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Golden Valley News
Beach, North Dakota
February 12, 2009     Golden Valley News
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February 12, 2009
 
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February 12, 2009 Page 3 OPINION ,ommittee clears several tax relief proposals ,_, _ !t was A 5-7 "N" " Finance and Tax pt Commi.ee passed 2 scrl several tax relief Capitol Notebook By Dave Drovdal Legislature as we march down the calendar to the halfway point in this the 61 st session. completed their hearings on all bills that have money appropriat- ed and have acted upon them. The bills that were accepted have been sent to the appropriation committee for them to start bal- ancing the budget. All the bills Cook's Corner By Jane Cook that were introduced into the House will be voted upon in the next two weeks and then we start all over with the Senate bills that weren't defeated. From experience, one knows the important thing now is to have a bill survive to surface on the other side of the isle. As long as the concept is alive it can be amended to accomplish what a person intended when the bill gets into a conference commit- tee. The House Finance and Tax Committee passed several tax relief bills that included $60 mil- lion in personal income tax reduction. $20 million in corpo- ration tax reduction and a tax exemption for clothing worth $34 million. The biggest sur- prise was the clothing exemption and the idea was that it would provide a level playing field for stores along the border compet- ing with Montana and Minnesota as well as give tax relief to North Dakotans. The relief package is larger than the $100 million the governor asked for, but testimo- ny indicated the clothing exemp- 2tion would increase sales in bther taxable areas, thus reduc- ing the' fiscal effect of the bill. The committee also learned there is an attempt in Minnesota to start charging tax on clothing. If that happens and the Legislature does pass this tax package it would be quite a coup after all the problems Minnesota causes on our energy industry. The House debated a bill that would have given property tax relief to any group that would build" a refinery in North bills that included $60 million in per- sonal income tax reduction, $20 mil- lion in corporation tax reduction and a tax exemption for clothing worth $34 million. Dakota. In committee testimony we were told that counties and cities can and are doing this so the bill came out with a "do not" pass. TV cameras filmed the debate and it was stated that the only thing the bill did was to give the exemption and that it was already available and being used. I got home and viewed the news later, which reported the vote was all political and was against building a refinery. The story reported the bill came from a two-year study by a state ener- gy committee when in fact the bill came from a subcommittee of one political party and no member of the majority party was invited to be involved. It doesn't serve the people of North Dakota when instead of report- ing the news it creates the news. So much for fair and bal- anced reporting by some of the media. I appreciated hearing from many of you this week on your concerns. Remember the num- ber to leave messages is 1-888- 635-3447. My e-mail address is ddrovdal@nd.gov and I would like to hear from you on issues that you have a concern about. Other Views By Lloyd Omdahl \\; Beef producers should plan early By Kris Ringwall, Beef tral Montana vividly makes that point, er average temperature than Bismarck Specialist NDSU Extension Service While morning coffee discussions are starting to focus on spring plant- ing, the strain of the cold and snow remains. The challenges this winter have been many. Cows have had to be moved, the feeding season is-long and the cost of feed is high. This past year's experiences tend to drive producers out of the business. At the Dickinson Research Extension Center. cull cows. excess bulls and calves were sold early. We started feeding hay to cows, bulls and heife in October. The feed inventory is adequate, but also created a $100.000-plus invoice, which was paid. Developing cropping and live- stock systems and then integrating the two systems is not easy. This is espe- cially more difficult when moisture is limited. From east to west across the north- ern Plains, not all locations are treated equally. A drive along Interstate 94 from eastern North Dakota into cen- Even taking two sites near each other, such as Bismarck as the east and Dickinson as the west (approxi- mately 100 miles apart), there is a noticeable difference. Lee Manske, DREC range scientist, reviewed the average weather data for the two sites during a 30-year period ( 1971-2000). The two sites appear very similar in precipitation. For Bismarck, the 30- year average was 13.89 inches for the growing season and 16.84 inches annually. For Dickinson, the 30-year average was 14.22 inches for the growing season and 16.61 inches annually. However. upon