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Park River , North Dakota
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July 11, 2012     Walsh County Press
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PAGE 4 PRESS PERSPECTIVES JULY 1 1, 2012 FROA4 THE EDITOR'S DESK. BY ALLISON OLIA4B EDITOR, WALSH COUNTY PRESS Last week we celebrated our Independence Day also known as America's 236th birthday. The entire basis of that was that 13 colonies, which barely scratch the surface of what America has be- come decided that they didn't want some king a half a world away dictating their every move because they were born with certain un- alienable rights including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. But what is it that makes Americans happy? If you base it on the 4th of July and the activities that ensue, Amer- ica means eating, drinking, and blowing things up. Is that how we are perceived? We like our lives instant, charged, altered, tanned, high-speed, HD, bigger, better, faster, stronger. We expect a lot and give a little. It is easy to get cynical about what it all means, but this year, I got the chance to see the holiday through new (much younger) eyes. My husband's sister, who lives in Coon Rapids, Minn., just on the edge of the Twin Cities, brought her two kids to experience how we do Independence Day. We made sure they got to our house bright and early so we could make it into Park River early and snag a good spot for the parade. I handed them one of my big, blue reusable shopping bags and watched as they fought for fistfuls of candy. It was like watching a war zone. Jack threw himself at a bag of chips as if his life depended on it. They walked away with that blue bag filled to the top with Tootsie Rolls, five bags of chips, a t-shirt and, for some reason, three boxes of cheesy potatoes. They were so excited they didn't want to leave until they were ab- solutely sure that the parade was over. We then headed into the park where they stared wide-eyed at the petting zoo and inflatable game and asked if it was really all tbr free. Up a ladder, down a slide, through a bouncy house and around again, this was the best day ever. I can't count how long I sat in the petting zoo while Samantha moved fi'om bunny, to goat to kitten, and back again. She would have sat there all day if we would have let her. When the inflatable games were close to closing time and the heat was making everyone a bit cranky we went to Homme Dam and spent a few hours at the beach. The water was perfect. The beach was beau- tiful. We picnicked in between and enjoyed each other's company while grilling and sharing everything we had potluck style. We gave in long before the firework show, but it was a day well spent. Parents, in-laws, nieces, nephews, aunts, cousins, brothers, sisters, friends, all laughing and relaxing while taking in the holiday. This, the freedom to spend the day like this in Park River among fi'iends and family, that is what makes my America. That is where my pur- suit leads. Happy Birthday, America, and thank you! Like "' the Ilidsh County Press on Facebook and check out our blog at http ":Twalshcoun0:- press, wordpress, corn Hello, You know that savin,, "The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence". I've got some bulls that think that, but then again, maybe it isn't the grass they are attracted to! I'm here to tell you today that the grass is often times drier on the other side of the :fence. If there is any grass at all. A few days ago, Dad and I went on a little road trip. News of the severe drought in Wyoming and Montana is tbrcing a lot of ranchers to sell cows. We decided we would drive down to Torring- ton, Wyoming for a cow sale. Now, I've been through some pretty dry deals. 2002 was a dry son of a gun in southern North Dakota. 2008 pretty much wiped out the hay and crops in this part of the country. There were a lot of other dry years, but they were the most recent. Last year I went down to Amarillo, Texas and saw areas that hadn't had rain for months. With temperatures over one hun- dred degrees scorching the earth. Well, I'll tell you this, you drive across Wyoming and it's as bad as you can imagine. Oh, it looks tough at Amidon and south. Right around Bowman it looks pretty good. They've caught a few showers. I thought Harding County was dry. It usu- ally is. But on the way home, Harding County looked pretty darn good after seeing the bare earth and dry water holes from Sundance to Torrington. The smoke from the Colorado fires hung over Torrington like fog the morning after a nice rain. But it dang sure wasn't fog. Your eyes burned and your throat hurt. My body yearned tbr a drink. But then again, it often does. I drink a lot of water. But there was a bright spot. On the way home we went by Devil's Tower north of Sundance. Then we spent the night in Hulett, Wyoming. It has to be one of the prettiest, friendliest places on the planet. The Belle Fourche river runs through Hulett and it's just a green, pretty place. We didn't spend a lot of time there, just overnight. But we had a steak supper and a nice drink. In bed by 8:30 and on the road by 4 next morning. And if you are tired of the oil field traffic, I would suggest stay at Hulett, get up at four, go north to Alzada and continue north to the Camp Crook road. Get off on the gravel and angle across to Camp Crook. Go north and jump the river and head north to Rhame. We drove a hundred miles be- fore we met a vehicle! No lie. A hundred miles. And then I dang near hit the vehicle because I was looking a herd of antelope off to the side. That would have been al- most funny! Later, Dean .x_ rt G,ood . Happenings at Our .M'n.q ..sa, manran Good Samaritan pAax Rwu Monica Simon ADC We celebrated the 4th of July by watching the Parade as it came by the center we are very grateful to be on the parade route so our residents can enjoy it. Bingo was also played in the afternoon. We thank the Bethel Baptist Church for hosting our Auxiliary Program and Lunch on