Monday, April 21, 2008

Open Thread #77

Commence.

163 comments:

Anonymous said...

2nd!!!

Forecast for the week: Unsettled with lower temperatures than the past few days!

Anonymous said...

How will Grand Forks react to the new gay bar that will open in June 2008?

Anonymous said...

"How will Grand Forks react to the new gay bar that will open in June 2008?"

A NEW gay bar? What happened, did the Highlander close?

Anonymous said...

Where is this bar supposed to be located? Who is opening it and what type of atmosphere? I think it would be awesome.

Anonymous said...

at least it will keep the homos out of the strate bars now.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't worry. You don't sound like the kind of "strate" man they'd be interested in.

Plum said...

Wow, it kills me that the biggest redneck idiots are so terrified of getting hit on by gay men .. hello, is there even a WOMAN that would hit on you?

Like you're irresistible, ha.

Where's this supposed gay bar supposed to be anyway? I can see myself and all my female friends there, lol.

Anonymous said...

wow ! A gay bar comes to grand forks ! people don't know what to think... could be good, could be bad ! greenglass6

Anonymous said...

Are there firework stores open every day of the year here in ND like in Wyoming?

Anymouse said...

What's with the rumor about Culver's closing?

Anonymous said...

where do you people hear all these 'rumors'?

i'm jealous. and besides, if i knew them, i'd be able to start my own blog :(

Anonymous said...

The Fargo Forum reports that Outback Steakhouse closed their Fargo location for good. Maybe the restaurant sector finally became too saturated there.

Angie said...

Firework stores are only open for a brief period during the summer. I think they open some time in June and are closed right around the 4th of July.

Anonymous said...

I heard the "gay" bar will either be called Puzzles or Kings & Queens. It will be in some non-descript strip mall (not sure where). They won't say where it is yet, in fear of it being vandalized or fire-bombed. I'm sure we'll know more in May.

Anonymous said...

Ryan Bakken rags on a Cali newspaper columnist who mocks ND life. Mostly, it addresses true, but relatively trivial aspects of life here.

But he'll have something much more serious to target if we show animosity-or worse-toward a new gay bar.

Can GF prove that it's as tolerant, open-minded and accepting as we like to think we are.

I hope we all ask ourselves that.

Anonymous said...

Apparently not.

Anonymous said...

If they allow a gay bar, I want a strip club and casino somewhere in town too.

If we're going to throw morals to the wind here, might as well allow the majority to have some fun too!

Anonymous said...

Did everyone miss the fact that there is actually already a gay bar here? Plus who cares - a bar is a bar - you go there to pick someone up. It's none of my business what your preference is. Do what makes you happy and feel complete! (as long as it's legal) :o)

Anonymous said...

If the 'gay' bar has any chance of succeeding here, it better market itself first and foremost as misogynist-free and girl-friendly.

The population of gays and lesbians in this town is tiny (maybe 1-2k?), and the percentage of those who are bar-goers is another small fraction of that. No way this place survives if it positions itself as exclusively gay.

Anonymous said...

All the bars are 'gay' to a certain extent--gays and non-gays go to all the bars in town. You're right, a bar is a bar. However, if a bar identifies itself as exclusively homo, it won't last long.

Which is the current 'gay' bar (my guess is Level 10)? The Antique used to be called 'gay' back before the flood.

Anonymous said...

"If we're going to throw morals to the wind here, might as well allow the majority to have some fun too!"

Not sure why having a gay bar is throwing morals to the wind, when there are bars all over town? I don't think they'll try to keep you out, if that's what you mean.

webmasterzero said...

Anonymous said...

The Fargo Forum reports that Outback Steakhouse closed their Fargo location for good. Maybe the restaurant sector finally became too saturated there.


Yeah, that's probably what happened. Or the location might be a factor (next to Gateway Chevrolet) off I29. It's kind of "off the beaten path" when it comes to restaurants.

I only ate there once, and wasn't terribly impressed, so I'm not too sad about it closing.

How will Grand Forks react to the new gay bar that will open in June 2008?

Fargo had a "gay bar" (that never billed itself as such) that closed within the past year or two - the I-Beam.

It'll be interesting to see what happens with this venture since the GLBT population in GF is much smaller.

As a side note - drag shows are fun. We have them at the Venue (formerly Playmaker's) every so often and they usually are a spectacle - the performers go all out. With an open mind, they are fun to watch...

Coffee Guy said...

I hit the drag show with my wife and some friends. It was a good time, indeed.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if the GF gay population is smaller than Fargo's or not. But I hope they will take a play out of the playbook of successful gay bars in other smaller cities. If you create a stylish lounge, play good music and hire pleasant bartenders you can a attract non-gay audience as well, which will be essential to its success. Or they can hang bee lights everywhere, dangle crap from the ceiling and play show tunes...it'll be their choice.

Anonymous said...

"I don't think they'll try to keep you out, if that's what you mean."

Ohhhhhhh.....that must be it. I see.

Here, I'm just going to grab a Coke, and you can proceed to "enlighten" me on how my belief that homosexuality is wrong is really just a reflection of the closeted guilt I have about my own sexuality.

Because, you know, people who disagree with certain lifestyles MUST be educated by their intellectual superiors, right?

I sher wish I didn't hafta cling to mah guns and mah silly imaginary friend in the clouds, cuz I'm so bitter with y'all skool-lerned types.

Barbara said...

Totally Offtopic: It's kind of sad to see what VastLane.org turned into...

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 3:14

You made my point quite well, thank you.

But let me just say that it's generally accepted by the medical/psychological community that homosexuality is not a lifestyle any more than is having brown eyes or being heterosexual, for that matter. (Why on Earth would I choose to be discriminated against?) If you want to make it a divisive issue, based on the Old Testament, go right ahead. Jesus never mentioned it once. And have fun enslaving your firstborn daughter and not eating shrimp.

webmasterzero said...

Barbara said...

Totally Offtopic: It's kind of sad to see what VastLane.org turned into...


