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LETTERS: Sunday, November 10, 2013

LETTERS: Sunday, November 10, 2013


I have a lot to be thankful for

I inherited my love of newspapers from my parents who moved from St. Louis to Nebraska. We read three papers: Omaha World Herald, St. Louis Post Dispatch and the Alliance Times Herald. Now I am grateful for the Rapid City Journal.

The extensive coverage about in-situ uranium mining was excellent, as was the very interesting coverage about our blizzards, both present and past.

I marvel how the comic strips can bring a laugh, smile or feeling in such a short amount of space. Doonesbury is a daily joy for me.

I am very appreciative of home delivery. Each morning the newspaper is like a little “May basket” at my door. Thank you to all the people who get up so early in all kinds of weather to deliver the paper.

I am aware of many acts of kindness with our recent storm. Thank you 211, Pennington Country Emergency Services (and many other individuals and organizations). I am especially grateful to the Open Bible Christian Center, whose members removed very heavy tree limbs off my roof.

Thank you to everyone who works at the Journal for your dedicated work. Please keep up your coverage on uranium mining. Clean water is life!

Mary Jo Farrington, Rapid City

We would do well to follow Coolidge

With all due respect to my friend and his letter, there is a need for government to follow the Constitution and to stave off anarchy. The job of government is not to lord or oppress the masses.

With the recent blizzard, we would do well to reflect on Calvin Coolidge and his post-Black Hills presidential vacation. After the 16th Amendment allowing an income tax to be levied during Woodrow Wilson's term was passed, President Harding and Vice President Coolidge followed with a determined goal to reduce spending and tax rates. After Coolidge became president, he effectively accomplished this goal by diligent overview of spending and following the Constitution. Not only did he reduce tax rates, he gave the citizens a refund!

During the floods in the fall of 1927, Coolidge refused federal money, defending his actions by claiming these are "states’ issues." He gave them what he could: surplus Army supplies and his support through the Red Cross. Later, when his home state was flooded, he remained consistent, letting Vermont take care of its own problems, of which every state did.

George Bush and Ronald Reagan followed Coolidge's model of lower tax rates increasing federal revenues. It will work again.

Clark Sowers, Belle Fourche

Other companies want to mine uranium

We must consider whether we want a company dominated by China to mine uranium in the Black Hills. Most people don’t know that Powertech Uranium’s largest shareholder is now a Chinese company named Azarga Minerals. Powertech is closing its Canadian office and adding two people from Azarga to its board of directors. But Powertech/Azarga is just one company with an interest in mining in our area.

Uranium is found in deposits all around the Black Hills. There are at least eight companies that have an interest in mining the radioactive mineral here. Some of them have leases immediately adjacent to Powertech’s proposed permit area. Powertech also has additional claims and leases in the immediate area on both sides of the Wyoming state line.

In deciding whether we will permit uranium mining in our area, we must consider the likely impacts of water use and contamination at other potential operations. Powertech says it may keep its processing plant open to process an unknown amount of uranium from other mines.

A much clearer description of what Powertech and surrounding companies plan to do must be provided before we make a decision on the now-

Chinese company’s mining and water permits.

Lilias Jarding, Rapid City

Wasteful spending matter of perspective

It’s all in the perspective, I guess. Andrew Wilson criticizes Kristi Noem for not accepting the Obama/Democrat bloated budget (the budget that has trebled out national debt during Obama’s five-plus year “rule” (and raised food stamp handouts by five times) while failing to mention the $600 million Obama spent advertising his Obamacare plan that netted a total (nationally) of six sign-ups on its first day. That’s out of a total population of 312 million.

Six for $600 million — even Deadwood would kill for those odds. Way to spend my taxpayer money Obama/Sen. Johnson/Democrats!

Jacque Best, Rapid City

Inspirational story about our military

I want to pass this on to many, many people. A very inspirational man who wrote this about himself: “Until Tuesday,” author, Lucis Carlo Montalvan. The story is of a broken military man and his service dog, “Tuesday.” Also what many, many of our military people are going through, just for our freedom.

Judy Gilbert, Summerset

Ending gerrymandering would be more fair

Opinion writers want to vote out elected officials after sequester, shutdown, and refusal to pass a farm bill unless food aid to poor people is cut. Being mad enough to fire ‘em all is better than "I don't care about politics, it doesn't matter anyway, let’s watch TV," but it's not nearly good enough.

Firing them all doesn’t address that workers and small entrepreneurs have less representation than wealthy folks and corporations buying influence. Money can buy new candidates every two years almost as easily as buying the same ones for 30 years.

It's hard enough to find a decent individual with whom you at least mostly agree, who is willing to submit to the stress and indignities of the public spotlight and fundraising. If you finally find one, you won't want to kick out your good representative along with the sell-outs and one-issue fanatics.

Better than “firing everybody” would be making more districts competitive by ending gerrymandering, state legislature majorities drawing district boundaries guaranteeing victories for their party. Independent redistricting commissions supplanted “politicians choosing their voters” in some states.

South Dakota would still have statewide congressional races, but we’d all be better off if districts were fair nationwide.

Peter Hasby, Rapid City

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