THE BAR IS OPEN

Hello, group from hell and other esteemed visitors.  Welcome to the corner bar.  A place where arguments and opinion flow as freely as the imaginary libations.  Please keep it somewhat civil, as ol billy bones has a trusty shillelagh handy and he’ll bust some skulls if ya get too uncivilized, but otherwise, all are welcome.  As long as you cand make your argument and stand on your own two feet, and can handle the atmosphere…stick around.  BMK, ANDY, EXISTENTIALIST, BRYAN K, R. JENKINS, GROOTCH, and anyone i’ve missed, drop a note, suggest a topic, request your own topic table.  Drinks are on the house…so belly up.

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59 Responses to THE BAR IS OPEN

  1. remrafdn says:

    I’m wondering if the vote of the City Commission caused any involuntary seminal emissions.

  2. Andy G says:

    Bucket of blood? Did you fall on your head? As far as the vote goes, It shows there is at least one politician aboard. He two stepped real good.

  3. existentialist says:

    Hey, billy bones, I’m glad that you started something like this. I’ll do my best to keep it civil…I don’t know if I can make any absolute promises. =)

    I’ll put on my thinking cap and try to suggest some worthwhile topics. Perhaps having a weekly book or topic discussion…that way we can be at each other’s throats for at least seven days.

  4. remrafdn says:

    How do I forward this article, The Big Apple:The public be damned (William H. Vanderbilt) to this blog or in-forum.com? It pretty much rebuts Heavy’s pro Cargill crap.

  5. Avatar of billybones billybones says:

    exy, i’ll do my best to be a good christian and make you feel welcome despite our differences. i have no fear about your civility. i may think you are as misguided as you think i am, but i enjoy the discussion…and argument. cheers.

  6. andy g says:

    how many sheets does impwiz own?…and are any of them colored? was that the existentialist popping in? all righty then. that means that grootch the skewerer isn’t far behind. my opening comment..as much as it dismays me to say it, existentialist had them outnumbered on the chunk of granite crap..jeez i wish i felt stronger about that crap..damn! it wasn’t even fair..the sad thing is he didn’t even need a fricken wing man….

  7. andy g says:

    remraferdinand..don’t waste your time with heavy..he is somehow aligned or related to the sheethead, locked up with them on bison/sioux thing while bored. he has rectalbreath syndrome. talks out his crapper. has no humor value either. i can’t believe there is that level of ignorance on farm issues held by a resident of one of the few states that at least tries to give a crap about the family farm. don’t waste what little dexterity remaining in old fingers, you may need them to try a few shaving techniques.

  8. Frank Luke says:

    Andy: I would like to, figuratively speaking of course, shoot him out of the sky. Sometimes I just try to bleed off a little hot air and bring somebody down to earth, but he should go down in flames.

  9. billy the bartender says:

    heack imp and heavy, plus maybe chad seem to have lots of white sheets, stained brown around the mouth from the crap they spew. if i didn’t know better, i would think that exy has two personalities, and that he and bryan k are one. i may have strong feelings about the issue of the monument, but there are just too many blathering idiots spouting absolute crap re: history etc. then you get chad. i just think he’s been hanging since the whole florida election controversy

  10. andy g says:

    bryan k & exy are different, completely different tactics. both seem to be furious researchers..too much quasi-serious, holier than thou nazis-for-christ on the granite thread to get me up in arms. having faith does not necessarily make me an idiot on shit like that. if we need a piece of stone to make us strong between the knees and strong in heart, we got bigger problems than a bunch of …the term eludes me now..can’t use freethinker, because they are as imprisoned my their line of crap as the american taliban types are with theirs …free isn’t exactly the first thing that comes to mind..but neither is christian at the other side..f*ck i was pissed to sit that one out…i guess i will just dump a scoop of pineapple sherbert in my miller lite and have me a millacolada. chad just has been small towned too long..there are some serious bigots out there..i’m glad i have a permanent construction tan, i wouldn’t want to be that fricken white..talk about forgetting your damn heritage. we are all immigrants. they seem to forget the point. its the culture benders i have a hard-on for. there is a serious difference between immigration and invasion, we just need to be smart enough to know the difference. the fench will runout of their beloved “liberty” by 2035 according to some. serves them right, they won’t have us to bail them out from an internal cancer, and an inherent lack of courage..though the recent election may be a last gasp of what little common sense they have left as a society.

