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Walsh County Press
Park River , North Dakota
February 15, 2012     Walsh County Press
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February 15, 2012

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PAGE 4 PRESS PERSPECTIVES FEBRUARY 15, 2012 FROM TH E EDITOR'S DESK... BY ALLISON OLIMB EDITOR, WALSH COUNTY PRESS So, yes the Superbowl was the highest rated television program ever. Whether you were watching for the conmlercials (the beer com- lnercial featuring rescue dog Weego was by far my fav'orite) or if you actually cared about the Pa- triots or the Giants bringing it on down to the last seconds (which was pretty dang exciting) it hap- pened and you odds are that you were one of millions of viewers. Enough chicken wings were consumed to circle the planet a couple times. Thirty seconds of television were worth around $3.5 to 4 mil- lion. And only one rnishap occurred during the halftime entertainment involving an unfriendly gesture. If you were paying enough at- tention to catch that slight per- former malfunction, you may have caught the brief moments during the halftime show where a gentle- man wearing a Roman thelned getup was doing a flat, trampoline type, tightrope act. Didn't know what it was? I don't blame you. Didn't know the underground sport has a link to a couple of guys in North Dakota? Surprise! The sport is slacklining and it now has hit the national stage. Want to give it a try? There has been a set up at the Grand Cities Mall (you know the one attached to K-Mart) for ages. There are a few variations to this sport invented in 1983. Urbanlining is performed in an urban area - anything from concrete to a city park. Urbanlin- ers often use a wider slackline of 2 inches. Wateflining is slacklining over water. Highlining is slacklining in very high places - like across a ravine in Yosemite. Yoga slacklining involves perforlning yoga poses on a slack- line which adds a whole new di- mension to yoga practice. Freestyle slacklining uses a longer, slacker line which allows for swinging. Tricklining is another name for the fancy stuntwork. Well, if you were curious enough to Google around and check the web on slacklining. The website for yogaslackers.com ap- pears. Click around a bit and find that one of the cofounders of Yoga Slackers is Sam Salwei who grew up in Crystal, N.D. Sam is the son of Nancy Salwei and what his web bio calls "a modern day Nomad." The slackline is a flat tighrope of 1-inch nylon webbing suspended between two points with a lot of give and a little bounce, which takes even something as calming as yoga to the extreme. According to their, website, co- thunders Sam and Jason Magness became quite close in their work and play at the Northern Heights Rock Gym in Grand Forks. In the summer of 2004 Sam came across a slackliner who literally showed him the ropes. About six months latin, Sam and Jason were perfecting poses and :appearing in Yoga Journal. And now'? YogaSlackers teach on all seven ,continents - North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and Antarctica. While the man on a wire during the Madonna show wasn't Sam or Jason, the work that trickliner Adam Lewis was performing was an athletic feat that is not so under- ground anymore. So maybe you were knee-deep in hot wings by then or perhaps you used the halftime show to use the restroom as to not miss out on anything vital, but I will tell you that you missed out on something pretty unique. Like" the WaLh Count), Press on Facebook and check out our blog at http://walsh count) Tu'e.v. wordprvs.com Hello, I sure want to thank the New England folks for a great time the other night. You remember that old song that started out "If you've ever been to England". Maybe that isn't how it went. My memory of those early years is a little blurred. Anyway, if you've ever been to New England, you have to enjoy it. I was there to help celebrate the New England Fire Department 100 years of service to the comnmnity. And celebrate they did. Who would ever think that you would import a barbecue chef fiom Grand Forks to cook up ribs and brisket in western North Dakota? Grand Forks'? Now that is a city that is not synonymous with bar- becuing. I mean, they play hockey. Hat And they educate doctors and lawyers. They have floods and howling blizzards. There is nothing to stop the water or the wind. But, ribs? Brisket? But they did. And it may have been the best ribs and brisket I ever imagined. Kudos! I was there to speak at the ban- quet. Now, 1 quit doing that a cou- ple years ago. But since I have such respect for volunteers that man our ambulances and fight our rites, I gladly accepted a chance to visit and eat at the Memorial Hall in New England. Tips I really don't know why they had me. They had Billy. You don't know Billy? Billy is a guy that has probably been to more fireman's conventions and meetings that any- one in the country. He's been a member of their fire deparmlent for like fifty years. He was the fire chief for a good many of those years. He attended state and na- tional conventions. He's been to more fire schools than the devil himself. And I don't think he's for- gotten a single story he heard at those events. Shirley edited my speech. She worries that I may cross a fine line and offend someone in attendance. Which I have been known to do. I've offended husbands and wives and governors and family mem- )ers. I've offended priests and rab- )is and veterinarians and vegetari- ms. So, Shirley mellowed my peech out a bit. But then, before I spoke Billy got up. I tell you what Billy; you moved the line back a bit! I loved it! The crowd loved it! And if I ever have a