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Walsh County Press
Park River , North Dakota
March 6, 2013     Walsh County Press
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March 6, 2013

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1 PAGE 4 PRESS PERSPECTIVES RCH 6, 2013 FROM THE EDITOR'S DESK... BY ALLISON OLIJ 4B EDITOR, WALSH COUNTY PRESS Last Saturday I spent a couple of hours listening to the legislative con- cems of 2013 atthe District 10 Leg- islative Forum in Mountain, N.D. It is just about impossible to ex- plain the events of the morning. Some controversial topics with po- larized arguments came up and just like in any government event, there was a bit of raised voices, heated dis- cussion, and interruptions that ven- tured into the range of "you can't please everyone all of the time." Some of the things I discovered was that: People don't want high property taxes, yet they still want the services that those taxes pay for. It is one thing to make up a po- tential law, but hard to pass it if it cannot be enforced. I encourage everyone to take a There can be a million scientific look at the bills that the house and studies that people can use to argue senate are passing along and if one way or another to enforce their there is something you don't agree ideas. Passionate people can come off with, contact your representatives as abrasive, but there is nothing and senators. If there is something wrong with calling someone who you do agree with, let them know represents you out on their voting just the same. Some of the folks we record to keep them honest, have down in Bismarck have earned Though it would have been nice the respect of their peers and their to make it down the road to see what the other half of the county was dis- voice will carry a little weight when cussing, Dist. 19 Rep. Wayne Trot- it comes to making change. tier and Dist. 19 Sen. Tom Camp- So, speak up. If they are doing bell have sent in reports which are their job, they will, too. on page 5 to keep people in the area aware of what is going on in the dis- Like"" the Walsh County Press on Face- trict representing the eastern half of book and check out our blog at http://walsh- the county, Hello, This time of the year you start thinking about calving. And a few people are starting. Those that are ambitious and want to wean big calves. Others wait until April or May. But, we like many others, for- get how those March and April storms can fill the canyons with snow. And there are a lot of people like us. You turn your bulls out when you no longer can keep them in, or you are out of hay. The last ten years, more people the morning. She is good at it. And reminded me of a time years ago you always calve your heifers early, when we were young enough to To get them out of the way before kind of enjoy the challenge. the cows start, give them a chance I don't know what year it was, are switching to fall calving. You to breed back easier, and give their but we had some heifers to calve calves a little head start on growing, out and I talked Gene into sending calve those cows out in August or Now, I'm getting a little long in his down too. No sense the whole so. The chances of a blizzard are the tooth. And last year I bought a neighborhood slopping around the slight. Very few ears are frozen off. few heifers that were to calf in corral in the middle of the night. No short tails or frozen feet. You March. They started in January. But Shirley could handle that for all of don't have to have sharp shoes on it was a mild winter and things us. One night Shirley couldn't your horse. Just saddle up and trot worked out alright, check heifers. She was at some around the pasture and enjoy the Shirley made me promise thatkind of meeting. And a storm set in. best nature has to offer, we were done calving heifers. Her I mean a rip-roaring blizzard like But now I am going to let you in knees hurt when she walks around they used to make. on a secret. We invented fall calv- a frozen pen in the dark. And I can't I fought my way down to the ing. Only we didn't call it that. We get back to sleep when she wakes barn at about midnight. The heifers called them late. And then you sold me up with her whining. So, under were in a pen right in front of the her cause she was always late. Af- the threat of death or worse, I door, under a yard light. One of ter they were gone a few years, we agreed. But that was last spring. Gene's heifers was just starting. I realized those cows weren't late. I was at a sale a while ago and opened the door and proceeded to We were early, evidently, word was out that calv- put her in. And it wasn't easy. She But, back to spring calving. We, ing heifers can be a tough task. kept ducking back and running using the word 'we' loosely, al- Heifers got cheap. I tried to stop, over me. The snow was up to my ways buy a few heifers. Cause I but my hand shot in the air corn- knees and gaining fast. I was play- like to watch Shirley wrap up and pletely on its own. Shirley now has ing out. Running out of things to check heifers at midnight or two in 120 heifers to calf. Then Shirley throw and things to say. Finallyshe gave up and walked into the barn, I figured I would let her sit awhile and settle down. I checked her in an hour. Nothing. I checked her in two hours. Nothing. Finally at three a.m., I decided I'd better reach in her and see if that little guy was breeched. Now, it is dark inside a cow. But even in a dark place like that, if there is a calf in there, even a dumb guy like me