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SIDNEY HERALD.SUNDAY.JULY 2|,20l9 A5 OPINION COMMENTARY Bitumen ltlrralh SERVING THE MONDAK REGION SINCE 1908 Kelly Miller Publisher The real riches of Richland County This past week, I sat in awe of a group of com- munity leaders who came together in opposition of MDU’s decision to close the Lewis and Clark Sta- tion. I wrote the story of the meeting, trying to cap- ture the desperation and t e n s i o 11 felt in the extension office Monday after- n o o n . It was a I difflCUIt conversa‘ tion, but , -I found . hope in the tenacity of .area leaders. Richland County is facing a crisis :with the closure of the coal .plant, but I have no doubt in this area’s ability to survive. : The county commission- ;ers, mayors of Sidney and Fairview, economic devel— 'opment, attorneys, elected state officials and passion- eate civilians who attended :the meeting to ultimately :confront MDU were in- .credible. They asked hard questions. They didn’t back down. They zeroed in on points that hadn’t even been touched on yet. They demanded answers. It was a challenge for me COMMENTARY to sift through all the great quotes and information to nail down a flow to how the meeting went. I think most would agree, if you attended, you were glad you did. Holding a public office isn’t an easy thing to do. Few people actually put in the effort to run for such things like county com- mission or city council. They are open to so much criticism and unlike other elected officials, they are criticized by their friends, family, neighbors and peers. It’s a whole lot more personal at this level. The closure of the Lewis and Clark Station has po- tentially devastating eco- nomic effects for this area. It’s going to take a lot of determination and hard work to overcome such a blow. Sitting in that room surrounded by people de- fending our little comer of the world gave me a great deal of comfort. We are in good hands. To those who attended the meeting: You are the true riches of Richland County. Thank you all for standing up for your com- munity. I saw it. I heard the emotion in your voices. I believe you all care. And I believe in this communi— ty’s ability to overcome. What’s in Area 51? Well, the secret will soon be out at last. A million people have signed up to “storm” Area 51 in the Ne- vada desert. - The Facebook event an- nouncement reads, “We will all meet up at the Area 51 Alien Center tourist at- traction and-coordinate our entry. If we naruto run, we can move faster than their bullets. Let’s see them aliens.” Area 51 is a‘top secret part of Edwards Air Force Base. The CIA insists the proper name is Homey Airport and Groom Lake but it has also been desig- nated Paradise Ranch and Dreamland. It’s ostensible purpose is for testing e x p e r i m e n t a 1 aircraft and weap- ons. It’s w h e r e the U2 spy plane STEVE was test- BROWN ed start- ing about 1955, because Groom “Lake” is a dry as a bone salt flat which is ideal for a runway. It is said that early test— ing of the high altitude air- craft coincided with a spike in UFO sightings thought to have been caused by the sun’s reflection on the wings. V Ah but you and I know what’s really going on. Aliens! . Starting in 1996 the docu- mentary series Dark Skies revealed that President Truman had authorized the shooting down of an alien spacecraft in 1947 and subsequently building a base especially devoted to reverse engineering alien technology and autopsies of alien bodies. We also know from the se- ries that aliens were behind the assassination of JFK, the meltdown of the Cher- nobyl nuclear reactor, and that Carl Sagan and Colin Powell were members of a secret government organi- zation dedicated to fighting the alien menace. " ‘ The series lasted less than one season. They say it was low ratings, but we know better. h Miami-w Mush But the truth will out and in 1999 the series Roswell ran for three seasons and was re-imagined again in 2018. From them we learned there were high school stu- dents who were actually from an alien royal family sent to live on earth incog- nito to keep them safe from alien palace intrigue. But in spite of everything the government continues to deny the existence of aliens, though President Trump inadvertently con- firmed their existence on Twitter. However he said they’re not there anymore, he’s de- ported them. But at last the whole truth is about to be revealed! The alien ship was dis- abled but is repairable. So what the aliens have done in the decades since they were first stranded on earth was to go around abducting earth girls and impregnat- ing them. (“It was aliens Mom, I - swear!”) You can recognize the alien hybrids when they an- nounce things that appear to be absurd on the face of it, such as when Dr. Eugene Gu tweeted, “It’s a scientific and medical fact that men can get pregnant and also have abortions. Trans men and non-binary individuals are human beings who de- serve to be acknowledged by society. They 'choose their own identity—not me, not you, not any doctor, and cer- tainly not any politician.” Though seemingly a claim of breathtaking ab- surdity it is actually a fact of alien biology. Dr. Gu is just a little confused about which species he’s talking about. But now all those alien hybrid children are receiv- ing a telepathic call to come to Area 51 with'the parts necessary to repair their ship. Parts that look innoc- uously like smart phones, iPods, and key chains. But there’s a problem. There’s not enough room on the ship to take everyone once it’s repaired. That’s why the aliens are hoping all these people don’t take the signs that say, “Lethal force authorized” seriouslv. .mm :r:.; -« Mk‘.’