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Pioneer Editorial: Cheers and Jeers

Bilingual signage shows real vision

When you live in a country, it only makes sense to speak the language. Except, for those of us non-Ojibwe speakers -- almost everybody -- in Indian Country, that's mind-boggling. Now, in an effort to make friendlier relations between American Indians, a large minority, and non-Indians, the majority culture, the Shared Vision organization has taken another step. Shared Vision has challenged local businesses to put welcome signs in the Ojibwe language, as well as English, and add restroom signs and other bilingual signage as is appropriate to the businesses. The Cabin Coffee House & Cafe is off and running with the idea, and other businesses have committed to join in. This is a good sign for outreach among ethnic and racial groups in the community.

Knighted by king

Tove Irene Dahl, dean of the Concordia Language Villages Norwegian Language Village is a Royal Norwegian Order of Merit, Knight of the First Class as of Saturday, July 11. Her knighthood for promoting Norwegian language and culture in the United States was conveyed by Elin Bergithe Rognlie, minister counselor of the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Washington, D.C., on behalf of King Harald VI of Norway. Dahl is Bemidji's first person to be knighted. The ceremony took place at Skogfjorden at the Concordia Language Villages and is a serious honor, both to Dahl and to all those who have participated in and helped with the language and culture program during more than two decades. When Dahl meets King Harald VI, as she is now entitled to do, she will tell him so.

Fugitives at large

The good news is that more than 250 sex offenders and other fugitives -- 55 in St. Paul alone -- were arrested and taken off Minnesota street during a five-day sweep last month. The bad news is that there were 299 outstanding warrants to clear and 258 people who should have been arrested in the previous year. These offenders were more than twice the number of fugitives arrested during a similar effort last year. More criminals at large puts the public in more danger. Let's hope the statistics are much different during next year's roundup.

Tradition returns

For the Minnesota Sesquicentennial last year, Lake Bemidji State Park brought back an early 20th century tradition -- a July picnic at the north end of Lake Bemidji. The park wasn't officially designated until 1923 but for a generation prior Bemidjians boated -- no road yet -- to the beach for a summer gathering. We welcome the return of the tradition. This year, picnickers found musical and other entertainment to accompany their social gathering.