Letters: April 19, 2011

Letters: April 19, 2011

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Show more respect for artist, president

I am no fan of former President George W. Bush but I do think the Journal could have had a more flattering picture in the April 13 paper of the presidential sculpture being installed on St. Joseph Street.

The picture of the statue in a horizontal position just did not show this very fine project as I believe it should have been shown.

Both the former president and the sculptor, Michael Maher, deserved more respect.

GEORGIA GERKEN

Hill City

New abortion bill like a bad dream

I had a recent nightmare that I went to my doctor to discuss a medical procedure.

Doctor: After looking at your charts and talking with you, I’ve decided that I’ll perform the procedure.

But first you need to wait three days and go to a biased clinic that will tell you not to have it.

Me: Why do I have to do that? Is this procedure illegal?

Doctor: No.

Me: Are there any other legal procedures that require this process?

Doctor: No.

Me: Are the people at the clinic medical professionals? Will they know me like you, my doctor, does?

Doctor: They will not.

Me: So in order to have a legal procedure performed, I heed to wait three days and speak to biased, nonprofessional, unlicensed people who are unfamiliar with my health and history?

Doctor: Yes.

Luckily at that point, I woke up. Thank heavens, I was only dreaming. Oh, wait...

CHRIS SELJESKOG

Rapid City

Abortion has taken more lives than war

Memorial Day is coming soon. American dead from all of our wars are a grim statistic indeed:  Revolutionary War, 25,324; Civil War, 498,332; World War I, 116,516; World War II, 545,108; Korean War, 54,246; Vietnam War, 56,555; Iraq  and Afghanistan 4,508.

A grim statistic from American abortions (war on babies) 54 million since January 22, 1973.

JACK SAYLES

Rapid City

Hanks’ words don’t mesh with actions

Alan Hanks, how dare you? In your last postcard mailing, you again try to gain favor with voters by saying you have cracked down on junk cars, dilapidated structures, litter, junk and eyesores. The truth is, in regards to these issues, in four years, you have done nothing.

Mr. Hanks, if your spoken words don’t correspond with or reflect your actions, you are merely spewing a bunch of political rhetoric with no substance. All actions as well as inactions have consequences.

I would like to ask every voting citizen of Rapid City to look around your neighborhood. Then voice your opinion on what Alan Hanks has done in regards to  code enforcement in your area, and then vote accordingly.

How we look is a reflection of who we are as a city, and we are what we look like.

DALE SCHUMACHER

Rapid City

Military spending will bring us down

President Dwight Eisenhower warned us over 50 years ago  about America’s military-industrial complex and its danger.

We didn’t listen and now we face one financial crises after another with many demanding cuts in programs for health care, education, medical research, Social Security, etc, with neither political party proposing cuts in defense.

No cuts, even as the we lead the world in defense spending — $698 billion in 2010, followed by China at only $119 billion.

During 2010, worldwide armament expenditures rose by $20.6 billion but 95 percent of that, $19.6 billion, was ours.

The top five corporations doing business with our government are defense contractors: Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and General Dynamics, with combined profits exceeding $18 billion.

Since World War II ,we’ve spent over $2.2 trillion (not billions) on wars, including our current war in Afghanistan, but not including the incalculable cost that 100,000 killed in action  brings.

During all these conflicts, we saw no tax increases specifically for war costs, no rationing and not a single war bond.

This relentless feeding of our military-industrial complex will bring us down as surely as it brought down the Soviet Union and every other nation that has tried throughout history.

LOU LEAHY

Spearfish

Kooiker able to work with diverse groups

I am writing this letter of support for Sam Kooiker, candidate for mayor of Rapid City.

I have had the honor of knowing Mr. Kooiker for past few years. I feel confident in Sam’s leadership abilities and his willingness to work in collaboration with others. Sam is visionary, passionate and open to discuss and proactively address complex issues. I know Sam will work closely with all groups.

I am an enrolled members of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. I know Sam is responsive to our culture and sensitive to our unique issues and concerns.

Sam’s sincere ties to the Native community were demonstrated when he took time to serve as a part-time instructor at at Oglala Lakota College.

Sam has proven his ability to network with diverse groups and he knows how to take the steps necessary to develop and nurture those relationships.

I am excited for Sam to take on this next level of leadership. I urge others to step up and support Sam Kooiker for mayor.

ROBERT COOK

Black Hawk

 

Why not fix bridges here instead of Afghanistan?

The April 12 Journal story — “Guard unit gears up for deployment” — tells how roughly 180 troops of the 200th Engineer Squadron of the South Dakota National Guard will leave in July for Afghanistan.

We all wish these soldiers the best and know that they will do a good job. The story says that “the unit’s main mission in Afghanistan will be building bridges.”

I think that it’s sad that we are still risking our brave troops and spending untold billions of our tax dollars in Afghanistan years after that war started.

The Rapid City Journal web  page had a recent story by Milo Dailey stating that there are 1,188 bridges in South Dakota listed “for rehabilitation or replacement” and that “18 percent of Pennington county bridges need significant work.”

Why are we spending our tax dollars on Afghanistan bridges while our South Dakota bridges are falling apart? Isn’t the daily life of Americans in this country more important to us?

Let’s keep our National Guard troops in America building bridges and defending us. Let’s keep our tax money in America during these tough economic times.

DAVID NICKEL  

Spearfish

Candidate encounters problems at polls

I would like to thank the city of Box Elder for opening my eyes on the procedures to hold a municipal election.

