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Walsh County Press
Park River , North Dakota
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January 2, 2013     Walsh County Press
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PAGE 4 PRESS PERSPECTIVES JANUARY 2, 2013 F ROM TH E EDITOR'S DESK... BY ALLISON OLIMB EDITOR, WALSH COUNTY PRESS On occasion, around this time of year. [ get a phone call asking what is with the old news. Since day one at the Press, I have found that there is nothing more useful than a Year in Review segment. In almost (I stress tile almost) each of the archive books that l have in the back room there is a year in review that hits on the sto- ries of the year. Every now and then, I get calls or visits from peo- ple wanting to know about some- thing that happened in year so-and- so and let me add folks don't al- ways have the details down. So, step one is trying to figure out if 1 have the year. Step two is trying to figure out when said year. l can turn page by page in old issues where there could be 20-some pages with about 30 little stories on each page and try to comb through them all for a snippet of something that may or may not be in there, or I can turn to the first and last issues of any given year and check the year in review. It is like a magical time capsule that can relk-rence me to the proper month where I can find the whole story. Another perk is that often peo- ple see stories that they R)rgot about or missed the first time around and get the chance to relive the year all over again. Finally, it gives me a little bit of a break. The last issue of the year and the first issue of the year of- ten stick me with deadline changes and busy holiday goings on. I imagine ill didn't have the op- portuni to pull something out of my proverbial magic hat, 1 would be crying right about now. This year deadlines have been bumped up considerably lbr me in order to make sure that your paper gets in your hands exactly when it is supposed to. That little stroll down memory lane is a tilne-honored tradition that started long before I got here and will continue if I have any- thing to say about it. There are les- sons in history that cannot be de- nied and there is magic in past. When it comes to the past, we can either complain about it or learn from it, but there is no deny- ing that it happened and has for- ever changed the orld because of it. l.il, e "' the Walsh Coun o, Press on f'ace- hook and check out our blog ,tt Itttp.v",,'l'a&h- t ounO'prcss, wordpress.com Hello, I've mentioned it before. And I have to say it again. Get offthe In- terstate and visit the small towns in the Dakotas. I knov;' most of you that get this column live in small towns, so l'm kind of preaching to the choir. But, don't overlook what you have in your hometown. We spend a lot of time on the highway. Looking at cows and horses and kids. And people. I eat (a lot) at all kinds of restaurants. I could do like that Ziggie Report or whatever it is. You kmow. That rich couple that got rich just by writing about restaurants. That's probably not the right name for it, but you know what I mean. I had heard about this German restaurant in New Leipzig. In Pact, l've even driven in there to eat be- fore. And couldn't find the restau- rant. Now, New Leipzig is pretty small. And, grow n man should have been able to find the caf6. Main street is two blocks long at the longest. And it is narrower than ' I tho,J-ht, there must not really be a restaurant there. Then, one day.;  e fi',,md it. The "'Leipziger Hof. i guess that is German lbr restaurant or something. Hat It was like traveling across the ocean without having to go through airport security and cabs and rude travelers. The "hoU ( I hope that means caf6) was filled with wonderful art and statues and filled with a wonderful aroma. Music from some kind of opera played in the background The lbod was fantastic and the service won- derful. I had a big schnitzel with peas and fries. Shirley had the lit- tle schnitzel with peas and fries. It's gone now. But I'm glad I saw it. At one time you could visit the Owl and the Pussycat in Amidon, the Buckskin in •Killdeer, the Final Go-Round in Morristown. The Oasis in Buffalo. Some are gone now. Lost to the fast food and drive through restaurants, but a few exist. Don't pass them by for a big mac or whopper. You'll be Tips sorry you did. Another thing about rural areas is the people. We count on each other. And that leads to this story. We never get old. I can remem- ber when thirty was old. And tbrty. And fifty. Now sixty don't look too bad. But most of us live in the years when we were seventeen and playing ball. Or riding broncs. And going to the sock hop and the (hive in movie. We age lhst slowly. If that makes any sense. We have a friend and neighbor who ranches near you. He's get- ting a little long in the