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Published July 14 2013

Forum editorial: Fun-filled summer wins roses

Prairie roses: To the professionals and armies of volunteers who make summer’s festivals, fairs and other events the highlights of the season in the Fargo metro area. It’s been quite a summer already, and more is to come. The Red River Valley Fair wrapped up Sunday with a great run and favorable weather. Weeks before, the annual Rib Fest again was a huge success. Moorhead’s Scandinavian Hjemkomst Festival, unique in the region, again showcased the area’s history and heritage. Loco Daze in Dilworth was a blast. Coming up, the Downtown Fargo Street Fair, which is one of the biggest events, in terms of attendance, in the Red River Valley. Work on city streets that had the downtown cluttered with detours is either done or on hold, so access to the street fair will be routine. There’s a lot more scheduled for the summer, and it’s always right to give pats on the back to all the hardworking people who make it happen.

Prairie roses: To the Fargo City Commission for unanimously approving a study of what the city can legally do to prevent discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender residents. The issue is more complex than it seems because the legal issues need to be examined in light of existing city statutes and possible effects of a new law on the private sector. The study will be conducted by the city attorney. Commissioner Melissa Sobolik, who initiated the idea of expanding the city’s civil right laws, said she’s OK with the study. It’s a good idea.

Leafy spurge: To the know-nothings who will not concede that the federal sequester is visiting real damage to the nation’s capacity to deliver both essential and not-so-essential government services. It’s hitting close to home. The North Dakota National Guard said the furloughs mandated by the Department of Defense will mean one day less a week for hundreds of key personnel. That translates into a 20 percent wage cut, which means over time hundreds of thousands of dollars lost to families and to the state’s economy, to say nothing of the potential effects on readiness. The sequestration is one of the dumbest ideas in the history of the federal government. It was supposed to be so onerous that it would be vacated by Congress. But the whack jobs in Washington did not act, and the fallout is beginning to be felt by real people – your friends and neighbors – who just happen to work for Uncle Sam.

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