Letter: Boehner’s insult bad news for US

Larry should convert to Islam in order to appease the mullahs of Iran.

Letter: Boehner’s insult bad news for US

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Forum editorial: A thriving city values public art

Why doesn’t state media pay for their art out of their own pockets instead of shaking down taxpayers again?

“Attitudes about a city’s role in supporting public art mature as a city matures. Great cities enthusiastically embrace – and pay for – public art. Cities that relegate support for public art to afterthought or extravagance tend to be second-rate places.

Fargo and Moorhead are on the cusp of significant changes in the way city leaders and residents view the value of public art. As Fargo city commissioner races underway demonstrate, candidates are not on the same public arts page. Indeed, some are not familiar with the book of livable, attractive cities. Others, however, understand that the broad categories of public art – from sculpture to architecture to park design to street and bridge beautification – are vital elements in making a city more than an efficient deliverer of urban services. It is that additional factor in city planning that distinguishes a city.

Among the sentiments expressed strongly by a couple of candidates for commissioner is that a city should encourage art (whatever that means), but not put a public dime into public art. That would mean, for example, that Fargo would never commission a fountain or sculpture for a civic space. It would mean that the additional design costs of Veterans Memorial Bridge that make the span one of the most beautiful in the Midwest, would have been vetoed. It would mean the stone and brick history pedestals would not have been part of Fargo’s downtown renaissance. It would have meant the city would have scrapped the extraordinary design elements in the floodwalls on South University Drive and on Fourth Street South near the water plant.

Public art takes many forms. It can be grand as, it is hoped, Fargo’s new City Hall will be grand. It can be modest but effective, as Moorhead’s proposed sidewalk poetry project. It can be integrated into architectural restoration, as the restored and re-purposed buildings in Fargo’s historic downtown. It can be startling and iconic, as the great Viking ship enclosure of Moorhead’s Hjemkomst Center. It can be as moving and controversial as Fargo’s Ten Commandments stone, or as benign as a colorful bison statue in front of a business place.

Public art might not be the priority for a city, but it should be a priority. It must be a public-private partnership that includes expenditures of public funds. Those who seek election to be in municipal office, but don’t grasp the vital role of public art, are not qualified.”

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N.D. Senate scraps proposed income tax cuts

Of course they did. These people are the greediest bunch to ever walk the face of the earth. This is why I’m forced to pay more in state income taxes than federal income taxes and why property taxes have skyrocketed!

BISMARCK – The North Dakota Legislature’s recent trend of cutting income taxes may be coming to an end after the Senate on Thursday scrapped a proposal to shrink individual and corporate income tax rates by 5 percent.

Some lawmakers entered the session proposing significant cuts or eliminating personal income taxes, and the Senate’s action Thursday underscored the change in attitude since oil prices collapsed and lowered the state’s revenue forecast for 2015-17.

Gov. Jack Dalrymple’s budget recommendation in December proposed a $100 million cut in individual income taxes by reducing rates by about 10 percent and $25 million in corporate relief by dropping rates by about 4.8 percent.

The House voted 67-25 in February to pass House Bill 1223 with a 10 percent across-the-board income tax cut, which was estimated to reduce revenue by $152 million. Senators voted 13-33 on Thursday to defeat the amended version of the bill, which would have reduced revenue by $33 million, based on the March revenue forecast.

Sen. Ray Holmberg, R-Grand Forks, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said the Legislature is reaching the stage of the session where tough decisions must be made, and the last report from Legislative Council indicated the 2015-17 budget still had a $66 million deficit.

Holmberg said that with significant gaps remaining between House and Senate versions of budget bills – they’re $140 million apart on K-12 funding and $39 million apart on the Department of Human Services budget – the $33 million in income tax cuts would be better used to close those gaps.

He noted the Legislature has reduced individual and corporate income taxes every session since 2009 and made property tax relief a priority again this session.

“Let’s take a two-year break on these other two areas,” he said of the income taxes.

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Letter: The North Dakota way is the ‘wall of shame’

Annamarie has a bit of her own shame!

 

Letter: The North Dakota way is the ‘wall of shame’

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Letter: A great mayor for a great city

Why is a long time out-of-stater weighing in on Fargo’s political choices?

Letter: A great mayor for a great city

I  am writing to offer an observation about Tim Mahoney, a candidate for mayor of Fargo.

For more than 30 years, first as state tax commissioner and then as congressman and senator, I worked with a number of excellent Fargo mayors who served during times of both rapid economic growth and major challenges.

