Politics in North Dakota operate on a simple equation: North Dakotans want as much as we can get from Washington while giving as little as we can get away with to state and local governments. Today, the corollary of this equation is in force: If you can’t work one side of the equation, work the other.
One of the unfortunate truisms of our business is that there’s always bad news to report. One of the jobs of the columnist is to put that news in perspective. So I’ll start by acknowledging that problems remain on UND’s campus and in the state’s higher education system.
The newspaper business is complicated, and the complications all come together at this time of year. The Thanksgiving Day paper is the largest of the year, chock full of advertising — but often a little short on news.
Let’s be clear about one thing: In the war between man and weeds, I do not cheer for the weeds. For the most part, I think modern agriculture is a marvel. It feeds us well and cheaply. Consolidation of some agricultural operations, such as feedlots and slaughterhouses, has made the world cleaner and better fed.
It was a pretty big week in the bird world. The biggest news in our area was the unexpected appearance of a Lewis’ woodpecker. It showed up about 10 days ago at Lowell and Janet Anderson’s place in Roosevelt, Minn. The bird became a bit of a sensation.
November is often a pretty good month for gulls, and so it has been this year. Dave Lambeth spotted an Iceland gull last week. This is a real rarity here. The sighting was the first record for Grand Forks County.
It’s probably a coincidence that UND’s moon rover project ended only a day after a symposium celebrating another feat of exploration. On Tuesday, UND and the Canadian government honored Vilhjalmar Stefansson, an alumnus who was the last person to discover new land on Planet Earth.
It’s pretty hard to leave a meeting with Kirsten Baesler without being excited. It might be impossible. A group of fourth graders couldn’t do it last week. Neither could adults listening to Baesler lecture. And neither could the Herald editorial board.
Fall is a good time of year to see blackbirds but not such a good time to identify them. Blackbirds are abundant this time of year, with their numbers swelled by young-of-the-year. They also are obvious, because they gather in enormous flocks. Telling the species apart is a challenge, however.
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