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Golden Valley News
Beach, North Dakota
December 29, 2016     Golden Valley News
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December 29, 2016
 
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December 29, 2016 Golden Valley News Page 3 i The effort to deny Donald Trump of the presidency by luring his elec- tors to vote for some other candidate was doomed tO failure. At the outset, most of the electors were chosen by state conventions and state executive committees be- fore the party's presidential candi- date was known. They were pledged to vote for the national nominee, no matter who it turned out to be. While a number of electors ad- mitted they did not support Trump, they had to honor their pledge. After all, electors are stalwarts loyal to the core who would never disgrace themselves by walking away from any party candidate. The effort to dry gulch Trump was sponsored largely by Democrats who were asking Trump electors to vote for Hillary. Talk about dream- in,,v~. The reason Trump won the election was because many of his voters believed Hillary would be worse. If Clinton would have urged her electors to go for Mike Pence, the ef- fort may have picked up some steam because many ideological Republi- cans would feel more comfortable with him than with some unpre- dictable newcomer. Another reason the effort was fu- tile: 29 states and the District of Co- lumbia have laws that require the electors to vote for the candidate for whom they appeared on the ballot. These states had 304 legally-bound p Trump' drive doomed to failure N. D. Matters By Lloyd Omdahl Hat Tips By Dean Meyer delegates - a strong majority of the 538 electors. North Dakota does not require electors to vote for their presidential candidate but their loyalty is more binding than any state law. Because we have already had two elections in this Century in which candidates who won the popular vote lost the electoral vote, we can expect an ongoing debate over changing the Electoral College. It will be a replay of the 1970s after George Wallace captured 55 electors. His success in the Electoral College drove the U. S. Chamber of Commerce to launch a nationwide discussion on changing the system. At the time, conservative writers concluded that the winner-take-all feature of the Electoral College forced presidential candidates to pander to small minorities in order to carry a state. In the debate, U. S. Congressman Ed Gossett alleged that it wasn't fair to have a winner-take -all system be- cause it placed a premium on a few labor votes, a few Italian votes, a few Irish votes, a few African American votes, etc. etc. But campaigning has changed since 1968. It appears that the lever- age of minorities in urban states has become negligible and conservatives can be themselves. Hello, Shirley told me I had to write a The campaign for presidency has Christmas story. I should have writ- already changed. In 2000, the top 10 ten one last week. Before Christmas. states visited by George Bush and A1 She said I should find that poem I Gore included Texas with 84 cam- paign stops, D.C. with 47, Pennsyl- wrote about the cowboy at Christ- mas. I kind of remember it. Like I vania 39, California 3 I, Florida, 30, kind of remember some of the pass- Michigan 29, Ohio 21, Tennessee words to get on sites that 1 really, re- 21, New York 20 and Missouri 18. ally need. But I can't find the poem. Compare this to 2016 when only I can't remember it. My phone rings six states were visited more than 10 times by the major candidates - and 1 get letters wanting the Christ- Pennsylvania 23, Florida 20, North mas poem. Oh, it doesn't ring often. I think once a couple years ago. And Carolina 18, Ohio 16, Virginia 12 l did get a letter about my column. and Iowa 11. Apparently, a new kind of swing But the writer just said, "If she were married to me, I'd either be dead or state strategy dominates today's divorced!" campaigns. This could mean that Gossett's argument is no longer valid But while searching for the and minorities no longer have lever- Christmas poem, I started thinking age. So perhaps the winner-take-all about one of my favorite Christmas system no longer forces conservative programs. In Harding County. candidates tothe left. I've told you about Harding While Electoral College reform County before. It's the county that al- ways has the high wind warning provides interesting fodder for de- when you watch the weather. It is a bate, it is purely academic as long as county that is short on topsoil, and constitutional amendments require long on gumbo and sagebrush. two-thirds of Congress to propose Sheep, cattle, jackrabbits, bald ea- and three-fourths of the states to rat- ify. gles, prairie dogs, and hardy people inhabit it. I've written to you about Even if the proposal could get the community efforts when it comes through the Congress, it would die in to fighting fire, putting on a county a handful of small states where pea- fair, and raising their kids. I'm not pie believe they have an edge in the system. You can bet abolition of the sure if there is anywhere else quite like it. Electoral College would have tough We went down last week to cele- sledding in North Dakota, even in brate Christmas with Carm's family. winter. Oh, it was a few days late, what with the storm and all. But we were lucky. It was the night of Gracy's first piano recital. Yes, piano recital! I knew that would excite you! Well, I admit, I wasn't real ex- cited. I mean how could it compare with poker and pinochle! But you know what, it was magical! It wasn't held in a concert hall. Or even a school gym or an3)thing like that. No, we headed over to a Jack's house across the Little Missouri. The moon was shining brightly off the snow of the past week. Winds had died down so you could see the few yard lights along the way. Gage was watching for rabbits and trying to make sure I didn't hit any. I did hit one, but I think it was a glancing blow, because we couldn't see him on the way home. When we drove around the drifts and into the yard, there was a beauti- ful log home decorated for Christ- mas. And when you went inside, it