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April 29, 2010     Golden Valley News
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April 29, 2010
 

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April 29, 2010 Page 3 \\; Sprayers, power lines and fires Hello, Garrison Keillor once described North Dakota as a "mid- sized city with very long streets". I guess I would have to agree. We tend to think of pretty much everyone as our neighbor. When Travis Hafner gets a hit for Cleveland we smile. He's a neigh- bor kid. When the national news tells of identical twins taking identical twins to the prom at Jamestown, it catches our atten- tion. They are neighbors. Jimmy Kteinsasser catches a pass, or blocks a defensive end, we feel good inside. He's just a neighbor kid from Carrington. And besides that, it makes columns easier to write, because everyone is my neighbor, Hat Tips By Dean Meyer When "Joe" pointed out that he was sitting on a hundred gallons of diesel fuel in the middle of a Roc Doc By Dr . E . fire, the profes- sional did acqui- esce to "Joes" decision. equipment gets so big you need sprayer. The burning tires quickly started the field on fire. Now Our farmer was in what cowboys call "a jackpot". He was sitting high in the air in his sprayer that was conducting electricity to the ground. Recalling his 4-H days, he knew it was too dangerous to jump. That electricity would grab him right out of the air. Like when you rub your feet on the carpet and shock your wife. But he had another problem. The fuel tank on his sprayer is beneath the cab! He was looking like leg of lamb on a big spit over a roaring fire! For some miraculous reason,, the power surging through thai sprayer had not blew up the corn, puters and the sprayer wias stil! Tolhe edb:x Health reform benefits rural North Dakota To the editor: No doubt all of us will be affected by the new health care reform law. It will have a profound impact throughout the country, including rural North Dakota. While not perfect, the legisla- tion was significantly improved through the efforts of the North Dakota Congressional delegation. The expectation is that the health care reforms signed into law will dramatically improve the avail- ability and affordability of health care for North Dakotans, especial- ly those living in rural communi- ties. Some of the key provisions that can improve rural health in North Dakota include the following: The law includes a 10 percent Medicare reimbursement bonus for all primary care physicians over the next five years, and a 10 percent increase for general sur- geons in shortage areas. New grant and scholarship programs will be created, and existing ones strengthened to train many more rural health workers in fields such as medicine, nursing, long-term care, dental care, geri- atric services, and social work. It is important to give students more opportunities to have rural-bad learning opportunities. Rural hospitals will now be able to purchase outpatient pre- scription drugs at significantly lower prices through a discounted drug program. Prescription drug prices would cost rural patients about 50 percent less than average wholesale prices. The "frontier amendment" which was sponsored by the N.D. congressional delegation will increase reimbursement for the six urban hospitals in the state. The urban hospitals have network agreements with the rural hospitals and by stabilizing the financial sit- uation of these hospitals more services can be provided and shared with the rurals (specialty services, quality improvement efforts, technology, and other net- work options). Quality of care improvement is a national issue. N.D. has a statewide Quality Improvement Network involving all rural hospi- tals and their urban partners. By placing more emphasis on quality, the health reform law will create a framework for a national quality strategy, supported by research and data. The law extends the Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility pro- gram. This program, administered by the Center for Rural Health in N.D., has provided over $3 mil- lion in grants to N.D. rural hospi- tals. In addition, the new law elim- inates the denial of insurance cov- erage to children with pre-existing conditions and will extend this protection, to all citizens over the coming years. The law will pre- vent people who currently have insurance, from losing their cover- age due to a pre-existing condi- tion. It eliminates the cap on year- ly and lifetime benefits, and it closes the "donut hole" on pre- scriptions faced by Medicare recipients. In addition, Medicaid is expanded so more people will be covered. This is only an overview of the health reform law. As I stated ear- lier, the new law isn't perfect. Challenges remain. But so, too, does opportunity. Brad Gibbens, interim co-direc- tor Center for Rural Health UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences It's a place that lives between fire and ice The good citizens of Iceland have two mega-probtems this spring. One is th%r economic and