Letters to the editor, Feb. 11, 2023
I am often frightened by the tendency of individuals within our society to refuse to believe a fact even when the evidence verifying that specific fact is ubiquitous. Decades ago numerous climate scientists warned us about the dangers of green house gas emissions. Several of them made predictions about dangerous changes in our weather.
Today, we are experiencing some of those changes, but they are actually occurring more rapidly than anticipated. If an oncologist told you that you have cancer, would you ignore the diagnosis and refuse treatment? The best climate scientists in the world are warning us to take drastic action immediately.
Yes, the suggested actions will also have consequences and produce some hardships. Nonetheless, the future is in our hands; please consider the future when you act, vote, or share information.
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If you are not willing to dismiss the science that has helped us prevent horrific diseases, placed people on the moon, and, today, is warning us about the dangers of climate change, get involved. Join a grass roots organization such as the Citizen’s Climate Lobby.
Information is available on their website. Please remember to always ask for proof whenever someone disseminates important information. Misinformation is harmful.
Harold Arns, Box Elder
During a recent weekend, in a film commentary of the movie “Deliverance,” Turner Classic Movies host, Ben Mankiewicz, characterized the politics of Jon Voight, one of the stars of the movie, as “controversial.”
Mr. Mankiewicz’s comments represent continuing efforts by the left, including President Biden, to delegitimize conservative political views. Mr. Mankiewicz, whose celebrity likely derives primarily from his grand uncle’s success as a movie director in the 40’s and 50’s, has accomplished little else to legitimize his own political views, having led a life of privilege and wealth.
Jon Voight is an actor with an enduring presence on screen and a film resume unparalled by few other modern Hollywood personalities. He is, at most, a moderate conservative, beginning his adult life as a liberal. Voight probably best represents the old saw that if you are 20 years old and not liberal, you have no heart and if you’re 40 years old and not conservative, you have no brains.
At most, someone suffering from “Trump Derangement Syndrome” might brand Voight’s politics as “controversial.” However, an appraisal of the politics of some current elected senators and representatives, e.g., Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Maxine Watters would fairly characterize their supporters’ politics as controversial or extremist, and, certainly, ill-informed.
Rodney Michael, Rapid City
Policies hurt people
South Dakota politics are dominated by the GOP, hurting lives and liberty of all the citizens of SD/USA. Some legislators, out-of-state influencers, and groups supporting the ban on anything for trans youth, even if their parents, doctors, and mental health professionals support trans youth.
Heritage Alliance, Concerned Women for America, SD Catholic Conference, and the SD Freedom Caucus testified. These are faith-based Constitutional movements that are a “political movement that embraces far-right nationalism and the forceful suppression of any opposition, all overseen by an authoritarian government (10-20-2020, CBS News Leslie Gorstein.)” Called ChristoFascism.
HB 1234, proposes school vouchers [the bill was killed]. Some legislators, and groups will support the destruction of public schools. Schools have never been fully funded in SD. The proposed Social Studies Standards that emphasize conservationism. Look at the lack of SD educators input into those standards.
HB1070 will further result in teachers leaving SD. Teachers teach truth, not just one view.The result is the loss of school district funding/textbook selection, individual rights, and mandating control by radical groups with help from GOP Legislators.
Is this what we want? Wake up SD, our choice, control or freedom. Also, “Christian/Bible/God” are not in the Constitution.
Paul Harens, Yankton
Maplewood owners respond
As the ownership and management of Maplewood Townhouses, we would like to respond to the February 2, 2023 article “Officials plead for action from owners of north Rapid City's 'Big Three' apartments, threaten additional steps”.
Since we hosted a meeting with Ward 4 City Councilman Lance Lehmann and others in September 2021 to discuss criminal activity in our neighborhood, we have invested in improved and additional lighting, a security camera system and a security patrol provided through Mountain States Security. We have worked closely with the Rapid City Police Department that has online access to our security camera system at Maplewood and also comes to our office where they can review security camera footage to solve crimes at the property.
We recently added an extra monitor for the police department to use in our maintenance room while reviewing security camera footage. We are planning to continue all of these efforts to promote safety and security at our property and in our neighborhood in the future.
We would like to work with the city to address issues with several abandoned properties in our neighborhood that have been contributing to criminal activity as well.
Kenneth Talle, Chanhassen, Minn.
Permit reform needed
Growing our state’s renewable sector through clean energy and infrastructure investments will help strengthen local economies and create jobs for hardworking South Dakotans. While building our clean energy infrastructure will undoubtedly help support economic growth and advance our state’s all-of-the-above approach to energy, none of these benefits will reach our communities until critical projects are approved and the infrastructure is actually built.
Unfortunately, burdensome and lengthy permitting and siting processes create unnecessary delays that can hinder much-needed investments from translating into clean energy and infrastructure development. Environmental reviews alone can take many years, if not a decade or longer—adding costs and creating uncertainty for private investors. All this does is prevent South Dakota from moving forward on a number of domestic energy initiatives that could help us become more energy secure and independent.
Both Senators Thune and Rounds understand the importance of strengthening South Dakota’s energy capabilities, and growing our renewable energy sector is the best way to do that. Given their support and history of advocating for diminishing government inefficiency, they should work to advance commonsense solutions that will help streamline and simplify the overly complex, inefficient permitting process.
Kevin Wagner, Lead