  11. Bryan K says:

    I find it humorous that people think that exy and I are the same person. We have gone toe to toe a couple of times, but the difference between our disagreements and the disagreements of quite a few others is that we have our disagreements showing respect and tolerance for one another’s viewpoints.

  12. td says:

    There should be a tap out option for when someone is getting the butt kicked. I am not a UFC fan, but it tends to be on FSN around Twins games. My narcisstic side is terribly disappointed I come to this blog and find no one talking about me behind my back. I must get more active. I look forward to the topics presented here and probably won’t be that active as I don’t talk about things I figured out I don’t have a clue about unless I am asking a question. I only talk about the things I don’t know I haven’t figured out.

  13. Bryan K says:

    td: there is a tap-out option, though I prefer to call it “swallowing one’s pride”. Some people are more gracious than others in tapping out. Let’s take the public smoking debate, for instance. I know how second hand smoke adverely affects my health, but even though I have a doctor’s order to avoid second hand smoke at all costs, that is nothing more than anecdotal evidence. Furthermore, since smoking does affect my health in such an adverse way, I can’t partake in the discussion without letting my emotions get involved. I can cite a few facts, like how every single state that has enacted a public smoking ban has seen an increase in alcohol sales as a result. All I have besides that is anecdotal. Like at the “Wierd Al” Yankovich concert last night, I was sitting in a section with about two dozen people. Three fourths of the way through the show, a couple came to sit in the middle of the group. They lit up a cigarette, and every single other person in the section got up and moved. It’s a no brainer to me, but I can’t argue that point without using emotion. Therefore, I considered myself to be succinctly spanked, and I excused myself from the thread.

  14. Bryan K says:

    Andy: I think the term “freethinker” is a good term for those who are not bound by the theories of scripture (or any single source, for that matter) to base their beliefs and ideals. What I see is one side, the “freethinkers”, seeking a compromise. I see the other side, the anti-secularists, refusing to budge. But before you raise an objection to my use of the term, keep in mind that I believe that most of the people who have posted here thus far are “freethinkers” as well. That includes you.

  15. remrafdn says:

    Imagine a scale from -5 to +5 with atheists being -5 and Nazis for Christ as +5. Where do you rank? Personally, probably a -2. Draco = -5. I would guess Andy g> is a 0 or -1. Anybody else want to play?

  16. Bryan K says:

    I would make Andy a +1. He seems to me to be a deeply religious man, but he draws the line at using his religious beliefs to influence others. He also refuses to cite the Bible to try to prove a point. I have a great deal of respect for that.

    As it pertains to me, this is quite an easy question to answer. I’m at 0. The freedom to worship as one pleases is just as important to me as the importance of keeping religion out of government (and vice versa). In fact, I think these two qualities are intertwined. One is not possible without the other.

    The most liberal of all possible positions would be the advocacy of state sponsored atheism, and no one on these boards advocates that. That means that I would give exy, easily the most liberal poster on in-forum.com, about a -3.5. In other words, he hasn’t quite crossed the line into being a radical, though he teeters on the edge from time to time.

    On the opposite end of the scale, the +5′s would be the people who fly planes into buildings to make a point. I don’t think anyone in Fargo is THAT stupid, so even people like the KKKer Imp Wiz, easily the most reactionary poster on in-forum.com, would only get something in the range of a +4 to +4.5. Yes, he has crossed the line into being a reactionary because I truly believe that he would be happier if everyone who disagreed with his religious beliefs was dead.

    And then we have a guy like R. Jenkins who is impossible to place because of his refusal to state his religious beliefs. I can respect that, as religion has been used as a tool of persecution for far too long.

