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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.
North Dakota's in good company. Even Norway is feeling the pinch of low oil prices and is making withdrawals from its sovereign wealth fund. In North Dakota, as Forum News Service reported last week, state leaders "are signaling a growing willingness to use earnings from the state's Legacy Fund to shore up declining revenues." But there still are big differences between the two situations, and they point out how North Dakota can and should learn from Norway's example.
On Tuesday, North Dakota Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley visited the Herald to talk about the protest near Standing Rock against the Dakota Access Pipeline project. The following is a transcript, edited for clarity and length. Q. Tell us why you're here. The evolving situation with Standing Rock is obviously very serious, and I don't know that publicly it's been discussed as broadly as it's going to be. The governor went on the radio, and we'll be talking much more about what is actually transpiring there.
A protest can be a volatile scene, a place where hot words can act like sparks on tinder and bring about a conflagration. That's why Standing Rock Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault deserves praise for publicly calling for the protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline to remain peaceful. He could have been much more militant, after all. And if he had been, the past few days may have been much more confrontational. But Archambault should add one more word to his call, which is the word, "lawful." The protest must remain both peaceful and lawful.
What on Earth went wrong at the North Dakota Department of Human Services? The audit findings of shockingly lax procedures in the child-care licensing and monitoring programs are a disgrace ("Audit finds 'significant errors,'" Page A1, Aug. 25). But here's something even more troubling: It would be one thing if the negligence was confined to one inspector, one team, one regional service center or the like. However, that's not what happened.
In the eyes of the public, protesters who take the law into their own hands have two strikes against them. Violence results in the third strike. That means the protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline is "out," and the protesters should heed North Dakota Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley's call to disperse.
One of these years—OK, one of these decades—the printed copy of this newspaper will be deposited on readers' doorsteps by drone. That's assuming printed newspapers survive, of course. We'd call that a pretty safe assumption, but not so safe as the prediction that drones will become absolutely commonplace in American business, education and life. What an amazing trend. What a thrilling industry for Grand Forks to be "present at the creation" of.
Star Tribune editorials likely don't get much notice from rural Minnesota legislators. Especially Republican rural Minnesota legislators. While the Minneapolis daily's editorials are not as liberal as they used to be, they still trend center-left, which puts them way over in Big Government territory in the eyes of the GOP base. But a Strib edit from last week offered an insight rural lawmakers should consider—especially rural Republican lawmakers. It is this:
Recently, Grand Forks School District Superintendent Larry Nybladh stopped by the Herald to update the editorial board on the district's status. The following is a transcript of that conversation, edited for clarity and length. Q. What's new and different at the Grand Forks School District? What are some big changes that you see coming in the school year? The "good news" answer is there's some new, but there's not a lot different. The high-quality educational experience that our community is used to will be the norm again this year.
As mentioned before in this space, one of Grand Forks' greatest strengths is the fact that class divisions are so much more muted than in other American cities. There are high income and low income neighborhoods, but there is no skid row, no blighted area, no slum. What a gigantic asset that is for the city's quality of life. And what a fascinating example it could be for other cities in our country.