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Oil drilling requires respect for Bear Butte

Drill where God gave Moses the 10 Commandments (Mt. Sinai)? Where Noah’s Ark came to rest (Mt. Araphet)? Where John wrote “Revelations” (Patmos), or where Buddha received the four Noble Truths (Boddhi tree)? 

What if these events occurred at the same site? That is what Bear Butte represents to a segment of humanity here. 

Cheyenne holy man Sweet Medicine received the four Cheyenne Commandments and Sacred Buffalo Hat Medicine Bundle here.

The Mandan’s Deliverance Canoe rested atop the Butte after the great flood. Crazy Horse had the apocalyptic “dream,” and Fool’s Crow had repeated Oraclaic visions on the sacred mountain. 

Most Caucasians have no clue why Bear Butte is so sacred to the real heritage of the area. Respect for divinity is why such things are kept quiet.

Being dismissively exploitive however, we won’t let “fables” stop progress. Instead of being stewards of the land, we interpret scripture to exploit it, akin to Manifest Destiny. Again, history repeating itself. 

Idea: Move the drill site a couple miles and drill horizontally, with cognition of our heavy impact.

I favor increased energy production. Let’s do it with sensitivity and circumspection first. Same idea regarding more biker bars.



Black Hawk

Feds should remove obstacles to oil drilling

I am growing increasingly concerned about the current federal policy of discouraging any growth or development in the fields of oil, natural gas and coal.

Our nation has huge reserves of each of these, yet we are moving backwards instead of forwards toward energy independence.

South Dakota’s second largest industry, tourism, contributed over $1 billion to the economy last year. If gasoline prices continue to go up, it will not only hurt our citizens at the pump, but it will impact on our visitors to the state, thereby  diminishing our sales-tax revenue from tourism, our road-tax revenue from gasoline taxes and our economy in general.

We need fiscal policy that is pro home-grown energy, not hostile to it. With the turmoil in the mid-east our supplies could be cut off, limited or the costs could continue to skyrocket. 

Please tell Sen. Tim Johnson, Sen. John Thune and Congresswoman Kristi Noem to vote against any tax hikes on energy companies, and ask them to encourage President Obama to make good on his campaign promises to reduce our dependence on foreign oil by encouraging growth of our own energy industries.



Voters lose control with strong manager

Former Mayor Jim Shaw advocates a city manager for Rapid City because recent elections for mayor have gotten nasty. His reasoning is hard to follow.

There’s plenty of mudslinging in every presidential election, but that doesn’t mean we should reduce the president to a figure-head and instill a dictator.

Mayoral elections are hard fought, but hopefully the $100,000 salary isn’t the only reason. Maybe people still run for mayor thinking they can make a difference.

Alan Hanks and Sam Kooiker have different philosophies, personalities and constituencies. However, both men are qualified to run this city. Rapid will likely continue to grow, regardless of who wins.

Winston Churchill said that democracy is a terrible system of government, but all the others are much worse. When an elected mayor calls the shots, people can make a change in the next election if they’re dissatisfied.

This happened to Shaw in 2007. If our executive is an un-elected bureaucrat with a $150,000 salary, change could be virtually impossible.

Free elections can produce unfortunate results. Sometimes the wrong candidate wins. But Rapid City has survived with majority rule, and turning the keys over to a CEO would deny us control of our destiny.


Rapid City

State’s war on coyotes should be privatized

The recent Journal article, “Loss of funding sets back GF&P war on coyotes,” invites the reader to swallow that the only way to manage coyote populations are through state or federal programs.

For decades, South Dakota Game Fish & Parks has fostered the false notion that private livestock producers need the agency to operate a predator-control program.

As an individual familiar with both ranching and aerial hunting of coyotes, I promote the position that federal and state predator control programs are unnecessary, self-perpetuating, and should be eliminated.

Private individuals are willing and able to control predators, but are prevented by the agency from doing so. The state aerial-hunting program is only necessary because GF&P, by agency design, has a monopoly on aerial hunting in the state.

