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Park River , North Dakota
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February 13, 2013     Walsh County Press
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February 13, 2013
 

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......................... . PAGE 4 PRESS PERSPECTIVES FEBRUARY 13, 2013 FROM THE EDITOR S DESK... BY ALLISON OLIAAB EDITOR, WALSH COUNTY PRESS I I love it when there is a snow day in a major city. A storm on the coast equals and entire week of dis- cussing survival techniques on the Today show because it is a major event. We call it a Tuesday. For those of you out-of-staters and snowbirds out there, it has been a very cold winter up in the north- east comer of North Dakota. The wind chills have taken what would have been a nice solidsingle digit temperature to a 20 below. Though it has been ridiculously cold, the morning weatherman would actually have to remind viewers to dress properly and wear mittens. I credit that to the sheer thick- dodge, because they could handle skinned nature and stubbornness of driving through a little bit of snow. your average North Dakotan. In the tradition of "you might be Over the weekend we had a a redneck": If you can drive 65 mph storm drop over a foot of snow on the southem half of the state. The biggest complaint I heard all Mon- day long was from the throngs of North Dakota hockey fans who went to the outdoor game in Oma- ha who got trapped somewhere along the South Dakota border on their way home. Everyone with a wifi connection or smartphone had an opinion that they were not shy to post. The majority of the people were not shy about the fact that they were ready and willing to get out of through 2 feet of snow during a rag- ing blizzard, without flinching, you might live in North Dakota. I am pretty sure that if you use a blizzard as an excuse to get your housework done and hardly even no- tice enough to worry about survival, you are defiantly a North Dakotan Bring on the blizzards, with or without the help of the folks of the Today show. Like" the Walsh Count), Press on Face- book and check out our blog at http://walsh- counO,press, wordpress, corn Hello, I made it through another Super Bowl! I have to admit I didn't watch it all. I've never watched an entire football game. Even my coach in high school decades ago would attest to this. There are too many time outs, commercials, chal- lenges, and so on. That is why sports bars have TV's all over every wall. So you can watch a game, any game, all the time. I did watch the first quarter with friends at a local establishment that serves adult beverages. And it was potluck. Those that know me, know that is the reason I look for- ward to Super Sunday. Wrap up chores early, shower and shave, and start with the chips and dip at 12:01. With a drink of course. Then on to the wings, brats, hamburgers, venison chili, pheasant white chili, Hat hamburger cheese dip, polish sausages, little smokies with bar- becue sauce, and gallons of chips and salsa. I kind of drifted off and forgot the game was four and a half hours away. By the time of the kick-off, I was looking for the TUMS and cool, clear, water. I made it through a quarter and headed home. By half time I was sure the game was over, but I was excited to see the half time show. It was a disappointment that in a city of wonderful musi- Tips cians, this was it. What I would have given for a Jazz artist from Bourbon Street. What I would have given for the Bellamy Brothers or Johnny Cash or Gene Autry or .... And another thing. Real peo- ple don't have that long of legs! They must have been some kind of robot girls. Shirley says that is in- sane for a grown man to watch the entire half time show with the sound shut off. She's says I am sick. I will admit I got a little warm. Anyway, back to the game. The kick-off return to start the third quarter sealed the deal. It was a blow out. I thought I'd give the Niners one more chance. AndI did. Until the power went off. That eased my sense of guilt as I shut TV off, grabbed a book, and shut football out of my mind for the year. But it was a successful year I thought, since I had won ten dollars on the coin toss! Here we go Heads, Here we go! Here we go Heads, here we go! We even had a group chant going. So I get up this morning to find out I had missed one of the greatest comebacks of all time. Stopped only by a goal line stand. And I had missed all the ads. But relax faithful reader; I caught up on all the stuff this mom- ing. Glad I'm a farmer. Later, Dean It was only a matter of time be- fore the new chancellor for higher education would start raising hack- les in North Dakota. His assign- ment guaranteed it. Senator Tony Grindberg of Fargo already has proposed that the appropriation bill for higher edu- cation include money to buy out Chancellor Hamid Shirvani's 3- year contract. The senator claims that the Chancellor's leadership style is in question and has created an atmos- phere of fear. This is a pretty broad charge against a person who has been in the state for only nine months. Duane Espegard, chairperson of the Board of Higher Education, has assured