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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.
If the citywide school-bond vote in Thompson, N.D., fails on Tuesday, Walter Meyer will have identified why. In his letter on this page, Meyer doesn't question the need for the renovations that the bond would pay for. He just questions the expense. And he's got a great point. Any proposal that would add 58 mills to the current levy of 73 mills had better have strong justification. The proposal wouldn't double the level of school-district taxation, but it would come close to doing so.
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. □ □ □