  17. Bryan K says:

    remrafdn: You’d probably be best posting a link to the article in question. Better yet, take a few points from the article, sum them up with a sentence or two to address each point, and then link to the article at the end.

  18. andy g says:

    hello boys..I see BK has checked in..td, don’t worry about backsniping here..I’ve told Imp to change sheets before, he seems proud of that..dumber than a two dollar dog. You generally don’t do anything to get ripped on..hard to put you in a “slot” Yu aren’t in Dprogs or his alter ego clein class..bmk rating system?? hmm RJ is +2 with an *, BK -3, exy -3.75 (not as bad as he lets on I think), I think grootch is a -2 there is a thoughtful side in that guy he let slip out, i think he likes being the straight guy to exy to piss of the masses, billy bones is +3.5 and searching, I think heavy is closer to a -1 to -2 (he doesn’t like anyone who isn’t like him, heavy is like his dorky little brother who picks his nose and is generally obnoxious..and remarkably not funny..the least he could do is be the “Pauly Shore Show”, painful as ice pick acne removal. It is hard to litmus test stuff like that though, I weigh in mightily on the humanist values a person brings to the table. We got some serious researchers out there though..BK, I think of myself as deeply faithful but not particularily religious..I have very little use for the hijackers of faith for profit. Check in later, gotta get my ass off this jobsite and enjoy Chicago traffic for the next hour and a fricken half. See you heroes later.

  19. remrafdn says:

    Andy: A masterful job of evading the question. Have you ever thought of going into politics? I think we both have questions, reservations, and doubts but are not ready to throw the baby out, too.

  20. billy b religious says:

    sorry, i’d have to disagree with you andy, on my rating…i hold very strong beliefs, however i refuse to try jam said beliefs down anyones throat, and since the rating scale is nazi’s for christ is a +5, the highest i can give myself is a +1. it’s not my job to judge anyone’s salvation, if there is indeed such a thing. (and obviously i believe there is.) TD, welcome. Bryan K, i didn’t mean i actually think you and exy are the same, just that you argue close to the same points he does, but with a tone that is almost opposite his…thus my comment that you are two personalities ie. what used to be called multiple personality disorder. not suggesting either of you is mentally ill.

  21. andy g says:

    bmk: There are several lines in an old song little feat used to close concerts with..”willin” sums up stuff rather nicely for me thank you. BTW,I am holding out for the secretary of agriculture job.

  22. andy g says:

    alright…who taught him how to post war and fricken peace..bmk if you turn into R (the r stands for read this in absense of my own opinion)jenkins i will get into your stuff in a serious manner….dude. Who taught an old guy to do that..come on..I hear you breathing. Confess..I think we will rue the day that the RRV Cal Trillen
    got technology..guys,he has access to some wierd shit. I suppose now you will quit writing your own stuff. trollop.

  23. andy g says:

    bryan k: I only hope that moderator lets my tribute to timbuktu thru..that wasn’t even fair.

  24. remrafdn says:

    A lot of chaff, not much wheat. Mea maxima culpa. My point was the similarity between heavy’s posts and Vanderbilt’s rhetoric. And the bit about the gods first making mad those whom they would destroy.

  25. remrafdn says:

    billy bones: After you mentioned the movie, Shooter, I looked it up at IMDB. That led me to Google Swagger’s rifle, a Cheyenne Tactical M200 and the cartridge, the CheyTac .408. This was new to me, but there so much BS in movies and TV about firearms it is pathetic. These screenwriters are talking out their asses and then they use “I” as the object of a verb or preposition so often I want to hurl. With Hunter on board you know it is authentic, not Hollywood crapola. Coincidentally,on a rerun of Law and Order Criminal Intent somebody was assassinated with a CheyTac.

  26. Bryan K says:

    Billy B: I am actually in disagreement with exy on the global warming dispute…well, I’m in disagreement with just about everyone on the global warming dispute:) I’m not as liberal as you think I am:) Neither is exy, but he’s quite a bit more liberal than I.

