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Valley News and Views
Drayton , North Dakota
May 27, 2010     Valley News and Views
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May 27, 2010

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Valley News &Views Page 5 May 20th, 2010 "Let's choose today to quench our thirst for the good life we think others lead by acknowledging the good that already exists in our lives. We can then offer the universe the gift of our grateful hearts." - Sarah Ban Breathnach Walking through this past week as my brother is home recuperating and trying to deal with the pain and dif- ficulties of not being able to do everything for him- self, I have come to under- stand how much I take for granted on a daily basis. The love and compassion shown him throughout his ordeal is nothing short of astounding; there is no doubt divinity has a role in all of it. Friday he reached one of his goals of walking to their mailbox and back. Although the healing is going well with no complications I can't help but try and understand the frustration he must be feel- ing as he attempts to move forward when things seem to be moving so slow. He is amazing in my book but I'm sure some days he doesn't feel like that. I take so much for granted, the ability to jump in the shower, throw on my clothes, walk to my vehicle, run into town at any moment, use one hand to hold a phone and the other to write things down, turn my head from side to side to take in the breathtaking view on my daily walks, having the opportunity to go on a long daily walk, making my way through the day free from the kind of pain he is experi- encing, sitting and standing without difficulty, and being able to watch from behind the fence at my nephew's ball game while cheering loud as they make a run. All these things my broth- er can't do right now and I go through the motions with- out thinking about it. Lately I have been stopping to pon- der the sacred blessings of each day more and more. This coming weekend we will celebrate Memorial Day in various ways. I am suc- cumbed by overwhelming sadness when I think about all the people who have lost loved ones along the way and who continue to grieve the passing of those who left this earth far too soon. Sitting in the hospital while my brother went through those long hours of surgery I tried not to let my thoughts go in that direction, what if the Way has a memory By he doesn't make it? We could be sitting here mourning the loss of some- one we love so deeply but in- stead we were given the gift of his life, others have not been so lucky and for them I feel the pain of loneliness. I think about those in my life I have lost. Occasionally the image of their faces, their voices, their smiles drift into my thoughts and I am over- come with the sensation they never really left but remain a part of the energy surround- ing me daily. My husband believes this to be true. He always says, "They are all around us. Their souls may have gone to heaven but they never re- ally leave." I swear my friend Scott is around sometimes when my phone does something funny or my computer flips from one screen to the other with- out me pushing any buttons. He was a computer wizard, a technological genius and I can just see him smiling as I start to get frustrated. I always look up and say, "Ok Scott, knock it off, I have to get this stuff done." You may think this kind of odd but in truth perhaps it is my way of coming to peace with the loss, sensing their presence even though they are no longer here in body. I remember one June day several years ago as I was driving back from my work in Grafton. I was suddenly permeated with emotion and started crying for no appar- ent reason. A thought came into my head, "You need to go visit Grandpa Jensen's grave." My grandfather was one of the greatest men I have ever met in my life. He always had a joke and a smile for those who stopped by his Rob- bin home. He would gather all the children from our neighborhood including my brothers and I in the back of his yellow Chevrolet pickup and bring us into town for an ice cream cone. He was the one who first taught me how to catfish with gigantic bamboo poles, he played the violin like he took lessons for years even though he didn't, and he would lift me into his arms when I was sad and find a way to make me smile. My big brother reminds me a lot of Grandpa Jensen with his charismatic nature and compassionate heart. That daywhen I went to the churchyard to visit grandpa's grave I realized as I read his tombstone it was the day he died several years prior. I sat down to "visit" with him for a while and felt much bet- ter when I left. It had been a stressful day and I always thought it was grandpa's way of picking me up and mak- ing me smile even though he couldn't physically be there to do it. I don't know the answers to life's deepest questions, sometimes I feel so confused when I think of all the people who are struggling with loss, disappointment, heartache, and uncertainty. I wonder why so many have to go through the things they do. However I do know a few things to be certain, I am lucky to be here and to have the people in my life who lift me up when I need it most and surround me with loving acceptance. I also feel very fortunate to have my faith renewed from the grace sur- rounding myself and my en- tire family daily. Sometimes along the way we are given a glimpse of the seemingly minor bless- ings in our lives through the struggles we go through. Confronted by the challeng- es life can offer up, we are often sheltered by those who are no longer here in body but remain a huge part of our