Unheralded

DAVE BRUNER: Photo Gallery — Fairview Bridge And Cartwright Tunnel

One of the things to see on photographer Dave Bruner’s bucket list was the Fairview Bridge and Cartwright Tunnel. Located near Cartwright, N.D., and east of Fairview, Mont., the bridge was built by Gerrick & Gerrick of Steele, N.D., for the Great Northern Railroad as part of a plan for its never completed Montana Eastern Railway. Unused since 1986, the bridge’s …


Unheralded

RON SCHALOW: Armstrong Sells Out America, Part II, ‘The Wrath Of Chuck’

Soon after his impossibly fat pitch got hit into the center-field stands by the former director of the CIA, Kelly Armstrong found himself talking to NBC’s Chuck Todd. He was near giddy. Kelly figures war hero Bob pulled a fast one with his special council report and he can’t wait to tell skeptical Chuck. Baghdad Bobby Barr isn’t even spinning …


JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — ‘Undocumented’; ‘Unlocated’; ‘Unfound’; ‘Somewhere’

I’m not quite sure what to think of this young fellow named Josh Gallion, North Dakota’s elected state auditor. But two newspaper articles about him in the last couple of days got me to chuckling a little bit. The first was Mike Jacobs’ column in Tuesday’s Grand Forks Herald about the recent history of the state auditor’s office. Gallion’s election …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — A Thousand Trucks A Day Moves One Step Closer To Reality Today

Sometime today, Thursday, June 13, 2019, I expect to receive some of the worst news I’ve had in many years. I expect to receive an e-mail from a friendly fellow at the North Dakota Department of Transportation who’s just doing his job, who means no ill will, who doesn’t want to be the bearer of what I will receive as …

RON SCHALOW: Republicans Are Working Against Our Future

A weird child tells Piers Morgan the darndest things about his just-funny-to-him meeting with Prince Charles: “I think I was yeah, we had a great conversation and it was about you would call it climate change but yeah I think we had a very very good conversation.” — Donald J. Trump We “all” call it climate change, Fonzie. Global warming is …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Let’s Not Let Bad Politics Ruin Our Chance To Honor Theodore Roosevelt

Senate Bill 2001, passed by the 2019 North Dakota Legislature, is the appropriations bill for the North Dakota governor’s office. It’s eight sections long and contains an appropriation of about $4.5 million to pay the governor and lieutenant governor and their staff, their travel expenses and their office supplies. It has a line item with the governor’s salary and a …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — The Comments Are In: What Should We Do About The Bice Bridge?

There’s this fellow who works in the Montana office of the Bureau of Land Management named Seth Jackson who’s as good at his job as anyone I’ve ever known who works for the U.S. government. I haven’t met him, but I’ve e-mailed back and forth with him at least a dozen times, And I always get the information I need …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — The Worst Threat To The Little Missouri State Scenic River EVER!

An interesting little item buried on Page 4 of a long April 30 North Dakota Industrial Commission meeting agenda read: “Overview of Oil and Gas Development in western North Dakota along the Little Missouri River.” (approx. 3:30 pm) Piqued my curiosity, so I went. What I learned is that I should have been paying more attention to some things my …

RON SCHALOW: North Dakota Delegation’s Oil Pipe Dream

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s office recently received a terse letter from Sen. John Hoeven, Sen. Kevin Cramer and Rep. Kelly Armstrong, the most powerful set of unrelated triplets in North Dakota. The crowd roars. I don’t think Inslee honestly gives a rip, but he might admire their optimism. The super important envelope is surely somewhere on the governor’s desk, likely …

RON SCHALOW: The Fictional Senators Of North Dakota

“Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.” — Charles E. Weller, who authored the words to be a typing exercise. Many times I hammered out that seemingly patriotic sentence on an old clacking Smith Corona during typing class in the 10th grade, not once without peeking. Currently, I couldn’t tell to you …

