We talk a lot about the spirit of Christmas. Throughout his long and devoted life, Palmer Forness actually embodied the spirit of Christmas. Most obviously, he was Santa Claus for generations of children in Fargo-Moorhead. For years he personified Santa Claus for children at West Acres. And he did, in fact, have an impressive set of whiskers that grew white with the years. But he was not, as one of his sons pointed out, a "ho, ho, ho" Santa. He was more like Mister Rogers dressed as Santa.
The metro area mourns two children who recently drowned, and a troublesome question lingers after the funerals: What more can be done to prevent these tragedies? The circumstances of each fatality show how difficult it can be to save a person from drowning, once in the water. Grace Bettie, a 9-year-old Moorhead girl, was participating in a youth group outing June 27 in the swimming hole at Buffalo River State Park near Glyndon, Minn., when she slipped under the water.
We'll acknowledge this: President Donald Trump, a former reality television performer, certainly knows how to rile up his supporters. His rally speech at Scheels Arena on Wednesday, June 27, was enthusiastically received by the audience, whose members had waited outside for hours in sweltering heat before they were admitted. His "Make America Great Again" speech was spiced with many of his tried-and-true applause lines, including his administration's efforts to protect the nation's borders and to kill "job-killing regulations." As expected, he had supportive words for Rep.
Fargo-Moorhead is engaged in a constant competition with other cities to attract a skilled and talented workforce. The metro cities for years have consciously worked to provide amenities to improve quality of life to make the area more welcoming for young people. But other challenges remain. One of the biggest: affordable day care for young families. The issue recently came to the fore at a Chamber of Commerce event, when nonprofit and business leaders gathered to talk about the dire need for affordable, high-quality child care.
Jesse Jahner, a long-time deputy who has performed a variety of duties and held several management positions during his law-enforcement career, is the right choice to be the next Cass County sheriff.
We endorse two candidates who stand out in the hotly contested Fargo City Commission race: Linda Boyd and Tim Flakoll. Both have demonstrated they are dedicated, well informed and see city services and priorities in a holistic manner. Both also have earned reputations for reasonableness and working well with others to find solutions. Boyd, a former city commissioner who now serves on the Fargo school board, also has been active in the arts.
Bernie Dardis has long been involved in business and civic groups in West Fargo. He's best known for his many years at the helm of Indigo Signworks. It's fitting that one of his many community roles included participation in West Fargo 2.0—fitting because, as a first-time office seeker, Dardis will bring a fresh perspective to City Hall. Rich Mattern has been an able mayor of West Fargo for 16 years, after serving four years on the City Commission. He has helped steer the city as it has grown significantly, with more growth on the horizon.
The drive to build a Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library in western North Dakota has taken an unexpected twist—a move we support, although it has understandably ruffled some feathers. The impetus for this worthy project came from Dickinson State University, which for years has been digitizing documents involving Roosevelt's colorful life. Roosevelt's letters and papers are scattered in libraries and archives, but the digital library will be the first central repository of documents involving the 26th president of the United States.
It's appalling to learn that the Fargo Park District is even considering the possibility of expanding the campground at Lindenwood Park, which could occupy space that has been set aside for decades for softball fields. Lindenwood is one of Fargo's oldest parks and, at 90 acres, is the city's largest and a true gem of the park system. It's one of the best places for city residents to go to enjoy the outdoors, with trails along the Red River and a nice pastoral calm.
The importance of Minnesota State colleges and universities is being driven home this graduation season, when 40,000 students will receive degrees from the system's campuses in 47 communities throughout the state. We're well aware of the system's importance here at home, with the presence of two campuses in Moorhead: Minnesota State University Moorhead and Minnesota State Community and Technical College, which has sister campuses in Detroit Lakes, Fergus Falls and Wadena.