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Letters to the Editor …

By Staff | Nov 2, 2012

Court Little Flower

Rugby, N.D.

October is National Pornography Awareness Month. We are all well aware of this dreaded vice which has taken a stronghold on so many families because of its accessibility to all people. It has now been recorded that women are as guilty as men, and many children have joined the trend, through the media of television, computers, and books, to name a few.

Parents, we are asking you to watch what your children are reading and watching on TV and know the company they hang out with.

Another suggestion we may try is turning to God in silent meditation and prayer, maybe just 15 minutes a day. Prayer is the strongest method of defense against evil. If we all join together in this effort we may find some remarkable reduction in this dreaded evil.

Remember this saying of Jesus: “Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and the door will be opened to you.”

Judith L. Gibbens

Cando, N.D.

Proponents of Measure 5 say they want to protect our state’s animals by making extreme forms of animal cruelty a Class C felony. We must, the story goes, keep pace with the times and do something about our weak animal cruelty laws. Yet, Measure 5 does nothing to protect any species of animals, including dogs, cats and horses from common forms of inhumane treatment and abuse including neglect, abandonment, and starvation. Even if Measure 5 were already part of our Century Code, no additional help would be available to the starving horses, cows shot to death, abandoned puppies and kittens, and hoarding situations that have made North Dakota news over the summer of 2012.

In addition, the ballot language omits two critical words “to death” that are found in the full text of Measure 5. The ballot language states that a person who maliciously or intentionally harms a living dog, cat, or horse would be guilty of a Class C felony. However, the full text of Measure 5 reads “Any individual who maliciously and intentionally burns, poisons, crushes, suffocates, impales, drowns, blinds, skins, beats to death, drags to death, exsanguinates, disembowels, or dismembers any living dog, cat, or horse”. The disparity between the ballot language and the full text of Measure 5 leads me to wonder if most people can truly understand what it is they are voting on by reading the ballot. I also question Measure 5’s protection of animals in North Dakota from malicious or intentional harm when the animals must be beaten or dragged to death before the law applies.

The language used in the full text of the Measure and on the ballot leaves much for interpretation and sets the stage for unintended consequences. The language on the ballot is not a good representation of Measures 5’s full text. Bringing animal cruelty laws in this state into the 21st century by thoughtful input and consideration of all North Dakotans using a legislative process trumps a narrowly focused, poorly worded initiated measure every time.

Please consider joining me in voting NO on Measure 5, but do not stop there. Contact your legislators and let them know that the humane laws in North Dakota require their attention in the upcoming 2013 session. Initiated measures drafted and supported by out of state special interest groups are a poor substitute for writing laws on complex subjects like the humane treatment of animals and Measure 5 is an example of this.

Metta Schell,

Towner N.D.

On October 10, 2012 there was a town hall meeting regarding Measure 5 in Minot, N.D., and my husband and I went to find out more about the measure. When I heard that the out-of-state anti-hunting and anti-agriculture group The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is funding and running Measure 5, I knew our state will be in trouble if this passes.

When I worked in Minot I would listen to “Agri Talk” on the Rugby radio station on my commute. They talked about HSUS, an animal rights extremist group, and how they are trying to destroy animal agriculture in the United States. HSUS tried to pass restrictions against hunting and property rights in North Dakota on a 2010 measure and failed. Now they are back, using our cats, dogs and horses; our pets; as a means to get a foot in our door to do their damage to animal agriculture in North Dakota. Less than 1% of their multi-million dollar donations goes to any form of physical animal care whatsoever.

There were several informative speakers at the Oct. 10 meeting, and it was stated that the North Dakota Veterinarian Medical Board has recommended a NO vote on Measure 5. Two of the speakers were veterinarians, and they stated this measure has nothing to do with any of the animal issues that they have seen in our state.

