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Fargo’s Working to Make Every Day Earth Day. North Dakota Not So Much

One one hand, North Dakota is known for a fairly harsh environment with weather extremes and for higher than average per capita energy use and emissions. When compared with our Minnesota neighbors and other states with effective energy efficiency programs we pale in comparison. Just this week a national rating service Wallethub rated North Dakota 47th in the country for energy efficiency.
Most Environmentally Friendly States

Overall Rank
(1=Greenest)
State Total Score ‘Environmental Quality’ Rank ‘Eco-Friendly Behaviors’ Rank ‘Climate-Change Contributions’ Rank
1 Vermont 75.48 1 1 23
2 Oregon 74.23 3 2 20
3 Massachusetts 72.63 5 10 3
4 New York 72.11 4 19 2
5 South Dakota 70.54 6 5 11
6 Minnesota 69.46 2 14 16
7 Connecticut 68.99 9 22 1
8 New Hampshire 68.49 10 18 5
9 California 67.52 43 3 4
10 Rhode Island 66.68 7 28 6
11 Maine 66.63 13 4 17
12 Nevada 64.83 33 8 7
13 New Jersey 63.42 36 12 9
14 Wisconsin 63.40 8 29 13
15 Idaho 63.35 23 11 12
16 Hawaii 62.82 28 7 10
17 Washington 62.65 12 9 22
18 Maryland 62.19 38 16 8
19 Delaware 60.43 25 21 14
20 Michigan 60.38 11 35 19
21 Colorado 56.45 26 15 33
22 North Carolina 56.25 19 32 21
23 Tennessee 56.07 21 41 18
24 Georgia 55.74 18 27 27
25 Pennsylvania 55.17 17 24 32
26 Illinois 55.15 15 31 30
27 Missouri 54.85 14 42 28
28 Arizona 54.79 42 17 25
29 South Carolina 54.27 31 43 15
30 New Mexico 53.13 39 6 36
31 Iowa 52.99 16 20 40
32 Nebraska 52.87 34 25 31
33 Montana 52.35 44 13 29
34 Florida 51.70 24 39 35
35 Virginia 51.05 40 38 24
36 Alaska 50.79 22 36 37
37 Ohio 49.91 46 30 26
38 Kansas 49.77 29 23 41
39 Utah 48.89 30 34 39
40 Mississippi 45.35 20 45 43
41 Arkansas 44.99 45 44 34
42 Indiana 44.60 27 46 42
43 Texas 44.05 48 33 38
44 Oklahoma 40.82 47 40 44
45 Wyoming 40.44 35 37 46
46 Alabama 40.22 32 48 45
47 North Dakota 39.72 37 26 48
48 Kentucky 31.71 50 47 47
49 Louisiana 26.03 49 49 49
50 West Virginia 25.08 41 50 50

Fargo on the other hand, has been recognized for years as a national leader for innovative energy saving and revenue producing conservation efforts earning the designation by the Earth Day Network as the country’s most environmental city in 2007. Most recently, efargo was one of over 50 cities competing for the 2 year Georgetown University Energy Prize. 
Some good news is Geronimo Energy’s 200 MGW solar array in Cass County could provide the city of Fargo with another great renewable energy source to help us reach our efargo goal of being carbon neutral by 2050. Geronimo Energy announced these plans at last years Renewable Energy and Conservation presentation. Local resiliency leaders shared Fargo’s conservation projects and introduction by our grass roots group Citizens Leading Energy Action Network C.L.E.A.N. led by Ed Gruchalla and Paul Jensen.
As the sharing economy is becoming more prevalent, some of us have been working on a feasibility study for allocating some of the new solar and available wind power to Fargo. One way to start this could be allocating offsite renewable power for a pilot hybrid smart meter project that would include: smart chargers, electric car sharing project (EVs to GO) that would help shave peak energy costs, reduce congestion and emissions, store electricity, and add another transportation option that compliments Matbus, Great Rides Bikeshare, carpooling, and walking.  We learned about a similar system at Vulkan 5 in Oslo on our Smart Innovations Learning Tour to Norway in February that I helped coordinate with our eSmart Systems friend Henrik Bache and others.
Photo below. This mixed use residents/commercial/parking development uses mostly renewable energy, has smart EV car charging, and smart meters for the residences to reduce energy use and save money. Norway has a goal to be carbon neutral by 2030 and now a full 50% of new cars purchased are electric.
Here’s an earlier editorial about our efargo team led by Bush Fellow, Young Architect of the Year, and Nominee for YWCA Woman of the Year Malini Srivastava and students and community partners winning the 2 year national competition for the Georgetown University Energy Prize.

