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Letter carrier thanks food drive

I wish to thank the postal customers of Rapid City. It was the first time that we used food drive plastic bags. We went from 14,000 pounds last year to 41,068 pounds this year. I wish to thank the people who helped us achieve this: Feeding South Dakota for all their help; Butler Machinery, Granite Auto and Emmanuel Episcopal Church, for financial help in buying of the bags; the carrier retirees that worked the drop off sites, they were Hout Gibson, Mike Coyle, Bob Orelup, Jim Garnhart, Tim Wical and Jim Haywood. I also want to thank Tom Baumgartner and his son Chris for running the grill to feed all the employees, for their hard work of collecting all off your food donations; my fellow employees Stewart Joyce and Lori Deurmier for working as hard as they did on the loading dock; Dan from Dizco, who loaded up the food and transported it to Feeding South Dakota with his semi-trailer; and the TV and radio outlets that helped advertised the event. - Richard Hatzenbuhler, Letter Carrier

Loves farmers, not as much as his car

I am concerned that not a single gas station in my area, sells regular unleaded gas any longer. It is all this "corn-fuel" that is harmful to engines not designed for it and less efficient.

We should have a choice to use the right fuel for our vehicles, and not forced to use a lower grade of fuel because of special interest groups. I love our farmers, but not at the cost of my vehicle. - Nick Gale, Belle Fourche

Demand reform of tincome ax system

All our problems can be solved including our income tax if our  representatives would cooperate! Example: Income tax for individuals should be 0 percent up to $25,0000, 10 percent for  incomes $25,000 to $50,000, and 20 percent for incomes above $50,000 for all  individuals.

All sources of income would be included (no separate limits for stocks, bonds, etc.). Additional deductions/credits should be very limited. Home ownership, education/training, medical expense, retirement investment, and charitable contributions would be examples that could be allowed with restrictions. One restriction: charities would be required to show that at least 80 percent of  their income goes to help the less fortunate.

We must crack down on tax cheaters and tax fraud. Hiding money overseas would be a felony. The IRS returns $5 for every $1 spent investigating tax fraud. We need a response from our representatives why we can't do the above or at least suggest an alternative. - Howard Reid, Belle Fourche


Enough already on Bill Clayton

Enough already! Only two people know exactly what was said during the phone call between Councilman Bill Clayton and the young female reporter. Upon his apology the matter was resolved via her email response of Sept. 4, 2012.

It sounds like the gist of his angst was over someone not caring enough about their country to go vote. Hence, the admonition to go to some foreign country where they don't have the freedom to elect their leaders.

Councilman Clayton served his country honorably and is neither a bigot nor a racist.

So, what could possibly be the motive behind the fanatical attacks against this councilman and veteran? Where's the tolerance for diversity of opinion on the left? Do those on the left only support freedom of speech and expression when it is soothing to their ears? The first amendment protects all speech, even if we don't agree with it.

Mayor Sam Kooiker and councilmen Sasso, Clayton, Roberts and Laurenti have done an admirable job in reducing the size of local government and protecting us from tax increases.

Stop the bullying ... enough already! - State Sen. Phil Jensen, Dist.33

Teacher story should have been priority

The RC Journal published a great article about the top graduates of the area high schools. Each graduate named a teacher or coach who had been the most influential. I called a Journal editor and requested they publish a story about these outstanding educators. "That would be too long a story." No, just tell us where they teach and what they teach.

The Journal has published long stories, but many of them have been negative. On Tuesday, May 14, the front page had another long story about the immature fighting on the City Council. Not the way we want tourists to be introduced to our city. I called and talked to a Journal editor who helps decide what stories to publish. Again I requested a story on these educators. Tell us where they teach and what they teach. No long research needed. Graduation for Central and Stevens was May 19, so the story would still be timely.

The editors would consider it. No story this week. Many readers would like to have had an opportunity to read this story. It would be a positive, feel good story. This story should have been a top priority for the RC Journal editors. - Edie Boulter, Rapid City

Vote to keep Mayor Sam Kooiker

Some things I've noticed Mayor Kooiker do: He makes worksite visits listening to city employees, garnering their concerns, recommendations and feedback. He rides city buses and even visits the water treatment plant. Seeing a disparity, he redistricted a portion of West Rapid Ward 5 back to North Rapid Ward 4 where their votes will be fully represented and placed a polling station in Lakota Homes so that every vote counts. Mayor Kooiker enacted outcome-based city budgeting which measures efficacy of dollars spent while forecasting future financial needs into the budgeting process. Result: This highly efficient process cancelled out a recommended tax increase, leaving money in the people's pockets not idling in government coffers.

