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:

The vibrant life of Ashley Lake Hamilton came to a sudden end on the Sunset Highway between Airway Heights and Fairchild Air Force Base on Thursday, December 10, 2020.Ashley was born on a beautiful Monday afternoon, June 2, 1980,…

By Michael M. Miller michael.miller@ndsu.eduThe late Mary Lynn Axtman, native of Rugby, ND, who dedicated many hours for GRHC, shared this message about ornaments from Joseph S. Height’s section on Christmas in his book,…

Best Bets

Ladies Ag Night

by HPR Staff

Thursday, March 19, 4:30- 8 pm1609 19th Ave N, FargoCass County Soil Conservation District is hosting their annual Ladies’ Ag Night supper event. This event has a goal of bringing together multiple generations of women involved…

By John Strand jas@hpr1.com21 January 2021Like most of you, we are relieved to be past 2020. What a crazy year!…

By Ed Raymondfargogadfly@gmail.com28 February 2021How Can We Reform Victims of Trumpism, QAnon, and the New Ku Klux Klan?In a Hialeah, Florida grocery store, a Hispanic man asked a white woman standing behind him, in both Spanish…

To say that this year’s Bartenders Battle was the best display of talent in the six years since its creation would be an understatement and a disservice to not only the bartenders who made it into the competition, but also the…

Reviving Rural Grocery Stores in North DakotaBy Annie PrafckeFargo, ND – On October 7th, Gov. Doug Burgum awarded Milnor Market and the Forman grocery store project Main Street Awards, as part of an initiative led by the Office…

When we were growing up we often found ways to rebel against our parents, some more nonsensical than others. Not all of us decided to use those methods as inspiration for the name of a band. Bismarck-based band Spite Nap decided…

By Greg Carlsongregcarlson1@gmail.com19 February 2021Photo courtesy Mari Mur.Dava Whisenant received the Best New Documentary Director Award at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival for her feature debut “Bathtubs Over Broadway,”…

By Jill FinkelsonWe’ve been hearing the word Unrest a lot lately. Unrest in the streets. Unrest in the capital. Unrest in our own homes as we struggle to hunker down in the face of the unseen pandemic. People are restless. They…

Theatre

Digital Dragathon

by HPR Staff

By Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comDrag shows, for me, feel like a celebration of artistry, esthetic, music, and camaraderie. With a dash of confetti thrown in.The local drag community is a close-knit family. Giving back to affiliated…

by Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comAdam Quesnell's last show at The Cellar beneath the Front Street Taproom in Fargo was in early September of 2018. He was embarking on a seminal move from Minneapolis to LA. As always, his comedy was…

by Jill Finkelsonjsfinkelson99@gmail.comFar North Spirits, located up in Hallock, MN, is the northernmost distillery in the lower 48. They may be young in the distillery world but the farm and the spirit reach far into the past.…

Wellness

Discover Yoga Differently

by HPR Contributor

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 Ashlee Nordquisthpr@hpr1.comI've come to the conclusion that not everyone understands why my brother and I went on ventilators for covid and what that means. As I survived and my brother SO FAR is improving, I can make jokes and…

By Faye Seidler   fayeseidler@gmail.com Community Uplift Program Project Coordinator        (701) 732-0228https://www.facebook.com/communityupliftprogram                                                                            …