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Rolla , North Dakota
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July 14, 2014     Turtle Mountain Star
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July 14, 2014
 

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Page 4 The Star July 14, 2014 OPINION Fields of dreams are drifting away Summary: One of the city's last bastions of youth entertainment needs a major face lift. Rolla's ball fields are in need of a make over. Last week the community hosted a little league baseball tournament. The fields looked good, but only because a group of parents worked for several weeks shaping up what was left after around three decades of de- cline. The fences around the four fields are falling apart, concrete is heaving out of the ground and there are no rest room facilities. Then there is the years-long debate about what city entity is in charge of mowing the prop: erty. Is the city? Is it the park board? Is it the rec board? Our question is: Does it matter? What's needed is a regular maintenance program for the field after a complete overhaul. Yes, it will cost money, but anyone complaining that kids have nothing to do in the summer should have been at the fields last week. Three diamonds were buzzing with games featuring 10, 11 and 12 year old boys and girls from towns within a 45-mile radius of Rolla. Young moms and dads, grandparents and friends filled up the parking lot to its limit. Parents of the players were busy cooking and serving con- cessions while younger children played near the dugouts. It was good for everyone. Of course any remodeling of the field is going to cost money. Unfor- tunately, there isn't much help beyond the community. One would think the state would offer grants for such facilities, and they do. Unfortunately, small towns in North Dakota aren't a part of the plan. The North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department (NDPRD) re- cently opened a pre-application cycle for $3 million in federal grant money available for outdoor recreation projects. The program provides matching funds for outdoor recreation projects such as ball fields, pools, campgrounds, playgrounds and land acquisi- tions for park development. That's right in Rolla's berry patch when considering the state of the ball fields and the proximity of both a campground and playground. Here's the catch. The grant is limited to areas having populations of 50,000 people or more. That's just ridiculous. Densely populated areas already feed off smaller towns, capturing city sales tax by the bucket load to fund many recre- ation projects not to mention infrastructure needs. Limiting such grants deprives towns from much-needed money for recreation projects. Rolla is pressed for funds as it deals with infrastruc- ture necessities. People living in North Dakota's small communities will often do any- thing they can for their children. That was certainly on display running up to last week's tournament. Now is the time for everyone else to contribute or the city will risk -losing yet another outlet for youth activities. Other Views By Lloyd Omdahl Other Views How to contact District 9 Legislators Rep. Tracy Boe 5125 89th Street, Mylo, ND 58353-9438 Home Telephone: 701-656-3427 Cellphone: 701-477-4005 Email: tboe@nd.gov Rep. Marvin Nelson P.O. Box 577, Rolla, ND 58367-0577 Home Telephone: 701-477-3422 Cellphone: 701-550-9731 Email: menelson@nd.gov Sen. Richard Marcellais 301 Laite Loop NE, Belcourt, ND 58316-9787 Home Telephone: 701-477-8985 Cellphone: 701-278-0632 Email: rmarcellais@nd.gov Ex-Hutterites take issues to the public square A group of nine ex-Hutterites are going to great lengths to denounce the theology and governance flaws of Hutterite colonies in North Dakota and Canada. They are now touting a second book about their experiences and taking their case to the secular world. The Hutterite religion first ap- peared in Europe in 1528 and was named for a dynamic leader, Jakob Hutter, in the 1600s. Believers came to America in the 1870s and settled in South Dakota, Montana, North Dakota and Canada. In theology, Hutterites are fairly close to Baptists, except that they subscribe to communal living and strict pacifism. German is the first language in the colonies. Since neither communal living nor pacifism sit well with the secular society, Hutterites have frequently been victims of ridicule and persecu- tion. North Dakota has six or seven colonies, depending on the source, with a new one being built near Hills- boro between Fargo and Grand Forks. South Dakota and Montana have much larger setflements. Each colony has around 100 members. Farming is a significant part of their economic activities but some colonies have gone into various types of manufacturing and commercial services. While most of the complaints voiced by the nine breakaway book writers relate to the theology and governance of the colonies, they raise some serious legal issues that should catch the attention of civil authori- ties. In their first book, they alleged that the colonies were guilty of over- looking child abuse, violating labor and minimum wage laws, disobeying school attendance laws, disregarding possible sex abuse, and