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September 13, 2021     Turtle Mountain Star
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September 13, 2021
 

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Page 4 The Star September 13, 2021 OPINION Rural districts face raugh path during redistricting shrinking electorate outside of the state’s big cities spells trouble for rural residents. Drawing new maps has never been easier for the North Dakota leg— islative committee that’s in charge of the once-a—decade process. Last week the work began and its based on a US. Census tabulation taken during a pandemic. The results of that count will make the power shift in our state even more dramatic. The Legislature must draw new political boundaries based on the 2020 census to make sure every lawmaker is representing about the same num— ber of people. A panel of 14 Republicans and two Democrats met last week in Fargo to discuss the issue and the GOP-controlled Legislature will finish the redistricting job during a special or reconvened session this fall. The full Legislature must approve the plan, and the governor must sign off on it. ’ The inevitable decision will most certainly move more power to the state’s major cities and the small bedroom communities that surround them. North Dakota’s population is estimated at a record 779,000, up almost 16 percent during the last decade, but most of the state’s rural legislative districts lost residents, according to census data. When the Legislature completed its last redistricting plan a decade ago, district populations averaged about 14,500 people. The new plan adds about 2,000 more people to that. The panel doesn’t plan on adding more districts to the current 47 to go with the rising population in the state. Instead, it will redraw existing boundaries. That means rural districts will be swallowed up by the cities and with it the voices that support small towns and farming communi- tres. ' The chairman of the resdistricting committee already showed his hand. He expects that “at least” three rural legislative districts likely will be eliminated. Areas in and around Fargo, Bismarck, Minot and Grand Forks already account for nearly half of the Legislature’s members. Fargo, Bismarck and Williston, which is in the heart of North Dakota’s oil patch and has doubled its population in the past decade, are assured of adding more dis— tricts. The 2020 census had Rolette County officially losing population, al- though that’s difficult to believe. Now with an official count that fell sig— nificantly to just more than 12,000 people, it’s not so far—fetched to assume that this may be an opportunity for the GOP to weed out a few De- mocrats. There is some talk abdut making exceptions for the state’s tribal na- tions, allowing seine subdividing to'be’nefit reservations and the rural areas around them. ‘Such a choice would be a stretch, however, given the standard mode of operation in the state legislature. ' How to contact your North akota delegation Sen. John Hoeven. G11 Dirksen Senate Office Building Washington, D.C. 20510 Phone: 202-224-2551 Sen. Kevin Cramer ‘ B40C Dirksen Sen’ate Office Building Washington, DC 20510 Phone: 202-224—2043 Rep. Kelly Armstrong 1004 Longworth HOB Washington, DC‘20515 (202) 225-2611 2001,: ED'WE S Tooo Labor Day forgtten in Nort Dakota We just celebrated Labor Day. No, we didn’t. Labor was forgotten while most of us‘ only noticed that we had a holiday and spent it lounging, fish- ing, swimming, sunning, camping, playing — everything but recogniz- ing the reason for the holiday. One thing for sure, we took no time to honor labor. Modern unions first appeared in the 1870s when working people had to fight, starve and die to or— ganize. The idea of unions was repulsive to the growing corporate commu— nity when no fringe benefits were provided, 10 year—old kids worked for pennies, and 12-hour days were common. The road to unions was splattered with blood and violence. Workers Lose Body Count More often than not, whenever working people tried to organize they, were, assailed by Istrikebreak— ers. hired gunsand, ultimately, state 'milit'ia'sl‘ and federal troOpisj re-, quested by governors. And in the body count, working people lost more lives than company owners. In the great railroad strike of 1877, the Maryland militia killed 10 and injured 25; in the Pennsylvania "Reading Railroad Massacre” the state militia shot 16. In 1892, gover— nors of five states used the National Guard and/or the army against min— ers in Tennessee and Idaho. Then there was the Homestead Strike in which Carnegie Steele hired 300 armed Pinkertons to fight the union and fight they did. A pitched gun battle resulted in casu— alties on both sides. 