Unheralded

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 …


Unheralded

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 …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot the Rapids — In The End, God Wins

Doomsdayscrolling. The second I heard the word I knew what it was. The process of looking at your phone and scrolling through Twitter, or Facebook, or a newsfeed, moving from depressing story from depressing story — the rate of infections increasing, the economic impact of the pandemic, the threat of climate change, the possible consequences of the dire things that …

DAVE BRUNER: Photo Gallery — Comet NEOWISE And The Milky Way

Grand Forks photographer Dave Bruner went out in search of Comet Neowise and the Milky Way on Saturday night with his wife, Sheila. From Dave: “It was a fun Saturday night driving around looking for the comet and finding a scene to compliment it. Also, the Milky Way was just brilliant that evening and photographed it also. Sheila Bruner  and I haven’t …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Red Oak House Garden Notes No. 60

Life has been hectic. We are harvesting vegetables and scrambling to adjust to life in a pandemic. When I get time, I will write some thank-you notes to the people who have helped us through these past months of lockdown and loss. When we get stamps or get to our nearby post office, we will mail those. “Notes” will feel …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Refinery Company’s Employees Sue For $600,000 In Unpaid Wages

A group of seven former and current (but likely to soon be former) employees of Meridian Energy Group, the California company that wants to build an oil refinery next to Theodore Roosevelt National Park in the North Dakota Bad Lands, has filed a lawsuit against Meridian seeking to recover more than $600,000 in unpaid wages, salaries and bonuses. The lawsuit …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Eggplant And Shrimp Pasta

My garden is really starting to produce these days, so my cooking has definitely been on the upswing. And as any cook knows, a good garden is about the biggest blessing you could have. We’ve been eating green and yellow beans for almost two weeks (steamed and in a three-bean salad), some Roma tomatoes have found their way to our …

JIM THIELMAN: Mom’s Lesson Went Up In Smoke

It was an example of how to treat people. It didn’t occur to me that it wasn’t just chitchat as I dried the dishes weeks before we were to fly to Washington, D.C., to visit relatives during the last summer of the Kennedy administration. I was down to the silverware — the low ROI portion of dish drying — as …

TIM MADIGAN: Anything Mentionable — What Fred Rogers And Fred Claire Have In Common

My first conversation with Fred Claire took place in April 2019. Not long afterward, hours probably, I was struck by the irony … another great guy named Fred. I had met the other Fred, Fred Rogers, in the fall of 1995 when I interviewed the children’s television icon for a newspaper story. I was the beneficiary of his human greatness …

RUSS HONS: Photo Gallery — Comet NEOWISE

Grand Forks photographer Russ Hons captured these image of Comet NEOWISE (C/2020 F3), a retrograde comet with a near-parabolic orbit that was discovered March 27 by astronomers using the NEOWISE space telescope. Most of July, the comet will be bright enough to be visible to the naked eye. It is one of the brightest visible to observers in the Northern Hemisphere …

CLAY JENKINSON: Future In Context — Theodore Roosevelt, His Statue And The Problem Of The Past

The American Museum of Natural History in New York City decided recently to take down the statue of Theodore Roosevelt that has been displayed in front of the museum on Central Park West since 1940. It’s actually a statue group of three men. Roosevelt is high on horseback dressed like a cowboy or Rough Rider. Flanking him, on foot, are …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Two Very Important Letters

A week or so ago, I wrote here about the Billings County Commission’s actions seeking federal funds to build their “Bridge to Nowhere” across the Little Missouri State Scenic River north of Medora, N.D., encouraging my readers to send letters in opposition to their scheme. My wife, Lillian, and I did so the very next day.  Shortly, I was pleased …

CLAY JENKINSON: Future In Context — Is Absolutely Everything For Sale?

