The last twelve months haven't been exactly stellar for the Army Corps of Engineers. They've been far worse for thousands of people who've had to deal with the results of their pooch-screw policies in regard to management of the Missouri River System. Their lack of credibility with people in the Dakotas was validated when the Argus Leader newspaper uncovered emails with bombshells such as Todd Lundquist's quote saying, "I'm headed home. I no longer look people in the eye and tell them the forecast is 85,000 cfs from Garrison." Later releases would reach nearly double that rate. While there was a lot of rumbling and grumbling going on, I stumbled upon a another sort of rumble:
I was surprised to find this event on the USGS earthquake watch website, an 3.5 magnitude quake west of Fort Peck which hit on July 1st. This was a day or so before an oil pipeline burst beneath the Yellowstone River far away near Billings, an event which grabbed all the headlines for a few days. While I don't think this quake was directly related to the spill, I remember seeing some other quakes much closer to the pipeline leak at the time. What was interesting was that nobody spotted the 3.5 shaker and either tried to connect it to the pipeline failure or use it to sensationalize the possibility of a failure at Fort Peck.
Remember, this was about a month after environmental activist Bernard Shanks published a guest commentary on the St. Louis Today website outlining his fear of a "domino effect" on the Missouri River System. His nightmare scenario began with the failure of the Fort Peck Dam. While his article was very timely, it also coincided with one other important event: his publishing a book on the theory. I doubt that was a coincidence, but the whole thing gained a lot of traction in the Dakotas as we were already learning not to trust the Corps. Mr. Shanks appeared on local radio and links to his article were flying around Facebook rather furiously.
Then, of course, you have to wonder about this: an emergency bid being put out for the material which reinforces the Fort Peck Dam, the very one Mr. Shanks claims is the weak link and which was at 111% of capacity.
Naturally the last thing I wanted to do was contribute to any hype, so I just sat on my little discovery. I don't deal in sensationalism and reliable information was already hard to come by in weary communities already made nervous by the fluidity of facts. Therefore I resolved to wait until the flood waters had receded and the threat of Mr. Shanks' domino effect abated with them. I've watched as the river levels have fallen past the 9.79 feet of January 1st, 2011 and settled in the six-and-a-half foot range. While I think the event is certainly noteworthy, I certainly don't think it was worth hysteria.
Here are a couple of links to the event for the curious. Its ID is event 11948206 for those of you who want to dart straight to Google for your own research.
USGS Earthquake event website entry
USGS Shakemap web page for #11948206
Now let's hope that the management of the Missour River System doesn't put us in the same precarious position next year. In the unfortunate event that we find ourselves in a flood fight again, I hope the Corps will be more forthcoming and that people will resist the urge to play loose & fast with information. Events like this are far harder to endure when sensationalism runs amok as well.
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I alluded earlier to a hike I took before sunrise with my friend Matt in order to get some nice sunrise photos. The skies were clear when we departed, but by the time we'd hiked up the hill to the blockhouses of Fort Lincoln there was very little clear sky available. Nevertheless, the sun came through for us as it maximized the sliver of unobstructed sky to the east, beaming color through in dramatic fashion.
After grabbing shots from several different angles, I decided to do an abbreviated time lapse. Since I had other things going on, I was not prepared to get the entire sunrise, but I could see that the sun was going to emerge through another slender gap in the clouds. I hastily set up for it and, although it's short, I thought it looked pretty decent when looped a couple of times:
Between the photos and this short little time lapse, not to mention great company, rolling out of bed at 5:30 in the morning was well worth it. I think I'll sleep in tomorrow, though...it's been a long week!
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Of all the time I've spent in various parts of the World War Memorial Building, I don't recall ever taking notice of this interesting feature tucked up in near the ceiling over the edge of the basketball court. I don't know if there were seats on both the north and south ends of the gymnasium, but they're only on the north side now. I was sitting with one of my little boys having some lunch when I noticed this little box up in the rafters. The "KFYR" sign in the windows gives its purpose away.
The narrow wooden walkway to this booth remains intact, but whatever stairway or ladder provided access to the walkway is long gone. I imagine it's been a long time since anyone ever called a game from this press box, but it's probably more hassle than it's worth to try to dismantle it and take it down. As a result it remains up above the gymnasium, just in case someone ever needs to get a birds-eye view of the haps down on the basketball floor.
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Yes, that's right: they're at it again. The last time Wayne Sanstead's staff at DPI tried to get away with this, parents and others spoke out and got it cancelled. It was only six months ago, but they're back.
According to the NDEA website, DPI is going to be presenting at an NDEA "Own the Change" conference this week (where have we heard that word "Change" so often before?) at Century High School. Its keynote speaker, Jo Anderson Jr., "has a background in community organizing" and spent time in Illinois (as did our president) "working particularly on efforts of the union" before landing a cushy gig as an Advisor to the Secretary of Education.
Well...Hope™ and Change™ come to North Dakota public schools! That's no surprise given the NDEA's involvement; however, DPI's is even more perverse:
Sandy Tibke, one of Sanstead's own staff, is going to be training teachers on normalizing "LGBTQ" behavior among our children. By the way, notice they've added the "Q" for "questioning". That means if your child gets confused about sexuality issues, guess who's ready to do the
We'd like to think that North Dakota is resistant of all this Hope™ and Change™ - but Wayne Sanstead's DPI is persistent in trying to fly it under our collective radar. Here's my post from the last time they tried to sneak this garbage into our schools. The groups they affiliate themselves with are the same cadre of twisted freaks who got busted teaching "fisting" and "rimming" to school children in Massachusetts in 2009.
How do you suppose you "start creating a safe school environment" for deviant sexual behavior? Easy: tell the other kids that their parents are hateful bigots, their religion and faith are wrong, and that the perverts are the normal ones. Undermine parental authority and the free exercise of faith and religion guaranteed by the First Amendment, and squelch any opposition to the advance of the queer agenda in our school system. Intimidate the kids and the parents with threats of "discrimination" and "gender bias" and you're free to do whatever you want!
The only ones dealing with children's sexuality should be their parents - but that's apparently not the way DPI sees it. I hope this comes out in future elections, by the way. Homosexual advocates tell us to "stay out of our bedrooms" but they're hell-bent on getting into our childrens' classrooms!
THANK YOU to Janne Myrdal of Concerned Women for America for posting this on the Say Anything Blog. As she points out, you can call the DPI at 701-328-2260 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to urge them to abort this "training" and keep the homosexual agenda out of North Dakota's public education system.
Oh yes...here's where I back it up. Here are the PDFs from the NDEA:
Program for the "Own the Change" conference (PDF)
NDEA website describing the event (PDF)
Hot Air has a disturbing look at where this sort of thing is headed: "Do safe schools require an iron fisting?"
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I celebrated the weekend by hiking up to the blockhouses at Fort Lincoln with a friend and our cameras. We took off at 6am and got there just before the sunrise, which was a case of perfect timing. While the sky was perfectly clear upon departure, clouds filled most of the sky by the time of our arrival at the top of the hill.
As the color began to fill the sky, we began exploring all the angles to get the best view of the remaining sliver of clear sky as well as those photogenic old forts. As the different elements of sunlight, color, photography, and friendship began to converge, we got some really cool shots from a variety of locations. Then, as quickly as it came, the dramatic effects of the sunrise left behind the advancing clouds and it was time to hike back to the truck and head home.
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