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GM Announces the Future Is All Electric, Let’s Ride the Wave!

Way to be data driven and embrace technology GM! I didn’t know that GM sold more vehicles in China 3.6 million (many electric two seaters) compared to 3 million vehicles in the US.
They’re joining a growing list of manufacturers around the world going electric and also working on self driving cars. We can prepare and ride the technology wave or be battered by it by denial and not planning for the future.
Here’s a segment of an article on the announcement from GM from Wired published 10-2-17:

“AFTER MORE THAN a century peddling vehicles that pollute the atmosphere, General Motors is ending its relationship with gasoline and diesel. This morning, the American automotive giant announced that it is working toward an all-electric, zero-emissions future. That starts with two new, fully electric models next year—then at least 18 more by 2023.

That product onslaught puts the company at the forefront of an increasingly large crowd of automakers proclaiming the age of electricity and promising to move away from gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles. In recent months, Volvo, Aston Martin, and Jaguar Land Rover have announced similar moves. GM’s declaration, though, is particularly noteworthy because it’s among the very largest automakers on the planet. It sold 10 million cars last year, ranging from pickups to SUVs to urban runabouts.

“General Motors believes the future is all-electric,” says Mark Reuss, the company’s head of product. “We are far along in our plan to lead the way to that future world.”

Reuss did not give a date for the death knell of the GM gas- or diesel-powered car, saying the transition will happen at different speeds in different markets and regions. The new all-electric models will be a mix of battery electric cars and fuel cell-powered vehicles.

 To be sure, GM’s sudden jolt of electricity is planned with its shareholders in mind. The Trump Administration may be moving to roll back fuel efficiency requirements in the US, but the rest of the world is insisting on an electric age. France, Great Britain, the Netherlands, and Norway have all said they plan to ban the sale of gas and diesel cars in the coming decades. More importantly, China—the world’s largest car market—and India, a rising star, plan to join them. No automaker can compete globally without a compelling stable of electric cars.”
                                                                                    ~End article~
GM is just one of many manufacturers that are embracing technology, being data driven, and moving on to electric vehicles and autonomous driving features.
Here is another piece from a Mashable article sharing information on a broad range of manufacturers transitioning to electric vehicles.
“A recent spate of announcements from the biggest names in the auto industry has put electric vehicle development front and center. Some carmakers have even pledged to release only all-electric or electrified vehicles — which include hybrid engines that run on electric power at least some of the time — by certain target dates.

If these promises come to bear, the next decade will see a major shift in production trends, bringing electric vehicles to the streets in unprecedented numbers. That shift has already started, with a wave of all-electric cars built for mass appeal like the Chevy BoltNissan Leaf, and Tesla Model 3 now available. The next few years will see even more growth in the EV space.
Since most major automakers have at least outlined plans for electrification, we’ve compiled a list of  where they stand on EVs and when we can expect to see the new cars out on the road.

  • GM said it plans to phase out gas-powered vehicles for an “all-electric future” but didn’t give an exact date for an all-EV line. The effort starts, however, with plans for 20 all-electric vehicles by 2023.
  • Ford created the EV-dedicated “Team Edison” to focus on the development of all-electric cars. The automaker also pledged to invest $4.5 billion over five years on new all-electric and hybrid vehicles, with 13 new models slated for release by 2023.
  • Toyota and Mazda recently announced that they’re teaming up with auto-parts manufacturer Senso to create a new company to develop basic EV technology for use across multiple vehicle types and models, expanding beyond Toyota’s Prius line. The two Japanese carmakers also pledged to build a $1.6 billion U.S.-based plant by 2021, where they’ll work on electric and hybrid vehicles.
  • Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benzwill invest $1 billion in an Alabama plant to produce all-electric SUVs and build a battery facility, and $10 billion in EV development overall. Mercedes-Benz outlined a plan to electrify its “entire portfolio” by 2022, offering 50 electric and hybrid models.
  • The Renault, Nissan, and Mitsubishi alliance will work together to develop new systems to use across their vehicle lines, with a focus on “purely electric” EVs like the Nissan Leaf. The automakers plan to release 12 all-electric models by 2022.
  • Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) plans to electrify its entire vehicle lineup by 2020, with new powertrains ranging from mild hybrid vehicles to all-electric systems.
  • Volvo will electrify its entire vehicle line by 2019, with five all-electric models slated to roll out from 2019 to 2021. The automaker hopes to sell one million of the electric and hybrid cars by 2025.
  • VW Group, parent of European automakers like Volkswagen, Audi, and Porschewill invest $84 billion in EV development. Roughly $60 billion of the total will be dedicated to battery production, but the company also plans to offer electric and hybrid versions of 300 vehicles by 2030.

