Government should honor its promises
There’s a new kind of war right here in America, and its front line is on the front steps of the VA system.
My father was pulled out of high school at age 17 and shipped off to Viet Nam. He did his part serving two tours on the USS Kitty Hawk for the U.S. Navy in a war he still does not understand.
Our government promised him two things: to provide for his medical care and his burial. However, the first promise is not being honored. I’m sure the second is much cheaper.
He has lived with excruciating back pain every day for over a year now. Every time he goes to the VA he gets the run around and another bottle of medication that doesn’t work. He’s been told that the damage is too severe and that his back is inoperable.
The damage that our government is doing to our veterans is severe and intolerable. So I say to the wounded and the weak who are tired of politics dancing upon their bruised backs, rise once again and summon the strength to demand that the promises be honored.
Redistricting plan disenfranchises voters
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Mayor Sam Kooiker deserves credit for keeping his campaign promise to set up a polling place for the portion of Rapid City that is north of the interstate at the Oyate Center.
This makes voting more accessible, especially for senior citizens and people who lack transportation.
At the same time, the legislative committee charged with redistricting after last year’s census has unveiled maps for the Rapid City area.
All four proposals are hideous gerrymanders that divide and disenfranchise North Rapid. All four proposals keep Lakota Homes in a suburban district that is dominated by Johnson Siding, Countryside and Black Hawk. The rest of North Rapid would be divided into districts dominated by the west side and by Rapid Valley.
At the recent committee hearing, Sen. Jim Bradford of Pine Ridge pointed out that he receives calls from Native Americans in Rapid City who feel disenfranchised and don’t know their own representatives.
Our legislators should take their cues from our mayor. Since the metro area has four legislative districts, the fairest solution would be to respect natural boundaries as much as possible, creating districts for the north, south, east and west parts of town.