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Golden Valley News
Beach, North Dakota
August 6, 2020     Golden Valley News
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August 6, 2020
 
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August 6, 2020 Golden Valley News v Page OPINION ~ NEW Legislature trying to block amendment measures The N . D . Once again the North Dakota Legislature is trying to obstruct con- stitutional amendments proposed by petition of the people. At the present time, constitutional amendments initiated by citizens go straight to. the ballot for an up or down vote. If approved, the amend- ment goes into effect. Under the Legislature’s proposal, a measure approved by the people would first go to the Legislature where, if rejected by the Legislature, it would go to the next biennial elec- tion for a second vote of the people. While the Legislature has had an adversarial attitude toward the ini— tiative process since it was adopted in 1914, it has become incensed with petition sponsors adding language to the constitution which puts subjects outside the reach of the Legislature. One such addition was the ethics commission which has become Sec- tion 14 of the constitution and fills two full pages of text. It violates the standards of good constitution lan— guage by including a considerable amount of legislative material, but this is what we end up with when the Legislature stonewalls the pub— lic. Another initiated constitutional measure for which petitions have been circulated would make changes in election procedures and legislative apportionment. In spite of the conflict of interest involved, legislators have bogged and abused the reapportionment every 10 years. Totheednor Matters By Lloyd Omdahl Both of these measures will be on the ballot because the Legislature has been unresponsive to public pressure to clean up its act. This also happened when the public was forced to initiate a statutory measure for medical marijuana. The measure was a mess that would never have occurred if the Legislature had been in tune with the people. Of course, the Legislature hates these citizen petitions. Historically, they brought it on themselves. In the last half of the 1800s, state legislatures became corrupt, wheel- ing and dealing with railroads and all other private interests seeking governmental favor. Around the turn of the century, the decent peo- ple in the country decided to chal- lenge the seedy activities of their elected assemblies. In 1914, North Dakota adopted very complicated systems for initi- ating amendments and laws. Finding them unworkable, the systems were amended in 1918 to the simple form they are today. North Dakota’s initiative systems are among the simplest and easiest when compared to most other states that provide for initiating constitu- tional amendments and statutes. Keeping in mind that the initia— tive and referendum were adopted because legislatures were riddled ' with improprieties, we have to ask ourselves a serious question: Is the state Legislature any more trustwor- thy in 2020 than it was in 1918? Right now there are critics that would doubt it, pointing to the grip the oil industry has on regulatory bodies and the Legislature. Not only did the state cut oil taxes by $30 million, it also has given the indus- try breaks in flaring gas, cleaning up spills and scores of other little en- actments. In addition, the state has been shoveling money into research that the oil companies ought to be fund- ing themselves. The instability of the legislative mind pertaining to the Board of Higher Education is evidence that some important matters are not well considered before passage. In 2014, voters killed a legislative proposal for a board of three full-time com- missioners and the 2019 Legislature came back with a proposal to dou- ble the size of the board to 14. In the last session, a measure re- stricting the state auditor from doing performance audits was passed and the seasoned floor leadership denied knowing anything about the propo- sition. The measure was so bad some legislators suggested calling a special session to change it. It looks like the Legislature needs to prove itself before getting control of the citizen constitutional amend- ing process. It’s time for a beef checkoff referendum To the editor: Enacted by Congress in 1985, the beef checkoff was approved by cattle producers voting in the initial referen— dum held in 1988. That was 32 years ago and it is the only time ranchers have had an opportunity to vote on the mandatory checkoff we are required to pay every time we sell cattle. bet that sink in. In the more than 30-year lifespan of the mandatory tax I on our cattle the only chance we’ve had to express our approval or disap- proval of the $1 per head assessment was 18 months after collections began. The question all cattle pro- ducers should be asking themselves is this: Has the checkoff increased re- turns to producers like you who are assessed? There can be no responsi- bility where there is no accountabil- ity. A referendum will provide accountability. The I-BAND board of directors fully supports the petition- drive currently under way that seeks a producer referendum on the beef checkoff. During the 1988 referendum, there were roughly one million potential cattle producer voters. It was reported that just 256,505 voted. Of those, 202,408 voted “yes.” Thus, the checkoff that producers have paid for more than three decades was ap- proved by just 20 percent of all US. cattle producers in 1988. For the next seven years, beef checkoff proceeds were invested by the Beef Industry Council of the National Livestock and Meat Board. Funneling the beef checkoff funds through the non—polit- ical Meat Board and insulating the checkoff from policy was the arrange- ment producers understood when they voted in the initial referendum. The Meat Board’s successes with the checkoff are often attributed to the checkoff being kept as distant from industry policy as humanly possible. But then the circumstances under which the beef checkoff was sold to producers in 1988 