Sunday there was a lot of chatter about a recent editorial by the Fargo Forum’s editorial staff.
At first I was unable to read the article, being knee deep in corn with trucks lining up, there is little time for the rantings of a little man and his minions railing against the very economic backbone of the Red River Valley.
So after 10 hours of handling corn with one 15 minute break when nature called, I finally had the opportunity to read for myself, what all the hubbub was about.
I have to be honest, it was just what I needed. A good hearty laugh! …and a constant reminder of how myopic and prostituted the values of the Fargo Forun have become. After-all it was a Forum editorial, not a fact checked article set about to right the wrongs of the world. It was the whimpering’s of poor sportsman whose team who has chosen the venue, hired the referees and courted the cheerleaders every step of the way.
Lets take a look at the article…
|Forum editorial: Diversion remains on track|
Well to be perfect honest, most “railroading” involves tracks.
|Forum editorial: The Fargo-Moorhead diversion got another boost last week when the U.S. House overwhelmingly approved water projects legislation that authorizes the local flood protection project. It was another one of those “hurdles” the diversion had to clear.|
I have no doubt that Fargo Diversion Authority was immensely pleased that they were able to stuff the Fargo Dam and FM Diversion into the bloated WRRDA bill and cross their fingers! Had the project been considered completely on it’s own merits…, it may never have passed at all.
|Forum editorial: Despite raucous opposition that tends to parse and manipulate elements of the project to fit an agenda, the diversion has cleared every hurdle from the start.|
Well…, around here it’s called holding people accountable for manipulating data in studies to support other studies and data that have been designed to clear the very hurdles defined by the entity creating the studies and data.
As for raucous…?
|Forum editorial: Despite attempts by project foes to characterize the plan as some sort of Fargo land grab, the agencies and experts responsible for critically analyzing the project have universally concluded it’s the best and only way to guarantee permanent flood protection for the largest regional urban center between Minneapolis and Spokane.|
“Critically Analyzing”… ROFLMAO!
Let’s just let the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers documentation tell the real story.
So who determined the “Locally Preferred Plan”?
Appendix O: Plan Formulation: Page O-89
18.104.22.168.1 Alignment There is a strong desire from the non-federal sponsors and the public to have the diversion plan constructed in North Dakota. A North Dakota alignment would be considered highly acceptable to the non-federal sponsors. The Minnesota alignment is also acceptable, as the non-federal sponsors and the public have indicated that doing nothing is not an option; however they generally prefer the North Dakota alignment and officially requested the North Dakota alignment as the locally preferred plan.
Non-Federal Sponsors = Fargo (major) Moorhead (minor)
SDEIS: Page 39: Alternatives Page 7
22.214.171.124 Fargo Southside Flood Control Project, City of Fargo, North Dakota. After the 1997 flood, the city of Fargo and the Southeast Cass County Water Resource District conducted planning for a flood risk management project to protect developments in the area south of Fargo and north and west of the Wild Rice River up to 4 miles south of its confluence with the Red River. Several alternatives were explored, including combinations of levees, diversion channels, channel modifications and flood storage. The Southside study was discontinued when it was overcome by the Fargo-Moorhead Metro feasibility study (the subject of this report). The Southside study will resume only if no federal project is recommended to address flooding in the area south of Fargo.
The fundamental problem created by moving the inlet so far south is that it creates the very impacts that Fargo claims it needs protection against. The Fargo Diversion Authority knows this…, ignores this and chooses to leave the city at risk in a dangerous gamble for a dam and diversion that is decades away from providing any benefit to Fargo residents in the short term.
|Forum editorial: It really is that simple. When the fog of self-serving mischaracterization is cleared away, the efficacy and projected cost-effectiveness of the diversion cannot be honestly assailed. After years of assessing dozens of flood control options for Fargo-Moorhead, clear-headed thinkers rightly determined a diversion in concert with internal city flood protections is the only way to go. Fargo and Moorhead have spent millions of dollars on the internal work (levees, buyouts, etc.) since the flood of 1997.|
It is really THAT simple.
STOP DEVELOPING THE FLOODPLAIN and FLOOD PRONE AREAS!
As for clear headed thinkers…? More like obsessive thinkers with encroachment and development of the last natural flood plain south of Fargo on their mind.
As for cost effective-ness…? Really? Spending $2 billion plus to develop a flood-plain that floods during every flood event is cost effective? Or is it cost effective for the land developers who have contrived a way to shift development costs onto the shoulders of taxpayers who receive no financial benefit from making land developers more wealthy.
However one looks at it, the group-think myopic vision of the pro-Fargo development machine is less clear thinking and more pathological.
|Forum editorial: Authorization does not mean appropriation. The appropriations process likely will be more difficult because the nation is dealing with a serious deficit. Nevertheless, the water projects legislation that cleared the House and Senate includes provisions to remove stalled projects, which could free up resources for new work, like the diversion. And since the F-M project has received excellent marks all along the rigorous review process, chances are good it will secure funding to keep work underway. No one expects the $1.8 billion, multi-year diversion to be fully funded in a single budget cycle.|
It is rather bewildering how Fargo, with a population of roughly 108,000 feels that it should move ahead of other projects that have been waiting for funding several years and somehow will trump the $25 billion needed to address dam deficiencies for Corps-owned dams.
On a related note, the “half done” over-budget NOW $42 million plus Roseau diversion sits awaiting re-authorization and funding. Could this be a harbinger of things to come for the proposed Fargo project?
|Forum editorial: Opponents of the project believe in their cause, and they are fighting hard to be heard. That’s admirable. But when they aver they really don’t want to kill the diversion, just change it a little, their actions suggest otherwise. That constitutes a credibility problem.|
Any lack of credibility rests solely on the shoulders of the Fargo Forum for it’s lack of investigative reporting and accountability of public officials set against the best interests of North Dakota taxpayers.
|Forum editorial: So despite the noise and nonsense emanating from diversion critics, the project’s supporters had reason to smile last week. One of those high hurdles was cleared – an indication hurdles to come will be cleared, too.|
…and once again we hear the haunting sinister evil laugh as the Fargo Diversion Authority and its minions wrings their hands in reckless anticipation of a prize that has only cost them their souls…
Thank you to Jack Zaleski and his crew for a hearty laugh and the comic relief brought about by their feeble attempt of denigrating the victims that have been irresponsibly put in harms way by the Fargo and the Diversion Authority for the sake of shameless land grab.
In all reality, it would be a novel idea for the Forum to refocus its efforts and use its public venue to ensure that those sacrificing their homes, lifestyles and some cases lively-hoods are justly compensated without all the bias, rhetoric and prejudice that comes with the Fargo Diversion Authority party-liner agenda.