he and I went to the same school. As we talked, I brought up my daily readings, and he brought me a calendar with Earl plastered all over it. I went back to my room, that night, and I read the entire calendar, which also includes a daily journal kept by Earl. The journal is just as funny as the cartoons. I laughed and laughed and told Wally the next day how much I enjoyed his work.
One of the cartoons that cracked me up pictures Earl and his wife sitting in their “chairs”. Earl is reading the paper in his stocking feet. The dog is lying on the floor between the two, and his bride is in her chair, wearing a bathrobe and slippers. She’s reading her book. The scene couldn’t be more real. The caption hits the nail on the head. Earl’s wife says, “I didn’t say anything…that was yesterday.”
How many veteran married couples can attest to the accuracy in that cartoon. The day to day becomes the day to day. Pretty quick, although the love is still there, the fire is gone. They’re still together, but the passion has died down to a Wally Badgett cartoon. It’s funny, but like Baxter says, it’s the tragedy that makes it funny.
For many of us, our walk with Jesus turns into that. We love him. We even talk to him once in a while. If we’re really tuned in, we might even hear today what he told us last month. But the fire is gone. That fire must be pursued, and I guarantee you Jesus is pursuing us with passion. We’re just making ourselves comfortable in our robe and slippers. Tune in to Jesus and run after him with abandon. Isaiah 45:2-3 tells us how he chases after us. “I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.”
Invasive weeds are the greatest threat to Montana’s environment. When these invaders are allowed to invade and spread, they cause a reduction in wildlife forage, degrade fisheries through erosion and sediment buildup, reduce property values, and erode our beautiful viewsheds in Montana. Currently, Montana has approximately 7.6 million precious acres infested with state-listed noxious weeds, and several new and potentially devastating invaders knocking on the door at our borders.
Montana Chamber of Commerce Business Days at the Capitol brings together business leaders and government officials to talk face-to-face and participate in a variety of educational and networking events. This is a terrific opportunity to speak directly with elected officials and to learn about the current business climate in Montana.
This premier summit is always held in Helena in January. During odd numbered years the event coincides with the opening of the biennial Legislature. During even numbered years the event coincides with the opening of ‘Campaign Season’ – the first day of filing for political office.
Business Days at the Capitol includes a Lawmaker Appreciation Reception and Dinner, providing sponsors and business leaders with a networking opportunity. Other highlights include legislative leadership discussing top legislative priorities–both during the session and the interim–and seminars on emerging issues.
Call us and let Montana know what you think.
Born in 1949, Roger has lived in Bozeman, Montana, since 1977. Married to Ann for 44 years, the Koopmans have four children and eight grandchildren.
Roger graduated from the University of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (BGS), geology emphasis. He subsequently served for four years in Washington, DC, in the congressional offices of Steve Symms (R-Idaho) and Ron Paul (R-Texas) as press secretary and chief of staff. Following Paul’s election defeat, Roger became a staff writer for the NRA Institute for Legislative Action, and subsequently moved to Montana to serve as National Rifle Association field representative in a four-state area.
In 1980, Roger started Career Concepts, a full service private employment agency, specializing in career development, business consulting, permanent job placement and temporary staffing. The company has assisted over 500 local businesses and provided more than 10,000 job-seekers with gainful employment. After operating the agency for 37 years, he sold it in 2016.
In 2009, Roger became an associate of Compass Advisors, a local mergers and acquisitions firm that assists business owners with valuations, exit planning and business sales, and functions as a seller or buyer side intermediary in individual, corporate and private equity firm acquisitions. He continued with the firm for four years.
Roger has also been an active freelance writer and radio talk show host. He has published in numerous national magazines, was a columnist for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle for five years and for the Business to Business journal for six years. Roger has founded several citizens organizations and has served in leadership roles for many others, including: director and VP, Montana Shooting Sports Assn., chairman, NFIB Guardian Council, NFIB federal liaison, policy analyst, Montanans for Better Government, and president, Private Employment Association of Montana.
