Why does every conversation we ever have seem to turn to the topic of weather?
If we didn't have snow, rain, blizzards, or wind chills to talk about, some of us might be hard pressed to converse at all.
Given the drastic swing in temps the last week, and the fact temperatures escalated from 30-below zero to almost 20 above, it probably is worthy of mention.
In contrast to the cold conditions, a 'warmer' topic has been the price of gas, albeit in a positive way, even though a few extra gallons have been 'burned up' lately by starting cars and letting them warm up before heading out for travel.
The bad news is that prices were down in the $2.39 per gallon range, but are now creeping up again slightly.
The good news is that at the present $2.69 per gallon, the rate is the same as it was two years ago at this time, welcome news in that prior to that gas prices had spiked to a little over $4 per gallon.
Overall, the gradual climb in gasoline prices during 2009 stands in stark contrast to the volatile price swings witnessed in 2008.
Befitting of the trend, 2009's lowest average price for a gallon of self-serve regular in North Dakota was recorded on Jan. 2, at $1.69, according to AAA's daily Fuel Gauge Report.
The state's highest average recorded price in 2009 occurred on June 21, at $2.74 - something quite notable given that prices had reached $4.08 per gallon in 2008. The average at year end stood at $2.67.
Some other interesting facts in the world of gasoline prices in 2009: The average price for a gallon of self-serve regular in North Dakota was $2.38; the average price over the past five years is $2.66; the highest annual average over the past five years was $3.24 in 2008; the lowest, $2.25 in 2005; the record average price paid by North Dakota motorists is $4.08 on July 17, 2008; metro area averages were - Bismarck, $2.41; Grand Forks, $2.35; and Fargo, $2.28.
The trend in retail gasoline prices generally followed the path of oil prices in 2009. Climbing from a low point just above $31 per barrel and ending the year near $80 per barrel.
Along the way, both retail fuel prices and market oil prices were shaped by countless factors including the strength of the U.S. dollar, record oil supply levels and very weak demand. The major factor in determining the direction of oil prices and retail gasoline prices has been and will continue to be global economy. The speed and vigor of the economic recovery will have a major influence on retail gasoline prices and market oil prices in 2010.
More information is available about current fuel prices by visiting www.AAAfuelgaugereport.com.
Great job by city crews
Speaking of hot conversation topics, everybody is still talking, and rightfully so, about the fantastic job city crews did keeping our city roadways clean, and a little more safe during the major winter blizzard blast over the Christmas holiday.
No easy task, given the fact the city now encompasses over 9,000 acres, equating to approximately 289 lane miles of roads and almost 15 miles of 10-foot wide bike paths.
That's a lot of ground to cover in a short amount of time, making for a fantastic effort.
Finaly Dewey benefit numbers phenomenal
Another bit of good news has been officially released regarding final totals for the benefit held for injured Mahnomen Sheriff's Deputy Chris Dewey, Dec. 21, at the West Fargo VFW.
A phenomenal $25,500 was taken in at the recordsetting event that saw over 760 people enjoying the meal and countless more attending and contributing on the Dewey family's behalf.
Organizers said they are gratified by the way law enforcement officials and members of several communities came out to support Dewey and his family.
Hats off to everyone who participated in any way to make the evening the huge success it was.