Put Politics Aside and Use the Facts to Improve US Healthcare

Regarding the upcoming Senate vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act that has helped millions more Americans obtain health coverage regardless of preexisting conditions. Our country is at a competitive economic and social disadvantage with our failing market based, reactive health care system.
Senator John HoevenSenator Heidi Heitkamp, Congressman Kevin Cramer, and Governor Doug Burgum (I know you don’t vote, but you have weighed in), let’s make North Dakota a leader by being data driven on our country’s common goal for better healthcare. It’s past time to put politics aside and work together to use the vast verifiable information that is constantly updated and improved.
Instead of repeal that would set us back, let’s build on positive attributes of the Affordable Care Act. Identify and remove what doesn’t work, insert proven methods from other countries that have lower cost and better health outcomes, and move forward.

Please consider: Our market based, reactive health care system has higher per capita costs (Almost $10,000 per person in 2016) We have the highest percentage cost of GDP
Please consider: The US has poorer health outcomes than countries with universal health care systems
 
Please consider: High medical costs are the number one reason for bankruptcies in our country. 

Let’s put the data to work to transition to a universal healthcare system that is proven to be more efficient, with lower costs, universal access, and better health outcomes.
 
 

Irish Prime Minister’s Speech Fantastic Reason to Celebrate St. Patrick

Prime Minister of Ireland Enda Kenny at the White House gives us some of the best reasons to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day here, and serves as a eloquent reminder America is at our best when we are a welcoming country that values immigrants and refugees.
Thanks to Vox and writer German R Lopez for the coverage. Here’s Ireland Prime Minister Enda Kenny’s fitting address at the White House:

Kenny said:

It’s fitting that we gather here each year to celebrate St. Patrick and his legacy. He too of course was an immigrant. And though he is, of course, the patron saint of Ireland, for many people around the globe he’s also a symbol of — indeed the patron of — immigrants.

Here in America, in your great country, 35 million people claim Irish heritage, and the Irish have contributed to the economic, social, political, and cultural life of this great country over the last 200 years. Ireland came to America because, deprived of liberty, deprived of opportunity, of safety, of even food itself, the Irish believed.

And four decades before Lady Liberty lifted her lamp, we were the wretched refuse on the teeming shore. We believed in the shelter of America, in the compassion of America, in the opportunity of America. We came and we became Americans. We lived the words of John F. Kennedy long before he uttered them: We asked not what America can do for us, but what we could do for America. And we still do.

Make Ready for the Next Era Now

Why should North Dakota pave the way for electric cars? While we’re a large oil producer, North Dakota doesn’t have any gasoline refining plants and we have to export oil to import gasoline. We can and should do better. Advancing the transition to cleaner electric vehicles would be an incredible advantage for North Dakota.
There are over 20 models of EV autos from 12 manufacturers available now or being produced like the Tesla Model 3 with an estimated price of $35,000. Here are a few of them. 
Volkswagen was caught rigging emissions tests for their diesel vehicles and a court has determined a substantial settlement. Part of the settlement is a requirement for VW to provide clean fuel alternatives across the US.

This is a wonderful opportunity to build on existing and ongoing alternative fuel and efficiency projects in Fargo and across North Dakota and the region.
Currently there is not a strong demand for electric charging stations at this time in ND. Today’s cost of an electric vehicle like a Nissan Leaf is $31,000, still a bit higher than a standard car but with more manufacturers like Chevrolet, Volkwagen, Tesla and others building them, the cost and efficiency will improve.