  27. Andy G says:

    You did a good job in your reply to my reference to Timbuktu. I don’t agree with it, but it was an effective counter. It also made me laugh. I read half of it before I even understood what you were trying to say. You took me totally off guard, and that is kind of the point of debate. Score seems to be tied 1-1:)

  28. Bryan K says:

    Oops…the above post was me. It was supposed to be addressed to Andy G. Sorry about that.

  29. Andy G says:

    Humor + Opinion. I like a debate to be serious but fun, we need to keep in proper perspective.oops, lookat the time..damn..missed church again. BK: You should see the real life parallel to that here in Chicago. Everyday. That rough characterization is based on stuff one can see every day. Sad but true. Today at Soldier Field. The USA vs Mexico. Championship in Gold Cup (by the way, I coach football and consider soccer the domain of field fairies…)It will be like a Mexican home match, as the tri-colores will have 45,000 of the estimated 55,000 fans cheering for them. This is the Mexican national team vs our national team. This on the heels of a huge rally for illegal immigrants at Millenium part 2 weeks ago. I know how you feel about the pledge, but I was using that as a symbolic standard. My grandmother did not allow herchildren to speak the old language (Norwegian) at home, they were Americans now. There was much prejudice at the time as well from earlier days. So I don’t feel that there is a double standard at play there. By the way, what airline did we fly on to timbuktu anyway?

    Exy is far more left wing than you are..you guys will undergo the natural conservitization as you age..wait til kids show up and because you make too much money, you get no breaks on college tuition and others get major breaks..it doesn’t seem fair, then you start to worry about how you are going to be able to retire. Exy will get older and conservative as well…I will be dancing with worms when he gets hit, but he will remember an old fart that warned him…more folgers needed..peace out..

  30. Andy G says:

    Billy Bones: I would consider the scale more like the earthquake scale not like the fujita tornadic scale. So a 5 is one hundred times more poerful than a 4…okay I believe..hmmm.okay a +2.237, still searching.
    bmk: Just what am I sidestepping..? I missed that one a little..clarify please and then after reloading my “folgers” supply ( I am a slummer apparently around you high fallooting Starbuck overpaying goofs) I will expound. BTW: Can you guess the lines in willin I was referring to? You of all things archived in the annals of rock. (BTW one of lowell georges finest moments.)

  31. remrafdn says:

    Andy G.:I was wondering where you rated Andy G. 2.237, still searching. I can relate to that. I would guess “head stoved in, still on my feet” is apropos. The “baby” reference was actually to the cliche about bathwater, but could be interpreted otherwise, I suppose. Freudian?

  32. Andy G. says:

    bmk: Re: willin-right on the money..re: rating-that is my revised rating on billy bones after his squawking. Me: I’m am a solid +1.1 or so. True pascalian. I have very little faith in organized religion and the control mechanisms in place that are manipulated by men, for the control of men. They do very little to convince me otherwise. I have infinite faith in another manner, very little in my fellow man. I hold much in suspect..organized religion (insert sect here) of any faith, utilize their control more to promote hate than anything else. From India to Iraq, the old ways in Europe…we are pitiful from time to time.

  33. remrafdn says:

    Andy G.-We’ve got to check out a musician named Dave Blackledge. One of his song titles is ” You Ain’t Gettin’ no Cherry”. Sounds like the story of my life. Another is “I Blew up My Date”. That might fit a couple guys we know.

  34. Avatar of coates coates says:

    LIttle Feat!!!! Dixie Chicken. Women, they’ll kill ya.

  35. Andy G says:

    Linda C: The women will, down at the spanish saloon..the only survivor will be poor ed..he’ll have to come back monday, tuesday….only if he gets on his hands and knees…ah my sweet chiqueda…they don’t write them like that nor perform them like that anymore..”fat man in the bathtub with the blues” one of the great get in the mood for a concert songs ever. I didn’t know you were that old….

