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Faced with tough but important decisions over the past week, a number of local leaders chose wisely. They include: ▇ UND President Robert Kelley, who clearly had been angered by student leaders' calls of a vote of no confidence, but who swallowed both his anger and his pride by admitting mistakes and vowing to make amends. Student leaders—recognizing the huge difference their protests had made—graciously accepted Kelley's change of heart and shelved their no-confidence call. The incident didn't have to turn out that way.
The stumbling block in the dispute over parking at Grand Forks Central High School is a big one. Specifically, it's three stories high and a block long. It's the parking ramp across the street from Central—the key point on which the City Council and the School Board can't see eye-to-eye. And as long as that's the case, then resolving the dispute is unlikely.
The year was 1998. In the U.S. House, the Water Resources Development Act was locked up; and with adjournment only days away, it looked more and more like the logjam wouldn't break. Which posed a major problem for Grand Forks. That's because a clause in the act authorized the city's dike project, a $400 million effort that promised much-needed protection against monster, 1997-sized floods. Enter then-Congressman Earl Pomeroy, who threw what has been described as a legislative Hail Mary pass.
One side says North Dakota will be better off with stabilized, more predictable oil extraction taxes. The other side says that stability would come at an unfathomable price: potentially, multiple billions of forgone tax dollars over the decades, meaning multiple highways that won't get widened, parks that won't be expanded and classrooms that won't be built. Who's right? Given that this question is fundamental to North Dakota's future, you'd think that lawmakers would have spent much of the 2015 legislative session studying House Bill 1276, the bill with this oil-tax reform at its core.
Why do people obey the law? For two big reasons, human experience shows: First, to "do right"—to be a good person, in other words. Religion, civic duty and a desire to be a good example for one's children are among the motivators for this response. Second, to avoid punishment. Which brings us to the wildfires along Interstate 29 last week. If society wants people to be careful with fire and other potentially dangerous tools, it has to punish people who are extremely careless with them.
Once you have broadband, once your workplace has broadband and once your community has broadband, it's easy to think that everybody has broadband. But everybody doesn't. In fact, across rural Minnesota, nearly 40 percent of households lack access to broadband service that meets even the low end of Minnesota's speed goals. That's unacceptable—and in those communities, nothing would goose the economy more strongly than getting fast and reliable broadband service. Rural Minnesotans gave House Republicans the majority on the promise that the GOP would tackle exactly those kinds of issues.
Editorial boards seldom have trouble forming an opinion. The Herald has printed multiple editorials a week for more than a hundred years; we're used to it. But the issue of the feud between some UND student government leaders and President Robert Kelley's administration is different, partly because we at the Herald are working off of very incomplete information. And we suspect we're not the only ones in that boat. Of course, the editorial board can decide on this issue at some leisure, because the newspaper isn't directly involved. But the UND Student Senate is.
It’s hard enough to admit you were wrong and then announce that admission in public. It’s a whole lot harder when you’ve got to make that admission in front of...
If civics teachers in North Dakota high schools need a new case study for "How a bill becomes law," they could do worse than House Bill 1328. The bill, recently passed by the North Dakota Legislature, puts some limits on police officers' use of drones. But that's just a shorthand summary. In full, the bill represents a classic scenario of competing interests, passionate arguments and hard-fought compromise. The negotiating proved so difficult that it took two legislative sessions to complete.
The cause is probably lost.