open-your-heart

The 88th annual Open Your Heart campaign charitable event, sponsored by the Loyd Spetz Post No. 1 of the American Legion and organized by countless volunteers, prepared a Christmas Day meal at the Bismarck Event Center on Dec. 23 to be delivered to more than 400 families in Bismarck and Burleigh County.

MIKE MCCLEARY, TRIBUNE

This is Up and Down, where we give a brief thumbs up and thumbs down on the issues from the past week.

Up

Open Your Heart again delivered food baskets to more than 400 families in Bismarck and Burleigh County just before Christmas. It was the 88th year for the event sponsored by the Loyd Spetz Post No. 1 of the American Legion. The program relies on volunteers to sort, package and deliver the baskets. It’s truly a community event. The countless volunteers make Christmas a little happier for many families.

Down

The emerald ash borer attacks true ash trees and its larvae feed under the bark, disrupting the movement of water and nutrients. Over a period of a few years it will kill the tree. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency reports the ash borer has been found in Winnipeg, which brings it within 65 miles of North Dakota. The state has more than 92 million ash trees and 48 percent of the trees along streets and in city parks are ash. North Dakota needs to be alert for the borer. When the borer gets closer to the state officials can inject a pesticide into trees that helps them fight the borer.

Up

Just about everyone likes to participate in sports. Some students with intellectual disabilities find it difficult to take part. That’s why it’s so important that Bismarck’s three public high schools offer inclusive sports. The program is an extension of the peer-to-peer program launched three years ago at Bismarck high schools, which partners students with disabilities with student mentors. The program has worked well, with the mentors getting as much out of it as the other students. It’s the type of program that enhances the educational experience of all students.

Down

Some Bismarck residents think the Grinch has gotten loose. Over the years the Chmielewski family -- Alan, Kathy and their children, A.J., Jacob, Joshua and Alysha -- have decorated their Kennedy Avenue home extensively. They have a toy roller coaster and a Ferris wheel among the decorations. They top it off with music. They apparently have a neighbor who doesn’t care for all the lights at night. The family decided to turn the lights off by 11 at night this year and may not do the extensive decorations next year. It would be unfortunate if the neighborhood loses the holiday attraction.

Up

This will be the 13th year for the Blizzard Bluegrass weekend at Bismarck State College. The event starts at 7 p.m. Jan. 12 and 13 at the Sidney J. Lee Auditorium. The Cotton Wood bluegrass band from Washburn puts on the event. The High Plains Tradition, a band from Denver, will be the guest performers. The headline band will be teaching a free “learn a bluegrass song workshop” from 2 to 4 p.m. Jan. 13. It’s a fun way to warm up on a cold winter night.

Down

Progress sometimes hurts. The Canadian Pacific Railroad may drop 61 of the 73 train and engine positions based in Harvey on or after March 15. The cuts are prompted by investments in its track and signal infrastructure that made its rail corridor safer and boosted efficiency. The workers won’t be needed in Harvey because most trains won’t need to stop. This will be an economic blow to Harvey, which has been a railroad town since the 1890s.

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