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Published May 20 2012

Forum editorial: Spurge to Oil Patch profiteers

Leafy spurge: To the owners of the Sunrise Apartments on East Dakota Parkway in Williston, N.D., for their heartless eviction of 29 tenants who were given a mere 30 days’ notice to vacate and find new living arrangements in a city with a notorious shortage of housing and skyrocketing rents. The apartments, the owners said, are to be demolished. The ugly face of greed has been an unwelcome side effect of the booming Oil Patch, where cold-hearted profiteering causes real hardship for people. “It’s devastating to me that this is legal,” one displaced tenant told a newspaper reporter. We hope legislators are paying close attention to problems like these and are ready to do more to protect renters from such unfair treatment. At minimum, Oil Patch renters should be given more than 30 days’ notice to uproot and find new housing.

Prairie roses: To ShareHouse and its Sister’s Path program to help single addicted parents rebuild their lives. The program, launched eight years ago, enables single homeless parents – the vast majority of them mothers – to get the chemical-dependency treatment they need to beat their addictions. The program is a partnership with the Fargo Housing Authority and Beyond Shelter Inc. It’s an example of a good program that is mostly hidden from view and exists to help those who are too easy to overlook.

Leafy spurge: To the proponents of Measure 2, who crossed another line in their wrongheaded advocacy of eliminating North Dakota property taxes. To try to persuade voters, members of Empower the Taxpayer, the group pushing Measure 2, displayed quotes from former Gov. Ed Schafer and former Lt. Gov. Lloyd Omdahl to create the misleading impression that their criticisms of property taxes translated into support of Measure 2. Both men made it abundantly clear last week that they oppose Measure 2, which would usurp local control, create chaos and shift authority to the Legislature, which would be forced to impose one-size-fits-all funding solutions for local governments.

Prairie roses: To the organizers of the Real World Financial Literacy Camp, which was held last week at North Dakota State University for more than 100 fifth-graders from regional school districts. Among the lessons taught: delayed gratification, a pillar of savings and sound money management – skills badly needed in today’s world. The event was sponsored by the North Dakota Jump$tart Coalition. It’s a worthy investment in helping future grownups be better savers and wiser consumers.

Forum editorials represent the opinion of Forum

management and the newspaper’s Editorial Board.