will find it. There was- n't one. I sat down on the edge of the pen and had a cigarette and tried to think this thing through. I know that cow was bred. And I know she was about ready to calf. And the calf wasn't in the cow. And it wasn't in the barn. Then it dawned on me why that heifer was reluctant to leave that snowy pen and go in the barn! I'd like to tell you that the story had a happy ending. I would like to tell you I went out in the sub-zero temperatures and found another heifer had dried that calf off and al- lowed it to nurse. It was up and bucking and feeling good. I'd like .to, but that would be a lie. And I hate a guy that lies! But now, I have to run! I be- lieve our first calf is coming today. One month before they were sup- posed to start! Later, Dean Four of the hottest social issues in state legislatures around the country in this lawmaking season are abortion, same-sex marriage, marijuana and guns. The North Dakota Legislature is having its share of these controversies in the current session. All of them are issues that tionally have been dominated:by state governments. However, caught in the limitations of a fed- eral system, legislatures have been losing more and more of their ulti- mate authority over social issues. In our federal system, powers not delegated to the national gov- ernment are reserved to the states. Even though the jurisdiction of the federal government has grown with the nationalization of society and the economy, legislatures are still playing the lead role in social issues today. In the exercise of the reserved powers, each state comes up with its unique solutions. The cultural climate in each state dictates legis- lation and this cultural climate is shaped by a wide variety of unique variables. Ultimately, every state marches to its own cultural drum NDSU Agriculture Communication State Legislatures Don't Get Last Word (We haven't even considered the options in Canada, Mexico and other countries.) It appears that state govern- ments can no longer be expected to govern social values. That means that greater responsibility for deal- ingwith moral challenges is in the &iridividBaJs and chinches. when it comes to tackling social red, at system is the same. ,Col- ' With 80 pel-cent Of us claiming issues: orado has passed legislation to cur- i ' to be Christians, it seems that most Take the abortion issue. The leg-tail the sale and transfer of guns. 6fthe behavior we are passing laws islature in Mississippi will come But the Colorado residents who de- to regulate must be behavior of pro- up with more stringent proposals mand guns live right next to fessing Christians. This suggests fhat issues involving Christian val- than will Vermont. If North Dakota Wyoming where arsenals of guns passes tough anti-abortion legisla- are available to almost any buyer, ues haven't been clearly defined or tion, Minnesota, responding to its And if Coloradans can't get the vigorously advocated by churches. own cultural climate, will come up guns they want in Wyoming, they If this 80 percent of our popu- with its own version, can just drift over to Dick and Jim lation would appropriate Christian So, even if North Dakota came Cabela's in Sydney, Nebraska values regarding abortion, same- up with astrategy to stop abortion, where there are enough guns to sex marriage, guns and marijuana, it would not be the last word be- equip the whole Mexican army. we would be a long way up the cause Minnesota and other states Then there's the issue of legal- road toward a more moral society. would still be open for business, izing marijuana. Restrictive laws Then we could concern ourselves Same-sex marriage falls into the passed in Utah won't prevent Utah with the other 20 percent. same realm, although residence re- folks from going to California to There is no question that our so- quirements slow the process. But get as high as they want, Utah leg- ciety has been drifting away from we have Seen same-sex marriages islation notwithstanding. Christian values. Maybe we would performed for out-of-staters in sev- In the final analysis, folks who have had more impact if we had eral states in which same-sex mar- demand what their home states spent more time and money teach- riage is legal, won't permit can always find a ing the 80 percent the meaning of Dealing with the gun issue in a state that will provide it for them. being a Christian. Smoke and mirrors and tobacco lobbyists A Kentucky professor came to Bismarck near the end of the first half of the 63rd legaslative session to sell "tobacco harm reduction" to the House of Representatives Human Services House committee. But Dr. Brad Rodu, a Department of Medicine researcher at a cancer center at the University of Louisville, was treated more like a snake-oil salesman. Well, not exactly, but committee members didn't seem to want to pur- chase a legislative management study called for in HCR 3033 that would look at "reducing the risk of death and disease among smokers.., by con- sidering ... strategies that encourage smokers to switch from cigarettes to less risky tobacco products ..." In other words, smokers who would rather fight than quit would be bet- ter offby switching to smokeless products such as snuff, and even e-cig- arettes. Actually, there is evidence to show that cigarette smokers would be less at risk if they quit puffing and inhaling and started chewing and spitting. But is it a realistic approach to the health concerns associated with tobacco use? Some Human Services committee members and several others who