providing al- cohol to minors. Without receiving formal com- plaints, however, law enforcement agencies are hard-pressed to storm the colonies in search of violations. And because colonies are religious organizations, attempts to enforce state laws could be construed as a form of religious persecution. In their first publication, each of the nine narrated the dismal circum- stances of life in the colonies. They felt as though they were prisoners due to the lack of preparation for em- ployment outside of the colony, shunning by family and friends that dared leave the colony, and the un- known spiritual consequences of de- fying authority. Nevertheless, they used the Dec- laration of Independence to justify their right to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," not under- standing that the Declaration guaran- teed no rights and represented a secular argument against King George. All of the nine professed a new "born-again" faith that, they allege, was unacceptable to colony leaders. They all seemed to find new reli- gious, economic and social lives in the freedom of the secular world. Even though their first book was punctuated with scriptural references, an air of bitterness and condemnation permeated the writing. It was unfor- giving and vindictive. Having been victims of heavy- handed authoritarianism, it is under- standable that painful memories and loss of families could be enough to make them bitter. At the same time, however, if their new:found faith was really based on teachings in the New Testament, then they were called to meekness and forgiveness, not bitter- ness. Their arguments are basically the- ological in nature but their writing seems to bean appeal to secular so- ciety for justification of their depar- ture from Hutterite society. As for the vindictiveness in their writing, I quote from page 108 in their first book: "Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor and evil speaking be put away from you with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you." (Ephesians 4:31) Christians should not be disparag- ing other Christians in the secular square. Theirs is a family argument for professing Christians and not a secular debate. Paying to protect ourselves from North There's good news about the ex- plosive oil tankers rolling through our communities: We can finally find out what the bad news is. Until recently, the public knew only that the state had suddenly be- come a magnet for thousands of an- tique tanker cars, each filled with 680 barrels of volatile crude oil from North Dakota's Bakken region. We've all seen them: huge black tanks topped with what look like black caps. Their design is a half- century old. The National Trans- portation Safety Board has been yelling for years about their tendency to split open and explode in crashes. Federal regulators finally took the risk seriously after one oil train more or less identical to countless oth- ers -- exploded in Quebec last year and incinerated 47 human beings. The new gusher of North Dakota crude has sent a storm surge of tankers across the continent. The rail industry and some states haven't been eager to tell the public where the trains are going and how many there are. One particularly specious claim is the information might fall into the hands of terrorists -- as if any terror- ist with time on his hands couldn't simply stand by the track in a given locale and count. The U.S. government last month declared that the train movements aren't state secrets. Washington state's emergency preparedness people last week released the details. In Pierce County, for example, BNSF Railway is currently moving 11 to 16 major oil trains through University Place, Tacoma and other communities. The typical train pulls about 100 cars. Trains that pull fewer than 35 or so aren't reported. Keep in mind: Shipments are still curving up. In 2011, zero crude was sent to Wash- ington refineries by rail. In 2013, that zero had grown to 29 million barrels. It's crucial that the public have this information. Without it, we couldn't assess either the threat or the preventive measures. BNSF appears to be trying to get ahead of the problem. (As common carriers, railways are legally obligated Dakota crude to carry oil trains.) It is upgrading its tracks aggressively and is funding training for the state's first responders. Railway companies don't nor- mally deploy cars of their own, but BNSF is buying a small fleet of mod- ern, much-safer oil tankers. Credit where it's due. Washington is reacting to the surge faster than the federal govern- ment did. This year's Legislature ap- propriated nearly $1 million to develop response plans. State agen- cies are on task. Unfortunately, lawmakers failed to take one obvious step: imposing a per-barrel fee on rail-borne oil, as California does and as this state al- ready does with the seaborne crude that arrives at our refineries. As a re- sult, taxpayers are footing the bill for much of the emergency preparation. Heaven knows how many oil barons and CEOs are enriching themselves by rolling these potential bombs through our cities. It's galling that we have to pay to protect our- selves from them. (This editorial first appeared in the News-Tribune of Tacoma