closer eval- uation, there is a difference. The early growing season (April. May and June) precipitation was 6.27 inches for Bismarck and 7.44 inches for Dickinson. The midseason (July and August) precipitation was 4.73 inches for Bismarck and 3.85 inches for Dickinson. The late-season (September and October) precipita- tion numbers were very similar for both sites, 2.89 inches in Bismarck and 2.93 inches in Dickinson. In summary, Dickinson has a cool- and receives almost 19 percent more rain during the early growing season. but receives almost 19 percent less rain during the middle of the growing season. Does such difference in long-term weather change an environment? Well. look out your window. What does that mean in dry years? There is something about going west. The west is slightly cooler and has good spring rains, but there is a good chance that moisture will be lacking by midseason. A midseason with a shortage of moisture is a tough time to plant alternative forage, but it is even worse in dr 3 , years. As beef producers, plan early. Like most years, if those early season rahs don't add up, especially two years in a row. late-season alternatives are scarce, at least in southwestern North Dakota. Know your environment and then plan and plant accordingly. Your cows depend on it. May you find all your ear tags. (RingwaH is a bee]" specialist with the NDSU Ertension Service.) Madison knew about state legislatures "The legislative department is everywhere extending the sphere of its activity and drawing all power into its impetuous vortex." This was the observation of James Madison, the most articulate of the Founding Fathers, when he was explaining in Federalist Paper No. 38 that the branches of govern- ment needed protection "against the invasion of the others." As in other states, the North Dakota Legislature manifests this inclination for "draw- ing all power" in a number of ways, most prominently in higher educa- tion. The Board of Higher Education was created as a fourth branch of government when the reckless poli- tics of Governor William Langer in the 1930s threatened the integrity of the institutions. In reaction, North Dakotans adopted a constitutional amendment to protect the colleges from encroachment by creating this independent board and vesting it with programmatic autonomy. Even though the Legislature's authority is now limited to funding, bills wandering into the Board's administrative turf continue to appear in every legislative session. As for the current session, we have bills to authorize concealed weapons on campuses and to pre- scribe NDSU-UND football games, neither of which is within the scope of legislative authority. In 1996, the Legislature pro- posed a constitutional amendment to put the speaker of the House and the president pro tem of the Senate on the committee charged with nominating members for gubernato- rial appointment to the Board. A low profile issue, the amendment slipped past the voters and the Legislature now has its nose firmly in the tent. Then in the 1999 session, the Legislature launched inquiries into the strategy and goals of colleges, a legitimate inquiry for appropriations committees. However, over the past eight years this undertaking has mushroomed into a full-blown forum that engages in a wide variety of sub- jects that invade Board territory. If this movement goes unchal- lenged, the Legislature will contin- ue to expand these activities far beyond its constitutional authority. Their attitude reflects what former House Majority Leader Earl Strinden once said - in jest - that the Legislature considered the state constitution advisory. Maybe it was- n't so much a joke as a wish. Every session seems to prove that constitutional protection is still necessary because the Legislature continues to be a political institution with political objectives that are sometimes adversarial to the true mission of higher education. Academic freedom, primary research and intellectual integrity could all be subverted for short-term goals and knee-ierk impulses. Higher education is not a political venture. The Legislature also demon- strates its affinity for "drawing power into its impetuous vortex" in other areas. As an obvious example, cities and counties with home rule charters are never sure from one session to the next which of their powers will be curtailed or abol- ished. Occasionally, legislators meddle in the executive branch by putting themselves on state boards and committees. Madison's advice may be 220 years old but it still rings true at every gathering of the "legislative department." Remembering warmer weather on a trip to Hawaii Hello, I suppose you've noticed, but we keep getting these stormy week- ends. Kind of nice in the middle of the week, then about Wednesday, they start predicting high winds, rain, snow, and ice for the weekend. Since I'm not much of a fisherman, I find it kind of funny that ice fish- erman can't get out on the ice because of too much snow! Then yesterday, watching the Pro Bowl, it