To the Editor:

Does anyone out there ever wonder why the months last longer than the paycheck? At least part of this is due to the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999. This act kept the commercial banking separate from the investment banking’s creation of risky financial investments.

About eight years after the repeal, the taxpayers had to come up with at least $750 billion to help bail out banks that were so-called too big to fail. Also, the Federal Reserve had to expand its balance sheet by about $4 trillion. This all benefitted the rich who were already rich. The 99 percent of the citizens had to bail out the less than 1 percent of the super rich.

We have a situation in which millions of Americans have lost full-time employment with benefits to jobs offshoring. Now, with part-time employment and no benefits and still have to pay interest and fees on health, home and car insurance, interest on credit cards, car payments, student loans with interest and home mortgage with interest; they are then made to bail out the wealthy for making foolish and risky investments.

America cannot survive if excessive risks and fraud can be bailed out by taxpayers. America need Glass-Steagall back. It made a lot of sense in 1963, and it makes even more sense in 2017. Please contact Rep. Kristi Noem and ask her to support the return of the Glass-Steagall Act.

Anton Wika

Webster

To the Editor:

It is hard to keep back the tears thinking of the tragic Alabaugh fire of July 2007.

It affected us all and was a time of compassion, taking care of others – Hot Springs really came together.

The Mueller Center was a hub of communication, grieving, healing, feeding, counseling, sharing and caring. Firefighters and first responders from all over the Hills came to Hot Springs to fight the fire and care for those who lost homes and dreams.

It was a hurting time and a healing time. It was a time of strength and endurance and gratitude – putting lives on the line, thankful for safety and giving to others who lost everything to the flames.

Some survivors found solace in rebuilding from the ashes, some moved away, others revamping with remnants and thankful for their lives.

Mary Goulet, a writer, began documenting the event by interviewing people and sharing their experiences – from the firefighters to individuals – each had a precious moment to share.

Mary wove these together in a book Cascade of Flames, available at the local bookstore.

It was a long time before I could read the book recalling the scenes of those days in my mind. The books allows some reflection and insight into the lives impacted by this fire. Ten years later we remember, we find strength, we move forward. Thank you fire fighters and first responders for all you do and give on a daily basis.

Diane Gross

Hot Springs

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To the Editor:

Time for another reality check. Hannan LaGarry and Susan Henderson have recently remarked about Wind Cave structures under the Black Hills Army Depot. LaGarry is concerned that seismic testing might collapse the cave structure under the depot and leave a sinkhole, 8/1/17 Star. Henderson writes that most of thousands of tons of chemical warfare agents were stored in huge caverns in the Wind Cave structures under the depot, letter to the DENR 7/17/17.

There are no “Wind Cave structures” under the depot- in the sense of a cave you could crawl into or use for storage. Wind Cave is 36 miles as the crow (or bat) flies from the depot and the entire map of the cave covers about one square mile of land near the cave entrance. Wind Cave only exists in a portion of the Madison formation where the aquifer is not fully saturated (filled with water).

At the depot, the hydrologic maps shows the top of the Madison formation is 3,500 - 4,000 feet below the surface, is 200-400 ft. thick, and the potentiometric surface is 3,600 - 3,700 feet above sea level. Igloo’s elevation is about 3,670 feet above sea level. The Madison is fully saturated under Igloo and any “caves” in the Madison would be 3,400 to 4,300 feet under water. The temperature at that depth exceeds 120 degrees F. See USGS Report 03-4049.

The Madison formation is protected by 3500 feet of overburden, so seismic testing isn’t a risk. Underwater, high temperature chemical weapons storage is unlikely.

Paul Nabholz, PE

Hot Springs

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