Matthew Von Pinnon
Von Pinnon is editor of The Forum.
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The privately run Red River Zoo in Fargo will receive from $760,000 to $800,000 in public money to pay off the special assessments levied against its 33-acre property. Fargo city commissioners voted unanimously Monday to divert for an unknown period of time property tax funds to the zoo from a parcel of land west of 43rd Street Southwest, a plan floated by Mayor Bruce Furness. Details of the plan will be worked out in coming weeks, Furness said. The public bailout of the zoo comes seven months after the 3-year-old facility realized it may owe more than $800,000 in special assessments during
When the United Way of Greater Duluth, Minn., chose to not fund the area Boy Scouts council for 2001, both groups suffered, said officials from both organizations Thursday. "Everybody loses when you defund an agency," said Loren Stach, Scout executive with the Voyageurs Area Council, representing 8,500 Boy Scouts and 3,200 volunteers in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Duluth's United Way voted to no longer support the Boy Scouts a few months after the June 2000 U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Boy Scouts vs.
HAWLEY, Minn. -- It seems a strange avocation, making warm and comfy quilts during the dog days of summer. But Norris and Muriel Grefsrud's basement quilting operation is no run-of-the-mill hobby.
A committee within the local United Way recommends the organization withhold funds from area agencies that discriminate based on sexual orientation. If passed, the decision could halt $70,000 in annual funding to the Northern Lights Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Geographically the second-largest Boy Scouts council in the nation, Northern Lights serves more than 16,000 youth and 5,000 adult volunteers in North Dakota, 18 counties in Minnesota, and two counties each in Montana and South Dakota, said Scouts Executive Mark Holtz. "We're probably not in a position to sign that di
Editor's note: The Forum has changed the names of the lesbian parents and their youngest child because one woman fears disclosing her name could cause her to be fired from work. The lesbian-led family that started the YMCA's 2½-year family membership debate said Monday they are pleased with the organization's decision to offer a discounted rate to nontraditional families and will again become Y members. "I admire their courage to change their position," Jo B.
Fear drives the "Not in My Back Yard" sentiment. Fear of more people. Fear of change. Fear of being unsafe. But, more and more, it's the fear of what it will look like, say those who sit through the public hearings on zoning and building matters. "I think people are more accepting of high-density development when it's within high-quality design," said Fargo Planning Director Jim Gilmour.
Calling it the right decision for children, board members of the Fargo-Moorhead Family YMCA voted 10-4 Monday to offer a discounted household membership to nontraditional families. The board also voted to continue offering its discounted family membership, available to a husband, wife and their dependent children. The household membership, available Sept. 9, will give any two adults with dependent children or other adults at the same address the same rate as traditional families.
It didn't take long for Tom McLaughlin and Brook Hollands to change their tune. The soon-to-be newlyweds hadn't even exchanged their rental home for one of their own and already they don't want renters as neighbors. "When you're a homeowner, you look at things a little differently," said McLaughlin, a 32-year-old Fargo computer software salesman. He and 29-year-old fiancée Hollands were even looking at new homes in a different area of Fargo until learning rental property was planned nearby. McLaughlin said he worried moving to an area with rental property could dam
Assessing property values is an inexact science.
While homeowners cite increased traffic, crime and school overcrowding as their opposition to attached-style housing in their neighborhoods, nothing rivals the fear of how it could affect their property values. So often is the issue brought up during Fargo hearings that city planners frequently cite a national study in some of their reports, and are beginning to conduct a property values study of their own. The national study, done by the Urban Land Institute of Washington, D.C., reports that between 1987 and 1995 the average annual appreciation rate for single-family homes within 300 feet o