Oh Canada, Our Funny Neighbor to the North…

Commentary: Oh Canada, Our Funny Neighbor to the North…

After a week in British Columbia, Canada, it is hard to believe we won’t need to build a wall to keep the Canadians out of the USA. Canada has socialized medicine. Canada has sales taxes that are roughly twice as high as ours. Canada has higher income taxes than us. Canada has higher gasoline taxes than us. Canada has higher tobacco taxes than us. Canada has higher liquor […]

Cold Feet on the Eve of Budgeting for Recycling

Commentary: Cold Feet on the Eve of Budgeting for Recycling

I wonder what would happen if those of us in government made a deal with the taxpayers and citizens; here’s the framework: as our part of the deal, we in government offer to be smart and resourceful with our dollars and spend them as an investment in a worthwhile outcome. In return, we the taxpayers and citizens agree to be more conscientious of our behavior and willing to […]

News: Minot’s Hobbyist Model Airplane and UAS Pilots Find Growing Interest   source: Minot Daily News  

There’s little doubt that the UAS industry is growing and full of potential, but where do people in the business get there start? In all likelihood, it’s on their own, through a friend, or perhaps through a grassroots group of like-minded enthusiasts. And it turns out, Minot has just such a community.

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

Commentary, News: Help Grand Forks streets pass ‘Coffee Cup Test’   source: Grand Forks Herald  

Grand Forks Mayor Mike Brown has taken up the general mission of ‘doing it better’, and one of the first places he’s starting is on the roads in Grand Forks. And an accidentally created litmus test is his newest tool. It’s one part of a larger commentary where Mayor Brown provides a little direct communication to the Grand Forks citizens on his efforts as Mayor.

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

News: An arcane American law protected by powerful interests is causing insane traffic jams   source: Quartz  

What does a hundred-year-old law that forces goods transported between American ports to use American-made ships have to do with traffic and L.A. and possibly our economy in North Dakota? Erik Olson asks the question (about the Traffic in L.A. part) and provides the analysis of the trickle down regulatory effect and the unintended consequences. This law is so ingrained in our culture we may have forgotten we can […]

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

News: Pickle beer and Red Bull slushies among new brews at Minnesota State Fair   source: Star Tribune  

The 2017 North Dakota State Fair is in the books, and at first blush, the numbers seem pretty good; attendance was up nearly six thousand visitors compared to last year. But in order to stay competitive, we should always be looking around at how others are doing the ‘fair’ game. One stark difference between Minnesota’s fair and North Dakota’s — the way we treat beer. In Minnesota, they’re […]

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

On health care and everything else, the path to compromise is available

Commentary: On health care and everything else, the path to compromise is available

Contrary to most, I was not surprised that Congress has failed to repeal and replace “Obamacare”. “Repeal and Replace” has been the unifying slogan of the Republican party since 2009. That slogan may have become fact except for one minor detail. Like the Democratic party, the Republican party is merely a coalition of various diverse factions. Political parties have historically been bottom up rather than top down organizations. […]

News: Drug experts see confluence of factors behind opioid crisis   source: Grand Forks Herald  

In Minot, the Mayor’s Committee on Addiction met this week. When it comes to dealing with the effects of the opioid and larger addiction problem, they’re going to divide and hopefully conquer. They’ll be splitting into several sub-committees to deal with different arms of the larger animal. It’s important work, but the method also invites the larger question, how do we prevent the problem before it starts? That […]

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

News: Optimistic investors pumping $75 million into meatless burgers   source: Quartz  

There are two companies chasing the concept of the meatless burger, and before you dismiss the idea with some picture of a bean patty or veggie burger, the goal is a burger that looks and tastes like real beef, and they’re closer than you realize. It may seem far-fetched or impossible, but the impacts on ranchers will likely be real as a more environmentally-focused food consumer comes of age. […]

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

News: The Gulf Of Mexico’s Dead Zone Is The Biggest Ever Seen   source: NPR  

When agricultural producers use too much fertilizer, the surplus that isn’t absorbed into the land and plants runs off into the water shed. When it gets to the end of the downstream line, it dumps into the ocean or a lake. In North Dakota’s case, one of those end-of-the-line watershed deposits is the Gulf of Mexico. The environmental damage that’s done is hard to see, particularly from 2,000 miles […]

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

News: EPA chief to discuss water regulations during visit to state   source: Williston Herald  

Scott Pruitt, the EPA’s top administrator, will be visiting North Dakota next week, and the Waters of the U.S. rule making is expected to be a hot topic of conversation. Between agricultural and energy industries and our cultural disposition toward property rights, environmental regulations and rules have big impacts on North Dakota, and it sounds like those are some of the messages that will be carried to Mr. […]

Summary by: Josh Wolsky