  36. Avatar of coates coates says:

    Big 5-0 this year. I’ve lost count of how many copies/versions of “Waiting for Columbus” I’ve purchased over the years – I keep giving them away in fits of evangelical fervor to add to the flock of Little Feat converts. As things go these days, it’s a small flock, I suppose.

  37. Andy G says:

    Linda C et al:
    As do I, you can hear lowell george’s influence on guys like the great late bob palmer and others, he was a good producer as well. We were spoiled back in the day with great musicians/lyricists. The stuff lately is almost enough to drive me to country where at least the ability to handle your instrument is still prized.
    Good luck in the upcoming shitstorm coming your way. Only the lawyers win on this one. Unfortunately the taxpayers will pony up. Still think they out to put the constitution out there to remind all of their rights and duties. Have fun. Get out your sailin shoes.

  38. remrafdn says:

    Andy G:-Today’s country is so plastic, so phony I’m ready to listen to swing. But I draw the line at bop,cool jazz, Miles or Ornette Coleman. Just a lot of notes. Luther Perkins had it right. He said those guys that play all those notes are still looking for it. I found it. Dwight Yoakum had talent, Garth Brooks had a degree in marketing. Guess who became the superstar.

  39. remrafdn: says:

    Point noted, but Yoakum will get a lot of credit for longevity and contribution musically, Brooks brought it to the mainstream and got venues filled. Name another country artist who could have pulled off what he did at Central Park! He may have been a marketing whiz, but he opened a lot of doors for a lot of acts. I prefer Yoakum from a musical point, but early Brooks, before he Elvised, was a fun act…not exactly Asleep at the Wheel fun, but entertaining.

  40. Avatar of billybones billybones says:

    linda…welcome. i am one of your critics regarding a couple of issues, though more to do with unanswered questions than these nutjobs calling for you to be recalled. You clearly are intelligent and thoughtful. One issue i have is regarding the homeless shelter (which i think is needed, by the way)
    I’m taking the liberty of reposting a comment i made on your blog….if you feel like responding, please do so…
    “To my knowledge, Fargo has not had a single case of a child being threatened by a homeless person.”

    This is disingenous to say the least. Actually, I believe someone wandered in to the Trinity daycare in Moorhead a couple years ago, resulting in law enforcement being called. I live near a park in fargo frequented by homeless people, and it is not uncommon to have some stumbling by drunk. i certainly cannot let my little daughters play in my front yard. i had a drunk individual (who was homeless, I recognized him, having worked with homeless individuals in the past) attempt to batter open my gate to my backyard, yelling at my 5 year old daughter to open the “fucking gate.” he was of course gone by the time law enforcement arrived. Also, doesn’t the wesley center experience a high number of police calls? And don’t we end up with someone dead along the river in questionable circumstances each year? and putting this facility near an elementary is smart? Let’s be proactive for gods sake, and recognize real risk. The other shelters turn away people they know to be violent or to be sex offenders, guess where they will go. Are you really so naive? Until 9-11 we didn’t think we were at much risk in this country from a terrorist attack either. sorry linda, after working in the mental health field for over 14 years, 5 plus of that with homeless families and individuals, not all of these people are cuddly teddy bears who just happen to be alcoholic or mentally ill.

    Posted by: emmajay69 on 4/27/2007 9:59 AM
    (I may have mistaken the weslesy center for the native american center)

  41. Bryan K says:

    Andy G: The fact is, I’m not even a liberal. My political views have not changed from the day I was old enough to have political views. I’m a strict moderate, but I appear to be liberal because of how right wing our nation has swung since 9/11. Let’s take the issue of the homeless detox center, for instance. Was my stance on that issue even remotely liberal?

    I think you said you attended a soccer match and were surprised that the Mexicans outnumbered Americans. No offense intended, but I would feel a bit out of place attending a soccer match because I’m American. Soccer is a foreign culture in and of itself.

    As an anectdotal sidenote, my Mexican in-laws are thankfully as anti-soccer as I am, and it gives us plenty to joke about when we get together on social occasions. To all of our dismay, my oldest nephew has taken a liking to soccer. Okay, let’s get this straight. My oldest nephew has proven to be quite adept at soccer. He’s eight years old, and when he takes the practice field, he looks like a high schooler playing with kindergartners. No joke. When he practices with his teammates, it’s some of the funniest slapstick comedy around. He has no interest whatsoever in any other sport.

