By Bill Anderson
The New Year, pure, pristine and untouched, was dropped on the front porch like a block of ice precisely at the instant that the clock and the calendar changed from December 31 to January 1. Poor old 2021, all beat up, bruised, broken and scarred, departed at the same instant, giving the New Year a clean slate to work with, at least for a couple of minutes. So far, in its first week, 2022 is doing all right: the stock market is up; unemployment is down; and, wages are up. Coronavirus infections; the crime rate; and, inflation; are all up, too, but decrepit old 2021, even though he is now long gone, still gets the blame for that disagreeable trio. The temperature on the morning of Saturday, January 1, was 22 degrees below Zero in Rutland, the perfect temperature for cooling a Bloody Mary at The Lariat on the morning after the night before. The snow total for the current winter, 2021-2022, already exceeds the 28” snow total for the entire winter of 2020-2021, and we’re not even one-third of the way through it, yet. Well, the old-timers always told us that everything evens out – too little one year and too much the next – but, on the average, it’s about where it has been. So, enjoy the New Year! It’s unlike any we have ever experienced, but, on the average, it’s just like everyone we’ve ever lived through.
As far as the Rutland Post Office is concerned, as of Wednesday, January 5, the New Year is exactly like the Old Year: no action; no service; no information; and, no Post Office. The Postal Service is consistent, though. It doesn’t just keep the public in the dark. It doesn’t even tell itself what’s going on! At the current time, one department of the USPS is preparing to renew its lease on the building, while another USPS department has the building locked up and won’t allow it to be used as a Post Office. Situations similar to that in Rutland are also occurring at other small town Post Offices across North Dakota and throughout the Nation. So, what is happening? Don’t bother to ask the management of the Postal Service. They don’t know, and wouldn’t tell you if they did.
Norbert & Beverly Kulzer drove down to Brandon SD on Friday, December 24, to spend Christmas at the home of their son & daughter-in-law, Stephen & Ann Kulzer, and 3 of their grandchildren: Lauren; Brooke; and, Will Kulzer. They drove home on Sunday, December 26. Norbert reports that there wasn’t much snow south of Brookings, and that the driving conditions were good, even at Summitt where the wind is always blowing.
Randy & Cheri Pearson had been down in Mesa AZ doing some work on their winter haven, but returned home to enjoy Christmas with family in North Dakota, and to experience once again the joy of sub-Zero temperatures. They are planning to head back to Mesa on Thursday, January 6, this time making the trip by car. Randy said that the original plan had been to load the car onto a car trailer and have someone tow it to AZ while he & Cheri flew back, but the car, an older Lincoln, turned out to be too long for the trailer, so he and Cheri will be driving it south. Randy says that he plans to be back in North Dakota when the snow is gone and the warm breezes of spring are caressing the countryside.
Paul Anderson and Carol Fridgen were in Rutland this week, making final preparations to head for their winter’s roost in Sun City West AZ. They are planning for a Thursday, January 6, departure, and for a return trip sometime in April.
The Rutland City Council met at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, January 3, 2022, in the Rutland Town Hall with Mayor Mike Mahrer; Auditor Debbie Banish; and, Council Members Rodney Erickson; Delores Lysne; and, Lori McLaen; present. Council Member Colton Corry was absent. Also present was the City Engineer, Mike Bassingthwaite, of Interstate Engineering, Wahpeton. Engineer Bassingthwaite provided the Council with new information concerning the allowed uses of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. The authorized uses of the funds are being revised, and may be broadened to allow for uses other than the construction of new infrastructure and broadband facilities. As originally authorized, the funds couldn’t be used for the maintenance or repair of municipal assets. Interstate Engineering has been exploring funding possibilities for repair and replacement of sidewalks on Main Street. The Engineer’s Estimate to replace the 1 block of sidewalk on the east side of Main Street that runs from the General Store to the Waloch-Johnson Insurance Agency, excluding the curb, is $30,000.00. So far, no funding sources for the project have been identified. The Council discussed the possible acquisition of snow removal equipment for the City’s Bobcat that were discussed last month. Council members concluded that it is not an opportune time to purchase any new snow removal equipment. So far, Scott Haan, the City’s Public Works Director, has been able to deal with the winter’s accumulation of snow with the equipment now on hand. The Council reviewed and approved the City’s financial reports and authorized the payment of bills, as presented. The City Auditor reported that there will be 6 City elected positions on the ballot for this year’s election: 2 Council terms for 4 years, currently held by Colton Corry and Rodney Erickson; a 2 year Council term, currently held by Lori McLaen; 2 Park Board 4 year terms currently held by Larry Christensen and Kyle Mahrer; and, one 2 year Park Board term currently held by Mac Pherson. Candidate petitions will be due in April. The Municipal Election will be held in conjunction with the North Dakota Primary Election in June. The next regular meeting of the Rutland City Council is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. on Monday, February 7, 2022, in the Rutland Town Hall. All meetings of the Rutland City Council are open to the public, and Rutland residents are encouraged to attend to observe their City’s governing board in action. Thanks to City Auditor Debbie Banish for the information in this report.
Word was received here last week that two long-time Rutland residents: Donetta (Mrs. Virgil) Hoistad, most recently of Moorhead MN; and Larry Trygstad, most recently of Redfield SD; had recently passed away. No further information was available as of this writing.
Lyle & Ann Erickson enjoyed supper at The Lariat Bar on the evening of Tuesday, January 4, the occasion being a celebration of Ann’s birthday. Ann’s age was not disclosed, but she is over 21. Other patrons in the establishment serenaded Ann with a chorus of the “Happy Birthday” song at the conclusion of the Erickson’s evening out.
Sonja Christensen called friends here on the morning of Wednesday, January 5, to report that her sister, Judie Seavert Grohs, had undergone a 5 hour back surgery in Corpus Christi TX that morning. According to Judie’s husband, Steve Grohs, the Doctors reported that the surgery had gone well, and a complete recovery is expected. Judie’s many friends in her old home town wish her a speedy recovery and return to her fishing boat on the Gulf of Mexico.
The blizzard of January 4 & 5 didn’t have a lot of snow, about 2” to 3” inches, but it sure had plenty of wind to arrange and re-arrange the new snow and that already on location. The blizzard subsided on the afternoon of Wednesday, January 5, but will be succeeded by sub-Zero cold for the next several days. If you don’t like the weather right now, just wait a minute … and you really won’t like it!
Meanwhile, on the national scene, Thursday, January 6, was the 1 year anniversary of the violent demonstration and riot at the U. S. Capitol that sought to overturn the results of the 2020 Presidential Election and to overthrow the elected government of the United States. The violence was fomented and encouraged by former President Trump and his lieutenants. They were unsuccessful on January 6, 2021, but have subsequently been successful in re-writing many State election laws to allow State Legislatures to throw out election results that the majority Party doesn’t like. As the late Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin observed, “It’s not important who votes. What’s important is who counts the votes.” Trump and his allies want to make sure that they are the only vote counters in the next election. The former President is a great admirer of Vladimir Putin, the current dictator of Russia, and his admiration appears to extend to Stalin, as well.
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 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.