Community Columnists

Solve health care, win the White House

Now that it looks as if war with England has narrowly been averted, my optimism about the future is running so high, I’m beginning to believe a Democrat could win back the White House and Make America Even More Super Greater Than Ever Before Believe Me. The cost of MAEMSGTEBBM caps will be ...

Legislature’s decision to gut auditor’s powers looks worse and worse

The State Board of Higher Education is getting a babysitter for North Dakota State School of Science President John Richman. “The state’s university system may keep a closer eye on North Dakota State College of Science management after a state audit found problems with how the school ...

In stumping for Fisher, Cramer loses claim to ethical high ground

The Washington Post recently ran an article pointing out that Kevin Cramer, a North Dakota U.S. senator, is trying to steer federal business, potentially worth billions of dollars, toward a Dickinson company that was a large contributor to his 2018 campaign. For many, Cramer’s obsessive ...

Intentional peace beats accidental war any day

Bob in WWII A cold November breeze drifted over the family that had gathered on the depot platform to see Bob leave on the mixed mail-passenger train that served the community. Bob had finished boot camp and came home for a quick 3-day leave before being sent to North Africa where the Allied ...

Zombie homes continue to disappear from Minot

Zombie homes. Blighted properties. By any name, they have been part of our community for far too long. Thankfully, their numbers are dwindling. This summer, contractors will remove another six structures on the shrinking list of zombie homes that still exist in the river valley. On June 4, ...

Trump is fighting the good fight in trade war with China

U.S. President Donald Trump boosted tariffs on Chinese goods this month, with the increases affecting nearly 6,000 products. "Trade war" talk abounds (along with the death-and-destruction language that goes with it), all because the cost of things like "Beach, Please" T-shirts at your local ...

The land of haves and have-nots

Unknown to most people, there is a relentless struggle in society between those who have and those who have not. A recent Gallup poll, “Majority Rejects Idea of Haves, Have-Nots Divide in U.S.,” created the impression that there was no such divide when in fact 41 percent felt otherwise. ...

Governing America’s genitalia

The Sons of Liberty were still in a celebratory mood days after passing the most restrictive abortion bill ever. “Yee-ha!” yelled one. “We got ‘em right where we want ‘em—barefoot, pregnant and unequal!” Chairman Pompous gaveled the caucus to order. “The chair reluctantly ...

Xcel’s coal-free plan is politics not reality

Xcel Energy plans to shutter its two remaining coal plants in the Upper Midwest a decade earlier than scheduled — a move that will make the utility coal-free in the region by 2030,” Mary Divine reported for the St. Paul Pioneer Press this week. That’s big news. All the more so because ...

Building Safety Month plays key role in our community

We are in the middle of celebrating Building Safety Month at the City of Minot, which gives us an opportunity to reflect and focus on building safety both as a city and as a society. Building codes weren’t always a priority in the United States. Historically, the Chicago fire of 1871 helped ...

American churches are in big trouble

The bottom fell out of church membership between 1999 and 2018, spelling serious trouble for the well-being of Christendom in the decades down the road. According to a comprehensive poll taken by the very creditable Gallup organization, in 1999 70% 0f Americans were church members. This ...

Oversight isn’t in the GOP playbook

I’ll admit it. I’m prejudiced against dummies. Not all of them. Just the duplicitous dumb ones who think they’re smart. You see how this leads directly to politics. I know I’ve been hard on Republicans, but it’s their own dang fault. If they weren’t so adamant about the 2nd ...

File your claim for reparations today

Before launching into our main topic this week, I want to demonstrate that if you hang around long enough you can see history repeat itself, case in point: federal revenue sharing. Back in 1967, U.S. Treasury people were shocked to discover that the nation had more money than it could spend. ...

The perils of not impeaching a rogue president

For a guy claiming to be the most innocent man ever, President Trump’s sure working hard to cover up his innocence. Last week he flip-flopped like a carp in the sand about having The Grand Exonerator, Robert Mueller, testify before Congress. Apparently, facts might confuse people. Nor does ...

Heidi Heitkamp is probably running for governor in 2020

ere’s a bold prediction: Former U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp is probably going to run for governor. I don’t think she wants to be president of the University of North Dakota. Her name has been thrown around a bit for that job, and while she’s played coy when asked if she’d take the gig, ...

ND no longer has an independent auditor thanks to Burgum, Legislature

In the closing days of the 2019 legislative session lawmakers amended the budget for the Auditor’s Office to include language gutting that office’s authority. Under this new language, the state auditor is on a leash held in the hands of the Legislature. His office may only initiate ...

Fire Prevention Bureau protects the people of Minot

In the United States, a fire department responds to a fire every 23 seconds. Each of these fires occurs under different conditions, hence the fire service mantra: Every fire is different. (NFPA, 2011) This, in many ways, sums up the work the Fire Prevention Bureau does to keep the citizens of ...

Bringing City Hall to your neighborhood

One of my goals as mayor is to create opportunities for members of our community to interact with the City of Minot, including myself, City Council members, City Manager Tom Barry, department heads, and other employees. Too often municipal governments are painted as nameless, faceless entities, ...