There is a North Dakota Animal Stewards Coalition. It is a broad-based and growing group of ranchers, farmers, veterinarians, pet owners, animal shelter workers, sportsmen and women working to protect all of our animals and our rights in animal agriculture. We do NOT need a Washington extremist group destroying agriculture in North Dakota. For information go to www.NDAnimalStewards.com, or on Facebook by searching “North Dakota Animal Stewards”. Please vote NO on Measure 5.

Randy L. Myers

Rugby, N.D.

This letter is to urge the citizens of Pierce County to pass the mill levy requested by the Geographical Center Historical Society.

Pierce County has something very unique in the Prairie Village and Museum that few other counties in North Dakota have. The board, director and staff have worked hard the past few years to add programming and events to help balance the budget. Additional funding is still required to promote, maintain, and expand the Museum.

The additional funds raised by the mill levy request would help to insure that the Museum’s doors would remain open for the foreseeable future.

Thank you for your continued support of the Geographical Center Historical Society and the Prairie Village and Museum.

Sue Fretland,

Towner, N.D.

The state of North Dakota is in a unique and enviable position as this election approaches. We are enjoying unprecedented growth and prosperity; but we have another unusual situation, we have two good men running for the office of governor.

Jack Dalrymple picked up the reins when John Hoeven was elected to the United States Senate. His policy has been “do no harm”. He has reacted to whatever situation presented itself in this state. Is this what we want from our governor? I think not.

Ryan Taylor, on the other hand, has a vision for North Dakota. He has formulated policies that are proactive, that meet changes head-on rather than act after the fact. He has proposed a change to the distribution of oil and gas tax monies so those counties and communities most impacted would benefit from the dollars being produced there. He has plans that would assist growing schools and stressed law enforcement agencies. He recognizes the necessity of working with both public and private agencies to meet housing and child care needs in North Dakota. In short, he is a new breed of politician. Not only is he honorable and well spoken but he has VISION and plans to carry out that vision.

On November 6, 2012 we can vote for more of the same, or for leadership with a vision for all of North Dakota. Ryan Taylor is the man to lead us in these challenging, rewarding times.

Paige (Haugland) Uran

As a concerned North Dakota citizen and life-long animal producer and caretaker, I feel there are serious loopholes in Measure 5 that we all need to be concerned about. The language of Measure 5 is unclear and misleading, leaving far too much up to interpretation. For example:

1) Exempt is “any other activity that is usual and customary practice in production agriculture”. Who is going to determine what is usual and customary? Do we want people who are disconnected with agricultural practices to decipher what is going to be a “usual and customary practice”??

2) “Treatment etc., under supervision of a licensed veterinarian” Most ranchers treat animals on their own, unless it’s a major injury, including routine vaccinations to keep our animals healthy on a daily basis. There are many circumstances where this would be very impractical. If my horse broke its leg running through the pasture on a holiday weekend would it be more humane to euthanize the horse myself and end it’s suffering quickly, or wait for hours, even days, for a vet? It is my understanding that, if passed, Measure 5 could very well make me a felon for saving my horse from hours of pain and suffering caused an injury that was unintentional based on the language of this measure. Furthermore, Measure 5 does not cover the basic and most common forms of mistreatment on ALL animals, which seems very odd. There are many parts to this measure that are sketchy and this attitude of “hurry up and pass it so no more animals suffer” and, “we can fix the bills later” is not right. Why not do it right the first time with a group of people from all aspects of animal health and production working together? (For more information on animal care laws being proposed by our own citizens, please visit and read at ndanimalcare.com.) We all have the animals’ best interests in mind. What is the big hurry to pass a subpar measure that so many in the animal health industry are unhappy with? Even some of our best animal shelters and most respected veterinarians are opposing this measure. Now that’s something for people to seriously consider.?

I don’t want to see ANY animal being mistreated; most ranchers and pet owners like myself couldn’t think of such a thing. I am, however, extremely skeptical of anything the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has their hands in. People are being deceived and led to believe that the HSUS is the same as their local shelters, and that is far from the truth.

  • Measures like this, with such varying interpretation, can get our lifestyles into some sticky situations. In my opinion, it’s not right for ND. Join me and vote NO on Measure 5!