Yeah, it sort of turned into nothing. We did have big plans for helping the community in a fairly original way at some point between 2000 and 2002...it just sort of fizzled out though.

I do think GFL is a more than fitting replacement though.

As far as the "gay bar" goes, I think the population might be there, but they would have to be very repeat customers - regulars - to keep the place alive.

Who knows?

It couldn't possibly be worse than El Roco on a Saturday night in GF. It might even be...dare I say...likable (if you can put the whole "gay bar" concept out of mind and just go there to have fun).

I never went to the I-Beam here in Fargo while it was open, but heard many hilarious stories of sexual mingling - nothing hostile though.

webmasterzero said...

Anonymous said...

All the bars are 'gay' to a certain extent--gays and non-gays go to all the bars in town. You're right, a bar is a bar. However, if a bar identifies itself as exclusively homo, it won't last long.

Which is the current 'gay' bar (my guess is Level 10)? The Antique used to be called 'gay' back before the flood.


My friend Jason just told me this very same thing over the phone when I told him of this thread.

It still seems a little weird to me that a "gay bar" could open in GF and not exist in Fargo. But I guess you could easily call Bucks a gay bar on weekends (here in Fargo).

Anonymous said...

"But let me just say that it's generally accepted by the medical/psychological community that homosexuality is not a lifestyle any more than is having brown eyes or being heterosexual, for that matter."

If you're implying here that homosexuality is genetic, some specific studies should be included here. Otherwise, it's as much a myth as the 10% nonsense.

Anonymous said...

Looks like I know where to go in Fargo now.

Level 10 isn't a gay bar, but it IS the gayest bar in town. ;)

GrandForksGuy said...

Wow, I hadn't checked out vastlane.org for quite a while. Kinda sad, really. RIP Vastlane!

Anonymous said...

Where would I go to look up historic records of North Dakota in GF? I'm looking for newspaper articles, pictures, and that sort.

Angie said...

Anon 12:58am

I would say start with the Grand Forks or UND librarys. I know UND has microfiche and if they don't have what you are looking for they will know where to direct you. I've had really good luck there in the past looking up historic docs.

Angie said...

oops! I meant libraries. It's early. :-)

dale said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

newslibrary.com

Get your credit card out.

megan said...

Do we really need ANOTHER bar? I am all for having gay pride, in fact I love gays!! Drag shows are very enjoyable. Beside's the fact they took the rainbow. lol The last thing this town needs in one more bar. I remember when Bucks was hopping every Friday and Saturday night a few years back, and now it is so empty because everyone is going down town. Scary to think of all the drunks driving back to their apartments at 2:15a.m. Saturday nights! Yikes!! ONE MORE BAR?? How about a year round driving range?? Or something else we can do in sub-zero tempertures in the middle of January when you want to pull you hair out instead of drinking away your life. I would hate to see another bar, gay or not!

Fag-hag taking the Rainbow Back!!

Without all the 'Christian' connotations, I just think it's pretty and I feel weird wearing it in public. I'm not gay...I just like rainbows ...

Anonymous said...

You might want one of these...

Good luck!

megan said...

Anon 12:02

click on my name :) I plan on it. Do you think if I wore a nice skirt I could get into Level 10? Level 10 is not the gay or the gayest bar in town either. I happen to like going to a bar where my feet don't stick to the floor that is covered in peanut shells and people are required to look nice(er) then what I have seen in my drinking years. Summers coming out and so is the warm weather, time to get out those tube tops, daisy dukes, push-ups and spandex!! *gag*

megan said...

..I prefer
"Rainbows are Gay???"

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:58,
Go to the Chester Fritz library at UND. On the 4th floor is the "Special Collections" department, who will most likely have everything you need!

Stonegateguy said...

Does anybody know what is being built over buy sams club? There is no signage and it looks like there are a coulple car bays/garage type openings?

megan said...

Speaking of bars... The Herald put out a story today (click on my name) about a boy who died in a motorcycle accident. My sister went to school with this boy and alcohol was involved. I feel deep remorse for the family and his classmates, but I can't help to wonder if drinking (and driving) in ND is getting out of control? On MSN today there is an article that say ND is 2nd in leading the nation in drunk driving.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24262192/

I am embarrassed but honest to say I have even done it myself and have since seen to many horrible things happen to even dare tempt fate again.
Last night as I was leaving my brothers after showing him my brand new golf clubs, (ya ya!) he walked me out to 'be safe' so someone wouldn't swipe 'em from me, just in case. We were standing there saying our goodbyes and me getting grief from the jealous older brother, when out of his apartment complex came out two...uuhh..17(?) but obviously NOT 21 year old boys, half falling over themselves 2 sheets to the wind, glazed over eyes, loudly slurring and overly happy to see me..a girl, each toting very large cans of energy drinks and some other beverage container (each) talking about how they are going to go cruise and play video games giving us a little TMI. They proceeded to enter an large SUV and peeled out with tires screeching and within 10 secs were already over the speed limit. Not assuming anything, I smelt it on their breath, and anyone can tell when you speeding by the sound of an engine as it rev's up. I looked at my brother (who was also slightly in shock)...then my 7 year old who thankfully I locked in the car as soon as I smelled the alcohol and said "I don't really wanna move to a bigger town." If I can see such blatant public drunkenness in children (?) what is going on that I am not seeing? I can only imagine is gets worse with more people. I appreciate the safety I feel in GF despite the previous nights experience, I just wish alcohol wasn't such a large part of small towns.

That's all, just my 2 cents for the day!

Anonymous said...

I agree, I live in apartments that have quite a few college students living here. Every night around 2am I can count on being waken up by people coming home from the bars. I realize that this is a college town but its kind of annoying when these punks have no respect for those who have to work or get up early for school the next morning. I think that the last thing GF needs is another bar, regardless of what type it is. I would totally support some type of indoor sporting complex (other than hockey) that would give us all something to do in the winter. For example, indoor driving range, batting cages, go karts, basketball courts, video games, etc, etc.

megan said...