chance to fight fire, I want to be standing next to Billy! And I want a chance to share a beer and listen to his stories when we get back to the fire hall. Thanks you guys! Stay safe! Later, Dean Tile American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has strengthened some long standing advice: Child Restraints such as car seats and other sitting devices like strollers and swings are not recommended fbr routine sleep fbr infants. The recommendations, developed to reduce the risk of SIDS as well as the risk of sleep related suflbcations, asphyxia, and entrapment, include the warning that infants who are yotmger than 4 months are particularly at risk in these seating environments because they "might assume positions that can create risk of suftbcation or airway obstruction." Car seats are not stable on crib mattresses or other elevated surfaces- increasing the risk of falls and suflbcation. The Consumer Product Safety Commission data show that there were t 5 suffocation deaths from 1990-1997 due to car seats overturning after being placed on a bed, mattress, or couch. Besides putting your baby "'back to sleep" you should make sure that your baby is sleeping in a safe sleep environment. Recent research has found a relationship between unsafe sleep environments and infant death. By Ron Smith, Horticulturist / Measure #2 will confound local government finances More and more local officials are becoming alanned over the im- pact of Measure #2 on the June ballot that proposes to repeal all property taxes and dump the mess into the laps of the state leslators. Instead of offering specific so- lutions to specific problems, the sponsors of the measure have been offering a variety of specious claims and generalities that are not supported by the language in the proposed constitutional amend- ment. Some have suggested that the money can be found by firing 12,000 public employees; others say that the measure will not re- quire replacement revenue for local governments. Neither of these claims is substantiated by the language in the measure. Here is the exact language on the ballot: "The legislative assembly shall direct a share of sales taxes, indi- vidual and corporate income taxes, insurance premium taxes, alco- holic beverage taxes, mineral leas- ing fees, and gaming taxes and any oil and gas production and extrac- tion taxes, tobacco taxes, lottery revenues, and financial institutions taxes not allocated to elementary and secondary schools to counties, cities and other political subdivi- sions according to a fommla de- vised by the legislative assembly to fully and properly fund the legally-imposed obligations of counties, cities, townships and other political subdivisions." It is clear that this amendment, if passed, would require the legis- lature to take money ($800 million annually) from the state treasury and pay local governments for the money lost by the repeal of the property tax. All we need to do is look at the number and complexity of local governments to understand the problem in developing a payback fommla. North Dakota has more local governments per capita than any other state in the Union. We have 53 counties, 350 cities, 1100 townships, over 300 fire dis- tricts, around 175 school districts, over 200 park districts, around 50 soil conservation districts, nearly 75 water resource districts, close to 95 libraries, and scores of ambu- lance districts. Each of these local governments has a unique finan- cial structure with varying degrees of reliance on property taxation. Take counties, for example. According to the latest posting by the State Tax Department, Bot- tineau reported an average of 129 mills for the county; Slope re- ported 152; Grand Forks reported 379 mills, and Morton reported 363. All other counties fell in be- tween. What these figures tell us is that county governments across the state have varying needs for prop- erty revenue and they also have a wide range in the services they offer their citizens. Consequently, a simple one-size-fits-all solution will not work for each and every county government. We can bet that schools, cities, townships and the hundreds of other local gov- ernments have unique budgets as well. A single solution, such as fiat across-the-board percentage re- funds to all, would give huge windfalls to some local govern- ments while short-changing hun- dreds of others. Because each political subdivision is unique, the only fair and rational approach would be for a legislative commit- tee or some state agency to review the budget of each local govern- ment and dole out money accord- ingly. To protect the uniqueness of local governments, representatives from our 2200 local governments would have to travel to Bismarck to justify their budgets and con- vince some state entity or legisla- tive committee that their budget needs are legitimate. This process would certainly threaten local con- trol of local services. Tile problem of getting money required by the measure back to the local government is only one problem in this simplistic approach to state and local finance offered by Measure #2 . An arbitrary change of this magmitude reqtfires the deliberative process of the leg- islature over a 10-year period. Extension Exchange Free Tax Return Preparation Help Available Taxpayers who meet eligibili- ty criteria can get free help in preparing their tax returns. Volunteer Income Tax Assis- tance (VITA), an Internal Revenue Service-sponsored program, and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program are two onions. VITA workers provide free tax preparation services primarily for low- to moderate-income, elder- ly or disabled individuals who file basic tax returns. Low