Unheralded

CLAY JENKINSON: Future In Context — America And Race: When Sports Players Refuse To Play

Ever since the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 24, and the subsequent national eruption of protest against police brutality, police shootings and systemic racism in the United States, we have all wondered what ultimately would come of this moment in our long, troubled history of race relations. Would this be another round of temporary protest followed …


Unheralded

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Red Oak House Garden Notes No. 64: Are You The Ants Or The Grasshopper?

I’m trying to take the time in my life to rediscover ancient wisdom, such as that found in “Aesop’s Fables” and in conversations with my elders, most importantly my mother. Perhaps during the upcoming fallow season, I will reread one fable each day. Time will tell. At the same time, I’m trying to learn new lessons, from family and friends of all …


TIM MADIGAN: Anything Mentionable — Kirk Herbstreit, Richard Rohr And Racial Reconciliation

It’s oddly wonderful to celebrate the words of college football commentator Kirk Herbstreit and Catholic writer and theologian Richard Rohr in the same blog post. But these are not normal times. On Sunday night, I came across Herbstreit’s stirring soliloquy about race on “College GameDay.” “If you’re a white player in these locker rooms, I think it’s really incumbent upon …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Who’s REALLY At Fault For The Failures Of Measure 3?

Labor Day. Ah, September. The “Dog Days of August” are behind us. Except that this year the dogs never showed up. August used to be the month the politicians took time off to take the kids (and the dog) to the lake, while preparing for a campaign to begin after Labor Day. Not this year. In August 2020, the North …

MICHAEL BOGERT: Photo Gallery — Three Island Lake County Park

Three Island Lake County Park was the destination recently for Grand Forks photographer Michael Bogert. The quaint park is located in Beltrami County, 12 miles north of Bemidji, Minn. The scenic Turtle River flows from the mouth of Three Island Lake providing spectacular views, rolling terrain and a diverse plant ecology. The park was deeded to the county in 1967 …

TOM COYNE: Back In Circulation — It’s TimeTo Show Your Hand

In late 2019 BC (Before COVID), my wife and I were vacationing in Mexico. Our hotel in Playa del Carmen was just a couple of blocks away from what we’d read was a “tourist trap.” It was known as the “Quinta Avenida,” which translates to: Fifth Avenue. The tree-lined and bustling street stretches for more than two miles and includes …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot The Rapids — In God We Trust

I hate playing God. Lately, I’ve been struggling with that as I deal with my dog Marti’s health. Marti began losing weight sometime during my surgery and recovery and when we took her in, they diagnosed her with Lyme disease, with a principal attack on her kidney functions. Since we found this out, we have been working with the vet …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot The Rapids — Give Peace A Chance

I repudiate violence. I believe vigilante groups brandishing weapons and coming into cities as “militia” to “defend” territory that is not theirs is repugnant. I believe destruction of property and looting is wrong and is not the work of peaceful protesters or at all the agenda of Black Lives Matter. It is being stoked by those who wish to tarnish …

RON SCHALOW: North Dakota Trumpublicans Are Super Flexible When It Comes To Personal Responsibility

After the most recent LGBTQ embarrassment, when North Dakota Republicans unknowingly wrote the quiet part out loud, the big R’s condemned their political party’s own thoughts and directed the smart guy to remove Resolution 31 and the other 12,000 words of their platform from the NDGOP website. PSA: Resolutions are now exclusively available by request from corby@ndgop.org. Who took responsibility …

CLAY JENKINSON: Future In Context — A Lesson From Jefferson On How The Nation Can Heal

Is it possible to heal this great nation? At the moment, we are all fixated on Donald Trump — his leadership style, his desire to disrupt, his tweets — but whether he wins or loses in November, the fundamental brokenness of our political system does not cease. In fact, it is likely to worsen. However painful it is to admit, …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Election Reform

So we won’t be voting on Measure 3 in November. Because there is no Measure 3. The North Dakota Supreme Court says so. And it, not Al Jaeger, gets the final say. I’m actually a little disappointed. I told a few friends this past week I was going to hold my nose and vote for it because there some things …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Red Oak House: A Bird-y Essay At The Height Of Tomato Harvest

At Red Oak House we are birders. And foodies. And frugal. On Monday at dawn I heard a bird strike a window just as I was stepping out to the patio to sip coffee and quietly read the morning newspaper. The signs of autumn migration are all around and we have a small birdbath that is critical water for the …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Red Oak House Garden Notes No. 63: Hints Of Autumn

“There’s a bright golden haze on the meadow!” — “Oklahoma,” Rodgers and Hammerstein Jim burst into song this morning — pro tip: Ask him to sing “Moon River” — when we agreed that not only are there hints of autumn at Red Oak House but also haze in the air caused by the combination of smoke from Western fires and dust …

