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 […]

News: : How, and why, some farmers are bringing livestock back to the prairie   source:   

The way people are eating and sourcing their food is changing, and as a result, so are the farms that produce that food. More and more, consumers are attuned to concepts like animal welfare and locally sourcing. That means there’s a growing market for the farms of our grandfathers — the smaller operations with a diverse set of revenue sources, and perhaps, a more environmentally sustainable model.

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

Commentary: : Claims that renewable energy threatens the stability of the US power grid is ludicrous   source: Quartz  

A common argument heard in North Dakota is the need to maintain coal-fired power plants because of their ability to provide the basic baseline power needs of the electrical grid. That we would attach ourselves to arguments that defend an industry important to our state is not surprising; I would say it’s a natural reaction. There is another perspective, though. This commentary from Quartz defends the modernization of […]

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

News: : A New School Model Helps Rural Districts Boost Enrollment and Ensure Student Success   source: EdSurge  

The challenges that come with delivering a high-quality education in a rural setting are real. Too often in our small towns, teachers and administrators are forced to continue delivering a high level of services amid a climate of declining resources. What’s the solution? In Alberta, Canada, one school administrator addressed the results by tearing down the system and rebuilding it to meet the needs of his community and […]

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

Commentary: : Downtown Fargo continues on a path of continuous improvement   source: InForum  

Over the past 20 years, Fargo has been successful in creating a downtown environment that is the envy of all the other cities in North Dakota. How did they do it? Fargo’s Downtown Community Partners President Tim Flakoll provides some commentary on the success; the ingredients Fargo used won’t surprise you, but they will point the way for Minot — collaboration and attention to detail.

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

News: : Finland has a migration crisis, too: Smart, young professionals are moving out   source: Quartz  

“They leave Finland because of poor employment opportunities and future prospects. This has been happening for a long time… The difference with today’s migrants is they are better educated and leaving a welfare state that ranks as one of the best places to live in the world according to most indices.” Sound familiar? Finland is dealing with an out-migration problem similar to North Dakota, and they’ve started to […]

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

Learn, News: : The life-changing magic of getting a person to change their mind—even yourself   source: Aeon  

With those we care about, we try and try and try. Sometimes we need to do it ourselves, but we resist. Yes, I’m talking about change, particularly of our minds. And as our knowledge of how our brains work starts to align with observed behavior, we’re starting to get confirmation that changing minds is possible. But we have to forced into the uncomfortable situation of holding two opposing […]

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

News: : Oil country eases into break from frantic growth   source: Star Tribune  

Did the oil bust in Western North Dakota? Though we all know it slowed down, it doesn’t seem like ‘bust’ is the correct description. And the same can be said for at least some of the outside media coverage of North Dakota’s new oil reality. This article is passed along to get a sense of what others are saying about us out here.

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

Commentary: : How Students Say Colleges Should Change   source: EdSurge  

There’s been a lot of talk here in North Dakota about the need for higher education evolve. In this article from EdSurge, an interviewer sat down with three college-age students and asked them how they think higher education needs to change. The article is worth a read, the answers sound familiar — education needs less parrot instruction and more teaching of problem solving.

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

News: : Canadian Federal Government Sets Deadline for Provincial Marijuana Legalization   source: Winnipeg Free Press  

By July 1, 2018, marijuana will be legal North of the border. The interesting part, it’s the federal government in Canada that is setting the deadline. And if the provinces don’t put a framework in place for legalization, citizens seeking the product will be able to mail order it directly from the federal government. It’s newsworthy because of the extraordinary differences in the U.S. and Canadian federal governments […]

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

Maybe a Democrat in the middle is good for North Dakota

Commentary: : Maybe a Democrat in the middle is good for North Dakota

In today’s angry polarized political environment, I watch my good friend, Heidi Heitkamp being pilloried by the right as being too liberal and the left for being too conservative. To old school politicos such as myself, that tells me that she is probably doing a good job. The Democratic party, even in its hay day, was never all that liberal. The cooperatives, which the hard right compares to […]

Is the way we think about charity dead wrong? Watch and consider

Commentary, Learn: : Is the way we think about charity dead wrong? Watch and consider

We’ve all seen the graphic about various nonprofit organizations that tells us what percentage of donated dollars go towards the ’cause’ and how much goes toward ‘administration’. If you haven’t seen the chart, it’s likely you’ve had the conversation with someone. And if you’re like me — you were probably captured by that quick hit statistic. I know I formed an opinion based on that information, and I’ve continued […]