Lots of meth news in the last few days. Use of this nastiest of drugs is on the increase despite an anti-meth campaign costing millions of dollars.
The Billings Gazette quotes Police Chief Rich St. John on the near record number of murders in the Magic City, “There’s a common denominator, and it’s usually methamphetamine.” Meth-related crime is up in Missoula, too, according to KECI-TV.
Speaking of Last Best News, and drugs, former Great Falls Tribune reporter John Adams has a post up about a doctor facing drug charges who used to work at the Montana State Hospital. Mark Jay Catalanello was also, at one time, the medical director at Montana Chemical Dependency Center. Adams’ story chronicles a history of suspended licenses and brushes with the law. It’s an interesting story but equally interesting, to me anyway, is Adams’ byline at LBN. I’m not sure what the arrangement is because he has his own news blog, Montana Free Press, but between Adams, founder Ed Kemmick and recent addition David Crisp, Last Best News could be making the traditional Montana dailies a little nervous.
And speaking of journalism, Moyers and Company has a rather depressing article on veteran journalists. The subhead gives a brief description: “As newsrooms disappear, veteran older reporters are being forced from the profession. That’s bad for journalism — and democracy.” Through interviews and observations, Dale Maharidge writes about the “seismic shift” in that profession.
Colstrip workers are in the midst of a seismic shift, too, if stories out of Oregon and Washington are any indication. Legislatures in both states are passing bills designed to take coal out of their respective energy portfolios, reports MTN news. Oregon and Washington get much of their coal fired electricity from Colstrip Units 1,2,3 and 4. Union, business and government leaders are playing ostrich instead of moving forward on a plan to mitigate the loss of jobs and tax base at Colstrip. This reality does not bode well for the workers or the community.
Candidate for governor, Greg Gianforte, is also having some reality issues. State senator and former economics professor, Dick Barrett, writes that Gianforte is having difficulty grasping how the state budget, and Montana’s Constitution, actually work. Barrett concludes with:
Gianforte’s taxing and spending plans don’t pencil out, but you shouldn’t let that worry you too much. Because even though Gianforte doesn’t seem to know it, the state constitution requires the budget to be balanced. So his plan is simply unworkable. There’s some comfort in that, although it’s alarming to think that there is a candidate out there who doesn’t seem to know or care that he is pitching a plan that can never get off the ground.