I like your enthusiasm ;)
Yes!! Indoor sports to help keep me in shape..and meet men! lol Much safer and a way better atmosphere then the 'bar scene' I rarely go out so it's hard to meet people unless I plan on shoving though some sweaty bar, yuck! Batting cages to the left, Golf to the right, go karts down the center and leave beer your goggles at door!!

Anonymous said...

Megan - did you do your part to help curb this activity by getting the license plate of the truck, the direction of travel and specifics of what you saw and report it to the police? Sounds like you didn't. I wonder...if you stand idly by while a drunk drive hits the road you and your seven year old are getting on, aren't you just as guilty? DO SOMETHING!

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:16,
Actually no, there is no legal duty to report someone who may or may not be a drunk driver.

However, since you seem to be such a zealous community safety advocate, why dont you start a nightly patrol to help "curb this activity"?

You certainly arent "DOING SOMETHING" by attacking people on this board.

Dion said...

Indoor Go-Karts would be sweet! It would be cool if they had sanctioned races etc too...

Anonymous said...

I am a police officer...as a matter of fact, I do patrol every night for illegal activity. There is no legal compulsion to report a drunk driver...just an ethical one.

Anonymous said...

Great, my wife will be talking on the phone more in the passenger seat.

Anonymous said...

The drunks and especially the music blasting out of the speakers on the OUTSIDE of Gilly's is really annoying. There is no good reason they need to keep these speakers on until 2:00 a.m.

Anonymous said...

There's a lot of work to be done by North Dakota as a whole to bring down alcohol abuse and drunk driving. They need to step it up.

And for how racially insensitive Grand Forks is, do you honestly think they'd tolerate a gay bar?

Anonymous said...

"And for how racially insensitive Grand Forks is, do you honestly think they'd tolerate a gay bar?"

Just like those of you who feel like people are being prejudice towards you. I for one don't like to have people be prejudice towards me for living in a small town like Grand Forks. Just because I am from here does not mean that I am a close minded redneck. Prejudice is a state of mind, not location. Just like being a hick is a state of mind, not a location.

Anonymous said...

"I for one don't like to have people be prejudice towards me for living in a small town like Grand Forks."

Don't get your panties in a wad just because others in the area obviously have some issues. Last I checked, anon @4:40 didn't call you out personally.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:08pm,
Well if your supposedly patroling every night looking for illegal activity, then I can see why we have a problem with drunk drivers in GF!

In fact, shouldnt you be "Patroling" instead of blogging at 9 O'Clock at night?

No wonder all the kids think they can do what they want, Grand Forks finest are too busy spending time on Grand Forks Blogs when they should be working?!

Anonymous said...

You're an idiot, obviously

Anonymous said...

I have read in other blogs/threads about how the police like to im and text each other while 'patroling' also. Of course I don't have the care or time to find substaintial facts and it is just hearsay...but it makes sense when your stuck in a car all day to have a need for communication other then, 'May I see your liscense and registration please?" But who am I to say anything? I am at work also!!!

Anonymous said...

Whwen the curlign was in town, a couple foreignes (no not from canada either) told me they couldnt beleive how many beer cans and boxes were out ont eh crubs. Also they couldnt beleive how many under 21 kids were getting served at the broken broom. i have driven drunk before as well as over 10,000 other people in the gf-egf area so how is a police force of around 130 gunna catch all of these when about not even half of them are workin during the nite.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't mind seeing the drinking age being lowered to 18 and drinking and driving becoming a felony.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't mind seeing the drinking age being lowered to 18 and drinking and driving becoming a felony.

Anonymous said...

the guy three posts above me spells like a drunken idiot

Coffee Guy said...

"Whwen the curlign was in town, a couple foreignes (no not from canada either) told me they couldnt beleive how many beer cans and boxes were out ont eh crubs."

Did yu esplain too tham teh coseptt or resykling day?

Anonymous said...

Its great to see our tax money going to blogging cops. I wonder what other websites they visit while working? KrispyKreme.com?

Anonymous said...

I love how the cop was insinuating that non-action by megan makes her "just as guilty" as a drunk driver. What brilliant people we have protecting us!

Anonymous said...

im drunk!! gettin rad for the weekend. the guy 4 posts above me is an idiot

megan said...

In foresight, being 20/20, I wish I would have done something. My initial reaction was to avoid eye contact and let the 'storm' pass so I could enter the road after them 5 minutes behind. Unfortunately there wasn't a cell phone between us and we didn't think to write a plate number down, we were looking at each other like we really couldn't believe that on a Monday night, nonetheless, I would be entering a road with a young driver wound up on energy drinks and alcohol. I felt weird too, call me a small town girl but they kept staring at us even as they drove away and I was just happy to have a body guard by my side. I just think if I would have left with out the brotherly love, would I have been 2 minutes sooner to my car and been on the rode before them or been confronted BY them..alone? Call me what you want, but I honestly felt scared because of how overly 'friendly' and talkative and much too interested in our nights happenings and they didn't even know us. I am a firm believer in that things happen for a reason. Yes, you should take responsibility for your actions and you do have control over you life, but I can't help believe that if something is going to happen it will. I will be more aware now, knowing I could have done something and didn't or couldn't really, it was getting late and we had school/work in the am. I am not one to go around calling the police on people though, it's not for me to teach them a lesson, it's for them to learn on their own. I just hope no one gets hurt in the process. What does Grand Forks have available for the 13-17 youth in town? Why isn't there a facility were they can go and hang out like a rec center with pool tables and arcade machines that doesn't sell alcohol? Or is there….nope don't think so…YMCA..the mall??

megan said...

I meant hindsight...

Anonymous said...

hey dope - not every single cop works every single night...I am sure police officers have enough sense not to get on the city server and blog on this or any other blog. Yes, there is a chat function on the computers officers have in their cars to send important information to each other. Yes (GASP) they are also often used to arrange lunch schedules and times...do YOU get to talk to your co-workers and go to lunch?!?!? My my, what a cushy job they have wearing 30 lbs. of equipment, driving in a car stuffed with equipment. Dealing with people every night that many in this town pretend don't exist (drunks, abusers, homeless). Most importantly wearing a bullet proof vest and a gun so they can save your sorry little blogging ass should it get in trouble...