tooth but doesn't know it. Like most ranch- ers in the winter, he looks a little rough as he waits tbr the sun to shrink those drifts away. Last week he was hauling a load of cattle to the sale and his pickup gelled up. That number two diesel farm fuel will do that. It was cold and miserable. He got out and started walking. Nov; here is a rough looking guy, dressed in his work coat, which has been ripped on barbed wire and patched up with twine, walk- ing across the reservation. Picture the grizzled rancher with a three day beard and a little placenta on himself and his clothes. And a lit- tle used hay and oats. This young lady with a small child comes flying by. Gets a quar- ter mile down the road. Stops. Turns around. Comes back and asks if she can help. He says, "probably not, unless you are a mechanic. But I could use a ride." This young lady gives him a ride to a farmhouse. Nobody home. So, she goes out of her way to give him a ride to town. This rancher, who, like I said, is getting a little long in the tooth, but still thinks is" the seventeen year old bull rider, had to ask. "'Wily did you turn around and come back?" The young lady replied, "My parents taught me to always help old people in trouble!" Getting old is hell, but it beats any other options! Later, Dean 00G,qod Happenings at Our ! sa, mantan Good Samaritan I ( # bOoc_tT.  " ,'7-", MonicaSimon ADC H: ..... -.:,,i,,,. , ".'..'.;: . ..... ,,,a.. , ,?, r ,.! Happy New Year tO Everyone fromthe resident s and staff of the Park River GSC. We have had such a blessed holiday season with many people sharing their time and talents with us. We would like to thank the Forest River Colony Singers, St. John's Alter Society, Laura and Josie Brodina, Sheryl Kjelland's piano students, Park River Cub Scouts, The ESP Children, The Bethal Baptist Church Singers, Jeanette Bemtson and Friends and the 5th Grade class of Park River. We certainly enjoyed all the wonderful music, lbod and other activities you provided our residents during thi s busy season. December 19 the family Christmas party was held and delicious meal was served by our dietary department and musical entertainment was provided by Father Gary Lutein, Bruce Heggen, Betty Koening and Joan Larson. Piano music was provided by Laura Brodina. January events include: Jan. 3 2:30 Monthly Communion Service Jan 3 3:00 Music with Father Lutein Jan 10 3:00 Monthly Birthday Party Bechyne Church Jan 11 7:30 Mennonite Singers Jan 24 3:00 Auxiliary Lunch and Program OSLC Park River By Lloyd Omdahl Extension Agent Brad Brummond Devotional leaders were Lois Ydstie, Lorene Larsom Rev. David Hinrichs, Sue Faggerholt, Kay Alkofer, Corrine Ramsey, Monica Simon, Jan Novak and Dorthy Novak. Accompanists were Monica Simon, Jan Novak and Mary Seim. Sunday Services were led by Rev. Antal and Rev. ttinrichs. Fatehr Lutein led Mass and Shirly Sobolik led Rosary. We thank everyone who gave of their time and talents this week. Thank- you! General Information on the ND Smoke Free Law • Went into effect December 6, 2012 • No smoking in all enclosed areas of public places and places of employment such as restaui'ants, bars, truck stops, guest rooms within hotels and motels, health care facilities, long term care centers, assisted living centers, licenses adult day care facilities, retail tobacco stores, hookah establishments, workplace vehicles, charitable gambling and gaming licensed lacilities, and places of public access that may be leased tbr private functions. • No smoking within 20 feet of entrances, exits, operable windows, air intakes and ventilation systems of an establishment where smoking is prohibited by the law. • Electronic cigarettes/pipes/cigars are prohibited in all places where smoking is not allowed under the law. Business owners must: • Remove ashtrays from any area where smoking is prohibited • Post smoke free signage in business and workplace vehicles • Regularly educate all employees on the smoke free law, including how to cahnly and respectfully interact with a person who is smoking in violation of the law Reporting a Violation Violations to the new smoke free law can be reported to law enforcement. You local public health unit is available for consultation if you have questions. There are fines for infractions by individuals and business owners who violate the law. For more information on the new smoke-free law or access to smoke fiee signage information go to: hnp://breathend.com/partners/ Curbing Conflicts of Interest in Campaigns Some citizens in Dunn County have been trying to initiate a grand jury to consider the con- flict of interest involved in cam- paign contributions to Governor Jack Dalrymple by energy com- panies regulated by the Industrial Commission. They allege that such contri- butions are a form of bribery in- tended to buy influence in the Governor's decisions. The same issue has