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There are two parts to what happened on Friday to the Dakota Access Pipeline. And the Obama administration's political decision to block the pipeline was only the second part. The first part was a federal judge's legal ruling in the pipeline's favor. Minutes after this ruling was issued, the administration disrespected and contravened it. Even so, the ruling is worth considering in full. That's because the ruling destroys much of the case that the anti-pipeline activists had been making, and it does so in comprehensive detail.
For low-hanging fruit, this particular apple still is pretty far out of reach. But that shouldn't stop the UND Intercollegiate Athletic Committee from scouting the apple when the committee meets this week, then figuring out how to bring a tall ladder to the scene. That's because picking this apple—which involves changing conference affiliations, namely joining the Summit and Missouri Valley conferences and moving out of Big Sky—could solve a big share of the UND Athletics Department's' budget woes in one fell swoop.
Gov. Jack Dalrymple made a smart two-part decision this week: First, he called out elements of the North Dakota National Guard. Second and just as important, he did not "send them south," as the Guard commander described it in a press conference Thursday. In other words, Dalrymple did not deploy the Guard to the site of the Dakota Access Pipeline protest south of Mandan, N.D.
Now that the Grand Forks City Council has started acting to help spur new home construction, some residents are going to be upset. It's unfair that a few homeowners now may get better terms on their special assessments than we did, the residents will say. Or, it's unfair that if the city succeeds in getting more homes built, existing homes will stop appreciating in value as fast as they have been doing. That'll cost the owners of existing homes real money when they decide to sell. Here's how the council should respond to those concerns:
Grand Forks city leaders deserve credit for thinking about a bike-sharing system. While some taxpayers will harumph about the idea, a key demographic for the project is young people, especially students and young professionals. And young people are vitally important for an ambitious city to have on its side. But those same city leaders must do their due diligence before giving the idea the go-ahead. That's because not all bike-sharing programs are created equal—and some of them fail.
You don't have to be the descendant of a Pullman striker or a "breaker boy"—a child who worked in the Pennsylvania coal mines—to appreciate the power of Labor Day. The Upper Midwest had its own share of workplace horrors that labor laws helped put right. Here's one example. Think about it today, as you survey from your backyard the magnificent farm fields that are the glory of the Red River Valley.
On Aug. 24, North Dakota University System Chancellor Mark Hagerott sat down for an interview with the Herald Editorial Board. The transcript that follows has been edited for clarity and length. Q. You're in town for an unmanned aircraft systems conference. What are your thoughts on that industry and its potential?
Crime in New York City was a national issue throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Then it wasn't: The crime rate plummeted in the 1990s, reaching levels that New Yorkers hadn't seen since Dwight Eisenhower was president. New York remains one of the safest cities in America today. In North Dakota, the following change isn't nearly so momentous. But it's still striking:
Budget cuts, athletic shortfalls, an upcoming legislative session: UND President Mark Kennedy has a lot on his plate. So we'll understand if he chooses not to focus on UND's speech codes until next year. But once 2017 arrives, Kennedy should consider the issue. For by resolving to join the few universities in America that robustly protect free speech, Kennedy would elevate UND in the eyes of not only its peer institutions, but also the North Dakota public.
Kudos to Grand Forks for advancing the local housing discussion to the point where a) the scope of the problem has been identified, and b) serious policy changes may be made. Would such changes make a difference? Probably yes. Would they make all the difference? Probably not. But they're still worth trying, because the need for new housing now is urgent, and every reasonable encouragement for homebuilders can help.