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LETTERS: Sunday, January 26, 2014

LETTERS: Sunday, January 26, 2014


Common Core helps students do better

I read the Sunday article on legislators opposing the Common Core Standards in our schools. Fact is the government does not require states to follow as long as they show they continue to assess students.

Common Core addresses where students should be at their educational level. We do not want to "dumb down." In reality, we are going to see more failure with these standards, because we have been remiss in our expectations in the past.

I cannot tell you how many students I saw allowed to get a high school diploma with no more than an eighth-grade reading level.

In the past, South Dakota has rated a "C" at best. Is average good enough? If average is all you want, it is all you get.

It is time to make our children want to be better. It is their responsibility and their parent's responsibility to expect that of them. Then the schools can do their job.

Common Core is not the problem, politics are.

LaNice Archer, Rapid City

Legislators should protect our water

The South Dakota Legislature has been in session for one week. I am grateful to each of them, for they are the change-makers. Our representatives have 120 bills to consider and this is to be accomplished in this brief two-month, annual time frame. Each of these bills have been put together in a painstaking manner and each is considered extremely important by the organizations that have submitted them.

The Clean Water Alliance and associated organizations feel extremely concerned about the protection of our water. This bill is specific to our groundwater being contaminated by the residue left from the yellow cake of uranium mining throughout the sacred Black Hills and we ask that before any further mining in any form takes place, we must eliminate the health hazards we all know exist. We have volumes of documentation to verify what we have already learned from this.

And by the way, this is a global issue, and people are standing up for their Children and seven generations from now. We are not killing the earth, we are killing ourselves.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sandra I. Rodgers, Hot Springs

Freedom concert for Constitution Party

The Constitution Party is not given any time in the news media. I quit the Republican Party to become a member, because the members of this party, though few in number, are people who actually care about our country and the Constitution it is founded on.

With the exception of very few, there is zero difference between the Republicans and the Democrats, but they get all the news coverage. I have not seen any coverage of the Constitution Party.

There is a “South Dakota for Freedom” concert at the Lodge at Deadwood Resort on Saturday, March 1. For those who are truly interested in survival of our country, I would encourage anyone and everyone to get a ticket by making a $25 dollar donation.

Fred Anderson, Rapid City

State should have moratorium on development

I am a Minicounjou Lakota and proud member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. My hope is that the state of South Dakota would put a moratorium on oil drilling and industrial development on land for 50 years.

The quality of land will be preserved and the value of pristine agricultural land in 50 years will be without equal in the Midwest. We have other options for economic sustainability, such as vending out to the surrounding states their equipment needs.

Just want to put this out there before the business community goes to China on their business-seeking trip this year. I would certainly volunteer to go as an observer for other South Dakota citizens interested in following what our business community is doing, thinking and considering. Also more public information sharing about the trip in the Journal would be greatly appreciated.

Joseph Lafferty, Eagle Butte

Through unity, ‘We shall overcome’

As early as 1847, Frederick Douglass declared: “Our cause is one, and we must help each other, if we would succeed.”

On Jan. 20, Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy was celebrated in many parts of the country, one which was held here in Rapid City at the Rushmore Plaza Holiday Inn. The Journal reported that around 80 people were in attendance.

I am sure the empty chairs we saw on TV would have been filled had the event been advertised so people could have known the event was planned.

One of the principles of the African spiritual celebration of Kwanzaa is UMOJA, which means Unity. Umoja encourages us to strive for and to maintain unity in the family, community, race and nation. We as people of all races need to understand that for us to live more peaceful and fruitful lives we must strengthen and build our families and communities into a unified force that works for the common good.

February is Black History month. By utilizing Unity and Faith, Rapid City can reweave the tapestry of our community, by coming together in unity and communication, only then, “We shall overcome.”

Dennis Edwards, Rapid City

Regardless of terms, abortion is murder

How wonderful are our elite jurists and members of Congress; how much smarter than everyone else they are. Why, they think they are smarter than God.

They believe that by allowing mothers to kill their babies inside their wombs, they will be so much more respected and idolized by their constituents and other fools.

Make no mistake folks, abortion is the murder of the most innocent in America (50 million since Jan. 22, 1973) -- regardless of what Planned Parenthood says, regardless of what feminists declare, regardless of the seemingly innocent sounding terms used to describe the horrible truth. Terms like the Women's Health Protection Act before Congress now, or legal reproductive health care for women, or a woman's personal decision. All terms used to describe the mutilation of an innocent baby.

These tactics are not new at all. Remember Hitler? His final solution to the Jewish problem? His solution was to murder all of them. Hitler didn't say I'm going to kill all the Jews in Europe, he made up a problem calling it the Jewish problem and then proposed to solve this new problem. He just tried his damnedest to do just that.

Jack Sayles, Custer

Ethanol blend gas corrosive, inefficient

I just replaced another carburetor on a small engine because the owner was using ethanol. Ethanol is very corrosive and can't be shipped by pipeline. Ethanol draws in moisture that collects in the engine which can prevent starting.

The vehicles that are made to use ethanol use a coating on parts that contact fuel and are sealed units.

Ethanol has about 67 percent of the energy of gasoline, which makes the cost per mile driven higher. A 16-gallon tank of 10 percent ethanol blend gasoline contains enough energy from corn to feed 22 people for a day. Ethanol tax credits expired, but the renewable fuel standard mandates that at least 37 percent of the 2011-2012 corn crop be converted to ethanol and blended with gasoline.

With fracking the need for ethanol is a moot point.

The real problem is that the farmer who has spent millions on land and equipment would face lower corn prices. The upside is that our food prices would be lower as less corn is used for ethanol production, a real dilemma.

I'll continue to use pure gas, which is still available at some stations.

Verlin Schultz, Hill City

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