During the major Red River flood of 2009, I spent a lot of time in Fargo working with city officials on the federal response to that crisis. There were many people who had a big role in steering the city through that major crisis.

Mahoney along with Mayor Dennis Walaker stood out during that crisis. They both showed the temperament and the good judgment to make the right decisions for the residents of Fargo. Walaker is was the decider. That’s what mayors do. But I referred to Mahoney as the “trail boss.” Mahoney seemed to be everywhere during that crisis, making things happen and turning policy into action during a dangerous time. His calm nerve during difficult times was important for the people of Fargo.

But elections aren’t about the past. They are about the future. They are also about who you like, who you trust and who you think can do the job.

On that score, I believe Mahoney’s 10 years on the City Commission, six years as deputy mayor, coupled with his record of commitment to building more and better opportunities for the city of Fargo clearly show that he will be a great mayor for a great city.

Dorgan is a former U.S. senator

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Man in custody after allegedly head-butting West Fargo police officer

It’s hard to believe someone who thought a neck tattoo was a good idea could do something like this! 

“WEST FARGO – A Moorhead man was taken into custody Monday morning after he allegedly head-butted a police officer during an attempt to arrest him after fleeing from police following reckless driving reports.

Officers were called to the intersection of Fifth Street and Fourth Avenue East on Saturday at about 11:55 p.m. on a report of a reckless driver, said West Fargo Police Chief Mike Reitan.

When they arrived, they found a vehicle matching the description in the report parked in front of 501 4th Ave. E. with the driver still inside.

When officers approached, the driver took off on foot, ignoring the officer’s order to stop, according to Reitan.

When the officer caught him and tried to place him under arrest, the driver, Terry Jean Russell, 29, of Moorhead, head-butted the officer, injuring him, Reitan said.

Several other officers in the area got there in time to finish arresting Russell, who is being held on suspicion of assault on a peace officer, resisting arrest, fleeing, driving under the influence, driving under suspension, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a dangerous weapon and one warrant.

Reitan said Russell’s passenger, who left the scene, was also arrested. Adrian James Simser, 35, of West Fargo, is being held on suspicion of fleeing and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The officer was taken to a local hospital and treated for his injury, then released.”

Officers were called to the intersection of Fifth Street and Fourth Avenue East on Saturday at about 11:55 p.m. on a report of a reckless driver, said West Fargo Police Chief Mike Reitan.

When they arrived, they found a vehicle matching the description in the report parked in front of 501 4th Ave. E. with the driver still inside.

When officers approached, the driver took off on foot, ignoring the officer’s order to stop, according to Reitan.

When the officer caught him and tried to place him under arrest, the driver, Terry Jean Russell, 29, of Moorhead, head-butted the officer, injuring him, Reitan said.

Several other officers in the area got there in time to finish arresting Russell, who is being held on suspicion of assault on a peace officer, resisting arrest, fleeing, driving under the influence, driving under suspension, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a dangerous weapon and one warrant.

Reitan said Russell’s passenger, who left the scene, was also arrested. Adrian James Simser, 35, of West Fargo, is being held on suspicion of fleeing and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The officer was taken to a local hospital and treated for his injury, then released.

Officers were called to the intersection of Fifth Street and Fourth Avenue East on Saturday at about 11:55 p.m. on a report of a reckless driver, said West Fargo Police Chief Mike Reitan.

When they arrived, they found a vehicle matching the description in the report parked in front of 501 4th Ave. E. with the driver still inside.

When officers approached, the driver took off on foot, ignoring the officer’s order to stop, according to Reitan.

When the officer caught him and tried to place him under arrest, the driver, Terry Jean Russell, 29, of Moorhead, head-butted the officer, injuring him, Reitan said.

Several other officers in the area got there in time to finish arresting Russell, who is being held on suspicion of assault on a peace officer, resisting arrest, fleeing, driving under the influence, driving under suspension, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a dangerous weapon and one warrant.

Reitan said Russell’s passenger, who left the scene, was also arrested. Adrian James Simser, 35, of West Fargo, is being held on suspicion of fleeing and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The officer was taken to a local hospital and treated for his injury, then released.

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Letter: Leaving ND for greener pastures

Brent might want to do something about that big chip on his shoulder.

Letter: Leaving ND for greener pastures

When I graduated from the University of North Dakota School of Law last May, the plan was to find a great job in a thriving economy in Fargo. I figured since I graduated with honors, served on the Board of Editors of the North Dakota Law Review, worked during law school for the North Dakota Supreme Court, a well-respected firm in Grand Forks, and a boutique firm in Silicon Valley, that finding an entry-level job in Fargo wouldn’t be a difficult proposition. As all of the other similarly ranked students and co-members of the Board of Editors of the law review received offers around the state, I was kept busy even after graduation interviewing for jobs. I was the odd man out. When it was time to take the bar exam last July, I was still interviewing without success.

