Unheralded

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — A Refinery Moves One Step Closer To Our National Park, But It’s Not Too Late To Stop It

There are two ways to look at the recommendation of Administrative Law Judge Patrick Ward on Tuesday that the North Dakota Public Service Commission dismiss the complaint against that (expletive deleted) Meridian Energy for failing to get a site review from the PSC for its proposed refinery near Theodore Roosevelt National Park. First, If you believe that two or maybe …


Unheralded

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Sept. 11 Thoughts

Note: This is a re-run of something I wrote seven years ago today, Sept. 11, 2011. Yes, it has been a long 10 years. On Aug. 29, 2001, I sat beside my wife’s bed as she looked up at her doctor, exhausted, pale and gaunt after two years of unrelenting chemotherapy, and said, “No more. No more chemo.” Quietly, the …


JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Conservation Groups To Refinery: ‘Cease And Desist!’

Lest we let the threat of an oil refinery beside Theodore Roosevelt National Park slip from our minds as we go about our busy fall lives, here’s an update on where things stand right now. Meridian Energy has started dirt work at the site beside Interstate 94 on the road into the park, flouting the attempt by conservation groups to …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Our Comment Letter On The Proposed Little Missouri River Bridge

Jim has written about the proposed new bridge over the Little Missouri State Scenic River north of Medora, N.D., that is being shoved down our throats by a megalomaniac county commissioner who wants to spend up to $20 million of our gas tax dollars on a “Bridge to Nowhere.” At the insistence of the Federal Highway Administration, the county is deep …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Comment Now On The ‘Bridge To Nowhere’

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote here about the proposed new bridge over the Little Missouri State Scenic River north of Medora, N.D., that is being shoved down our throats by a megalomaniac county commissioner who wants to spend up to $20 million of our gas tax dollars on a “Bridge to Nowhere.” At the insistence of the Federal …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — ‘Honest, Officer, I Thought Owned That Land.’ Wrong

If you read The Bismarck Tribune on Tuesday morning, you read Amy Dalrymple’s pretty good story about Monday’s marathon Little Missouri Scenic River Commission meeting.  I’m going to write more about that later. I’ll just say, for now, be careful what you wish for. What I want to write about today is one of the things the commission discussed Monday …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — ‘A Bridge To Nowhere’

Well, after nearly a dozen years of delay, it looks like Billings County is finally going to build a bridge over the Little Missouri State Scenic River north of Medora, N.D. The county posted a notice in the Federal Register on Oct. 12, 2006, that it was beginning an Environmental Impact Statement process “for a proposed roadway project and river …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Of Refineries And Bridges

There is news this week on several fronts involving threats to the North Dakota Bad Lands. There are some long documents to read. Here’s a summary. More when I get done reading them. THAT DAMN REFINERY First, Meridian Energy’s proposed oil refinery near Theodore Roosevelt National Park. You probably read that the Dakota Resource Council and its legal ally, the …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Who Wants To Invest In A Refinery? Here’s How You Can Do It

I wrote here a couple of weeks go about the beginning of Theodore Roosevelt National Park, created by Congress in 1947, and about the proposed oil refinery that threatens it, a refinery that has now been issued a permit by the state of North Dakota to build the dang thing. It’s been 70 years since Congress declared that this place …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Republicans Raising Taxes In North Dakota? Yep, They Did That

Wait a minute. Wait A Minute! WAIT A MINUTE! What the heck is going on here? The North Dakota Legislature raised your taxes, and everybody’s cheering! The cheerleaders? Republicans: Gov. Doug Burgum, Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger. Democrats: Sen.. Heidi Heitkamp, Tax Commissioner candidate Kylie Overson. The chant: “A victory for North Dakota’s retailers!” Screw that. OK, …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — ‘I So Declare It!’