also been raised in re- gard to members of the Public Service Commission. Those on the receiving end of these contributions have denied that campaign contributions have influence on their decisions. However, Ed Bender, executive director of the National lnstimte on Money in State Politics, dis- agrees. When corporations make con- tributions, "it's a business deci- sion, not a political decision," he claims. So while the recipients of these contributions argue that these contributions have no influence on their decisions, the contribu- tors are thinking otherwise. As hard-nosed businesspeople, they aren't dissipating the company's resources on politicians without expecting some kind ofpayback. From their perspective, the in- tent of these contributions is un- mistakable - to reap more than they plant. After all, they are not charitable organizations. They ex- pect an investment in politicians to return much more than the con- tribution. This claim can be validated when we see that contributions go only to politicians who can in- fluence business operations. Elected officials holding offices that have no economic impact on corporations get no contributions. Take the office of state treas- urer, for example. Candidates for this office do not attract campaign contributions because they don't make decisions that can reward a contributor. The same is true about the state auditor and, to some degree, tile tax commis- sioner. The low level ofcontributions to ()ffices without economic de- cision-making authority tells us that campaign contributions are a matter of business and not poli- tics. So it is appropriate to worry about conflicts of interest. But it is unfair to single out the Industrial Commission or the Public Service Commission be- cause conflicts of interest are more widespread than just a few state offices. Every official with the capac- ity to make decisions with eco- nomic impact has a conflict of in- terest when accepting contributions. This includes state legislators as well as county and city governing board members. The first cure that comes to mind is to outlaw campaign con- tributions by businesses, unions or others that could benefit from governmental decisions. If we could pass laws prohibiting cor- porate or organization contribu- tions, there probably would not be enough money to run a decent campaign. The idea of public funding of campaigns has been around for a long time. Several states are do- ing it. But this is North Dakota and our frugal taxpayers would never countenance the use of public funds for political pur- poses. Considering all of the politi- cal, legal and constitutional re- straints involved in eliminating conflicts of interest created by campaign contributions, it makes sense to tuna to something that is achievable - instant disclosure of campaign contributions. Our present campaign reports 'are too slow to be useful in polit- ical campaigns. By the time a sus- picious contribution is reported, the campaign is over and the re- ceiving candidates escape ac- countability. With the high-speed Interact, it has become feasible to require daily posting of reports of cam- paign contributions. This would make it possible for improper contributions to be a matter of debate during the campaign. Voters could then consider whether or not a candidate has created a conflict of interest serf ous enough to be turned down in an election. Extension Exchange Weather Winter Safely The weather outside may be fiightful, but with a few safety tips, the family fun can last all year long! Winter weather brings special challenges and is a time to pay at- tention to your health when exer- cising outdoors. Trying to stay warm and protect your skin from the sun is important even if the air and wind are brutally cold. In ad- dition, maintaining an active lifestyle can also be a challenge when the weather turns chilly. Be- low are a few tips for protecting yourself and your family when ex- ercising outdoors during the cold winter months: • Be aware of the wind chill factor before planning an out- door activity. Dress warmly in sev- eral layers of loose-fitting, tight- ly woven clothing. Add a water- proof coat, hat, gloves, a scarf or knit mask to cover your face, and waterproof boots when plan- ning on spending time outdoors. • Eat and drink wisely. Well- balanced meals will help you stay wamler. Do not drink alcoholic or caffeinated beverages - they cause your body to lose heat more rap- idly. • Use a palm-full ofsunscreen of SPF 15 or higher everyday be- fore going outdoors. Be sure to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours while exercising outdoors. • Teach children not to venture out onto frozen ponds and lakes without checking with an adult about the safety of the ice. • Take a buddy and an up-to- date emergency kit when you are participating in outdoor recre- ation. Your emergency