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Published February 23 2009

Forum editorial: New air service wins roses

PRAIRIE ROSES: To Allegiant Air and officials at Fargo’s Hector International Airport for their work in securing nonstop flights between Fargo and Los Angeles. The announcement last week was another in recent air service additions in Fargo. The Allegiant service to L.A., which will begin in May, further strengthens the air travel sector in Fargo. Travelers now have – or soon will have – non-stop service to Chicago, Denver, Minneapolis, Orlando, Phoenix, Salt Lake City and L.A. The new service suggests air travel to and from Fargo is getting better all the time. Passenger numbers from the airport also show that good service will be utilized.

LEAFY SPURGE: To the North Dakota Senate for defeating a bill that would have prohibited elected state officials from appearing in public service ads funded with taxpayer money. The bill was prompted by Insurance Commissioner Adam Hamm’s misuse of a PSA during the hotly contested campaign for commissioner last fall. Hamm insisted the ads were purely public service, but anyone with a brain could see the political character of the TV spots. The Senate had a chance to send a message that the line between PSAs and political advertising should not be crossed. Too bad the senators blew it.

PRAIRIE ROSES: To West Fargo Mayor Rich Mattern for coming up with a sensible solution to the road-naming flap between his city and Fargo. Mattern suggested the road the two cities share be called Veterans Boulevard “in honor of those that have, currently are or in to future serve our country …” Good idea. Lots of names have been kicked around since the roadway was identified as a shared thoroughfare. Among them were Martin Luther King Street and Divide Street. Currently the two cities have different numbers on the street. Mattern’s proposal is a good one that both cities can embrace. Fargo officials should get on board.

PRAIRIE ROSES: To North Dakota House members who said no to a bill that would have transferred college tuition rate-setting from the state Board of Higher Education to the Legislature. The bill went down by a big margin, 54-38, sending the clear message that the Legislature should stay out of micromanaging an extraordinarily successful higher education system. Supporters of the change (who deserve a bale of leafy spurge) said the board has an insatiable appetite for money, but the reality is a good higher ed system is expensive. Furthermore, the majority of lawmakers apparently recognized that the recent investments on the campuses have generated significant returns to the state. There is always a taint of anti-education in the Legislature, so it’s good news when bad anti-higher ed bills are scuttled.

Forum editorials represent the opinion of Forum management and the newspaper’s Editorial Board