Roger was elected to the Montana House of Representatives in 2004 from House District 70, and re-elected in 2006. He served on the House Judiciary Committee, House Education Committee (vice chair) and House Fish and Game Committee. Roger was known for his innovative, free market-oriented legislation and his passionate defense of taxpayer rights, individual freedom, economic prosperity, and transparent, constitutional government.
He was appointed by the governor to serve on the Montana Economic Development Advisory Council, was recognized by Eagle Forum as the Outstanding Legislator of the year and by the National Federation of Independent Business as Montana’s Small Business Champion of the Year.
Roger is an avid outdoorsman, with bass and trout fishing, big game hunting, handloading, hiking, camping, photography and rock hounding among his favorite pursuits. He has also enjoyed playing a number of roles in community theater, is (he says) a credible singer, and makes largely unsubstantiated claims to being a “great cook.” His “Koopman’s Constitutional Chili” did win a blue ribbon once. He is happy to give the recipe to anyone who dares try it.
Roger was first elected to the Public Service Commission in 2012, representing the 14 counties that compose PSC District 3 in Southwestern Montana. As the first republican ever elected in that district, he won re-election in 2016.
Roger’s statement on serving as a Montana Public Service Commissioner:
“Serving as a PSC commissioner is a great honor and an awesome responsibility. This is an especially exciting time to be joining the commission, partly because of the critical issues we have before us, and partly because the make-up of the new commission is so strongly represented by small business people and entrepreneurs who by nature, are used to being visionary and pro-active. What the people of Montana will likely see is a Public Service Commission that truly gets down to business, is less political and more professional. A commission that is not afraid to ask tough questions, navigate new directions and test fresh ideas. A commission that will be highly aggressive in defending the best interests of Montana ratepayers, which in turn will strengthen our economy and improve our state’s future for everyone. That’s the essential mission we have before us on the PSC, and we have a wonderful blend of skills and experience among the commissioners and the PSC staff, that I believe are very much up to the task!”
Rallying around a plan to eliminate the digital divide by 2022, a diverse group of community leaders, rural advocates and top innovators today announced the national launch of Connect Americans Now (www.connectamericansnow.com) and the formation of local partnerships in Montana. The new alliance will work with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and other policymakers to ensure that there is sufficient unlicensed low band spectrum in every market in the country to enable broadband connectivity.
“All Americans – regardless of where they live – deserve access to high-speed internet,” said Richard T. Cullen, Executive Director of Connect Americans Now (CAN). “Without a broadband connection, millions of students struggle to keep up with their assignments, Americans in rural areas are unable to fully utilize telemedicine, farmers are denied the promise of precision agriculture and businesses are unable to tap into the world of online commerce. Congress and the FCC must stand with rural America by allowing internet service providers to deliver broadband via white spaces spectrum.”
CAN’s Montana coalition members include the Montana Policy Institute, and national founding partners include Microsoft, ACT: The App Association, the National Rural Education Association, the Schools, Health and Library Broadband Coalition, the Wisconsin Economic Development Association, Alaska Communications, Axiom, the Mid-Atlantic Broadcasting Communities Corporation, the American Pain Relief Institute, HTS Ag, and others. They also are spearheading an advocacy campaign in Washington, D.C., where FCC regulators have the authority to make sufficient unlicensed spectrum available in each market for high-speed internet.
“Access to high speed Internet in all corners of Montana is absolutely vital for us to be able to compete in the global economy,” said Brent Mead, executive director of the Montana Policy Institute. “That is why we are standing with Connect Americans Now. The new technology that would enable broadband delivery over TV white spaces has the potential to dramatically expand access in our state. It’s time that the FCC get this job done.”
