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Golden Valley News
Beach, North Dakota
April 23, 2009     Golden Valley News
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April 23, 2009
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April 23, 2009 Page 3 I'd estimate about 200 county and township officials from all across North Dakota last week at- tended to state their case for the Legislature to add money to North Dakota's transportation budget for state help in paying for the costs of making road and bridge repairs when the flood waters recede. The comments at the meeting revealed that the damage to our State's rural roads is wide-spread - only Golden Valley County bor- dering Montana was not experi- encing flooding. The local officials spoke about how they already need financial help and will need much. much, more when repairs are made to correct damage, which can't even be assessed at this time as so much of the rural road system is still under water. The decision of county and township officials was to adopt a united effort to request restoration of the $120 million which, by the House Appropriations Committee, has been removed from the 2009- 2011 governor's budget with the stated purpose that it be reserved for the 2011-2013 state highway budget. I did get a chance to visit with the county officials in Dunn, Stark, and Morton counties and assured them that all of the repre- sentatives on my side of the aisle are solidly behind restoring the $120 million currently removed from the governor's budget. Representatives of the counties and townships met with senators and representatives from their dis- tricts all day, and we are hopeful that the minority amendments to SB 2012 will be adopted and the transportation budget money will be made available for local gov- ernments to pay for these extraor- dinary costs. To me, the upcoming local ex- penditures which will be required to repair flood damage to county By Rep. Shirley Meyer To me, the up- coming local ex- penditures which will be required to repair flood dam- age to county and township roads and bridges will be one of the biggest finan- cial calamities to hit North Dakotans in Other Views By Lloyd Omdahl decades. Secu \ rity committee yaks about stimulus "We just gotta get our share of that stimulus money floating around the country,'~ Orville Jordan bel- lowed as he entered the community hall where members of the town's ,Homeland Security Committee were and township roads and bridges assembled to serve as the leading will be one of the biggest financial Midwest bulwark against terrorism calamities to hit North Dakotans and other horribles. in decades. = -- 's The 13 electors were seated along There . already been nature-re- the south wall. two under each win- lated expenses over the past few dow, so they could all bask in the years and many townships are al- warm April sun during the meeting. ready hurting big time. They As the odd-man out, Holger Danske don't need more expenses for re- dozed by himself in the stuffed chair N ' pairs of Motherature s rampag- he had rescued from the Tollyville ing. landfill by hauling it on top of his Hopefully, we can convince a Henry J. (Some guy from Omaha majority of the legislators in each said he would buy the car for $5000 chamber to vote to restore the if it still had back doors.) money originally contained in the "We went through all of this in governor's budget and the state February," Madeleine Morgan re- will have the resources to start ad- minded the assembly. equately aiding counties and "Yeah,'" exclaimed Orville,"but townships in 2009. we didn't have a shovel-ready proj- Conference committees are in ect then. Good thing! We now know full swing. We had over 160 con- that the big money is going to banks. ferenee committees left on the To get our share, we need a bank." 68th day - looks to me like we are "A bank?" blurted Committee going to be putting in some long. Chairperson Ork Dorken. "Who's long days if we have any hope of getting done. Thanks for all of the calls, let- ters, and e-mails. I can be reached at or by phone,at 888- 635-3447. Capitol Notebook By Dave Drovdal How to contact your North Dakota Congressional delegation Sen. Kent Conrad United States Senate 530 Hart Senate Office Building Washington, D.C. 20510-3403 202-224-2043 https:llconrad.senate.govlcontact/webform.cfm Sen. Byron L. Dorgan United States Senate 322 Hart Senate Office Building Washington, D.C. 20510-3405 202-224-2551 Rep. Earl Pomeroy United States House of Representatives 1501 Lon worth House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515-3401 202-225-2611 eroy/zipauth.htm The lake is starting to show signs of spring. There is some open water around the edges in places. The ice is even taking on a darker color after the recent warm weather and light shower. People are starting to get optimistic that we finally have winter in the rear view mirror. We aren't the only ones thinking spring. It seems most every morn- ing I hear a turkey gobbling not very far away. The robins