Letters to the editor, August 27, 2021
A sad day in South Dakota
Regarding the Ravnsborg incident near Highmore - and court reports that followed - I recall my own two vehicle-deer mishaps during the past twenty-five years. When one’s eyes are on the road ahead, the driver can easily identify potential collision objects. In the Highmore tragedy, the victim was walking on the side of the road. He was carrying a flashlight. Mr. Ravnsborg’s eyes must have been averted from the road for many, many seconds while apparently fiddling with his phone. I’m surprised the forensic reviewers didn’t call this “reckless.”
When the collision occurred, Ravnsborg would have both felt and heard it. In that fraction of a second, he would have gotten a visual on the shape of the object being flung upward and away. In that fraction of a second, his brain would have registered it as a man and not a deer.
I’ve had two separate collisions with deer, and got a clear visual of each as they went airborne. The brain needs only a fraction of a second to make identification.
Given his plea deal, Ravsborg’s outlandish contentions can never be properly tested against science and common sense. It’s a sad day for justice in South Dakota.
David Wegner, Sioux Falls
Time for School Choice
Immense dismay washed over us as we read the decisions made by the new Rapid City School Board pertaining to opening our schools during Covid-19 Delta surge. They are not providing a safe and healthy environment for our students.
In light of that entity’s inability to cognitively process data and display any regard for the value of human life, there is one choice left for all of us. We have the right to school choice!
Rapid City School District must immediately provide two school systems. One school system has the right to follow the current school board with their radical, irrational, Covid-embracing, political persuasions. The other school system will have the right to be Covid-free following science and medically proven safe policies with educational content consistent with excellent academic outcomes.
For human beings to hide behind a title on a school board with the intent to endanger the lives of defenseless children, their families, and teachers is criminal and beyond comprehension. No American should be subjected to this level of insanity. We have the freedom and the right to choose and demand safe public schools – now!
Becci Flanders-Paterson and Colin Paterson, Rapid City
It is time to act
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change completed their sixth assessment in August of 2021. Released statements included the following: “It is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land. Widespread and rapid changes in the atmosphere, ocean, cryosphere and biosphere have occurred.
The scale of recent changes across the climate system as a whole and the present state of many aspects of the climate system are unprecedented over many centuries to many thousands of years. Human-induced climate change is already affecting many weather and climate extremes in every region across the globe.” And yet, many of our politicians and leaders are ignoring the plight of the planet.
The extreme fires, draughts, floods, intense storms, and incredible heat waves were all predicted decades ago. And yet, many of our politicians and leaders are ignoring the plight of the planet. Does anyone believe that our circumstances will get better without drastic action? There are those who will claim that these warnings are just fear mongering, and to this I say yes! I don’t know about you, but I am very afraid, and sick and tired of watching fossil fuels destroy nature. Tell Congress it is time to act.
Harold Arns, Box Elder
Most survive Covid-19
Some facts are warranted in the Covid discussion about masking children.
Facts; not opinions.
As of August 23rd, the survival rate for all Covid infected persons under the age of 80 years old, in the entire state of South Dakota was 99.25% according the the South Dakota Department of Health. Also according to SDDH numbers there have been 20,465 Covid cases in people 19 years old and under. There have been zero fatalities. The survival rate for people 19 and younger in the state of South Dakota is 100%. With an overall survival rate of 99.25% and a 100% survival rate for kids, masks should not be mandated. Those are SDDH numbers.
Jason Johnston, Rapid City
We need common sense legislation
Congress is poised to pass a package of bills aimed at restricting the technology platforms small business owners use every day across country. These bills would add bureaucratic red tape and complicated processes that could make it more expensive, more confusing, and more time consuming to perform online tasks. The bills would also place control of much of the internet in the hands of the government.
These bills would drastically alter the way companies are allowed to function and promote their business and services online in many ways. It would prevent tech companies from offering integrated tools that benefit small businesses, like Google Search results that direct users directly to Maps results with local businesses and Facebook’s Marketplace features. It would limit opportunities for small businesses to grow and expand by banning acquisitions from larger companies. It would make it harder to use online platforms even as the country is still battling the pandemic and businesses are struggling to bounce back financially, many who used the internet to stay afloat during the pandemic.
Everyone wants common sense legislation that protects consumers, but not at the expense of innovations that have turned the internet into such an effective tool for small businesses.
Harriet Anderson, Whitewood
Reconsider who is to blame
I spent 26 years as a fed, many overseas in difficult places. During those years once or twice I wrote travel advisories designed to warn Americans against traveling to various hotspots. I am confident such warnings were in place in Afghanistan and that the people stranded now were aware of them.
There are extensive Embassy-managed networks in foreign countries to ensure Americans are encouraged to register with the Embassy and to ensure those so registered are kept abreast of security conditions. It would be unheard of for any company or NGO or Church operating in a foreign country to neglect to register their people or to neglect to stay abreast themselves of security conditions. Sadly, many of these organizations routinely ignore the warnings and risk the lives and safety of their staff, not to mention putting at risk those US personnel tasked with trying to get them to safety when things go badly.
The USG personnel are there to do those jobs and they are well paid for it. I’m not asking anyone to feel sorry for them. I’m asking those who are buying into the narrative that the USG is responsible for stranding these folks to perhaps reconsider.
Thomas Schmitz, Deadwood