News: : K-12 Policy Updates: Mandatory Fall Reading for Every Education Entrepreneur   source: EdSurge  

When it comes to Education directives handed down from on high (the feds), there’s a new Sheriff in town who goes by the name of Betsy Devos. Her confirmation was controversial, and the one thing that’s certain — there will be policy changes. How those impact us locally is yet to be determined, but the roadmap on how we negotiate them is coming into focus. Ben Watsky with […]

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

News: : Continental Resources oil sale to China complex   source: AGWEEK  

One of North Dakota’s largest oil producers, Continental Resources, announced it has a deal in place to sell ~33,500 barrels per day of ND produced sweet crude to China. The deal creates logistics challenges in form of ensuring Continental oil isn’t comingled with other sources before being loaded and shipped, and it’s only possible because the ban on exporting U.S. oil was lifted in 2016.

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

News: : Fargo passes ‘inclusiveness’ resolution   source: Bismarck Tribune  

Following our Country’s summer of division and tension represented by racially-charged events in Charlottesville and other locations, the Fargo Human Relations Commission activated and asked the valley cities to pass a largely symbolic resolution on inclusiveness. While the resolution has no actual teeth, a quick google search of this article’s title indicates the distances at which the gesture was heard.

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

News: : Winnipeg: City hall committee shows its spirits, gives downtown distillery a green light   source: Winnipeg Free Press  

When it comes to alcohol, consumer trends are outpacing regulator’s ability to keep a handle on the new and emerging business models. One example is the emergence of boutique local distillers, a business type that’s hard to fit in many cities licensing policies. But in Winnipeg, they made room. Patent 5 Distillery is expected to open in February with gin, vodka, and whiskey distilled from local agricultural products.

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

How many more?

Commentary: : How many more?

People often question my judgment for vacationing in Mexico during our cold North Dakota winters. They question how safe it is to be in Mexico because of the murders down there by the various competing drug cartels. The persons in the Mexican drug culture, from my perspective, seem to be killing each other and for the most part don’t seem to be very interested in killing old gringos […]

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

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: : North Dakota initiated measure study commission holds first meeting   source: Bismarck Tribune  

The process by which North Dakota citizens and organizations bring issues to the ballot for consideration is going up for a review. The initiated measure process of petition carrying and signature gathering that allows a form of direct citizen legislation has been criticized in recent years. One of the arguments against, issues like the recently voter approved victim’s rights law can be brought forward by wealthy activists with […]

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

News: : State sees lots of interest in business side of medical marijuana industry   source: Grand Forks Herald  

The response could be described as a lot of interest. Earlier in July, the ND Department of Health asked for a letter of intent for parties interested in participating in the business side of the state’s medical marijuana industry. That request drew letters from 97 different parties. The formal application process is expected to open later this month. John Hageman with Forum News Services has the details on […]

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

News: : North Dakota passes 400 percent fine increase for littering   source: Grand Forks Herald  

The police and highway patrol have been empowered to get serious about littering. Starting August 1, the fine for throwing out that cigarette will be something you notice if you get caught; it’s going from $100 to $500. The Grand Forks Herald has more on the story.

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

News: : Williston takes pro-business position on new business models   source: Williston Herald  

What does a city do when a new business concept presents challenges because they don’t fit nicely inside current laws and regulations? In Williston the direction of City Commissioners is to go slowly and carefully, but make sure the message sent is that Williston is open to new business concepts. Beverage kiosks (the article doesn’t describe the business concept) are creating challenges for city staff and planning officials, […]

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

News: : Petition to revoke Sunday Closing Laws approved for circulation   source: Bismarck Tribune  

Last winter, the ND Senate narrowly defeated a bill that would have allowed retail operations to open on Sunday mornings. Now, supporters of the regulatory rollback are going to take the issue directly to the voters. Secretary of State Al Jaeger approved circulation of a petition that would put the issue on the ballot.

Summary by: Josh Wolsky