We live in a state that produces over twice the electricity (36 million megawatt hours) that we use in state (16 million million megawatt hours) with a growing percentage of electricity being produced with wind, solar, and cleaner burning natural gas. The cost of electric charging at today’s 8-10 cents a KWH is $1 for a gallon equivalent, estimated at 30 mpg, less than half the current cost of gasoline. This type of quick charge station can completely recharge a Nissan Leaf in about 20 minutes for 100 mile range at a cost of less than $3. Here’s a link 
In our Fargo Moorhead area, our  C.L.E.A.N. team (Citizens Local Action Energy Network) is a coalition formed to build on good work by many in a collaborative manner. Among our common goals is to advance clean energy solutions and to aid in the transition to clean fuel vehicles and infrastructure that could include strategically located Electric Vehicle charging stations and infrastructure. Our group responded to Volkswagens call for public proposals for electric vehicle infrastructure with a three phase plan for EV charging corridors. The first would be along I-94, then I-29 followed by Highway #2.
Another great application for electric vehicles would be transitioning our Matbus fleet over time to electric buses. Many larger cities started using these years ago, and some like Duluth and Rochester have been running some of these successfully since 2015 and they’ve performed very well. Some of the newest versions like the Proterra E2 are estimated to achieve 350 miles on a charge. I’ve visited with some city staff about the improvements and potential.
North Dakota is an energy powerhouse. We can lead the nation when we work together to leverage technology and existing energy resources with renewable resources to advance our transition into a new age of energy that is ultimately cleaner, more sustainable, and more affordable when all factors are weighed.

Love This Day > Winter Solstice

“How many lessons of faith and beauty we should lose, if there were no winter in our year!” —Thomas Wentworth Higginson
As the daylight wanes quickly in September and October in our part of the country, I start looking forward to this day each year. I enjoy the seasons and the changes they bring, but the sunny, warm days would not be as sweet without winters embrace.
Here’s a well written article about the Winter Solstice by Laura Geggle of Live Science:

Winter Solstice: The Science of the Shortest Day of 2016

Winter Solstice: The Science of the Shortest Day of 2016

On the winter solstice, the sun is at its southernmost point in the sky in the Northern Hemisphere.

Credit: elod pali | Shutterstock.com

Winter in the Northern Hemisphere officially kicks off Wednesday (Dec. 21), which marks the December solstice — the day with the fewest hours of daylight of 2016.
Although the solstice gets an entire day of recognition, it happens in an instant: at 5:44 a.m. EST (1044 GMT), when the North Pole is at its farthest tilt of 23.5 degrees away from the sun. This position leaves the North Pole beyond the sun’s reach, and plunges it into total darkness, according to EarthSky.org.
At this moment, the sun will shine directly overhead at noon at exactly 23.5 degrees south of the equator, along the imaginary latitude line known as the Tropic of Capricorn, which runs through Australia, Chile, southern Brazil and northern South Africa. This is when when the sun appears to be at its southernmost point in the sky; as such, the Southern Hemisphere has its longest day of the year, and the Northern Hemisphere has its shortest day of the year, on the winter solstice, according to EarthSky. [6 Ancient Tributes to the Winter Solstice]

At 5:44 a.m. EST, the sun will also reach its southernmost point in the sky in the Northern Hemisphere. After that moment, the sun will stop moving southward and will begin its trek northward in the sky — hence the name “solstice,” which means “sun stands still” in Latin, according to NASA.
After the winter solstice, the days will begin to get longer in the Northern Hemisphere. But that doesn’t mean temperatures will increase immediately. Rather, northern midlatitudes will experience the winter chill partly because they’ll only get about 9 hours of daylight in the weeks following the solstice, compared with the roughly 15 hours of daily sunlight they get around the summer solstice, Live Science reported in 2012. In addition, the Northern Hemisphere is tilted away from the sun, making it colder.
In addition, even as the days get longer, the oceans, which moderate temperatures on land, need a vast amount of energy from the sun to heat up.
There are countless cultures that have recognized the winter solstice. The most famous is in Stonehenge in England. When the sun sets on the shortest day of the year, the sun’s rays align with Stonehenge’s central Altar stone and Slaughter stone, which may have had spiritual significance to the people who built it, Live Science reported in 2013.
Across the world in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, the ancient stonewalled Mayan city of Tulum also has a structure honoring the solstices. When the sun rises on the winter and summer solstices, its rays shine through a small hole at the top of one of the stone buildings, which creates a starburst effect.
Original article on Live Science.

