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The Billings County Pioneer
Beach, North Dakota
June 18, 2009     The Billings County Pioneer
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June 18, 2009

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June 18, 2009 Page 3 OPINION Tolhe hor Traveling with a hero To the editor: FeehI%s of exhilaration' is an understatement when referring to the trip of a lifetime I took with Fiddlin' Bill Johnson when he was inducted into the International Music Camp's Fiddlers Hall of Fame, the first of its kind there. As his personal nurse for the trip, I was privileged to assist in the trav- els of taking this hero to the Hall of Fame on June 5. To witness his pop- ularity of kinship to the other violin- ists left me in awe as they approached his wheelchair with congratulatory greetings. It definite- ly pulled at my heartstrings, leaving an indelible mark in my mind. This whole trip was orchestrated by the diligent and complete plan- ning of Golden Valley Manor Administrator Vicki Braden. Her detailed and precise instructions - from loading to an'iving home - were a very integral part of a suc- cessful trip. I never had a doubting moment after I reviewed her printout of Bill's daily care plan to the map leading to the Canadian border and Peace Gardens. She arranged a fully capable, knowledgeable driver, Vera Kruger, and so I again had no worry. I'm grateful to Vicki for this expertise and concise trip for this special man, so he could receive an award for his hard work and mone- tary donations to music careers. Witnessing what he has done for youngsters' tnusic pursuits makes me want to continue my violin interests. He'll always be one of nay mentors in this field of music. This was an unforgettable event. Mary Lee Schmitz N.D. needs action on health care now Ib the editor: Closing the Medicare Part D price of these costly treatments. At arecent roundtable discussion prescription drug coverage gap, or Today, no lower cost generic alter- on health care reform, Sen. Kent "doughnut hole." In North Dakota, natives are available for biologic Conrad said the No. 1 concern he is 33 percent of enrolled in a prescrip- drugs. hearing from North Dakotans is the tion drug plan fell into this coverage Instead of engaging in discus- sky-high cost of health care and gap in 2007. signs that can lead to an American health insurance. AARP couldn't Preventing costly hospital solution to the health care crisis, agree more. readmissions by creating a follow- opponents of health care reform are Our health care system costs too up care benefit in Medicare to help using scare tactics. There is no plan much, wastes too much, makes too people safely transition home after to make the health care system gov- many mistakes and gives us back a hospital stay. In North Dakota, 19 ernment run. There is no plan that too little value for our money. We percent of Medicare recipients were would limit your choice of medical spend twice as much on health care re-hosp!talized within 30 days. providers. Health care reform does as any other industrialized nation Increasing federal funding and involve controlling costs, improv- and costs continue to increase faster eligibility for home- and communi- ing quality, making sure all than wage growth and inflation, ty-based services through Medicaid Americans have access to afford- That's why AARP North Dakota, on so older Americans can remain in able health insurance, and continu- behalf of our 88,000 members, their homes and avoid more costly ing to offer you the choice of health believes Congress must pass health institutions as they age, In North care providers. care reform that provides all Dakota, only 5 percent of long-term Now is our Opportunity to fix Americans with affordable health care funds are spent on in-home our broken health care system. Be care choices, care. part of the solution by becoming AARP believes any health care Improving programs that help infornaed on the issues. You can retbrm bill must address six priori- low-income Americans in Medicare begin by visiting HYPERLINK ties: afford the health care and prescrip- "" Guaranteeing access to afford- tion drugs they need. able coverage for Americans age 50 Approving generic versions of David Peterson, AARP state to 64. In North Dakota, 9.5 percent biologic drugs used to treat cancer, president of this age group were uninsured as diabetes, multiple sclerosis and Janis Cheney, AARP state direc- of 2007., other serious diseases to reduce the tot Hat Tips By Dean Meyer Prosperity