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There are no guarantees. There are only odds; and when it comes to teens and drug abuse, Americans don't know how to pull the odds all the way down to zero. But we do know how to reduce those odds—that is, how to make it less likely for a given teen to start abusing drugs. One of those ways is through offering strong extracurricular activities and encouraging young people to take part. And that's a practical approach that parents throughout the valley can focus on, now that ferociously destructive opioid addictions are showing up in area schools.
"As a percentage, UND spends 36.7 percent of the entire coaching salary expenses on coaches of women's sports." Thirty-six point seven percent? As in, a little more than a third? Was that a misprint? Well, no. As Sunday's Herald story about Title IX at UND showed, the university takes pains to ensure a rough parity between male and female athletes ("Where does UND stack up with Title IX?", Page D1). So, for example, UND spends about $2.2 million on athletic scholarships for female athletes. That's half of the school's scholarship budget.
Minnesota excels at a great many things, including most elements of K-12 education. But the state falls short in a few key areas. They include abysmal graduation rates for minority students, and fewer guidance counselors per student than all but two other states. So. here's an idea: fixing the latter may very well help fix the former. And that would be a sidelight, because getting more counselors into Minnesota schools would help Minnesota students of all races in direct and meaningful ways.
In a speech to criminal justice students at Minot State University last week, Wayne Stenehjem had this to say: "We have to redo our prison system," the North Dakota attorney general said. "We need to rethink in a fundamental way how we're dealing with punishment. We've built a brand-new prison in Bismarck, and it's full. If we don't get a handle on the addiction side of this and provide effective long-term effective treatment, we're never going to succeed. We're just going to see more and more of our citizens being lost."
In a marriage, when a couple disagrees, it's never a good idea to settle the issue by force. Sure, it's possible for the stronger partner to exert his or her dominance. But it's poisonous to the relationship—and dangerous, too. Because sooner or later, the aggrieved and angry partner will pop. Far better for the duo to talk through their differences. And the starting point in all such discussions is respect for the other's humanity and a willingness to listen to his or her point of view.
Typically, when reform advocates lose in the Legislature, then lose again the next time the reform gets put to a vote, the reform goes nowhere. After all, it lost. So why is State Superintendent Kirsten Baesler replacing the Common Core standards?
The Minnesota Legislature's regular session will end May 23. That's in less than three weeks. Here's what the lawmakers must do between now and then: 1. Compromise on a transportation bill. 2. Compromise on a bonding bill. If the lawmakers do those things, the session will have been a success, and all—OK, most—will be right with the Gopher State world.
"The Enbridge Line 3 Project is in the Canadian public interest and is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects." And with those words last week by Canada's National Energy Board, a project that will both lower the risk of an oil spill in North Dakota and northern Minnesota and bring $2.6 billion in economic benefits to the area took a big step forward. Good. Here's hoping the progress continues — especially in Minnesota, where court challenges have slowed but not stopped the state's regulatory reviews.
Wayne Stenehjem proudly mentions many of his achievements as attorney general, and it's an impressive list: breaking up drug rings, pulling meth components off shelves, putting human traffickers behind bars. But in all those actions, Stenehjem stood with many others. We see more significance in the time he stood alone: the time he stood in partial opposition to his fellow members of the Industrial Commission; the time he sparked an anti-Stenehjem lobbying drive from the oil and gas industry, among other powerful interests.
Q. What brings you to town? In many ways, I think of it as coming home. As you know, I grew up in Williston, lived in Bismarck and then moved here, where I lived for 26 or 27 years. I went to UND as an undergrad and went to law school here; my third year in law school, I ran for the Legislature and served 23 years representing District 42, the university area. I got elected in 2000 as attorney general and have served ever since. But my roots are here in Grand Forks and, of course, my allegiance is to UND.