He constantly works for transparent government by initiating and publishing a Rapid City Progress Report, quarterly. When I asked about the short timing of pedestrian crosslights on East North, I received a note checking to see if the problem was fixed. It was, and in under four days. Vote for the conscientious determination and the servant's heart Mayor Kooiker consistently demonstrates through his responsive leadership of all of Rapid City. Vote Sam Kooiker! - Daniel M. Gammeter, Rapid City

Tired of the Kent columns

I for one am tired of the far left slant of the Jim Kent columns that the RCJ continues to periodically place within the opinion pages. Mr. Kent is not from our area and continually disparages South Dakotan residents of “Western European” heritage. Every column that he writes attacks Americans and our culture with distorted facts and liberal propaganda. From the trashing of the Second Amendment to his most recent writing that personally attacks a local landowner for his “capitalism” in desiring to sell his privately owned land to the highest bidder. What’s wrong with that? Should the man just give his property away out of some sense of “white man’s guilt” as Mr. Kent implies? Perhaps Mr. Kent should give away his property and possessions if he feels so strongly about the matter- practice what you preach Mr. Kent! - Timothy Scull, Rapid City


Estes would serve city well

We have known Brad Estes for over 20 years. Our first interaction with Brad came when our children were participating in local quarter horse events. Brad was always there helping out wherever he could.

He has served for a number of years on the Central States Fair Board, and you will find Brad at the fairgrounds helping out with something every day during the run of the fair. When the Black Hills Stock Show rolls around, Brad is always there pitching in wherever help is needed. Brad is a successful business owner whose parents taught him it's important to give back to your community, and Brad's life is a testament to that philosophy. He will bring good, solid busines background and a servant's heart to the city council. 

Rapid City will be extremely well served by Brad Estes on city council. - Carroll & Dennyce Korb, Rapid City

Salvation Army responds to election complaint

The Salvation Army usually has a “no comment” response to statements made about it. However we do wish to respond to Barbara K. Gammeter comments about the Salvation Army needing to clarify our position. She is correct in her opening paragraph, as a nonprofit we should not nor do we endorse political candidates.

The placement of a sign or a logo on a cup on an employee’s desk should not be taken as an endorsement by us. The sign on the empty lot beside our store was an oversight by us; we ask that it be removed, the cup, one of which is on all of our desks, showed poor judgment by the photographer.

Let us, The Salvation Army be very clear on this, we do not as a Church and a Social Service organization endorse political candidates. When this election is over we would hope we can work with the Mayor’s office, whoever is sitting in the chair. - Major Jim Beardsley, Black Hills coordinator, The Salvation Army

Candidate's wife waiting for apology

It’s time for Mayor Kooiker to apologize, again. First he used Mark's mother as a pawn. Now he has chosen to use my position on the school board against my husband, Mark Kirkeby. Mayor Kooiker claims Mark needs to apologize to me regarding the process used by the school district in our 2013-2014 budget. There is no apology needed, and the mayor is out of line. Mark has been a good friend to education in his role as a county commissioner, and in both the House of Representatives and Senate. On the other hand the mayor canceled the majority of meetings between the city and school in the last two years. At this time several items need to be discussed, including MOU’s for the performing arts center and WDT County/City Library, the street location for the dorms considered by the WDT foundation, the fire station to be located on WDT property, and the recreation areas at Sioux Park and Parkview. Mayor Shaw and Mayor Hanks were wonderful to work with, however it is hard ! to work in the best interests of the taxpayer’s dollar when the Mayor continually cancels necessary collaberative work meetings. I'm waiting Sam! - Sheryl Kirkeby, Rapid City

Doyle works for best interest of city

The City of Rapid City needs proven leaders who are visionary and not consumed by the need to be reelected. Charity Doyle, who is running for election in Ward 1, is such a leader. She is now the Vice President of the Council and has proven to be a person of integrity who will research and analyze issues and make tough decisions without considering the political fallout.

She is a Rapid City native and a civil engineer. Her knowledge of engineering and budgeting is a real benefit since the City builds and maintains millions of dollars of infrastructure. Her engineering knowledge is particularly valuable to Ward 1 which is one of the fastest growing areas in Rapid City.

I have worked with Charity this past year on the COMPASS Committee and learned first hand that she is a person of character and perseverance. She is polite but firm, and stands up for the best interest of the community, and not just her ward.

I urge you to vote to return Charity Doyle so she can continue moving the city forward and also work toward returning civility and respect to the City Council. - Coleen I Schmidt, Rapid City,

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Kooiker knows value of higher education

I have known Sam Kooiker for many years and know from personal experience that he supports higher education. He has spoken to my classes at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology many times. During these presentations he has explained the value of higher education to the development and economy of Rapid City and South Dakota. He has also explained to the future engineers the value of community service.

 We are fortunate to have the leadership, vision, and wisdom from Sam Kooiker. I strongly support Sam for Mayor of Rapid City. - M. R. Hansen, Rapid City

Doyle has credentials she wants

I believe Rapid City should be governed by responsible, sensible, honest people, who show integrity and leadership. Charity Doyle is that person. She has exemplified the ability to look at the issues objectively and then arrives at a conclusion that benefits her constituents and the City of Rapid City. She listens to the issues and concerns of all citizens, and then makes good decisions, using her education and background. Charity has shown integrity and is a true leader. As a homeowner in Ward 1, these are the credentials that I wish to have in an Alderman. Please support someone who has shown true leadership, and vote for Charity Doyle for City Council. - Karen Bulman, Rapid City
















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