    I actually kind of feel left out when we are, unfortunately, watching a soccer game on TV and he exclaims, out of the blue, “Wow, did you see that?”

    Usually, we’re all thinking, “What, you mean something happened? How come the score is still tied?”

    To which he will invariably respond, “That guy’s footwork was awesome. Let’s go play outside, I gotta try that.”

    I always have to decline at this point. I guess tackling isn’t allowed, as he has told me numerous times in the past, and I hate it when an 8-year old effectively makes me look like I’m one of the Three Stooges.

  42. billy be philosphical, but he can't spell says:

    Bryan..the problem is, people assume things like “if someone isn’t religious, they must be liberal” or if someone is “an advocate of free speech, and seperation of church and state, they must be liberal” or if someone is religious they must be a right wing lunatic. The problem is that the lunatic fringe on the left and right seem to be able to frame the debate, and heaven help those of us trying to sort it all out intelligently. I’m so sick of dealing with idiots whose understanding of current events etc comes from 15-30 sound bites, or from some big mouth entertainer from hollywood, or some windbag talk show host.

  43. Bryan K says:

    Billy, I agree, but I also see there being a problem with the inherant fact that so few people seem to realize that this nation has the need for a left wing and a right wing.

    Oh, and don’t forget things that are incorrectly attributed to George Carlin.

  44. Andy G. says:

    No I didn’t go to the game, BTW USA 2 Mex 1, but it was more a home game for the TriColores than the USA. My wife was soccer player in HS & college. My sons both played (1 still does)& I coach football. So she loses…It has a rythym to it, it is more like a set piece battlefield strategy. It is like being in a combat zone, hours of boredom and moments of excitement. No thanks. billybones: it is philosopher (kind of like that irish guy Phillip O’Sopher) most people have lost the ability to put a cogent thought together without having someone else do all the thinking for them. Couple that with the inability to deal with the fact that there are others out there who (surprise!!!)don’t necessarily agree with the position that someone else put in their head…and voila..you got quasi confrontation under suspicious circumstances. Then there are others, who despite their thorough research and compelling arguments..you just want to say..(fill in gap..say exy, just an example! Mr Satre) you ignorant slut you, who did you sleep with to get your job…it’s a matter of perspective. It is dangerous to note that a surprising amount of the American public pay so much attention to people who pretend to be something they are not for a living…most are vacant drama queens (hollywood pundits). That is something that baffles me..as a society, we almost deserve what we are going to get in the not to distant future..we have strayed too far from a central osition of balance and justice..(not to mention truth and the american way..superman)..time to go get stuck in traffic..anyone else got a 2 hr commute? I figured not..sigh.

  45. Andy G says:

    Bryan K. I would say that you are liberally moderate in a liberal sense….I kinda like how looks..it has a flow to it.

  46. billy b befuddled says:

    ok, what the hell is it about soccer (futbol) that turns people into freaking thugs? Andy..while the american public may deserve what it gets, intelligent people like us get it too. it’s not fair. waaaaa. Bryan k. a friend who worked in the logging business out west had a good take on it. he said that while he thought radical environmentalists were complete nutjobs, they were necessary so that common sense conservation didn’t seem radical. you are correct, it is the extremes on both ends that help keep it from tipping too far one way or the other for very long.