Wash- ington.) Riding through life on a bike While motoring home the other day, I saw two little kids on bicycles come around a comer. It looked like they just grew into the two- wheeled modes of transportation and both were pedaling hard, but not getting anywhere in too big of a hurry. About five seconds later, a mini van came around the same corner at a top speed of about 4 mph. The scene created an instant flashback. I had been in that mini van, following little kids on bikes as they motored toward the swimming pool, playground or grandma's house. That was me 13 years ago, 10 years ago and six years ago. As I got closer to the kids, I was careful not to distract them. I knew them, but hid my face a bit because they needed to concentrate on steering clear of parked cars, which are akin to land mines for little kids on bikes. I exchanged pleasantries with the mom, who was watching closely and appeared to be en- joying the solitude of a solo drive to the pool. Later, I couldn't get the scene out of my mind, probably because it was a good analogy for life. You follow your children, watching closely, as they carefully pedal into the world. Pretty soon, those bikes start going faster and you struggle to keep up with them while maintain- ing the speed of your own life. Then there are times when the bike drifts out of sight. You're anxious and hope they remem- ber when to use the brakes. Finally, the day comes when the bike is no longer visible. Your child has found her own path, consisting of low valleys, high peaks and plenty of bumps in between. All you can hope is that they will stay up- right and continue to pedal back into your life from time to time. If you taught them well, I'm pretty sure they will. Pages from the past... 10 years ago July 12, 2004 "Nine mmbers of the St. John FFA chapter recently participated in the North Dakota State FFA Con- vention. Those members included Gracie Langan, Brooke Bryant, Susan Cain, Jorey Indvik, Claton Haas, Kyle Langan, Chance Bren- nan, Cody Garrison and Kurt Car- penter." "Seven area graduated seniors from 9-man football schools will play in the first-ever Saskota Bowl. Players from Rolla, Rolette and St. John are Jake Gefroh, Zach Cahill, Seth Mickelson, Kurt Carpenter, Dustin Langan, Larry Laducer and Matt Norby." "Among the entrants in the Sam McQuade Memorial Softball Tour- nament was a team from Belcourt. The Turtle Mountain Thunder con- sisted of Sean LaFountain, James 'Bucky' Grant, Frank 'Beeve' Grant Jr., Martin Desjarlais, Kyle 'Opie' Brien, Craig Trottier, Marcus Ouel- lette and Keith LaVallie." "A Rolla City Council committee will recommend two options to pay off the city's share of the $3.5 mil- lion sewer and lagoon project. The city is responsible for $2.8 million of the venture while a USDA Rural De- velopment grant will take care f the remainder." ........ 30 years ;ito July 9, 1984 "Several members of the Rolette FFA Chapter attended the North Dakota FFA convention in Fargo. Those members included Duane Cote, Elaine Heinz, Mark Haagen- son, Kenton Omvig, Robert Lemieux, Toni Thingvold, Kenton Omvig, Jamie Rieger, Tim Berube and David Rose." "Tami Await of Rolla will attend the 1984 National Leadership Meet- ing of the Future Homemakers of America in Chicago. The daughter of Bill and Eunice Await, Tami will be a delegate from North Dakota." "Jay Myhre has joined the Rolette State Bank in the position of assis- tant cashier. Myhre is a native of Ro- lette and is a graduate of Concordia College." "The top judges in the Rolette County 4-H Teen Consumer Choice competition will advance to the dis- trict contest. The winners were Kari Boe, Lisa Casavant, Shelly Heinz, Bethany Boe and Denise Gustafson." 60 years ago July 15, 1954 "Dwight E. Palmer, the new county agent, assumed his duties Thursday, July 15. Palmer succeeds Calvin L. Martin, who is in Iran." "The ground work and construc- tion of a building which will house the new Northwestern Bell Tele- phone Company dial house at Mylo is well underway. The dial house will give Mylo it sown exchange and approximately 50 new subscribers will be added in the .M.ylo commu- ii)., "" 7 . . "Fred' T. LeBrnn, Belcourt mer- chant, who has recently changed his store into a Red Owl agency, is an- nouncing his grand opening sale." "Second Lieut. Robert J. Gillmeister, contracting officer's representative, "Frankford Arsenal, Phiiladelphia, arrived in Rolla last week, and is now a member of the staff at the Turtle Mountain Ordance Plant. His presence is expected to sped up contact work between the plant and the contracting officer at Frankford. Lieut. Gillmeister has a room at the A.M. Marchand home." Letters to the editor The Turtle Mountain Star wel- comes letters to the editor. The letters must include the author's signature, address and phone number for verification of author- ship. Mail them to: The Turtle Mountain Star PO Box 849 Rolla, ND 58367 We reserve the right to shorten letters, edit out factual errors and reject those deemed libelous, in poor taste or of a personal nature. We will not run letters from the same author two weeks in a row. All opinions expressed are those of the author and do not represent the opinions of The Star. E-mail us at: tmstar@utma.com w