RON SCHALOW: This Is The Worst Reality Show I’ve Ever Been In

It’s terrible. The president is an asshole and his poll numbers go up in unison with his every act of ignorant cruelty. That’s one of those “known knowns.” And maybe, “known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know.” And I thought Donald Rumsfeld was a dick. Now, this odd character just entered. …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Remembering Albert Sickler

Albert Sickler died last week. He was 94. You maybe didn’t know Albert. Let me tell you a little about him. The first time I met Albert (at least that I can remember) was in the summer of 2004, on the front steps of his aging house on a farmstead in Dunn County, N.D., some 25 miles northeast of Dickinson. …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Looks Like The Illegal Bridge Is Going To Stay (If You’ve Got Enough Money, You Can Get Away With Most Anything)

It seems like the threats to our Bad Lands never cease. Let’s go back and revisit Wylie Bice. He’s the rogue rich rancher up in Dunn County, on the eastern edge of the Bad Lands, who’s built himself a private bridge on public land, without permission, over the Little Missouri State Scenic River. Now it appears he is going to …

RON SCHALOW: Abortion Pill Reversal Law A Scam of Misinformed Consent

“You create a law based on no science — absolutely zero science.” — Dr. Mitchell Creinin, OB-GYN; NPR March 22, 2019 I am not a woman, so I have no idea what it would feel like to even ponder the prospect of terminating a pregnancy. And neither does North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, who disappoints me once per week and signed …

RON SCHALOW: Mr. Marcil, Tear Down Port’s Hate Speech Wall

Unless Forum Communications has some bizarre legal stipulation on page 63 of a contract with “a blogger” whereby FCC has no control over anything related to Sayanythingblog and Rob Port, a Minot legend for refusing to shovel his socialist sidewalk, then pay attention. Undiluted Hate Wall “Homosexuals corrode society from within and their degenerate heads deserve to be swinging at …

RON SCHALOW: Is Rob Port Really A Cambodian Water Buffalo?

We can’t discount the possibility. I know you’re saying, “I wouldn’t read his shoe size.” Or, “Who cares about Rob Snort,” but somebody has to keep an eye the scamp, so he doesn’t totally get away with personal shots of venom. Like his sucker punch of Jim Shaw. Shaw’s Saturday column in the Fargo Forum was an unambiguous middle finger …

RON SCHALOW: Bismarck Grabs More Local Control

Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to choose. So far, because the Legislature said so, no city can conduct a gun buyback, set a minimum wage, take a pistol from a depressed man, ban plastic bags or hold a gay pride parade. The last one is still on their wish list. Kevin Cramer’s office calls every day to complain …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — What Does A State Treasurer Do, Anyway?

There’s an old joke North Dakota Republican legislators tell about their worst nightmare: They’re walking down the Great Hall in the Capitol heading for the cafeteria on their short lunch break and they see Secretary of State Al Jaeger coming toward them. Knowing they’re going to get stuck in a boring 15-minute conversation, they pretend they forgot something back at …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — DAKOTA

I’ve got a problem. I need to write a column that is going to be kind of critical of three people I like, and I’m trying to figure out how to do it without making them all angry at me. Their names are Sara, Doug and Marvin. They’re all kind of half-ass friends of mine. And I’m not sure I …

RON SCHALOW: There’re No Guns In Baseball

The gun activists in North Dakota are feeling the cattle prod after losing out on carrying a sidearm to “99 percent of everywhere” due to the unpatriotic nay votes in the Commie Republican Legislature. The guy who publishes the MinuteMan Blog is really steamed. How dare a legislator vote closer than usual to their conscience or as their constituents want? …

RON SCHALOW: Who Is The Loneliest Patriot?