Editorial: Fargo’s ‘green city’ efforts save energy and money

The city of Fargo and its partners in conservation have been working hard for years to increase efficiencies and curb energy use. Their comprehensive efforts were recently recognized when they won the $5 million Georgetown University Energy Prize, a two-year competition between 50 semifinalist cities throughout the nation. Over the two years, the city and its residents saved an estimated $2 million in energy costs. That’s tangible evidence of the benefits of energy conservation, which is too easy to dismiss as the lofty aim of do-gooders. It’s all the more remarkable considering that North Dakota consistently ranks at or near the bottom of states in energy efficiency.
Fargo began working in 2014 with its partners—North Dakota State University, the North Dakota Department of Commerce, Xcel Energy and Cass County Electric Cooperative—to form the partnership, called eFargo. But the conservation collaborations evident in Fargo’s winning effort can trace their lineage back years, some instigated by former City Commissioner Mike Williams.

The stench from the city landfill, for instance, prompted city officials in 2009 to turn methane gas into electricity, and convert sewage into water suitable for industrial use. That effort was estimated to contribute $2 million a year to city coffers. Every day, the city treats about 12 million gallons of wastewater. Now up to two million gallons of water per day, once discharged into the Red River, is piped to an ethanol plant in Casselton, earning a profit for the city and reducing the use of groundwater.
Since 2002, the city worked to replace incandescent street light bulbs with energy-efficient LED bulbs, which now illuminate all traffic lights and 85 percent of pedestrian traffic lights, saving $30,000 per year. Similarly, the MATBUS fleet uses biofuel blends and runs eight hybrids to save fuel and therefore reduce emissions. Altogether, city generation from methane, solar power and wind over the years has produced 57.1 million kilowatt hours—impressive, considering 1 kilowatt hour will power a 100-watt light bulb for 10 hours. The landfill methane generator produces enough energy to power 700 homes every day.
The eFargo collaboration builds upon that foundation. Among other steps, it resulted in creation of a website that provides tips, data and games, including an evil character, Waste-A-Watt, to encourage energy efficiency and conservation. Students are a major focus of the effort, since they live where most energy is consumed—homes constitute 85 percent of Fargo’s energy use. The efforts saved the equivalent of 50.4 megawatts of power.

Fargo has long prided itself on being a “green city.” The $5 million prize will help spur further efforts that will make the city even greener. Malini Srivastava, a professor at NDSU and leader of the project, hopes to use the prize money to work toward a net-zero carbon future for the Fargo-Moorhead metro area. One of the criteria that enabled Fargo to win the competition was the replicability of its strategies. We should spread the green; more communities would do well to follow Fargo’s lead.
Editorials represent the views of Forum management and the Editorial Board.
~ End Article~
Fargo has made some solid progress building on good work by many proving conservation saves and pays. While it’s good to be recognized as an environmental leader nationally, we have much more work to do to protect our environment and natural resources. Let’s work together to vastly improve our stewardship of the only home we have, planet earth. After all, it’s in our hands. 

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.
 
 

Pope's visit to DC reminds of past visit about environment

I’m excited about today’s visit from the pope to Washington DC and his strong message about improving our environmental stewardship.

pope_post_Blog Image 650 x 200

While no where near as epic, it reminded me how important it is for cities to maximize the opportunity to lead as we look for ways to take better care of our environment and of this fun interview at the White House in 2012. I didn’t get to meet the president, but I was honored to share some of Fargo’s story about how conservation saves and pays.

The video portion about Fargo is at 5:05 on C-Span in 2012.  Fargo environmental efforts at White House  http://www.c-span.org/video/?289219-5/global-climate-change-legislation&start=21

We have a lot to improve, and you can help learning more about our efargo team competing in the $5 million Georgetown Energy Challenge to reduce emissions and improve energy efficiency. Check out efargo

eFargo map

Fargo has received national recognition for our conservation efforts, we’ve been ranked as a #1 city for overall environment by the Earth Day Network, and have been featured on CNN’s Solutions for our innovative cash to trash and energy program.
You can register for the Matbus I go Eco Challenge, leave your car at home just one day and walk, skip, bike, or bus to qualify for a chance to win a sweet flat screen smart TV or other prizes.
Due to over three years of good community work by many, Fargo is also setting national usage records for Great Rides Bikeshare with our unique Matbus inspired, student led community effort.
Great Rides Fargo announcement photo 5-14-14

Working together, the best is yet to come.