I was under the false assumption that if I did everything right, legal and above-board, that the election would be held the same way. I could not have been more wrong. I was the subject of ridicule by polling officials, with voters present, and during the wait for the vote count to begin.

These are the people running our city? I feel that several state laws were violated.Registered voters were turned away for various reasons to include that officials could not or would not verify registration, status or address with ward designation.

Absentee ballots were opened and displayed with vote showing, before being put into ballot box several hours before polls closed.

I would like to thank the people of Box Elder for your support and kind words. Thank you Ward 1 for your votes. And finally thank you city of Box Elder for the education.

SCOTT W. ALLEN

Box Elder

Kooiker’s censure was travesty of justice

To the voters of Rapid City Let’s not forget last year’s censure of Sam Kooiker.

In my opinion, as I stated at the time, that was one of the worst travesties of justice I have witnessed in my lifetime.

Alan Hanks could have vetoed that censure, but I think he saw an opportunity to try to make Sam look bad. Unfortunately, for Hanks, I think it has backfired.

What an embarrassment to the citizens of Rapid City and the city council.

Let’s also not forget the dirty politics of the last mayoral election. I’m referring to the “Wingnut” brochure that Alan Hanks and company circulated just before that election.

Sam Kooiker has to be the obvious choice for mayor. Let’s get it done.

JOHN KAMMERER

Rapid City

Hanks an honorable, respected leader

Having had the opportunity to work with Mayor Alan Hanks, I can speak with credibility  as I endorse his candidacy.

It is obvious that his dedication, enthusiasm, and genuine passion serving the citizens of Rapid City is a personal conviction.

He is an honorable man and a well respected leader in our city and our state.

Alan is a problem solver and seeks the input from others to create opportunities.

With his team player philosophy, there is no micro-management style in his government portfolio, and he does not make unrealistic promises.

Alan is a tireless workhorse for the citizens of Rapid City.

His resume includes fighting to save Ellsworth, not raising your taxes, reductions in spending, creating job growth, and he has implemented the most aggressive street improvement program in history.

Mayor Hanks also has a proven track record of defending and protecting the best interests of our city.

Using his creative thinking and exploring the many “what if” ideas, look at all the incredible growth and development that we have  realized since he became mayor.

With no reservations, I humbly ask for your vote for my friend, a proven, credible, and experienced leader. Alan Hanks is a solid mayor.

MARK KIRKEBY

Rapid City

Why didn’t ACLU help Huron police chief?

If the American Civil Liberties Union actually practiced the values that it espouses, it would have knocked down doors to defend the chief of police in Huron who was suspended and then terminated for simply telling the truth.

WILLIAM R. GRODE

Rapid City

History shows tax cuts don’t create jobs

We can’t balance the federal budget by cutting all government programs that affect senior citizens, the poor and the middle.

The argument that tax breaks to the most wealthy will create jobs is bogus.

During the 1990s, the top bracket on income taxes was raised from 36 percent to 39 percent and 22 million new jobs were created, plus the first budget surplus in decades.

During the last decade, taxes were reduced by trillions and hundreds of thousands of jobs were lost while trillions in debt accumulated.

Giant corporations that received the biggest tax breaks did not invest in job creating businesses.

They invested in the stock market, driving the market up over 50 percent and cashing in on that profit. You have to consider the revenue side to have any chance of balancing that budget.

Corporations and individuals that received the financial benefits of tax cuts and corporate tax breaks and incentives need to be held accountable for the budget deficit.

They have an obligation to help pay for the budget deficit that they were responsible for creating.

Do you believe it is right for individuals and corporations that make millions and billions to pay no taxes at all.

GEORGE D. KANE

Sturgis

Kooiker might be good watchdog, not mayor

Sam Kooiker might make a good watchdog to have on the city council, but that doesn’t prove he would make a good mayor. In fact, the record is clear that he went so far overboard that his fellow council members officially reprimanded him for harassing employees.

Good watchdog? Maybe, but doubtful. Good mayor? Definitely not.

NICK WERNER

Rapid City

Hadcock understands business community

I served with Deb Hadcock on city council and know first hand how seriously she takes her responsibilities in serving her constituents.

When she says she takes care of her people, she means it and does it. She also understands the business community inside and out.

She has worked hard, not only for the folks in her ward, but also for people in all of Rapid City, especially in ensuring the city is accessible for those with disabilities.

She has my admiration, respect and my friendship. Vote on June 7.

PATTI MARTINSON

Rapid City

Patrick Fink best choice for school board

I encourage voters to support Patrick Fink in his bid for Rapid City school board, area three. His candidacy represents a progressive and balanced focus on our school’s educational needs.

He brings strong personal assets such as passion, problem solving skills, and attentive listening.  His professional involvement with students at all levels provides practical, experiential knowledge to contribute to the decision making process.

A vote for  Patrick Fink is a thumbs up to a new school of thought for Rapid City public education. Patrick is the  best candidate and truly the only choice for area three.

MARY MINTON

Rapid City

Hadcock gets job done without taking credit

Leadership comes with experience of running your own business with fiscal responsibility.

If you want the job done with straightforward answers, call Deb Hadcock, Ward 2 city council.

Hadcock doesn’t take credit for other people’s projects. She initiates and dedicates teams of people to get the job done.

Too bad Deb isn’t running for mayor. We need public servants in city hall, not politicians. Vote Deb Hadcock, Ward 2 city council. 

KEITH SUGDEN

Rapid City

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