Anonymous said...

So I am the anon from directly above...sorry! I posted in anger. My brother is a police officer in GF on the midnight shift (10pm-8am). I live out of the area but like to look at this blog from time to time. The fact is that he has been spit on, kicked in the face, hit by a drunk driver on two occations while in his vehicle, been in many pursuits, and often is put in extreme danger (if you don't believe it, get a scanner and prepare to be amazed). And he LOVES his job. He does it for every person in the city and does it well. I just can't stand the attitude of "who needs cops" until the person is in trouble, then they scream for them and ask why they weren't there to prevent whatever may have happened. Policing is a tough job, but most (yes, I realize not all) off the officers in GF are hard-working and enjoy the community and do their jobs to improve the city as a whole.

Jimmie said...

For one thing, NOT doing something when you're witnessing someone else committing a crime that could be dangerous to others does make you guilty. Not guilty in a court of law, but ethically/morally so for not doing something to stop it. How would you have felt if you didn't call the police but then found out that those guys caused a fatal car accident down the road? Sure, it's not your fault, but you *might* have been able to assist the police in preventing it by reporting them early on.

Dangerously drunk driving is not something that should be a "lesson learned on their own" with hopes they don't hurt others in the process.

I agree that some things should be left up to the person to learn the hard way, but when you're dealing with endangering others' lives, I just don't buy it.

Anonymous said...

"ethically/morally" guilty? Really? And, I take it, you are the arbiter of what is and what is not ethically or morally right?

Anonymous said...

how is being over friendly bad? thats what ND is known for megan is to be friendly... u call ur self a small town girl huh well then u should not care about underage dirnking. i rememeber when i was a kid up in forest river and had my first beer when i was 12.

Anonymous said...

Morals refers to generally accepted customs of conduct and right living in a society, and to the individual's practice in relation to these: the morals of our civilization.
Ethics now implies high standards of honest and honorable dealing, and of methods used, esp. in the professions or in business: ethics of the medical profession.

megan said...

Anon 3:26 PM..

Are you a female?
Do you have children?

Does the thought of putting you and your child in danger seem like something you would rather be safe then sorry about? The thought of reporting them didn't even occur to me, so morals or ethics have nothing to do with the moment, only in hindsight do I wish I did something. I was more worried about being safe and not being put a comprimising position by two people who easily could have over powered me if they wanted. I don't walk around being afraid of people who are a sober. I wouldn't go walking around downtown by myself at 2am on a Sat night though. Good for you for having you first beer at 12. I am sure your anonymous parents are proud.

Anonymous said...

"Teenagers scare the living shit out of me...."

megan said...

Oh and to add to my previous post. I do care about underage drinking, I think any 'moral' person would. I have seen to many people I know and love die by drinking and driving, 2 who were close to me in the last 12 months and both underage. Growing up in a small town doesn't make a difference. I think Grand Forks makes to much of a big deal about drinking and I wish it would stop. I enjoy things like the Art and Wine Walk, but its Art & Wine not Wine & Art. Do you listen to the radio? One station in particular broadcasts from bars regularly and does continual commercials about bar events, and if I were a 18, 19, 20 year old cruising around listening I would want to be apart of that in a heartbeat. I understand the reason and need for it. I just think this town is a little excessive with it's consumption..I could blame in on the college. (?) But I won't.

MattFacingSouth said...

Megan, you're being attacked by the proverbial hyenas here and the only winning strategy is not to play.

You made a split-second call and you, as a seemingly thoughtful person, learned from it, which will reinforce your decision-making next time.

To the cop's brother: I dusted off the scanner last week just for kicks and learned the city police radios are now encrypted. However, I'm not going to get into my feelings on that with all the anons on this board

Anonymous said...

So rumor has it that there will be a bar opening in the Medowbrook location and the Cherished Moments bridal shop location. Any truth or insight to this? I love how downtown grand forks is heading in the right direction...

Szymanski's Designated Driver said...

i love how all the idiots jump on the cop, assuming that he MUST be commenting here while he's on the job. Find something else to complain about, like the hate crimes UND unsuccessfully tried to hide.

Anonymous said...

Vastlane was ahead of its time and blogs about GF have replaced it. Vastlane was a grass roots effort and also fizzled because the webmaster left the area.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone ever read the Dakota Student who is not a student? It's interesting what comments are posted by the horomone driven. Being a college town you would think with all the diversity it brings people would try to be more open minded. Things like this show poorly on Grand Forks, North Dakota and the parents who breed such hatred in their children. The seed doesn't fall far from the tree.

Anonymous said...

mattfacingsouth - they didn't encrypt the radio system, they replaced the old one. The old system was on the 800 mgz band, the new one is VHF digital. Still able to scan it, it is just on a different signal that may require a new or different scanner. I can almost guarantee that the officer blogging was NOT on duty at the time of blogging, as the PD is pretty low staffed around 9pm. Once the overlap shift begins at 10 pm there are a lot more officers on until 3am.
And by the way...can a property crime be a hate crime? I aske this sincerely, as I would think to be labeled a "hate crime" one would think bodily injury would have to be involved. Anybody have the answer for me?

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:05 PM

"Hate crime can take many forms. Incidents may involve physical assault, damage to property, bullying, harassment, verbal abuse or insults, or offensive graffiti or letters."
via-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hate_crime

"Crimes of hatred and prejudice—from lynchings to cross burnings to vandalism of synagogues—are a sad fact of American history, but the term "hate crime" did not enter the nation's vocabulary until the 1980s, when emerging hate groups like the Skinheads launched a wave of bias-related crime. The FBI began investigating what we now call hate crimes as far back as the early 1920s, when we opened our first Ku Klux Klan case. Today, we remain dedicated to working with state and local authorities to prevent these crimes and to bring to justice those who commit them."
via-http://www.fbi.gov/hq/cid/civilrights/hate.htm

Anonymous said...