Let’s keep working to grow well!

Bison stampede Penguins

Happy Homecoming NDSU!  Sorry Penguins, it was just not your day!

Go Bison!!  

Everybody up the march is on!

Happy Homecoming NDSU!  Sorry Penguins, it’s just not your day!

Go Bison!!  

Fargo to kick tires on bike sharing system B-Cycle

B-cycle to demonstrate system in metro

FARGO – A bike-loving city commissioner and a raft of like-minded Internet voters have convinced a bicycle-sharing firm that lets users pay to cycle its bikes around cities to demonstrate the system here.
By: Helmut Schmidt, INFORUM


image
Fargo led bike-sharing program B-cycle’s “Who Wants It More?” online contest on Friday with more than 200,000 votes. Special to The Forum

Poll

Should Fargo try to establish a bike-sharing system?

 
 
 
 or view poll results »

FARGO – A bike-loving city commissioner and a raft of like-minded Internet voters have convinced a bicycle-sharing firm that lets users pay to cycle its bikes around cities to demonstrate the system here.
Mike Williams, a Fargo city commissioner and local “spokes”-person for alternative transportation, led the push to get a demonstration from B-cycle.
It will be an important opportunity to “kick the tires” and see if the system will work here, he said.
He first invited B-cycle officials to come to Fargo back in June. But B-cycle didn’t put Fargo on the front burner until it blasted past Rochester, N.Y., to top the firm’s “Who Wants It More?” online contest, he said.
Williams, who promoted the contest on his AreaVoices blog and Facebook, said, “The guy (from B-cycle) said they’d never seen this type of activity.”
Fargo led voting Friday with 224,352 votes. Rochester was second with 194,477 votes; Cleveland was third with 147,471 votes; and Moorhead was fourth with 27,778 votes.
Lee Jones, director of sales and marketing for B-cycle, confirmed Friday that B-cycle planned to visit Fargo.
No firm date has been set, but Jones said his firm would like to show off the system during one of the Streets Alive! events scheduled Aug. 28 and Sept. 18.
During Streets Alive!, a 3-mile loop around downtown is closed to vehicles, and use is restricted to bicycles and pedestrians.
Jones said Fargo is big enough for the system, and cold weather hasn’t been an obstacle to getting bike-sharing to work elsewhere.
“I can’t wait to meet some of the folks up there that really got behind this. It’s pretty incredible,” he said. “We’re definitely looking forward to getting up there, to have the opportunity to explain what bike sharing is all about.”
Williams saw the system in use in Denver and Madison, Wis. Fargo’s pied piper of “green” transportation said that if the system looks viable, the next step would be to find a nonprofit group willing to run the system and then find financing.
“It fills a little niche. It can add a little fun. And it’s a way to make connection between transit routes,” said Williams.
B-cycle is a joint venture between health insurance giant Humana Inc., Trek Bicycle Corp. and advertising and design agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky.
The first of its bike-sharing systems started in Denver in April 2010. It was followed by systems in Hawaii, Chicago, San Antonio, Omaha, Des Moines, Boulder, Colo., Madison, and Spartanburg, S.C.
B-cycle bikes are low-maintenance, cruiser-style bikes developed by Trek. Each has a data-tracking system that calculates mileage, calories burned and carbon pollution kept out of the air by its use.
The docking stations are solar powered, making them easy to move.
Memberships can be purchased for a day or a year.
Jeremy Christianson, manager of the Great Northern Bicycle Co. in downtown Fargo, said B-cycle would fit in with the city’s growing bike culture.
“I think anytime you can get people involved in cycling, it’s good,” he said. “Anything to get people thinking about it is good.”
Readers can reach Forum reporter Helmut Schmidt at (701) 241-5583
~End Article~   See story online here  Thanks for the fun article Helmut!  Here’s more of the “raft” of super people that made this happen:
 

Fargo’s #1 position in B-Cycle online competition brings bike share demonstration to town