If you agree that we should not throw up a bridge in the North Dakota Badlands within a few miles of Theodore Roosevelt’s Elkhorn Ranch Site, please write to Secretary Elaine Chou asap, and please share my letter to your network of friends. Talk about Last Best Places! The question we have to ask is — is absolutely everything for …

RON SCHALOW: Wes Belter Smears Jim Shaw To Discredit Black Lives Matter

It was a feeble attempt at a rhetorical bank shot. Former majority leader and speaker of the North Dakota House of Representatives Wes Belter — a big deal — went on a Trumpist rager under a false premise to reiterate Donald Trump’s sermon on the mount for those who didn’t get the racist message. Belter’s entire op-ed was exceedingly consistent in dishonesty …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Saying Good-Bye To An Old Soldier

At noon Friday, July 10, 2020, on a somber hillside south of Mandan, N.D., a lone bugler will blow Taps, and a squad of American Veterans will fire a 21-gun salute to 1st Sgt. Hubert Garland Crook, U.S. Army (retired) as his cremated ashes are laid under a white marble headstone, joining thousands of his fellow Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Stuffed Grape Leaves With Tzatziki

The past couple of years, our grape vine has been an excellent producer. It’s been loaded with grapes, which we usually juice, except when our jelly supply gets a little low. Fresh juice and jelly are just two of the perks of having a grapevine. Another is stuffed grape leaves. Just recently, I made stuffed grape leaves, which over the …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Quick Takes, Fast Tracks And The Destruction Of A Historic Ranch And A State Scenic River

“(Commission chairman) Jim Arthaud and the Billings County commissioners have the fight of their lives ahead of them if they plan on using eminent domain to put a bridge across our land.” That was Sandy Short, wife of the late Con Short and daughter-in-law of former U.S. Congressman Don Short, in an interview with The Bismarck Tribune three years ago. …

LA VALLEUR COMMUNICATES: Musings By Barbara La Valleur — George Floyd’s Impact

A month to the day after George Floyd was murdered by a Minneapolis police officer, my husband and I went to pay our respects, view parts of Lake Street, the 38th and Chicago area, the graffiti art, the memorial in front of Cub Foods that has been seen around the world. Arnie picked up a trifold giving the background of …

CLAY JENKINSON: Future In Context — The Very First Fourth Of July

It wasn’t widely known that Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence until a quarter century later when he stood for the presidency of the United States. At the time when the 33-year-old Virginian sat down to write America’s birth certificate at his portable writing desk in a boarding house on Seventh and Market streets in Philadelphia in the third …

ED MAIXNER: An Independence Day Wish For The District Of Columbia

On this USA Independence Day weekend, let’s wish the District of Columbia further political independence from its mama on Capitol Hill. Here’s a tip of the hat to D.C. leaders’ persistence in securing recent passage of a partisan House of Representatives bill granting the District status as a state with full voting representation in Congress. The reality is, however, D.C. …

JEFF OLSON: Photo Gallery — Horseshoe Falls

Horsetooth Falls, located near Fort Collins, Colo., was recently the destination for photographer Jeff Olson. Horsetooth Falls is a 2.2-mile heavily trafficked out and back trail that features a waterfall amid national park-class landscape. The trail to the falls starts off with a slight uphill from the Horsetooth Mountain Park parking lot. From there, the trail climbs until a fork is met …

TIM MADIGAN: Anything Mentionable — How Cancer Led to Reconciliation Between Fred Claire And Tommy Lasorda: An Excerpt From ‘Extra Innings’

In 1988, as general manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Fred Claire was the architect of the team’s last World Series championship. Nearly three decades later, in the winter of 2017, cancer that had begun as speck on Fred’s lip had returned with a vengeance. The prognosis had been poor from the time his melanoma had spread to his jaw …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — I’m Pretty Ashamed Of North Dakota Today

Meridian Energy Group, the fly-by-night California startup company that proposes to put an oil refinery next to Theodore Roosevelt National Park in western North Dakota, came one step closer to being able to start construction this week when the North Dakota Supreme Court upheld the Permit to Construct the refinery, issued by the state’s Department of Environmental Quality, formerly the …

TONY J BENDER: That’s Life — Thales

Thales Latimer Secrest. “Tom” Secrest was my friend for 30 years, yet somehow I never knew his given name. Good thing, too, because I would’ve called him Latimer. He’d have hated it, but he would have grinned because he appreciated cruel humor — even at his expense. Such was the nature of our friendship, and the best friendships, I think, …