Tracker Pixel for Entry

Letter to the Editor: ‘A husband defending my wife’s accomplishments’

Letters to the Editor | May 22nd, 2019

On Tuesday, May 21, the Grand Forks Herald published a story about the search for a new CEO for the Grand Forks United Way. That story quoted Phyllis Johnson, United Way’s interim CEO and current board chair to the effect that someone from either coast or from a city would be a poor choice as the agency’s new leader.

The Johnson quotation the Herald published argued that “people who come from one coast or another, or some distance, its harder for them to kind of settle into the community.” Johnson cited reasons that at once skirt violations of federal civil rights laws, oppose efforts at economic development and community building, and further disparage the predecessor she forced from office last year.

That predecessor, Patricia Berger, my wife, first moved to Grand Forks in 1990, shortly after we were married. Pat and I grew up in the New York City metro area and she joined me here a short while after I began my work in UND’s History Department. Patricia had been executive director of a suburban Chamber of Commerce, and she sold a start-up business to move here. She has worked since—worked hard—as a non-profit community builder, as President of United Way of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks and Area since 1994.

Phyllis Johnson’s innuendo is that my wife and I are birds of passage, transients without interest or understanding of this community where we have made our home. We know why people like to live in New York and we also know why people like to live in Grand Forks. We live in Grand Forks. And Grand Forks has been our home for much more of the last quarter-century longer than it has been Johnson’s—and Grand Forks remains our home in retirement.

I am a husband defending my wife’s accomplishments, a grateful immigrant who found a home here. But this is about more than the two of us.

The civil rights laws and our hopes to make this lovely, prosperous place more lovely and more prosperous both dictate that we seek out and welcome neighbors to join us. It is common decency—and it is good business.

Sincerely,
Albert I. Berger
Professor of HistoryUniversity of North Dakota

Recently in:

By Olivia Slyteroslyter.g@cord.eduPhotos by Sabrina HornungFor months, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) has been asking the heavy question “Should the 1973 ruling of Roe v. Wade be overturned?” On May 2nd,…

Selected Summer EventsJuneJune 21 – Primitive Man 10 Year Anniversary Tour – The Aquarium, Fargo, NDJune 22-27 – Don’t Hug Me Musical – Stage West - POW/MIA Plaza, West Fargo, NDJune 22 – Ryan Necci and The Buffalo…

Monday, July 4, all dayUlland Park2401 47th Avenue Southhttps://www.gfsertoma.org/4th-of-july-celebrationGrand Forks hosts the biggest Independence Day bash in the region–and it’s an all-day affair. Come early for yard games, a…

By John Strand and Thomas Bixbyjas@hpr1.comOur Opinion: Are Many of Us ‘Detached From Reality?’Why is it that many Americans believe the falsehood that Joe Biden’s election to the Presidency was a fraud, that it was rigged?In…

By Ed Raymondfargogadfly@gmail.com Christianity Has Fallen Off the CrossCorky and I have classified ourselves as faithful Christians for nearly ninety years, but we both have reached the point where a solid majority of…

Well shiver me timbers. After weeks of sampling some of the finest drinks in F-M from more bars than we could shake a belaying pin at, the results of High Plains Reader’s 6th Annual Cocktail Showdown are in! For nine weeks,…

By Rick Gionrickgion@gmail.comPhotos by Rick GionSome people say that a pizza tastes better if you cut it in squares. And, the main event in this food battle features Fargo-Moorhead’s favorite thin-crust squared circles.Judging a…

By Martin Beckman and Jordan TepleyHigh Plains Reader: Just to fill in the people that are unfamiliar. Who are y'all and could you tell us a little about Suffering Hour?Kenn Nardi: Suffering Hour is a black/death metal band based…

By Greg Carlsongregcarlson1@gmail.comWhile some Josephine Decker fans have decided to turn up their noses at her adaptation of Jandy Nelson’s 2010 YA novel “The Sky Is Everywhere,” I was delighted by the filmmaker’s…

By Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.comArtwork: Woodcut by Danielle Gravon titled "Allegory of Fargo Winter I"On June 18, the Rourke will be holding their 62nd annual Midwestern Preview, the date celebrating the opening anniversary of…

By Brittney Goodman  goodmanbritg@gmail.comJuneJune 16 – 17 - Footloose presented by Thompson Theater – Empire Arts Center –…

By Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.comCharlie Berens is a man of many hats. The creator of the “Manitowoc Minute” is a newsman, comedian, writer and musician. We had the opportunity to speak with the Wisconsin native about his new…

By Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comSpring is here (mostly), and our area is buzzing with people eager to get back out and about -- many newly vaccinated and feeling a bit safer. Partnering with Jade Events, Fargo Brewing is just…

by Laurie J Bakeremsdatter@gmail.com Part of modern yoga is participating in the world around us. We live in a time of upheaval in society and nature, and of great suffering in humans of all ages. Most of us perceive this suffering…

By Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.comLehr Mayor and Council Members Donate City Salaries To Save Legion HallEvery rural community has at least one social space that holds multiple generations of memories and has remained a social…

By Madeline Lukemadelineluke@ymail.comSonja Kaye, of CLEAN in Fargo gave the third of four talks on climate change issues specific to North Dakota for the “What in the World Series,” in Valley City on April 5. While the topic…