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

News: Verizon argues throttling video is allowed under net neutrality rules   source: The Verge  

What will the Internet look like if there’s a roll back on the FCC’s net neutrality rules? We’re perhaps getting a taste. Last week, Verizon was caught and then admitted to throttling video content on its network. Basically, that means they slowed down the speed at which they delivered video — intentionally.

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

News: Comcast says it should be able to create internet fast lanes for self-driving cars   source: The Verge  

The first of a couple articles on the net neutrality issue, Comcast is arguing that the need to provide faster more reliable service to self-driving cars will warrant a competitive pricing model. That means they can charge more for certain types of data traffic. Medical uses and automated cars are the examples they use to justify the regulatory roll-back, but the concern is the loophole would allow them […]

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

News: A Toxic Legacy: North Dakota Looks To Clean Up Old Oilfield Waste   source: Inside Energy  

One of the considerable by-products of oil production in North Dakota is the extremely salty wastewater we get back along with the oil. It’s not a new problem. And though modern practices inject wastewater deep underground, there are still a number of legacy era brine pits that continue to leach salt water contamination into nearby fields. Amy Sisk with Inside Energy has the story that hits near to […]

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

News: Tech workers brace for Seattle’s plan to ‘tax the rich’   source: NPR  

The City of Seattle is on a pathway toward attempting to solve their low-income housing and public transit challenges by implementing an income tax on individuals earning more than $250,000 per year and couples earning more than $500,000. It’s not the first policy initiative Seattle has undertaken to attempt to make the City more livable for lower income residents; Seattle is also in the process of implementing a […]

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

Commentary, News: The Government Shouldn’t Compete With Private Businesses for Profits   source: Say Anything Blog.com  

Rob Port with the Say Anything Blog weighs in on the City of Minot’s proposed garbage pick-up policy revisions that would result in a mandated change of service from private haulers to City-provided garbage pick-up. The law change would capture about 1,200 multi-residential units. At a Committee of the Whole meeting this week, members of City Council advanced the ordinance to consideration at the July 10 meeting with […]

Summary by: Josh Wolsky