June 28. July Activities Include: July 12 3:00 July Birthday Party hosted by Grace Free Lutheran July 13 7:30 Mennonite Singers July 16 1:00 Bus Ride Walsh County Bus July 26 3:00 Auxiliary Program and Lunch hosted bu Trinity Lutheran Edinburg July 29 12:00-4:00 Garden Party By Ron Smith Horticulturist We would like to thank our volunteers for the week, Devotional leaders were: Lois Ydstie, Dorothy Novak, Monica Simon and Jan Novak. Accompanists were Monica Simon and Jan Novak. Terry Hagen Assisted with Nail's time. Father Lutein led Sunday Worship Services and Shirley Sobolik led Rosary and Communion. We thank everyone for sharing their time ant talents with us this week. Other acivities included: Bingo, Baking, Movie, exercises, nail's time, piano music, Current Events, :Bible Study, Storytime, and more. C< CI T T P Ers oF LAUNt / -PozsoN Puhllclteal Walsh County Health District p ..... t. p .... te. Short Shots Poison centers in the United States are reporting a recent increase in calls about exposures of children to laundry detergents packaged in very small, single dose packets. These new laundry packets dissolve in the washing machine. Because they are colorful and squishy, they seem to be attractive to small children. They may also not be locked up, since they are a relatively new product and people may not be aware how attractive they are to small children. Some young children and toddlers who swallowed these packets have become very ill and have required hospitalization. Other children have gotten the product in their eyes, resulting in significant eye irritation. North Dakota has seen four reported cases to the ND Poison Control Helpline Call Center, all of which had minor outcomes. Remember to lock up all products to protect the young children in your life! Do you have the Poison Control Center number posted on or by your phone? Poison Control Center 1-800-222-1222 sourcefor ! Walsh County Press 284,6333 Looking for the.causes of polanzatton If you celebrated the founding of America on July 4th, I am com- pelled to ask you for an explana- tion. We have become a country of such malcontents and ingrates that I wonder if there is anything good to celebrate. In fhct, we have tanled our great democracy into a divided, uncivil society. According to Noah Webster, civil means "adhering to the norms of polite social intercourse; not de- ficient in common courtesy." Our lack of common courtesy undergirds the political polariza- tion gripping public affairs, making it impossible to have a calm dia- logue about the issues of the day. Our 3-branch system of govern- ment requires deliberation and compromise. Today, we have nei- ther. Most people seem to believe that Congress is at thult. That is not true. This is a democracy and in a democracy the attitudes of the electorate are reflected by the pol- icymakers. A polarized uncivil Congress must mean a polarized uncivil populace. Washington Columnist Dan Balz, reviewing a report from the Pew Research Center, Observed that "polarization in Washington is not just politicians behaving badly. It reflects on what is happening around the country. Partisanship has grown dramatically and shows no sign of abating in the near fu- ture." The Pew report compared Re- publicans and Democrats on 48 is- sues and found that the gap be- tween the parties had more than doubled over the past 25 years. Republicans have become more conservative and Democrats have become more liberal. In a September poll, the Gallup organization asked: "If the leaders of our nation followed the views of the public more closely, do you think the nation would be better ott; or worse offthan it is today?" Three-fourths of the respondents thought the country would be bet- ter off'. We are, in the current policy- making rness because the polar- ized public is being beard and this polarization is being reflected by our leaders. Stated in classic Pogo wisdom: "We have met the enemy and they is us." It is one thing for Pew to quan- tify the gap between Republicans and Democrats but another to iden- tify the root causes. Pew's figures just document the degree of polar- ization. The separation of powers at the national level, the high cost of cam- paigns, the selling of candidates to raise campaign funds, the mean- spirited smear campaigns, and the irresponsible electronic media sys- tem all contribute to the polariza- tion and lack of civility. While all of these have esca- lated partisanship, there must be a root cause in the psyche of Amer- icans to explain the need to move to the radical left and radical right. I submit that this is happening be- cause we are in the grips of uni- versal anxiety and fear. Just look at the litany of cir- cumstances that can cause fern: The destruction of the Trade Towers left us feeling vulnerable to enemy attack as never before; the collapse and stagnation of the economy have pensioners and investors on edge. The bursting of the housing bubble caused millions to lose their savings; the unsustainability of Medicare has millions of seniors in fear of losing medical care; unem- ployment is rampant and most jobs are gone tbrever, and with the de- cline of unions, workers have little job security. The erosion of moral values frightens many Christians; the na- tional debt darkens our future. Ac- cording to Gallup, 60 per cent of Americans have concluded that the next generation will not have it as good as the present generation. Combine these concerns and we shouldn't be surprised that fear is driving nmch of the incivility and polarization in the public and its elected representatives. We are des- perately fighting back as best we can. Franklin Roosevelt was proba- bly right. "All we have to fear is fear itself." Extension Exchange Safe summer picnics Happy belated Fourth of July! Hopefully everyone stayed hy- drated and experienced a safe hol- iday celebration. We have been blessed with so many different freedoms as a result of many indi- viduals' selfless sacrifices. Thank you to all our area veterans for your