banking situation, which is still in something close to meltdown mode. I cannot fathom finances and economics, so I'm in no posi- tion to really follow that part of the current and dreary Icelandic saga. But the other is geological, and that's a piece of the story a rock- head like me can better understand. Since the days the Norse settled Iceland more than a thousand years On the whole, folks in Iceland have coped well with their harsh environment. Naturally, from a word you can look for in the news. Yet another problem is one that makes more than Icelanders suffer. Volcanic ash is launched high into the atmosphere when volcanoes go through major eruptive cycles. In recent weeks Iceland's ash output into the skies has been enough to affect both the good people of Iceland and their neighbors as far away as Poland. In particular, air- plane routes have been diverted away from Iceland and many I have a neighbor that lives up the road and over the hill. Probably through the dell also. Sometimes I think of him like that "Joe" in the Lil'Abner cartoons. A rain cloud is over his head. The other day, "Joe", who shall remain anonymous to protect his integrity, was spraying crops. He has one of those BIG sprayers that look like a machine from Star Wars. You've seen them going down the road. They are immense vehicles. Big wheels with a cab that sits high in the air. Just in cage you decide to plant magic beans or something. Now, if you grew up farming with an A John Deere, or an International M, you probably nver had the experience of get- ting in a bind with a sprayer that can spray from 60 to 100 feet at a time. I remember our hired man tearing out a half mile of fence with a 40-foot drag one time. And there were a number of times we held up traffic on the old Four Bears Bridge because our equip- ment or loads of hay became stuck in the middle. But when your binoculars to see the end, it is time to downgrade a bit. Anyway, "Joe" was spraying this field. Making that last round. Going around that power pole to make sure that last little green weed would be obliterated from his pristine whea{ }'ieidl ' As he went around that power pole, he saw he was in a bind. The wings of that sprayer were just too long. And he had gotten to the point of no return. He couldn't back out of the fix he had gotten into. No problem. Just raise one wing up a little. From geometry class, he recalled that by raising the wing up, he would lessen the length that the wing extended. He pushed a button. Just a smidgen. That wing shot up like an ejec- tion seat out of a jet! A smidgen on one end is a whole bunch on the other end! Right up into the power lines t Sparks flew and the tires on the sprayer exploded and began burning! The electrical current for southwest North Dakota was passing through that running. "Joe" gritted his teeth, ago, they have had to live with the made the sign of the cross, and,+ fact that the Atlantic Ocean basin is popped the clutch. That sprayer ": slowly but steadily growing. And wanted out of that fire as bad as "Joe". Since he was still entangled in the power lines, he tore them down. ..... A neighbor,came-to help conr tro1 the fire, The repairman from the rural electric showed up a bit later. He was pretty frustrated that "Joe" had torn down his power lines. During his lecture he was careful to point out that "when in a vehi-i) cle that becomes entrapped in a, power line, you are to wait until; 7 professionals arrive tO disentangle( you". : When "Joe" pointed out that he was sitting on a hundred gallonsi of diesel fuel in the middle of a' fire, the professional did acqui- I esce to "Joes" decision. The sad part of the story is,. when "'Joe's" wife was berating him for his poor judgment, he asked, "Aren't .you glad I'm alive?" She didn't answer. Later, Dean ,X, rea May t ealth clinic schedule Billings/Golden Valley County health clinics for May 2010 will be held as follows: scheduling.) Beach health maintenance, May 6, 11, 17, 25 at the Public Health Office, 9-12, 1-3 p.m. (Please call for appointment sched- uling.) Offered screenings at these clin- ice may include blood pressure, pulse, immunizations, fasting blood sugar, hemoglobin, urinalysis, etc. Tetanus and shingles vaccines will also be offered, For a complete list of services provided+ please call (701) 872-4533. A small fee will be asked for these services. Please call for an appointment. Sentinel Butte, May 4, at Olson's Service, 8 a.m. to I 1 a.m. - Fairfield, May 5, at the fire hall, 9-12, 1-3 p.m. - Beach, WIC, May 12, at the Public Health Office, 9-12, 1-4 p.m. (Please call for appointment sched- uling.) - Beach Senior Citizens Center, May 18, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. BISMARCK MARBLE & GRANITE 2-1/3 mi. E. of Bismarck on Hwy. 10 P.O. Box 2421, Bismarck, ND 58502-2421 CALL 701-223-4440 HIGHEST .QUALITY MONUMENTS Tablet: 36"x6"x20" Base: 48 x12 x6 *995 - Beach, May 19, at the Golden Valley Manor, 9-12. Bounty Hunter - Billings County Courthouse, Medora, May 7, 14, 21,28, 9-12, 1- 3 p.m. (Please call for appointment