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Published June 22 2009

Forum editorial: Skeeter teams win a bouquet

PRAIRIE ROSES: To Ben Prather, Cass County’s vector control director, and his crew of mosquito fighters. They started the campaign early and were aided somewhat by abnormally cool spring weather, which kept the little stingers from emerging from the hundreds of thousands of acres of standing water in the county’s road ditches and fields. But even with the advent of warmer weather, skeeter populations thus far seem low. Of course, not every mosquito-producing wet spot can be treated to keep the bugs down, so they will fly and sting and make outdoor activities miserable. But the efforts of the Cass County team – and similar teams in other counties and cities – are appreciated. And who knows, maybe mosquito populations will be down this year, as they were last year.


LEAFY SPURGE: To the Board of Regents and administration of Oak Grove Lutheran High School in Fargo for engaging in an obvious spin job regarding the departure of school President Bruce Messelt after only two years on the job. Furthermore, the resignations of two board members, while characterized as not related to the Messelt flap, left a lot of school supporters wondering what’s true and what’s not. Oak Grove is a private school and has every right to circle the wagons. But the campus has an honorable history and valued place in the education landscape of the community. As such, it has a responsibility to be more forthcoming about its administrative problems than it has been. The school is highly respected because of the excellent education it offers students and also because of its Christian values. Among those values should be honesty and transparency.


LEAFY SPURGE: To the terribly offended people who object to North Dakota’s new bottle rocket ban. To hear their whining, one would think their American identity and patriotism depend on a silly firework made in China. Get over it. Many, many states banned fireworks of all kinds years ago, and the residents of those states are no less patriotic or American because of the bans. The record is clear: Bottle rockets cause injuries, some serious, because children like them and irresponsible adults let kids use them. Reported injuries are enough, but there likely are thousands of injuries that go unreported. Bottle rockets start fires, some serious, and nearly every responsible fire department applauds the bans. Our July Fourth celebrations will get along just fine without bottle rockets.


PRAIRIE ROSES: To members of the West Fargo School Board who, after losing a school building bond issue at the ballot box, respectfully said they would go back to the drawing board and rework the $65 million proposal and resubmit it to the voters. It should be noted that more than half of those voting said “yes,” but school bond issues require 60 percent approval. The plan was ambitious, maybe too ambitious for many, but there clearly is a need for more classroom space in the growing district. Some of the reasons for voting “no” were less than enlightened, but board members will have to overcome mossback thinking and make a better case for new schools.


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management and the newspaper’s Editorial Board.