Someone Is Going To Die Out On The Roads Up Here . . .

Somehow, yesterday, when I posted my Weekenders report on this blog, I missed the second half of an e-mail sent to me by a Williston friend. I feel badly, because the most poignant parts were missing. So I’m going to reprint his e-mail in its entirety today. Here it is. There’s nothing I could add to this that would make his point any more effectively.

Here is the problem—-far too many things do not get reported.  We hear of all these sexual assaults but never read a word about it.  People know it is happening.  Talk to any person that works at social services about what they now see happening in the community.  Never a word is printed.  All of the assaults and fights with injuries—old news that is not worth printing anymore.  Fights every weekend at bars that require medical services.  A huge number of “hit and runs” HUGE number, Huge.  Never a word. 

Out of state license plates are everywhere.  Drive through any apartment parking lot and it is all out of state.  My neighbors still have WA plates after 15 months—and those are expired.  A huge percentage of workers that can’t pass a drug test with one company, but are hired by another. There are a lot of people that believe the city wants a lot of things kept quiet as to not alarm people, but also not to let too many negative things out there.  We all know many of our “city fathers” and local politicians are making a ton of money as long as this continues.

Then there are the everyday issues.  Try to get any type of medical treatment. Hope you do not have an accident because the body shops are 2 to 3 months out. Oil change, a couple weeks wait.  Motel rooms are non-existent.  Families that have some sort of tragedy and have relatives come, no place for them to stay—makes for a pleasant experience when they have to pile in a relative’s house and sleep on the floor the night before a funeral.  Day to day life is like no place else.   We sure are glad our state has a surplus. 

I would like to see our state politicians come to Williston on their own dime, find their own lodging, need some medical care, and have a car problem.  Not be shuttled around by the mayor and council.  Oh, and when they are driving they can see the nasty looking mancamps, the disgusting disregard for how our landscape has been trashed, trucks everywhere, the 350 vehicles they will meet between Alexander and Williston which is 24 miles.  We never see a deer or pheasant anymore.  Stories from drivers that have a contest to see just how many deer they can hit. Destroyed roads.  The land has been destroyed–it is not the scenic place it has been for ages.  Sad. 

Worst of all, snow today and tomorrow, which means someone is going to die out on the roads up here.

Wish this kind of stuff would make the Herald but do not expect that to happen.  Surplus is good for some, but the impact sure is expensive.  

10 thoughts on “Someone Is Going To Die Out On The Roads Up Here . . .

  1. Thank you for letting us know of what is going in northwest ND. I have an aunt in Williston and if it was not for the house she has had for the past thirty years, she could not afford to live there.

    We had a boom in my area, around 40 years ago. Alot of problems with garbage. Alot dumped in ditches and woodland. We still find garbage today, at least some of it is scrap metal that can be sold.

    You need to confront your county commissioners, legislators and city council members and demand action. If the infrastructure is not holding up (roads, etc.), then it is their duty to act. Same goes for crime. If crime is rampant, then local officials are required to act and ensure the law enforcement (sheriff, police, etc.) have enough manpower and equipment to keep the peace. I understand that more highway patrol troopers will be stationed in western ND. At least that is a start.

    If you want healthcare workers to move to your community, then affordable housing (apartments, etc.) is going to be needed, to entice them to relocate there.

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  2. My husband went up there to work after the American Crystal lockout, both of my boys have worked up there for a few years now, we used to visit and go to the state parks, so we have seen this great landscape turn to freak town, if you do book a room the rate is crazy, and you are afraid to go in the parking lot after dark, eat breakfast in the morning and most likely you will see what can only be called a bar fight because they are still drunk, this is so said, there are rigs that hire the unwanted and the ones that can’t pass drug test, I feel so sorry for the people who have lived there their whole life and built up this town and took pride in it, just to have to watch it from their windows go to hell,

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    1. Ginger, you are right on, keep speaking out to as many folks that you can, something has to give, it is spinning way out of control. Thanks Ginger for speaking up. JW Westman Montana

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  3. I’m a contractor who makes the drive from MN many times a year. Things are crazier than they have to be. Hold some feet to the fire. For example, the producers are not going to leave if ND makes them build new roads, but they aren’t going to build new roads unless they have to.

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  4. Yes indeed, the Bakken boom is good for the state coffers and the businesses that are involved with it, however, how about the extreme negatives related to this boom. I really feel sad and sorry for Western North Dakota and the residents, because there could be more control over this boom and still make bank. North Dakota, your great rural lifestyle that used to be quiet and serene with wildlife is now squarely in the lights of a trainwreck and your politicians both past and present care not the least. I don’t mean to preach from afar (Montana) but I dearly hope there are enough someones over there to begin some type of damage control before it becomes a total trainwreck. Your state is worth protecting. JW Westman Montana

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  5. With the turmoil in the Middle East (Iran, Israel, etc.), there will be a mushroom cloud there eventually. A cutoff of Middle East oil to the rest of the world, will make North Dakota black gold more precious.

    I agree, that we must push our legislators to push the oil producers to pay to keep the highways maintained. State, county, city and township roads are in shambles.
    These roads need maintenance more than ever, because of all the truck traffic.

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  6. I have lived and worked in this area for well over 30 years and have watched our region change and grow. As I go to work each day, I drive through a myriad of vehicles; some going too fast, but all going in one general direction-to a job. I talk to my family members in other parts of the country who are struggling to make car and house payments, buy Christmas presents, and even groceries, and I am thankful that I have the opportunity to cuss and swear at traffic that goes too fast. And I am thankful that I have the opportunity to shop in stores that are so busy they can’t put items on the shelves fast enough to keep everyone happy.
    I guess what I am trying to say is this; We may not like the change. We may not like the problems that come with change. But rather than lay blame at this or that oil company, or new resident, or government entity, GET INVOLVED and fix the problems you see rather than just complaining on a random blog. With change comes challenge. And I challenge you to be involved in you local government, civic organizations, and other groups to help manage the change rather than just grumbling about it.

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  7. I live in Bottineau, ND and own a coffee shop on Main Street. A lot of people are signing oil leases around here, my grandmother being one of them. There is no drilling in our area yet but it’ll be coming soon enough. I’m afraid what’s happening to Williston and Stanley will happen here.

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