Hello,

Our family is located in Alaska and we are looking to relocate to Grand Forks to attend graduate school. I have done research online but that does not substiute local opinions and advice. I am looking for advice on tasteful, safe and economical housing. We are exploring condos, homes, mobile homes. Also would be interested in nice rentals. We have a little one so prefer privacy, 2 bedroom, and yard. I am looking for any recommendations or opinions on these options. Mobile homes are very rare in Alaska so that is a foriegn concept to us however, they look nice online. Also any realtors recommendations or warnings. And any local treasures, tidbits you would be willing to share. Thank you very much for your time!

Anonymous said...

"pretty low staffed around 9pm."
Isn't that when things are starting to get busy? Why not start at 7pm right after people have supper and are on the move again. Obviously there is a gap of time in proper patroling between 5pm and 10pm. I wonder how many are out right now....I was driving to work one morning at 6:30 and saw 3 driving in a row like a popo parade!! oops

Anonymous said...

I am pretty sure that staffing at the police department is based on statistics, so starting at 10 pm I would imagine is the best possible way to maintain good coverage in the city during peak call times.
and anon @ 805 - thanks for your time and information based on the previous question. I trust that the FBI would be the ones to label anything a "hate crime" since they (federal gov't, that is) are the only ones who can prosecute violation of civil rights.
and anon above, maybe the "popo parade" was on the way to a call...don't think that they just like the way three police cars in a row look. A lot of calls need proper manpower. Remember, there is only one officer per car, not four or five like the fire dept. by the way, has anybody asked how much tax money we waste on the fire dept being dispatched to every medical call, no matter how minor - what would required staffing be if they only went to serious medical calls and fires and car crashes that require haz mat or extrication? I know that the police department puts out an annual report that is on their website and in the paper. They had around 50,000 calls for service last year...how many did the fire dept have? What is the staffing currently? Now that I am on a roll, I just might call my city councilman.

Anonymous said...

They are repoting on the hate crime on Foxnews right now channel 10..

Anonymous said...

I am sickened by how Residential Life (and every other person/group that has known of these events) has handled the hate crimes that have just now come to light on the gf herald. My thoughts are with the Jewish community while this matter is resolved...hopefully, quickly and adequately.

MattFacingSouth said...

Anon @ 8:05 - I wondered if that was the case. I looked online, but couldn't find any information. I guess I'll have to get another scanner at some point. Thanks for the info!

thewanderingjew said...

As you may guess, I've been only slightly involved in the ongoing hate crime issue at UND. As a Jewish student, I'd like to thank everyone in the community for their support. I'll be updating my own blog with information as we work towards finding a solution to the problems of anti-Semitism and lack-of-acknowledgment by the administration. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I can't believe some of you would forego discussing the anti-Semitic occurrences, instead squabbling over petty things and making weak attempts to hate on the "po-po."

Angie said...

8:27 PM, April 24, 2008

Being a recent grad student... I would have to say that Northwestern Drive at UND was one of the best choices we made. We had a little one while we were living there and it is a single lvl townhouse style with no stairs to compete with. They are generally a bit dark due to the panelling in most of them, but hey for the price they are great.

I've lived in several other university housing areas and this one seems to be the mose kid friendly and quiet. I'm not saying that issues don't come up and it can't get noisy from time to time, but overall it is a great place.

http://www.housing.und.edu/apartments/apartment.shtml?hall=northwestern

Anonymous said...

thewanderingjew - keep your spirits up! both the community as a whole and UND support you and your freedoms. UND certainly could have handled this situation much better than it did, and hopefully they will learn from mistakes that they have made. That being said, don't let the bigotry and/or ignorance of some people ruin your image of a community as a whole!

Anonymous said...

Agreed!!

Anonymous said...

I could care less if they open a gay bar, because the market will dictate whether it fails or not, but I find it interesting the people who use the term "open-minded", because what they are basically saying is that if you agree with me you are open-minded. How do these same people feel about the polygamists? Are you open-minded about them and their practices?

Lynsey said...

To me, being "open-minded" means that you are open to looking into others' opinions and researching other sources before making a decision, whereas "close-minded" means making a snap judgment on a person's beliefs or on an issue based only on your personal constructs of "right and wrong."

Anonymous said...

"How do these same people feel about the polygamists? Are you open-minded about them and their practices?"

I am.

Anonymous said...

anonymous,
If you are referring to the recent polygamist sect discovered in Texas, you must realize they were abusing children. Girls as young as 12-13 years old were subjected to sex with adult men. I hope you are not referring to this particular case when referencing polygamists. If it can be said without sounding sarcastic, these people made polygamists look really bad.

megan said...

I am open-minded enough to except some one willing who is able of mind and body to partake of such a practice if the remifications do not impose on anyone else's right as a person, legal or religious. I myslef would not put myself in such an institution. I have thought of this many, many times before (more in terms of Africa where men can have dozens even 100's of wives) this case in Texas was brought to light. I always go back to simple statistics in my belief relying on the fact is easier then my emotions. 100% of the worlds human population is male and female. Duh! Female world population as of 2008 is 3,349,710. Male world population as of 2008 is 3,399,969.
http://earthtrends.wri.org
To make the math really simple woman make up 49.62% of the world population. Any man who takes more then one wife leaves another man without one or 1 and 1/2 men without a wife if you wanna get technical. To me this is greed but I am just trying more or less to state facts and maintain as much of an 'open-mind' as possible. Some people choose never to marry and some choose to have 'open' marriages. This is where facts are harder to nail down and things start to get grey, and that doesn't even add in a single dose of religious 'zeal' used to justify these types of living arrangements. I wonder how one man, outside the walls of a compound like this would even be able to afford 5 wives and 30 children? How can one person divide their life up so evenly so no one feels they are missing out. I don't know how any one man or one woman would enjoy this life-style..but that's where my mind closes..I just don't understand why?

The Wandering Jew said...

I will be on Voice of Dakota on KNOX at 3PM today along with another Jewish student to discuss the anti-Semitism issue. Please tune in!

summergirl said...

