Tag Archives: Bismarck

Talking Points On Oil and Gas Prices and Production

By A.L. “Bud” Johnson.
Reprinted by permission of the author and the High Plains Reader

Recent news stories express concern over rising oil and gasoline prices and their pos­sible adverse effect on the recovering US economy. Consequently, it might be useful to review the causes for rising prices, as well as to cite some significant benefits to North Dakota and the U.S. economy.

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These Two Pipelines are Much Better Than the Other One

Charlie Barber, Mandan

By Charlie Barber. Reprinted by permission of the author and the High Plains Reader.

“I don’t know what we’re standing in the way of. This is a full-blown boom. Instead of sending $1 billion a day to buy oil from the Mideast, we can send it to the Midwest of our own country.”

– Senator Kent Conrad, D-N.D.,
Bismarck Tribune, 4/4/12

“Some of the wise monkeys in North Dakota’s Oil Patch (“see no evil,” “hear no evil,” “speak no evil” of Japanese folklore) would like the state’s news media to censor the news coming out of oil country. Maybe “censor” is too strong a word. They want news manipulated to emphasize the positive (there is plenty of it) and downplay the negative (there is plenty of that, too.)”

– Fargo Forum, 4/13/12

“The simple truth is that the long-term viability of all UND athletics is at risk [if the ‘Fighting Sioux’ nickname is kept].”

– Rick Burgum, UND Alumni
Association, Bismarck Tribune, 5/2/12

“…where ignorance is bliss, ‘Tis folly to be wise.”

– Thomas Gray

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Downtowners Hope to Pass Plaza Proposal

From Dawn Kopp
Executive Director, Downtown Business Association

New York City has Central Park, Boston has Quincy Market, and even closer to home Rapid City, SD has Main Street Square. Community spac­es in Downtowns or along historic wa­terfronts give the community a central gathering space, a beautiful haven to engage with their fellow community members, a desti­nation and sense of place, while adding value to our city by strengthening its au­thentic identity.

Bismarck how­ever, has no such space in the Down­town. Many of the recent transplants to Bismarck or those that have left to experience other plac­es and returned, have lamented about Downtown Bismarck’s lack of a Public Plaza.

The Downtowners newsletter out­lined some of the Downtown goals and objectives the City of Bismarck has iden­tified with their recently adopted Strate­gic Plan (see goals and objectives at the right).

One of the most pressing was to create a Public Plaza in Downtown Bismarck. Goal 4 under Community Character: “Implement a public plaza or public open space along the north side of Broad­way Avenue between 5th Street and 6th Street.”

It may seem like a Downtown Plaza could just be a superficial amenity, but it really is the meat of continued growth Downtown. A plaza is an essential part of creating a small urban center which at­tracts young professionals to the commu­nity, retains young families, attracts the “creative class” of professionals, increas­es Downtown residential opportunities for all ages, inspires new events, lures new businesses, and adds an authenticity to make Downtown Bismarck a destina­tion for those within and outside of our community.

In essence, a plaza is a value capturing investment for our city. Rapid City’s Main Street Square has created a 30% increase in walking retail traffic sales, they have 162 event days scheduled for the square for the first year, and are spurring on new invest­ments in their Downtown.

Bismarck is in a unique position to continue to capitalize on being the hub of oil activity, commercial activity, central gathering point for conventions, etc.

A plaza, vibrant Downtown, and pe­destrian neighborhood are all tools a community can use to entice people not only to come here, but to settle here, in­vest here and participate in the community.

Anyone interested in working or would like to volunteer their time to help develop a Downtown Plaza in Bismarck, please contact the Downtown Business Association.

Economic Vitality Goals (approved by Bismarck City Commission)

Goal 1. Enhance revitalization efforts for the downtown area.


  1. Update downtown master plan.
  2. Explore funding opportunities and work with developers and partners to explore open space.
  3. Lead and explore marketing the Renaissance Zone and core program.

Goal 3. Become a destination place.


  1. Establish a public civic square in the downtown area.
  2. Create a first class full service convention center.
  3. Work with community partners to develop and implement a plan for jointly promoting special events and attractions regionally and nationally.

Community Character Goals (by Bismarck City Commission)

Goal 1. Arts and Culture: To be the arts and cultural hub of North Dakota.


  1. Create an entertainment and arts district.
  2. Strengthen relationship with United Tribes Technical College.
  3. Develop city-wide public arts policy.

Goal 4. Downtown: To have a vibrant, lively and attractive destination as the heart of the community.


  1. Increase market-rate housing quantities and availability
  2. Implementation of a Quiet Rail Zone
  3. Relieve parking problems along the Rosser Avenue corridor between3rd Streetand7th Street with the development of a parking structure.
  4. Implement a public plaza or public open space along the north side of Broadway Avenue between 5th Street and 6th Street.
  5. Update the Downtown Master Plan.
  6. Help facilitate and support collaborative efforts to develop an arts and cultural center.
  7. Multimodal transportation opportunities and facilities.

Get a Good Ribbing at the Civic Center

Photo by Sue Erickson

Info by Kate Herzog
Bismarck Downtowners

Ribfest is back! The annual Rip-Roarin’ Ribfest will be back in Bismarck June 14 – 16 in Lot D of the Civic Center parking lot. Ribfest is a Downtowners event created to stimulate interest and excitement in the downtown area and bring the Bismarck community together.

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Mouse River Ravaged Minot

Dear Editor:

Bismarck, let’s discuss your 2011 flood tragedy as a whole AFTER driving through Minot and visiting friends living in FEMA trailers. I did that this past Sunday afternoon, a year after the sirens sounded and a summer of flooding inundated the Mouse River Valley.

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Don’t Forget to Vote on June 12

June 12, 2012 is the date of North Dakota’s primary election. Dur­ing the primary, voters will have the opportunity to vote for candidates for the United State Senate, the US House of Representatives, the Governor and Lt. Governor, the State Auditor, State Treasurer, Insurance Commissioner and the Public Service Commissioner all on party ballots. In addition, voters who live in even-number Legislative Districts will have the opportunity to vote for their State Senator and two State Representatives. All party ballots must be cast for one party only. During the primary elec­tion, there is not the opportunity to move from one party to another on dif­ferent races, like there is during the fall election.

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Bismarck-Mandan Speaks

Hypocritical Actions on Restoration of Mined Farmland

Dear Editor:

North Dakota has the strongest law in the United States on restoration of mined farmland, but the state Supreme Court’s recent Coal Lake ruling threatens to make it a dead letter.

The court upheld the Public Service Commission’s decision that recreation was a “higher and better” use for 86 acres of mined land than raising crops.

The coal companies think up these alternatives and so far the PSC has given its blessing to all of them – golf courses, dirt bike tracks, shooting ranges, waste disposal pits. Adding these to what’s considered a “higher and better” use exempts the coal company from meeting farm productivity standards. Continue reading

Microsoft Offers Students Experience

The 2012 Microsoft Student Experience Program (SEP) is a paid work experience for high school and college stu­dents to work on Microsoft’s Fargo, ND campus during the summer. It offers real-life working experience, while learning about the technology industry.

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The Slurping Sound at the Bottom

The town of Berezniki in the Ural Mountains of Russia is home to more than 150,000 people. Built as a labor camp in the days of the USSR, the town sits directly on top of the mine shafts where millions of tons of potash were extracted.

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