Letters to the editor, August 13, 2021
Is the school board accountable?
One cannot compare last year's school experience and expect the same this year given reports that the Delta Variant makes more kids more seriously ill than previous variants.
Stripping Rapid City Area Schools of all COVID precautions now when kids are at more risk than ever is playing politics with my children's safety and is unacceptable. My children are too young to be vaccinated.
What would it harm to take precautions for their safety until we see how the Delta Variant goes in schools? It appears the Delta Variant is hitting kids hard in the south: Tennessee is expected to have no available pediatric hospital beds by the end of the week. RCAS offered a small pilot program for distance learning for the 2021-2022 school year but we were forced to make that decision by May 2021 and had to commit to distance learning this entire school year.
I want my kids in school in person once they are vaccinated. Until kids under 12 can get vaccinated, to willfully disregard data on the Delta Variant impact on kids is malpractice. Do concerned parents have any rights? Is the school board accountable if local children die of COVID?
Emily Huntley, Rapid City
Safety not vanity
Critics of Governor Noem's decision to upgrade the State's King Air C90 and King Air 200 aircraft for a King Air 350 should do a little homework.
The FAA recently released Airworthiness Directive (AD). AD #85 FR 78699 which requires that many older models of King Airs (including the C90 but not the 200) be inspected for fatigue cracks in the lower forward wing fitting.
Preliminary reports indicate that the recent fatal crash of a C90 working Air Attack on a wildland fire in Arizona resulted directly from an in-flight wing separation while working the fire. Sometimes upgrading your "ride" is a matter of vanity, but very often it just makes sense to swap a couple of older, higher-risk, expensive-to-maintain birds for a newer more modern version.
Kenneth Wesche, Rapid City
School Board should be ashamed
On Monday night I watched the school board meeting in disbelief at the complete disregard some members showed for the welfare of the children in the Rapid City School District.
To hear that some desired to stop doing contact tracing, forego testing kits, to ban mask mandates no matter the transmission rates and to limit the superintendent's ability to manage the district was horrifying.
This level of disregard is appalling and this board should be ashamed of themselves. There is a balance between freedom of choice and public health and welfare and this board has fully committed to the ideology of one at the real life of cost of the other.
The CDC, NIH, American Academy of Pediatrics, and the World Health Organization all emphasize masking, social distancing, handwashing, and contact tracing as the most effective ways to maintain in-person education and ignoring the advice of countless medical professionals is a level of hubris that I had not thought possible.
If the board continues to pursue this reckless approach, they will make our children sick. I hope each board member is as eager to take responsibility for those outcomes as they are to earn the praise of the anti-mask advocates.
Kelli Trebil, Rapid City
Not so cleverly disguised
(1) offering opportunity for all students;
(2) proudly supporting the United States of America;
(3) safeguarding the rich tradition of American universities; and
(4) offering curriculum based upon widely held and accepted knowledge and thought.
This so called four pillars the South Dakota Board of Regents proclaimed important are a not so cleverly disguised way of limiting the truth of what we teach.
“Proudly supporting the United States of America” Does that mean teaching only things that make America look good and nothing else, not what really happened?
“Safeguarding the rich tradition of American Universities.” Does the Board realize that these words are constantly used by racist groups trying to justify hanging the Confederate flag and other symbols of slavery on public property.
And Last “offering curriculum based upon widely held and accepted knowledge and thought” Widely held and accepted by whom? By Noem and her buddies?
Brent Cox, Sturgis
The Fraud no one cares about
On average I get five phone calls per day from people claiming to be from Medicare. They want to send me various medical devices, ranging from braces to a saliva tests, all for free. To begin with Medicare doesn't call anyone. To get to the bottom of this fraud I accepted a brace. When it arrived, there was an invoice for $400,00 billed to Medicare. I immediately send it back and called Medicare and reported the fraud. I also called my Congressperson and reported the problem.
No one has called me back and honestly, I get the feeling no one cares. The scam works like this, all of the calls are from another country. The phone numbers are routed from "let's say Russia" to a switchboards in Colorado or Ohio, then to local phone numbers, so it looks like the calls originate in the U.S.
There is a medical supply company involved and a doctor who signs off on the bogus orders. They then bill Medicare an exorbitant amount! I have kept track of the phone numbers, and if the FBI needs help, call me I work cheap since I'm retired.
Jesse Villafuerte, Lead
Whose definition of "fun"
There are no such things as “nest predators” most predator eat more rodents than anything. So farmers that allow trapping predators need to be prepared for more mice and rats invading there barns and grain facilities. Gov. Noem made the bizarre assertion that trapping could be a fun family activity.
Sure, take your kids and show them how a coyote will chew it's own leg off to escape a trap. If your kids find this fun get them some mental help. As usual Gov. Noem is using state money for her own greedy reasons. She and her family make big money from out of state hunters they host.
Greg Knapp, Webster, SD