“A reliable and cost-effective broadband connection will change the lives of millions of Americans who live each day without this basic necessity,” said Tad Deriso, President & CEO of Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corp. “Through our pilot project with Microsoft, we have witnessed the transformative effect that providing broadband via TV white spaces brings to rural families who otherwise could not obtain internet service, and hope that the FCC will embrace the potential of Connect Americans Now’s plan to close the digital divide.”
The plan endorsed by CAN will rapidly accelerate the deployment – and reduce the cost – of high-speed internet service for 23.4 million rural Americans who live each day without broadband access. It does so by taking advantage of unused but powerful bandwidth below the 700 MHz frequency range, also known as TV white spaces, made available on an unlicensed basis. Wireless signals in this range can travel over hills and through buildings and trees and therefore are great for last mile broadband access in rural areas.
From education to telemedicine and precision agriculture to business development, closing the digital divide could transform the lives and livelihoods of rural Americans from all walks of life.
Tara Walker Lyons is an advocate for the prevention of childhood sexual abuse.
Join us for another lively discussion on the Constitution with expert Robert Brown.
Mr. Gianforte joins us for 35 minutes and will be taking your phone calls.
In 20 years as a judge, Russ Fagg has seen just about every form of human suffering come before his court. From families breaking up to young people turning to a life of crime, almost all the cases trace their roots to the same cause: poverty and economic crisis. Montana needs more jobs. That’s why Russ is running for the U.S. Senate.
Join us for the Montana Cybersecurity Summit, hosted byMontana Securities and Insurance Commissioner Matt Rosendale on January 24th in Billings!
Speakers include Lamont Boyd, – Insurance Market Director, Global Scoring Solutions, FICO, Marcus Meyers from the Montana Office of Consumer Protection, Representative Daniel Zolinkov, and several others.
At the Summit, cybersecurity experts will educate attendees about current and evolving technology, how to protect against data breaches and other security threats, and what to do if you or your business is compromised by a successful attack.
9am – Summit Welcome
9:15am – What’s out there?
10:20am – What happens when you or your business has been attacked?
11:10am – Where do we go from here?
The Summit is open to the public. Registration is required.
Kristine is a spokesperson for the Coalition for Medicare Choices (CMC), a national grassroots coalition of more than 2 million seniors and disabled individuals, that works year-round to protect individuals enrolled in Medicare Advantage.
Dr. Kathy Koch (“cook”), the Founder and President of Celebrate Kids, Inc., based in Fort Worth, TX, has influenced thousands of parents, teachers, and children in 30 countries through keynote messages, seminars, chapels, and other events. Her practical, relevant, results-oriented concepts and engaging, honoring, and humorous speaking style draw enthusiastic raves from children, teens, parents, and educators. They leave her events armed with new beliefs, attitudes, practical tools, and increased hope to build healthy relationships and increase success in family, life, and school.
She is a featured speaker for the Great Homeschool Conventions and a regular presenter for Hearts at Home and other organizations. She is also a popular guest on Focus on the Family radio and other radio talk-shows. She has authored six books including four published by Moody Publishers. Her two most recent are 8 Great Smarts and Screens and Teens.
Dr. Kathy earned a Ph.D. in reading and educational psychology from Purdue University. She was a tenured associate professor of education at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, a teacher of second graders, a middle school coach, and a school board member prior to becoming a full-time conference and keynote speaker in 1991. She has loved Jesus for years and her faith and desire to serve and glorify God is the foundation of her ministry.
Eric holds a master’s degree in information Security and Assurance from WGU and an
Bachelors degree in managements information Systems from the University of Montana.
He speaks at global hacking conferences, and has hacked a number of Fortune 50 businesses as a consultant, Giving him unique experience in attacking corporations, all in an effort to protect them.
He is also very knowledgable in using Bitcoin Cash.
The U.S. petroleum industry is still ringing in the New Year with much to celebrate. Oil prices are at highs not seen since late 2014 and the forecast for 2018 is looking good.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), operators are projected to increase overall domestic oil production by 10 percent, elevating output to more than 10 million barrels per day and surpassing the previous all-time high. With WTI price above $60 a barrel, the current outlook seems to be delivering just what every displaced oilfield worker and strapped owner/operator has been wishing for since the latest downturn.
