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6/8/2005 – Editorials

By Richard Peterson

As I predicted in this column two months ago, the ND Supreme Court has ruled the state’s outlet can go ahead as planned. This didn’t require a crystal ball on my part. The court ruling only affirmed that the State Health Department followed all necessary procedures in granting the permit to discharge water from Devils Lake. It’s expected that the outlet will be in operation next month.
There’s only one more hurdle for the state to navigate before the outlet will begin operation. I said in this column months ago that the only thing that can stop the outlet is our own US Department of State. I haven’t got a clue what Condoleezza Rice will decide. I won’t be surprised if she stops the project by referring it to International Joint Commission. A ruling from the commission will take years. I also won’t be surprised if she does nothing and allows the project to go ahead because it’s unlikely to cause any more harm than it already has.
Canadian objections to the state’s outlet are nothing but politics. It’s good politics in Canada to tweak Uncle Sam’s nose and the Canadians are pulling out all the stops to halt the project. The Liberal government hopes to gain some points with the Canadian public by standing up to the US.
The last Canadian prime minister who cozied up to the US was Progressive Conservative Brian Mulrooney. He and Ronald Reagan had a great relationship. The Canadian public rewarded Mulrooney by devastating his party at the next election as a result. Of course, the hated federal goods and services tax instituted by Mulrooney also probably played a part in his downfall.
Canadians loved it when Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau stood up to the US on many occasions during his tenure as prime minister 1968-79 and 1980-84.
That’s what Prime Minister Paul Martin is trying to do today. It’s just Canadian politics.
Now that the outlet has scarred the landscape, it should be put to use. It will be ineffective because of water quality constraints, but as long as it’s already there, it should be put to use. Once it’s in operation Canadians will see how anemic it really is and will realize it won’t hurt them.
I’m constantly amazed at the changes wrought by the big lake. Minnewaukan’s streets and sewers have been damaged by the lake in some respects, but in other respects it’s created an economic boom. There are no houses for sale in Minnewaukan. Anything which comes on the market is snapped up immediately.
A couple weeks ago a fellow from Minot bought seven lots in various locations in town. He plans to park recreational vehicles on some of them.
Only one location is high enough to place a building.
Another couple from Grand Forks bought a house that needs an awful lot of fixing. A couple years ago it was abandoned and a tree was growing through the roof. But because new building is so severely restricted because of National Flood Insurance Program requirements, any type of existing building has significant value.
We see more vehicles pulling boats than vehicles without boats. A steady stream of boats are filled with gas at the pump operated by Oddens’ Grocery.
Spirit Water Inn, which can handle up to 80 people, is full most of the time. Last weekend 10 people from Fargo were vacationing in the stone and glass house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and built by Vic Helberg in 1959. One of those 10 was Minnewaukan native Dan Schmaltz. I’ll bet he never figured on coming to Minnewaukan for a vacation.
The tourists are drawn to the lake because of the prospects of great fishing. They come to Minnewaukan because of the proximity of the boat ramps and the fish cleaning station.
The Minnewaukan Community Club’s foresight in providing these services have resulted in an economic mini-boom and rapidly rising property values.
Those essential items, in turn, resulted in the development of resorts such as Spirit Water Inn, West Bay Resort, Randy’s Bait Shop and Lakeside RV Park, Perch-Eyes Lodging, Whistling Wings Outpost, Elaine’s RV Park and numerous guide services.
Few small towns in North Dakota can boast of such a situation.
The math teacher saw that little Johnny wasn’t paying attention in class.
She called on him and said, "Johnny! What are 2 and 4 and 28 and 44?"
Little Johnny quickly replied, "NBC, CBS, HBO and the Cartoon Network!"
Pastor Lundberg’s column did not arrive by e-mail this week.
Information about Churchs Ferry Day which was mailed Sunday night did not appear in our Monday mail. Activities for Churchs Ferry Day on Saturday, June 25 will be published next week. Mark your calendars so you don’t miss this event.

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