Jim Shaw Doesn’t Believe in “Shared Responsibility”

Media Gadly Jim Shaw eschews flood insurance, forcing everyone else to pick up his share. He apparently knows nothing about risk management.

Shaw, Fargo,er WDAY TV news reporter and former KVRR TV new director. He can be heard 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Fridays on WDAY AM radio.

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Two men arrested in connection with Fargo convenience store robbery

How much will these two dirtbags cost taxpayers? Thanks again, social service slackers!

FARGO – Two men were arrested in connection to a Thursday robbery at an All Stop convenience store here, Fargo Police Lt. Joel Vettel said in a release.
Police said the two men robbed the convenience store near West Acres Mall at about 10:45 p.m. Thursday. Police said one of the men brandished a handgun and demanded money from an employee.

Jacob Eli Black, 19, no permanent address, was arrested for conspiracy to commit robbery, a class B felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine, Vettel said.

Black also had three unrelated warrants from Grand Forks and one warrant out of Cass County.

Mifti Kedir Dire, 20, of Fargo, was also arrested for conspiracy to commit robbery, criminal trespass and unlawful entry into a motor vehicle, Vettel said.

The men were booked into Cass County Jail where they remain.

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Letter: Get elephants out of Shrine Circus

Should elephants be left to fend for themselves? Why does Adam want them to be attacked by their enemies?

Letter: Get elephants out of Shrine Circus

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Fargo Student Run High School Cafe Facing Problems

Why would a restaurant want to serve food that tastes good?

Problems at a student run cafe is creating some major attention at a Fargo high school. The Nest at Davies High School teaches students real-life skills in the kitchen and on the business end.

The restaurant had their grand opening last week. But, this week students and teachers tell us it’s been hectic, after being told they can’t serve their menu any longer.

A student benefiting from the program called our Whistleblower hotline wanting answers, saying it’s devastating. “We didn’t know if we would be able to open, or if we would be able to serve anybody,” says Cassidy Cotney, a Davies student who cooks food at The Nest.

While preparing for Wednesday’s lunch students in the kitchen got an email from their teacher.

“They are not letting us sell to students this week, we need to make a statement, if you have friends that want to eat at the nest they will need an adult to come and purchase their meal for them,” Cotney says, reading the email off her phone.

To stay up and running The Nest will have to pull their menu, because they aren’t meeting federal guidelines. That means somewhere around 600 calories a meal, no more dessert, and nutrition facts must be printed on the menu.

“We want to get a feel of what it’s like in an actual restaurant and not every restaurant goes by nutrition guidelines,” says Cotney.

While Wednesday’s email says one thing, Fargo Public School’s Superintendent says another.

“When our director told the principals and teachers that they need to be following that, there was some miscommunication there that they couldn’t do. And, there were people thinking we are going to be shutting the program down, no we are not,” says Superintendent Jeff Schatz.

“Why didn’t you know about the regulations before the program kicked off?” asks Valley News Team’s Nicole Johnson.

“They knew about the regulations, it’s just a matter of did the people working with the programs do a good job in making that transition and so that’s what they are looking at now. How can make that transition a little bit better, I think it’s just some misunderstandings,” Schatz responds.

He says it’s getting tougher to serve food that kids like, “Maybe the regulations have gone too far, and that somehow somewhere the people making the decisions need to reconsider and backupa little bit.”

Cotney says a lot of students at her high school are still hungry after lunch. “A lot of people depend on school food to be their actual meal, cause they don’t get fed at home, and so seeing the portion sizes of school food go down it affects a lot of the students who rely on school food cause they are not eating enough to keep them good for the rest of the day,” she says.

Superintendent Schatz says despite what others say The Nest will continue to be open and serving food.

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N.D. becomes 27th state calling for federal balanced budget amendment

It’s rather ironic, coming from a state that doesn’t balance its own budget.

BISMARCK – North Dakota has joined 26 other states in passing a resolution calling for a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution, though some Republican lawmakers feel it doesn’t go far enough to rein in Congress and other branches of the federal government.

The state Senate passed a resolution Tuesday asking Congress to call a convention for the sole purpose of proposing an amendment requiring a balanced federal budget.

“If we want fiscal discipline in Washington, D.C., it has to come from the states. We have to be bold in our approach to them,” said Sen. Dick Dever, R-Bismarck, a sponsor of the resolution.