Posted on July 7, 2011 by Mike Williams
Good work all, the B-Cycle website is smokin! Just spoke to the B-Cycle system coordinator they’ll be sending their traveling demonstration team and bringing a few bikes and solar powered docking stations to Fargo to demonstrate the bike share system in early September!
WaHOOO!!! Fargo’s sprinted past Rochester NY to #1 in the national online B-Cycle race! 212,600 votes, over 100,000 in less than a day! Thanks to all the Fargo Super Team for leading the way in this B-Cycle competition for them to select Fargo and bring their bike share demonstration team here for us to check it out!  I invited them in early June to try to arrange a visit here this summer, racing into 1st place in a week sure helped make it happen.
Fargo’s now flown by over 299 cities, and rocketed by Rochester NY into 1st place in the nation. What’s B-Cycle about?   Here’s a neat article about the San Antonio B-Cycle bike share system:
No wonder some call him â€œThe Jared of B-cycle.”
In only three months, Phillip Schrank has logged more than 750 miles using San Antonio’s bike-share program, shedding about 45 pounds. He’s B-cycle’s No. 1 user and like the Subway spokesman he’s been compared to a natural booster.
“I call myself the spokes-person” Schrank jokes.
Since the downtown bike share launched this spring, B-cycle users have logged more than 32,400 miles. Some, like Schrank, ride for health reasons, others use the bikes for transportation or just for fun. Many are also enjoying a burgeoning sense of community among riders.

~End article~
So we’ve convinced the B-Cycle system coordinator to arrange a trip for their bike share demonstration crew to come here, thanks to Fargo’s Super team that assembled and pedaled and clicked fast past the competition.  Great work and great news Mr. Fantastic (aka Pete Trelstad) Wonder Woman Susie Ekberg Risher, Superman Jack Sunday, Green Lantern John Jorgensen, The Flash Barry Nelson, Iron Man Frode Tilden, Batman Rory Beil, and all you Fargo Superheroes! Poor Rochester didn’t know what hit em.
You can help keep the lead by going to this link and simply entering your Fargo area zip code: http://bcycle.com/whowantsitmore.aspx

Wonder Woman a.k.a. Susie Ekberg Risher

 

Batman a.k.a. Rory Beil

 

Iron Man a.k.a. Frode Tilden
Mr. Fantastic a.k.a Pete Trelstad

 

Green Lantern a.k.a John Jorgensen
Superman a.k.a Jack Sunday 

The Flash a.k.a. Barry Nelson

 

Keep on clicking you bicyclists! Our goal was to pass Las Vegas (Currently #10) to be in the top 10 by the 4th of July, and we did that on July 1st. On July 6th we passed Rochester NY for 1st place with over 213,000 votes, we had over 100,000 in one day!
Keep putting in your zip code and spreading the word if you’d like to see B-Cycle bike share program in our area.
Visit the B-Cycle bike ride share site and enter your zip code here

Many of the comments at Fargo’s public outreach and input at the GO2030 townhall mindmixer online and opening session are centered around a more active community with more walking, biking, and transit opportunities. This might be a good fit?

Denver was the first site for this private, non-profit, bike sharing program. Now Minneapolis has the most bikes and stations in the country. Other cities with four seasons such as Madison Wisconsin, and Des Moines, Iowa also have the bike share system in place. They do shut down in the winter, even in Denver.
The stations are solar powered and use a membership card system to access a bike. It’s not meant as a bike rental system, it’s programmed to help folks get from place to place and dock it when you arrive.

 

How B-cycle Works

Follow these easy steps

Sign In

Sign up online or purchase a 24-hour membership at a B-station.

Select

Choose a bike from any B-station.

Ride

Grab your bike and go.

Return

Park your B-cycle at any B-station

 
Keep putting in your zip code and spreading the word if you’d like to see B-Cycle bike share here.
Visit the B-Cycle bike ride share site and enter your zip code here

WSJ article: North Dakota Universities attracting students from all over the nation

A student from Connecticut says it’s because of the beautiful tree lined campus at NDSU and Fargo’s downtown offerings.  From the article:
{She chose it over nine other schools because of the beauty of its tree-lined campus and the personal attention she received from the zoology faculty during her visit. Also, she says, “Downtown Fargo has the restaurants, the coffee bars, the cultural stuff I want.”
The aspiring marine veterinarian was delighted that the school helped her obtain summer internships at aquariums in Rhode Island and Florida. Ms. Malinowski is the first Miss Porter’s graduate on record to attend North Dakota State.
“I won’t be the last,” she says.}
Here’s the article from the Wall Street Journal in full:

By KEVIN HELLIKER

Frigid North Dakota Is a Hot Draw For Out-of-State College Students

 

[DAKOTA]Dan KoeckA football game at North Dakota State in Fargo, N.D. About 55% of students come from elsewhere.