kit should include first-aid supplies, a snack, bottled water, and a small flash- . ) light. If doing an outside activity ialone notify friends and family be- fore you go. • Work slowly when doing outside chores. • Take a break when you begin to feel fatigue. Watch for signs of cold weather health problems such as hypothermia and fi'ostbite. Symptoms of hypothermia in- clude shivering, confusion, drowsiness, weak pulse and shal- low breathing. Frostbite may be present when an individual feels tingling and loss of sensitivity to the affected skin. Get help if any of these symptoms or conditions appear. Other wise-winter tips to keep in mind throughout the chilly season: • Avoid traveling when the weather service has issued advi- sories. • If you must travel, inform a friend or relative of your proposed route and expected time of arrival. Keep a winter emergency kit in your car in case you become stranded. Include blankets; food and water; booster cables, flares, tire pump, and a bag of sand or cat litter (for traction); compass and maps: flashlight, battery-p0wered radio, and extra batteries; first-aid kit; and plastic bags (for sanita- tion). • Carry a cell phone. • Be prepared to check on fam- ily and neighbors who are espe- cially at risk from cold weather hazards: young children, older adults, and the chronically ill. If you have pets, bring them inside. If you cannot bring them inside, provide adequate, warm shelter and unfrozen water to drink. Source: NJ Cooperative Extension Around the County Walsh County EXtension Office ' Park River - 284-6624 Do Your Homework before You Tile The Lake Region Roundup I would argue is the most compre- hensive educational opportunity for agriculture professional and producers. If you are a certified crop advisor you will be able to get a fist full of CEUs in any area you are short. The topics will be any- thing fi'om what is land worth, crop production, pest management, soils and fertility and the latest teclmology. I hope you will join us for the program. I have the pro- grams in my office if you are in- terested. If you make just one meeting this year this would give you the widest exposure to what is happening in agriculture in North- eastern North Dakota Is Extension Relevant? I guess everyone else has had their shot at this one so here is one more opinion on the subject. So what makes me qualified to talk affout Extension? I grew up on a farm in SE North Dakota that used Extension quite extensively and I was a 9 year 4-H veteran and it also gave me my career. I am a 30 plus year veteran as a County Agent and I have served in Traill, Hettinger, Kidder and Walsh Counties. I guess I have seen just about it all. I also sit on the North Dakota board of certified crop advisors and I am their secretary and work on their tests and con- tinuing education milts that are re- quired by the program. 1 am also a national Vice Director for the na- tional county agents association. I have many more titles but I think that will suffice. I think what many of the dis- cussions forget is tliat is Extension is about changing the lives of the people it serves. It was true in the beginning and is probably truer now than when it started. One can't be a county agent and do their job well if you do not develop very close and personal relation- ships with the people you serve. I have fought for "my people" over the years in many areas. I not only serve the small but the big and have gone to bat for them more than a few times. I have long heard the argu- ment that the large farmers now have crop scouts and industry people and they do not need Ex- tension. My answer to that is," Who trains the crop scouts and who keeps industry people hon- est"? That would be Extension. 1 have stood up against industry peo- ple many times when their rec- ommendations were not backed by sound research based informa- tion or were just plain wrong. It takes a lot of courage to do that be- cause when you standup against them you are taking money out of their pockets and that can make things nasty. Ifwe are not willing to stand up for the truth and re- search based information, who will? We are also community builders in our counties if we are engaged. It is impossible not to become in- volved in your community if you care. I have served in many ca- pacities in communities I have served in. we also have one of the finest 4-H programs and fairs in the state of North Dakota right here in Walsh County. Who says you can't do agriculture and 4-H at the same time and do it well? I have watched Walsh County leaders develop from our 4-H youth and today I have former 4-H members as 4-H leaders and fair directors. They are a very progressive group that really understands the joy of rural North Dakota. Dates to Remember: I/8-9 Lake Region Roundup: Ramsey County Courthouse and Memorial Building Devils Lake, North Dakota 9:30 a.m. both days; breakfast at 8 a.m. !