Shirvani and the state that the'Board intends to stay the course. "We're doing exactly what the Legislature and the people of the state asked us to do, which is to move up the quality of higher edu- cation in North Dakota," the chair- person Said in response to the sen- ator's allegations. Espegard is right. After a few scandals in the institutions, we agreed that it was time to get a chancellor who would increase the Chancellor Needs More Than Nine Months oversight of the institutions and who would pull the 11 institutions into a more unified system. So we invited Shirvani to come to North Dakota to do that and he has been proceeding on'the as- sumption that we meant what we said. But the truth is that our political culture does not tolerate concen- trations of authority. Our system of governance says it all. We have more elected officials, more col- leges, more boards and commis- sions, more local governments and more legislators per capita than al- most every other state. So in this decentralized style of governance we have a chancellor who must exercise unprecedented authority to increase oversight and reduce the autonomy of the institu- tions of higher leaming in order to achieve the goals the Board has outlined. Speaking for North Dakota's political culture, Senator Grindberg apparently sees this assertion of au- thority as a questionable leadership style. If we are serious about improv- ing the university system, then a strong style of leadership is re- quired, even though it goes against our cultural predisposition to dis- perse authority. Chancellor Shirvani hit the ground running. He was in the state only a short time when he an- nounced some far-reachir.g sug- gestions for our colleges and uni- versities. Almost everyone applauded. But now the balking starts. In- creased oversight means more staff to monitor the activities of the 11 institutions under the Board. Not only do we not want to staff up but the institutions don't want over- seers inquiring about matters that have always been reserved to uni- versity administrators. To improve the university sys- tem, the presidents must be willing to surrender some administrative prerogatives to the chancellor. For the chancellor to make progress, he must bridge the gulf between North Dakota's style and the Board's goals. This will re- quire negotiation among all players - and there are many. In a recent editorial, Publisher Mike Jacobs of the Grand Forks Herald enumerated a long list of those who must be taken into ac- count - legislators, students, ad- ministrators, university communi- ties, alumni, parents and random ideologues. To make significant changes with that many constituencies to please, progress will be slower than Chancellor Shirvani expected. A good deal of time will be required just to build consensus. It will be enough to test the patience of Job. As Chancellor Shervani moves toward the Board's goals, he will become more familiar with the re- alities of the North Dakota style. Whether we agree with him or not, he deserves more than nine months and one legislative cycle to prove his worth. A question of investments: Where will the money go ? Many dream of winning the lottery, fantasizing about what they would buy and where they would live. But few big winners think about the pres- sures of unknown scammers, acquaintances, friends and family members who all want to share in the wealth. North Dakota's 63rd Legislative Assembly is similar, in some ways, to the lottery. The state has big money to spend, which isn't usually the case. There will be winners and losers. Some seeking financial assistance will be dignified and principled in trying to acquire large sums of money for the good of the people; some might be categorized as undignified and unprincipled money grubbers, seeking and/or protecting funds to only benefit certain agendas, maybe even just "close friends." Determining appropriate policy in the distribution of North Dakota's fortunate wealth is the heavy responsibility of elected representatives. How do they share with citizens the bounty, which has come largely from energy sources unearthed from God's green earth? If too much is squir- reled away in the state coffers for "a rainy day," will govemment be seen as partisan scrooges - or good stewards? Case after case for a piece of the pie is being made in Senate and House committee hearings; a compelling one was presented late last month by those in favor of liB 1356. The bill, heard in the House Education Committee, would take $6,150,000 out of the general fund for the department of human services to provide grants to state Head Start programs between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2015. Several officials and parents testified in favor of the bill, including emo- tional words by Lori Schnieberbruns of Minot. A mother of three children with more negative life experiences that anyone deserves, said: "The program meets every need and expectation of a parent when we don't have the abilities ... I may have been a vic- tim, but Head Start believed enough in me that I believe in myself... I am better (because of Head Start). I am a survivor. Schnieberbrtms said she is not only a