FARGO, N.D.—As a high school senior from Connecticut, Diva Malinowski took a coast-to-coast tour of 10 public universities, bearing acceptance letters from each.
She fell in love in Fargo.

Ben GreenNorth Dakota State senior Diva Malinowski came from a Connecticut boarding school.

DAKOTA_2

DAKOTA_2

“The minute I stepped onto campus, I knew that North Dakota State was for me,” says Ms. Malinowski, a 21-year-old senior who matriculated from Miss Porter’s School, a private academy for girls in Farmington, Conn.
Ms. Malinowski is evidence of an unlikely trend: the growing allure of higher education in North Dakota. The state ranks 48th in the U.S. at attracting tourists. Its young people routinely flee for warmer or more exciting places. The private sector here, struggling to lure sufficient numbers of workers from elsewhere, is wrestling with labor shortages even amid national unemployment around 9%.

A State-by-State Report Card

Compare numbers and percent of in- and out-of-state students.

But college students are flocking here in ever greater numbers. Out-of-state students account for about 55% of the 14,500 enrolled at North Dakota State University, as well as at similarly sized University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. Nonresident students at North Dakota’s 11 public colleges constitute a higher ratio than in almost every other state.
High school juniors and seniors scouring online college guides find North Dakota universities are inexpensive and well-regarded, with modest-sized classes typically taught by faculty members rather than adjuncts or graduate students.
“I found it online, showed it to my Dad and he was impressed,” says California resident Samantha Carlson, who graduated in May from North Dakota’s Valley City State University, where her younger brother is now enrolled. For California residents, North Dakota colleges cost about $10,000 a year in tuition and fees compared to about $12,000 in the University of California system.
Many students hail from states far beyond the region. Floridians numbered 182 in 2010, up from 37 in 2000. During the same period, international enrollment rose to 1,600 from 1,125.
“My roommates are from Mongolia and South Korea,” says Delaney McCormack, a Kansas resident studying technical theatre and design at North Dakota State.

This isn’t happening by accident. A dozen years ago, a years-long decline in the number of state high school graduates was accelerating. Faced with the prospect of closing academic departments or entire schools, university leaders instead moved to attract more students, particularly from beyond state borders.
The state poured money into improving academics. In the National Science Foundation’s rankings by federal research expenditures—a key measure of prestige for research universities—North Dakota State and University of North Dakota each jumped ahead of more than 30 other institutions over the past 11 years, to the 147th and 143rd spots, respectively.
While improving its schools, North Dakota kept tuition low. In recent years, state revenues gushing from an oil boom in western North Dakota have given the state more resources to lure nonresidents.
The result: Even as the number of North Dakota high school graduates fell below 7,400 in 2010 from 9,058 in 2000, enrollment at public colleges surged, climbing 38% in the decade ended in 2010, to 48,120. Leading that growth was a 56% jump in nonresident students.

[DAKOTA-p1]

Out-of-state students who have stayed after graduation have helped reverse a decades-long population decline, with North Dakota now on the verge of breaking its 1930 record of 681,000 people.
“For anyone who wants to be at a place on the rise, this is it,” says NDSU President Dean Bresciani, the former vice chancellor of student affairs at Texas A&M University. He sees other cash-strapped states as ripe for raids on students, faculty and administrators. “Not to be a vulture about it,” he says, “but this is a fantastic opportunity.”
Out-of-state students fill both classrooms and budget holes. Traditionally, states charge nonresidents tuition and fees as much as triple that charged to residents. The premium is especially tempting now as state legislatures nationwide slash outlays for higher education.
Facing a funding cut of $650 million or more, the University of California system sent a record 18% of its undergraduate admission letters for the upcoming semester to non-residents, up from 12% in 2009. One goal: to collect a $23,000 premium imposed on out-of-staters, bringing their annual tuition-and-fees to about $35,000.
Luring nonresidents is growing more crucial as the demographic dilemma North Dakota confronted years ago spreads to other states. Due to population shifts, 27 states will see declines in home-grown high-school graduates in the next five to 10 years, says a recent report from the U.S. Department of Education.
As public colleges and universities battle across state lines, “there will be winners and there will be losers,” says R. Michael Tanner, an executive of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.
Among probable winners will be academically elite public colleges such as some in California, Texas, Michigan, Virginia and North Carolina, along with colleges in tourist destinations such as Arizona and Colorado.
Touting both advantages is Vermont, the nation’s top nonresident magnet. A once-private public college that offers academic cachet near wooded hills laced with ski slopes, the University of Vermont draws 75% of its freshman class from other states, even though it charges nonresidents tuition of $32,500, about $20,000 more than residents pay.