Under Article V of the Constitution, legislatures in 34 states must pass resolutions to call for a convention for proposing amendments. It takes 38 states to ratify a constitutional amendment.

The Senate approved House Concurrent Resolution 3015 by a 29-17 vote largely along party lines, becoming the 27th state to adopt such a resolution, according to the group Balanced Budget Forever.

The House had passed the resolution 72-20 last month.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who has been working with advocates for a balanced budget amendment, visited the Capitol in Bismarck on Jan. 21 to push for the resolution.

“North Dakota lawmakers can stand tall today after passing an important resolution to make the federal government address its $18 trillion debt,” he said in a statement after Tuesday’s vote, adding it “sent a powerful message that momentum continues to build for this issue.”

The balanced budget amendment would require that federal appropriations can’t exceed federal revenues in a fiscal year, except when there’s a national emergency.

Sen. Carolyn Nelson, D-Fargo, said she was “distressed” that most of those who testified last Thursday before the Senate Government and Veterans Affairs Committee on the resolution and several related measures “were people from special interest groups from outside of this state.”

Nelson said Congress can already propose constitutional amendments by a two-thirds vote of both houses, and North Dakota lawmakers “don’t have to get in the mix.” Some states that have passed similar resolutions later rescinded them, she said.

“We do not need to do this. Congress is elected by the people. The people need to tell Congress what to do,” she said.

Dever said this is a new effort.

“And I think the states recognize, the people of this country recognize, that we need to do something. And it will be painful, but we need to do it,” he said.

The Senate also approved a bill designed to prevent a “runaway convention” in which convention delegates stray from the topic authorized by their state legislatures. House Bill 1441, which passed 31-15 on party lines, would prohibit delegates from considering or approving any unauthorized amendments.

Rep. Jim Kasper, R-Fargo, a sponsor of the balanced budget resolution, said he was happy it passed but “very disappointed” that the Senate defeated the broader House Concurrent Resolution 3014, which would have allowed for proposed amendments imposing fiscal restraints on the federal government, limiting its power and jurisdiction and placing term limits on federal officials and members of Congress.

“We have a whole lot more that needs to be fixed with the runaway Congress and runaway executive branch and the judicial branch legislating from the bench,” Kasper said.

The resolution passed the House 63-29 last month but failed 15-31 in the Senate on Tuesday.

Sen. Tom Campbell, R-Grafton, who was absent Tuesday, asked that the bill be reconsidered Wednesday, but his motion failed on a verification vote, in which members vote anonymously.

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Forum editorial: Pass ND housing, jobs bill

How much of their standard of living is state media willing give up in order to pay the cost of this? 

North Dakota lawmakers should not be bullied into bad decisions by religious and quasi-religious lobbies, like the North Dakota Family Alliance and the North Dakota Catholic Conference. The determination of those groups to misuse the legislative process to advance an ecclesiastical agenda is anathema to most North Dakotans, as made clear at the ballot box, twice in the past few years.

The latest intrusion of narrow religious doctrine is an attempt to kill legislation that would add sexual orientation to discrimination categories such as race, color, religion, sex and national origin. Opponents of the bill contend it would create a “protected class.” That’s dishonest claptrap. The bill merely, and rightly, would include North Dakotans who have been excluded, and thus subject to discrimination in housing and employment. It’s not about a protected class but rather about extending protections that other North Dakotans take for granted.

Opponents of inclusion are sincere in their beliefs but wrong about making law. They can honor their faith, but when they use a religious wedge to deny secular rights to others, the Legislature should say “no.” Lawmakers who don’t understand or won’t accept that bedrock principle did not get the voters’ clear messages.

The first was the 2012 so-called religious freedom measure, which was pummeled to defeat. The second was just last year when the misguided “personhood” amendment was turned back by a landslide. Fallout from the second defeat included booting out of office the two legislators who championed the amendment.

In both defeated ballot questions, the groups now trying to deny rights to North Dakotans were active and vocal supporters. Despite well-funded campaigns that featured expensive media and even lobbying from church pulpits, the common sense of North Dakotans prevailed. They understood that the legislative and initiative processes were being perverted in order to restrict the rights of individuals and families to make personal and private life decisions.

