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Insurance companies are cold-blooded calculators of risk. They study the numbers, they calculate odds, and they don't much care who they offend with their results. Are you a teen? Your car insurance premium may age you by a few years. Are you retired? Paying for life insurance will add a few more gray hairs, age discrimination be damned. Are you in poor health?
"Today, the state's public universities must rely on annual decisions by the Legislature to determine both the state's direct funding for them and to set their tuition levels.
Five thousand dollars is a lot of money. That's how much every North Dakota newborn would get for college tuition and other purposes if lawmakers approve Senate Bill 2165. But $448 billion is a lot of money, too. And that's how much the North Dakota Legacy Fund could be overflowing with by 2060, if the state reinvests rather than spends the fund's earnings between now and then. Which means the two numbers may well be mutually exclusive. In other words, only one of them may be able to come true.
Both President Barack Obama and Minnesota State Sen. LeRoy Stumpf, DFL-Plummer, have drafted ambitious plans to let young people attend community college tuition-free. Unfortunately, both plans lack the key element that would boost not only the odds of passage, but also the odds of effectiveness should the proposals become law: Republicans. GOP leaders already have denounced both Obama's nationwide and Stumpf's Minnesota-only plan.
It's great that Grand Forks now is alert to the fact that the city could lose its Board of Higher Education representation for the first time in 64 years. It's especially great that civic leaders such as Deanna Carlson Zink, CEO of the UND Alumni Association and Foundation, are working hard to get a local person and/or another UND graduate on the board. Now, here's something that's maybe a bit less great: Gov. Jack Dalrymple seems reluctant to admit that the representation is even an issue.
Grand Forks already benefits from Canadian shoppers, who continue to pour across the border in great numbers. In contrast, comparatively few North Dakotans drive north. So, why should North Dakota bother to create an enhanced driver's license or EDL to better enable northbound travel? Simple: Because North Dakotans benefit from having Canada as a destination.
In Minnesota, the week should not pass without residents taking note of a report on the state's readiness for an oil-train or pipeline accident. Why? Because the public-safety workers themselves call their own readiness "below moderate," and "none of the responders rated their area's preparedness as excellent," the Minnesota Public Safety Department study notes. That's a critical shortfall, and it's one that Minnesotans should work hard to correct in the months ahead. That effort almost surely will pay off.
When North Dakotans voted 67 percent to 33 percent in 2012 to let UND retire the Fighting Sioux nickname, the reason wasn't the Fighting Sioux nickname. The reason was the NCAA. Never had a majority of North Dakotans thought poorly of the name, polls suggested.
Fewer than 1 percent of Ivy League graduates choose to serve in the military, as Harvard student and U.S. Marine veteran Ben Luxenberg noted in a recent column. That statistic...
We're all human. We all make mistakes. And to her great credit, while Kirsten Diederich made her share of mistakes, she did so while taking on the low-pay but high-stress and hugely important job of chairing the North Dakota Board of Higher Education. In other words, she was "in the arena." She was doing her part and serving her state; and for that, North Dakotans owe her their sincere thanks. But just as Target Corp.