My day started out OK this morning. My pillbox told me it was Thursday — it’s always nice to know what day of the week it is right away in the morning. I had a pretty good bowel movement — for you young readers, that‘s pretty important for someone my age. I got my belt through every belt loop but …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Hold On A Minute There, Al, The Peeping Tom Just Got 54,000 Votes

Just 24 days ago, Will Gardner, the Republican Party’s nominee for North Dakota secretary of state, announced he was dropping out of the race after news stories surfaced about him being arrested (and convicted) for peeking in windows at women’s dormitories at North Dakota State University. You might have been a bit hasty there, Will. Republicans apparently don’t care about …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — My Last Story Ever About Duane Sand (I Hope) — Redux

NOTE: I didn’t think I would see Duane Sand’s name on a ballot again — boy was I naive — but here he is, showing up on the District 47 Legislative Primary Election ballot Tuesday and duking it out with the Republican establishment, which once embraced him and ran him for Congress a couple of times. I wrote a story …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Fishing On D-Day With An American Hero

D-Day. June 6, 1944. Seventy-four years ago today, my father-in-law, Garland Crook, got his feet wet — literally and figuratively — entering combat in World War II by going ashore on Normandy Beach. Today, Jeff and I are going to try to keep him from getting his feet wet as we help him into the boat on the Missouri River. …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — I’m Not Sure Why, But I’m Sticking My Nose Into The Bismarck City Election; I Guess I Just Don’t Like The Name Bakken

Over the years, I’ve been asked off and on if I’d ever consider running for public office. My response has always been the same: “You won’t see my name on a ballot until all my college roommates are dead.” Dead men tell no tales. A couple of my roommates are gone, but Ron and Jim and Len and Brad are …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Wayne Stenehjem: Public Lands Enemy No. 1

We’ve got a million acres of public land, most of it excellent wildlife habitat, in western North Dakota, owned and managed by the U.S. government, which means you and me. I know, you’ve read those words before in my writings. Sorry, but I’m going to keep talking about this UNTIL SOMEBODY LISTENS! There’s a huge overlap between those public lands …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Who’s Got Money, Who Doesn’t? And Who Didn’t File A Report?

AND THE WINNER IS … Ryan Rauschenberger! North Dakota’s election laws require all candidates for statewide and legislative offices to file campaign finance disclosure statements three times a year — before the primary election, before the general election and at the end of the year. All contributions greater than $200 from an individual or a political action committee must be …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Here I Come To Save The Day

President Donald Trump’s propensity to just make stuff up and spit it out to the media, or via Twitter, is contagious. I’m afraid Al Jaeger has caught the bug. C’mon, Al, you’re better than this. Dang. Background: At the State Republican Convention a month or so ago, convention delegates, disregarding Secretary of State Al Jaeger’s 25 years of loyal service …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Monday Morning Update On Will Gardner

Although Peeping Will Gardner has said he will “withdraw from the election of Secretary of State,” because it’s “the best decision for my family and me,” (you can read more about that in earlier post) the ballot for the June 12 primary election is already printed, and his name is on it. So, on June 12, voters will go to …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — ‘If If There’s Anything You Ever Did In Your Life You Don’t Want To See On The Front Page Of The Paper …’

From time to time over the years, I’ve received phone calls from aspiring politicians seeking advice on whether to run for some public office. Generally, it’s something like, “Hey, Jim, I’m thinking about running for dogcatcher. I’m wondering what you think about that. You got any advice for me?” My first response is always the same. “Well, that’s great. It …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Happy Mother’s Day, Mom

My Mom, Phyllis Maxine (Boehmer) Fuglie, was born Oct. 10, 1924, at the farm home of her parents, Peter and Sophia (Aaberg) Boehmer, near Edmore, N.D. Her family moved to Saskatchewan for a short time during the Great Depression, where my Grandpa Pete took work as a farmhand to support his growing family. But after a few years, they returned …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — The History of Highland Acres, Conclusion

