By Bill Anderson
When in the course of human events it becomes necessary to celebrate the independence and liberty of a great nation and a great people, there’s no better way to do it than with the fireworks and fury of a good, old-fashioned thunderstorm. Thunder, lightning, wind and rain rolled through Rutland at about 3:30 in the morning on Friday, June 29, leaving enough water in its wake to do some good, and not enough to do any harm. Roger Pearson reported that his rain gauge showed .2 of an inch, while Norbert Kulzer’s gauge showed .3 of an inch right next door. Shawn Klein reported that .25 of an inch was recorded at Havana, and Dennis Goltz stated that .2 of an inch was received at his farm in Weber Township. Kurt Breker finally broke the drought at his farm 1 mile south of Cayuga with a timely .3-inch rainfall, and Jim Lunneborg reported that .2 of an inch had fallen at his farm in Shuman Township. The precipitation is keeping crops doing well throughout Sargent County. Now, if only there was a price…
Back on July 2, 1776, John Adams predicted that date, the date on which the original Resolution Of Independence was adopted by the Second Continental Congress, would be celebrated with bands, flags and fireworks by future generations of Americans, and Mother Nature honored that prediction with another thunderstorm that rolled through on the evening of Monday, July 2, with heavy rain to boot. As it was still raining as of the writing of this article, though, no report of amounts is yet available. The deluge was reminiscent of “pitchforks and hammer handles,” though.
Alice Bidle of Medina MN visited at the home of her grandfather, Leonard Heinen, from Monday, June 25 to Thursday, June 28. Leonard had been a patient at the VA Medical Center in Fargo from June 13 to June 20, and is fortunate to have a daughter, Marcia Brakke, who is a Nurse Practitioner and a granddaughter, Ms. Bidle, who is a Registered Nurse. Leonard is a veteran of World War II and is a member of Bergman-Evenson Post #215 of the American Legion in Rutland.
Among those from Rutland who drove up to Fargo on the afternoon of Wednesday, June 27, to witness and participate in some of the activities associated with the Presidential campaign event in Scheel’s Arena that evening were Ione Lunneborg; Nick & Katie McLaen; and, Calvin & Wendy Jacobson. Ione Lunneborg, who is not a fan of the President’s policies, programs and tactics, provided the following report of her involvement and observations: “Don’t know how much courage it took but guess I was finally mad enough I couldn’t stay home and let someone else think they are speaking for me. I had many friends keeping the phone handy in case I needed bail money! I met up with some gals from MN who are very active in the resistance movement. The protestors gathered at 4pm and were ready to head past Scheels Arena at 5pm. While estimates of the number of protestors varied greatly we guessed somewhere in the 500 range. While we were headed to the Urban Plains Parkway on the east side of the arena where the speakers were presenting a short program, we had people honking at us in unity and, unfortunately, we were occasionally shouted at to “get a job” “f-you” and my personal favorite was “you’re un-American”. The messages on our signs covered a wide range of topics from immigration outrage over babies in cages, healthcare, gay rights, tariffs, women’s issues and education. There were people old and young, working class and professionals, button downs and goth and clergy. Several people brought their children. We heard from a couple of local resistance persons who urged us not to engage with those attending the party. Our group decided we did not want to be there when the pep rally got out and left as the helicopter was flying over and police lined the street. We had been told that if there was going to be any fluff ups it would most likely occur after the rally inside the arena let out. So this not so brave 68-year-old first time protestor and her friends left without seeing the motorcade coming or going. And true to form the only face to face encounters happened on the street between the two groups. It was quite an experience. One lady I met was from Bulgaria and had become a citizen in 2010. She told me she had lived in a dictatorship for 40 years and feared that is where the US is headed. So that is my recounting of my first protest. I’m so glad I went and experienced it. I didn’t see anyone from our area but they could have been there, and I just didn’t see them. It won’t be my last.” Thanks to Ione for the report, and for showing all that a woman from Sargent County knows how to state her views bravely, responsibly and peacefully. She didn’t need any bail money, it turned out, but it is kind of flattering to know that she has friends who think that she can still raise enough cain to get herself tossed into the hoosegow.
Christine & Lyle Tauer of Cedar MN arrived in Rutland on the afternoon of Thursday, June 28, to visit at the home of Christine’s father, Leonard Heinen. The Tauers assisted Mr. Heinen move from Rutland Housing’s 4-plex at 209 First Street to the Four Seasons Healthcare Center in Forman before departing for home on Monday, July 2. The Tauers had recently returned to the U. S. after taking a vacation trip to the Republic of Ireland. They report that Ireland is a beautiful country, living up to its Emerald Green reputation, and that the Irish people are very friendly, living up to their reputation as an open, cheerful and generous race. Mr. Tauer, who had been a construction contractor prior to retirement, was impressed by the many beautiful stone buildings and stone walls, some of them still in excellent shape after 8,000 years of continuous use. “They just don’t build them like that any more!” is the applicable exclamation.
Stefan Jonsson and Ulrika Almer of Västra Tunhem, Sweden, arrived in Rutland on Thursday, June 28 for a visit with friends and family here. Västra Tunhem is a small rural community just between Trollhättan and Vänersborg. Ulrika is a cousin of Kathy Brakke and Marcia Brakke of this community. Stefan & Ulrika have visited Rutland on six previous occasions, the first being when they were just married and on their honeymoon back in 1986. They departed Rutland heading for Park City, Utah, on Sunday, July 1, and took in the Medora Musical on their way. They plan to be back in Rutland by Monday, July 9.