Explanation?

Honestly, I kept thinking to myself “well, maybe I am not the right fit …” or “they were looking for someone with a different type of experience.” It was about September of last year when I truly realized what was going on. I was being passed over for being an openly gay man. Of course, none of my interviewers ever said anything to that extent. Nor did any of the standard letters sent my way include a pronouncement that I was being passed over because of my sexual orientation. But being passed up for positions that I was clearly qualified for and even in some circumstances being passed over for someone who didn’t even come close to my credentials pointed to one explanation.

Despite my efforts in school and garnering honors (which included being published in the law school’s selective academic journal), the doors were shut. I thought about the modern Republican Party and their mantra about pulling yourself up by your bootstraps with hard work and determination … etc. In my case I pulled myself up by my bootstraps and did everything you are supposed to do as an ambitious and motivated law school student.

Could have lied

On paper, my boots looked perfectly polished. Yes, I could have kept my mouth shut in law school and gazed off into the distance when we studied equal protection in constitutional law. I could have gone back in the closet during law school. It’s a small legal community and it would have taken maybe one phone call from someone on a hiring committee at a firm to find out that I was a gay man. I could have lied to people about who I was dating or who my friends were. I could have done all of these things. I thought my bootstraps were tailor- made for success in the North Dakota legal community.

Boy, was I wrong.

Luckily, I am able to leave this state for greener pastures. I was offered a job in Silicon Valley at a firm working for one of the lawyers I worked for during school. I was recruited to work for her and her firm.

Their hiring decision was based on individual performance, talent, and dedication to excellence.

So law school wasn’t a total loss for me considering the job offer in California. However, that doesn’t mean there weren’t any losers in this scenario. The North Dakota legal community lost a very smart, dedicated individual. I won’t be able to make a short trip to Roseau, Minn., anymore to see my entire family including two young nephews whom I adore.

Last straw

I know many wonderful people in Fargo and had planned on making it my home, getting married to my partner, and adopting a few kids. So I guess you could say there are a few unknown kids who need homes that are losers here, too.

All of this being said, the last straw was the North Dakota Legislature’s inability to pass protections for the LGBT community. Fargo may be filled with loving, caring, enlightened people; but, the Legislature is not. North Dakota has forsaken my community.

It makes me very frustrated and sad to write these words, but they need to be said. I am hopeful things change for the excellent people I know in this state, but for myself, I cannot wait for these pastures to turn green.

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Las Vegas woman arrested in Minot

What a heartwarming story. “Tayari Channel” 

MINOT, N.D. – A 14-year-old Las Vegas girl was found in Minot after her mother recognized her photo on a website advertising sexual services.

Another Las Vegas woman, who is accused of involving the girl in human trafficking, is in custody at the Ward County Sheriff’s Department after being charged in North Central District Court on Tuesday.

If convicted of the felony, Tayari Chanel Meadows, 20, could receive life in prison.

According to an affidavit by Caroline Folven of the Minot Police Department, she and another officer received a report on Monday from the Las Vegas mother who had reported her 14-year-old as missing.

The mother told police she opened her daughter’s email account and saw messages from Backpage.com, where an ad had been posted for “Angel” with a photo of a girl who looked like her missing daughter.

A police officer, posing as a potential customer, then set up a meeting with the girl at a rate of $200 an hour.

At the hotel, police reported they were met by Meadows, who was posing as the girl’s sister. In addition, there was a 16-year-old girl and a 20-year-old woman. All four had ads offering sexual services on Backpage.com, according to the affidavit.

While Meadows allegedly told police she believed the missing girl to be 18 and that she was just helping her escape from her mother, the 14-year-old reported that Meadows arranged “dates” for her in Williston and Minot and told her that, if she didn’t make money, she wouldn’t eat and she’d be forced to hitchhike home.

The girl told police that, after providing services to men, she was forced to turn over all money to a man traveling with Meadows. She also said that Meadows knew how old she was and said Meadows told her to lie and say she was 18 on her advertisement.

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Eric Burin Forgot To Mention Something

Eric is a history pointy head at UND. 

Letter: Nothing funny in political minds

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Letter: Wind and solar to power future

The future will be dark and cold if Kat and her fellow travelers get their way.

Letter: Wind and solar to power future

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