Head Start parent, but a "grad- uate" of the program. Her most difficult moments have included an injury to her husband (limiting income) and a Christmas Eve home burglary. That, however, was only the beginning - homelessness followed in May after losing her home to the 2011 storm (flood). "I turned to the one place I had comfort as a child- Minot Head Start ... It was a safe place to lay my head... Head Start helped my kids and gave me help so I could get help." She said circumstances became overwhelming and she suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from childhood and other mem- Dries. "No longer am I afraid of the dark," she said. "Head Start gave me strength." Several others echoed Schnieberburns praise for the program that not only focuses on the needs of children 3- to 5-years-old but also helping parents. "State funding of Head Start is the best way to help people who need it (help) the most," said a young mother of three girls (ages 2, 4 and 6). Once getting her emotional tears and sobs under control she added: "I have been intently blessed by Head Start." Head Start is primarily funded by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, but receives some supplemental financial as- sistance from states. "North Dakota is one of(only) 10 states that don't give any money to Head Start," testified Sen. Nicole Poolman, R-7, Bis- marck. Head Start's mission is to "...promote school preparation by enhanc- ing the social and cognitive development of children through the provi- sion of educational, health, nutritional, social and other services." The state has 13 Head Start programs with 120 classrooms serving more than 2,300; more than 800 children are on waiting lists and HB 1356 would reduce the number. North Dakota receives about $33 million in federal funds. Eligibility is generally limited to children in families at or below the poverty line. From a policy and economic point of view, Paul Ronningen of Bis- marck, said state funding for Head Start should be a "no-brainer... it will help dismantle the pipeline to prison." Ronningen, state coordinator of the Childrten's Defense Fund, testi- fied that "research shows that participation in a quality early childhood education program provides children with the necessary social, emotional and cognitive skills that continue to develop throughout their life." Ronningen, director of children and family services in the Department of Human services for 10 years, said: Head Start is life transforming." Financial requests have been made and failed at least in six other leg- islative sessions, according to testimony at the hearing by Rep. Kathy Hawken, D-46, Fargo. Suggesting it is time to provide state funding, Hawken said: "We can ignore what we know about early learning and have more people in our prison programs ... It costs $36,000 per prisoner ... bottom line is this, how do we help these children?" Suggesting the reality of the bill is that it won't pass, Hawken added: "What we need is a comprehensive study on child care and then maybe we won't have to have each of these bills. Kids deserve the best educa- tion no matter who their parents are or where they live." Despite strong favorable testimony, it seemed legislators' questions could have been posed to indicate the bill very well could fail - again. No action has been taken by the end of last week. But in a state with a huge surplus, is there a better place to invest in the future than with our children? John Irby decided to retire early in late 2011 as editor of the Bismarck Ttqbune. He is now a free- lance writer, private investigator and management consultant. He can be reached at johnrober- tirby@hotmail.com. Extension Exchange Supermarket Savings When budgets are tight and money needs to be stretched, there's nothing more frustrating than needlessly wasting dollars at the grocery store. It is possible to save money shopping for gro- ceries without cooking eveN- thing from scratch, packing your purse with coupons, or purchasing foods in season. With some thought and preparation about food shopping, families can save bucks by either spending less and/or avoiding losing money through tossing uneaten foods. Planning your menus can help you have healthier meals and it can help you save money at the grocery store. By reading your recipes and planning a menu for upcoming main meals you can make a grocery list of all the items you need, avoiding wasting gas for an extra trip to the store. And the less often you shop, the less likely you'll make an impulse purchase. Spend about 30 minutes plan- ning your weekly menus. Use the sale ads and write a shopping list. Clip coupons, but only for things you normally would eat, rather than for "extras." Don't miss out on potential sources of valuable coupons. Check your grocery receipt - sometimes there are great coupons on the back that help save money. Also, if you have access to a computer, check online for coupons. Keep your grocery list near the fridge or where it's easily acces- sible and remember to take it with you to the store. Sticking with the items on your list will add up savings. Remember to stay flexi- ble if you encounter a sale, espe- cially on non-perishable