Thoughts on the The Vietnam War series on PBS: Jeff Bakke

Jeff Bakke
Captain, US Army
Vietnam, 1969
Jeff Bakke
Captain, US Army
Vietnam, 1969

Jeff Bakke dropped out of college in 1967 and joined the US Army.  After accepting an Army offer to go to Officer Candidate School and a tour in Germany, Jeff headed to Vietnam in 1969.

After a year in Vietnam he returned to the United States, left the Army and enrolled in the University of North Dakota.  His post-Army life took him to teach in East Grand Forks and a career as an educator and coach.

Jeff joined us to discuss his thoughts on the Ken Burns documentary airing on PBS — The Vietnam War


Albert Berger
University of North Dakota

Al Berger is a Ph.D at the University of North Dakota’s History Department.  He joined us to talk about how monuments to Confederate soldiers and leaders ought to be treated in the wake of the riot in Charlottesville.

Slavery, its aftermath and how the United States healed itself after the Civil War certainly merits study to understand, but can a nation that communicates in 140 characters handle such a debate?

We also discusses the need to learn from our history and not hide it for the sake of our own comfort.  No community is immune to it, Grand Forks has wrestled with memorializing Charles Thurber who was lynched from the Sorlie Bridge in 1882 since before 1997.

ENERGY TALK: Brian Kalk of the EERC

Brian Kalk
Director of Energy Systems Development

Brian Kalk is a retired Marine Officer, a PhD, a former member of the North Dakota Public Utilities Commission and currently the Director of the EERC’s Energy Systems Development.  We’ll meet the Bottineau, ND native, learn about his career and then focus on energy.

Brian gives his thoughts on what excites him about America’s current energy position and what it will take to make coal an energy resource for the FUTURE and not just the past.


Brad Berry
Head Coach
UND Hockey

Tuesday, June 13 2017, Hour 1: Brad Berry joined the program to talk about the just completed Stanley Cup Playoff, Carter Rowney’s path as an undrafted free agent  to becoming a Stanley Cup winner, leadership and the life of UND legend Gordon “Ginny” Christian who passed away last week in Warroad MN.

BRIAN IDALSKI: The Next Step for the UND Women’s Hockey Program

Brian Idalski
UND Women’s Hockey
Head Coach

The Head Coach of the UND Women’s Hockey Team, Brian Idalski,  joined MacTalk to discuss the Team’s decision to fight UND President Mark Kennedy’s decision to terminate their program.

What’s at stake?  “If this goes away it’s not coming back and that’s a huge loss for not only the NCAA and the college hockey community, that’s a huge loss for youth players, that’s a huge loss for younger players who have aspirations of getting to this level.”

Were you shocked?  “We weren’t on the list in the fall to stand before a group and talk about these things and to say why our program is important to the University,” he continued “there was no discussion and I think that’s what’s made it hard  for our player to move on.”

What can you run the hockey program for?  “I really think I can operate a first class program at 1.3 (million dollars) .”  The Budget that UND released was $1.9 million dollars, Idalski said he didn’t really understand how UND arrived at that number.

The next step:  “That’s not my realm when it comes to finance or fundraising at that level.  I know some people have reached out and if we can make some headway and start making some gains and do that, perhaps we can sit at a table and have a conversation.”


ERIK FABIAN: “Our athletes want to fight, that’s what we want to do”

Erik Fabian
Asst Coach
UND Women’s Hockey

Erik Fabian, the Assistant Coach of the UND Women’s Hockey Team joined MacTalk today to discuss the aftermath of the University’s decision to drop women’s hockey.

“Our athletes want to fight, so that’s what we want to do” Fabian said.  He spoke of the challenge that was in front of them “We’re here for our players.  We will fight with them and  beside them, we will do it respectfully, we’ll do it professionally and we want to get this done.  That is something that is definitely near and dear to all of us here. We always talk about being a family, once a family always a family.  We will never end the fight.”

His message for UND Hockey fans is simple, sign our petition.

UND WOMEN’S HOCKEY PLAYERS: “What we’re waiting on is President Kennedy to get back to us”

Taylor Flaherty
UND Player
Sara Lecavalier
UND Player
Margot Miller
Former UND Player

Current UND Women’s Hockey players Taylor Flaherty, Sara Lecavalier and former player Margot Miller (currently an ER Nurse and Assistant Coach of the Grand Forks KnighRiders) joined Mike McNamara to discuss the elimination of the UND Women’s Hockey Program and the future.  All three describe their pride in the program and the shock they felt upon hearing the news via social media that their sport was being eliminated while they were on the ice at Ralph Engelstad Arena.

The Team has established a petition that they’re asking the public to support, but of more immediate concern is a request they’ve made of the President of the University of North Dakota this past weekend for a number that would fund the program.  “What we’re waiting on is President Kennedy to get back to us” Sara Lecavalier said, “Our Coach Brian (Idalski) had a meeting  with Faison this weekend and this number is supposed to get back to us relatively quick. Whether or not that happens that’s in President Kennedy’s hands.”

In the end, all three were resolute about continuing their fight even if they don’t get a number of President Kennedy “That’s when we’d have to take another step, if it comes to that” Lecavalier stated.