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Letters to the Editor …

By Staff | Nov 2, 2012

Perry Ostmo

Sharon, N.D.

Democrats believe Healthcare is a right. Republicans view it as a priviledge. It’s another stark difference in ideology. This is an extremely important election about the direction of this country. It’s an election about Principles, morals and ethics. Obamacare is long overdue in this country. There are too many good parts to it to repeal and start over. If they were capable of working in a bipartisan order they could fix the parts that need it. Why are politicians so fiercely against it? If they repeal it don’t expect it to reappear again. The Frontier amendment was a once-in-a-lifetime shot at fixing the discrepancies in reimbursements to ND medical facilities taking medicare patients. Who represents the 45,000 North Dakotans without health insurance, including 11,000 children in recent statistics. Who represents the 153,000 North Dakotans with pre-existing conditions or the 32,000 ND families facing major medical expenses exceeding their caps. The Democrats do!! 62% of all bankruptcies in this country are due to health care expenses. Kevin Cramer has made repeal of this legislation his #1 priority. Dalrymple, Berg, and Hoeven, along with the entire Republican Party are driven to do this! Driven by pure GREED! The more one has the more one needs! This, by the party of Religion, the Religious Right- which in reality is ~10% truly righteous and well meaning, and 90% selfish, self-serving, and the self-righteous. Only one party uses religion to further their agenda-most of which is unchristian-like. I resent the use of my religion by pretenders and part-timers for their self-serving agenda. Too many voters in this state are deceived and lied to by politicians and the one-sided media in much of this state. Do your duty and vote. Vote your conscience.

Perry Ostmo

Sharon, N.D.

It was written with a mandate. Raised taxes. Was upheld by the Supreme Court. Defended by..Wayne Stehnjem. Strongly supported by Rick Berg, Jack Dalrymple, and signed into law by John Hoeven. Was it written for the needy, the sick, the poor? No! This bill, HB1518 (2005) the Wheat Tax Bill raised the wheat tax by 60%, with 40% of this increase going to two highly partisan commodity groups- the Grain Growers and the Durum Growers. This bill gives them an estimated $1,000,000 per biennium with absolutely no accountability. It was fiercely opposed by the Farmer’s Union and 90% of those farmers present in the large packed hearing room in Bismarck. Farmers had NO vote on this bill. This was shoved down our throats by a Republican, mostly urban supermajority. So for Berg, Hoeven, Dalrymple, Cramer, and the rest of your hypocritical party, which mandates are you for? The ones written for: the people in need, the sick, the poor, the children, the uninsured, or just the ones for political gain? Republicans aren’t against tax increases, just the ones they would pay. Do your duty and VOTE!! Vote your conscience!

Paul Nelson

Fargo, N.D.

There is a very important position that compels North Dakota voter attention during this election year. I am referring to the Superintendent of Public Instruction. What could be more important than the election of an individual who oversees the education of our children and the entire ND public school system? The Department of Public Instruction will have a new Superintendent for the first time in the past 26 years. The DPI is one of the largest departments in our State with a budget exceeding $1.5 billion. The Superintendent also serves on several boards that are important to North Dakota, including the State Land Board. There is a clear choice between the two candidates. Kirsten Baesler has attained her Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Education, and has worked for more than 21 years in public education. Her work during those two decades has focused on the philosophy that each child is provided the opportunity to prosper and flourish. I urge everyone to review the qualifications of the two candidates before casting this important vote.

Carol M. Siegert

Hunter, N.D.

For decades, Medicare has paid our providers in North Dakota far less that other states. Some rural hospitals are on the verge of closing. What about the challenges recruiting providers to work in a state where they will make less salary. That is what you call a challenge especially for rural health care facilities!

While in Congress, Senator Dorgan and Congressman Pomeroy and current Senator Conrad fought to close that gap. After years of trying, finally there is a provision in the Affordable Care Act to level the field when it comes to Medicare reimbursement. The Frontier State Amendment means an additional $52 million per year for our hospitals and $16 million per year for our doctors.