to moder- ate income generally means they earn $50,000 or less. The North Dakota AARP offers the TCE program. It provides free tax help to taxpayers 60 and older, as well as low- to moderate- income individuals. The volunteer tax preparation sites are staffed by trained volun- teers who are knowledgeable about the different federal and state forms, credits and other de- ductions that taxpayers might miss on their own. VITA and TCE sites generally are in community and neighbor- hood centers, libraries, schools, shopping malls, senior centers and other convenient locations. Most locations also offer free electronic filing. To locate the nearest VITA or TCE site, call (800) 829-1040 or visit the North Dakota Tax De- partment's website at www.nd.gov/tax/indincome/pubs/ 2012-tce-sites.pdf. Site in Walsh County include: Grafion, February 22 and Febru- ary 29, 2012 at the Villa DeRemer Apt Complex, 808 W 5th St., from 10:00 am - 3:00 pin. Taxpayers using these services should bring in the following items: * Prior year's tax return *. ID for you (and your spouse, if applicable) * Social Security cards for all people being claimed on the return * All W-2s, 1099 forms, Social Security statements, interest and dividend statements or any other items showing income * Any expense items such as home mortgage interest, real estate taxes, checks/receipts for contri- butions (if you think you can itemize) and education expenses fbr college * Proof of any new home con- tract signed by April 30, 2010, and home purchase closure on by Sept. 30, 2010 * Information fbr direct deposit of a refund (checkbook or a void- ed check) Source: Debra Pankow, NDSU Extension family economics spe- cialist Do you love your heart? During February, American Heart Month, the color red can be a terrific reminder of heart healthy foods. - Tossed salad with such red ad- ditions as red bell peppers, cher- ry or grape tomatoes - Make a polka-dotted open- faced peanut butter sandwich. Cut bread into a heart shape, spread with peanut butter and dot with dried cranberries. Or, make a smiley face with the dried cran- berries. Cole slaw made with red cabbage or other red fbods such as red peppers, red onions and apples - Red grapes as a side dish to your sandwich for noontime nib- bling - Add a few of those tiny red hot cinnamon heart candies to a popcorn snack. - Raspberry smoothie -- Put 3/4 to t cup vanilla-flavored yogurt in a blender. Add a few tablespoons of frozen raspberries at a time; blend until desired consistency. After mixing -- if desired -- blend in 1 or moreteaspoons ofsugar or no calorie sweetener to taste. Ho rtis c op e Snippets NDSU Agriculture Communication . We are developing a lot off Douglas Bay on Lake SaEakawea in McLean County. I was listening to you on one of the radio talk shows where you said to send you an email if a person had any questions about planting in cer- tain areas of North Dakota. We would like to plant a row of shrubs on each side of our lot. Can you give me any suggestions on what would work well in this area of the state'? We had thought maybe some type of lilac with two or three ever- greens near the road or edge of our property. Any suggestions you can give us would be appreciated. (email reference) A oThere is a publication at http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/pub s/plantsci/trees/f1055w.htm that goes through design and plant se- lection combinations for you to consider. It should answer any questions you might have. If not, feel free to get back to me. Vne* My family lives on a hilltop. I was raised ill the Red River y and my parents and grand- parents always had beautiful rasp- berries. The bushes originated fi'om a small patch of bushes started by grandmother in the early 1950s. They were transferred to each new home the family moved to. After nay parents sold their last home, l brought some bushes to our home. I planted them in a small garden and mixed some compost into the soil. So far, the belTies have been small and hard, even though the plants get watered frequently. Is there more I can do to get full, juicy berries or is this area too dry? (Mandan, N.D.) o The hilltop may not be the right environment for this variety of raspberry. In New York, my raspberry farm was on a hilltop and along a south-facing slope. Ba- sically, the hilltop plantings pro- duced the plumpest berries for me. You might try a new cultivar of a couple of plants to see if they pro- duce a better berry. It also could be that the plants have a virus that is affecting berry quality. If that is the case, any new plants need to be planted a distance away from the established planting. .I was wondering if you could recommend a juniper we could plant as a border on our property. We have cedars now but the deer are eating all the foliage. Are junipers more deer- resistant? (Appleton, Wis.) .Deer will eat anything if they are starving, so you need to do a combination of ac- tions. Try to select evergreens, such as junipers, blue spruce, Canada hemlock, pines or Douglas fir, that are resistant. Treat what you pur- chase with Plantskydd Deer and Rodent Repellent. Of all the prod- ucts on the market, this one ap- pears to be the most effective at detouring the deer from your prop- erty. It needs to be applied early in the season before deer roaming be- ghas. Reapply it during the winter months according to the directions on the label. To contact Ron Smith for answers to your questions, write to Ron Smith, NDSU Department of Plant Sciences, Dept. 7670, Box 6050, Fargo, ND 58108 or e-mail ronald.smith @ndsu.edu. I Editor's Note I The Around the County columnn was not available this week. It will return as soon as possible. I1 ' i 1