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Noem’s Medicare stand political demagoguery

U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem’s position on Medicare is purely a party demagoguery alignment.

She can think for herself and should do so in this case. If Medicare is on the table to balance the budget and cut the deficit, then how about agriculture subsides?

Her home constituency is not only made up of an agricultural economy, but also a service economy, which is largely due to seniors.

ANTHONY FRESQUEZ

Rapid City

Obama’s Mideast stand could trigger war

Barack Obama, in his recent speech to the nation concerning the events in the middle east just made the world a lot more dangerous. He praises the ongoing insurrections in the Middle East emboldening revolution.

This egomaniac has set events in motion that may end up plunging the world into another war. 

If the forces allied against Israel decide to attack God’s chosen people again, we are likely to see the second use of nuclear weapons.

Like any  animal driven into a corner, Israel will strike at any and all countries that attack it.

Given the history of the Jewish people and their struggles to survive extermination, — and faced with the realization that the President of the United States has stated that he believes Israel should expose its throat once more to it enemies — they must be feeling betrayed by their long time ally.

Were I the prime minister of Israel and my enemies attacked me, as they have done in the past, intent on destroying my people to the last man, I would plunge the Middle East into a nuclear cauldron. Cairo, Damascus, Beirut, Amman, Riyadh, Mecca and Medina would be uninhabitable for 10,000 years.

Anyone who thinks Israel does not have a doomsday scenario is as insane as our president.

GARY SMITH

Whitewood

Rapid City lacks help for autistic children

Rapid City and South Dakota are far behind other cities and states.

Why are there no resources for autistic kids in Rapid City?

You take your child to the doctor and he says, “Yes, he is autistic” and that’s that.

ELAINE E. TOWNE

Rapid City

Thank county for taking fair billboards down

People have been asking me how to vote on the two billboards issues on the June 7 election.

If you want to see fewer billboards spaced further apart and smaller in size in the future, you need to vote yes, to accomplish this.

The county commission recently voted to take down the two big billboards on the fairgrounds along Cambell Street. It will result in our being able to appreciate the open space free of the huge signs.

People in elected positions have to make decisions that aren’t always appreciated. A thank you to the five county commissioner’s would be appropriate, by letter or when you see them.

NORMA F. THOMSEN

Rapid City

Billboard limits won’t hurt tourism

A postcard reached our house recently concerning the proposed billboard initiatives to be voted on in the June 7 city election.

Its writer stated that any additional restrictions on billboards in Rapid City would be bad for the local tourism industry. However, that statement was not supported by any facts.

My native province of Prince Edward Island, Canada has very strict regulations regarding billboards, which amount to an almost complete ban. Yet the province remains a favorite tourist destination for thousands of Canadians and Americans each year, and for people from as far away as Japan.

The best hotels and motels are usually booked solid for the summer season weeks, or even months, in advance. Therefore I do not believe that approval of the proposed billboard initiatives would cause tourists to stay away from the Black Hills.

ARNETT DAVIS

Rapid City

Hadcock has many qualifications

Deb Hadcock’s qualifications for the Rapid City Council are many and varied. Her many years of experience on the council is a plus. Deb knows the workings of the council as well as the responsibilities it embodies.

Even more, Deb represents Rapid City from her experiences as a long time resident, home owner and business owner.

She understands the financial needs of her constituents as well for the city as a whole.  As she listens to her constituents, she can empathize with their concerns and consistently takes action when warranted.

Deb’s many projects improve Rapid City today and will continue in the future. Vote for Deb Hadcock for city council.

LETA LUTZ

Rapid City

Hanks skilled at solving problems 

I will be voting for Alan Hanks in the upcoming June 7 election. He has proven to be an honest, upright, fair and a non-judgmental person. Rapid City has many problems yet to be solved and the time that Mayor Hanks has been in office, he has resolved many of those problems,

As a retired military person I have found Mayor Hanks to be available for most all occasions when called upon to be a part of any ceremony or event honoring our military personnel.

He shows his support and caring by his presence and the words he speaks. He has been a staunch supporter of all veterans in this community. He has a deep dedication of caring, not only for the city, but also for the people who call Rapid City home.

