This is Up and Down, where we give a brief thumbs up and thumbs down on the issues from the past week.
Rodeo contestants have “Christmas in July” when there are numerous rodeos around the country to celebrate the Fourth of July. Participants put a lot of miles on their vehicles and some punch their tickets to the finals. For charities in North Dakota and northwest Minnesota, Giving Hearts Day is sort of like Christmas. The 24-hour online giving event helps raise money for 430 charities. Donations of $10 or more are matched to at least $4,000 per nonprofit. The event has been organized by the Dakota Medical Foundation, Impact Foundation and Alex Stern Family Foundation. The event was held Thursday and provided an opportunity to give to worthwhile groups.
A Wishek mother of two elementary students has sued the school board and superintendent after they placed restrictions on her visiting the school. The restrictions came after Katie Pinke complained about the school’s handling of an incident involving a student bringing a gun to the school. The gun was a non-functioning starter pistol. The dispute between Pinke and the school mushroomed into a major conflict that resulted in the restrictions. It’s unfortunate the situation has come this far. Hopefully, the school and family can reach an agreement. The continuing dispute can’t help anyone, especially the students at Wishek.
Gov. Doug Burgum did the right thing by reimbursing Xcel Energy the $37,000 for Super Bowl tickets. We don’t believe the governor, who has been donating his salary to others, could be influenced by the trip to Minneapolis. However, to some people it didn’t look good and didn’t sit well. It’s also a wise move by Burgum to have his legal counsel craft an ethics policy to cover the governor and his staff. There’s an effort to get a measure on the November ballot to create a state ethics commission. It makes sense not to wait and adopt a policy now for the executive branch.
One of the tribes involved in the Dakota Access Pipeline court case says the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers hasn’t involved it in court proceedings. The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe argues the corps hasn’t been responsive to the tribe’s request for information and consultation. If true, this would be unfortunate. It’s important that all the parties on both sides of the case work together. U.S. District Judge James Boasberg ruled in June that the corps largely complied with federal environmental law in permitting the $3.8 billion pipeline. However, he ordered the corps to do more study on some issues involving tribes. Everyone should cooperate so the case can be brought to an end.
The Northern Lights Council, Boy Scouts of America, will be asking the public to donate for the Bismarck-Mandan Scout Service Center. The 6,000-square-foot service center, 3320 Hamilton St., will provide a training site for youth and adult leaders training and conference meeting space, a program supply storage area, a Scout shop and offer office and administrative space. It also will provide administrative support for Dickinson, Minot, Williston and surrounding communities. So far, $624,795 has been raised toward a total project goal of $850,000. They hope to move into the center by Sept. 1. It’s project that will benefit a wide area.