Nobody wants to get arrested in front of their kids for no reason. That pretty much happened to one gentleman in St. Paul last month, because store owners call the cops when pedestrians of colour sit around too long waiting to pick up their kids from school.
Rail lines choked with oil instead of grain is not news around here, but as farmers gear up for a second harvest without adequate rail service, the New York Times has taken notice.
The strike at the Grand Forks Simplot plant appears to be at an end. Workers voted to accept cuts to healthcare and retirement, along with workdays of up to 14 hours. Though the workers are taking a deal that isn’t much of a compromise at all, at the very least parents won’t be getting home too much later than planned.
A band of intrepid citizens in Winnipeg banded together to run a poll on the city’s mayoral election, and raised $8000 in just over a week — now that’s really putting the public into public opinion!
Supporters of Measure 2, which would ban the levying of “transfer taxes” on real estate, say it would just make buying properties too expensive! This of course, coming from an industry funded by its own private taxation of property sales. When 3 to 6 percent is taken by the realtor, what is the harm in communities taking a mill levy at the time the house is sold?
The really funny thing is, nobody in North Dakota levies this tax that realtors want to ban. But if someone were to start, it does not have to affect your average house sale; Taxes have been known to be levied on only higher-valued property, you know. The vast majority of residences are valued under $300,000 , to quote an arbitrary figure. Taxing only property above that would not really dry up the trade in commercial property in North Dakota communities, many of which have huge infrastructure demands and are not getting the support from the state they need.
When North Dakota communities and school districts are being straitjacketed by an ongoing jihad on property tax levies, local option sales taxes are already maxed out, and no other means of replacement income is available, say a local income tax — how are communities to cope? Bond issues? And when the next oil crash comes, why do our local governments get to hold that bag, instead of the state, or the transients that created the demand for local services in the first place?
Move over Goldmark, there’s a new slumlord in town: The shady developer behind Grand Forks’ new privatized dorm, “The Grove,” has failed to build its complex on time, and will instead be clogging regional hotels. Property owner Campus Crest isn’t talking to the media, and has a history of irresponsible behaviour across the country.
Recently, a similar new property, ManCave, was forced to take down banners from city bridges after illegally stringing them up over I-29 and DeMers. All of this being symptoms of A) The University Tuition Bubble and B) The near-complete inability of the University of North Dakota Housing Office to not suck at their jobs.
In a race certain to attract not even the stunningly low percentages that the North Dakota June primary, Minnesotans are highly likely to return party favourites in almost every category today. MinnPost has the rundown on a handful of interesting races.
The partly cloudy skies and 28 °C heat index made for a muggy but tolerable afternoon on the picket line; Simplot workers in Grand Forks have been on strike since Monday.
Around 2pm Saturday, about a dozen members and supporters were present along Gateway Drive between the Simplot plant and the North Side Café, happy to chat with the occasional visitor along the northside frontage road.
The labour action is about hours, healthcare, and retirement benefits. According to reports, the company was insisting on cuts. With any luck, an agreement can be reached before the annual Potato Bowl Fry Feed on September 4.
Remember Lac-Mégantic. Ron Schalow does. He’s petitioning the state to finally do something about explosive Bakken crude.
I know a lot of North Dakotans aren’t exactly jazzed about our well-to-do Canadian neighbours, who still have a middle class and the spending money to overwork our underpaid retailers. Fewer still must pay any attention at all to the distant province of Québec, but North Dakota has an important connection with them:
We killed 57 Québecois with our oil. We are guilty of negligent mass homicide.
We killed them because we failed to do anything about natural gas flaring. We killed them because we failed to build pipelines. We killed them because we failed to regulate our oil development, to keep it within the bounds of our infrastructure, to keep oil development focused on the public interest and public safety.