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Q. How is Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota doing? Tim Huckle, CEO of BCBS-ND: I want to warn you, we've been told we're becoming a rather boring company. We haven't had a CEO leave, we haven't had a financial crisis, and we aren't taking trips to the Cayman Islands. Most of the conversation we've been having is just an update on where the company's at.
It's best not to know how laws or sausages are made. Or how firings are conducted, as the famous saying should also declare. The recent dismissals of the Alerus Center's top two executives have made this clear. But however unpleasant, the process is important for Grand Forks residents to understand. That's because the center belongs to the city, meaning the residents. So, the former executive director and former assistant director worked for the residents.
What more can North Dakota do? In Bismarck, the governor, lieutenant governor and other authorities surely are asking themselves that question, when they talk about the Dakota Access Pipeline. Here's one answer—and as protesters step up the violence and lawlessness of their actions, it's becoming more urgent by the day: Communication.
History has been kind to President Gerald Ford's pardon of President Richard Nixon, which happened only a month after Nixon resigned from the presidency. That was not true at the time—1974. Nor was it true two years later, when the the pardon played a big role in Ford's losing to Jimmy Carter in 1976. Ford's clemency was a "profoundly unwise, divisive, and unjust act" that shattered the new president's "credibility as a man of judgment, candor, and competence," the New York Times editorialized after the pardon.
Don't feel too bad, supporters of Grand Forks' failed sales-tax proposal. You weren't the only ones who woke up disappointed on Election Day. (And by "you," we mean "we," because the Herald editorial board also supported the tax.) But of course, election losses in America need not be permanent, if advocates take a breath, look at the numbers and figure out what went wrong. And in this case, sifting the rubble seems especially important. That's because it matters for the future of not only Grand Forks' tax revenue but also the public library. Here's our take.
With its trees, signs and sculptures, Arbor Park in downtown Grand Forks is full of stuff. And that does make it nice for motorists and pedestrians to look at. It sure is a lot prettier than the vacant lot at the corner of DeMers Avenue and South Fourth Street, a few doors away. But if you stand across South Fourth Street and watch both spaces, you'll notice that the ugly lot and the pretty park have one thing in common. They lack people. Yes, Arbor Park is full of stuff. But it often looks like a lonely place, because it so seldom has many visitors.
A line in a recent letter-to-the-editor should be central in deciding North Dakota State University President Dean Bresciani's fate. Importantly, Bresciani didn't write the line. Nevertheless, when the State Board of Higher Education meets today, members should resolve to question Bresciani about it and find out his views. Then, if Bresciani's opinion corresponds with the members' and with board policy, Bresciani's contract should be renewed. The NDSU president has taken the board's earlier criticisms to heart and seems to be working hard to comply.
Why do colleges make such a big deal of sports? This is why: UND's teams excelling in Saturday's Big Sky Conference games, in which the women's volleyball team won its regular-season championship outright, and the football team gained at least a share of the title. Tremendous achievements. And they happened with such drama, from the football team's astounding comeback late in the game to the volleyball team's successful fight for the right to host the post-season championship. More about both developments in a minute.
It's March of this year, and you're North Dakota Congressman Kevin Cramer's political director. The campaign for the Republican presidential nomination is coming down to three. Well, two, because Ohio Gov. John Kasich has won only one primary, and that was in his home state. So the two remaining candidates are Texas Sen. Ted Cruz—and Donald Trump. And the North Dakota Republican Party's convention is fast approaching. That's the scene. Now, finish this statement: "Congressman, here's what you should do ..."
Why an Electoral College? Just look around. If you live in North Dakota or Minnesota, the reason is clear. For North Dakota and Minnesota are not just regions on the American map, like Appalachia or the Southwest. They command respect, because they have power. They have power because they are states. And our country is, of course, the United States. The Electoral College is a vital component of our "united states" system. In fact, it's an element of which the Founders said they were especially proud.