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Forum editorial: Turn-down of bar bill wins roses

PRAIRIE ROSES: To the North Dakota Senate for turning down a bill that would have allowed minors in bars that serve food. The "no" vote, 30-17, reflected legitimate concern about allowing unaccompanied minors into establishments that are primaril...

PRAIRIE ROSES: To the North Dakota Senate for turning down a bill that would have allowed minors in bars that serve food. The "no" vote, 30-17, reflected legitimate concern about allowing unaccompanied minors into establishments that are primarily bars that happen to serve food. One argument for the change was that family restaurants serve alcoholic beverages to adults of families who bring children to restaurants. But the comparison between the typical family restaurant and the typical small-town tavern that serves food is bogus, and bill supporters certainly know the difference. At a time when most of society is trying to educate youngsters about the risks of alcohol abuse, the legislation would have sent a contradictory message.

LEAFY SPURGE: To pundits, politicos, partisans and others who are dismissing the possible presidential candidacy of Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann. Last week the colorful tea party favorite was tilting more and more toward forming an exploratory committee. That's the first step in getting serious about a presidential bid in the 2012 caucus and primary season. Bachmann has never hesitated to stick her foot in her mouth, but that quality has not diminished her support among the far right of the Republican party and among tea party activists who claim no party loyalty. That kind of support could be very significant during early candidate tests in the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary. One need not subscribe to her brand of politics to recognize her political strength. Bachmann's critics might want to take a look at recent history, when a relatively unknown, liberal senator from Illinois won the Democratic nomination and the presidential election.

PRAIRIE ROSES: To Fargo North High School math teacher Michelle Bertsch for being named Fargo's public school teacher of the year. By all accounts, Bertsch is a dedicated and inspiring classroom teacher. She's recognized by students, parents and the district's administration as an advocate for students. The energy and enthusiasm she brings to her work - teaching a subject that does not necessarily lend itself to excitement - confirm her teaching skills. We wish her the best in competition for state teacher of the year.

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

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Mikkel Pates set the standard for agricultural journalism during his 44-year career in the region, working for Agweek, The Forum and the Worthington Globe.