Todd Feland
City Administrator
City of Grand Forks

The City Administrator for the City of Grand Forks, Todd Feland, joined us to discuss three basic questions that surround the Arbor Park issue:

(1)  What is a “Renaissance Zone Tax Benefit”?

(2)  If the development moves ahead, will the art in Arbor Park be preserved?

(3)  Is the City investing any money in this development?

Todd Feland answers these basic questions about the Arbor Park proposal that will go before the citizens of Grand Forks next week.

Wednesday, June 07 2017 — Hour 2: ARBOR PARK — Steven Schadler

Steven Schadler

Steven Schadler was a Grand Forks Park District Horticulturist from 1988 trough 2002.  He joins us to discuss the history of Arbor Park, its significance to those who built it and his estimate of the “cost” of moving Arbor Park.

Schadler also discusses his views as a horticulturist on how the City handled the move of Memorial Park when it was moved due to a development and his opinion of what today’s downtowns need to be vibrant.

Wednesday, June 07 2017 — Hour 2: ARBOR PARK — Ken Vein

Ken Vein
GF City Council
Ward 7

Grand Forks City Council Member Ken Vein joined us today to discuss the Arbor Park issue and his hopes for the vote.  While Ken was on we also discussed his thoughts relative to 20 years after the Flood of 1997 — Ken was the City Engineer at the time and on of the “Tri-Chairs” who made critical decisions in the aftermath of the flood.

Vein discusses his thoughts on downtown development and what it means for Grand Forks to be “open for business.”


Monday, June 05 2017 – Hour 1: ARBOR PARK — Keith Lund

Keith Lund
President, CEO
Grand Forks Economic Development Corp.

Keith Lund, the incoming President and CEO of the Grand Forks Economic Development Corporation joins the program to discuss his thoughts on the Arbor Park issue as the vote approaches.

We talk Keith’s background, his role in City Government during the Flood of 1997, Arbor Park and the future of downtown Grand Forks.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN GRAND FORKS: Brian Schill, VP at Praxis Strategy Group

Mark Schill
Vice President
Praxis Strategy Group

Grand Forks native and UND graduate Mark Schill, Vice President at Praxis Strategy Group joins us to talk development in Grand Forks.  We talk the following:

(1) Evolve Grand Forks update

(2) The influence of Bruce Gjovig on business development in Grand Forks

(3)  The importance the “downtown” of a city

(4)  Footnote the economic recovery of the Flood of 1997 (the Missile & Bomber Wings BOTH departed too!)

(5)  The Housing Task Force

(6)  Arbor Park


UND Center for Innovation CEO Bruce Gjovig speaks to a packed room at the Ina Mae Rude Entrepreneur Center during a retirement celebration for Gjovig who’s retiring at the end of April. photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

Bruce Gjovig, the recently retired leader of UND’s Center for Innovation, joined MacTalk to discuss his career as the founder and builder of the Center and it’s noteworthy achievements over the course of over thirty years.

In an incredible interview, Bruce discusses Tom Clifford’s influence in the creation of the Center, its initial funding, the Flood of 1997, the creation of the Center’s Foundation and the role James Ray played in expanding the Center.

Bruce also discusses how was the Center for Innovation is funded, if he was asked to steer the Center in a new direction by the new UND Administration and how his termination was handled by the University.

From growing up on a farm/ranch near Crosby, ND to leading UND’s Center for Innovation for three decades, Bruce Gjovig built a self-sufficient organization with the soul of an entrepreneur.  He’s not done yet either.  A GREAT INTERVIEW.




John Holth, co-owner of The Toasted Frog, joins the program to discuss business downtown after the announcement last week that Amazing Grains would close.

Holth also discusses the importance of the upcoming vote on Arbor Park and continuing to increase the number of dwelling units in downtown Grand Forks and definitely sees a link between more people downtown and more profitability for business.



Doug Christensen
Former Grand Forks City Council member

The longtime Grand Forks lawyer and former Grand Forks City Council joins us to discuss issues the City has faced since the Flood of 1997 in Grand Forks.

Doug discusses the Grand Forks City Council going from fourteen members to seven members, the decision to rebuild downtown, the landfill and the bumpy road that any community travels as it recovers from a catastrophic event.

We also discuss that big infrastructure bill and how to pay for it.

20 YEARS LATER: Scott Hennen

Scott Hennen
Partner at Bakken Beacon Media/Great Plains Media

Scott Hennen, the Host of Hot Talk on KCNN in 1997, joins MacTalk to discuss the events surrounding keeping KCNN on the air during the Flood and the key role that he and the station played in the information flow to citizens in the aftermath the Flood.

Hennen also discusses the Flood itself, the media coverage, the fierce post-flood debates, The Angel and much more.  Truly interesting stuff.

In a personal discussion, Hennen recounts Hugo Magnuson’s fine voice and singing while appearing as a guest on his 100th  Birthday and interviewing Ralph Engelstad the morning of the opening of Ralph Engelstad Arena.

You can find Scott and his broadcasts here.



20 YEARS LATER: Hal Gershman

Hal Gershman

Hal Gershman, the owner/President of Happy Harry’s Bottle Shops, former President of the Grand Forks City Council and current member of the Alerus Commission joins us to discuss his work since the Flood of 1997 in Grand Forks.

Hal discusses the Grand Forks City Council going from fourteen members to seven members, the decision to rebuild downtown and the bumpy road that any community travels as it recovers from a catastrophic event.

We’ll also get a quick Alerus Commission update.

A GREAT thoughtful interview.