Herald editorial board
Herald editorial board When the Grand Forks Varmints played their first game in 1996, the crowd stretched Kraft Field to its capacity. Temporary bleachers were filled, while others sat along the fences to watch. The stadium ran out of hot dogs by the second inning. That scene probably is in the heads of anyone who hopes baseball — other than American Legion ball — will return to Grand Forks. But the reality of these leagues is often far from the misty, romantic memories and optimistic hopes of boosters.
Herald editorial board Remember North Dakota's milk-and-honey years of yore? Namely, 2015? That's when the state again lowered its income tax rate for individuals and corporations, providing more than $100 million in relief for state residents. It was the fourth consecutive legislative session that saw a state income tax reduction. At the time, it seemed wise. The oil boom was in full swing and providing a sizeable windfall for the state. Everybody knows what happened since, and now the state continues to make cuts to public programs because of shortfalls.
Herald editorial board A man seen walking the streets of Grand Forks apparently was seeking signatures for a petition that could lead to a vote to legalize recreational marijuana in North Dakota. Although we didn't stop to confirm, he was wearing a vest that said so. Should Grand Forks residents sign that petition? Although we won't sign it, we still say "sure." All that a petition does is gather signatures in hopes of putting the issue to a statewide vote later in the year.
With warmer weather comes Memorial Day and attendance at baseball games. Considering that, here are a few points of interest regarding etiquette for the American flag and The Star Spangled Banner. Question: Can the flag touch anything beneath it, such as the ground or water?
The Minnesota Department of Transportation on Tuesday awarded more than $400 million to fund four highway projects. It's likely that by now, MnDOT has felt the scorn of Greater Minnesota. Why are outstate Minnesotans upset? Because each of the four projects is located within relatively close distance of downtown Minneapolis. Specifically, the areas and their funding amounts were: ■ Interstate 494, France Avenue to Highway 77: $134 million. ■ Interstate 494, Bush Lake Road to I-35W: $70 million.
Saturday, an event highlighted two entities in Grand Forks that are distinctly separate in mission but linked by the unique cultural offerings they bring to the city. The Empire Arts Center Dinner and Dance was held at the Alerus Center. It showcased the best of the two — the Empire's flair for dramatic cultural events and the Alerus Center's ability to host a lavish party that easily can compete with facilities in larger cities. Actually, Grand Forks is luckier yet, since Ralph Engelstad Arena also throws a heck of a party.
During his annual State of the City speech last week, East Grand Forks Mayor Steve Gander kept the ball bouncing for a potential south-side bridge between his city and Grand Forks. "Let's see if we can get together on the south-end neighborhood bridge, maybe a bypass bridge to the south of that for industrial and farm traffic in the future," he said.
Herald editorial board Funding is on its way in Minnesota to help curb opioid abuse. The announcement came Thursday from Gov. Mark Dayton, who declared $700,000 in grants to help fight the crisis. More important, Dayton announced new prescription guidelines for Minnesota doctors.
Soon, an anniversary will pass without much mention. It's been four years — roughly the academic life of a typical college student — since the last Springfest, a steam-venting event the week before UND finals during which students got outside, enjoyed the weather and had fun. And, yes, they partied. The last Springfest was May 2014. It ended when university and city officials asked sponsors to not pursue permits to host it again in 2015.
Herald editorial board Thinking of taking an untrained or fake service animal into a restaurant or onto a commercial plane in Minnesota? Soon enough, that may be a crime, and we figure it's about time. The Minnesota Senate has passed legislation that — if passed by the House and signed by the governor — will make it a crime to misrepresent a pet as a service animal. Violators face a $100 fine.