are singing, pileated woodpeckers are sounding off, and pairs of Canada geese are honking on the ice or overhead. Some of this of course is hormonal, but one thing is certain: Spring is chipping away at the win- ter ice. I have been seeing a few robins in the park behind our house, and I am hoping one will nest in our yard. They are always fun to hear and got money to invest in a bank?" "We don't need money," replied Little Jimmy, a home-schooling graduate student who had the only computer in town. "To get stimulus money, we need debt - big debt - so they can bail us out." "You mean we could start a bank- rupt bank and get money for being in the hole?" queried Einar Stamstead. "The bigger the hole, the better," Little Jimmy responded. "It would be the best thing next to serving on the Blue Cross Board of Directors." Just then the north wind whipped the door out of Einar Torvald's hands as he entered the hall. "What are you guys yakking about?" he shouted as he subdued the noisy door. "Yakking!" thundered Holger as he suddenly came to life. "That's it! Yaks! I heard at the Bingo Bar & Convenience Mart in Newton that the Wahpeton zoo got yaks from Ne- braska. We need yaks." day of the 80 days that we are al- lowed to meet in session. At last count there were 184 conference committees that have to meet and With oil prices bordering on the work out differences in bills before target price, it has changed the atti- we complete our work. Many of tude of the last days of this session. these conference committees will House Bill 1235 that has an oil in- have to meet only once but there will centive was scheduled to be voted on be several that will drag on for days. the floor and then sent to the gover- The flooding across most of nor f or his signature. The bill was North Dakota is certainly having an similar to an oil drilling incentive effect on this session, that we passed last session. The Last week, county commissioners Legislature has assumed the trigger from all corners of thestate were at was going to apply, which resulted in the capitol sharing their stories of de- this incentive having a zero fiscal stmction caused by the flood waters, impact to the state. If the trigger Even before that legislators had dis- doesn't apply, the fiscal note to the cussed the fact that we need to figure state is around a $78 million loss and out how the state can best help local with all the recent requests resulting subdivisions with their finances. To from disasters, the incentive will be just send money out on old formulas hard to pass. The House has decided wouldn't necessarily get the most to place the bill in a conference corn- dollars to the areas that need it. mittee to try and find an alternative County and township roads have that will pass. HB1304, which will suffered more than state highways, return more oil impact dollars to the and if we invest the dollars in the counties, has been placed in a con- highway fund and distribute it ac- ference committee. The bill has just cording to the old formula most of a few small details that will be the dollars end up used on state high- worked out alad then sent back to ways. The Legislature is looking at both chambers for passage. As it ways to fund directly to the counties now reads there will be $28 million and townships. m m m "I didn't know there were yaks in Nebraska," Madeleine ventured with a tone of skepticism. "Yeah! The Wahpeton zoo will be a great tourist attraction," Holger af- firmed. "We could do that. Yaks live on grass. Half of the town is grass. We could feed a whole gaggle of them and outdo Wahpeton for tourists." "But yaks are mountain animals and we're sort of boggy around here," Little Jimmy countered. "Well, what's ~ high about Ne- braska? Or Wahpeton? We cbuld run them up to cemetery ridge once a week for a dose of light air," Chief Security Officer Garvey Erfald sug- gested. "It'll create real jobs. We'll need herders, tour guides, admission collectqrs - a whole lot of people." Suddenly, Ork put the issue to a vote. To his chagrin, seven wanted the bank and seven wanted yaks. "Okay, go home and think about it," Ork decided. "We'll vote again in May when gardening is done. As for now, you can sit here and yak all day. I'm going to plant my peas." That seemed to end the meeting. At least, everybody left. Income tax relief allows broader sharing of surplus We have now reached the 67th additional dollars divided among the watch during the summer, and hav- ing a nest nearby makes summer a little more official. Robins are per- manent residents over much of the United States. As we all know, robins have adapted well to our yards, parks, golf courses, and sub- urban and rural settings. They cer- tainly must be at the top, or close to. the most widely recognized bird. Robins probably introduced more kids to nature study than any other animal. Not only are they common, but they typically will nest on a wide variety of places be- tween "five and fifteen feet above the ground. Nests can be found in crotches of trees, on branches, and