  47. Avatar of coates coates says:

    Emmajay – My comment was a quote from our police chief, who made that comment at the Jefferson neighborhood meeting at the school. I was not aware of the specific incidents you mentioned, and I am assuming they did not get written up as a police report. To address the rest of your comment, though, I don’t think we are completely naive as to think that every person who will seek out this facility are “cuddly teddy bears.” Over the summer we have working groups comprised of professionals in the field (homeless health staff, police officers, detox staff, social services staff, etc.) hammering out the operational policies and procedures for the new facility. You are right, it is needed, and finding an appropriate site for it was a difficult task. Every possible site we looked at, including those downtown, were next to or adjoining other residences whether single family homes (such as the Jefferson site or the Cooper Tire site) or apartments (downtown, including subsidized housing for mentally ill). The site that was chosen, after taking a genuinely open-minded fresh look at all possible alternatives, is in a commercial zone that backs on to Main Avenue. There are indeed homes across the street, and we as a city will do everything we can to ensure the safety of the neighborhood. Thanks -

  48. Avatar of billybones billybones says:

    Linda…i thank you for coming back and commenting. I think having an idea of how situations will be handled will be helpful in reducing the anxiety of some in the neighborhood. If i understand this concept correctly, this is not a “wet house” since people staying will not be able to drink on the premises, however they will be able to come there while intoxicated. Current shelters turn intoxicated people away due to liability issues related to both behavior and to health concerns. will there be security staff and medical staff on hand? Some, like churches united have offered detox as an option, and even would send them in a cab…but often are refused by the intoxicated individual. Say one of these individuals comes to the new shelter, and is too intoxicated to stay, but refuses to go next door to detox. if they are then forced to go to detox against their will…won’t that be counterproductive? on the other hand, if they are let stagger off, they are then in a residential neighborhood. I don’t blame the neighbors one bit for being upset.

  49. Avatar of coates coates says:

    BBT – You are correct, this is not a “wet house” and it will accept people who are intoxicated. Current procedures with other shelters are as you say – intoxicted individuals are sent to detox in a cab or by police. The idea of co-locating detox and this particular shelter addresses several issues – it lessens the need to transport individuals to detox, it provides for trained staff on both “sides” of the facility, and it will be under greater public accountability as a city-owned facility.

    At one recent meeting, the police officers and detox staff suggested actually designing the building with three areas – the secure detox portion with the lock-ups, a middle “ward” area for those who have been drinking but who do not pose a problem to themselves or others, and an area for people who come to the shelter who are sober, and would prefer not to mix with people who have been drinking. A necessary component will be to create an atmosphere on the shelter side that remains attractive (i.e. safe and welcoming) to the homeless so that they will come there even if they have been drinking.

  50. billy says:

    ok, so the funding of this …where is that coming from. my understanding is that the “brick and mortar” money is from the feds, but where will the operating costs come from, and who will be the people bearing liability related to the shelter…the city and by default the taxpayers? it seems that part of the conflict could have been avoided by having more things figured out…however, as they say hind sight is 20/20. My fear is, having seen a number of programs implemented through grants etc to “help” the homeless, and they are well meaning but have little grounding in reality of working with the homeless. ie. outreach workers who rarely enter shelters, dealing with homeless mental health issues within the construct of traditional healthcare. It is reassuring that you have people from the various groups involved. Also, you didn’t address the issue of how the person who is too intoxicated to stay in the non-secure area, but refuses detox. again, thank you for taking your valuable time to answer these questions.

  51. Avatar of coates coates says:

    The funding for operations was thought out ahead of time. As you say, the building was purchased and will be refit with CDBG (federal community development) funds. The management of the facility will be by Centre, Inc. which has been contracted for years by the City of Fargo to provide detox services, they will simply move that portion of their operation to the new facility. The shelter side will be operated by a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization which has already received an initial multi-year operating grant of $300,000, with more funders having been contacted already. The non-profit’s executive director will also be responsible for securing private funding for its operations, the same as all the other shelters in the community. Ultimately, the goal of this shelter is to guide people toward permanent housing, as outlined in Fargo’s Ten Year Plan (http://www.cityoffargo.com/planning – click on “Homelessness”) and provide “next morning” services on site to help end the cycle of homelessness and addiction. It is a long process, not an overnight quick fix, but at least there will be a facility equipped to head in this direction. The Fargo Housing Authority will be purchasing the Cooper Tire site (which was identified through the help of Jefferson neighborhood residents during the site review process) for future development as supportive housing for chronic homeless (the housing model that has proven to be successful nationwide in ending homelessness for the most chronic and disabled).