OIL TO THE RESCUE A pair of Bismarck oil men, new to North Dakota and chasing the state’s first small oil boom, likely made the deal of their life in early 1952, acquiring almost the entire 127-acre tract of Highland Acres, complete with partially constructed streets, water mains, a couple of dozen good residents and the potential to earn a …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — The History of Highland Acres, Part 5

MOVING IN Here are the first 21 residents of Highland Acres, gleaned from the files of the State Historical Society of North Dakota. Notice they are all just men’s names, the “heads of households.” We assume they all had wives as well. And probably children. I don’t have the dates of the purchase of each of these homes, but I’m …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — The History of Highland Acres, Part 4

1948: BUILDING HIGHLAND ACRES BEGINS The Bismarck Tribune reported in April 1948 that “Twelve houses are under construction in Highland Acres, the addition on the western edge of the city owned by the Bismarck Veterans Homeowners Cooperative Association.” The paper said that the housing co-op had also contracted for construction of nine additional homes. Looking over the building plans for …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — The History of Highland Acres, Part 3

WALLACE STEGNER: IN PRAISE OF COOPERATIVES In early 1947, the Bismarck Veterans Homeowners Cooperative Association’s management committee developed a mimeographed newsletter for mailing to co-op members and in one of its first issues included excerpts from an article written by the noted author Wallace Stegner in the April 1947 issue of the magazine “47,” noted by some as “The Magazine …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — The History of Highland Acres, Part 2

FINDING A NAME: HOW WE BECAME HIGHLAND ACRES The new development needed a name. Bismarck Tribune editor Ken Simons wrote a story for his paper announcing a contest would be held to name the subdivision and the streets within it. Entries were to be submitted to the committee, with an entry deadline of Aug. 12, 1946. On Aug.t 22, the …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — The History of Highland Acres, Part 1

 HIGHLAND ACRES AND THE BISMARCK VETERANS HOMEOWNERS COOPERATIVE ASSOCIATION — PRODUCTS OF A PERFECT STORM Highland Acres Addition to the city of Bismarck, was a housing subdivision developed cooperatively by a group of returning World War II veterans in the 1940s and 1950s. Its success led to the subsequent development of nearby Highland Acres Second and Third Additions and Torrance …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — History

Regular readers of this blog (both of you, as my friend, Dan Ulmer, likes to say in his weekly newspaper column, poking fun at himself to remind him not to take himself too seriously — I’m with Dan) will notice that I haven’t been very active here lately. That’s not because there hasn’t been much going on to write about. …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — A Full Moon? Easter? April Fool’s Day? Well, Kind Of

Did you see that big old moon setting in the southwest this morning? Me, too. And then I thought, this is really cool, a full moon, Easter and April Fool’s Day, all at once. Except that’s not possible. It’s not possible to have a full moon Easter Sunday. Because the rule is, Easter is celebrated the first Sunday AFTER the …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Another Set Of Eyes On Our Wild Bad Lands

North Dakota has more than a million acres of public land, most of it in western North Dakota, our Little Missouri National Grasslands, managed by the U.S. Forest Service. Most of it is grazing land, although it’s grazed by more than cattle and sheep. Pretty much every creature that lives in North Dakota has a presence there. For some — …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Remembering Two Great Men

Friday I attended the funeral for one of the greatest men I have ever known — George Sinner, governor of the state of North Dakota from 1985 to 1993. I worked for him those years and came to know him and love him, much like a son might love his father. He was just 20 years older than me, so not …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — The Race For An Open Seat In Congress

North Dakota’s Democrats will hold their state convention in Grand Forks later this week, and the highlight, if there’s to be one, will be choosing a candidate to run for North Dakota’s lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. So I’ve been thinking a bit about politics and conventions, especially past ones, similar to what we might see this …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Memories Of A Great Governor