/9 Walsh County Annual Fair Meeting; Extension Office Park River; 6:30 p.m. I PAGE 4 PRESS PERSPECTIVES JANUARY 2, 2013 F ROM TH E EDITOR'S DESK... BY ALLISON OLIMB EDITOR, WALSH COUNTY PRESS On occasion, around this time of year. [ get a phone call asking what is with the old news. Since day one at the Press, I have found that there is nothing more useful than a Year in Review segment. In almost (I stress tile almost) each of the archive books that l have in the back room there is a year in review that hits on the sto- ries of the year. Every now and then, I get calls or visits from peo- ple wanting to know about some- thing that happened in year so-and- so and let me add folks don't al- ways have the details down. So, step one is trying to figure out if 1 have the year. Step two is trying to figure out when said year. l can turn page by page in old issues where there could be 20-some pages with about 30 little stories on each page and try to comb through them all for a snippet of something that may or may not be in there, or I can turn to the first and last issues of any given year and check the year in review. It is like a magical time capsule that can relk-rence me to the proper month where I can find the whole story. Another perk is that often peo- ple see stories that they R)rgot about or missed the first time around and get the chance to relive the year all over again. Finally, it gives me a little bit of a break. The last issue of the year and the first issue of the year of- ten stick me with deadline changes and busy holiday goings on. I imagine ill didn't have the op- portuni to pull something out of my proverbial magic hat, 1 would be crying right about now. This year deadlines have been bumped up considerably lbr me in order to make sure that your paper gets in your hands exactly when it is supposed to. That little stroll down memory lane is a tilne-honored tradition that started long before I got here and will continue if I have any- thing to say about it. There are les- sons in history that cannot be de- nied and there is magic in past. When it comes to the past, we can either complain about it or learn from it, but there is no deny- ing that it happened and has for- ever changed the orld because of it. l.il, e "' the Walsh Coun o, Press on f'ace- hook and check out our blog ,tt Itttp.v",,'l'a&h- t ounO'prcss, wordpress.com Hello, I've mentioned it before. And I have to say it again. Get offthe In- terstate and visit the small towns in the Dakotas. I knov;' most of you that get this column live in small towns, so l'm kind of preaching to the choir. But, don't overlook what you have in your hometown. We spend a lot of time on the highway. Looking at cows and horses and kids. And people. I eat (a lot) at all kinds of restaurants. I could do like that Ziggie Report or whatever it is. You kmow. That rich couple that got rich just by writing about restaurants. That's probably not the right name for it, but you know what I mean. I had heard about this German restaurant in New Leipzig. In Pact, l've even driven in there to eat be- fore. And couldn't find the restau- rant. Now, New Leipzig is pretty small. And, grow n man should have been able to find the caf6. Main street is two blocks long at the longest. And it is narrower than ' I tho,J-ht, there must not really be a restaurant there. Then, one day.;  e fi',,md it. The "'Leipziger Hof. i guess that is German lbr restaurant or something. Hat It was like traveling across the ocean without having to go through airport security and cabs and rude travelers. The "hoU ( I hope that means caf6) was filled with wonderful art and statues and filled with a wonderful aroma. Music from some kind of opera played in the background The lbod was fantastic and the service won- derful. I had a big schnitzel with peas and fries. Shirley had the lit- tle schnitzel with peas and fries. It's gone now. But I'm glad I saw it. At one time you could visit the Owl and the Pussycat in Amidon, the Buckskin in •Killdeer, the Final Go-Round in Morristown. The Oasis in Buffalo. Some are gone now. Lost to the fast food and drive through restaurants, but a few exist. Don't pass them by for a big mac or whopper. You'll be Tips sorry you did. Another thing about rural areas is the people. We count on each other. And that leads to this story. We never get old. I can remem- ber when thirty was old. And tbrty. And fifty. Now sixty don't look too bad. But most of us live in the years when we were seventeen and playing ball. Or riding broncs. And going to the sock hop and the (hive in movie. We age lhst slowly. If that makes any sense. We have a friend and neighbor who ranches near you. He's get- ting a little long in the tooth but doesn't know it. Like most ranch- ers in the winter, he looks a little rough as he waits tbr the sun to shrink