Dick Meyers accompanied Lyle & Ann Erickson of this community to Groton SD on the evening of Friday, June 29. The purpose of the trip was to watch the Ericksons’ 16-year-old grandson, Alex Morris, play Legion baseball. Dick reports that Alex did the pitching on Friday, and “mowed ‘em down,” laying the opposition low with 14 strike outs in a 7-inning game. The Groton team won the game by a score of 9 to 0, according to Dick. Mr. Meyers played baseball for the Rutland Roosters with the great pitcher Leif Sundlie nearly 70 years ago, and he knows what a talented pitcher looks like. Dick states that Alex has a red-hot fastball and a wicked curve with which to baffle opposing hitters, and he knows how to use them. Alex’s great-great-great uncles Ralph, Irvin and Gerald “Shorty” Nelson all played baseball with The Rutland Roosters back in the 1940’s and 50’s, and Alex is following in their footsteps.
The Rutland City Council met at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, July 2, in the Rutland Town Hall with Mayor Narum; Auditor Banish; and, Aldermen Lysne, Mahrer & Siemieniewski present. Alderman Rodney Erickson was absent, performing aerial application of agricultural chemicals in the Rugby ND area. Also present at the meeting was Rutland citizen Richard “Mac” Pherson. A Public Hearing was held on the application made by Mr. Pherson for a Variance of the setback requirement in the residential section of Rutland’s Zoning Ordinance. The Council approved the setback variance application for the construction of a garage on Lots 5, 6 & 7 of the JH Johnson Addition. The current zoning requirement is for a 30-foot front yard setback from the street right of way. A variance allowing a 20-foot setback was allowed in this instance because a deep slough at the rear of the lot would prevent its use if the larger setback was required. Michael Mahrer executed his Oath of Office for a new 4-year term ending on the last Tuesday in June 2022. City Engineer Daniel Portlock of Moore Engineering, Fargo, was present to discuss future plans for sewer & water line expansion and other infrastructure projects with the Council. The Council indicated that the next big project will be replacement of the Main Street sidewalks. There had been six qualified write-in candidates for the open Park Board position in the June 12 Municipal Election. Two of the 6 had informed the Council that they would accept an appointment to serve on the Park Board. The names of the two write-in candidates willing to serve as a member of the Park Board: Kyle Mahrer; and, Samantha Gillespie; were placed in a hat and one name was drawn. Kyle Mahrer’s name was drawn, and he has accepted a four-year term on the Rutland Park Board ending June 2022. Kyle and the other 5 write ins each received 1 vote in the June 12 Election, and Kyle was elected to office by having his name drawn from a hat. That’s what is known as a “Landslide Victory” in Rutland. Garbage collection Rates were reviewed by the Council. The City Auditor noted that the rates have not been adjusted since 2005. Further discussion of a possible garbage collection rate increase will be held at the August meeting of the City Council. There was discussion of budget items for the 2019 Municipal Budget. Further discussion will be held, and a preliminary budget adopted at the August meeting. Council Members Mahrer and Siemieniewski were authorized to proceed with the replacement of the water heater in the Town Hall as soon as possible. The Council held the 2nd reading on a proposed amendment to Chapter 12 of the City ordinances pertaining to Public Nuisances and approved the amendment. Article 5, Section 12.0501 change the requirement to mow/cut weeds/grass from eight inches to six inches. Property owners are required to keep all weeds cut or the City will provide 5 days’ notice to cut the weeds before the City will hire someone to do the work and levy a special assessment against the property if the bill for mowing is not promptly paid. After reviewing the financial report which showed all funds to be in the black, and after reviewing and approving payment of the City’s bills, the Council adjourned. The next meeting of the Rutland City Council is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. on Monday, August 6, in the Rutland Town Hall.
Meanwhile on the national scene, there are now 78 weeks down and 130 weeks to go until January 20, 2021. The President’s trade and tariff policies are now beginning to hit close to home, as farm commodity prices are sliding under the weight of foreign tariffs imposed in retaliation for U. S. tariffs on imported steel & aluminum. Local manufacturers who use steel in their products are concerned that the increased cost of steel is soon going to impact sales, both domestic and export, and result in a loss of jobs. Some American manufacturers are now considering plans to move all or part of their manufacturing base to Canada, Mexico, Europe and China to avoid the heavy burden of American tariffs. On the occasion of its 242nd Birthday, it appears to many that the U. S. is voluntarily relinquishing its position as a world leader, economically, diplomatically, militarily and morally. Others, though, give the President the benefit of the doubt, asserting that he may yet pull a rabbit out of his hat. It has been noted, though, that he doesn’t have much of a hat.
Well, that’s the news from Rutland for this week. For additional information about what’s going on in the little city that can, check out the community’s internet web site at http://www.rutlandnd.com, and take a look at the Rutland Facebook page while you’re at it, too. Don’t forget to patronize your local Post Office and remember to keep the pressure on the U. S. Postal Service and the North Dakota Congressional delegation to SAVE OUR POST OFFICE! Later.