Last Word

​Get off my lawn!

July 29th, 2015

Someone said "SOMA" to describe to me the location of Island Park in Fargo and I couldn't stop laughing when I found out what it meant. In fact, I'm still laughing.

SOMA means "South of Main Avenue" for people too lazy to say all four words consecutively. I imagine the alphabet soup was brewed in some cauldron by three witches to describe a business and arts district as something intrinsically different than the hell gate that has become downtown Fargo.

Everyone will tell you that good…

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Charleston more complex than just gun debate

July 1st, 2015

By Dean Hulse

Dylann Roof, the alleged perpetrator of the recent (I dare not write latest) hate crime involving members of Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, S.C., is quoted as saying he killed nine black people in hopes of igniting a “civil war.”

While gun control is an expected topic for reaction to this atrocity, it’s not the only subject requiring further scrutiny. Before Roof aimed his weapon, he satiated himself on hatred. And conjuring that detestable surfeit was part of a…

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Family farms are the future of agriculture

June 24th, 2015

By Fred Kirschenmann

My family owns a farm near Medina, and we are now transitioning that operation to Steve Sund and his family. Our farm has always been, and will always remain, a family farm committed to serve the health of the land and the community.

In my career I’ve had the opportunity to directly observe the evolution of corporate-owned farms. Such farms operate by a single principle: maximum, efficient production for short-term economic return (especially return to the…

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​The Old (Barbershop) Songs in a New Age

June 10th, 2015

“The Old Songs, the old songs, the good old songs for me / I love to hear those min-or chords, and good close har-mo-ny.” - Theme Song of SPEBSQSA [Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America]

“Most of us hadn’t realized the extent of the presence of barbershop harmony in African-American culture until 1992, when Lynn Abbot [Tulane University] ... discovered overwhelming evidence that barbershop quartetting was pervasive in…

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