those drifts away. Last week he was hauling a load of cattle to the sale and his pickup gelled up. That number two diesel farm fuel will do that. It was cold and miserable. He got out and started walking. Nov; here is a rough looking guy, dressed in his work coat, which has been ripped on barbed wire and patched up with twine, walk- ing across the reservation. Picture the grizzled rancher with a three day beard and a little placenta on himself and his clothes. And a lit- tle used hay and oats. This young lady with a small child comes flying by. Gets a quar- ter mile down the road. Stops. Turns around. Comes back and asks if she can help. He says, "probably not, unless you are a mechanic. But I could use a ride." This young lady gives him a ride to a farmhouse. Nobody home. So, she goes out of her way to give him a ride to town. This rancher, who, like I said, is getting a little long in the tooth, but still thinks is" the seventeen year old bull rider, had to ask. "'Wily did you turn around and come back?" The young lady replied, "My parents taught me to always help old people in trouble!" Getting old is hell, but it beats any other options! Later, Dean 00G,qod Happenings at Our ! sa, mantan Good Samaritan I ( # bOoc_tT.  " ,'7-", MonicaSimon ADC H: ..... -.:,,i,,,. , ".'..'.;: . ..... ,,,a.. , ,?, r ,.! Happy New Year tO Everyone fromthe resident s and staff of the Park River GSC. We have had such a blessed holiday season with many people sharing their time and talents with us. We would like to thank the Forest River Colony Singers, St. John's Alter Society, Laura and Josie Brodina, Sheryl Kjelland's piano students, Park River Cub Scouts, The ESP Children, The Bethal Baptist Church Singers, Jeanette Bemtson and Friends and the 5th Grade class of Park River. We certainly enjoyed all the wonderful music, lbod and other activities you provided our residents during thi s busy season. December 19 the family Christmas party was held and delicious meal was served by our dietary department and musical entertainment was provided by Father Gary Lutein, Bruce Heggen, Betty Koening and Joan Larson. Piano music was provided by Laura Brodina. January events include: Jan. 3 2:30 Monthly Communion Service Jan 3 3:00 Music with Father Lutein Jan 10 3:00 Monthly Birthday Party Bechyne Church Jan 11 7:30 Mennonite Singers Jan 24 3:00 Auxiliary Lunch and Program OSLC Park River By Lloyd Omdahl Extension Agent Brad Brummond Devotional leaders were Lois Ydstie, Lorene Larsom Rev. David Hinrichs, Sue Faggerholt, Kay Alkofer, Corrine Ramsey, Monica Simon, Jan Novak and Dorthy Novak. Accompanists were Monica Simon, Jan Novak and Mary Seim. Sunday Services were led by Rev. Antal and Rev. ttinrichs. Fatehr Lutein led Mass and Shirly Sobolik led Rosary. We thank everyone who gave of their time and talents this week. Thank- you! General Information on the ND Smoke Free Law • Went into effect December 6, 2012 • No smoking in all enclosed areas of public places and places of employment such as restaui'ants, bars, truck stops, guest rooms within hotels and motels, health care facilities, long term care centers, assisted living centers, licenses adult day care facilities, retail tobacco stores, hookah establishments, workplace vehicles, charitable gambling and gaming licensed lacilities, and places of public access that may be leased tbr private functions. • No smoking within 20 feet of entrances, exits, operable windows, air intakes and ventilation systems of an establishment where smoking is prohibited by the law. • Electronic cigarettes/pipes/cigars are prohibited in all places where smoking is not allowed under the law. Business owners must: • Remove ashtrays from any area where smoking is prohibited • Post smoke free signage in business and workplace vehicles • Regularly educate all employees on the smoke free law, including how to cahnly and respectfully interact with a person who is smoking in violation of the law Reporting a Violation Violations to the new smoke free law can be reported to law enforcement. You local public health unit is available for consultation if you have questions. There are fines for infractions by individuals and business owners who violate the law. For more information on the new smoke-free law or access to smoke fiee signage information go to: hnp://breathend.com/partners/ Curbing Conflicts of Interest in Campaigns Some citizens in Dunn County have been trying to initiate a grand jury to consider the con- flict of interest involved in cam- paign contributions to Governor Jack Dalrymple by energy com- panies regulated by the Industrial Commission. They allege that such contri- butions are a form of bribery in- tended to buy influence in the Governor's decisions. The same issue has also been raised in re- gard to members of the Public Service Commission. Those on the receiving end of these contributions