5/12/2010 – Editorials


By Richard Peterson

A large gathering in Devils Lake was held May 3 to impress upon federal officials the situation we face in the continued rise of Devils Lake.

A consensus has formed that an east end outlet is necessary.

I have come to the reluctant conclusion that from this point forward we have to forget about water quality and concentrate on water quantity. As a result, I no longer oppose an east end outlet.

Having said that, I want to add that an east end outlet isn’t going to solve the problem.

There’s only one place for that east end water to go, and that’s to the Sheyenne River. The state’s west end outlet will soon be sending 250 cfs into the Sheyenne to blend with whatever water there is in the Sheyenne.

The Sheyenne can handle about 500 cfs without spilling its banks. That means maybe 150 cfs could come trickling out of an east end outlet without flooding the river. That isn’t very much. Certainly not enough to keep the lake from flooding.

Yes, we’re being flooded in the Devils Lake Basin. But the actions of man shouldn’t just push water out of the lake to flood the Sheyenne River valley from Tolna to Fargo. There’s a big legal liability issue here for the state.

If the wet cycle continues, the lake will overflow naturally, not as a result of the state’s activities. The Sheyenne will be flooded but the legal liability will not lie with the state. It will be an act of God.

An east end outlet would be good for the lake because the nastiest water will be going out and fresher water will be coming in from the north.

But as far as flood control is concerned, I don’t think an east end outlet will do much good until if flows out naturally. By that time, we’ll all be flooded.

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Did you see that the "real" conservatives who control the Republican party kicked out a sitting senator? Sen. Bob Bennett of Utah was denied a place on the ballot because he wasn’t conservative enough.

Bennett had committed the crime of supporting the bailout of financial firms and co-sponsoring a health care bill with a Democrat. The gang that runs today’s Republican party demands that their elected officials march in lockstep with current conservative ideology. Bipartisanship is treason, according to this line of thinking.

Sen. John McCain of Arizona is under pressure from the more conservative wing of the party and he could be in trouble because he has not always followed the party line. He’s already changed his position on immigration to please his critics. The Tea Party group has emasculated this former maverick. Republicans are on notice: No working with Democrats! Follow the party line, or else!

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Here are some North Dakota "facts" I received by e-mail. I don’t vouch for their accuracy. We’ve had some mild earthquakes here and the state once contained the third largest nuclear arsenal in the world, but I don’t know if that’s true today. Nevertheless I think most of them were true in 2005 when the list was compiled:

The town of Rugby is the geographical center of North America. A tall stone obelisk marks the location.

North Dakota was the first state to complete its Interstate highway system.

The parking meter was invented in North Dakota.

North Dakota is the only state in the nation to never have an earthquake.

Dakota Gasification Company in Beulah is the nation’s only synthetic natural gas producer.

North Dakota has 60 wildlife refuges, more than any other state, and all are managed for waterfowl production.

North Dakota has more miles of road per capita than any other state — approximately 166 miles of road for every 1,000 people.

If North Dakota seceded from the Union, it would be the world’s third strongest nuclear power.

North Dakota has the highest number of millionaires per capita than any other state, and not a yuppie to be found anywhere.

Did you know that North Dakota leads the nation in the production of just about everything? The state is first in spring wheat, durum wheat, sunflowers, barley, dry edible beans, pinto beans, canola, flaxseed, all dry edible peas, honey, lentils and oats.

Did you know that the highest temperature ever recorded in North Dakota was 121 degrees at Steele in July of 1936? Or that the lowest was -60 degrees at Parshall during February of the same year?

The fastest-growing city in the state is West Fargo, which has soared from 14,910 residents in 2000 to more than 21,000 last year.

What is the Sturnella neglecta? It’s the scientific name of the state’s bird. Can you name it? It’s the western meadowlark, a songbird often found on fence posts or signs chirping away.

Fore! Did you know that North Dakota has more golf courses per capita than any other state?

It ranks #1 as the safest state to live in.

North Dakota is one of only eight states with a growing economy.

It ranks sixth highest in state economic competitiveness.

North Dakota had the second highest per capita income growth from 2000-2005.

It has more coastline than California due to Lake Sakakawea!

Fargo-Moorhead ranked as one of America’s top "Business Opportunity Metros" for 2005.

North Dakota ranks #1 for rate of high school completion.

It is one of only two states to increase manufacturing jobs from 2000-2004.


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