was magical. The good china was set out, a bowl of punch, and everyone brought a few snacks. Chairs were lined up facing a baby Grand Piano. backed by a flickering fireplace (real wood), and Christmas decorations decked the balls. Really! And the piano students were there. Along with their instructor. The boys and girls were transformed into young men and women. The girls wore black satin-dresses and heels. The boys had suits and ties. The piano teacher had traded her Carhart coveralls for a black gown and gold jewelry. You know how I dress. I felt a little out of place. We sat there with friends and neighbors, listening to Christmas music, played from memory, by a group of kids that was learning more than music. There was a violin num- ber. Short songs. Long songs. One young lady had graduated to lessons in Spearfish, and I think will soon go beyond there. As I sat there that night, it gave me a good feeling. To see kids learn- ing that it can be cool to dress up. That learning can be fun. That you don't need a video game or an i-pod to enjoy yourself. That the distance between neighbors doesn't have to be measured in miles. I've learned that before I guess, but sometimes I need reminded. I'm sure in the morning; the ties were replaced with neck scarves, the suits and dresses with coveralls. I would guess the piano teacher was feeding cows, and the black gown was hung back in the closet. But for one old cowboy, thank you. That year you made my Christ- mas. Later, Dean Science, regulatory process should prevail in DAPL approval USDA seeks grant applications to support businesses Other Views By Ron Ness President N.D. Petroleum Council The information has been shared, but all too often it is drowned out by the drama and emotion that have engulfed this discussion. It is time to bring these facts to the fore- front. structure, otherwise known as "brownspace,'" and so a better al- ternative seemed to be to follow the present route of a natural gas pipeline btfilt in 1982 and a high voltage transmission line - the route that was ultimately chosen. The decision had nothing to do with race. It had nothing to do with money. It had everything to do with minimizing the impact to land. which has been a major goal of the industry for more than a decade. Additionally, because it ran along the same route as existing infra- structure (areas that have already been cleared not once, but twice) it drastically decreased the chances that cultural artifacts would be dis- turbed. Even then, Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) were diligent in sur- veying the route to ensure that cul- tural artifacts were not disturbed. To suggest that discrimination played into the route decision lacks all logic. The pipeline crosses the Missouri once 14 miles upstream. from Williston's water intake and it will also cross several other rivers and streams along the route, includ- ing the Big Sioux River near Sioux Falls, S.D., the Des Moines River in Iowa, and the Mississippi River. These resources are important. which is why ETP also went above and beyond the state and federal re- quirements to ensure that our hind and water resources would be pro- tected in the unlikely case of a The debate over the Dakota Ac- cess Pipeline has become one that is centered almost entirely on emo- tion and politics rather than reason, logic or science, as was proven ~vhen President Obama refused to ,uant operators the final easement required to complete the project. That decision marked a disturbing day for America because it en- dorsed the fact that lawless, intim- idating and terrorist behavior can be rewarded. But this decision doesn't change the facts. These are facts that have gone largely ignored, and there are many, many people who simply want straight-to-the-matter an- swers. We field many of these questions, and some individuals even offer advice or opinions: "Why not make the pipeline extra thick?" "Could the company monitor the pipeline regularly?" "Maybe it should follow in the path of existing infrastructure off the reservation?" Our answer to these questions, which are a simple "It is" or "It does" leaves many of these inquir- ing and eager-to-learn individuals shocked. "Why isn't this informa- t:ion being shared?" they'll ask. The information has been .~hared, but all too often it is drowned out by the drama and emotion that have engulfed this dis- cussion. It is time to bring these facts to the forefront. Among the facts often ignored is the citing of the pipeline. It is a common misconception that the pipeline was originally slated to run north of Bismarck, but was changed because the "people of Bismarck didn't want it." This was not the case. The pipeline was never a serious option for the peo- ple of Bismarck to even consider because there were too many pa- rameters that made it an unviable option, including the fact that it would have been 11 miles longer, crossed 33 additional waterways, affected 48 miles of "greenfield" - or undeveloped lands, and it would have been nearly impossible to build because of the North Dakota Public Service Commission's re- quirement that a utility not be within 500 feet of a dwelling. In addition to this, it is preferred that new infrastructure run along the same corridor as existing infra- UNNI IME? For subscribers, your subscription's expiration date is on your address label. It's time to send in your payment if your expiration is 3 weeks away. mishap. At the Missouri River crossing in Morton County specifi- cally, the pipe will be 92 feet below the riverbed, which is 88 feet more than what the federal government requires. Gravity alone dictates that any leaks will not make it near the river, but despite that, ETP planned for additional safety features, in- cluding extra-thick steel and double walls to help prevent corrosion and mitigate any possible leaks. It will also have shut-off valves on both sides of the river so that if state-of- the-art monitoring technology senses even the slightest change in pressure, the section will be shut down until it can be inspected and repaired. The pipeline will be mon- itored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year by full- time