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Forum Editorial Board, Published July 06 2009

Forum editorial: Smoking defenders win spurge

LEAFY SPURGE: To smoking defenders who still have not gotten the message that smoking and secondhand smoke bans are the law of the land because the people of the land have voted. The bans in place in Fargo and West Fargo, for example, are the results of vigorous debates, campaigns and voting. When the smoke cleared, residents of those places overwhelmingly favored public health over mythical business rights. Indeed, wherever the question has been put to voters, smoking loses. In the minds of a huge majority of Minnesotans, North Dakotans and Americans in other states, the argument has been settled. Now if North Dakota legislators had the courage to actually represent their constituents, a statewide ban would be in place. As it is, the best option would be to put in on the ballot.


LEAFY SPURGE: To bloggers, radio talk show callers and various other anonymous Internet cowards who have injected race into the tragedy of the shooting of Joel LaFromboise in Moorhead. The discussion has taken on a decidedly ugly tone apparently because the dead youth was of American Indian heritage. The remarks cut both ways, sometimes accusing the shooter of rushing to shoot because LaFromboise was native, sometimes suggesting the victim was “just another drunk Indian.” It’s all outrageous and especially cowardly because the perpetrators can huddle in anonymity. Dial it down, folks. Let the system determine what happened and why it happened.


PRAIRIE ROSES: To the Fargo Downtown Neighborhood Association and other groups that participated last week in a downtown cleanup. Characterized as a tidying up of “Fargo’s front yard,” the idea was to make the central district look as attractive as possible to visitors. The historic area often needs a scrubbing, and it was good to see the people who live and work there making such a worthwhile effort. Maybe the cleanup can become a fixture of downtown activity.


PRAIRIE ROSES: To Fargo and West Fargo school boards for considering a joint entrepreneurship studies curriculum. The boards met last week with representatives of the North Dakota State University Research and Technology Park, which is heading up the entrepreneurship project. The boards are expected to separately approve joint resolutions to approve the concept. Details still have to be worked out. It’s a good idea that can only help students succeed in a competitive marketplace.


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