Where is the best place to get a little girls hair cut in this town? I would like to take my daughter to get her first trim but since we've been here all I've gotten is butchered by the local salons...I've been to JCPenny, Oliveries, AVEDA...so not impressed - I just want a good cut...if I wanted a good cup of coffee I'd go to Carabou

Lynsey said...

Summergirl, I've always been happy with Regis. I'd say they cost about as much as JC Penney's, and are totally worth it.

Anonymous said...

Summergirl---
Penney's is worth another shot, IF you can line up with Vicki. She's cut our granddaughter's hair for the last three years, and we've always been pleased with the experience and the results.

Anonymous said...

As far as places to live, I would stay away from the Trailer Parks unless your looking to score some meth, or like living around people who may or may not have been on Jerry Springer.

Also, I wish polygamy was legal, I would love to have a few wives. One to cook, one to clean, and one to rub my feet and clip my toe nails.

Anonymous said...

the wandering jew...I have a question. Who are the 'riff-raff' you were referring to in your comments on Dakota's show this afternoon?

It's unfortunate that the person who called you out for your use of this phrase used the words he did--he had a very good point that was lost in Dakota's overbearing, overly-PC response.

That point is, you have a responsibility to avoid spreading the kind of intolerance you are railing against right now! In using phrases like, '...it keeps the riff-raff out', regardless of the context and regardless of the intent, you are being hypocritical, and undermining your own message.

As a person who is very supportive of the Jewish community in this case, I cringed when I heard you say that on the radio today. It was as thoughtless and ignorant as a Cowboys and Indians party, or a song-and-dance in blackface. I was even more discouraged to hear you explain that it was tongue-in-cheek, and it was okay because it was commonly used. You should be ashamed, sir.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:32;
"Riff Raff" refers to actions, activities, behavior, crime etc., you idiot!

Why do you automatically think "Riff Raff" is refering to a specific group of people?

Your a moron!

Anonymous said...

Anybody can speak out about discrimination, hate crimes or whatever but the truth is, it's always going to be alive and around. It's like food stuck in your teeth that won't come out no matter how hare you try. It's also like quick sand, the more you struggle with the problem you are doing no good. Face it, it's best to do very little and just ride with it like gas prices.

Anonymous said...

"Your a moron!"

Somehow, I think you're wrong.

Anyway, do a google search for +riffraff +crime +racism, and then read a bit. You'll quickly come to understand that 'riff raff' is understood to mean 'outsiders'. That's people, not actions. Riff raff isn't something you DO, riff raff is a derogatory term that refers to the people who DO the actions.

And where I grew up, here in North Dakota, 'outsiders' means just about anyone who isn't white and christian.

You can pretend like 'riff raff' isn't a veiled reference to non-white races, non-christian religions, criminals, the homeless, and other 'undesirable' people. Whatever.

Maybe you're not pretending. Maybe 'your' just ignorant.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:02pm,
"Riff Raff" is defined by Websters Dictionary as "disreputable persons". "Persons" is defined as "Human or Individual".

I think part of your misunderstanding of the term is the fact that you, like many uneducated or ignorant individuals, relies on non-authoritative resources like "Google" searches to obtain information.

So, speak for yourself when voicing your "opinion" of what "Riff Raff" is, or more correctly, what it is not.

Goon said...

Riff Raff is considered undesireables, criminal element etc. It has nothing to do with racism. There is an old saying that says 40 below keeps the riff raff out.

Downtown Edge said...

We need not rely on sources such as Webster's Dictionary as the only or even the best indication of how the English language is currently used. Now that we live in a society where overt discrimination is outlawed in many cases and at least frowned upon in others, people have to find more subtle ways to express their prejudice, and such uses of language change more rapidly than our dictionaries.

Google searches may not be scientific, but they are an excellent indication of current uses and connotations of words and expressions. You're right, Anon 7:02pm, "riff raff" is commonly used as code for labeling as undesirable anyone different from one's own cultural group. As you point out, in ND that would generally be anyone who isn't White or Christian. I'd say it's also used to apply to gay people or anyone of a lower social class than one's in-group. A Google search would be a much better way to check that out than the literal definition in any dictionary.

Downtown Edge said...

Here are some lyrics from Pink Floyd's album/movie "The Wall," perhaps the most influential rock movie of the 1980s. The song is "In the Flesh"

"Are there any queers in the theater tonight
Get him against the wall
Against the wall!

Now there's one in the spotlight he don't look like to me
Get him up against the wall
Against the wall!

And that one looks Jewish! and that ones a coon!
Who let all of this riff raff into the room.
Theres one smoking a joint, and another with spots
If i had my way
i'd have all of them shot."

(Yes, I realize that these were not the actual views of Pink Floyd, just of the hateful characters they created in the music & film.)

Lest you think all associations between "riff raff" and prejudice are from the last generation, Google shows over 14,000 entries with containing all three of these terms: "riff raff," "racist" and "Obama." The articles represent a wide spectrum of political opinion, but it's clear that "riff raff" is still commonly used to express racial superiority.

Anonymous said...

Thank you downtown edge. You made my point much better than I did.

Anon 9:09, you've defined uneducated ignorance much better than Webster. Maybe you could submit a picture of yourself for inclusion next to both words in the next edition.

goon, I'm aware of the old saying. Old doesn't make it good.

The Wandering Jew said...

My saying "keeps out the riff-raff" was a tongue-in-cheek reference, and in light of what has gone on in the past few months, is made even more so. If I offended you, I'm sorry.

In the same right, that souvenir store on 3rd Ave. in Downtown has a t-shirt with that phrase printed on it. Why aren't we discussing it there?

Oy...I feel so proud to have created a grammatical debate!

Lupe said...

I think we're veering away from the point...looking up dictionary entries and song lyrics? Seriously people. UND unsuccessfully tried to hate this hate crime and it blew up in their face. Now they must pay the price. There should be punishment starting at the RA moving up to the Residence Hall Director all the way up to whoever's in charge of housing. They have severely failed this student. Oh sure they refund about a month of his housing payments. Whoopdee doo. Just to appease the media and public. With these recent events it's clear that UND needs to take a serious look at some required diversity courses here. We're not doing much to shed the "hostile and abusive" label, and are pretty much proving the points of everyone who thinks UND is filled with racists and homophobes.