CAT Skidsteer for Sale New 2008 236B2 with Cab, 72" Bucket. Lifts 1950 Ibs. Great Machine at a Great Price. $30,500. Call Bill at 406-671-9245. that matters because the growth is taking place due to volcanoes - including the ones creating their island nation. + In short, lceland is a high point .o what geologists call the Mid-Atlantic ridge that is lead- ing to the basin's growth over time. both east and west via spreading at the ridge. Most of the ridge is underwater, but in Iceland it rises above the sea so people can live on it (if they are hardy enough, at least). The whole Mid-Atlantic ridge is a series of volcanoes. Out of those outlets, molten rock pours on a reg- ular basis. The molten material makes a solid, volcanic rock when it cools, both under the ocean way es and on the isle of Iceland. Btff; obviously, living with + lava jui, down the block has some real challenges and drawbacks, even for the tough descendents of the Norse. On the whole, folks in Iceland ha'e coped well with their harsh environment. Naturally, from time immemorial, they have tried to keep their settlements away from obviously recent lava flows and the most active volcanic vents. And in modern times they have captured heat from hot water under the ground that they can to use as geot- hermal energy systems. That's a good example, in my book, of making lemonade from lemons. Currently, as you have seen in time immemorial, they have tried to kee p their settle- ments away from obviously recent lava flows and the most active vol- canic vents. the news, they have another chal- lenge besides lava to deal with. Because glaciers are not few and far between in Iceland, from time to time volcanic eruptions occur beside and even under them. And now has been such a time. That creates a special problem. Lava, naturally enough, rapidly melts glacial ice. Liquefying a lot of ice quickly means that torrents of water flow downhill, so flooding results. Hundreds of Icelandic citi- zens in rural areas have been evac- uated in front of flash flood threats over the past few weeks. Back in geologic time, it's clear that mas- sive outburst floods have occurred because of this effect. Another threat from the volca- noes is that the floodwaters mix with soil and +'ash" from the vol- canic eruption. The ash is tiny bits of volcanic material. The problem is that this mixture flows downhill like a dense debris flow, taking out everything in its path. Geologists use the term "'lahar" for the flows - 281 E MAIN - BIACH ND 701-872-4362 i i I I Pull Bingo Black Tabs Gloria Ueckert Jack $50 L,,. F, ,, s, Hours: Mon-Fri. 3pro-lain Sat. lpm-lam Happy Hour: Mon.-Thurs. 5:30-6:30pm Notice to Our Valued Subscribers If your subscription expires, or if you are a new customer, it may require about two weeks before your subscription starts or restarts, depending on the day your payment arrived. This is because all .mailing labels have to be printed two weeks in advance to help ensuretimely delivery. If you change your mailing address, please notify the News and Pioneer office with your new address, also in advance of your move. The Postal Service does not forward periodicals such as news- papers and discards them. flights across the northern Atlantic and northern Europe have been cancelled due to volcanic ash in the air. And the saga isn't over. The eruptions have been coming from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in southern Iceland. It is adjacent to the Katla volcano, a much bigger volcanic conduit - and one that could supply more lava all over again. In short, the story could get fiercely worse before it gets better. As I write these words, the situa- tion is quieting down (thankfully) - but as yoiJ read them, the saga may have been launched into a new chapter. Geologists can make edu- cated guesses about what will hap- pen tomorrow, but not firm predic- tions about what will happen next month. Between the collapse of the banks and assaults of Mother Nature, we can only wish Iceland's residents the best. Dr. E. Kirsten Peters, a native 'the rural Northwest, was trained as a geologist at Princeton and Harvard. Golden Valley News p.o. Box 156, Beach, ND 58621 (U.S.P.S. Pub, No. 221-280) Staff: Richard Volesky, editor, reporter, advertising and office manager; Jane Cook, office and news assis- tant. The Golden Valley News is published each Thursday, 22 Central Ave., Suite 1, Beach, ND 58621 by Nordmark Publishing, ' Rolla, ND. Periodicals postage paid at Beach, ND and additional mail- ing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: Golden Valley News, P.O. Box 156, Beach, ND 58621. Please allow two to three weeks for new subscriptions, renewal of expired subscrip- tions and for address changes. , Contact Information Phone: 701-872-3755 Fax: 701-872-3756 Email: gvnews@midstate.net Subscriptions 1 year: $31 Golden Valley and Wibaux counties 1 year: $34 elsewhere in North Dakota 1 year: $37 out-of-state 9 months: $19 In-state college rate The Golden Valley News is a proud member of the North Dakota Newspaper Association.