  52. Avatar of coates coates says:

    It looks like my second comment didn’t make it, I’ll try again (I forgot to answer your final question in my previous comment).

    As it currently works now, if a person is brought to be admitted to Centre detox, they don’t have the option of refusing and going back out into the night. The same would be true of the new facility. If a person shows up who is so intoxicated that they need to be admitted to detox, they won’t have a choice in the matter. They are admitted to detox, stay and sleep under supervision, and are not released until their blood alcohol level reaches 0%. They are given a sandwich and some Gatorade and released.

    At a recent operational meeting, the recommendation was made by police officers and detox staff that the facility be configured in three areas: detox, a middle ward, and a shelter area, so that people who arrive sober are not mingled with people who have been drinking.

    If a person comes to the shelter who has been drinking but are not in a state of causing harm to themselves or others, they would sleep it off in the ward area, and a separate sleeping area will be provided for the sober people who come to the shelter. What will be important is establishing an attractive atmosphere (i.e. safe and welcoming) so that homeless people choose to come to the shelter, even if they have been drinking, rather than stay on the streets in the city’s core neighborhoods.

  53. billy b curious says:

    could you tell me who the director of this non-profit is, and who makes up the board? and thanks again for answering my questions.

  54. Avatar of coates coates says:

    The board is being put together this summer to prepare for the late fall opening of the facility – the former Ray of Hope program (which has been discontinued over the summer until the new facility opens) was a pilot program of the Mental Health Association of North Dakota, funded by and overseen by their board. In this transition period, we are pulling together people from all related entities – in February we held an afternoon-long planning session to get the non-profit off the ground and start the transition to a stand-alone non-profit. At the same time, we were looking to secure a site, which ended up taking an additional two months than we originally anticipated. Now that the site has been purchased, all the planning efforts are focused on the operational side of the new facility. We have people from most of the entities identified who have confirmed they will serve on the board, including representatives from Fargo Police, City of Fargo, Mental Health Association of North Dakota, Fargo-Moorhead Homeless Coalition, Fargo Native American Commission, the Jefferson Neighborhood, Centre Inc., etc. The first jobs of the board (after finalizing bylaws, etc.) will be to advertise for and hire an executive director, as well as review and approve the operational policies being put together by that working group. Both Centre, Inc. and the Fargo Police Department are already committed to providing the training for the shelter staff. This is a new facility and entity, and things are moving forward simultaneously on all fronts with the active participation, expertise and support of the entire community of stakeholders. Thanks again for your interest -

  55. billy says:

    just curious how there is operating funds in place if there is not a current board of directors for the non-profit. also cudos from including someone from the neighborhood in the planning. best wishes. as i said the location is poor in my opinion, but it sounds like you are doing everything you can to keep things safe. i suppose it would be silly for me to say this, but your first director will be absolutely critical…make sure it is someone with knowledge of shelters and homelessness, and not someone chosen fro shall we say, politically correct reasons.

  56. Avatar of coates coates says:

    The operating grant was procured by the Mental Health Association (which has its own board) from Bremer Foundation specifically for this new entity. Bremer is incredible and has been involved every step of the way in the transition. We are acutely aware of the importance of the qualifications, competence and performance of the first executive director to ensure the success of this facility. To put it mildly.

  57. Avatar of billybones billybones says:

    linda, i have previously suggested that you dodge real questions. i am man enough to admit i was wrong. you have answered my questions, and done so graciously. i suspect we may disagree on other issues, ie. the monument, but i compliment your willingness to engage. To me that shows character, and i value that more than i value someone who believes everything i do.

  58. Avatar of coates coates says:

    Thanks for the kind words. Good luck with your new blog – looks like it will be a fun place to hang out. As someone who worked through undergrad and graduate school as a barmaid and bartender in countless joints around town (any old Gaslight regulars around any more?), I may drop into the Corner Bar to offer up a concoction to the patrons from time to time. ;)

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