The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead
It's all over but the squawking, which will go on for years among mulish fans of the retired University of North Dakota nickname. "Squawking" is somehow appropriate because the new nickname, as selected last week by 57 percent of 27,378 votes cast out of a potential voting pool of more than 82,000 alums and others, is "Fighting Hawks," and one of the noises a hawk makes is a kind of squawk! So, Fighting Hawks it will be. It's a peculiar choice in some ways, not the least of which is that hawks, as fierce as they look, don't fight much in the wild.
Former North Dakota governor and former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer is a good choice for interim president at the University of North Dakota. He has considerable executive experience in the private sector and in government. He understands the nuances, subtleties and potential pitfalls of the politics of higher education. He's a UND alumnus.
One of the highest priorities for eastern North Dakota — securing a reliable long-term supply of water — appears to be high on the state's agenda. In a session last week, a legislative committee advanced the long-discussed Red River Valley Water Supply Project a few steps along the path to eventual fruition. It won't happen soon, but the sooner planning accelerates, the sooner water from the Missouri River will reach the cities and counties of central North Dakota and the valley. The Water Topics Overview Committee took up the project. Chairman Rep.
American lovers of T-bone steaks and hot dogs should not swallow whole the conclusions of the World Health Organization cancer study of red meats and processed meats. The compilation of other studies is a statistical analysis that reveals trends. It is not an X-equals-Y direct causation report that unequivocally links eating Spam by itself to an 18 percent increase in colon cancer. For example, the analysis does not significantly take into account other factors among meat-eaters, such as smoking, obesity, exercise and overall diet.
It might be a surprise that some 35,000 students study at five college and university campuses in Fargo, Moorhead and Wahpeton, N.D. That's a significant number, not only because it represents a real commitment to higher education, but also because the students are essential to the long-term economic growth of the region.
Dean Bresciani, president of North Dakota State University, set down a bold marker in his recent "State of the University" address: Within five years, NDSU will formally join the ranks of America's elite universities. In fact, NDSU appears within reach of attaining that goal. Already, researchers on the campus are invited to collaborate with peers at institutions belonging to the Association of American Universities. That elite body is made up of the top academic institutions in the country. To qualify for AAU membership, NDSU must reach some ambitious targets.
Once again, good research is confirming that the Fargo-Moorhead flood diversion will do much more good than harm. Once again, the best possible fact-based, objective analyses are undermining sky-is-falling opponents,...
The decision by North Dakota Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley to step out of running for governor was the right one for him and his family. They are dealing with personal matters that became public, and would remain routinely public if he were a candidate for the Republican Party's endorsement. His determination to put his family ahead of his political ambitions is admirable. With Wrigley out, the Republican field counts one giant and several figures of lesser stature. Popular Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem is expected to get into the race with a formal announcement this month.
North Dakota lawmakers who are advocating for a new revenue forecast are spot on. Last week's report of a $40 million shortfall in state revenue projections is, as House Majority Leader Al Carlson of Fargo said, "a wake-up call." One answer to the call should be a new comprehensive assessment of the state's revenue picture as soon as possible. The shortfall should come as no surprise, even as the precipitous decline in per-barrel oil prices was a surprise to almost every energy analyst on the planet.
The "staggering" increase in North Dakota's prison population stands in stark contrast to the perception North Dakotans have of themselves. It represents a cultural shift in attitudes and policy that undermines history and heritage that, until a couple of decades ago, were distinguished by counting the fewest prisoners in state prisons and local jails. Now those facilities are at or near capacity, and projections indicate the population of the state's prison population will jump by at least 67 percent in the next 10 years.