Coupled with a Trump-sized regulatory rollback, 2018 promises to be a “YUUUGE” year for oil and natural gas, barring turmoil overseas or dramatic changes to output by OPEC and Russia. EIA projections expect U.S. LNG exports to average about 3 bcfd (billion cubic feet per day) this year, up from 1.9 bcfd in 2017.
BLM Leases – Recently, the Bureau of Land Management’s Butte Field Office announced a possible auction of 63,496 acres of federal public land for petroleum leases, with more than 4,000 acres of land in Park County.
Environmental groups were quick to petition, filing an administrative appeal. Park County Environmental Council and local landowners (Livingston) worry that potential drilling would negatively impact the tourism economy in the area.
The formal protest period on the proposed parcels ends this week.
See more here.
Sage grouse – Since Governor Bullock signed an executive order (no. 10-2014) creating the Montana Sage Grouse Oversight Team and the Montana Sage Grouse Habitat Conservation Program, and the 2015 Legislature passed the Montana Greater Sage Grouse Stewardship Act to establish the Sage Grouse Stewardship Account, little has been done to move the ball forward through the Oversight Team.
As changes loom at the federal level, Montana has yet to approve a Habitat Quantification Tool to determine debits (impacts) and credits (conservation/improvements).
Feds will no longer prioritize oil and gas leasing outside of imperiled bird habitat
Interior Decision Nears on Sage Grouse Plans
Without the HQT, projects face unnecessary delays and costs associated with waiting for the “go ahead”.
Pipelines – Montana received exciting news from MPA Member, ONEOK, which has proposed a 900-mile pipeline to transport up to 240,000 barrels per day of unfractionated natural gas liquids (NGL) from Sidney, Montana to Kansas. The proposal couldn’t be timelier, as record oil production in the Bakken may be threatened by the current threshold on flared natural gas at well sites – a problem far greater in North Dakota than in Montana, where the state regulatory agency (Montana Board of Oil and Gas Conservation) boasts a more than 90% capture rate.
ONEOK Inc. to build $1.4 billion natural gas pipeline system
The estimated price tag on the Elk Creek Pipeline (and associated infrastructure) is $1.4 billion dollars.
North Dakota oil output cut back to meet gas capture rules
North Dakota expects to hit oil production record in 2018
Another MPA member, Denbury Resources, has also been working on a pipeline project to carry CO2 from the Powder River Basin into developed oilfields in the Cedar Creek Anticline.
This project is perhaps the largest of the Petroleum Association’s members impacted by new sage grouse stipulations.
Montana Pipeline Proposed to Transport CO2 for Oil Recovery
The proposed Cedar Creek Anticline Pipeline will start in the Bell Creek oil field in Powder River County, Wyoming, and span 110 miles through Carter County into Fallon County, Montana. The pipeline will transport up to 400 million standard cubic feet of compressed carbon dioxide (CO2) per day for enhanced oil recovery (EOR).
The exact timing and schedule of the flood depends on future oil prices, permitting, and availability of CO2.
Last fall, MPA submitted comments in support of the pipeline to the BLM; CO2 EOR operations provide a responsible method of utilizing CO2, including underground storage of otherwise emitted sources of CO2 into the atmosphere. Because of the enhanced recovery capability of this method, there is also the benefit of less wasted oil reserves; those which would remain trapped without a source of recovery.
The Montana Petroleum Association is a non-profit trade association representing the nearly two hundred businesses which work to facilitate energy production in Montana. These include integrated and independent producers; lease operators; service providers; pipeline companies; refineries; as well as professional entities providing legal, financial, and additional regulatory support to the oil and natural gas industry.
Republican state representative, Derek Skees gives us his take on the Montana Constitution.