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Published March 24 2013

Forum editorial: Preserving heritage wins roses

PRAIRIE ROSES: To Fargo School Board member John Strand and others who, over the years, have raised awareness in Fargo of the value of the city’s historic buildings. Strand, as reported in a Forum story last week, emerged a few years ago as leader of a movement to protect and preserve old buildings and the integrity of old neighborhoods. He was not always successful – and in the flap over the old Cass County jail and sheriff’s residence, he was just wrong – but he has been the leading light in making preservation a major factor in local government decisions. That’s good for a city that sometimes has been too quick with the wrecking ball. The restored beauty of downtown Fargo, for example, is all about preservation and repurposing historic buildings by investors who share Strand’s passion – and have the resources to make it happen.

LEAFY SPURGE: To those North Dakota legislators and their allies in animal agriculture who continue to oppose a meaningful animal abuse bill. The flip-flop by the North Dakota Farm Bureau on support for a comprehensive bill is but one factor in what appears to be a betrayal of a pledge by lawmakers and others to write and pass legislation that would make animal cruelty and neglect a felony offense. Deaths of cattle a couple of months ago in Burleigh and Morton counties highlighted the need for tougher penalties. Now another incident of cattle deaths from freezing and starvation in McIntosh County confirms such neglect happens more frequently than some North Dakotans want to believe. And whatever the reason for the animal deaths, someone is responsible and should be held accountable. If penalties on the books were tougher, the deterrent factor might prevent such tragedies.

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