Dan KoeckCommunication students work together on a project.

DAKOTA_3

DAKOTA_3

The battle could be fiercest for a type of enrollee who until now has gone largely unnoticed: the out-of-state bargain hunter. Although many public colleges have long offered out-of-state tuition below $20,000, few have advertised it, largely to avoid antagonizing state lawmakers who believe state schools should serve state residents.
But political opposition is generally waning amid the depleted budgets and declining high school grads. Caps on nonresident enrollment are loosening in many states. “Out of state tuition might be cheaper than you think,” said a recent press release from San Diego State University, touting its nonresident rate of under $16,000.
No place has proved more popular with bargain-hunting nonresidents than flat, cold, landlocked North Dakota.
The state has a long tradition of spending generously on higher education. Some in the heavily Republican state have complained that it is academically “socialist.” To make sure no North Dakotans had to travel far to attend college, the state has 11 public colleges, including half as many four-year institutions as Minnesota—a state with eight times as many people.
In 1999, the state legislature assembled a committee of 63 leaders of government and business to debate whether to cut classes and departments. After all, North Dakota in 1999 produced fewer than 9,000 high school graduates, down from 10,740 in 1980.
In the end, however, the so-called “Roundtable” committee vowed to bolster their university system in a bid to exploit its potential as an economic development asset. All along, North Dakota’s 11 public colleges had provided economic stability to up-and-down agricultural towns like Mayville and Dickinson.
In a May 2000 report, the committee laid out a plan to attract ever-greater numbers of nonresident students to North Dakota universities, and help those universities spawn private enterprise that would hire those students upon graduation. Higher education would become a “primary engine in reversing” the state’s economic and demographic woes, the report said.
A key to attracting out-of-staters was undercutting other states on price.
The highest-priced public colleges in North Dakota—UND and NDSU—officially charge nonresident students about $17,000 in tuition and fees. That’s half what nonresident students pay at many public colleges elsewhere. And it’s less than some in-state rates at public colleges in places like Illinois and Pennsylvania.
But as it happens, few nonresidents at UND or NDSU pay anywhere near that rate. That’s because North Dakota belongs to consortiums in which it and about 20 other states agreed to charge each other’s students no more than 1.5 times in-state rates.
As others raised tuition, North Dakota held its price down. In many cases, North Dakota waived the premium, enabling out-of-staters to enroll full-year for about $7,000, lower than resident tuition in most other states.
Traffic charts of higher-education consortiums in this region show heavy student migration toward North Dakota. In a Midwest student-exchange program in 2009, North Dakota enrolled 557 students from Wisconsin, Missouri, Nebraska and three other neighboring states, while losing only 39 North Dakotans to the bunch of them.
A Western consortium of 15 states including California, Oregon and Arizona delivered 1,604 students to North Dakota in 2010, while attracting only 367 North Dakotans.
Especially productive is North Dakota’s reciprocity agreement with Minnesota next door. In the school year ended in 2010, 8,381 Minnesotans studied in North Dakota, compared with 4,781 North Dakotans going the other way. Minnesotans can enroll at North Dakota State or University of North Dakota for tuition of about $7,200, compared with in-state tuition at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis of about $10,000.
For other states, competing with North Dakota on the cost of education is difficult. As other states battle budget shortfalls, oil revenues this past year enabled North Dakota to run a billion-dollar surplus, and to fund a 13.4% increase over two years in appropriations to the North Dakota university system. That followed higher-education budget boosts of 20.6% in 2009 and 13.5% in 2007.
The increases help keep tuition low while paying for improvements. As its enrollment grew by nearly 50% in the past 11 years, North Dakota State more than doubled its doctorate programs, to 44 from 18.
Its annual research expenditures have climbed to $120 million from $45 million a decade ago. In February, the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education reclassified the school as a “very high research activity” institution, placing it among the nation’s top 108 private and public universities.
The influx of out-of-state students to the school has benefited Fargo’s economy. North Dakota research indicates that about 39% of nonresidents remain in the state at least one year after graduation. The city’s population has risen to 105,000, 16% higher than in 2000, and an array of defense, medical, computer science and other firms have sprouted along the Red River corridor stretching north to Grand Forks and UND. City leaders say that its image finally is recovering from the Oscar-winning 1996 film “Fargo,” which described it as “the middle of nowhere.”
After graduating from North Dakota State in 2010, Sri Lanka native Maduka Bandara started working as an engineer at Pedigree Technologies, an information-technology firm, founded by a 1997 graduate. “The quality you get for the affordability at NDSU is very good,” says Mr. Bandara.
To recruit in other states, both UND and North Dakota State spend on advertisements in magazines and on cable channels such as Comedy Central. Each also has stationed a full-time recruiter in their largest out-of-state market, Minnesota’s Twin Cities.
Increasingly their reach is extending beyond the Great Plains and Mountain West.
As a senior at Miss Porter’s, the 168-year-old Connecticut boarding school, Ms. Malinowski learned about North Dakota State during a computer search for undergraduate programs in zoology.
She chose it over nine other schools because of the beauty of its tree-lined campus and the personal attention she received from the zoology faculty during her visit. Also, she says, “Downtown Fargo has the restaurants, the coffee bars, the cultural stuff I want.”
The aspiring marine veterinarian was delighted that the school helped her obtain summer internships at aquariums in Rhode Island and Florida. Ms. Malinowski is the first Miss Porter’s graduate on record to attend North Dakota State.
“I won’t be the last,” she says.

