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Published June 15, 2009, 12:00 AM

Forum editorial: ‘Clean energy’ wins roses

To the “clean energy” sectors of Minnesota and North Dakota for being ready to participate fully in the expansion of green jobs in the economy.

By: Forum Editorial Board, INFORUM

To the “clean energy” sectors of Minnesota and North Dakota for being ready to participate fully in the expansion of green jobs in the economy. A survey by the Pew Charitable Trust concludes that the two states are among the states poised to benefit from an expected explosive growth in green jobs. That’s great news for both states, but is an eye-opener for North Dakota, which has been wedded to traditional energy jobs for decades. The addition of green jobs in green energy companies further diversifies North Dakota’s energy sector. It also works well with Minnesota’s increasing reluctance to purchase electricity generated by North Dakota coal. Minnesota’s clean-energy sector is larger than North Dakota’s, so the number of clean-energy jobs will be greater also.

LEAFY SPURGE: To the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which seems to have adopted a policy of tree removal that is arbitrary at best. The corps has been removing mature trees and saplings within 15 feet of levees in Oklahoma, Louisiana and California. The corps says the concern is roots will compromise the structural integrity of the levees. Other engineers and experts contend trees can actually strengthen and stabilize levees. A blanket directive by the corps to remove trees seems the wrong way to go. We certainly would resist a similar tree-removal plan along the Red River in Fargo-Moorhead, where the riverine forest enhances the urban environment.

To the University of North Dakota School of Medicine for emphasizing family practice. The school ranks first in the nation for the percentage of graduates choosing family practice. That’s about 20 percent of the class. The actual numbers aren’t large because the school has only about 55 medical students. But the percentage (national average is 7.4 percent) is encouraging because it reflects UND’s long-standing commitment to family practice.

To former Green Bay Packer Brett Favre, the Minnesota Vikings, the sports press and anyone else buying into the tiresome saga of whether the once-great quarterback will come out of retirement and play for the Vikes. To put a fine point on it: Who cares? Favre and his storied arm have seen better days. If he does haul his aging body onto the field, the attraction will be akin to waiting for a wreck at a NASCAR event. That might fill seats and generate buzz for a while, but eventually it will collapse into an embarrassing end for a man who just doesn’t know when to hang up the spikes.

To Fargo city officials who have decided the city will pay for some elements of private yard damage caused by building secondary sandbag levees. In some yards, the damage was severe. But since the levees were designed to be a second line of defense against floodwaters, the city bears some responsibility to repair damage done to private property during their erection. It’s the right thing to do for homeowners and others who understood at the time that the sandbag dikes across their property were necessary to protect the city.

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