changed. In 1996, the National Cattlemen’s Association merged with the National Livestock and Meat Board, creating the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA). The merger that moved the beef checkoff (that we pay) into the arms of a policy organization was fought long and hard by the National Livestock and Meat Board because members rightfully feared the effect of politicizing the checkoff. In the end, the National c’attle’men’s associa- tion prevailed and the Meat Board re— luctantly agreed to the merger by a single vote. The merger received final approval by just 774 voters present at the cattlemen’s association’s 1996 meeting. As checkoff-paying stakeholders we weren’t told in 1988 that the beef checkoff would become part of a tan— gled web of bureaucracy where board seats would be part of a complicated pay-to-play scheme utilizing checkoff money to purchase those board seats. We weren’t told that our checkoff would one day employ staff shared with a policy outfit where the check- off would pay more than 70 percent of the policy organization’s total staff salaries including half of the chief ex- ecutive’s lucrative employment deal. We weren’t told that half of the 20— member operating committee, which controls the checkoff purse strings would be appointed by a branch of NCBA. We weren’t told that our checkoff dollars would not be allowed to promote our US. beef but would instead be used to promote a generic product that includes foreign beef. We weren’t told that the beef checkoff was really government speech, an ar- gument USDA and the Cattlemen’s Beef Board eagerly made when the constitutionality of commodity check- offs was challenged in court. We weren’t told thatthe majority contrac— tor for our checkoff dollars, NCBA, would oppose country of origin label- ing (COOL), going so far as to join Canada and Mexico in a lawsuit against COOL and lobby for repeal of COOL in the US. Congress. Sadly, Areaoil activity report Baker Hughes on July 31 re- ported: - North Dakota rig count is 11. The previous week it was 10. - U.S. count is unchanged from the previous week at 251 with oil rigs down one to 180, gas rigs up one to 69, and miscellaneous rigs un— changed at two. The US. offshore count is un- changed at 12 and down 10 year- over—year. - Canada count is up three rigs from last week to 45 , with oil rigs up one to 11, gas rigs up one to 33, and miscellaneous rigs up one to one. Spill: The North Dakota Oil and Gas Division was notified of a release oc- curring Friday, July 31, at the Dick- inson-Heath-Sand Unit 23 saltwater disposal well, on the northwest edge of Dickinson. Scout Energy Management L.L.C. reported that 380 barrels of brine and 76 barrels of oil were re- leased due to a tank overflow. Prod- uct was contained on-site and at the time of reporting 375 barrels of brine and 75 barrels of oil had been recov- ered. cattle producers weren’t told a lot of things. NCBA argued recently, as it has in the past, that a referendum would be too expensive and would cost an esti- mated $250,000. Based on the num- ber of votes in the initial 1988 referendum, that pencils out to about $1 per vote. This is the same NCBA that spent nearly $500,000 in check- off money" giving away traditional beef cut names to pork. When the cut name give-away deal was completed the Pork Board suggested publicly that retailers could exploit those names by riding the coattails of a rep- utation built by beef and beef alone and charge higher prices for a pork chop newly renamed a ribeye. Producers will hear in the coming days and weeks that the Beef Board conducts producer surveys on a regu- lar basis and the Beef Board will argue that those surveys, which are weighted and stratified, are a suffi- cient replacement for a producer vote. We couldn’t disagree more. There is no replacement for our right to vote. After 32 years, it’s time for a pro- ducer referendum on the beef check- off. We are willing to live with the results as long as producers have a fair opportunity to express themselves. If it’s true, as NCBA regularly argues, that 72 percent of America’s cattle producers favor the beef checkoff, what does NCBA have to lose? All we’re asking for is the right to vote. And that’s something that is as Amer— ican as it gets. If you’d like to sign on to the peti- tion-drive seeking a producer referen- dum on the checkoff visit: https://form.jotform.com/201785981 248062. For more information you may contact: Independent Beef Association of North Dakota (I—BAND) Board of Directors Dwight Keller, I-BAND President Menoken NORTH AMERICAN [518(3“. I( Don’t have ex I'm Joanie Holm. I am a certified nurse practitioner in Brookings, S.D., and I am the person fortunate to have been the life partner of the original Prairie Doc®, Dr. Richard P. Holm. Rick and I were married for 40 years before his passing in March 2020. During those wonderful decades . together, if I could point to one pow- erful action that strengthened our re- lationship with each other, with our family, our community and with our patients, it would be the act of kind- ness. Thankfully, Rick was alive to see the recognition and formalization of kindness as an essential element of medical education. Medical schools across the country have started to offer courses on compassion and caring. One of the first to do so was the University of South Dakota San- ford School of Medicine. Dr. Mary Nettleman, dean of the USD medical school, explained why the school embraced kindness as part of its core curriculum. “People Prairie Doc H} .lonnit‘ linllrri \ l‘ want a physician who is not only competent, but also kind, so we will work to elevate this value through- out the school. By approaching this intentionally, we hope that students will learn how important kindness is in medicine and how they can incor- porate it into their everyday prac- tice. A culture of kindness can make us exceptional,” said Nettleman. I celebrate this awareness and el- evation of kindness in medical edu— cation and I salute educators for enriching their medical students in this way. Since Rick’s death, I have