have denied that campaign contributions have influence on their decisions. However, Ed Bender, executive director of the National lnstimte on Money in State Politics, dis- agrees. When corporations make con- tributions, "it's a business deci- sion, not a political decision," he claims. So while the recipients of these contributions argue that these contributions have no influence on their decisions, the contribu- tors are thinking otherwise. As hard-nosed businesspeople, they aren't dissipating the company's resources on politicians without expecting some kind ofpayback. From their perspective, the in- tent of these contributions is un- mistakable - to reap more than they plant. After all, they are not charitable organizations. They ex- pect an investment in politicians to return much more than the con- tribution. This claim can be validated when we see that contributions go only to politicians who can in- fluence business operations. Elected officials holding offices that have no economic impact on corporations get no contributions. Take the office of state treas- urer, for example. Candidates for this office do not attract campaign contributions because they don't make decisions that can reward a contributor. The same is true about the state auditor and, to some degree, tile tax commis- sioner. The low level ofcontributions to ()ffices without economic de- cision-making authority tells us that campaign contributions are a matter of business and not poli- tics. So it is appropriate to worry about conflicts of interest. But it is unfair to single out the Industrial Commission or the Public Service Commission be- cause conflicts of interest are more widespread than just a few state offices. Every official with the capac- ity to make decisions with eco- nomic impact has a conflict of in- terest when accepting contributions. This includes state legislators as well as county and city governing board members. The first cure that comes to mind is to outlaw campaign con- tributions by businesses, unions or others that could benefit from governmental decisions. If we could pass laws prohibiting cor- porate or organization contribu- tions, there probably would not be enough money to run a decent campaign. The idea of public funding of campaigns has been around for a long time. Several states are do- ing it. But this is North Dakota and our frugal taxpayers would never countenance the use of public funds for political pur- poses. Considering all of the politi- cal, legal and constitutional re- straints involved in eliminating conflicts of interest created by campaign contributions, it makes sense to tuna to something that is achievable - instant disclosure of campaign contributions. Our present campaign reports 'are too slow to be useful in polit- ical campaigns. By the time a sus- picious contribution is reported, the campaign is over and the re- ceiving candidates escape ac- countability. With the high-speed Interact, it has become feasible to require daily posting of reports of cam- paign contributions. This would make it possible for improper contributions to be a matter of debate during the campaign. Voters could then consider whether or not a candidate has created a conflict of interest serf ous enough to be turned down in an election. Extension Exchange Weather Winter Safely The weather outside may be fiightful, but with a few safety tips, the family fun can last all year long! Winter weather brings special challenges and is a time to pay at- tention to your health when exer- cising outdoors. Trying to stay warm and protect your skin from the sun is important even if the air and wind are brutally cold. In ad- dition, maintaining an active lifestyle can also be a challenge when the weather turns chilly. Be- low are a few tips for protecting yourself and your family when ex- ercising outdoors during the cold winter months: • Be aware of the wind chill factor before planning an out- door activity. Dress warmly in sev- eral layers of loose-fitting, tight- ly woven clothing. Add a water- proof coat, hat, gloves, a scarf or knit mask to cover your face, and waterproof boots when plan- ning on spending time outdoors. • Eat and drink wisely. Well- balanced meals will help you stay wamler. Do not drink alcoholic or caffeinated beverages - they cause your body to lose heat more rap- idly. • Use a palm-full ofsunscreen of SPF 15 or higher everyday be- fore going outdoors. Be sure to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours while exercising outdoors. • Teach children not to venture out onto frozen ponds and lakes without checking with an adult about the safety of the ice. • Take a buddy and an up-to- date emergency kit when you are participating in outdoor recre- ation. Your emergency kit should include first-aid supplies, a snack, bottled water, and a small flash- . ) light. If doing an outside activity