In the same dark spirit, opponents of ending sex orientation discrimination in housing and employment are again grimly attempting to prevent North Dakotans from participating fully in the rights and privileges of citizenship. This time it’s refusing to open the rights door, rather than using government to snatch away individual and family rights.

The bill passed the Senate. The House should pass it, too.

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Letter: If they kill ACA, what is the plan?

The plan would be to let everyone enjoy the same healthcare Greg does. 

Letter: If they kill ACA, what is the plan?

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Letter: ND should invest in mental health

How much of the “investment” is Carlotta hoping to garner?  

In a report prepared for the North Dakota Legislature in July 2014, Schulte Consulting outlines strengths and needs of the behavioral health system in the state. The opening sentence of the report is telling: “The North Dakota mental health and substance abuse system is in crisis.”

As the Legislature moves beyond the midpoint of the 2015 session, advocates are concerned about the willingness of policymakers to take this crisis seriously.

One of the report’s recommendations is to increase the use of peer/family support and recovery coaches. Advocates agree that this is a sound approach.

Supporting children and adults with mental health and substance abuse disorders involves the connection to another person who has raised a child with that condition, or has experienced it themselves. These shared life experiences will assure that people receive the resources and services in ways that are respectful, relevant and honor their unique choices and perspectives.

As policymakers wrestle with difficult decisions, we urge critical attention to the recommendations made in the report that was done at their request (and at state expense). We request action be taken to assure the health and safety of North Dakotans struggling with mental health and substance abuse disorders.

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Letter: Support rights bill in Legislature

Chelsea gets paid to teach classes in “movement.” 

I’m not a parent. But for many college students, I am one of their other adults. I’m a professor, and I’m here for your kids.

Your kids tell me lots of things. Most of the time, it’s amazing. Some of the time, it’s tough. Occasionally, it’s an emergency.When an emergency comes into my office, I listen, I offer perspective, and tell your kids that there is a way out, or under, or over, or through whatever they are going through. And then I help them make the call, find someone to talk to, get somewhere safe. I’m the kind of adult I hope my one-day kid has when they need someone to talk to when life gets weird or stuff gets hard.

Being a young adult is really hard. As a professor of mine said, 18-year-old problems are really hard when you’re 18.

Being a LGBTQ young adult is even harder. The suicide rate is higher, the rate of depression is higher, and the only adults who really understand are constantly at risk of losing their jobs in the state of North Dakota.

Your kid might need another adult one day. They might need them because of a test, or to talk about a boyfriend or girlfriend. They might need them in a life-or-death situation. They may need an adult just to tell them that they are not alone. They might need someone who understands what it’s like to be an LGBTQ young adult.

If you want to ensure that the young people of North Dakota have that other adult to talk to if they need one, talk to your representative and tell them to support SB 2279.

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ND Senate reconsiders, passes ‘brunch bill’ allowing earlier Sunday alcohol sales

The bible thumpers won’t like this!


BISMARCK – One day after defeating the bill by a single vote, the North Dakota Senate on Friday reconsidered and passed legislation allowing restaurants to start selling alcohol at 11 a.m. instead of noon on Sundays.

Senators voted 27-18 to pass House Bill 1434, after amending the bill to clarify that the earlier start time applies only to on-sale alcoholic beverages and not off-sale.

Sen. Carolyn Nelson, D-Fargo, asked that the bill be reconsidered, and the Senate agreed to do so on a 26-19 vote.

Nelson said she had voted against the bill Thursday because the word “dispense” in the bill could be interpreted to permit the earlier sale of both on-sale and off-sale. The amendment offered Friday by Sen. George Sinner, D-Fargo, cleared up the language to meet the original intent of the bill as introduced in the House by Rep. Marie Strinden, D-Grand Forks.

“I think the amendment clears it up,” Nelson said.

The House narrowly passed the bill last month on a 49-42 vote. The bill now goes back to the House with the Senate amendment.

Sponsors say the bill will make it more convenient for North Dakota residents who want to enjoy an alcoholic beverage with their Sunday dinner and will make North Dakota restaurants more competitive with those in neighboring states that allow earlier alcohol sales on Sundays.

Sunday alcohol sales start at 10 a.m. in Minnesota, 9 a.m. in Manitoba, 8 a.m. in Montana and 7 a.m. in South Dakota.

The state tax commissioner’s office estimates the bill would increase sales tax revenue by $143,000 during the 2015-17 biennium, according to the bill’s fiscal note.

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