This is Up and Down, where we give a brief thumbs up and thumbs down on the issues from the past week.
Mandan always puts on a good show during the Fourth of July holiday. Despite heavy rain last Monday night and Tuesday morning that created havoc at Art in the Park, volunteers along with vendors quickly put the show back together. Despite a late start it provided the usual shopping delights and entertainment. The rodeo worked around the rain and provided some great performances. The annual parade enjoyed great weather, not too hot or cold, and provided a lot of variety with its floats and bands. Santa Claus even made an appearance.
The Dakota Access LLC knew it had to sell the part of the Cannonball Ranch it purchased during the pipeline protests. State law prohibits corporations and limited liability companies from owning or leasing farmland under most circumstances. The company had agreed to sell the land by June 30, but recently asked for an extension. Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem sued the company last week alleging it’s in violation of state law. The company should do the right thing and find a buyer. Just when many North Dakotans are feeling good about the company it fails to come through with a land sale.
Tinkergarten, started locally by Nikki Bushaw, gives kids the opportunity to go outside and learn about nature, self reliance, creativity and problem solving. It’s for kids 18 months to 8 years of age. The Bismarck program is modeled after one started in 2012. One of the goals of the program is to get kids outside and away from television and cellphones. It’s a chance to explore and create things. At times it’s old-fashioned playing in the dirt, an experience all kids should have.
Ed Schultz had his critics along with his fans, but it didn’t matter which side you were on, he got your attention. He went from covering Bison football games on radio to becoming a radio and TV political commentator. He had his own show on MSNBC and later moved to the Russia-owned TV show RT America. He died too young at 64.
Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., and Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., have agreed to two more debates, bringing to three the confirmed meetings between the two in the race for the Senate. The more debates the better. In a perfect world voters would make their decision based on the personal encounters and not on slick commercials. Both candidates should be commended for agreeing to debate.