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Published July 12 2010

Forum editorial: Urban futurist wins roses

PRAIRIE ROSES: To the city of Fargo for its success and to urban futurist Joel Kotkin who recognized the city’s success in a recent Newsweek magazine article. In “The Great Great Plains: How heartland cities like Fargo and Omaha became the nation’s new boomtowns,” Kotkin noted the transformation of Fargo’s downtown and other changes that have put the city on the national map. Among the article’s highlights are mention of the city as a high-tech hub and the overall strength of the regional economy because of coal, natural gas, wind power and biofuels. Fargo, the article says, is right in the middle of the development boom and has managed itself well to take advantage of good times. Of course, the people who live in Fargo know all that, but it’s great to have it showcased in a national publication.

LEAFY SPURGE: To impatient motorists who are expressing frustration with summer road work in Fargo and Moorhead by speeding through construction zones. The danger of such irresponsible conduct is obvious. Law enforcement has stepped up policing in the work zones, and that’s a good thing. The safety of construction workers cannot be compromised. Slowing down or avoiding the cone zones altogether makes sense during this very busy summer road construction season.

PRAIRIE ROSES: To the people who make up the network of volunteer weather observers in North Dakota and the region. Weather is always news around here, and a dedicated cadre of trained observers provides precipitation data for meteorologists and forecasters. North Dakota leads the nation in the rate of weather trackers, with 132 out there who take precipitation readings and report them to a national data collection system. It’s important volunteer work in a region where weather affects life every day.

PRAIRIE ROSES: To North Dakota Republican Party Chairman Gary Emineth, who is considering making a run at the national party chairman’s job. Emineth recently said he’s stepping down as state party chairman to devote more time to his business interests. But apparently the condition of the national leadership has compelled him to think about going for the top job. And why not? He’s done a good job in North Dakota, and the national party could use his style of focused, civil leadership.

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