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LETTERS: Sunday, April 13, 2014

LETTERS: Sunday, April 13, 2014


It falls to us to fight off threat

For those who missed it, Powertech Uranium is merging with Azarga Resources to become Azarga Uranium. None of these companies has ever mined uranium as they want to do here.

Azarga is an international company whose CEO works in Hong Kong, according to his employee’s letter that was printed last week.

For those who may have missed it, Hong Kong is in China.

Azarga’s CEO says – through his employee – that the Chinese government has no involvement with the company. I wonder if the Chinese government knows this. People who work in a country usually have to follow that country’s laws.

Companies that threaten South Dakota’s water to mine uranium even have to follow some laws here. Unfortunately, for those who missed it, the state Legislature stripped the state of the power to enforce most of those laws in 2011 by passing a law written by a Powertech lobbyist. Yes, the state stripped itself of power.

So it falls to us citizens to fight off this threat to our water, economy and future.

Powertech/Azarga is not focused on the well-being of our region. For those who missed it, multinational companies are focused on taking resources at the lowest possible cost.

Lilias Jarding, Rapid City

Chicken ordinance similar to others

I'm one of the supporters of allowing six or fewer chickens to be raised in the backyards of the probably less than total of 20 people in Rapid City who will ultimately choose to do so. We've done our research and know people in the city limits successfully raising chickens in their backyards.

Before you decide, please be advised of what the reality is. Cities across the country have adopted similar ordinances to what we are proposing for our rural city. These are progressive, forward thinking cities - Fort Collins, Spearfish, and Sioux Falls, to name a few.

The proposed ordinance doesn't include chickens for butcher in backyards, so that fear can be alleviated.

Chickens bringing in predators is purely speculative since I already have “critters” in my yard. If they were there to eat something, they’d have eaten the dogs, cats, bunnies, etc., in my yard regularly. They wouldn't take the time to get into a secure coop (mandatory in the proposed ordinance).

Seriously, check in to how long your store-bought eggs have been sitting on the store shelf and how healthy they are.

Please do call/email/write your council persons in support of the upcoming ordinance. Go HENS!

Stephanie Weyer, Rapid City

Backyard coops not like farm coops

In response to the anti-chicken letter, I feel the need for education is warranted. A small group of responsible, educated people are requesting the human right to live their own life as they choose. These are people who own their homes and pay their taxes.

The coops are not like a farm coop. No shacks. Cute, approved and secure pens with six hens at most. No roosters. Must be kept clean and food covered.

The city will charge a license fee. Manure will be offered to the city free of charge to decrease the park bill. Extra eggs will be offered to understanding neighbors and others.

There are already hens in Rapid. The fact, you are not aware how clean and quiet they are.

Over 500, many large cities allow hens and report no problems.

Also, the woman who said she will make several complaints until any hens are gone, it is illegal to file false reports.

Mary Armour, Rapid City

Look forward to having own hens

Personally, I am looking forward to the day I can legally own my small flock of homemade egg factories. Currently I am dependent on local farmers for my delicious, organic and fresh vitamin-packed eggs.

I have tended a larger chicken coop for friends in the past, a six or less hen coop will be no bother at all. My friends who had a coop as part of their bed and breakfast had nary a complaint about smell, even though they supported over 20 hens and the house was downwind from the coop on average days.

Add the advantages of pest control from the birds, organic fertilizer produced with proper composting, adding to your garden’s bounty, and the good will of your neighbors who might enjoy your surplus, I can't see how this is not a win/win for everyone.

Not everyone will want these backyard friends, but those that do should be allowed to have them. Like any animal it takes responsibility and care to have a proper relationship with them.

Since when does it hurt to spend more time outside? Seems like good motivation.

John Johnson, Rapid City

Service clubs can help replace trees

May I suggest every service club, community group and each one of us who love our town follow the example of the Rotary Club and make a substantial love gift to our Parks Department to replace trees lost in October.

In 1971-72, when all our elm trees were dying in West Boulevard, the West Boulevard Neighborhood Association went to the Parks Department superintendent and asked him if/how we might help. The Parks Department accepted gratefully.

We had no money, but thus the West Boulevard Summer Festival was born. I sold “Hug A Tree” buttons to people all over Rapid City and the Black Hills. On April 26, 1972, in our mud boots in beautiful rain we all, men, women and machines, planted trees.

You, too, can do it.

Toni Martin, Rapid City

Does Jensen reflect values of voters?

Letters supporting Phil Jensen and his failed attempt to legalize discrimination are alarming. Jensen’s position is that businesses should be able to discriminate based on sexual orientation, religion, or race, and the “free market” will sort it out.

The “free market” didn’t end slavery, didn’t end Jim Crow, and is where women get paid 77 cents for every dollar a man makes. The “free market” has no conscience. Its only motivation is profit.

Jensen made South Dakota international news, and not in a good way.

Let’s take a walk through some of Jensen’s “greatest hits” as a legislator. In 2011, he sponsored a “justifiable homicide” bill, which would have made it legal to murder a doctor providing an abortion. In addition to his pro-discrimination bill this session, he sponsored the bill to raise lawmakers’ salaries, and voted in favor of increasing legislative term limit lengths. He voted against public safety by failing to support the bill that made texting while driving a primary offense.

Does Jensen really reflect the values of District 33 voters?

Dennyce Korb, Rapid City

Amanda Scott gives back to community

Amanda Scott is running for Ward 4 City Council this year. I haven't even heard anything about her opponent, but I can already tell you, Amanda has my support.

Amanda Scott has always given back to her community, whether it was as a Girl Scout leader, basketball coach, or tutoring college students when her children were growing up to most recently being a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) for our local Seventh Circuit Court and an advisory board member of Youth Business Adventure (YBA) that works to help South Dakota high school students and teachers understand the business world.

Amanda Scott does all of this on top of working a full-time job. Since earning her MBA (Master of Business Administration) she has been very generous with sharing her knowledge and experience for the benefit of all of us.

Let's keep "common sense" on the Rapid City council. Vote for Amanda Scott on Tuesday, June 3.

Valerie English, Rapid City

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