THIEF RIVER FALLS—A little alternative history can help us tell this tale. You're Ray Kroc, it's 1955, and you've just started selling McDonald's hamburgers. Except—and here is where our history veers way off course—your burgers don't sell very well. In fact, soon they're not selling at all. So instead, you start selling the buns, the pickles, the ketchup, the mustard and the beef. That works.
So, maybe it’s early to be talking about the U.S. secretary of housing and urban development visiting Pete Haga’s food truck.
The United States has the preeminent system of higher education in the world. It’s an intellectual magnet that draws hundreds of thousands of international students every year. Why? In part because of the governance structure, in which America’s best universities are run by independent, volunteer boards. Measure 3 would cut the word “volunteer” out of that description and partially erase “independent.”
Will the Valley Prosperity Partnership succeed over the long term? Or will it fade as its projects stall, its leaders move on and other people lose interest? At this point, we’d bet on success. The partnership has some unique strengths, and they make us think that the partnership has a good chance of fulfilling its founders’ goal: boosting the Red River Valley’s economic growth. Two of those key strengths:
To repeat: There is a way forward on immigration reform that attracts solid support in both Congress and the public opinion polls, as the Herald editorialized in 2010. “That way forward simply is this,” the editorial continued. “First, secure the border. “Then, tackle amnesty and other questions of what to do with illegal immigrants who already are in the U.S.”
“Amazing? Incredible? Mind-boggling? They all fit the description.” That was a Herald sportswriter’s reaction in 1992, upon learning that the youth division of the Grand Am amateur-basketball tournament had to cut off tournament entries early. Tournament manager Terry Dunphy “had 110 teams entered and neither the court space nor the personnel to handle any more,” according to the story.
Police seize a car in connection with a drug bust. Later, though, the owner/driver is found to be not guilty of any offense. So, what happens to the car? If you think it gets returned to the owner, you’re wrong, at least in most states. Instead, police can keep and sell the vehicle, under certain circumstances. And in Minnesota, the department gets to keep much of the money, too. Now, a group of Minnesota legislators wants to change that.
The debate in today’s Herald about e-cigarettes is not an academic one. Earlier this month, the Minnesota Senate’s Health, Human Services and Housing committee approved a bill to ban the use of e-cigarettes in public places. Should lawmakers in the rest of the Legislature approve the ban? For several reasons, the answer seems to be no.
When Minnesota House members go back into session and debate raising the minimum wage, the lawmakers’ interns will be doing some of the work.
A recent study led by a Harvard University economist deserves a lot more attention in the upper Midwest than it has been getting. That’s because the study of the “geography of upward mobility” confirms something that local residents have felt for a long time: North Dakota and Minnesota truly are great places to raise kids. In fact, the data suggest that the states rank among the best places for child-rearing on Earth.