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Published April 15 2012

Forum editorial: Again, big tobacco is wrong

Leafy spurge: To big tobacco for its oh-so-predictable reaction to a proposal in Minnesota to impose a smoking ban in homes that house foster children. In typical fashion, the tobacco lobby trotted out the tired argument that the state should not impose “complete bans,” especially in private homes. (By the way, the “complete ban” ship has sailed in nearly every state in the nation.) But the foster care system pays families to care for children who need homes. The state (that is, the taxpayers) has a clear interest in the health and welfare of the child. If foster families, most of whom are good people, take on a foster child or two, their responsibility to the children is enhanced by virtue of the state paying the families. It is not unreasonable to require that a foster home is a healthy place for the foster kids. Big tobacco, as usual, is wrong.

Prairie Roses: To the U.S. Air Force and North Dakota’s oil industry for cooperating and collaborating on traffic controls and access in oil country. The Air Force out of the base at Minot is responsible for 150 Minuteman II missiles in silos spread over 8,500 square miles of territory, much of it in the Bakken oil boom counties of northwestern North Dakota. Traffic increases because of oil activity have complicated the Air Force’s access to missile sites for security and maintenance. The military vehicles have priority on the roads, but traffic volumes have increased so much because of the oil boom that the quick access the Air Force often needs is threatened. The industry and the military understand the situation and are working together to meet the needs of both. That’s the kind of cooperation that can be an example for other government and private interests in the Oil Patch.

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