CLAY JENKINSON: Future In Context — Let Us Now Praise The U.S. Postal Service

Since the pandemic shut down much of American life back in March, I have worked mostly at my kitchen table in a suburban house in Bismarck, N.D. I chose the kitchen table because it has seven big bay windows around it. I like to work in the natural light. But I also like to watch for the moment when the …

RON SCHALOW: He Is What He Is

It’s getting a little chippy out there. An old guy can’t even drop dead at the bowling alley without some jamoke claiming that the man’s last cough was deliberating misleading to skew coronavirus numbers in order to make Donald Trump look bad. It’s tough, I tell you. Last week, I saw two facially naked Norwegian-Americans mug an elderly masked man …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Red Oak House Garden Notes No. 62

We need rain at Red Oak House. But the new ice maker in the fridge seems to work. My mother would say, maybe when we kids were asking for something that might not be reasonable, “People in hell want ice-water.” But a small celebration was held here when I scored a brand-new Margaritaville blender (our vintage blender on its last …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — ‘I’ve Lived My Life’

My friend Bill Bowman died. I’m sad about that. Bill and I both grew up in southwest North Dakota, he on a ranch north of Rhame, and I down the road on state Highway 12 in Hettinger. Our paths first crossed in the 1960s, at Dickinson State College, and they crossed many times more in the 50-plus years since, more …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot The Rapids — Isolated But Never Alone

The fast is over. On Sunday, for the first time since March 8, the community of I serve, Emanuel Lutheran in Hartford, Conn., shared in the Sacrament of the Table. Or more precisely, tables. I presided at the card table (above photo) so that I could be close to my Wi-Fi router as I shared our Wired Worship over Zoom …

DAVE BRUNER: Photo Gallery — Sunny Disposition

If you are looking for a day brightener, these images of sunflowers from Grand Forks photographer Dave Bruner may just what the doctor ordered. On Tuesday night, Dave went out to view and photograph the Perseid meteor showers along with the Milky Way and came up with a stunning image of the celestial bodies brightening the sky over a sunflower …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot The Rapids — Deliver Us From Evil

This whole situation with the U.S. Postal Service baffles me. We have a U.S. Postal Service for the same reason we have a National Defense, an Interstate Highway System or the TSA. It is part of the mechanics of running a country. There is a charge for the services we receive when we mail packages or post a letter, but …

CLAY JENKINSON: Future In Context — Playing The Religious Card: A Long American History

“Take away your guns, take away your Second Amendment. No religion, no anything. Hurt the Bible. Hurt God. He’s against God.” When President Trump uttered these words this past week, he sparked the usual outrage in the world beyond his base. His accusations against Joe Biden, who is a serious Catholic Christian and who has not indicated distaste for the …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Two Days In August 2020

My Dad would have been 96 today, in this the year of the COVID-19 pandemic. I’ve been sorting. Sorting memories, sorting mementos, sorting pictures, sorting emotions and sorting plans for moving forward without him in my life. My first clear memory of my dad would have been when we arrived in Okinawa. (My older sister asked me this question just …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Tomato And Red Onion Salad

It’s the peak of tomato season, and that means farmer’s markets and backyard gardens are brimming with those luscious red (and sometimes yellow, orange, pink, green, burgundy, purple, streaked and striped) orbs. Gardeners can sometimes be hard-pressed to stay on top of their crops, despite canning whole tomatoes and making tomato juice and salsa. I usually don’t have too much trouble …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot The Rapids — Patience Is Truly A Virtue

I walked  in my own shoes today for the first time in 10 weeks. I have to admit, I was surprised it took so long. My foot surgery was the first time I have had an operation on a bone or joint, other than a rather minor medial meniscus repair on my knee. So I either wasn’t listening carefully enough …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Fashions Come, Fashions Go

True story: I decorated the first house I rented on my own with chicken decor. My landlord indulged me (although I didn’t wallpaper, so there was no lasting damage to the place). I’ve watched the wallpaper fad come and go and that stuff is tedious to apply and even more tedious to remove. Fads come and go. And yes, I’ve …

TIM MADIGAN: Anything Mentionable — Making Sure The Bad Guys Didn’t Win: A Conversation With Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum

On June 1, 1921, a white mob numbering in the thousands destroyed Tulsa’s uniquely prosperous African American community, known as Greenwood. About 300 people were killed and 10,000 left homeless. Photographs of the aftermath of that day in Oklahoma recalled Hiroshima after the atom bomb. Also part of Tulsa’s grim tableau in those terrible hours was the sight of flatbed …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — ‘It Is Said’