GO2030 speaker forum presents Rick Harrison on designing “Prefurbia”

‎”The built environment is the product of our imagination and our work, and it is where we spend nearly all of our time, yet it is also the source of many chronic diseases and natural resource challenges we face.” is a quote from this interesting article from UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability.
If this article interests you, here’s a great opportunity to learn more about healthy community and urban design at  www.go2030.net speakers forum tomorrow night.
Tuesday night 7 p.m. at the Fargo Commission Room, urban designer Rick Harrison will give a presentation on “Prefurbia” his term for building more healthy, attractive, efficient, and fun communities.
Speaker Bio:
Rick Harrison, author of Prefurbia and creator of Coving, is president of Rick Harrison Site Design Studio, which offers cutting-edge design solutions that enhance quality of life with the beauty of the natural environment.
Title of Lecture:
“The Performance Planning Systems deliver added value by sustainable design for all stakeholders in the development of land.”
Lecture Summary:
Prefurbia Workshop:  A collection of innovations in design and technology specific to sustianable development that provides a ‘preferred’ standard of living for both urban and suburban dwellers.  Prefurbia – this 90 minute workshop will teach solutions for developers, builders, consultants, regulators, and municipal staff on how to build developments that are both environmentally and economically superior to conventional methods.  Prefurbia also includes new ways to regulate that encourage better development and higher quality housing.
Hope to see you there!  You can submit your ideas for Fargo’s future and see what others are sharing at:  http://www.go2030townhall.com/
 

GO2030 speaker forum presents Rick Harrison on designing "Prefurbia"

‎”The built environment is the product of our imagination and our work, and it is where we spend nearly all of our time, yet it is also the source of many chronic diseases and natural resource challenges we face.” is a quote from this interesting article from UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability.
If this article interests you, here’s a great opportunity to learn more about healthy community and urban design at  www.go2030.net speakers forum tomorrow night.
Tuesday night 7 p.m. at the Fargo Commission Room, urban designer Rick Harrison will give a presentation on “Prefurbia” his term for building more healthy, attractive, efficient, and fun communities.
Speaker Bio:
Rick Harrison, author of Prefurbia and creator of Coving, is president of Rick Harrison Site Design Studio, which offers cutting-edge design solutions that enhance quality of life with the beauty of the natural environment.
Title of Lecture:
“The Performance Planning Systems deliver added value by sustainable design for all stakeholders in the development of land.”
Lecture Summary:
Prefurbia Workshop:  A collection of innovations in design and technology specific to sustianable development that provides a ‘preferred’ standard of living for both urban and suburban dwellers.  Prefurbia – this 90 minute workshop will teach solutions for developers, builders, consultants, regulators, and municipal staff on how to build developments that are both environmentally and economically superior to conventional methods.  Prefurbia also includes new ways to regulate that encourage better development and higher quality housing.
Hope to see you there!  You can submit your ideas for Fargo’s future and see what others are sharing at:  http://www.go2030townhall.com/
 