This one has been in crisper for weeks and it still feels fresh to me. So the great patriot whips the bag of snacks to the ground, stomps the delicious Doritos into dust, then pours a can of motor oil on the mess. Because a kooky bill didn’t pass. “Is there any patriots in the North Dakota House? This pro-gun …

RON SCHALOW: The Braveheart Of Bismarck

So, in the early half of Sunday the 10th, doctor and Rep. Rick Becker posted a meme on Facebook. Memes are evidently photos that convey what you’re thinking but could never find the words, or ever thought of one. Like a greeting card that punches you in the balls. Or provides a message of affirmation, whether you want one or …

RON SCHALOW: ND Legislature Bans Global Warming, Regulations And Elephants

(Satire) “Before the elephant gets in the room, we should make the room elephant-proof.” — Rep. Luke Simons, Bastiat Party (Not Satire) And I think that’s good policy for any room. Who wants an elephant in your room? Have you ever seen the size of those beasts? They’re enormous. And the aroma in close spaces would be unpleasant to the …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Well, Excuuuuse Me! Not

Let me explain this article before you read it. It is an article that appears in the current (February 2019) issue of Dakota Country magazine. My editor there, Bill Mitzel, is kind enough to let me share my articles with my blog readers who don’t subscribe to Dakota Country or pick it up on the newsstands (although you should subscribe …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Strange Goings-On At The Legislature — I Think I’ll Go West

Before I depart for a month, leaving the North Dakota Legislature to its own devices, I’m going to comment on some of the strange goings-on over at the Capitol. I just can’t help myself. The best adjective to describe this session of the Legislature is weird. Maybe even awful. Much of the weirdness comes in the form of concurrent resolutions. …

TONY J BENDER: That’s Life — North Dakota Politics

Every legislative session, there should be kiosks in the malls to sell Lisinopril because Lord knows my blood pressure sure goes up. In North Dakota, any maniac can propose a bill. Well, not just any maniac off the street — elected maniacs. Take, for instance, Senate Bill 2136, sponsored by Sen. Oley Larsen, R-Minot, that would force schools to offer …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — No Man’s Life, Liberty Or Property Are Safe While The Legislature Is In Session

It was newspaper editor Gideon J. Tucker who wrote those words in 1866. A bit of an exaggeration, perhaps, but we’re all well-advised to keep an eye on what goes on over at the North Dakota Capitol this winter. I’ve got my eye on a couple of pieces of legislation, one bad and one good, and I expect there will …

CLAY JENKINSON: The Centennial Of Theodore Roosevelt’s Death

The Old Lion is Dead Jan. 6, 2019 — Theodore Roosevelt died 100 years ago today. He was just 60 years old. As he said when he determined to run South America’s River of Doubt against the stern warnings of the American Museum of Natural History, “Tell Osborn I have already lived and enjoyed as much of life as any nine other men I know; I have had my full share, and …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — If You’re Going To Talk Like Teddy Roosevelt, You Better Act Like Teddy Roosevelt

I’ve listened to a few State of the State speeches by North Dakota governors — probably somewhere between 15 and 20 — and even had a hand in writing a few of them, so I think I’m qualified to offer a few comments on the one Doug Burgum gave Thursday to the North Dakota Legislature. As they go, his was …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Skinny Skiing Dakota

My younger sister received cross-country skis for Christmas, so I finally have a companion for some of my winter expeditions. With the abundant snow, we’ve made two forays in the past week: Sibley Park, just south of Bismarck, and today, farther north to Cross Ranch State Park — both in cottonwood forests along the cold, dark Missouri River. We had Cross …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — North Dakota Has Its Own Version Of The Beverly Hillbillies

Here’s an update on the strangest, and most fascinating, story I’ve written in all the years I’ve been writing on this blog. This story appears in the current — January 2019 — issue of Dakota Country magazine, where it reaches a hell of a lot more readers than I have on this blog. But for faithful Prairie Blog readers, welcome …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Notice: Comment Period Extended On Forest Service SEIS

UPDATE: The U.S. Forest Service will announce today that it has extended the comment period on the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for Oil and Gas Leasing on our Little Missouri National Grasslands. The 30-day extension means comments will be accepted on the Draft SEIS, outlined below, until Jan. 16, 2019. Although the announcement comes Dec. 7, Pearl Harbor Day, as …

