News this week has been hard to locate. Everyone is behaving and nobody working. The war is just like the weather…. WAIT! WHAT? That’s how L.S. Sanderson started his Sanderson Says column in the Sargent County News on January 18, 1951 referring to the Korean War. (So, I’ve been cleaning out old newspapers and happened to find that with some family memorabilia. Just another way to pass the time and avoid housecleaning!).
News has been harder to locate as people have self-quarantined and the coffee clutch talks have stopped for now. There are other ways people have been gathering – like the caravan of cars to celebrate birthday’s for Whitney Mahrer in Rutland and Charlize Willprecht in Forman. Friends and family waving as they pass by in their cars decorated with balloons and streamers and other birthday designs lifted the spirits of the birthday girls and their own as well. More things are happening remotely, and people are utilizing technology to keep in touch, but we must remember that there many people of all ages who are not connected by computers and smartphones. Thankfully, the weather has warmed a bit – at least for a while – providing more inspiration to get out and walk, ride, jog or run.
The Rutland City Council met on Monday, April 6, as the Board of Equalization with Sargent County Assessor Denise Ferderer present by phone. The Council discussed the abstract changes and reviewed the list of real estate exemptions, homestead and veteran credits and approved them as presented. The Board of Equalization adjourned, and the regular meeting of the Council convened. Council Member Erickson reported that the city’s traffic signs will be installed soon; the recent snow and rain events have delayed the project, but it will be completed shortly. The Council discussed the Governor’s recent emergency declarations related to the COVID-19 health emergency making all ND cities eligible for any federal or state funds that may become available to pay for expenses related to the emergency. Although the Council could not identify what type of expenses, if any, Rutland would incur, the Council voted 2-1 to be proactive and adopted an emergency declaration for the City of Rutland. The Council also directed that the City Hall will remain locked for an undetermined time; the City Auditor will be in the Office as needed. Contact can be made by telephone 701-724-3081 or, preferably, by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. In other business, the Council concurred in submitting a tree grant application to remove and trim additional trees in the City rather than plant new trees this year. The Auditor will apply for the new grant prior to the April 30th deadline. Once that is submitted, the reimbursement request will be completed for last year’s tree removal matching funds grant. The Council expressed concern about the sump pumps that are running into the sewers and to the City lagoon. Residents should drain sump pumps into their yards or the City streets rather than into the sewer system. Households needing help should contact Ronnie Narum or Roger Pearson. All sump pumps will need to drain into the streets within 30 days of the written notification that will be sent with the next water/utility billing system. The Council approved the financials and bills as submitted. The City-wide cleanup day will be held Saturday, May 2, and the municipal waste site will be open from 1-4 p.m. for residents to dispose of yard waste, branches, white goods, and electronics. The next Council meeting is scheduled for Monday, May 6.
Mayor Narum urged residents to get their Census form completed and mailed in as soon as possible. Census population data is used as a basis for funds that flow to the City. In addition, Ronnie does not want to have to wear a cap/hat/shirt that promotes the other Sargent County towns of Forman, Gwinner or Milnor!!
That’s it for the news from Rutland. Stay safe and hunker down with a good book. Happy Easter!
I end this week with the following which has gone viral – erroneously attributed to Kathleen O’Mara as a poem she wrote in 1869 and supposedly reprinted during the 1919 Spanish Flu Pandemic. You can’t believe everything you read online. This poem was written in March 2020 by Kitty O’Meara, a former teacher and chaplain from Wisconsin.
And the People Stayed Home by Kitty O’Meara
And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently.
And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal.
And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.