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Forum Editorial Board, Published August 03 2009

Forum editorial: The staff at MSUM wins roses

PRAIRIE ROSES: To Minnesota State University Moorhead President Edna Szymanski and her administrative staff for fixing a huge budget gap by avoiding layoffs. The school is caught in the state’s budget crisis and has been working hard to adjust to revenue shortfall. It’s been a difficult task, but Szymanski has brought in all the stakeholders on campus to tackle the problem. That openness and the willingness of staff and faculty to share the sacrifice have made the difference in easing the budget cut pain. Moreover, it appears MSUM’s strategy will preserve the school’s education quality, and that’s the first priority of any university.

LEAFY SPURGE: To the assorted crazies and buffoons who believe President Barack Obama was not born in the United States, therefore is not eligible to be president. Once again, the state of Hawaii has confirmed Obama was born there and is a natural-born U.S. citizen and meets the constitutional requirement for being president. How many times does his birthplace need to be confirmed to satisfy the nut fringe? Of course, they will never be satisfied because they don’t like his policies or his racial mix. Maybe their next tactic is to don tinfoil hats and get confirmation from aliens that Obama is from Mars.

LEAFY SPURGE: To the Princeton Review for conducting a cursory survey of what the Review describes as “party schools.” The University of North Dakota made the list (No. 18), but anyone familiar with the Grand Forks campus probably would not conclude that UND is in the top 20 in the nation when it comes to partying. Sure, students party, but not to the degree routinely associated with some big Southern and Eastern campuses. A UND spokesman said the survey was not conducted in a “scientific manner.” He was being kind. It’s more fuzzy impression than fact.

PRAIRIE ROSES: To North Dakota farmers who are “going green.” (See story in the July 27 Forum.) The Discovery Farms program helps farmers learn about environmentally friendly practices that could result in more realistic regulation in the future. The voluntary program brings together farmers, ranchers, researchers and regulators in order to learn more about the impacts of land use on land and water. The goal is to generate innovative means to protect the environment while keeping land in production. It’s a good idea that has the potential to generate benefits for farmers without eroding environmental quality.

LEAFY SPURGE: To whiny, predictable Sarah Palin, who resigned last week as Alaska’s short-term governor. As a high-profile quitter, she gave new meaning to the warning about being unable to take the heat in the kitchen. She’s complained ad nauseam about her treatment by the national media, apparently oblivious to the fact that she came out of nowhere onto the national stage and, by her own considerable skills, made a big splash. If she’s unable to finish her term as governor of Alaska because of media scrutiny, she’s not prepared for more of the national spotlight. Complaining about the attention she so obviously sought smells phony.

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