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Stop overbooking civic center events

On March 5, we attended the Black Hills Symphony. It was a wonderful evening. However, the evening would have been much better if someone hadn’t scheduled five different functions at the same time.

In addition to the symphony, there was a Rush game, monster trucks, kids soccer, and a formal dinner, all fighting for parking.

These were all worthwhile functions, which all suffered from poor planning.

The symphony started nearly a half hour late and I’m sure many gave up and went home as the auditorium was far from full. This was embarrassing to say the least.

These functions were all probably scheduled months in advance so there is no excuse for this poor management. The people of Rapid City deserve an apology. If we can’t do better in the  future, we may all just stay home.

JOHN WALTER

Rapid City

Congress still not getting message

It’s amazing to me how some politicians can look at the results of the last election and walk away with entirely the wrong message.

The big message was: Cut deficit spending.

I just saw in the news that the Congressional Budget Office  has come out with the number for the February federal deficit— $223 billion. That’s $223 billion for one month that we need to borrow or print.

The House bill for the budget for the rest of the fiscal year was supposed to cut $100 billion. Now it has  been scaled back to $60 billion, and it’s still too much for the Senate and the president.  These cuts won’t even cover one month’s worth of deficit spending. I had to call Sen. John Thune’s and Sen. Tim Johnson’s offices to confirm these numbers because they seemed so unbelievable.

I see Harry Reid complaining about the loss of funding for a cowboy poet festival in his state. I have news for Harry Reid: We’ll need to cut a lot more than bovine technician poet festivals before we’re on a sustainable path.

Call Johnson’s, Thune’s, and Rep. Kristi Noem’s offices and let them know we need to get serious about budget cuts.

DAN MULALLY

Rapid City

Some things are  forever on sale

We’ve all pondered the thought-provoking question: “If you had only 48 hours to live, who would you like to see and what would you like to do?”

At age 80, that thought is more provoking every day. but my wishes are simple. I’d really like to know:

  • The retail price of a gallon of Sears paint. It’s been “on sale” for at least 80 years.
  • The actual price of furniture in Rapid City. I moved here in 1974 and it’s been “on sale” 365 days a year ever since. Maybe if I live another 80 years, I’ll get it for free.

P.T. Barnum was right when he said, “There’s a sucker born every minute,”  but I think his numbers are way off. Abe Lincoln was right, too: “You can fool some of the people all the time, and all of the people some of the time...

FRANK McGEE

Rapid City

Thanks for keeping former home nice

I loved the article about the home on West Main Street. Thank you.

My parents, Jim and Nell McNulty, bought the original basement nearly 60 years ago and raised our family of seven children there.

We lived in the basement until the upper portion of the house could be added. At the time, that location was practically in the country and we had lots of room to roam and play.

I am grateful for the loving care the current owners have shown the old place.

My parents are both gone now, but every time we are “home” in Rapid City, we drive by the house on West Main, and relate our memories to each other, grandchildren, and now great- grandchildren.

It is a yearly ritual.

MARY ELLEN

McNULTY-LaLOMIA

Ruskin, Fla. 

Why was casino plan canceled?

Kevin Costner should have built his miraculous property with design and establishment of  railway to Deadwood many moons ago, along with hiring the disadvantaged he promised to hire when it was planned.

Instead we have the Alex Johnson completing a project for an exclusive club.

There’s also a casino across from the proposed Costner site which could still be great competition for a golf course and railway to the Rapid City airport.

But, no. And why not?

Whose idea was it to cancel such a stupendous plan? Someone else is going to come along and steal the same idea and go ahead with the actor’s idea anyway. You just watch and see.

People around here can’t come up with their own ideas. They have steal the ideas from those who can’t afford to create or buy and produce the establishments on their own.

Small business loans are still only for those who have capital, credentials and/or co-signers to back them up.

WANDA ECHOES

Rapid City

Junkyard also needs cleanup 

Regarding the recent Journal article on Box  Elder’s effort to clean up the city: I applaud their effort. However, the junkyard in the middle of the city should be number one on their list.

Box Elder has tremendous potential. I just think the junk yard should be first.

 

ROBERT SHUTT 

Box Elder

Take back city with billboard ban 

There are too many billboards in the Rapid City City Limits. I have seen too many with nothing on them — a  few near Highway 79.

We need signs to be moved from a 1,000-square-foot-radius to a  2,000- square-foot radius from each sign. If the measure is passed, the sign company should comply and remove the sign. We should not grandfather any signs.

If signs are vacant for more than six months, the sign should be taken down. All signs in the right-of-way should be taken down. No more digital billboards should be allowed. We do not need the billboard sign credits. Throw them out.

Signs should be no then 250 square feet and 500 square feet on a double sign.

We the people of Rapid City are speaking out and saying we should take back our city and vote “yes” on the billboard measure.

RUSSELL OUBRE

Rapid City

Politicians make politics dirty

Why are the descendants of the people who came up with this government always complaining about it?

