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Letters to the editor, August 28, 2021

Letters to the editor, August 28, 2021


Letters to the editor, August 28, 2021

Ignoring federal law

Dear Mary Garrigan and the Rapid City group of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America,

Thank you for sharing your organization's perspective on firearms. One of the best aspects of our country guaranteed to us by the Constitution is the right to freedom of speech. Another aspect of this guiding document is the right for American citizens to bear arms in such a way that shall not be infringed, which is unfortunately currently happening in many circumstances across our great nation.

The fact remains we are not discussing my opinion or your opinion, we are discussing ignoring federal law. Thank you also for the invitation to attend your gathering, unfortunately I have a full schedule of RSVP events. Should you wish to visit with me further I can be contacted directly at


Senator Jessica Castleberry

Trust our teachers

Every classroom teacher employed by the Rapid City Area School District has more education than many of the members of the Rapid City Area School Board.

While the newly elected Board’s first few meetings have been full of wild statements disregarding science and the medical community, disparaging statements about Indigenous culture and immigrants, and disordered conduct by new board members, I am most alarmed by the active distrust and disrespect of professional educators working in the district.

Certainly we can all look back to our early education days and highlight an impactful teacher. These professional adults may be the first college educated mentors in a young person’s life. This past year, the teachers of Rapid City have risen to challenges, operated with professional determination, and utilized their own higher education to safely educate our kids.

Thank you, teachers.

Thank you for showing up in classrooms of unknown complications. Thank you for pivoting and for staying flexible as science and statistics unfolded. Thank you for engaging with empathy. Thank you for comforting children who lost loved ones to Covid-19. Thank you for crying with high-schoolers who lost friends to suicide.

Thank you for reminding students that the way out of almost any predicament, problem, or pandemic is to look for the helpers, to examine the research, and to always choose kindness. Thank you for continuing to walk into unsafe buildings, with inadequate funding, with little leadership support. Thank you for showing up, within your credentials and professional training, to lead, to instruct, and to love our kids so well.

Natalie LaFrance-Slack, Rapid City

Kids are not invulnerable

A writer argues, using Health Department numbers as evidence, against the safe, easy, effective covid control measure, used very successfully all last year- masking in schools an expectation, not an option depending whether a family happens to feel like preventing covid, or believes mainstream science.

A confounding thing about a 99.25% survival rate, in a very contagious but preventable disease, which large numbers of people don’t happen to feel like preventing, is that 0.75% of people do die, with significant suffering for themselves and loved ones. 61% of Pennington is completely unvaccinated. If people continue acting like covid isn’t real, or just don’t care, a reasonable approximation would be half the unvaccinated get it. That arithmetic yields another 252 dead neighbors, over double the toll to date, with more suffering in ICU, others with mental and physical symptoms of long covid. It’s wonderful that young kids are less vulnerable to covid. They are not invulnerable.

Per CDC, over 450 American children have died of this preventable disease so far, with more admitted to hospitals on oxygen, or suffering multi-system inflammation syndrome. Don’t make any Rapid City kids the first young Dakotans to die of their elders spite for the medical establishment.

Peter Hasby, Rapid City

President should resign

Well, well, seems like old Joe has dropped another clunker. All of you folks who voted for him in 2020 are accomplices of in the deaths of 12 US Marines. You gave him the office of the president of the USA, who is the " Commander in Chief ". Only thing is he is the chief of is blundering. He should resign imediatley or Congress should fire him right away! Bye bye Joe.

Jack Sayles, Custer

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


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