Kevin Cramer keeps saying the Affordable Care Act is bad for North Dakota. Why? I can agree that parts of ACA needs some adjustments, however I think it would be huge mistake to repeal, especially the Frontier State Amendment.

I have known and worked with Pam Gulleson before she was a state Legislator. Pam’s priorities have always been for the betterment of North Dakota and Pam supports the Frontier State Amendment. Pam’s opponent prefers special interest groups!

North Dakota we need Pam Gulleson to represent us in Congress!

Jack Reich

Zap, N.D.

While a hastily written bill did not make it through the last session, the North Dakota legislature has a strong record of enacting legislation that improves the lives of animals.

For example, in the 2011 session, the North Dakota legislature created a stewardship specialist position at North Dakota State University to work with the state’s animal caretakers on a variety of stewardship and animal welfare topics. This is the first position of its type in the nation and other states are looking to North Dakota to pattern their programs after ours. Dr. Gerald Stokka, D.V.M., currently serves in this role and, as a lifelong North Dakota rancher, I am eager to learn more about stewardship from Dr. Stokka.

In the 2009 session, the legislature approved funding for the department of agriculture to hire a field investigator to investigate complaints of animal mistreatment. Justin Maddock has worked in this capacity since 2010 and reports to the state veterinarian.

Years before that, the North Dakota Legislature saw fit to create the North Dakota Board of Animal Health.

These are proactive steps that improve the lives of North Dakota animals and help animal owners improve at the same time.

It is disappointing and downright deceptive when proponents of Measure 5 say that the legislature has “done nothing” to improve the plight of animals. Improving the lives of animals doesn’t come by doling out felonies and banning animal ownership. It comes from a comprehensive approach to educate and inform animal caretakers.

In the 2013 session, legislators will have a humane treatment of animals bill to rally around one that addresses the most heinous crimes AND abusive acts that occur more frequently in this state like starvation, hoarding and abandonment. What makes this bill different or better than the ones that came before it? This time, it comes with the backing of animal shelter workers, ranchers, veterinarians, the state veterinarian’s office and the Ag Commissioner, who have sat down to hash out the details of the law and work out the bugs. The legislative solution unlike the ballot initiative will protect all North Dakota animals and responsible animal owners, while punishing bad actors. Read it at ndanimalcare.com.

I have confidence in the North Dakota Legislative process it is one of the most open and forthright processes in the nation, where every bill gets its day in front of a committee. That’s why I’m voting “NO” on Measure 5 and putting my support behind the legislative solution.

Marlene Kouba

Regent, N.D.

The election will soon be here and some are still wondering how to vote. It is really quite simple.

The Democratic Party now supports abortion, gun control, gay marriage, increased regulations, expanded government control, less military, sharing your income, higher taxes, are against fossil fuels and the U.S. Senate has not passed a budget in four years. Why do Democrats talk about bipartisanship and compromise when they only want Republicans to switch to their vision?

The Republican Party supports pro-life, private enterprise, Constitutional rights, Christian values, less regulation, strong national security, energy policy, less taxes and the U.S. House passed a budget that the Senate won’t review.

If a candidate, like Gulleson and Heitkamp who have had over $3 million in ads, are independent thinkers, then why are they on the Democrat ticket? When candidates are elected, they will follow the party leader on key issues. In the ND legislature, the Democrats meet regularly and probably discuss how to vote whereas the Republicans rarely meet so their officials can vote according to the wishes of their constituency. It is similar in Washington.

Some say they vote for the person. However that person votes the party line so you better check to see if that party has your values. Splitting the ticket is splitting those values.

If you like things the way they are, vote Democrat. If not, vote Republican. Others won’t have a chance. Some say they aren’t into politics but if you pay taxes, you are involved so vote for one with your principles.

If you don’t vote, quit your grumbling as you will be governed by those who do.

We seem to have a Pinocchio President with others following his lead. Therefore I support Romney, Dalrymple, Cramer and Berg because they share my values. What are yours?

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