food items you use such as soups and other canned goods. Don't forget to check your re- frigerator and pantry shelves for items you already have. Cruise through your fridge daily looking at expiration dates on packages and using foods on hand before they go bad. Do not shop on an empty stom- ach. If you go to the supermarket hungry you will most likely pur- chase more food than you need, including expensive items as well. If you're shopping with your kids, feed them too! Grocery shopping when you're tired can also add costs to your final bill. If you're tired, you may be likely to grab convenience foods, which cost more and are often less nutri- tious. Be familiar with the store lay- out. Only go down the aisles that include items on your list. For quick shopping trips, shop the perimeter of the store. Most sta- ples, such as milk, fresh produce and bread, are around the perime- ter. Look up and look down. Items on the upper and lower shelves are often cheaper. Big brands often pay big bucks to have their prod- ucts at eye level. Generic or store brands are generally better buys. Basic commodities such as sugar, flour, tomato sauce an paper tow- els are often indistinguishable when the label is removed. Some store brands are different from their national-brand equivalents, however, so buy small amounts first to test quality and flavor. Don't be deceived by the size of the packaging. Compare price using "unit prices." The unit pric- ing on the front edge of shelving helps you know quickly whether the regular-priced super-sized package is a better deal than the sale-priced regular-sized pack- age. But sometimes unit pricing can be tricky. Some brands have a number for the cost per ounce and the cost per pound for the same thing on a smaller or larger size. Bringing along a calculator can help add up the savings on a shopper's choices. If you are prepared to try some- thing new, buy the smallest size of package. If your family doesn't like the food you're not stuck with a big box. Check preparation methods for unfamiliar foods. You don't want to risk a foQd flop and toss out good food. The more of these tips you use and the more foods you use them with the more you can save! Resources: NDSU Extension bulletin FN- 1384 "Grocery Shopping Tips, Menus and Recipes, "August 2011," University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension Supermarket SavingS by Alice Henneman, MS, RD Around the County Walsh County Extension Office Park River - 284-6624 This Is Not Your Grandfather's Oats There used to be a time in the not so distance past that many pro- ducers in Western and Central Walsh County grew 40 acres of oats to fill creep feeders with or to start calves on grain. It worked well back in the day and now oats is becoming hard to find in the area in any large quantity. Is it time to give oats another look? We have Newburg, Hifi and Legett that have 3 year averages of over 180 bushels per acre in Lang- don trials. For those of use old enough to remember the good old days I just referred to 100 bushels was a heck of an oats crop back then. If the yield trials are any indication we can push some se- rious bushels on oats. Before se- lecting a variety also check out the test weight, protein, lodging score and disease package and see what trade-offs you may be making from one variety to another. High 9rotein oats would go a long way in bringing up some of our protein deficiencies along with some en- ergy. I really would try and get some strong strawed varieties. Swathing oats one way made for a long summer for me years ago. Oats is quite possibly one of the easiest grains to feed and some of us have experience feeding it. We want to be planting before May 15th in our area to take full advantage of the tillering capaci- ty of the oats variety so in many years this would put you in the gap between wheat and beans from a workload standpoint. Optimum seeding depth is 1.5 to 2 inches. Seeding rates are approximately 60 to 90 pounds of seed per acre and the heavier rates should be used if seeding deep or trying to compete with wild oats. Excessive seeding rates will reduce your test weight. The role of thumb on fertility is 1.3 X yield potential minus soil nitrate test-previous minus crop credit. Medium level of phosphorus is go- ing to take around 28 pounds per acre of phosphorus. Get your soils tested and look up the levels at the NDSU Extension website or call me and I will do it for you. Also check out your potassium levels and look it up at the same place. The disease I see most often in oats in rust. We have come a long way since the old varieties. Pick a variety with some resistance would be my recommendation. Barley yellow dwarf can also be a prob- lem. Is it time to start looking at growing some oats to feed or for horses? If my phone calls are any indication there may even be a lo- cal market for oats and if you mar- ket it I have even heard of premi- ums being offered, particularly by the horse people. 2-10 2-27 Dates to Remember: Walsh County Crops Judging Workout, Extension Office Park River lpm beginners and 2 pm advanced Walsh County Livestock Association Directors meeting, Alexander House 6:30 meeting r ),