acts of service. No matter how you celebrated, I hope you indulged in your fair share of Independence Day t:are, in- cluding hot dogs, potato salad and watermelon minus the "bugs" you can't see, such as harmful bacteria, which are a big problem in hot weather. Bacteria love the warm, humid clays of summer and multiply faster than at any other time of the year. gel packs. Perishable foods in- clude meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, dairy products, pasta, rice, cooked vegetables and fresh, peeled and cut fruits and vegetables. Pack the cooler just betbre leav- ing home. Foods chilling in your re- fiigerator should be placed direct- ly in your cooler. Avoid frequently opening cool- ers containing perishable foods. Store your beverages in another container than those carrying your meats and poultry. Keep the cooler in an air-con- ditioned vehicle during travel and in the shade at the picnic site. Don't put the cooler in your vehi- c!e's trunk when transporting per- ishable foods. Keep hot foods hot! The number of people who get sick fiom something they ate increases Foods should not be left out of during the sizzling smvuner months, the cooler or offthe grill more than Wann weather makes it nice to two hours (one hour when the out- be able to grab some of summer's side temperature is above 90 de- favorite foods and hit the lake or grees.) parktbrapicnic. Use the tbllowing Raw meat and poultry may tips to beat bacteria at your summer contain bacteria that cause food- picnic, borne illness. These fbods nmst be cooked and held at temperatures el- Keep it clean! ther too hot or too cold for bacteria Find out if your picnic desti- to survive and grow. Bacteria mul- tiply readily between 40 F and nation has a source of safe drinking 140 F. water. If not, bring water or moist Remember to pack a food towel ettes for cleaning hands and thennometer to check the doneness surfaces, of meat. Burgers should reach an ha- . Always wash your hands with temal temperature of 160 F and wann soapy water fur 20 seconds chicken breasts, 165 F. Clean your before and after handling tbod. thermometer with warm, soapy Unwashed hands are a major cause water after every use. of foodborne illness. Use moist When reheating food at a pic- towelettes if hand-washing l acilities nic, make sure it reaches 165 F. are not available. Another possibility to consider Be sure raw meat and poultry when planning your picnic menu is are wrapped securely to prevent to pack nonperishable picnic alter- their juices from cross-contami- natives, such as baked potato chips nating other foods in the cooler, instead of potato salad. Don't cut up Pack enough clean utensils for your fresh fruit before you leave the both eating and serving food. Use house. Remember to wash all fruit disposable plates and utensils, at home before packing it into the Keep tbods covered to prevent cooler. Cookies and brownies are insects from enjoying your lunch! also a much safer alternative to cream or fi'uit-filled pies. Keep cold foods cold! For more information on sum- Keep perishable foods cool by mer food safety, visit the NDSU Ex- transporting them in an insulated tension Service website: cooler with plenty of ice or frozen www.ag.ndsu.edu/food NDSU Agr.iculture Communication c. Our peony years of 20 never came up this year. rtilize with 10-10-10 about every four months and water when needed. We live in south- eastern Michigan. What could have happened to our plant, and how do we protect our other plants'? Thank you for any infor- mation you can give us. (email reference) A It is hard to say what hap- , pened to your peony. My best guess is that little or no snow cover, along with rising and then falling temperatures in late Feb- ruary or March, killed the plant. Well-established peonies usually will outlive the property owner several times over. wQood l have a somewhat scien- tific question about cotton- trees. What triggers the tree to release its seeds? It seems as though the trees release a ton of seeds at once, rather than a slow, continuous stream. This leads me to believe that the release is trig- gered. I haven't been able to pin down a time of day, temperature or amount of daylight that seems to be a trigger. Any ideas'? (email- reference) No A long time ago, as a grad- . uate student, I could have given you a better answer than I am going to be able to do today. I've forgotten too much stuff through the years to be able to hit the nail on the head in an- swering your question. It all boils down to timing. About two months after cottonwood trees bloom, the fluffy seeds release into the wind for dispersal across the landscape. The progressive release of seeds into the air can last as long as eight weeks on each tree. Flowering time and re- lease of seeds can vary among female trees. This means that if multiple trees exist in a grove, they may not bloom and cast seeds at the same time. In the northern part of its natural range, cottonwood trees drop seeds from June through mid-July. Farther south, it is from May to mid-July. The timing is dependent on the accumulation of sufficient hor- monal levels to get the seeds to the perfect stage of ripeness so they are capable of germination upon landing at their final desti- nation. It's all about the survival of the species. Of course, there would be no cotton if there wei'e no male trees around to disperse the pollen. Again, timing is im- portant and can vary from year to year, depending on the shifting weather of our seasons. If the pollen is teased into ripening but then gets zapped by a sudden cold snap, no fertilization would occur and there would be little to no cotton. This is as good of an answer as I can come up with at this point. If someone reads this and can make an additional con- tribution to the answer, I'd wel- come it and pass it on to you. To contact Ron Smith tbr 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. Editor's Note The Around the County columnn was riot available as soon as possible. this week. It will return