If GF&P is serious about saving money and facilitating predator control, the agency would encourage the repeal of SDCL 41-8-39 and the corresponding agency rules, which criminalize aerial hunting except by the agency and its permittees.


Chadron, Neb.

We’re on our way to better things

I’ve been connected to the Rapid City area for a period of time that exceeds some of the baby boomers and has included many changes.

I’ve had the opportunity to observe and witness abundant positive development and I believe our recorded progress and documentations demonstrate historical advancement leading to bigger and better things.

We’ve met challenges that occur fruitfully and without reservation. A free item was magnanimously offered from an established business in Rapid City — a 24-hour chain store with satellites also in the vicinity.

They brought great satisfaction and pleasure to the little guy without hesitation. It makes provisions for the willing and goes to lengths.


Rapid City

Our patriarchal society tries to control women

How does our society perceive women? The March 31 Rapid City Journal tells us a lot. Look at the TUNDRA comic.

Our society’s pressure on girls and women — what they wear, how they look — even appears in the comics.

In the “Medicare to cover prostate treatment” article: Medicare will extend, at great expense, men’s lives four months.

But legislators want to change government-backed health care coverage to not allow abortion, even to save a woman’s entire life.

Why are the females of our species hated so much? Men of the patriarchy, answer this.




Giving more to the rich won’t stabilize economy

Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and his conservative cohorts must believe that we can no longer think for ourselves.

Fact checks: 1. Over the last 30-plus years, the rich, and rich corporations, have seen their incomes soar while their taxes were slashed and they have invested very little in our economy. 2. The average American worker has seen their net income go down after inflation and all taxes and fees. 3. Government programs have kept American workers and retirees from falling even further behind.

Giving even more to the rich and taking even more from everyone else is no answer at all. Average workers and retirees are struggling now and cannot be squeezed any more. Tax cuts for the rich do not help the country in the long run and add to the deficit.

Cuts to programs are devastating to most Americans. We need to make small changes to government programs. We need to attack waste and fraud as never before. We need to look at the bloated defense department.

We need to close tax loopholes and increase IRS enforcement of tax fraud and evasion. A dollar invested in the IRS returns $5 from tax evaders. We need to review our tax code for both fairness and ability to pay.



Belle Fourche

Kooiker keeps watch over our tax dollars

As a senior citizen on a fixed income, I’m glad to see Sam Kooiker running for mayor.

One of the things I like about Sam is that he’s such a watch dog over our tax dollars. This is something we don’t have now.

With the price of groceries, gas, utility bills, etc., going up every day, we need someone as mayor who will reign in all the wasteful spending.

We know he will do it. He’s the one who caught the fraud at the landfill that cost taxpayers thousands of dollars.

Sam’s persistence to deny ALLCO the lease/leaseback proposal for the city’s water treatment plant saved the taxpayers millions of dollars. So we know Sam will curb as much wasteful spending as he can.


Rapid City

Library endowment thanks supporters

The Lead Library Endowment would like to thank all the community members who donated to the recent Hearst Library fundraiser. Special thanks to Louie Lalonde and Mike Olsen of the Deadwood Social Club and Chip Tautkus and her staff at Chubby Chipmunk Hand-Dipped Chocolates for sponsoring the event.

Because of their generous support, that of local businesses and library patrons who donated over 75 items to the silent auction on April 1, as well as the support of all those who were able to attend , the endowment was able to raise more than $4,000 at that event.

The funds will go toward continued improvements to the children’s section at the Hearst Library in Lead and will allow the endowment to continue to make a difference to the quality of library services in our community.

The Lead Library Endowment, along with the staff and patrons of the library, thank everyone involved for their contributions.


LLE president

Lifestyle change would lessen need for oil

The April 9 editorial reprinted from a Watertown paper, “Time to tap region’s abundant oil supply,” is odd. The article mentions, as if it were news, that deep rock formations called Williston and Bakken hold lots of crude. The

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article says we ought to get the oil. This is like saying, as if it were news, we live in air and we ought to breathe it.

Oil companies are getting leases and extracting the oil on schedules dictated by their own economics, making plenty of money at it. I see nothing in the news about anything slowing them down. If the point was — Why do we still need so much oil if so much sits under NoDak? — the answer is, we’ve burned it faster than we can pump it from all domestic sources since about 1970.

