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Published December 08 2013

Forum editorial: Snowplow operators win roses

PRAIRIE ROSES: To the men and women of the region’s many public works departments – state, county and local – who put in the time during, and in the aftermath of snowstorms, like the one that hit the area last week. Their work is vital to the economy because open roads are vital to commerce. Moreover, they often are called on to put in very long hours in sometimes treacherous conditions, especially when frigid winds whip up snow and limit visibility. Also, they have to deal with motorists who either don’t understand or don’t care to understand how dangerous it can be to pass a snowplowing rig in bad weather. So hats off to the operators of snow removal machines, who are doing the best job they can, often without enough equipment to get it done quickly.

PRAIRIE ROSES: Well, let’s make it wilted prairie roses to the North Dakota Department of Health for going live on a website with information about oil and other environmental spills in the state, primarily in the state’s booming Oil Patch. Wilted roses are appropriate because the department didn’t move on the website until an uproar over an unreported oil spill of some 26,000 barrels on farmland near Tioga got the state’s attention. Followed by a story that said up to 300 spills had not been reported to the public, the department found itself (so to speak) with oil on its hands. Now the public has quick access to timely information about oil and other toxic spills from pipelines, well sites or wherever they occur. Using the data an informed public can make judgments about the impacts of accelerating energy development.

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