was cruel. I mean, they kept show- ing those people on the beach, swimming and surfing, and sunning themselves, while winter storm warnings kept rolling across the top of:the screen. But it did remind me of a trip we took (my banker is going to hate this) to Hawaii. It was back during the oil boom in the early eighties. We didn't have any oil. We didn't have any oil field jobs. But what the heck, everyone else was doing good, so I used some of my operat- ing (feed, seed, family living .... that kind of nonsense) money for a trip to the Islands. I can still recall the conversation with the loan officer. "This is Dean Meyer. I need $4000 put in 123456." "Yes, and what will 'it be used for?" "I bought a bull." "A bull." "Yes." "Wonderful! We'll take care of it. Thank you!" Man, life was simple then. Then came spring and my banker came for a visit. He's a cattleman you know. So he was pretty inter- ested in seeing this high priced bull I had purchased a couple months earlier. He knew I never paid over forty-two cents for a bull in my life. So, I did what no one has proba- bly ever done to his or her banker. I lied. "The bull died." "The bull died?" "Yep, the bull died", I said, while concentrating on kicking a cat that was walking by. Wasn't a very good cat. But quick. I missed. Hat Tips By Dean Meyer I think Ihad him, I was thinking I wasso cool. And then Shirley ruined it, When we went in for coffee, she was wearing a grass skirt! This banker was quite astute. "Nice tan", he says to me. "Why thank you," I replied. "Wind burn". "Nice sunglasses too," the very observant banker mentions. "Snow blind," I replied. "Burns just like welding. Best if I keep the glasses on." I think ! had him. I was thinking I was so cool. And then Shirley ruined it. When we went in for cof- fee, she was wearing a grass skirt! Did I mention the loo-ow, or however they say it'? You know, where they cook a pig. And they drink these mat-tats or something like that. Anyway, I was enjoying eating this roasted hog. It was good, but not like the guys at Killdeer can cook. But that's another story. I was eating this pig meat, and sipping on these rum drinks with an umbrella in them and watching the hula dancers and stuff and I guess I got carried away. Everyone loaded the bus. And there were a lot of buses. The driv- ers were all standing in the parking lot, having their last smoke before departing. Our bus was full, so I stepped on, greeted everyone with a big "Aloha", and slipped into the driver's seat of that idling bus. Everyone hollered back, "Aloha". Which I figured was Hawaiian for "get the show on the road". I was easily recognized. The big guy with the shorts, white legg, and cowboy hat. Off we went. Down a winding, mountain road. Our bus driver screamed and ran after us for a while, but he was slower than that cat. He jumped on the next bus and we led a caravan of buses down off this mountain. He didn't need to be nervous. I grew up driving in the breaks of the Little Missouri on snow and ice and slippery gumbo. My passengers started a sing along, and really, I think I could have hired on as a tour guide. Did I mention how nice those Hawaiian jails are? Aloha, Dean Have you ever wondered why it is that some people insist on talk- ing (well, maybe yelling is more correct) at people or characters on TV? I ' v e noticed this before, but m o r e recently with the Super Bowl game. My brother-in- law was the best for telling the players how good or bad they were doing , although there were a couple of us that helped I guess it just goes to show how the realis- tic the program is if we react to an episode in that way. him out once in awhile. (My sister and I were more into checking out the commercials and rating them.) But it's not just ball games. I've a dear friend who used to yell at the characters on a TV show, and try to warn the "good guys" about the crook hiding behind the door ready to clobber them. Such as, "Don't go in there, he's going to clobber you. No, wait, stop!" - Good guy gets clobbered - "I TOLD you not to go in there!" Actually I had more fun watching her than the program itself. But I know quite a few who have done that, and I always won- dered why we get to talking to our TV, or movie hroes as though they can hear us. I guess it just goes to show how the realistic the program is if we react to an episode in that way. Lately, when watching a partic- ular show with my friends of fami- ly, and they comment on what a stupid move one of the characters made, I have to grin and say, "Well, I know why they did that." Then that particular person will look at me, and I'll say, "Because it was written in the script." As to why some ball players make stupid moves, that's anyone's guess. Golden Valley News P.O. Box 156, Beach, ND 58621 (U.S.P.S. Pub. No. 221-280) Staff: Richard Volesky, editor/reporter/advertising manager: Jane Cook and Sheri Leistikow, office assis- tants. 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 Emaih 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.