Separation of religion and state? Your government says abortions are legal. Your Bible says they aren’t. Some women believe they  are in control of what happens to their bodies. Some men don’t.

Then there are those who use the Constitution to acquire rights and privileges,  except when it comes to “treaties being the supreme laws of the land.”

In coming months, you will bear witness to what local government has become.  Pay attention to what local politicians are willing to say and do to each other in order to get paid. Then remember what they did in the last two years for those people who supported them. Their motto should be: “For the money, buy the people.”

Politics wasn’t dirty or corrupt until politicians got involved. They’ve used fear to get you to accept what they do to you. I guess there really isn’t a difference between religion and government.

 

T.L. STANDING SOLDIER

Rapid City

One family vetoes popular fair event

Last year during the stock show, there was an event called Matched Bronc Ride at the Central States Fairground, which was the best event to watch in our area.

I found out it was not held this year because the  one rodeo family would not allow it to be held.

How can one family dictate to the rest of us what we can watch?

Please voice your opinion and try to get the Bronc Ride back again next year.

We have attended the Stock show since it started and this kind of attitude is not acceptable.

DONALD KEOUGH

Nemo

Change inconsistent state tax policies

No matter how the state  budget balancing turns out, the justification lawmakers use in state-to-state, apples to apples’ comparisons on tax equivalence, is one big Kabuki dance. 

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For example, it’s disingenuous to compare South Dakota vehicle registration tax to bordering states to justify yet another tax hike.

Many of our neighboring states tax their citizens progressively. Sure, their tag fees are higher but then again, they do not tax food.  Some also do not tax clothing.

Some states, like Minnesota, tax neither food nor clothing.  Furthermore, their property taxes are not as nearly as onerous as ours.

Our lawmakers continue to pursue creative taxation, in addition to a regressive methodology — all to avoid hard spending cut choices.

If that is the desire, then follow the progressives all the way into the tank.

Eliminate the tax on food,  eliminate the tax on clothing, and please lower my outrageously high regressive property taxes. 

While lawmakers go about the progressive taxation route, they should be reminded another election cycle is bearing down again.

Creative taxation endeavors, in lieu of cutting spending, is popular in many states nationwide,  but “don’t tread on me” by piling progressive taxes on top of our regressive taxes.

JOSEPH HAPY

Rapid City

Use donations  for merit pay

I would like to suggest a possible solution to the continuous confrontation for higher wages for teachers with rural state legislators whose elected responsibilities to set proper tax rates according to lower income levels of low populated states that do not have a large tax base.

Legislators must legislate within the limits of a balanced budget mandate.

The teaching occupation that requires expensive continued education requirements should consider abolishing a monetary pool fund with their contributions, to which they would have access after a period of time.

This fund would pay for some of their continuing education costs.

The state would still contribute to this fund within the limits of proper tax revenues and mandated balanced budget limits. Foundations, individuals, and alumni could also contribute to this fund.

It could be structured so teachers would have the ability to set merit awards from this fund for outstanding performance, within balanced budget limitations of the fund.

OTTO J. BENESCH

Rapid City

Sam has essential qualities for mayor

Sam Kooiker has two essential qualities of character that will cause me to vote for him to be our next mayor: he’s an essentially honest man, and he genuinely cares for people.

Sam’s honesty caused him to be censured last year by some people who were essentially dishonest and who obviously felt threatened and uncomfortable by Sam’s honesty.

As for caring for people, I feel that quality in Sam will make him the type of servant-leader we need in the Mayor’s office as contrasted with the self-serving character of the man who is presently mayor.

BILL BOYLAN

Rapid City

Why grade streets when it’s warming?

About three weeks ago, there was less than an inch of snow on my street. The weather was cold but it was widely predicted to be over 60 degrees in two days.

Then at 10 p.m. here comes tandem graders trying ineffectively to clear the snow, which was soon going to melt on its own. As a taxpayer, I resented the wasteful grading, probably on overtime wages, and took it as the start of the mayoral campaign.

It’s worse than the City Hall lawn watering during rainstorms in the summer.

You now have an opportunity to elect a new mayor on June 7. Sam Kooiker, with his proven record of smart money management, is offering to manage Rapid City effectively as mayor.

Kooiker led the effort to abolish automatic annual property tax increases without vote or discussion, resulting in 2010 being the first year Rapid City didn’t increase property taxes.

Kooiker manages and saves your tax dollars instead of campaigning with them. Vote for Sam Kooiker for mayor on June 7.

RAY GREFF

Rapid City

Captions needed  for hard of hearing

I recently watched the  final rounds of the state wrestling tournaments on PBS. I’m very hard of hearing and use the captioning feature on my TV to watch everything. I can’t enjoy a picture without some knowledge of what is taking place. Not being familiar with all the schools’ colors, I was unaware who was being represented on the mats.

State football and basketball championships also leave something out. Without captions, the names of players, calls by officials and anything of interest, the screen is just a picture to me. This letter is a plea to broadcasters, especially public television, to caption their transmissions for those of us who depend on reading what is being said.

DAVID C. OLESON SR.

Rapid City

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