Last fall, after two years of listening to input from the public, special-interest groups and government agencies, the North Dakota Industrial Commission got serious about creating a list of “extraordinary places.”
Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem in December designated a list of 18 special places in western North Dakota and crafted a proposed set of rules aimed at limiting the impact of energy exploration in those areas.
Great, right? Republicans working in harmony with the environmental groups to soften oil’s impact on the state? “Is this heaven?” we asked. “No, it’s North Dakota,” they responded.
Too bad it’s a little more complicated than that.
TAYLOR — Inside the newest building in this tiny town along Highway 10 sits Ryan Rebel’s pet project: a 1944 Ford pickup truck.
It’s nothing special yet, but the 21-year-old takes pride in it. He has been working on the truck since he was in high school.
As he stood back to describe and admire the truck — something of a collector’s item as World War II all but halted the production of Ford pickups that year — Ryan described what it takes to restore a vehicle like that.
“You’ve got to have a vision when you start something like that,” he said. “When you start with some frame rails on the garage floor, you’ve got to have something in your mind — what you want it to look like when you’re done.”
I’ve always wondered about the people who protest certain topics. Are they really that upset? Does everything rile them up that much? Does somebody pay these people to protest? Is this their job?
Lately, every time there is political movement on the Keystone XL pipeline, there’s an environmental activist group there with a protest — though we don’t get to see it because the protests usually only take place in a coastal California city like San Francisco or Los Angeles, and, of course, Washington, D.C. Both places are so far from where the proposed pipeline would go that one has to wonder why people would protest for something they’ve likely never seen in a place they’ve likely never been nor ever plan to go.
NEW ENGLAND — All it takes is one look inside the New England Fire and Ambulance Hall to see the small town could use a better facility.
Packed like sardines into a 40-foot long by 80-foot wide steel building on the town’s Main Street are two ambulances and five fire trucks of different sizes. One truck is always parked outside.
“Those who have questioned why we need a new building, all they have to do is walk into ours right now,” Fire Chief Joey Kathrein said. “It’s actually dangerous. That’s a big reason why we wanted to expand.”
With the help of grants, fundraising and a donated piece of land, the town is building the $1.15 million Emergency Services Center on the city’s northeast edge to house its fire and ambulance services.
Everywhere one looks, Dickinson and southwest North Dakota is changing and growing.
There are new people living in new homes and apartments, new stores alongside new places to eat and recreate, a new school and another likely in the works.
No matter which way you look at it, the city is in the midst of massive changes. Most of all, we’re making progress.