We’ll do so as long as the American Dream for many of us remains to live as far from our jobs, schools, and stores as we can, driving the biggest vehicles we can.  We’ll be short of oil and dependent on foreign supplies until the whole world runs short, or until we decide the new American Dream is to enjoy living closer to the places we need to be, using fuel-efficient transportation.


Rapid City

Despite spin, censure was about city fraud

It amazes me that a few folks ceaselessly try to spin what Sam’s censure was about.

The censure was indeed about waste and fraud at city hall, including the landfill fiasco. Instead of coming clean when Sam followed up on constituent and employee concerns, he was lied to, and then they attempted to silence him permanently. It was a classic example of the politics of personal destruction, but in this case it was funded by the taxpayers.

The voters of Rapid City saw through the smoke screen, weighed the facts and promptly fired those responsible for the censure. Round two of the firings is just around the corner. 

Sam is a tireless champion for every single person and city employee who thinks that they have no voice in city government. As the election nears, I know that voters will remember the censure as they go to the polls. They tried to silence Sam.  But really, they tried to silence all of us. On June 7, we will have our voices heard.


Rapid City

Disaster relief concert danced with hope

Thank you to the concert organizers Mike Galanda, Storm Harris and 14 different bands and musical entertainers who put on a great show recently at the Holiday Inn, with all their efforts donated to benefit Japanese disaster victims from the recent earthquakes and resulting tsunamis.

Performers as young as

4-year-old Sam Salvas in the juvenile drumming group Sheltered Reality, all the way up to veteran metal band Bitterroot gave us fantastic entertainment.

The best dancer in Rapid City was there, a young child who got up and jammed with his toy guitar. I didn’t get his name, but the rest of us could  learn from this child’s example and discover that  offering healing and compassion to the world is not a time for cynicism and bickering but a time for joy, hope and yes, even dancing.


Rapid City

Hanks should tear down Civic Center digital sign

The good news: Mayor Alan Hanks now supports the public vote to regulate Rapid City signs.

The bad news: The election is necessary because Hanks isn’t doing his job. He even appointed two sign-industry officials to his sign commission, with predictably discouraging results.

A Hanks mailer includes nine color panels full of signs he now decries. Every one of those ugly billboards has been polluting Rapid City’s environment since the day Hanks took office four years ago.

To prove his surprising election-eve reversal is sincere, Hanks can do two things. First, he must return to Lamar Signs the money he has been receiving from them, which is $450 a month, according to the Rapid City Journal.

Second, he must dismantle the city’s own gigantic digital Civic Center sign, which desecrates Memorial Park. (The sophistry is that this sign is an off-premise sign and doesn’t count. It is uglier, more obnoxious and vastly more dangerous than any commercial sign in the city. Mr. Hanks, tear down that sign. The Hanks mailer thoughtfully asks you to call 355-3465, if you know of any examples we need to check out.


Rapid City

City needs Hadcock’s voice and strength

I am writing to support Deb Hadcock for city council. I have known Deb for several years and she has proven to be a trusted and loyal friend. During the 2010 Year of Unity, Deb served on the advisory board of the Unity Committee and was instrumental in holding a dinner at city hall for members of the Rapid City community, the Rapid City Police Department and Native American citizens of Rapid City.

Deb is a smart business woman who has not taken a pay increase in the last three years while serving as councilwoman for Ward 2.

Since I work for a minority business, I cannot help but be impressed by Hadcock’s sincere efforts to bring racial harmony to Rapid City. She was raised in North Rapid and grew up with many Native American friends.

In these tough economic times, her voice and strength are badly needed by this city.


Rapid City

Hanks has right priorities to lead

I support Mayor Alan Hanks for re-election. His leadership abilities became apparent when tax receipts dropped. Mayor Hanks’ established thoughtful priorities, developed a budget to fit the income and did not raise taxes.

Infrastructure improvement, so necessary for the future of Rapid City, has been continued even though we were in a recession.

Please give him your vote.


Rapid City

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