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Running a college sports program would seem to have little in common with managing a department store. But we see a parallel between UND's decision to end its swimming, diving and women's hockey programs, and Macy's decision in Grand Forks to shutter its Columbia Mall branch. It's this: In both cases, the organizations were beset by forces beyond their immediate control. That makes it almost futile to lament the past—but crucial to look ahead, in order to respond as smartly as possible to the dynamics that'll continue to drive change.
Here's an idea for Grand Forks' upcoming sales-tax campaign. It would take some staging of equipment to be ready when the time (and the train) comes. But it'd be worth it: This TV ad starts with Mayor Mike Brown. He's facing the camera, while behind him is a BNSF train, parked across North 42nd Street. Brown starts walking forward; the camera retreats ahead of him. As Brown walks, he talks about the need to increase the sales tax to build a 42nd Street underpass, among other projects.
There's a right way and a wrong way to ask for state aid to higher education. In their "Viewpoint" column on this page, the North Dakota Student Association officers ask the right way. And we'd contrast their approach to the one on display in Fargo, in which "faculty members had choice words for Bismarck and their boss's bosses Thursday afternoon at an open forum in the Century Theater," North Dakota State University's student newspaper reported. That's the wrong way. Here's why the student leaders' plea should be, and likely will be, listened to in Bismarck.
Now and then, the devil on our shoulder whispers that the Herald ought to be a tabloid. That way, a sober headline like this one, in Saturday's paper—"High vacancy rates create renters' market"—could be replaced by the following, and in a lot bigger type: "Ding-dong! The housing crisis in Grand Forks is dead." Luckily, the angel on our other shoulder gives a lot better advice. Sober in newspapering is the much smarter way to go. Still, while that tabloid take above is too sensationalist, there's an element of truth in it that's worth reviewing:
On Friday, Minnesota Public Radio's Kerri Miller hosted a call-in show with a fascinating theme: What explains President Trump's appeal to America's working-class voters, especially across the Midwest? After all, the president even then was fighting for a health care reform that could have hurt many of those workers. They benefit from some of Obamacare's key elements, which the Republican plan would have repealed.
Nobody asked us, but ... Here's an idea for getting to "yes" on health care reform. Make that, here's an idea for getting to "yes" on bipartisan reform, an effort that might just win significant support from lawmakers in both parties. Let's get right to it: ▇ Democrats—notably Senate Democrats, who have the filibuster—agree to let Republicans repeal Obamacare, probably over an extended period (say, five years). Now, why on Earth would Democrats do that?
Why keep Essential Air Service? Just ask Sen. John Hoeven, the most popular politician in North Dakota's recent history, and a Republican whose growing seniority is leading to more and more power in the U.S. Senate. Hoeven has been asked that question, many times. And he always gives essentially the same answer. It's the answer he gives when asked about the Farm Bill, too. And the sugar program, and the other federal efforts that spend taxpayer dollars to help rural America: Why keep Essential Air Service? Because it works.
It's now looking less likely that the Grand Forks area will get a casino, at least via the proposal in the North Dakota House. House Majority Leader Al Carlson's resolution has met with nothing but setbacks in committee, which means House passage is uncertain and Senate approval is even less likely than that. But here's the thing: If not a casino, Grand Forks still needs something. Something, that is, to reverse the weakening the city has seen in its power as a tourist draw. Something, to help keep Mayor Mike Brown's "Destination City" dream alive.
First, let's be clear. There are reasons why UND has its own police department. They're the same reasons why North Dakota State University, the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and fully 92 percent of America's other public colleges and universities have sworn and armed campus officers. The reasons are that the officers' presence is needed, and it works. Since World War II, America's college campuses have grown in both size and importance, often becoming "cities within cities" with unique rules, cultures and law-enforcement demands.
You could choose "Monday," the day that oil could start to flow through the Dakota Access Pipeline. You could choose "protest." Or "Trump." But if we had to choose the one word that best sums up the conflict over the pipeline, it would be this one: "Lache." Never heard of it? Neither had we—until we read U.S. District Judge James Boasberg's opinion last week, in which the Obama appointee denied the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes' request to stop construction of the pipeline's last link.