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In chess, the masters and the grandmasters are the ones who think several moves ahead. So, too, with college presidents: Conjure up a list of the most successful, and always it'll include leaders who anticipated—and allowed for—public reaction. That's why, in the best cases, those presidents made the job look easy. Not only did they solve problems as problems surfaced, but also they engineered those solutions in ways that didn't create more problems.
Thanks to the dike system, Grand Forks and East Grand Forks are protected against a 100-year flood. But the cities remain acutely vulnerable to a 100-year drought. That's why the Red River Valley Water Supply Project is so important. The project is the valley's "long-term care insurance," as it will protect communities up and down the river against a catastrophically expensive—and all too likely—event. So, it deserves all the attention and money that it's getting from local officials. And more: Residents should do their part, too.
The stop signs seem to work fine. They act as "traffic calmers" at the intersection of Belmont Road and Fourth Avenue South in Grand Forks, slowing the traffic from all four directions. And given how many children must cross at the intersection to reach nearby Phoenix Elementary School, that's vital. Then again, we drove through the intersection many times over the years when it featured traffic lights, and didn't give the traffic much thought. The intersection seemed safe for schoolchildren then, too.
If you read through today's Q&A with officials from the Fargo-Moorhead diversion project, you'll come across the following line. It's one of the keys to the project's current status; and for Grand Forks and East Grand Forks residents, it puts the Grand Cities' own flood-protection system in perspective: "It needs no further congressional action," says spokesman Rocky Schneider, when asked about the diversion project's future in Washington.
Last week, the Herald Editorial Board met with three representatives from the Fargo-Moorhead Diversion Authority for an update on the diversion and flood-protection project. Meeting with us was Darrell Vanyo, chairman of the Flood Diversion Board of Authority; Keith Berndt, administrator of Cass County, N.D.; and Rocky Schneider, public affairs strategist with AE2S, the Diversion Authority's project management company. Here's a transcript of the interview, edited for clarity and length. □ □ □
"We have one motto: 'L'audace, l'audace, toujours l'audace!' (Audacity, audacity, always audacity!)" That's a quote from U.S. Army Gen. George Patton. And as a philosophical Guiding Star, Patton's motto is a good one if you're a combat leader. Or a college president, as it turns out. Or a university athletic director. And that's why we're happy to note the UND men's hockey team's upcoming series against the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers. Not only is the historic rivalry being renewed, but also one of the games promises to be a real showstopper.
Some issues are sure to languish in political stalemate. East is East and West is West, and at times, there's just no meeting in the middle. But Voter ID is not one of those. A perfectly good compromise awaits. It might even be on its way to being accepted by both sides. Ironically, it's the same solution that was proposed by the bipartisan commission that got the Voter ID ball rolling in the first place.
As North Dakota's Republican-controlled government has in effect admitted, North Dakota Democrats were right about the need for a special session. The governor rejected the Democrats' call earlier this year, but the state's deteriorating finances prompted him to change his mind. The special session begins next week.
For the clearest view of the policy considerations sparked by FedEx's move from Grand Forks to Fargo, skip Grand Forks and Fargo altogether. Instead, drive south on I-29 some 700 miles to Kansas City. Take the exit for either Kansas City, Kan., or Kansas City, Mo., because on both sides of the Missouri River, you'll see the same thing:
In America, local officials worry about getting on the wrong side of public opinion. That's good. It's right that they worry, and it's right that they're always thinking about what the public will have to say. So for the benefit of Grand Forks officials, here's one indicator of public opinion, in the form of a Herald editorial: Grand Forks should get tough on enforcing nuisance abatement laws—especially against repeat offenders; especially against property owners who continue to be in violation after multiple complaints from neighbors and actions from the city.