Anonymous said...

Riff Raff comes from the medieval French phrase "rifle et rafle." These words are from the verbs rifler, to spoil or strip, and raffler, to carry off. The phrase means plundering of the bodies of the dead on the battlefield and the carrying off of the booty.

As somebody with ancestors who were the victims of this, I'd like to see the phrase go out of fashion.

But seriously, I always hear a tone of racism when I read/hear this phrase.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:20am,
Well if you seriously rely on "Google" searches for authoritative research then you might want to go back to school for your GED! Educated individuals do not rely on a "Google" search for concrete evidence.

So you actually read all 14,000 articles containing those search terms? Because, you said that "The articles represent a wide spectrum of political opinion, but it's clear that "riff raff" is still commonly used to express racial superiority". Wow, Im amazed that you can make such a conclusive determination of what all 14,000 artciles represent!

Also, just for future reference, any time there is a dispute about what a specific word or term means, the actual authoritative resource that educated individuals use, IS an actual dictionary or thesaurus. For example, in a court of law, when the terms of a contract or other document are under dispute, the court looks to the official dictionary to define what the disputed terms actually mean. This is also true in the Legislature (they are the people who make laws, in case you dont know) When drafting legislation, dictionaries are used to define the constructive language included in the bill or amendment, or whatever type of document is being drafted.

However, I do think it is funny that you would try and use a song written by Roger Waters to illustrate your point! But I would not take the words used by a drug induced songwriter and try and say that they are definative of our cultural interpretation of certain words.

Anonymous said...

http://scholar.google.com/

The first thing I searched for pulled up articles from The Lancet. Tell me again how Google is no good for research?

Anonymous said...

To totally change the subject. I need to switch from T-mobile to another network. Can anyone tell me what is the best provider to go with for bare-bones cell service?

Anonymous said...

http://hul.harvard.edu/hgproject/index.html

Harvard is collaborating with Google to digitize a sizable portion of their library. Tell me again how Google is no good for research?

Anonymous said...

Ha ha, obviously you never went to college? No, seriously, Im asking!

If you did go to college you would know that you could never use a "Google" search as an authoritative/scholarly source!

Scholarly sources are Journals, Research Articles, Scholarly studies, etc. NOT Google searches! Come on now, your really making a fool of yourself!

Anonymous said...

Google is good for research if your writing a paper for you 12 year old, otherwise you would need to cite to a scholarly resource.

Anonymous said...

The Lancet is not a scholarly source? Book on Harvard shelves are not scholarly sources? Please explain.

Of course you don't cite Google, but rather the primary source. Google can be a tool to get to that source, just as other journal search tools are, just as a card catalog (electronic these days) in a library is, just as an electronic database of books is, etc. How do you feel about Westlaw or Lexis-Nexis? Or do you think that people who use those tools cite "Source: Westlaw" in their works?

You really sound terrible at taking the next logical steps in thought processes. Typical North Dakota, having to have everything laid out clearly and explicitly.

Anonymous said...

Clearly, we've all forgotten that Riff Raff is Dr. Frank N Furter's handyman.

I didn't need Google OR a Dictionary to come up with that answer!

Now, do the Time Warp, and reconsider your responses.

Anonymous said...

What the heck! Google is not a scholarly resource!

And North Dakotans rule!

Anonymous said...

Jesus, you people can be dense.

Anonymous said...

Google is DEFINITELY not a concrete resourse. Do you work for Google?

Anonymous said...

What does Google say about Jesus? I bet the Pope uses Google when doing research.

Anonymous said...

I use Google for all of my scholarly research. For example, I frequently research info on Britney Spears, Tom Cruise, Hanna Montana, Paris Hitlon, and many other scholarly individuals. I also use Google to Google myself and see if anyone has posted naked pictures of me on the internet. Hopefully the will soon so that my career can pick up some momentum.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like we have a bunch of "riff raff" on this blog.

Anonymous said...

Nounriff-raff

people who are disreputable or undesirable.

The aristocrat forbid his son from associating with that criminal riff-raff in the slums.

Anonymous said...

Riff Raff is a Noun

Anonymous said...

Riff Raff is also a vegetarian dish from the North/West-Eastern Tribe of Kalkuta-Munahi-Alger-Oompa-Loompa located in the Southern part of the East-Western peninsula of Narnia.

Oh yea, and Google is a great scholarly resource, not!

Anonymous said...

"Riff Raff is also a vegetarian dish from the North/West-Eastern Tribe of Kalkuta-Munahi-Alger-Oompa-Loompa located in the Southern part of the East-Western peninsula of Narnia."
?"Oompa-Loompa"?

You are a moron. Should I spell that for you?

This thread it taking a turn for the worst.

Anonymous said...

I'm starting to miss the food snobs.

Anonymous said...

"I'm starting to miss the food snobs."

Do they serve Riff Raff at the Olive Garden?

szymanski's designated driver said...

This is starting to look like the Herald's comment section. That's not a good thing. And to the person looking for cell phone service, almost everyone I know is on Verizon (including myself), it works really well in GF so I would recommend that.

Downtown Edge said...

As the one who posted lyrics found on Google and discovered over 14,000 entries associating "riff raff" with "racist" while also referring in some way to "Obama," I'd like to clarify a few issues.

First, I wholeheartedly agree with lupe, who noted that this "riff raff" discussion was getting away from the main point that the anti-Semitism at UND has been horribly mismanaged by housing and the administration. Yes, the university and the whole community needs more diversity education. I also regret any implication that thewanderingjew is part of the problem. Whereas I think he chose an unfortunate phrase to illustrate a point, he is part of a small minority who is most directly affected by the anti-Semitism here and has shown the courage to counter it.

