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Published January 19 2009

Forum editorial: Careless plowing gets spurge

To careless snow removal equipment operators who don’t take precautions when plowing and piling snow near electrical transformers. Cass County Electric and other utility companies are urging snow removal crews, mostly private operators with plows on pickups, to be more aware of the potential damage from ramming into transformer boxes or burying them in snow. One result is other vehicle drivers can’t see them. Damage can be expensive ?– up to $5,000 to make repairs – or deadly, if electricity jumps from damaged equipment to a transformer’s steel case. A damaged unit could be a hazard-in-hiding that could injure an unsuspecting motorist or pedestrian. Snow removal has been intense work this winter, but there is no excuse when a snow removal operator damages property and causes others to be in danger.

PRAIRIE ROSES: To parents who pushed and Fargo school officials who responded to concerns about unmarked crosswalks near school buildings. The Fargo School District purchased 10 bright yellow crosswalk markers to designate areas where schoolchildren cross busy streets. Parents near elementary schools made the request for the signs, which will enhance safety for the kids. The signs aren’t guarantees that children are perfectly safe crossing busy streets, but combined with parental and school instruction, they can be a great help. They are bright and prominent. A driver who misses them or ignores them is not fit to be behind the wheel.

PRAIRIE ROSES: To city of Fargo officials who have moved quickly to compile a list of “shovel-ready” public works projects that could be funded by the proposed federal economic stimulus. Last week the city released a list of nearly $10 million worth of work that is ready to go for the upcoming construction season. Several other projects on the list could be ready in about two years. In other words, Fargo has done exactly what’s being advocated for the jobs-producing elements of the stimulus: advance projects that will generate jobs quickly. If it comes together as predicted, the stimulus program will be felt in a very positive way in Fargo.

LEAFY SPURGE: To advocates for their version of “diversity” on the North Dakota Board of Higher Education. In the latest round of nominees and appointments, it looks like no woman made the cut, which means the new board will have only one female member. The board has had several women members in the past. Nonetheless, to name someone because of gender taints the appointment. The man who gets the nod over a woman could find himself in an uncomfortable spot. Had a woman been selected in the name of diversity, her qualifications might be questioned. Let the system operate. Let the best candidates rise to the top on merit.

Forum editorials represent the opinion of Forum management and the newspaper's Editorial Board