1 Other Views By Lloyd B. Omdalil Carnegie’s Guilt Grants Meanwhile, Andrew Carnegie kept his hands clean by staying in Scotland until the battle was over. He later donated millions of dollars for community libraries, something I always thought was guilt money because he was basically a reli- gious person. (North Dakota cities that bene- fited from Carnegie library money included Bismarck, Devils Lake, Dickinson, Grand Forks , Michigan, Minot and Valley City plus UND, NDSU and Fargo College. It as- suaged a lot of guilt.) While companies used spies, wage cuts, scabs and guns to fight working men, the unions fought back, not only with guns but also explosives. In Idaho, union mem— r: bers seized a train in 1899, loaded it with 3,000 pounds of dynamite and blew up the Bunker Hill nrine. Two explosions by unknown perpetra— - tors occurred in the Colorado Labor Wars in 1903-04. Unions Boom The fight to organize unions was », an uphill, often violent, fight until 1935 when Congress passed the Wagner Labor Relations Act that : gave worker the legal right to or— ganize and engage in collective bargaining. Unions boomed until 71947 when Congress outlawed closed shops, leading to the so— called “right to work” legislation in 27 states. North Dakota is one of the 27 “right to wor ” states. Because our manufacturing base has been very limited, North Dakota has had few industries to unionize. With few union members, the political influ- ence of unions has been minimal. In North Dakota’s 1970-72 con- stitutional convention, an attempt was made to remove language in the old constitution that fostered right-to-work provisions. However, the effort was defeated by two—to- one, a reflection of North Dakota’s attitude toward unions. Breaking Unions Under “right-to-work” a union may negotiate with an employer but the benefits apply to the non- union members without their finan- cial support for negotiations. This discourages union membership, the whole idea of “right—to-work”. In the final analysis, “right to work” laws were unions, not protect workers’ rights. According to Gallup Polls taken two weeks ago, 68% of Americans approved of labor unions. But 68% of people believe a lot of things that do not get practiced. It’s like be- lieving in God but only one hour on Sunday. The rubber will meet the road when the “Pro Act”, a measure to make it easier to organize unions, gets on the floor of Congress. Will the 68% mean anything? After a long hard fight, labor unions have made major contribu- tions to the well—being of all Amer- icans. They forced a more equitable distribution of wealth, raising all boats in the process. We have all benefited. Mandate law may pit employers against laws Other Views B y e r e my 8 t r an 1,) Biden administration vaccination mandates may place employers, in some states, between the proverbial “rock and hard place” of federal pro— nouncements and state regulations, if they survive court challenges. In the interim they create uncertainty for businesses and employees alike. The mandates, issued by execu- tive orders, for federal and govem- ment contractor employers are vague, deferring the actual policy to , guidance which will be provided by the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force at a later date. Both will likely be the subject of intensive court chal— lenges. An announced Department of Labor rulemaking is poised to also create vaccination and testing re- quirements for many companies. While the future of the two orders and the rule are uncertain, they are projected to impact nearly a third of Americans. Instead of creating a re- quirement for citizens to be vacci— nated directly, they force employers to enact and enforce policies to re- quire employee vaccinations or test— ing. If they don’t, employers risk fines and lose government contracts. It seems all but certain that some Republican controlled states will at- tempt to combat these orders with state-level laws or regulations. De- pending on the final rules, some states may already have conflicting regulations in place. , While federal laws typically over- ride state ones, the federal govem— ment must have the legal authority to issue them — also, executive orders aren’t laws, they are directives to agencies. While this is an intricate topic, at least one challenge may be presented by the Supreme Court’s de— cision in South Dakota v. Dole, where it held that regulations tied to funding must be “germane to the fed- eral interest in the particular national projects or programs to which the money is directed” and “not cross the line from enticement to impermissi— ble coercion,” Depending on what they say, the Labor regulations 'may suffer from federal power limitations. They could potentially even result in ‘ Vaccinations (Continued on Page 5) Spending an’ entire vacatiOn getting high A rare opportunity came up last week to visit our oldest daughter, who’s stationed over- seas in the US. Air Force. She flew to Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas for some additional training and we jumped at the opportunity to get to whole fam- ily together for one short weekend and then spend a whole week with two out of three kids. We hadn’t been to the gambling mecca of America in several years. Upon arrival to the strip, I immediately noticed the smell. The Nevada recreational weed laWs went into effect in July 2017, allowing adults 21 and older to purchase and consume cannabis for personal use. It’s in use alright. Everywhere we walked up and down