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Iron workers set the signed beam Wednesday morning during the signing of the Steel Ceremony at the new Sanford Health Dickinson Clinic.
I'm not a native North Dakotan so perhaps it is why I admire the state so much. People in North Dakotas are consistent, hardy, hardworking, creative, honest and so much more in making the state such a great place to live. I always thought the quality of North Dakota schools played a huge part in their citizenship.
During what seems like a lifetime ago -- because it was -- I worked as a laborer at a copper refinery in Sahuarita, Ariz. Laborer is Latin for one who does what nobody else will do on the cheap and, most days, I found myself on the wrong end of a shovel for eight-plus hours. One day my supervisor told me the bin under the scrubber was plugged and I needed to climb inside and use a steel pipe to unplug it. The material, normally very hot, had been allowed to cool so I could climb in without burning up. Once inside, I realized that part of allowing it to cool was greatly overstated.
I've spent a lot of my adult life in states that bordered Canada. When I was publisher in Havre, Mont., only 40 miles south of the border, we took a few trips to the Alberta cities of Medicine Hat and Calgary. Crossing the border was simpler then. After 9/11 it required a passport. Not being a world traveler, I just never got around to acquiring one until moving to Dickinson. As a result, I hadn't visited Canada for more than 10 years. On Tuesday, I crossed the border north of Crosby on my way to Regina, Saskatchewan, to attend the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference.
My focus since the day I was hired as publisher of The Dickinson Press was to ensure that the opinion page was the medium for discussion in our communities. Arriving in the fall of 2007, I heard from some in the community that the newspaper had not always been receptive to letters to the editor or op-ed pieces. Knowing that the true measure of a newspaper is how engaged readers are, we made every effort possible to ensure you had every opportunity to voice your opinion. Due to space considerations, we do have a one letter to the editor limit per person per 30-day period and 400-word limit.
Most worthwhile wisdom I have acquired was outside of any classroom or textbook. I also know, for a fact, I never learned anything while talking. One of the best places I've received valuable information is while sitting in a barber's chair. Barbershops, I have learned, are a great source for good and bad information -- not only from the barber but customers as well.
There is a lot going on in North Dakota's oil country and, depending who you talk to, more good than bad. The oil boom has resulted in a population increase unlike anywhere in the country. Most of the people moving here for work are hard-working folks who are just trying to make a living. You have to admire their pioneer spirit to leave their homes and in a lot of cases families to work in North Dakota. Working in the oil industry can be dangerous and requires highly skilled employees with a keen eye on safety for themselves and their co-workers.
Something magical happens every spring and that magic is baseball. Baseball transcends generations like no other because it is the national pastime whereas other sports are a game. Playing a simple game of catch with your father and then later with your son or daughter will make you understand the magic of baseball. I can't remember where my reading glasses are 95 percent of the time, but I can remember my first baseball mitt. My father, after he gave it to me, showed me how to oil and tie a baseball in the web to create the perfect pocket.
Not opening the Painted Canyon overlook this summer shouldn't be an option. There has to be a way to safely allow for motorists passing through our state to enjoy the breathtaking beauty of Theodore Roosevelt National Park for a few moments, even if the National Park Service can't figure it out. People will stop to take in the view with or without an exit ramp -- and that will be awful dangerous with the increased traffic in western North Dakota. Sorry at first glance if closing the overlook seems like the easiest way to make a statement about how the sequester effects TRNP.
Like many folks, there are lots of little things that drive me nuts. They say don't sweat the little things, and I know everything really is little unless, of course, they affect you. I'll admit to feeling my blood pressure rise when life's little things happen to me. The car won't start; power goes out during a football game, no milk in the fridge, waiting in line to cast a vote and like-type calamities that happen daily, if not hourly.