creates a challenge North Dakota has been an island ful of the adage that "from those Other Views By Lloyd Omdahl of prosperity as the rest of the coun- who have much, much is expected." try has been experiencing wide- After losing their jobs, millions of spread job layoffs, business clos- generous folks across the nation will lugs, home foreclosures and the not be able to help charities at home other calamities that accompanv and around the world to demon- economic downturns. " Frugal by tradi- strate the generosity and compas- While other states have limped tion, the state legis- sign of the American heart. along, North Dakota's gross domes- Actually, many of the unemployed tic product expanded by" 7.3 per cent lature didn't know are now in need themselves. last year to lead the nation. Taxable what to do with the Those of us in North Dakota who retail sales increased 21 per cent are prospering need to take up the while stores in other states were revenue windfall slack and do more than ever before closing their doors. In almost all that fattened the to fill the "giving gap" left by the states, legislatures were cutting unemployed. All of the indices of essential programs to balancebudg- state treasury prosperity say that we have the ets. In other states, people were los- beyond current means. Now all we need is the will. ing their jobs by the millions while With over 80 per cent of North our unemployment rate Was only needs, Dakotans claiming a Christian faith, half thatofthenational average, the idea of playing the good Frugal by tradition', the State leg- Samaritans shouldn't be all that islature didn't know what to do with lease payments and oil royalties, strange. During this time of eco- the revenue windfall that fattened Some folks became millionaires nomic crisis, perhaps Christians "the state treasury beyond current over night. Then record farm prices should consider spending a little needs. They socked away as much spread new money all across North less on themselves and a little more as they could, made some one-time Dakota. Our income tax receipts demonstrating their commitment to expenditures, and still had money attest to great bounty, the teachings of Christ. That goes left over for the next session. To slow spending, politicians in for our churches, too. Actually, we We would like to take credit tbr the legislature talked about conserv- can all do more for the world's poor being the oasis in an economic ing the taxpayers' "hard-earned" and needy. desert, but much of it can be attrib- dollars. That was only rhetoric. As beneficiaries of windfall eco- uted to other factoi's. For one thing, These weren't hard-earned dollars- nomics, we ought to be grateful and the oil industry brought unprece- they were windfall dollars showered express that gratitude with empathy dented prosperity to western North upon us by forces beyond our for those who didn't get an oil well Dakota in the forna of good jobs, doing. In gratitude, we should be mind- or a top price for wheat. Enjoying the "Crawfish Bowl" Hello, I'm a good eater. Meaning I eat a lot. I know, I know, looking at me you wouldn't guess that. Or, maybe you would. I've eaten a lot of things in a lot of places. I ate tacos on the streets in Mexico City. Even after our hosts warned us that eating on the streets of The City would cause you to become diseased and die. I've eaten goat in a little village in the Mexican mountains and shared a little tequila with a peasant while sitting around a campfire. Ate shark steaks in San Diego and clam chowder on the harbor in Boston. I've tried lutefisk and lefsa and I imagine I've eaten every cut of meat off a beef that could be eaten. I've had hamburger off a bull that wouldn't buck and steaks off a horse that would. Not really. Just checking to see if you were still with me. I've had the raw oysters with the keg beer at the bowling alley. Once, a long, long time ago, in a galaxy far away, I was with a gang that stole some chickens from a farmer and cooked them over an open fire. Cooked them very little. Cause the cops were coming. Now, what this story is leading up to is the "Crawfish Bowl". The other night Shirley and I were invit- ed to the third annual "Crawfish Bowl". Right here in SW North Dakota. Our host informed us the craw- fish came from south of here: I assumed he meant New England, or maybe even Lemmon. When I found out they came from Louisiana, I was really impressed. I've enjoyed lobster and crab legs. At least I enjoyed the butter. But I don't think I ever had feasted on a meal of crawfish. Now, for