the boulevard, the odor of marijuana wafted, sometimes as thick as fog. Rolled up cigarette-style sticks, bongs and vaping devices all packed with reefer was all the rage. The dank smell of kush was more popular on the strip than showgirls who pranced around on the sidewalks. A person standing near a group of tokers too long would certainly get a contact high. Thankfully, we were only in town for a cou— ple of days before leaving for Zion National Park in Utah. The area is distinguished by the steep red cliffs. It’s one of the most scenic parts of the United States, featuring high plateaus, a maze of sandstone canyons and waterfalls. There are scenic drives and several hiking trails that lead to elevations reaching 7,810 feet. While I prefer that kind of “high” to the type available in Las Vegas, walking up the side of those cliffs was intimidating. It’s no place for people who are scared of heights, unless they are hell-bent on overcoming that fear. I was a bit overwhelmed by the openness of it all. We trudged up mountains with few or no safety rails, watched the sun set over peaks and walked in deep canyons with water rushing by us. We were high on being high up on a moun- tain together. That’s the best kind of high. intended to break- Pages from the past... 10 years ago September 5, 2011 No one has been down in the mouth longer than Ken Turner. He’s not sad, however far from it. Turner, who is 80 years old, gladly hold the title of North Dakota’s old— est practicing dentist. Area students named to the dean’s list at the College of Arts and Sciences at Minot State University were Adrienne Davis and Nevin Gillis, both of Belcourt, and Leonard Lange of Rolla. Roberta Lentz was cr'owned queen and Seth Good was crowned king of 2011 at Rolla High School. The Rolla—St. John volleyball ri— valry is alive and well. A near-ca— pacity crowd filed into a sweltering gymnasium to watch the teams do battle. The Lady Bulldogs overcame some early mistakes and capitalized on St. John’s miscues to sweep the match, 3—0. Playing against a young, and rel- atively small Kenmare-Bowbells— Burke Central (K-B-BC), the St. John WOodchucks made the score— board look like a pinball machine, scoring early, scoring often, and cruising to a 46-14 victory. Seth Anderson, a senior on the St. John football team, and Alli Vandal, a freshman hitter for the Rolla Bull- dogs volleyball squad, were named Athletes of the Week. 30 years ago September 16, 1991 Stacey Leonard was crowned queen and Matt Tastad received the king’s crown at homecoming festiv- ities at Rolette High School on Sat— urday. The other candidates for queen were Debbie Beaver, Heather Lien, and Beth Barbot. Other candi- dates for king were Mike Kegley, Travis Johnson, and Victor Boucher. Chelsie Ravnaas and Mike Tupa were selected as queen and king for the 1991 homecoming at Rolla High School. Friends and relatives helped Arnold and Lorna Zeiler celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary on Sunday, September lull-n .1 . i . Bernadine Morin'has been named Employee of the Month for August at the Public Health Service Hospital in Belcourt. Marcia Mears of Rolla was re- cently selected to a position on the North Dakota State University Gold Star Dance Line. Clifton Mattson of Rolette re- ceived a bronze award in the compe- tition in the National FFA,Swine Production Proficiency Contest. Dawn Belisle and Troy Albertson were crowned queen and king of homecoming at St. John High School on Thursday night to cap a week of activities at the school. The attendants for the queen and king were Darcy Lagasse, Mica Parisi'en and Michelle Peterson, and Kevin Krebsbach, Chad Kuhn and Wade Prouty. . The Rolette Comets got into synch offensively for the first time this season and blew out the Yellow- jackets of Mohall 43—6 to claim a homecoming victory Saturday after— noon in Rolette. The Dunseith Dragons improved to 2—1 on the year with an impressive 46-14 victory over the Plainsmen of Brandon, Manitoba’s Crocus Plain High School. Jason Goumeau gained 218 yards and established a new Belcourt school record for single game rush— ing yardage in the Braves 34—13 loss at Williston Friday evening. Goumeau broke the old record of 195 yards by Gary Houle. 60 years ago September 14, 1961 Marlene Graber, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joe L. Graber of Rolette, graduated with honors from St. An- drew’s School of Nursing at Bot— tineau. John Morgan, son of Mr. and 1 Mrs. Kenneth Morgan of Dunseith and 1961 graduate of Dunseith high school, was one of 16 winners of $500 Maxwell M. Upson scholar- ships at the University of North Dakota, according to a recent an— nouncement. The enrollment in the Dunseith city school system for the 1961-62 school year is 524. The Rolla high school football team, showing a surprisingly strong defense, opened its 1961 grid cam- paign with a 15 to 0 victory over the Cubs at Cando Friday night. Harlan Lipp proved to be the most “weather-proof” golfer at the Rolla Country Club as he won the Rolla city handicap golf tourney played under rather adverse condi— tions at the local links on Sunday.