TONY J BENDER: That’s Life — Liberals Are Gunning For Your Freedom

I’ve about had it with snowflakes and it’s barely December. I saw on Fox News that the #MeToo movement is trying to stamp out romance. What’s under assault is the revered seasonal classic, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” A Cleveland radio station took the song off the air under pressure from radicals in pink hats because it’s about a guy trying …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Watching Out For Our National Grasslands —Protecting The Places We Hunt And Play

There are a million acres of public land in western North Dakota called the Dakota Prairie Grasslands, managed by the U.S. Forest Service. A management plan was written in 2001 to guide Forest Service employees, and in 2003, a “Record of Decision for Oil and Gas Leasing” identified lands open for lease and how oil and gas development should be …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Fracking And Flaring At Van Hook

Here’s an article I wrote for the December issue of Dakota Country magazine, which should be on the newsstands this week. If you’re not already a subscriber, you should be. Here’s the place to go to sign up. They’ve got a Christmas sale going on right now, and the price is right. A year and a half ago, I wrote …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Election 2018: Racists 1, Potheads 0

A couple final (?) thoughts on the Nov. 6 election in North Dakota. * * * * * Did racism play a role in the 2018 North Dakota election? As I’ve said repeatedly over the past few months, North Dakota Democrats needed to focus ALL their messaging opportunities on two topics: Trump’s trade wars and Republicans trying to take away health …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Why The Republicans Control North Dakota Government

Pretty much every political pundit (including me) has declared the North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party dead after this year’s election, and the debate continues to rage (well, maybe not rage, but to be discussed) among Democrats about what caused the demise of the party after so many years as a major political force in our state. Most of my friends have …

RON SCHALOW: Does North Dakota Really Need Rob Port?

“Does North Dakota Really Need Democrats?” read Rob Port’s headline on the Fargo Forum’s Sayanythingblog. At first, I hoped he didn’t waste a lot of time coming up with that stupid question. Then I realized the Port is probably one of those stable geniuses who ask stupid questions. A game-changer. Let’s discuss this. First of all, is it Democrats like …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Money Can’t Buy Me Love

As the Beatles sang in their 1964 hit, “Money Can’t Buy Me Love,” Sen. Heidi Heitkamp’s millions of dollars collected in the wake of her vote against Trump Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh weren’t enough to sway North Dakota’s Republican bias, and she took areal thumping in her race against Congressman Kevin Cramer for the U.S. Senate. Midterm elections are notorious …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Quixotic Quest For The Thick-Billed Kingbird: Notes From My Wild Life

The newsflash on the ND-BIRDS listserv on Monday afternoon of the sighting of an accidental bird near Cross Ranch State Park triggered what has been for me a quixotic quest to see it for myself. The Thick-billed Kingbird’s territory is in far southern Arizona and New Mexico, along the border with Mexico. This particular bird was very lost and its …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Never Mind

Well, that was a waste of time. A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a letter to North Dakota Public Service Commissioner Julie Fedorchak and sent copies to her fellow commissioners,, Randy Christmann and Brian Kroshus, asking them to assume jurisdiction over the Davis Refinery project being proposed for construction beside Theodore Roosevelt National Park. I also wrote here asking …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Time To Get Involved

A LOT of people read Monday’s post about the North Dakota Public Service Commission and the Davis Refinery on The Prairie Blog and Unheralded.Fish, and I had a number of requests asking how they could get involved. Here’s how: Write a letter. Elected officials react to public contact. Letters, e-mails, phone calls and attendance at meetings all influence their actions. …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Don’t Do It, Julie; Don’t Back Down

A letter to North Dakota Public Service Commissioner Julie Fedorchak. Don’t do it. Don’t just blindly accept the recommendation of an administrative law judge to reject the idea that you could assume jurisdiction over the Davis Refinery, which Meridian Energy wants to build three miles from Theodore Roosevelt National Park. That judge based his recommendation on a strict reading of …