NDSU Bison Raise the Level of Performance

So proud of the NDSU Bison football team.
Their commitment to excellence and incredible impact on their peers at all levels over this unprecedented run has inspired other teams to reach a higher level of performance.
That is what true champions do in any field.
A wonderful legacy that will continue next year and beyond.
Hail the Bison!

Transportation Symposium Wednesday Focus on Smart Tools

Hear about the new smart tools to help make active transportation even easier. You can save some cash and time moving around downtown.
Swing by for Wednesday’s Transportation Symposium to learn how. Top it off with a ride to the Everest Tikka House with the special $5 lunch buffet coupon for attendees to our Transportation Symposium that ride the “Link to Lunch” Wednesday. Thanks to Melissa Hanson Rademacher for making arrangements!

Event: Transportation Symposium 

9:30 am Wednesday December 14th

Fargo City Commission room 

It’s exciting to see the cranes and new construction in our revitalizing downtown building on years of good work by many. While this may cause some disruption in the way we move around as we triple the number of residents, businesses, and employees downtown over the next decade, learn how you can adapt, engage, and benefit through this collaborative effort with some new smart tools and small tweaks to your employee and student parking policies.

Free sign up at Eventbrite available but not required

 If you can’t make it, please be sure have someone you know attend and share this invitation. Thanks for your kind consideration! bus-walk-bike
9:30 – 9:45
Rob Lynch Training Coordinator Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute
Rob will share about the work the institute does helping study and improve our local transportation systems.
9:45 – 10:10
Matbus Smart App: Julie Bommelman Lori Van Beek directors, Matthew Peterson and Matbus provide 2.2 million annual rides, they’re not stopping there. They will share the cool new matbus app and integration with google maps and Route Shout. Also a very exciting announcement of an incredible pilot project kick off!

10:15 – 10:40
Walk your way to wealth: Mike Zimney Project Manager Kilbourne Group. Mike will share insights into the role pedestrian friendly environments play in generating an active public realm, higher property values, and strong retail environments.
10:45 – 11:10
Downtown Parking. Presenters: Derrick LaPointe Fargo Parking planner and Andy Renfrew Interstate Parking manager. City staff has been compiling important data to analyze current and future parking needs. This presentation will take a closer look at what data has been collected and what on-going and future projects are planned to help ease parking demands
11:15 – 11:30
Bicycle Education Network. Presenter: Austin Hauf PartnerSHIP 4 Health’s 2016 Active Transportation. Information on StreetsAlive tactical urbanism, Concordia’s BFU award, and the FM Bike Education Network.
11:35 – Noon
Great Rides Bikeshare, Sara Curry, Alyssa Johnson share about the national award for system with most ridership per bike, how new smart tools will make it even easier to ride, and how they’re collaborating to achieve common goals
“Link to Lunch” 12:10 – 1:00 Ride the Fast, Fun, and Free Link to Lunch. The first 25 people that attend and ride the “Link to Lunch” over the noon hour Wednesday will receive a special coupon for $5 lunch buffet at Everest Tikka House. Yum!!!
https://www.facebook.com/events/740071986148791/) See where Link FM is at on the route at: www.matbusmobile.com

Wednesday, Learn How to Save Gas and Cash Getting Around Downtown.

Swing by for Wednesday’s Transportation Symposium to learn how. Top it off with a ride to the Everest Tikka House with the special $5 lunch buffet coupon for attendees to our Transportation Symposium that ride the “Link to Lunch” Wednesday. Thanks to Melissa Hanson Rademacher for making arrangements!

Event: Transportation Symposium 

9:30 am Wednesday December 14th

Fargo City Commission room 

It’s exciting to see the cranes and new construction in our revitalizing downtown building on years of good work by many. While this may cause some disruption in the way we move around as we triple the number of residents, businesses, and employees downtown over the next decade, learn how you can adapt, engage, and benefit through this collaborative effort with some new smart tools and small tweaks to your employee and student parking policies.