you landlubbers, a You don't clean crawfish. You just sprinkle a little salt in the pool, so they kind of clean them- selves if you know what I mean. crawfish looks like a cross between a crab and a cockroach. Or maybe a grasshopper and a shrimp. They have legs and antennas and pincers and a shell. When we got to the party, four grown men were kneeling around a little kid's plastic swimming pool. You know. The ones that hold about six inches of water. I found out they were sorting the dead crawfish from the live ones. I figured that was not necessary since you boil them any- way. They intbrmed me that you have to take the dead ones out, because they haven't been purged. You don't clean crawfish. You just sprinkle a little salt in the pool, so they kind of clean themselves if you know what I mean. Kind of like drinking that stuff if you're going in for colonoct .... a Katie Couric. (I didn't know how to spell it). Well, right away that kind of cooled me on the crawfish deal. But a couple beers later, it seemed all right. Kind of like the chickens. And these guys were chefs. Potatoes, sausages, salads, corn on the Cob, hamburgers, brats, and much more. It was a feast that the Romans would have been envious of. Now, to eat a crawfish, you place one hand on the front half (the head), and the other on the back half (the purging end) and twist and pull. Remember now: these bad boys have been purged and boiled. With a little hot sauce in the water. Cajun music is playing in the background. A gentle fog is rising from the swamp and the fire from a still can be 'seen drifting up through a canopy of swamp trees. A lady with long black hair is telling fortunes, and the kids are trying to snare an alligator that has been coaxed up out of the creek. Get the picture'? Well, you twist and pull this baby apart. Then you quickly take the front half and suck the juice from the shell. This proves .you are into the beer far enough to eat the back half. Then you peel off some of the slaell off the back half and you are to the meat of the deal. It is a small piece of fish meat about the size and shape of a small shrimp. And, all kidding aside, it is deli- cious. There is not a lotof meat. And it is good. But I would venture a guess, that if you were dropped in the middle of a swamp. And you were surrounded by a million craw- fish, and you started eating right away, you would starve tO death. You just can't twist and pull and suck and peel and chew fast enough to get enough nourishment to live. Oh, don't get me wrong, I ate about twenty of the little suckers, but as we headed for the car (at Shirley's insistence, I was going to stay for the crawfish races) I did sneak past the grill and grabbed a hamburger and hot dog. It was great time. Thanks guys. But you beef guys don't have to worry about crawfish replacing rib- eye steaks on the grill! Later, Dean Letters to the editor The Golden Valley News and Billings County Pionner welcomes letters to the editor. The letters must include the author's signature, address and phone number for verificatic;n of authorship. Mail them to: Golden Valley News/ Billings County Pioneer PO Box 156 Beach, ND 58621 We reserve the right to shorten letters, edit out factual errors and reject those deemed libelous, in poor taste or of a personal nature. We will not run letters from the same author two weeks in a row. All opinions expressed ,are those of the author and do not represent the opinions of The GVN or BCP 281 E MAIN - BEACH ND 701-872-4362 Pull Cheryl Justesen Black Tabs $50 Jack Friday & Saturday Hours: Mon-Fri. 3pm-lam Sat. lpm-lam Happy Hour: Mon.-Thurs, 5:30-6:30pm playing Ghosts of Girlfriends Past Billings County Pioneer P.O. Box 156, Beach, ND 58621 (U.S.P.S. Pub. NO. 056-180) Staff: Richard Volesky, editor/reporter/advertising manager: Jane Cook office assistant. The Billings County Pioneer is published each Thursday, 22 Central Ave., Suite 1, Beach, ND 58621 by Nordmark Publishing, Rolla, ND. Periodicals postage paid at Beach, ND and additional mail- ing offices. POSTMASTER: send address changes to: Billings County Pioneer, P.O. Box 156, Beach, ND 58621. Please allow two to three weeks for new subscriptions, renewal of expired subscriptions and for address changes. Contact Information Phone: 701-872-3755 Fax: 701-872-3756 Emaih Subscriptions 1 year: $31 Billings County and Belfield area 1 year: $34 elsewhere in North Dakota 1 year: $37 out-of-state 9 months: $19 In-state college rate The Billings County Pioneer is a proud member of the North Dakota Newspaper Association.