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Published November 17 2013

Forum editorial: Professor of year wins roses

PRAIRIE ROSES: To Brian Wisenden, who last week was honored as 2013 Minnesota Professor of the Year at ceremonies in Washington, D.C. The Minnesota State University Moorhead educator teaches biosciences. His emphasis from the start is on what it means to be a scientist, and he weaves that ethic into his classroom and lab courses. In addition, he provides undergraduate students opportunities to do research. That combination was recognized by the award. Wisenden joins nine other MSUM professors who have won the award, more than any other college in Minnesota. It’s a feather in the school’s academic cap and a deserved honor for an excellent teacher.

LEAFY SPURGE: To the legal team that wants to avoid the death penalty for Alfonso Rodriguez, who was convicted of the 2003 abduction, rape and murder of Dru Sjodin. Rodriguez has lost every appeal. The evidence against him has been reviewed and reviewed again. Each time the verdict of a federal court jury was upheld. He is guilty of heinous crimes. We realize the convicted murderer has the right to exhaust all appeals, and Rodriguez’s legal team is doing a job they believe in. But there must come a time when enough is enough. There must come a time when he suffers the penalty society demands. For many observers of this disturbing case, the time has long passed.

PRAIRIE ROSES: To all the agencies, public and private, and all the individuals and churches that are stepping up to help recovery from the gigantic typhoon that ravaged the Philippines. The damage as depicted in news reports from the island nation is hard to fathom. Entire cities have been wiped out. At least 3,000 are known dead, and the count will escalate as recovery continues. The tragedy reaches around the globe – even to right here in Fargo – where Philippine natives living in the U.S. and other nations are waiting to hear news from loved ones. Communications of all kinds are down and likely will not be restored for some time. The international aid effort has been hampered by logistical nightmares, ranging from impassable roads to damaged airports. Food and water were not getting to the storm-ravaged areas. Criticism of the Philippine government for a slow response escalated last week. But the outpouring of aid from the U.S. and other nations has been huge. The people of the Red River Valley are doing what they can, also.

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