Many have criticized him for what he hasn’t done but look at what he has done. In the time that I have know Mayor Hanks, he has shown to be a dedicated and diligent individual who can get the job done  He has proven that by all that has been accomplished for the city in the last four years.

Vote on June 7. Vote for Mayor Alan Hanks. Let’s keep a good thing going.

DENNIS EDWARDS

Rapid City

Consider source on billboard issues 

Along the few thousand yards through  “the Gap”  between Midas Muffler and West Boulevard, there are 17 billboards, including three large digitals. Other areas are as bad.

We have obviously long since passed the point of out-of-control outdoor advertising.

Since it is virtually impossible to get rid of any existing billboards, I am thankful that so many of our fellow citizens have fought very hard to get some kind of control over future billboard proliferation.

They did this by gathering the thousands of signatures needed to get two initiatives on the June ballot.

Please vote yes on both initiatives 1 and 2 so we can get a handle on this ongoing blight.

When making your decision consider the source of your information.

Who is most credible: a few individuals at companies who stand to make millions on the outcome of this vote, or the of dozens of our fellow citizens who have spent endless amounts of their time and resources and whose only motivation is to make our community a more attractive, livable and prosperous place to live and vacation?

This is a David-vs.-Goliath battle. Please side with your fellow citizens and slay this monster, because billboards are forever.

GREG RILEY

Rapid City

Billboard measures fair to companies 

Don’t be confused by false statements from the big corporations that own all of the off-premise billboards in Rapid City.

The two citizens initiatives are written to be fair and reasonable to the sign companies.

The initiatives are to limit size, spacing and lighting of off-premise billboards — only billboards.

This will not affect the way they do business, and it does not affect small business.

Every sign pole that exists in Rapid City remains in place grandfathered by the city.

This allows businesses to advertise as they always have, whether it is tourism, or small business or national advertisers.

It does not take away property rights as these are signs. If they were property, they would be taxed, when in fact they only pay the city of Rapid City $75 per sign pole annually. That’s it.

With 196 poles, the city only gets $14,700 — not even enough to cover the expense of code enforcement. And with today’s technology, the billboard is old technology.

There are new ways to way find business without creating visual clutter or safety hazards with oversized digital bright and blight.

Don’t get bullied into misinformation. Vote yes to keep Rapid City scenic.

LISA MODRICK

President

Scenic Rapid City

Kooiker responsive to all city residents 

I’ve know Sam Kooiker his family for over 10 years. Thank you, Sam and Jennifer, for letting me be a part of your children’s lives.

From the first day that I met you, I have always felt like family. Sam, you do your job very well. I feel there is an epic failure of leadership in the highest levels of city hall to allow a situation where thousands of dollars were spent to investigate a city council member who asked questions as to how many millions of dollars were being spent.

Sam, please continue to ask questions and thanks for being our voice. There’s a huge communication problem between city leaders and their constituents.

Sam is the only council member who actually cares about all people of Rapid City. We must elect a representative with morals and integrity. With great honor, I voted for Sam Kooiker for mayor of Rapid City.

CINDY WILSON

Rapid City

Kooiker wrongly accused in censure 

I am not a city government insider, so I am not aware of any hidden agenda behind Sam Kooiker’s censure, and I can’t  speak to that. 

What I can speak to is the lack of evidence given at the meeting where Alderman Sam Kooiker was censured. I was at that meeting. I’ve read through the Resolution of Censure, the 2009 report, the accompanying letter, the 2005 report, and 600 of the 1,000-plus pages of emails cited as evidence of misconduct.

I found no evidence of harassment or misconduct. What I found was a thoughtful, conscientious, and diligent public servant. All of the emails written by  Kooiker were polite, professional, and to the point. Each email served a purpose, and they all represented a need or a valid concern.

What was used as evidence against Kooiker could have been used as a solid endorsement of his effectiveness as a councilman.  Why was Kooiker censured? I do not know, but if he had been guilty of harassment or misconduct, there was no evidence of it in the public record or the testimony given.   

TESS FRANZEN

Black Hawk

Kooiker bright, honest and upright

I encourage you to vote for Sam Kooiker for mayor in the upcoming election.

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I have found Sam to be an honest, bright and thoughtful person.

Taxpayers have already benefitted considerably from his efforts to make Rapid City an open and efficiently run community.