testified against the resolution would have nothing of it and challenged several aspects of the proposal - even the professor's motives. "You have to wonder why someone from Kentucky is out here trying to get this passed," said Jack McDonald, testifying on behalf of the North Dakota Society of Respiratory Therapists. McDonald, a long- time lobbyist and attorney at Wheeler Wolf in Bismarck, said moving for- ward on such a study could result in "trading one addiction for another." His reference to Rodu being a long way from home was met by lev- ity when Committee Member Alan Fehr, R-36, asked why McDonald found it unusual that someone would want to visit North Dakota. Fehr, a clinical psychologist from Dickinson, had earlier queried Rodu in a manner that seemed skeptical of the substance or advisability of to- bacco harm reduction. "Isn't this just replacement rather than abstinence," Fehr asked of Rodu, who had used the word "failed" to characterize anti-smoking campaigns. "That (failed) was kind of a cheap shot." Rodu, in a more than a 20-minute slide presentation, had repeatedly referenced smokeless alternatives are "vastly safer." "Smokeless is an acceptable tobacco substitute," Rodu said. "It is an effective substitute for tobacco. It doesn't cause the major diseases that tobacco does. I am not saying it is perfectly safe but the risks are so small." He went on to suggest that tobacco smokers who switch to a smoke- less altemative can save almost as much money on health care as those that quit cigarette smoking. Gall Mooney, D-20, Cummings, also strongly challenged Rodu. "I've never seen the concept of replacing a bad substance with another bad substance and something good coming from it," she said. Using smokeless products as an altemative, Mooney suggested, could influence behavior rather than discontinuing addiction. She also wondered if such a legislative study could expose the state to legal action. Jeanne Prom, Executive Director of the North Dakota Center for To- bacco Prevention and Control Policy, said: "Prevention is the ultimate in harm reduction. The (tobacco-smoking) battle can't be won without a pre- vention focus. This (smokeless alternatives) isn't needed as we have a strong prevention program." A representative from the American Lung Association testified that harm reduction programs might be OK for individuals, but not for pub- lic policy. It was suggested by some who also testified that policy deter- mination would best be handled by the federal government, partly to avoid possible conflicts. Rodu said at the beginning of his presentation that tobacco companies contribute funds to his research but that he didn't have a conflict of in- terest because he didn't accept money directly from them. In his presen- tation he said the "status quo" of the 45-year-old anti-smoking campaign is unacceptable and that there are 45 million smokers in the United States and 443,000 related deaths every year (880 in North Dakota). He said the anti-smoking campaign had only one message: "Quit nicotine and tobacco, or die." He also said that tactics for quitting were "ineffective" behavioral therapy and use of nicotine, and that smokeless tobacco use is 98 percent safer than smoking - with no risk for emphy- sema, lung cancer and heart disease. Questions were also asked about eTcigarettes, which include tobacco but no smoke, only vapor. "Ifa 'vaper' (smoker) wanted to 'vape' in his hotel room all day there would be no way to tell that," Rodu said in ref- erence to a question about possible smokeless secondary health concerns. The resolution was introduced by representatives Blair Thoreson, R- Fargo; Josh Boschee, D-Fargo; Nancy Johnson, R-Dickinson; Jim Kasper, R-Fargo; Andrew Maragos, R-Minot; Jon Nelson, R-Rugby; and Mar- vin Nelson, D-Rolla; and senators Dick Dever, R-Bismarck; Lonnie Laffen, R-Grand Forks; Oley Larsen, R-Minot; and David O'Connell, D- Lansford. The resolution points out that while cigarette smoking rates declined substantially over the past four decades, the rate of decline has been slowed. Also, about 18 percent of North Dakota's adult population smoke cigarettes. Such a legislative management study could cost $30,000 or more. If it is undertaken the findings and recommendations (or possible legisla- tion) would be reported to the 64th Legislative Assembly. John Irby decided to retire early in late 2011 as editor of the Bismarck Tribune. He is now a free- lance writer, private investigator and management consultant. He can be reached at johnrober- Extension Exchange Low Temperatures the house. Sinks, bathtubs, and Should Prompt Some other plumbing fixtures that do not Safety Checks drain normally are a sign of this Sewer gas can become a seri- problem If the problem is show- ous threat when the mercury ing up in the dead of winter, ice plunges to below zero and stays may be plugging the sewer vent. there for days at a time. Clogged In very cold weather, natural- vents can lead to sewer gas back- ly occurring moisture in the sew- up which can make you or your er gas condenses at the end of the family ill. sewer vent and ice forms. That ice Sewer vent blockages may can build up to such an extent that cause people in the home to be- it restricts or actually plugs the end come sick with symptoms such as of the sewer vent. Permanently headache, nausea, dizziness or solving the problem is usually best drowsiness. Not only does sewer left to warmer times of the year, gas smell bad, it's poisonous and but you can do something to keep explosive, the gas out of