Free sign up at Eventbrite available but not required

 If you can’t make it, please be sure have someone you know attend and share this invitation. Thanks for your kind consideration! bus-walk-bike
9:30 – 9:45
Rob Lynch Training Coordinator Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute
Rob will share about the work the institute does helping study and improve our local transportation systems.
9:45 – 10:10
Matbus Smart App: Julie Bommelman Lori Van Beek directors, Matthew Peterson and Matbus provide 2.2 million annual rides, they’re not stopping there. They will share the cool new matbus app and integration with google maps and Route Shout. Also a very exciting announcement of an incredible pilot project kick off!

10:15 – 10:40
Walk your way to wealth: Mike Zimney Project Manager Kilbourne Group. Mike will share insights into the role pedestrian friendly environments play in generating an active public realm, higher property values, and strong retail environments.
10:45 – 11:10
Downtown Parking. Presenters: Derrick LaPointe Fargo Parking planner and Andy Renfrew Interstate Parking manager. City staff has been compiling important data to analyze current and future parking needs. This presentation will take a closer look at what data has been collected and what on-going and future projects are planned to help ease parking demands
11:15 – 11:30
Bicycle Education Network. Presenter: Austin Hauf PartnerSHIP 4 Health’s 2016 Active Transportation. Information on StreetsAlive tactical urbanism, Concordia’s BFU award, and the FM Bike Education Network.
11:35 – Noon
Great Rides Bikeshare, Sara Curry, Alyssa Johnson share about the national award for system with most ridership per bike, how new smart tools will make it even easier to ride, and how they’re collaborating to achieve common goals
“Link to Lunch” 12:10 – 1:00 Ride the Fast, Fun, and Free Link to Lunch. The first 25 people that attend and ride the “Link to Lunch” over the noon hour Wednesday will receive a special coupon for $5 lunch buffet at Everest Tikka House. Yum!!!
https://www.facebook.com/events/740071986148791/) See where Link FM is at on the route at: www.matbusmobile.com

Move More, Spend Less, Stress Less = Happy Camper

Looking to save some cash, get more exercise without a membership, reduce stress, recruit and retain talented employees and students, add a little adventure to your day? If you answered yes to any of these questions, this symposium is for you.

Event: Transportation Symposium 

9:30 am Wednesday December 14th

Fargo City Commission room 

It’s exciting to see the cranes and new construction in our revitalizing downtown building on years of good work by many. While this may cause some disruption in the way we move around as we triple the number of residents, businesses, and employees downtown over the next decade, learn how you can adapt, engage, and benefit through this collaborative effort with some new smart tools and small tweaks to your employee and student parking policies.

Free sign up at Eventbrite available but not required

 If you can’t make it, please be sure have someone you know attend and share this invitation. Thanks for your kind consideration! bus-walk-bike
 
9:30 – 9:45
Rob Lynch Training Coordinator Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute
Rob will share about the work the institute does helping study and improve our local transportation systems.
9:45 – 10:10
Matbus Smart App: Julie Bommelman Lori Van Beek directors, Matthew Peterson and Matbus provide 2.2 million annual rides, they’re not stopping there. They will share the cool new matbus app and integration with google maps and Route Shout. Also a very exciting announcement of an incredible pilot project kick off!

10:15 – 10:40
Walk your way to wealth: Mike Zimney Project Manager Kilbourne Group. Mike will share insights into the role pedestrian friendly environments play in generating an active public realm, higher property values, and strong retail environments.
10:45 – 11:10
Downtown Parking. Presenters: Derrick LaPointe Fargo Parking planner and Andy Renfrew Interstate Parking manager. City staff has been compiling important data to analyze current and future parking needs. This presentation will take a closer look at what data has been collected and what on-going and future projects are planned to help ease parking demands
11:15 – 11:30
Bicycle Education Network. Presenter: Austin Hauf PartnerSHIP 4 Health’s 2016 Active Transportation. Information on StreetsAlive tactical urbanism, Concordia’s BFU award, and the FM Bike Education Network.
11:35 – Noon
Great Rides Bikeshare, Sara Curry, Alyssa Johnson share about the national award for system with most ridership per bike, how new smart tools will make it even easier to ride, and how they’re collaborating to achieve common goals
Link to Lunch 12:10 – 1:00 (Ride the Fast, Fun, and Free Link to Lunch from the symposium with discount from sponsor restaurant) See where Link FM is at on the route at: www.matbusmobile.com
 