ialone notify friends and family be- fore you go. • Work slowly when doing outside chores. • Take a break when you begin to feel fatigue. Watch for signs of cold weather health problems such as hypothermia and fi'ostbite. Symptoms of hypothermia in- clude shivering, confusion, drowsiness, weak pulse and shal- low breathing. Frostbite may be present when an individual feels tingling and loss of sensitivity to the affected skin. Get help if any of these symptoms or conditions appear. Other wise-winter tips to keep in mind throughout the chilly season: • Avoid traveling when the weather service has issued advi- sories. • If you must travel, inform a friend or relative of your proposed route and expected time of arrival. Keep a winter emergency kit in your car in case you become stranded. Include blankets; food and water; booster cables, flares, tire pump, and a bag of sand or cat litter (for traction); compass and maps: flashlight, battery-p0wered radio, and extra batteries; first-aid kit; and plastic bags (for sanita- tion). • Carry a cell phone. • Be prepared to check on fam- ily and neighbors who are espe- cially at risk from cold weather hazards: young children, older adults, and the chronically ill. If you have pets, bring them inside. If you cannot bring them inside, provide adequate, warm shelter and unfrozen water to drink. Source: NJ Cooperative Extension Around the County Walsh County EXtension Office ' Park River - 284-6624 Do Your Homework before You Tile The Lake Region Roundup I would argue is the most compre- hensive educational opportunity for agriculture professional and producers. If you are a certified crop advisor you will be able to get a fist full of CEUs in any area you are short. The topics will be any- thing fi'om what is land worth, crop production, pest management, soils and fertility and the latest teclmology. I hope you will join us for the program. I have the pro- grams in my office if you are in- terested. If you make just one meeting this year this would give you the widest exposure to what is happening in agriculture in North- eastern North Dakota Is Extension Relevant? I guess everyone else has had their shot at this one so here is one more opinion on the subject. So what makes me qualified to talk affout Extension? I grew up on a farm in SE North Dakota that used Extension quite extensively and I was a 9 year 4-H veteran and it also gave me my career. I am a 30 plus year veteran as a County Agent and I have served in Traill, Hettinger, Kidder and Walsh Counties. I guess I have seen just about it all. I also sit on the North Dakota board of certified crop advisors and I am their secretary and work on their tests and con- tinuing education milts that are re- quired by the program. 1 am also a national Vice Director for the na- tional county agents association. I have many more titles but I think that will suffice. I think what many of the dis- cussions forget is tliat is Extension is about changing the lives of the people it serves. It was true in the beginning and is probably truer now than when it started. One can't be a county agent and do their job well if you do not develop very close and personal relation- ships with the people you serve. I have fought for "my people" over the years in many areas. I not only serve the small but the big and have gone to bat for them more than a few times. I have long heard the argu- ment that the large farmers now have crop scouts and industry people and they do not need Ex- tension. My answer to that is," Who trains the crop scouts and who keeps industry people hon- est"? That would be Extension. 1 have stood up against industry peo- ple many times when their rec- ommendations were not backed by sound research based informa- tion or were just plain wrong. It takes a lot of courage to do that be- cause when you standup against them you are taking money out of their pockets and that can make things nasty. Ifwe are not willing to stand up for the truth and re- search based information, who will? We are also community builders in our counties if we are engaged. It is impossible not to become in- volved in your community if you care. I have served in many ca- pacities in communities I have served in. we also have one of the finest 4-H programs and fairs in the state of North Dakota right here in Walsh County. Who says you can't do agriculture and 4-H at the same time and do it well? I have watched Walsh County leaders develop from our 4-H youth and today I have former 4-H members as 4-H leaders and fair directors. They are a very progressive group that really understands the joy of rural North Dakota. Dates to Remember: I/8-9 Lake Region Roundup: Ramsey County Courthouse and Memorial Building Devils Lake, North Dakota 9:30 a.m. both days; breakfast at 8 a.m. !/9 Walsh County Annual Fair Meeting; Extension Office Park River; 6:30 p.m. I