Second, I already acknowledged that a Google search is not scientific, but as others have pointed out, it is an excellent way to find scholarly primary sources and is starting partnerships with some of the premier scholarly institutions in the world. This brings me to my third point, which is that I vigorously defend use of non-scholarly tools such as Google to get a quick glance of how words, phrases, images, icons, and trends are currently being used in our culture. Dictionaries may be the best language tool to help craft laws and argue court cases, but in the more amorphous world of communicating to the general public, popular use of language is usually a better guide.

So, even though the "40 degree below zero keeps the riff raff out" saying may not be typically stated with racist intent, the fact that the term is so often used to refer to or even racial divides is reason enough to use the term cautiously, if ever.

Anonymous said...

actually, your the only one who "pointed out" that Google is a sweet scholarly resource.

I think most of the people on here are making fun of you, Scholar.

Anonymous said...

Olive Garden is white trash Italian food. I wish they would actually open up some nice restaurants in GF. For example, how about some nice places like they have on the West and Coast, like Ruths' Cris, Flemings, etc. I guess its because the same people that complain about having to pay $700 for a nice apartment, are the same ones that would complain about paying $30 for a nice filet mignon from Ruths' Cris.

The only place I actually like is Texas Roadhouse, because its not trying to be something its not. They are just an average quality steakhouse and they dont try to pretend they are anything more. For example, Sanders tries to be the "nice" place in town, but they use old and worn out utensils and their chefs do a horrible job of plating. I think its funny how they have Sushi thursdays, not too sure if I would touch that stuff being this far from the ocean!

Downtown Edge said...

No, others are pointing out the value of Google in research. I wasn't the anonymous poster who made the connection between Google & Lancet & Harvard. Google isn't a scholarly resource, but rather a tool to find those resources.

Yes, I realize that the majority of posters on this topic probably are "making fun of" my opinions. Note that a lot more of this "fun" appears on this blog when a handful of people are pointing out the bigotry in this community. It must be easy to lash out and draw hasty, incorrect conclusions when people feel that their prejudices are being exposed.

Anonymous said...

what happend on dakotas show? The wandering jew said he lives here to keep the riff-raff out? maybe im just confused.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:20;
Actually there are many instances where you would cite "Westlaw" in your citation.

You must be a first year law student. Do you go to Concord online law school?

Anonymous said...

Downtown edge=walking contradiction. You first claim that Google is such a wonderful scholarly resource. Now you claim that its not a scholarly source but only a medium by which to get to scholarly research. I personally think Google sucks.

szymanski's designated driver said...

For future reference, if you're going to insult someone's intelligence it usually helps to know the difference between 'your' and 'you're'.

Lynsey said...

Quick grammar lesson:

Your = possessive of you

Your car looks nice.

You're = contraction of "you are"

You are an idiot. = You're an idiot.

Anonymous said...

For future reference szymanski, it should be someones' not someone's. You must feel like an idiot.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Szymanski is the one that needs a designated driver, in addition to an English tutor!

Downtown Edge said...

To anon @ 2:51.

Here was my first reference to Google, last night:

"Google searches may not be scientific, but they are an excellent indication of current uses and connotations of words and expressions."

When people use Google for scholarly purposes, they must realize that most of what is pulled up is trash and only a handful of sources are typically scholarly. When someone is looking into common uses of terms such as "riff raff," which is a rather trashy term itself, it's perfectly legitimate to use Google as an initial step because what people post online around the English-speaking world is a good indication of their current thoughts, beliefs, values, and use of language. I'm a great believer in the scientific process, but it's not the only way to discover useful information.

Anonymous said...

does riff raff refer to people that live in trailer parks?

Anonymous said...

Right on, downtown edge. If anybody wonders why incidents like the anti-semitism at UND happens, look no further than this blog's commenters to see the mores and values of the community. We have a young Jewish man referring to himself as 'the wandering jew', making tongue in cheek comments on a public radio show about keeping the riff-raff out, and then making grand gestures about the inequity of the University's weak response to an issue that is important to him! You hypocrite!

Then we're actually having a discussion about what riff-raff means in the context of a 99+ percent white population! There is no discussion--the phrase has racist overtones, undertones, and middletones!

Puke.

szymanski's designated driver said...

For future reference anon, Szymanski is a proper noun and should be capitalized. You must feel like an idiot now. You are a perfect example of why the quality of comments on this blog have steadily gone downhill. Also, way to follow up your comment with another anonymous zinger. "Looks like Szymanski is the one that needs a designated driver, in addition to an English tutor!" Yes, because my name suggests that I am actually Tom Szymanski. For the sarcasm impaired, you're an idiot.

Matthew said...

Anonymous said...

For future reference szymanski, it should be someones' not someone's. You must feel like an idiot.

3:32 PM, April 26, 2008


I have to disagree.

Someone's = that belonging to someone. Example: "someone's intelligence" = "the intelligence of someone," i.e., "the intelligence of some individual."


Furthermore, I would posit that "riff raff" means a lot of different things to a lot of different people, not all of them the least bit connected with race.

Anonymous said...

So why didnt you capitalize it in your screen name, smart guy szymanksi? Practice what you preach cowboy.

Anonymous said...

The problem arises when a noun is both plural and possessive. Certainly, there can be more than one Ronni, and they both can own the word processor. Or more than one banker can own the log book. In such cases, you simply place the apostrophe after rather than before the s:

Ronnis’
bankers’
banks’
nations’

Anonymous said...

At least we are back to discussion of grammar. It reminds me of past open threads.

Anonymous said...

Are there any celebrities living in Grand Forks?

Anonymous said...

only greenglass4

Szymanski's Designated Driver said...

anon@4:24 ... do you see anyone's name capitalized? If you would actually use a nickname you would see that it automatically makes it lower case when you post. Try it sometime "cowboy."

THE WANDERING GRAND FORKS HERALD said...

http://blog.nam.org/archives/2008/04/post_43.php

Jimmie said...

For the person looking for a good place to get her daughter's hair cut...try Dawn at the salon at Macy's. She's the only one working there right now, so you know you'll get her. She does a great job, and she's really nice.

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