Calm was the day in late July And bright was the sun across the sky But inside his chest the calm had broken Governor Sinner had started croakin’. I laughed the first time I read that, and I’m still laughing every time I think about it. It’s a poem written by a sixth-grader from Turtle Lake, N.D., about Gov. George …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Seems To Be A Lot Of POS’s Around These Days

North Dakota’s district political conventions are about over, and state conventions are coming up, so I thought I might write a few political columns for the next few weeks. I’ve been hanging out around politics for a few years, and still have a pretty good memory (something my wife would dispute), and I still know a lot of the players …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — I Wish For A Friend

The mailman brought me a small package this week, book-sized, postmarked and with a return address from the town in which I grew up, Hettinger, N.D. Well, it was obviously a book, and I love it when people send me books, so I opened it immediately. It was indeed a book, a very special book, with a letter tucked neatly …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Colonel Jocelyne And Colonel Monique

Forty-three North Dakotans have been honored with the rank of colonel in the North Dakota Theodore Roosevelt Rough Riders since North Dakota began giving its highest award to its highest achievers in 1961. It’s time to make it 45. The award was created by former Gov. William L. Guy as part of North Dakota’s commemoration of the Dakota Territory Centennial, …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Whither The Measure 6 Coalition?

Word comes this week that the organizing committee for a group of North Dakotans who want to raise North Dakota’s Oil Extraction Tax back to the level it was at before the Legislature cut it in 2015 has decided to postpone its initiated measure campaign. Postpone but not abandon. A wise choice, I’d say. Although the group already has its …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Donald Trump, Harold Hamm And Kevin Cramer

Most of my Democratic friends have a hard time understanding why I like Kevin Cramer. I think it’s because they’ve never been a part of a brotherhood. Let me explain. I’m was thinking about this Wednesday because of Gary Emineth’s announcement Tuesday that Kevin Cramer would run for the U.S. Senate against Heidi Heitkamp. Thanks for that, Gary. I’m sure …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie —A Short Message About Our National Park

This might be the shortest blog post I’ve ever written. Or will ever write. But it’s an important one, so if you are concerned about the possibility of an oil refinery being built next to Theodore Roosevelt National Park as I am, please take just one minute to read it. I had a chance encounter with Gov. Doug Burgum this …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Buying Newspapers From A Skunk

I’m about to break two rules. Never argue with someone who buys ink by the barrel. Never get in a pissing match with a skunk. This one’s a two’fer because it’s the skunk that buys ink by the barrel. The skunk is The Bismarck Tribune, which has just pulled off the slickest “bait-and-switch” gambit I’ve seen in a long, long …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Thoughts Of Spring, Tomatoes And Peppers On A Cold Winter Day

Note: I am reprinting (reposting?) below a story I first ran three years ago this week. It’s about tomatoes. I was thinking about it because today I am preparing my basement “greenhouse” for spring. I’m getting ready to plant peppers, which need to be started indoors really early because they take a long time to ripen on the bush. We …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Should A Governor Take Free Super Bowl Tickets?

I just read on The Forum’s website that Gov. Doug Burgum is taking free tickets to the Super Bowl. “Burgum and first lady, Kathryn Helgaas Burgum, will be attending the game at the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis as guests of Xcel Energy, which leases a suite at the venue, Burgum spokesman Mike Nowatzki said.” “’So they are not paying for …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Charlie Creek To Belfield — A History Lesson

The last major threat to the visual integrity of Theodore Roosevelt National Park, at least that I can recall — though there have been many skirmishes with the oil industry — was in 1989, when the Western Area Power Administration came really close to putting a huge transmission line along the east boundary of the South Unit of the Park. …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — What Will Happen To The Newest Bridge Across The Little Missouri State Scenic River?

Last summer, I wrote an article about a North Dakota Bad Lands rancher who built himself a big bridge across the Little Missouri State Scenic River on federal land without getting permission. I wrote then, last July, “The folks at the BLM office don’t seem to know anything about the bridge or the road or the water pits, but they …