As mayor of Rapid City, Sam’s education, capacity to understand complex issues, character and energy are assets that would benefit us all.

MARVIN BOUSKA

Rapid City

Hanks moving city in right direction 

We already have a great mayor. Let’s keep him.

Mayor Alan Hanks has held the line on the budget and refused to raise taxes. Many great things have happened in our community during his last four years as mayor. His positive attitude, business approach and professionalism make him the best choice for the next two years.

Please remember to vote for Mayor Hanks so we can keep our city heading in the right direction.

RANDY HILDEBRANT

Rapid City

Kooiker as qualified as a city manager 

I disagree with the writings of former mayor Jim Shaw, as they have appeared recently in the Journal.

On April 5, his column seemed to malign Sam Kooiker. After decrying the tactics he describes as Sam’s, he proceeds to use the same ones himself.

On March 5, he advances the idea of a city manager, which has been tried before and soundly voted down.

I especially disagree with one paragraph of that column, which stated,  “All of the presumed candidates for Rapid City’s top job may be nice people, but none have the essential combination of professional management abilities, business expertise, financial proficiency, people skills, expert training and practical experience to head one of the largest corporations in South Dakota.”

Nonsense. I don’t know about the rest of the candidates, but Kooiker holds a masters degree in public administration. He has worked for many years in the business community, and for the past six years as the call center manager for Golden West.

In his nine years on the council, Sam has become the “go to guy” for any citizen having a problem with city government. We don’t need a professional manager in Rapid City. We need Sam Kooiker as mayor.

DICK BRAY

Rapid City

Kooiker inclusive in public dealings

I am writing  to ask the citizens of Rapid City to support Sam Kooiker for mayor. Sam has always made himself available to answer with efficiency and graciousness.

I first met Sam about seven years ago and was very impressed that he would remember my name. I was not a person of any note or importance but he has always treated me with great respect. This spoke volumes to me about what was important to Sam — people.

As a Hunkpapa Lakota from the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, I have always felt that Sam seeks to understand the complex and diverse history of the Great Sioux Nation and our issues. He works very hard to be inclusive to all people.

As mayor, Sam will work to address unfair redistricting in North Rapid. Contrary to the recent  Journal article where it was intimated that his concern for this issue was a “campaign ploy,” we discussed the issue well before he ran decided to run for mayor. He is willing to address this issue because it is the right thing to do.

Please support Sam Kooiker for mayor of Rapid City. Men of this caliber do not come along very often.

LILA MELHAFF

Rapid City

Kooiker not afraid of tough questions

The choice for Rapid City’s  next mayor is crystal clear. For a man with the highest level of integrity, who is not afraid to ask tough questions, with no special interests to serve, I will vote for Sam.

For an experienced administrator and leader with the best interests of Rapid City at heart, who will work toward economic development and true budget reform, I will vote for Sam.

For a true public servant, who is not in it for personal gain, and who will serve all the people of Rapid City, I will vote for Sam.

For someone who is accessible, will listen to concerns, and focus on making Rapid City a better place, I will vote for Sam.

For someone who is all for checks, balances and accountability to reduce waste, fraud and abuse and to make sure taxpayer dollars are spent wisely, I will vote for Sam.

For someone who understands the complex issues at hand and has the fortitude to dig in and get to the bottom of things, the choice is clear. I’m voting for Sam.

Rapid City needs Sam as our next mayor. Please join me and vote early.

ANN EADS

Rapid City

Time to raise voice about billboards 

Citizens of Rapid City have a choice to control the proliferation of off-premise billboards in the  city.

You have watched for years, billboards popping up with no rhyme or reason. You may have wondered or maybe spoke out: How can I stop this aberration that is destroying the beauty of our city? However, your voice was not heard.

On June 7, your voice will be heard, with your vote of yes on the two initiatives concerning billboards.

A yes vote will not decrease the number of billboards in Rapid City but will outlaw any further digital billboards, set the size of static billboards to 250 square feet, and increase the distance between billboards to 2,000 feet.

A yes vote on the second initiative would create a 20- year life for those sign credits the sign companies already have. Very reasonable. If the sign credits aren’t used in 20 years, they will be forfeited. I ask for your support and your yes vote for the billboard initiatives on June 7.

PATRICK ROSELAND

Rapid City

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