BUILDING DEBATE The "not in my backyard" debates continue in Minot and the surrounding area. This time, the Ward County Commission ran headfirst into the issue when it approved a zone change that will allow the Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch to build a mixture of housing units for its employees. A combination of single-family homes, twin homes, 4-plexes and 12-plexes will be built north of the ranch, drawing the ire of some neighbors. Most nearby residents who attended the commission's meeting last week objected to the two-story 12-plexes, arguing that the structures didn't fit with other housing in that area, while supporting the construction of single-family homes. The problem is that not everyone who would live in the housing units could afford single-family dwellings, and not everyone wants to purchase a home, either. Some employees no doubt want to rent. The ranch would own all the housing units, and would charge rent to employees based on their salary. Other concerns include a dramatic increase in vehicle traffic with only a single exit, and water and sewer issues. All are legitimate issues, but so is the ranch's problems in finding housing for its employees, a problem faced by nearly every company in the area. The housing situation in and around Minot demands creative solutions, and while we recognize the plan approved by commissioners isn't a perfect match with other housing in the immediate area, we support the commission's decision.
OLYMPIC SPIRIT As usual, the Summer Olympics have been fascinating to watch, albeit annoyingly on tape delay because of the time difference between the United States and London. Still, there were majestic performances by individual athletes and teams alike, including sprinter Usain Bolt, the U.S. women's soccer team and the members of the U.S. women's gymnastics team. And who knew water polo and bike racing could be so fun to watch? But we wonder how baseball and softball are no longer Olympic sports when events like canoeing, handball and and team cycling are still handing out gold medals (what, no kickball?). No matter. The Olympics continue to be full of real drama, despite the faux drama forced upon us by commentators and interviewers alike.