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Pioneer Editorial: Cheers and Jeers

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opinion Bemidji, 56619
Bemidji Pioneer
(218) 333-9819 customer support
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

Minnesota Design Team’s visit a springboard for possibilities

In the coming months, there will be plenty of talk in the Bemidji area about the future.

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Last week’s visit by the Minnesota Design Team and its group of professionals – who met with residents, toured the area and brainstormed during work sessions to come up with ideas – serves as the beginning of the process.

Going forward, community members and local officials have a vested interest in making those discussions and ideas a foundation for how we shape the future. It’s a future beyond Bemidji proper – both Northern and Bemidji townships play a vital role.

Those discussions may not be easy considering recent disputes, particularly regarding annexation, and could test the limits of professionalism, courtesy and civil discourse. Let’s hope those involved in those disputes can separate emotion and issues to work together on a common vision for the future.

At a Friday input meeting, MDT professionals asked four interesting questions:

-- Where in town would you bring a visiting friend?

-- What brings Bemidji together?

-- Where should investment go?

-- What would you like to see from the canopy of a hot air balloon 20 years from now?

These questions, and more importantly the answers, need to serve as a guideline for future discussions. While design team professionals – after lively discussions focused on Bemidji’s strengths and weaknesses – offered suggestions for the community at a Saturday presentation, our community should not be limited to them. Instead of an endpoint, these ideas are a springboard for possibilities.

Too dry

For the better part of 10 weeks, our region has received little to no precipitation.

Grass and brush fires reiterate how abnormally dry our weather has been. Currently, virtually all of northwest Minnesota remains in extreme fire danger, prompting warnings from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the Bemidji Fire Department and Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office.

Considering the July 2 storm and preexisting conditions, officials are on high alert. We all should be on alert – and give second thought and extra precaution when dealing with fires of any size.

Abuse of trust

Last week, a former employee of Beltrami Industrial Services pleaded guilty to stealing more than $380,000 from the company.

Using her position as office manager, the woman betrayed her employer for more than five years. The conscious decision, over the course of a prolonged period, is an abuse of trust, loyalty and beyond the realm of explainable.

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