Fargo's #1 position in B-Cycle online competition brings bike share demonstration to town

Good work all, the B-Cycle website is smokin! Just spoke to the B-Cycle system coordinator, they’ll be sending their traveling demonstration team and bringing a few bikes and solar powered docking stations to Fargo to demonstrate the bike share system in early September!
WaHOOO!!! Fargo’s sprinted past Rochester NY to #1 in the national online B-Cycle race! 212,600 votes, over 100,000 in less than a day! Thanks to all the Fargo Super Team for leading the way in this B-Cycle competition for them to select Fargo and bring their bike share demonstration team here for us to check it out!  I invited them in early June to try to arrange a visit here this summer, racing into 1st place in a week sure helped make it happen.
Fargo’s now flown by over 299 cities, and rocketed by Rochester NY into 1st place in the nation. What’s B-Cycle about?   Here’s a neat article about the San Antonio B-Cycle bike share system:
No wonder some call him “The Jared of B-cycle.”
In only three months, Phillip Schrank has logged more than 750 miles using San Antonio’s bike-share program, shedding about 45 pounds. He’s B-cycle’s No. 1 user and like the Subway spokesman he’s been compared to a natural booster.
“I call myself the spokes-person” Schrank jokes.
Since the downtown bike share launched this spring, B-cycle users have logged more than 32,400 miles. Some, like Schrank, ride for health reasons, others use the bikes for transportation or just for fun. Many are also enjoying a burgeoning sense of community among riders.

~End article~
So we’ve convinced the B-Cycle system coordinator to arrange a trip for their bike share demonstration crew to come here, thanks to Fargo’s Super team that assembled and pedaled and clicked fast past the competition.  Great work and great news Mr. Fantastic (aka Pete Trelstad) Wonder Woman Susie Ekberg Risher, Superman Jack Sunday, Green Lantern John Jorgensen, The Flash Barry Nelson, Iron Man Frode Tilden, Batman Rory Beil, and all you Fargo Superheroes! Poor Rochester didn’t know what hit em.
You can help keep the lead by going to this link and simply entering your Fargo area zip code: http://bcycle.com/whowantsitmore.aspx

Wonder Woman a.k.a. Susie Ekberg Risher


 

Batman a.k.a. Rory Beil

 

Iron Man a.k.a. Frode Tilden
Mr. Fantastic a.k.a Pete Trelstad

 

Green Lantern a.k.a John Jorgensen
Superman a.k.a Jack Sunday

The Flash a.k.a. Barry Nelson

 

Keep on clicking you bicyclists! Our goal was to pass Las Vegas (Currently #10) to be in the top 10 by the 4th of July, and we did that on July 1st. On July 6th we passed Rochester NY for 1st place with over 213,000 votes, we had over 100,000 in one day!
Keep putting in your zip code and spreading the word if you’d like to see B-Cycle bike share program in our area.
Visit the B-Cycle bike ride share site and enter your zip code here

Many of the comments at Fargo’s public outreach and input at the GO2030 townhall mindmixer online and opening session are centered around a more active community with more walking, biking, and transit opportunities. This might be a good fit?

Denver was the first site for this private, non-profit, bike sharing program. Now Minneapolis has the most bikes and stations in the country. Other cities with four seasons such as Madison Wisconsin, and Des Moines, Iowa also have the bike share system in place. They do shut down in the winter, even in Denver.
The stations are solar powered and use a membership card system to access a bike. It’s not meant as a bike rental system, it’s programmed to help folks get from place to place and dock it when you arrive.

How B-cycle Works

Follow these easy steps

Sign In

Sign up online or purchase a 24-hour membership at a B-station.

Select

Choose a bike from any B-station.

Ride

Grab your bike and go.

Return

Park your B-cycle at any B-station

 
Keep putting in your zip code and spreading the word if you’d like to see B-Cycle bike share here.
Visit the B-Cycle bike ride share site and enter your zip code here