~“ in “a.m.; ,. .1”- .m . Field day planned forJuly 24 atJohnston Farms It is almost fair time (which, just in case you were wondering, doesn’t really conjure up the same feelings and emotions in the extension office as it does for most people) which means summer is almost over. That also means combines will ‘soon be dotting the landscape. But before summer and field day sea- son ends there is one more field day that I would like to bring your attention to. I mentioned this a cou- ple of weeks ago but now that every other field day I have been associated with has passed, I figured I would give this last one just one more plug. A couple of years ago I was approached by NRCS and Rich- land County Conser- vation District to help with a project that would show the pos- itives and negatives of grazing corn and cover crop paddocks as analternative to feeding hay all win— ter. A coop- erator w a s iden- t i f i e d a n d s o m e g r a n t TIM funding FINE secured and we were on our way... Until the drought hit. So for the first year the project was put on hold. In the spring of 2018 we were able to get the cover crop and corn seeded so the * project could begin. To say the project was a learning experi- ence would be a gross understatement. The principle behind the project seemed pretty straightforward but when dealing with Mother Nature and live animals, things do not always go as planned. Now we are beginning year two of the project and as part of the grant mon- ies received, we are obligated (but really we would do it with— out the obligation) to share with others the successes and fail- ures learned from the project. And that brings me to the real point of today’s article. This Wednesday, July 24, there will be a field day out at the John- ston ranch. At this field day we will dis- cuss the project in more detail and dis- cuss what worked well and what needed tweaking, as well as show how each step of the project was im- plemented. Marlin and Aurilla Johnston are the most gracious hosts and will give their input from a producer perspective as to how each step of this demonstration project worked. While I certainly appreciate the other field days that have been happening this summer, this one will be a little bit differ- ent. Not taking any- thing away from the others but this project was conducted on the ranch and the results of the project had a direct impact on the producers’ bottom line. I hope that you will be able to join us for this educational field day. The address is 5221 FAS 254 which is just 3 miles West of Richey on route 254. The tour of this year’s corn and cover crop plots will start at 9 a.m. and talks will focus on grazing corn for winter feed, elec— tric fencing options and considerations, determining paddock size and layout, and problematic weeds. Thanks to a generous donation from Dakota Cover Crop and For- age and Helena Chem— ical lunch will be pro- vided for participants at no charge. There will be one Montana commercial and pri- vate applicator pesti— cide credit available. If you are interested in attending and need more information and/or directions, feel free to give me a call at 433-1206 or send an email to timothy. fine@montana.edu. CARTOON .I" Bullock accused of losing touch w What is the U.S. Climate Alliance? It is a domestic group formed specifically to undermine President Trump’s excellent de- cision to pull out of the Paris Climate Agree- ment. Now, by execu- tive order, part-time Gov. Steve Bullock has undermined all of Mon- tana by aligning Mon- tana with the US Cli- mate Alliance. This is so wrong. To begin, Montana is the Treasure State, not the “Fly Fishing State.” Sure, Mon- tana is a great state for recreation, but to quote Senator Al Olszewski, “Montana’s wealth comes from the ground.” Our natural resourc— es and our ag prod- ucts are all within the sphere of the car- bon footprint Bullock wants to eradicate. He wants to eradicate your way of life. He wants to eradicate your livelihoods. In his executive order announcement, part- time Gov. Bullock said to ask any Montanan and we Montanans would say, “climate change is real and poses a serious threat to Montana.” You, sir, have lost touch with Montana and Montana 'values. You further prove this, sir, by rubbing shoul- ders with Jane Fonda... got her money and en- dorsement, did you? You may represent Jane Fonda now, but you forgot Montana. This executive order by part-time Gov. Bull- ock isn’t one of those things we can ignore. Why? Because our very livelihoods are in dan— ger of eradication. We have to act now. How? By filling Bullock’s mailbox with letters and insisting that our state senators and rep- resentatives take the action necessary to put an end to our eradica- tion. Write those letters now. Today! nst .3 ,_ muses _, CFPB seeking right to allOw (1 cm collectors to email, text consumers They told us if we got educated then we would see success in our lifetime. Yet, more than 44 million Amer- icans have student debts that combine to total $1.5 trillion. Hav- ing to borrow money for school is stressful enough; abusive debt collection practices don’t help. And now the Consumer Finan- cial Protection Bu- reau is seeking to in- “ ‘ “MAFHJu- . crease harassment of graduates over their debts. CFPB wants to allow debt collectors to email and text con- sumers without con- sent, while also call— ing up to seven times per week per debt. This will dispropor- tionately affect stu- dents‘, two-thirds of whom graduate with an average debt of over $28,000. If some- one has eight loans, they could receive up to 56 calls and numer- ous messages every week. Worse, the texts could contain hyper- links to important information about your rights, which could be disregarded as spam. This won’t facilitate communi~ cation between debt holders and collection agencies; it will only make paying off loans more confusing and .abusive. It’s unfair that stu- dents are saddled with mountainous loans after working hard in school. It’s downright immoral to actively punish them by al- lowing the debt collec- tion industry to abuse them. Say no to the CFPB’s new debt col~ . lection rules. GENOA CARVER BllllNGS