Jefferson Healthcare and Grace Lutheran Church lease gifted mineral rights in North Dakota to frackers

This has to be one of the stranger stories lately. Apparently the hospital and church were gifted this mineral lease back in 2000. The hospital and the church will apparently get a minimum of $36,000.

A local watchdog, according to the story, has already requested that the Governor step in and stop this kind of leasing from public facilities. It is ironic that a public healthcare facility would be profiting from a technology that is harming the health of citizens, rivers and air in North Dakota.

It brings into question whether the hospital and other public entities in PT should have instructions given them about divesting in oil and gas exploration investments. I believe that would an appropriate decision. Perhaps a ballot initiative is needed?

Not sure why our firebrand liberal “Occupy” hospital commissioner Matt Ready only gave a tepid “abstain” vote. Maybe he would like to clarify that in our comments. I would have expected a stronger vote than that from him.

Perhaps the money could be donated to the Mountainview Swimming Pool and workout facility fund, to help get us closer to a pool upgrade. There is of course, the still hanging issue of why the public hospital is teaming with a non-profit (the YMCA) to build and run a facility when we have 3 working health clubs already in town, paying city taxes, struggling to survive, and providing working class wages to a lot of people. Oh, and the Sequim pool levy apparently failed to pass, meaning that it’s future is in doubt. Worth thinking about that for the future of the pool levy here. Do we need a workout facility tied to the pool given the voters lack of enthusiasm for ongoing funding of these facilities? Lots of questions.

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