In the Dickinson Press newspaper on Thursday morning, May 19, there was a very good article about Williston titled, “In North Dakota’s Oil Patch, a humbling comedown.” The article was written by Ernest Scheyder with Reuters news service. What I liked about the article so much, was that it was honest, truthful, very thorough, and had many, many specific examples to back up what was stated. On the internet, you can go to the Dickinson Press website, and read the entire article.
I also want to thank the editor of the Dickinson Press, Dustin Monke, for including this lengthy article, which took up half the front page, and then another half page in the newspaper. I am very glad to see that Dustin Monke is going to run a newspaper where the truth gets told, and he is not going to succumb to the pressure from business people, real estate agents, property investors, and property managers to print stories that incorrectly state current conditions here in North Dakota.
I have noticed that it is not just out of state people that fall victim to misinformation about what is happening in North Dakota. Whether it’s local or national television news, local or national newspapers, a journalist interviews some state official who says, “Things are looking good”, and then many people in Dickinson actually believe that the economy is good. I don’t know what you can do to try to explain to these people what the truth is, other than asking them to read an article like, “In North Dakota’s Oil Patch, a humbling comedown.”
The writer of this article described at least four workers that he interviewed in Williston. He learned where they had come from, what the oil boom was like for them, and what their situation is now. There was a stripper, a retail worker, an oil field contractor, and an oil rig worker. All of them were making very little money now.
At least four different business owners were interviewed. A bar owner, a pub/brewery owner, a mail/shipping store owner, a safety training company owner. They all described what their business was like.
The closure of many businesses was discussed. The vacancy in retail space, industrial buildings, hotels, and apartments was discussed. The current population, and the number of students enrolled in schools as compared to what it had been.
I don’t really want to continue writing an overview, because you really should read the article yourself. The value of the article is in the details, and I can’t give you all the details in an overview. If you really want to know and understand what is going on in North Dakota right now, you should read this newspaper article.