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Published June 08, 2009, 12:00 AM

Forum editorial: West Fargo campaign wins roses

To all sides involved in the run up to Tuesday’s school bond vote in the West Fargo School District.

By: Forum Editorial Board, INFORUM

To all sides involved in the run up to Tuesday’s school bond vote in the West Fargo School District. Despite strong feelings about parts of the building and renovation proposal, the debate was mostly civil and informative. There are always exceptions, of course, but both the tenor and substance of discussions helped voters come to conclusions. It’s an important issue for a growing school districts and whatever the outcome, public education in West Fargo will thrive because of an engaged and supporting population. Of special note: The work of school board members and the administration for getting as much good information out as was possible.

To what has been described as a “culture of acceptance” in North Dakota regarding underage drinking. A national survey released last week put North Dakota at the top of the heap for binge and underage drinking in the U.S. It’s a ranking that does not generate pride in one’s state. It reflects a societal failure that involves every individual and business associated with alcohol, including parents who wink at their kids’ misuse of alcohol. Efforts have been under way for years to change drinking patterns among youngsters, but the levels have not changed much. The survey found 58 percent of the state’s young people engage in binge drinking. The change has to come from home, institutions, media and businesses that make drinking look like the thing to do.

To national and international health agencies and a hyperventilating media for the overblown H1N1 flu scare that swept the U.S. and much of the rest of the planet. Also known as swine flu, the virus seemed to be the worst strain of flu ever to be discovered. The word “pandemic” was thrown around until it became meaningless. As the outbreak of H1N1 evolved, it became clear that, in the U.S. at least, it was proving to be no more serious than what occurs in a normal flu season with other strains of the virus. Of course, caution is always the way to go regarding any flu outbreak. But the hyperbole that accompanied the H1N1 outbreak – including damaging reports of the flu’s association with hogs – battered the credibility of disease experts, public health agencies and the media.

To the thousands of graduates from colleges and high schools who received diplomas in the past couple of weeks. Many of these area students were on the front lines of the flood fight in the Red River Valley and other places, including Jamestown, N.D., and Valley City, N.D. Without the enthusiastic and seemingly tireless help from the students, the flood fight would not have gone so well. They pitched in, worked hard and made a difference. Along with celebrating their academic achievements, we salute their volunteer work in the flood zones.

Forum editorials represent the opinion of Forum management and the newspaper’s Editorial Board.