operations maintenance staff including aerial inspections every ten days, which is more than the federal requirement of just 26 times per year. This pipeline truly will be among the most advanced in our nation. Should an incident occur, stringent regulations ensure that the company takes responsibility to re- mediate and reclaim land at its own expense. Most important, this is a legal pipeline that followed all the rules and regulatory process for permit- ting. This is admitted by the Army Corps of Engineers that approved the permit and recommended to As- sistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy that the easement be granted, it is con- firmed by Standing Rock Tribal chairman who is quoted saying, "That pipeline had every right to go through," and it was confirmed by tour federal judges. Many facts have been ignored in the argument for this pipeline. Those who truly want the facts can visit www.ndoilcan.com/dapl for a list of this and other information with sources. We only hope that calmer heads may soon prevail, and we can return to the North Dakota way where we come together to work toward solutions and progress for our state. USDA Rural Development is a part of giving those ideas some of technical assistance; establish re- seeking applications for grants to the financial traction to succeed." volving loan funds; and to support support rural businesses and help The RBDG program, authorized rural distance learning programs create jobs through the Rural Busi- through the 2014 Farm Bill, is de- that provide educational or job train- ness Development Grant (RBDG) signedto assist the startup orexpan- ing. program, sion of small and emerging private Since 2010, USDA Rural Devel- "The RBDG is one of the more businesses and/or non-profits in opment in North Dakota has fi- innovative, flexible ways we can rural colnmunities. Eligible appli- nanced over $5.5 million to 77 help rural and small businesses, and cants include public bodies, govern- recipients through the RBDG pro- non-profits, increase economic op- ment entities, Indian tribes and gram. Applications are accepted portunities and provide jobs for non-profit organizations, year round, but to received funding rural North Dakotans," said Ryan Grant funding can be used to ac- in 2017 applications should be sub- Taylor, USDA Rural Development quire or develop land. buildings, mitted to the North Dakota office by state director. "If you have an idea phmts and equipment; build or im- 4:30 p.m. on March 31. For addi- for your community or tribal nation, prove access roads, parking areas, tional information on how to apply, or for a new rural business, don'tlet utility extensions, and water and contact (701) 530-2037 or visit this deadline pass by. We Want tobe waste disposal facilities; provide our www.rd.usda.gov/nd. Customers encouraged to monitor natural g meter, furnace vent areas Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. en- can cause the regulator and meter to courages its customers to' inspect malfunction and result in a hazardous their natural gas meter and furnace situation. A buried regulator may be- vent areas to make sure there is not a come clogged, affecting the supply buildup of snow and ice. of natural gas to the appliances. Customers should clear the snow When melting occurs and the snow and ice away from the meter set and becomes wet and heavy, it can put the furnace vent area. pressure on the meter setting and Also, anyone operating snow re- cause strain on the associated piping. moval equipment needs to be aware In extreme cases, the possibility ex- of objects buried under the snow, ists that the piping could break. which can include natural gas meters Customers should also inspect the and risers, area around the furnace vent to en- Accumulations of snow and icesure snow and ice is not blocking the North Dakota's free ice fishing weekend is December 31, and January 1, 2017. Resident anglers may fish that and Fish Department prior to partic- weekend without a license. All other ipating. Registration is available by ice fishing regulations apply, visiting the Department's web- Those interested in darkhousesite,gf.nd.gov, or through any Game spearfishing that weekend must reg- and Fish office. Legal fish are north- ister with the North Dakota Game ern pike and nongame species. HOW TO SHARE YOUR VIEWS We welcome letters to the editor concerning issues of area interest or regarding stories and editorials that have been published. Letters should be limited to 400 words. Guest columns or opinion-editorials longer in length are also welcome. A writer can have only one letter or column regarding the same subject published in a 30-day time period, unless the writer is responding to a new aspect of an issue that has been raised. Letters and columns are a way to encourage public discussion. Thank-you letters and invitations cannot be published as letters to the editor, but can be formatted as advertisements. Please include your name, address and phone number on your letter or column so that we can contact you. Your address and phone number will not be published. Golden Valley News/Billings County Pioneer, P.O. Box 156, Beach, N.D. 58621; goldenandbillings@gmail.com vent. If you believe damage has oc- curred around the meter set, please call Montana-Dakota at 1-800-638- 3278 so the problem can be repaired. Van or Bus Service Billings County Golden Valley County Distance of 160 Miles CALL: 701-872-3836 Our board meets at 9:30 a.m., first Tuesday of each month at 701 S. Central Ave., Beach. The public is invited! North Dakota Grazing Lands Coalition WINTER CONFERENCE "RANCHING IN DYNAMIC TIMES" with Keynote Speaker Johann Zietsman, South Africa Wed., Jan. 18 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Quality Inn & Suites, Jamestown, ND DON'T FORGET TO REGISTER BY JAN.IO $30 per person includes conference luncheon and snacks. REGISTER at Illtl]:l/SllU.re/2g7Ba or 701-527-5169 "Insurance 110 Term Life Insurance Universal Life Insurance Fixed Annuities Index Annuities IRAs Long-Term Care Ins. Bruce Ross Central Ave. South, Beach, ND (701) 872-4461 (office) (Across from Bank of the West) (701) 872-3075 (home) ! &