“It is said that if one chooses to pray to a rock with enough devotion, even that rock will come alive. In the same way, once we choose to commit ourselves to spiritual practice, even the mountains and valleys will reverberate to the sound of our purpose.” — “365 Tao: Daily Meditations” by Deng Ming-Dao (published 1992) The paperback book a gift …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Red Oak House: Today’s Short Story of the Trees of Arthur Drive

A short story in the life of Arthur Drive in the Highland Acres neighborhood of Bismarck today, Aug. 5, 2020. “Short” being a relative term in the eyes of the beholder. Our next-door neighbors have a lovely big tree. Some sort of boxelder, I think. Everyone in the neighborhood values their trees. (That is, of course, until a storm comes …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Red Oak House: A (Mostly) True Story Or Grief And Living In 2020

Deadlines, deadlines, deadlines. Here’s an offering of my own creative nonfiction this morning from my office. The story goes: Threw together my own version of Full English Breakfast in a rush this morning @RedOakHouse. Google Full English Breakfast if you are curious. Gobbled it down before I took a snapshot. Thanks, Mr. Jim @Jimfuglie for being a good gardener. I …

RON SCHALOW: NDGOP LGBTQ Bigotry Extends To Heterosexuals

“Opposition to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Anti-Discrimination Bills,” reads the heading of a zealously written category of the North Dakota GOP’s 2020 resolutions, recently discovered to be their 1920 resolutions. So the Republican assistant manager removed the document from the official webpage, but the 1920 project lives on in some cloud. All went Trumpy when the NDGOP got superconcerned …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot The Rapids — Above The Fray Of Political Partisanship

“Though I may not be here with you, I urge you to answer the highest calling of your heart and stand up for what you truly believe. In my life I have done all I can to demonstrate that the way of peace, the way of love and nonviolence is the more excellent way. Now it is your turn to …

CLAY JENKINSON: Future In Context — America Is More Than Its Broken National Political Rhetoric

My daughter is a graduate student at a British university forced home to North Dakota by the global pandemic. For the past four months, she has been living in my basement trying to keep up with her doctoral work using such digital resources as are available at the British Library and the Bodleian at Oxford. She will be returning to …

LA VALLEUR COMMUNICATES: Musings By Barbara La Valleur — Let The Healing Begin

If you’ve followed my blogs for the past couple of months, you’ll remember I’ve been writing about the murder of George Floyd, how it’s impacted my listening, social justice events and what Toni Morrison calls “race talk.” I’ve shared my commitment for the world: That by 2021, people around the world are listening to each other and in action about …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot The Rapids — Open Hearts And Open Minds

I was ordained July 28, 1990, which means that this year I am marking the 30th anniversary of my ordination. A couple of weeks ago, on the 50th anniversary of the ordination of women, I shared my call story, so as I commemorate this important anniversary, I thought I would share a story of how God reassured me that I …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Would You Buy A Used ‘ROCET” From This Company?

I have a new friend who I’ll call “Chris,” who knows something about petroleum engineering. This new friend is some kind of engineer. I haven’t met this friend in person, but I’ve talked to Chris a few times on the computer and the phone recently. Chris sent me an e-mail this week after reading a couple of the columns I’ve …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Of License Plates And Things

Taking a break from picking on refinery companies, I decided to lighten up today and talk about fun things like license plates. Way back in 1992, the North Dakota Legislature and Gov. George Sinner agreed that it was time the state got a new design for our license plates. The license plate we had been using for five years featured …

CHUCK SCHUMACHER: Coach Chuck — Feel Good Moments

“My son, Zach has worked eight years to become an acclaimed athlete at his middle school and now can’t reap any of the privileges. He says it doesn’t matter, but it stinks for all the eighth-graders — it’s not fair.” “My daughter, Kelsey just lost her senior year in volleyball after years of dedication to the sport she loves. It’s …

CLAY JENKINSON: Future In Context — James Earle Fraser And The Legacy Of His ‘Vanishing Indian’

The American Museum of Natural History’s recent decision to remove the statue of Theodore Roosevelt from its Central Park entrance gives us all the opportunity to revisit and rethink a wide range of things we have taken for granted in American history and American memory. Although the Roosevelt debate has largely focused on the statue group’s depiction of him as …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — More Words Of Caution About The Refinery

My phone keeps ringing, with calls from people who want to talk about Meridian Energy Group, the company that wants to build an oil refinery beside Theodore Roosevelt National Park. I’ve talked to engineers, accountants, investors and salesmen, and all are pretty skeptical about this company’s intent. There’s a common theme: A lot of people stand to lose a lot …