your home until Excessive snow on the roof can then. block the vent stack. If the vent The sewer vent is located on the stack is closed off, proper drain- roof, most often above the room ing is hampered and water will or facility it serves. Solving this siphon from the water traps in the problem requires extreme care drain line between each fixture and because it may require you to the main stack. Your first indica- work with ladders in snowy and tion of trouble may be the toilet icy conditions. Removing ice ac- gurgling or not flushing properly cumulations from the sewer vent as water is pulled from the traps stack may solve the problem on a to replace existing water/air flow. short term basis, but it will not pre- The most common indication vent it from occurring again. of sewer gas problem is its of- There are several permanent fensive odor. Dried up basement remedies for ice-plugged sewer floor drains and the drains of in- vents and some work better than frequently used sinks or showers others. Insulating the vent pipe are the usual points of entry into where it passes through the attic your home. Don't forget to check is one remedy for easily frozen floor drains which may be covered sewer vents. Wrapping a batting of with rugs or carpet, fiberglass insulation around the Usually, solving this problem vent pipe in the attic will usually requires filling the drains with wa- do the job. For this solution, access ter regularly. Simply pouring a to the attic space is required. quart or two of water in the drains Another possible remedy is a every week will seal out sewer selection from various styles of gas. sewer vents that resist plugging. Another possible cause of the Look for these improved vents at problem is poor venting of sewer hardware stores and home build- gas from the waste plumbing of ing centers. How Goo 2013 Net? The 2013 projected prices for For east-central North Dakota, crop insurance are known, so pro- the 2013 revenue guarantee for ducers are huddling with their soybeans is estimated at 92 percent crop insurance agents to determine of projected per acre total cost, what policies, coverage levels which is down from 98 percent in and units of coverage to use for the 2012. The corn revenue guarantee coming crop year. was 89 percent of total cost, which "At first glance, the projected is down from 94 percent in 2012. prices per bushel look good at Spring wheat increased to 80 per- $5.65 for corn, $12.87 for soy- cent compared with 78 percent in beans and $8.44 for spring wheat," 2012. During the eight years of says Andy Swenson, North Dako- 2006 through 2013, soybeans typ- ta State University Extension ically had the best safety net, Service farm management spe- while spring wheat had the worst. cialist. "These prices are the third When focusing on individual highest ever and should provide crops during the eight years, the stout risk protection." 2013 safety net is projected to be Most producers select a revenue the third best for wheat but only policy with a"revenue guarantee," the fifth best for soybeans and which is calculated by multiplying corn. the projected price, the actual The 2008 year had a signifi- production history (APH) yield cantly better safety net than oth- and the selected coverage level, er years. The revenue guarantee However, revenue is only one was 142 percent of projected to- side of the profit equation. The true tal per acre costs for soybeans, 130 measure of this crop insurance percent for spring wheat and 109 safety net is how the revenue percent for corn. "Agriculture is a guarantee compares with costs, risky business, but 2008 was a year "Unfortunately, costs have risen when producers essentially could dramatically," Swenson says. not lose," Swenson says. "Budgeted total costs of produc- The poorest safety net year tion have doubled for corn and was 2006, when the revenue guar- wheat since 2006." antee was projected to cover only Has the revenue guarantee kept 78, 63 and 59 percent of soybean, pace? corn and spring wheat total costs To answer this question, Swen- per acre, respectively. son focused on the east-central re- It is important to note that the gion of the state (Eddy, Foster, crop insurance revenue guarantee Griggs, Stutsman and Wells coun- is not necessarily the minimum ties) for which he annually con- revenue that will be received per structs projected budgets. For acre. 2006 to 2013, he calculated the "In fact, it only is accurate if revenue guarantee using the pro- there is a complete crop failure," jected crop insurance price for the Swenson says. "If there is any pro- year, a 70 percent coverage level duction, the revenue will be a and assumed the APH was simi- combination of crop value and lar to the seven-year Olympic av- crop insurance indemnity (if any). erage yield used in the budgets. Because of differences in the crop Each year, the revenue guarantee revenue insurance harvest price was compared with projected (determined by the futures market) costs, used in the calculation of crop in- The costs included a charge for surance indemnities and the local labor and management. The labor cash price the farmer actually re- and management charge used for ceives when selling the grain, the 2006 was $30 for wheat and soy- actual revenue per acre typically beans and $40 for com. It was in- is somewhat less than the crop in- creased each year by 2.5 percent, surance revenue guarantee." as Editor's Note The Around the County columnn was not available this week. 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