You can’t get any more Norwegian than me. Bakken, in Norwegian, means “the hill.” My mother’s maiden name was Olson. Loosely translated, that’s Ole’s son. We don’t have a Lena on our family tree, but there’s a Sven or two. I also have the complexion of a Norwegian, which is roughly the same as a submarine commander.
There are two sides to every issue, even when Junior and Missy have smoldered in classrooms as temperatures flirted with triple digits. I'm referring, of course, to when North Dakota schools opened in August to sweltering heat. That prompted everyone with suffering youngsters to second-guess authorities about why classes couldn't wait until after Labor Day. The wildfire idea crossing the state is to delay the start of school, thereby lengthening the class time spent in May. On a remedial level, the change makes sense.
The state of well-being in North Dakota has dramatically declined. Apparently, you can blame it on beer. The most recent Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index ranked North Dakota as the 19th happiest state, based on interviews with residents. A year earlier, the Roughrider State was rated second, behind only Hawaii. How might such a dramatic drop in one year be explained? Read on. Firstly, you figured correctly that, when it comes to happy, Hawaii is No. 1.
No news is good news. Most news is bad news. And, news happens when man bites dog, not when dog bites man. There's a fourth way of defining news. My way.
A recent AAA Travel ad portrays Mt. Rushmore as being in North Dakota. Oops. South Dakotans likely are not happy about this development, given the stone presidents are their biggest tourist attraction. But Chuck Haga, fellow Herald curmudgeon and my newsroom cubicle next-door neighbor, suggests North Dakotan has more to offer. As he astutely put it: "If you want chiseled faces, go to South Dakota. If you want warmth, come to North Dakota." Not literal warmth, mind you.
We're coming. We're coming. Look out, Minnesotans. Those footsteps you hear are from North Dakotans. According to recently released U.S. Census figures, Minnesota's population grew by only 1.4 percent from 2010 to 2012. Meanwhile, North Dakota's population grew by 4 percent in the same timeframe. So, if you want to be part of a winner, go west, young man and young woman. Granted, North Dakota wins the population war only when you use percentages. In a raw body count, Minnesota added 75,214 people while North Dakota added 27,037 in those two years.