lives in spirit. There is so much more to all the tiny "coincidences" along our journeys than we could ever comprehend and although the answers may not be clear, the auspicious blessings could not be more apparent. If only we allow ourselves the capacity to open our eyes and our hearts to see and feel them. This memorial weekend, no matter who we may be honoring or remembering one thing is totally transpar- ent, they remain a part of who we are today. They touched our lives with grace for an instant and continue to adorn the pas- sage of time with undeniable memories and guard the trails of existence with celes- tial strokes. There is a great proverb that states, "Gratitude is the heart's memory." If we be- lieve it, we can see it; grati- tude will bring the memory into the moment and the moment into memory. With fiscal affairs amuck, North Dakota higher educa- tion is experiencing its third major scandal since state- hood. A recent audit indicat- ed that big dollars may have been spent without author- ity at the state's two largest universities. In 1937, Gov. William Langer, acting through his Board of Administration, ar- bitrarily fired the president and four deans at NDSU. The action so enraged the alumni that they initiated a constitutional amendment to create an independent board of higher education to "control and administer" the state's institutions. It was adopted in the June 1938 pri- mary. In 1948, NDSU President Fred Hultz decided he would implement a 10-year expan- sion plan without consulting the faculty. This led to the fir- ing of four faculty members in 1955 and the blacklisting of the school by the Ameri- can Association of University Professors. Now a recent audit of the two universities has docu- mented a series of suspi- cious fiscal decisions and possible evasion of policies of the Board of Higher Edu- cation. The Legislative Audit Farm family expenditures stay level The average living expen- ditures of $57,355 for North Dakota farm households in 2009 was approximately $50 less than in 2008. These numbers are based on 251 farms enrolled in the North Dakota Farm Business Management Education Pro- gram that kept detailed living expense records throughout the year. "The leveling of family living expenditures makes sense," says Andy Swenson, North Dakota State Uni- versity farm management specialist. "Expenditures in 2007 and 2008 shot up by an annual average increase of 10 percent. During this two- year period, net farm income set record highs. In 2009, net farm income dropped by half and household expenditures settled down." Education tough questions Om00o00, and Fiscal Review Commit- tee, consisting of one-third of the Legislature, discussed the sequence of events at a recent session in Bismarck. Naturally, legislators be- rated the Board for its lack of oversight and began mak- ing suggestions for curtail- ing the powers of the Board. One thought the Board per- haps should be reorganized. Another proposed that the Board of Higher Education be abolished, alleging that his constituents would favor such a move. But James Madison warned us about legislatures. "The legislative department is everywhere extending the sphere of its activity and drawing all power into its impetuous vortex," he wrote in 1787 as he noted the need for other branches of govern- ment to check the legislative quest for power. His insight rings true for the North Dakota Legislature when it comes to the Board of Higher Education. It has added two of its own to the committee for nominating Board members; it has mus- cled into programmatic ar- eas through the Roundtable of Higher Education, and it even considered mandat- ing a UND-NDSU football game. There is no doubt that it has a nose for getting into the tent. Unfortunately, the fiscal missteps have provided a creditable opportunity for restricting or usurping Board authority. It is a good bet that some members of the Audit and Fiscal Review Commit- tee will be introducing bills in the next session of the Legislature to expand its au- thority in higher education. Even though the Board enjoys constitutional protec- tion, a mean-spirited legisla- ture can still make life mis- erable for higher education. The situation requires legis- lative restraint. Chancellor Bill Goetz cautioned that "the sins of a few" should not be used as an excuse to damage the whole system. Legislators need to remember that they, too, have made costly fiscal errors. Not too long ago, the Legislative Council lost a million or so in a computer contract because of poor oversight. We all are flawed. SAVINGS Black Forest Gummys - 79 Cents PLAY the North Dakota Lottery HERE! Agri-Valley Cenex C-Store 454-6277 Drayton Summer Store Hours Monday - Friday 5:30 a.m. - 11:00 p.m. Saturday 6:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m. Sunday 7:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m. Last weekend's downpour s/owed pace of bridge construction only sfightly. Work resumed on Monday. !lm A,s00 | Minnesota Twins Baseball May 27th - June 3rd Twins Vs Place Time , Thursday May 27th Yankees Rangers ! Saturday May 29th Rangers Televised Sunday May 30th Rangers ESPN2 Monday May 31 st Mariners Tuesday June 1st Mariners Mariners Home 7:10 p.m, FS-N 7:10 p.m, FS-N 3:10 p.m, FOX 7:05 p.m, 9:10 p.m. FS-N 9:10 p.m. FS-N 9:10 p.m, FS-N 9:10 p.m. FS-N Home Home Home Seattle Seattle Seattle Seattle Wednesday June 2nd Thursday June 3rd Mariners Renovating to serve you better. Altru Clinic - Drayton will be closed May 24-31 for renovation and maintenance. We'll reopen on Tuesday, June 1. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.  N E-mail Us At - Visit our Website at: t