Herald editorial board
Herald editorial board What project in Grand Forks and East Grand Forks could possibly have more impact on the general population of those two cities and the region than the new hospital in the works by Altru Health System? Maybe the flood-control system. But the dikes that keep the cities dry can't deliver a baby, heal a wound or comfort a family coping with medical distress.
In November, Grand Forks voters approved — and by surprising margin — a new sales tax that added a half-percent to the cost of many goods purchased in the city. The result was an increase in the local sales tax rate, from 1.75 percent to 2.25 percent. All said, it means the price of many goods in the city increased by a half-penny per dollar.
An interesting study links the existence of newspapers in a community with government spending. To the researchers, it shows how newspapers actually keep government spending down, and also that when newspapers close, government spending rises. To us, it shows a link between the requirements of legal advertising — which is constantly being debated — and government accountability.
Herald editorial board In "Gone with the Wind," slaves are portrayed as loyal members of the protagonist families, whose tribulations during the Civil War form the plotline of that famous movie. Yet when "Gone with the Wind" debuted in an Atlanta theater in 1939, Hattie McDaniel — the black actress who played "Mammy" — wasn't allowed to attend. The irony is that the movie romanticized the southern cause and avoided racism, yet McDaniel's race meant she couldn't enter the theater where it debuted.
If producers could extract a single percentage point more oil from North Dakota shale, it would generate billions of dollars more in annual oil revenue and millions more for the state. Those are estimates from UND President Mark Kennedy and UND's Energy and Environmental Research Center. For the sake of this argument, let's use their numbers. North Dakota production is around 1.1 million barrels per day, and a barrel is selling for around $70. Over the course of 365 days, that comes to $28 billion in oil revenue.
Herald editorial board Canadians aren't viewed as radical. Yet they soon will be legally using marijuana for recreational purposes, and we wonder how it will affect the debate here in North Dakota. It appears an initiative to legalize marijuana will be on North Dakota's ballot in November. The Secretary of State Office reported this week that approximately 18,700 signatures have been gathered by supporters, 5,000 more than the 13,452 required. So it's very likely it will make its way onto the ballot and from there, voters will decide.
Herald editorial board The opening round of President Trump's trade tariffs went into effect Friday, and now the country awaits answers to so many questions, including: 1. Will ag producers be as adversely affected as many predict? 2. Will China blink? 3. Can the president's strategy possibly work? For the record, we do not like any idea that puts American ag producers at risk. A statement released Friday by John Heisdorffer, president of the American Soybean Association, sums up our worries.
Herald editorial board An op-ed in the Washington newspaper The Hill catches our attention. Written by former congressional aide Brent Budowsky, the piece wonders why President Barack Obama has not thrown his political weight behind Democrats running for high office. Budowsky writes that Obama "has remained virtually silent and politically AWOL in the great battle for the future of America in the midterm elections." Good point. Where is Obama?
Herald editorial board In 1982, Pulitzer Prize-winning editorialist Jack Rosenthal of the New York Times wrote that every era needs a taboo. Rosenthal noted that in the Victorian age — the 1840s through 1900 — the taboo was sex. Meanwhile, death was discussed constantly.
Herald editorial board Every now and then, the newspaper becomes the story. It happened last week in Maryland. To a much, much lesser extent, it happened here, too, and we reacted with awkward hesitance. A Grand Forks group that wishes to remain anonymous left the following message on the Herald publisher's answering machine: "We were thinking of you guys, in the wake of everything that is going on in Annapolis. We wanted to buy lunch and bring in food to say we appreciate what you do for the community. We just want you to feel some love and support."