Thursday Numbers…

Thanks for stopping by The Western Word for this week’s edition of “Thursday Numbers!”

If you are a new visitor, this column is where I take a look at the numbers that are in the news (in descending order) and provide commentary (sometimes laced with just a little sarcasm).

DISCLAIMER: By reading this column you may be able to use the information to impress your family, friends, and co-workers. Consider this your warning.

This week I write about the “Cruise” music video, Twitter followers of CBS, unemployment, deaths in Syria, Stapleton’s goal, the Freemen standoff, an American Flag, arrested in Chicago, my Spotify playlist, the 406 area code, Top 25 Shows, Thursday Numbers milestone, partisan gridlock, Spurs/Heat, Miss Montana, VA in Montana, confidence in Congress, Internet sales tax, school levy, and much more so read on!

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$1.01 a Month

While I was reading my Great Falls Tribune early Tuesday morning, out fell a couple pieces of propaganda from the Pro and Con forces regarding the upcoming vote on the Great Falls Public Schools levy. The election is June 25. The ballots were mailed this week, and I received mine Tuesday afternoon.

Basically, to me, it all boils down to this: Do you support public education or not? It really is that simple.

Let’s take a closer look at the flyers and the views from the pro and con forces!

What I took from the anti-levy group’s glossy flyer was that if you are highly-educated and make a decent salary from your public schools occupation, you can get your name plastered on a flyer from people who look down upon you for being successful. To the folks who had their names listed in the flyer, congratulations for being successful in life.


The anti-levy folks also throw in some conspiracy ideas and other items that have no reason to be tied to a school levy vote. Their flyer contained way too much information and probably found a trash can quickly in most households. It reminded me of something I would receive from a dark money group. The cost of creating the flyer, printing it, and distributing it was probably more than it would cost the anti-levy folks to actually support the levy.

On the flyer they stated, “For more information, go to” So I did. At that website, I was informed I needed to go to which is a Tea Party website.

Wonderful – and here I thought Tea Parties were for little girls and their imaginary friends…

The pro-levy folks had a pretty informative flyer that was easily readable and contained enough information that readers did not feel they needed to take a seat and grab a cup of coffee before reading it. The website listed on the flyer contained about all the information and answered many of the questions I had, such as how does Great Falls compare to other AA school districts in Montana on spending per student? The answer is “Great Falls spends the lowest per student of all AA districts,” plus Great Falls “students are challenged by poverty more than other AA districts” which I did not know.


According to the levy supporters it will cost you about a dollar and a penny per month on a home with taxable value of $100,000. Their website dispels many of the arguments from the anti-levy folks, so if you have any questions, go HERE. Continue reading

Spiking the Ball

Faithful readers – pardon me while I give my personal commentary about a local issue…

When the local Great Falls (Montana) school levy was defeated, I wrote a commentary about it and figured that would be about all I’d have to say about it. I had written a column before that expressing my support for the levy request, which would cost me a little more than $15.71 per year.

The levy was defeated and life goes on…

But then I happened to read an advertisement in the local newspaper from a group called Citizens Against Higher Taxes (CAHT). In my opinion they kind of had the “spike the ball” attitude toward those who supported the levy. So I must offer my commentary about this advertisement:

It seems the group purchased some advertisements called “An Open letter to the GFPS Administration, Board of Trustees and Teachers Union” in which they claim the school district “is implementing a new bullying program and is now acting like the bully.” They contend “Anyone who opposes their viewpoint is a target of retaliation.” They also say they “expect a new attitude from the Board of Trustees and top administrators…” Continue reading

Saying “NO” to the Children

Pardon me while I write about a local issue…

The Great Falls (Montana) community spoke yesterday about providing more money to educate their children. They said NO by a 54 to 46 percent vote. I was surprised by the vote – even in this economy as I think that having outstanding schools and supporting the children should be the cornerstone of every community.

I guess too many people have been drinking the tea…and believed the propaganda or the conspiracy. Continue reading