Happiest States? Minnesota and North Dakota Top 3 Edging Out Hawaii

Fun to see our region emerging as the happiest states according to an interesting methodology. North Dakota ranks #1 for community and social environment. We know these studies are never comprehensive, but for the factors they evaluated, it’s a snapshot showing we’re improving by diversifying our population and economy.
chalk
While we are improving in many ways, it’s important to recognize we have a long way to go to reach our regions great potential in a purposeful, inclusive, and sustainable manner.  Working together, the best is yet to come!
Here’s the article from Wallethub:

2016’s Happiest States in America

by Richie Bernardo  |  Sep 12, 2016

Top-Image-Most and Least Happy States in America
Can money truly buy happiness? Most people might be inclined to say no, based on moral principles. But some researchers beg to differ, suggesting that money can indeed contribute to happiness — but only up to a certain dollar amount. According to their findings, life satisfaction, one of the two main components of happiness, increases as income rises — to a maximum of $75,000 a year. Beyond that figure, money makes little difference in a person’s overall contentment with life.
Reinforcing those findings are the annual results of a Gallup-Healthways poll measuring global well-being. According to Gallup-Healthways, “People who make more money tend to report higher positive emotions.” But income isn’t the only determinant of personal happiness. Apart from financial security, a pleasant state of being also depends on other factors, such as one’s physical health, personal purpose and social connectivity.
WalletHub’s analysts considered all of these elements to determine which states are home to the happiest Americans. In order to do so, we compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 28 key metrics, ranging from emotional health to income levels to sports participation rates. Our findings, additional expert commentary and a detailed methodology can be found below.

Main Findings

115151

 

Overall Rank State Total Score ‘Emotional & Physical Well-Being’ Rank ‘Work Environment’ Rank ‘Community & Environment’ Rank
1 Utah 71.02 4 1 2
2 Minnesota 69.09 1 9 5
3 North Dakota 67.95 11 2 1
4 Hawaii 66.63 2 20 3
5 Colorado 61.59 3 18 36
6 Idaho 60.93 24 3 4
7 Iowa 60.92 14 5 14
8 Nebraska 60.65 12 8 18
9 South Dakota 60.08 9 6 35
10 California 59.96 5 37 6
11 New Hampshire 59.50 7 21 16
12 Washington 59.26 20 13 7
13 Wyoming 59.24 17 19 8
14 Vermont 58.01 10 22 30
15 Wisconsin 57.80 19 17 11
16 Massachusetts 57.42 15 26 17
17 Connecticut 57.04 13 39 12
18 District of Columbia 57.01 8 35 26
19 Delaware 57.01 21 7 31
20 New Jersey 56.82 6 42 24
21 Virginia 56.61 22 23 10
22 Montana 55.49 25 4 42
23 Maryland 55.14 16 39 22
24 Kansas 54.55 23 15 40
25 Illinois 52.60 26 41 23
26 New York 52.54 27 44 13
27 Rhode Island 52.37 31 33 15
28 Alaska 52.23 18 38 46
29 Texas 52.23 33 27 20
30 North Carolina 52.16 32 30 21
31 Arizona 51.51 28 31 38
32 Oregon 51.40 36 16 29
33 Maine 51.32 30 36 27
34 Pennsylvania 49.98 38 32 9
35 Florida 49.14 29 45 41
36 Nevada 48.23 35 43 32
37 Georgia 47.43 34 47 37
38 South Carolina 47.06 39 29 25
39 Ohio 46.04 42 25 19
40 Indiana 45.94 44 12 33
41 New Mexico 45.02 37 51 43
42 Missouri 44.58 41 14 47
43 Michigan 44.17 40 24 49
44 Oklahoma 41.36 47 10 39
45 Tennessee 39.96 45 28 45
46 Louisiana 39.03 43 50 50
47 Arkansas 38.22 49 11 48
48 Mississippi 36.05 46 34 51
49 Kentucky 35.08 50 46 34
50 Alabama 34.15 48 49 44
51 West Virginia 32.65 51 48 28