re- ceived many wonderful notes of powerful action of kindness condolence that have been very meaningful to me and my family. With permission from the author of one such letter, I share the following message which further illustrates kindness. Dear Mrs. Holm, I’m one of the people who knew your husband through his TV show, and I learned from him. I have cere- bral palsy and sometimes it’s hard for people to understand me. One day, my mom and I were having din- ner in Sioux Falls and you were seated close to us. When Dr. Holm walked by my table, I put my hand out and he stopped and talked to me. I wanted to tell him that we were praying for him and I will never for- get how he made me feel. I have worked with many doctors and he was one of the best! My dear husband practiced kind- ness in all he did. Regardless of our profession, may we all embrace acts of kindness and stop to hold the out— reached hand of a fellow human being. The coronavirus has created a perfect storm for scammers One scam to arise this summer is scammers posing as contact tracers working for local or state health de- partments. Contact tracing is an important part of efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus. But legitimate con- tact tracers will never ask for money, bank account information, Social Se- curity numbers, credit card numbers, or medical insurance information. If you receive a text message from someone who claims to be a contact tracer, do not click on any links in the message. It’s a scam and clicking the link will download software on your device to access personal and finan- cial information. People are also receiving calls saying they have been in close con— tact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. The caller says you must be tested for the virus and asks for your mailing address to send you a test kit. Then they ask for your credit card number to pay for the kit and your test results. This is also a scam. Free testing is being of- fered in many locations around the state. When in doubt, don’t act before contacting your local public health department or the state health de- partment. If you receive an unsolicited phone call from anyone asking for money or any personal information, just hang up. If you think you have fallen Vic- tim to any type of scam, call the AARP Fraud Watch Network Helpline at 877-908—3360 for guid- ance and support, or visit 'the AARP Fraud Watch Network at www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork. NDDA advises what to do with unsolicited seeds BISMARCK —- The North Dakota Department of Agriculture (NDDA) is asking state residents who have received unsolicited packages containing seeds from China to take the steps outlined below. Anyone receiving unsolicited seeds in the mail should do the fol- lowing: - Retain the seeds and packag- ing, including the mailing label. - Do not plant the seeds. Place the seeds in a resealable plastic bag if they were opened. Fill out a survey regarding the seeds. The survey may be found at www.nd.gov/ndda/unsolicited- seeds, or can be mailed to residents who request a prepaid envelope and may be returned with the seeds. Send the seeds, packaging and mailing label to the NDDA by uti- lizing one of the following actions: mailing them in at your own ex— pense, or requesting a prepaid en— velope from the NDDA to send them in. A prepaid envelope may be requested by calling (701) 328- 4765, emailing doa-phytos@nd.gov or by checking the appropriate box at the end of the online survey. The NDDA will work with the United States Department of Agri- culture to identify and destroy the seeds. Alzheimer’s Caregiver VirtualSuppbrt Group offered MANDAN - The Alzheimer’s As~ sociation is offering a virtual care- giver support group. This group will meet on the last Wednesday of each month from 11:30 a.m-1:30 pm. The support group is free and open to all care- givers of an individual with Alzheimer’s or related dementia. Registration is required. Options for phone or video access are available. To register: go to www.communi- tyresourcefinderorg. Alzheimer’s Association care— giver support groups, conducted by trained facilitators, are a place for caregivers, family and friends of per- sons with dementia to: develop a support system, exchange practical information on caregiving challenges Back to school could cause stress Back to school season can be filled with excitement but also stress. If you or a loved one is struggling during these times, please call FirstLink 24 hours a day, seven days a week. FirstLink can help peo- ple get connected with local re- sources for the back to school season. Their database has resources re- lating to school supplies, school clothing, childcare and much more that may be helpful for the transition into the school year. FirstLink also North American Bison, LLC. in New Rockford. ND is HIRING immediately for FULL-TIME Meat Cutters Production workers. perience? We are ready to train the right candidates! Not from around New Rockford? We will help you relocate! Health Insurance — 401 K Short~ & Long-Term Disability Life Insurance — Paid Holiday & PTO Year-Round Employment Apply in per'son at 7658 Hwy 287, New Rockford, ND or submit resumes to Call Mike Jacobson with any questions at (707) 378-7474. Even if you are only doing business by phone or email right now, help people know you are still there for them. Contact NDNA or your local newspaper to place an ad this size in all North Dakota newspapers for only $700! (that’s just $8.14 per paper! Regions also available) ND Newspaper Association: 701-223-6397 offers listening and support. They can be reached by dialing 211 or (701) 235—7335 and by text at 898-211 (TXT—211) and typing ND4Me. and possible solutions, talk through issues and ways of coping, share feelings, needs and concerns, and learn about community resources. Put Your Money Where Your House Is! local independent strengthen our community and our economy mm— busnesses are your best value a 4wrmwthmtww Please support your Protect freedom of the press. frocspeechcenter _n::r \l’lltH .tlxllR MIDDLE TINNISS’II