on a variety of structures that pro- vide a small platform and some pro- tection. Kids playing outside have a knack for finding those robin nests. Many of you can probably re- cities, schools, townships find coun- ties in the oil fields. Legislators from oil counties hope to include $2 mil- lion additional dollars for the impact grant fund. I have been fortunate to be assigned on both of these confer- ence committees and will be able to monitor the progress first hand. The third conference comlfiittee that I hope I will be assigned to is the governor's $295 million property tax relief bill. SB2199 was amended in the house to include an additional $100 million in income tax relief. Many members on the House Fi- nance and Tax Committee and the majority on the floor felt that there are a number of North Dakota tax- payers who don't pay property tax, but do pay other taxes and they should be allowed to share in the so called surplus revenue the state col- 'lected. This bill has yet to be as- signed into a conference committee but all these and other bills need to be acted upon within two weeks. If you have concerns you can still contact me at The session will most likely last into the first days of May, and we are all looking forward to returning back to our real lives. m By Chuck Lura Robins probably introduced more kids to nature study than any other animal. Not only are they common, but they typically will nest on a wide variety of places between five and fifteen feet above the ground. member the first time you peered nest. Over the next few weeks, of into a robin's nest as a kid and saw course, the eggs, hatchlings, and those beautiful blue eggs. It proba- fledglings had to be closely studied. bly led to your first "nature study." If you are a nature lover, dedicated Observations were made on thebirder, or have chosen biology as size, shape, and materials of the your career choice,robins are prob- ably a factor. So "'When the Red Red Robin Comes Bob Bob Bobbin Along," it is time to take a break from your work to relax and enjoy one of our more common and observable birds. For you children of the 1950s, you might even start singing that old Bobby Day tune "Rockin' Robin." As for you children of the 1960s who were mesmerized by color television egery night, you probably were absorbed by the dy- namic duo, Batman (a.k.a. Adam west) and Robin: "To the Batcave, Robin!" Batman should have told Robin to get "out" of the Batcave and watch the bird for which he is named and why his shirt is red! "Get Out and Enjoy!" (Lura is a biology professor at MSU-Bottineau and lives at Lake Metigoshe. lura@ ) Action of President is detrimental to many towns, cities To the editor: If President Obama wants to stimulate the economy, why is he actively pursuing a course that would be detrimental to many towns and cities across the nation? The president wants to repeal Section 199 of the tax code. The cost of this repeal would exceed $13 billion. That's billions of dollars that will not be applied to the devel- opment and production of U.S. do- mestic fossil fuels. The end result would be greater dependence on for- eign oil. Whose economy is h~ try- ing to stimulate? The city of Mandan would suffer greatly if Obama succeeds in his quest to punish oil refineries. He wants to punish an industry that di- rectly created 7,719 full-time jobs and indirectly supported 38 500 full- time equivalent jobs and $2 billion in retail sales. There is no reason to single the oil and gas industry out for this tax hike. They are keeping us supplied with domestically produced energy and providing much needed jobs across the state. The Section 199 deduction should be left in place for all U.S. companies. Sen. Dwight Cook Rep. RaeAnn Kelsch Rep. Todd Porter The Golden Valley News and Billings County Pionner wel- comes letters to the editor. The letters must include the author's signature, address and phone number for verification of au- thorship. Mail them to: Golden Valley News/ Billings County Pioneer PO Box 156 Beach, ND 58621 We reserve the right to shorten letters, edit out factual errors and reject those deemed libelous, in poor taste or of a personal nature. We will not run letters from the same author two weeks in a row. All opinions expressed are those of the author and do not represent the opinions of The GVN or BCP Golden Valley News P.O. Box 156, Beach, ND 58621 (U.S.P.S. Pub. No. 221-280) Staff: Richard Volesky, ed- itor/reporter/advertising man- ager and Jane Cook. The Golden Valley News is published each Thursday, 22 Central Ave., Suite 1, Beach, ND 58621 by Nordmark Pub- lishing, Rolla, ND. Periodicals postage paid at Beach, ND and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send ad- dress changes to: Golden Valley News, P.O. Box 156, Beach, ND 58621. Please allow two to three weeks for new subscriptions, re- newal of expired subscriptions and for address changes. Contact Information Phone: 701-872-3755 Fax: 701-872-3756 Email: 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 News- paper Association.