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Letters to the editor, July 25, 2020

Letters to the editor, July 25, 2020

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Letters to the editor, July 25, 2020

Denying the facts

To the editor,

In support of Mayor Allender regarding "delayed and inaccurate" COVID-19 information from our state's department of health, I also believe there are problems. The state epidemiologist reported in a Rapid City Journal headline that we had no increase in positive cases related to the Mt. Rushmore maskless, nonsocially-distanced gathering with President Trump that made him sound like Gov. Noem's spokesperson rather than a scientist. Over 22 days in June (6/4 to 6/26), Pennington County had a 207 rise in positive cases, but over a 22-day period in July (7/1-7/23), we had a 242 rise in positive cases, and that's with only 22 percent of attendees being from the Black Hills. I understand that there are more tourists in the area now too. Anyway, we had 275 positive cases in Pennington County on June 4th and 765 on July 23rd, so for the state to indicate our numbers are not rising is flat out denying the facts.

Sandra Schneider, Rapid City

Misusing tax money

To the editor,

The way Governor Noem is using Covid 19 money to pay for State employee salaries that has little or nothing to do with Covid 19, is illegal, and will have to be repaid.

The American taxpayer gave the state a vast amount of money for Covid 19. If it is not needed for Covid 19 then is must be returned. Apparently Noem thinks she can break any law she does not like and get away with it. Is this why she is spending half of her time with Pence and Trump? Those two do not control how this money is spent. The people actually in charge of determining how this money in spent need to come after Noem and the State for the return of Taxpayers money. Noem is literally stealing the Peoples borrowed money that was dedicated to help deal with this massive pandemic. This theft is egregious, and a dangerous precedent.

Brent Cox, Sturgis

Thankful for the Mayor

To the editor,

I think most Rapid City residents share in the frustration Mayor Allender is experiencing in attaining relevant Covid-19 data.

Toward that end, how about offering free testing to a significant cross-section of our City; for instance, free tests might be offered grocery shoppers at the West-side Safeway and West-side Family Fare simultaneously on a Friday from noon until 8:00 p.m. (might be interesting for the test administrators to note mask compliance).

My point is that there ought to be a way to find some relevant statistical data without attacking the problem willy-nilly. Perhaps free tests at a tourist attraction, or a gas station.

All of us are grateful for Mayor Allender's efforts on our behalf - thank you!

Adrian Forrette, Rapid City

Is this a good idea?

To the editor,

With this virus upon us please tell me why we have decided it's OK to invite half to three quarters of a million motorcyclists to our area from all over the U.S. and even some from overseas?

I understand the money is important to a lot of people but what is a life cost these days?

We know from past experience these people will be moving all over this area and we also know schools will be starting up according to our leaders. We close the swimming pools restrict sports events and concerts but Sturgis must go on. I think the ones that made that decision should attend the funerals caused by their actions to see what it does to families.

Robert Steele, Rapid City

People need answers

To the editor,

This COVID crisis has affected us all in one way or another, when all of this hit I made a decision to stay home with my kids so we would be safer from this virus. We were all told we would have help financially because of this crisis. I started to receive unemployment for a short time, then at the begging of June without warning my payments were frozen much like so many others I'm sure. Also I know people who have been waiting months for "help" and receive nothing. People are suffering, wondering how were gonna buy groceries or even have gas to get to the store. I also know the unemployment department is swamped, and I try to have sympathy for that, however the department of unemployment also needs to understand they are holding peoples well being in their hands and those decisions impact lives. I wrote to four elected officials about this issue and have received one reply, all three of my state elected officials ( Thomas Brun, Kirk Chaffee, Gary Cammack) have not said one word regarding this. All I want is answers, but I have received nothing from anyone.

Jason Hope, Piedmont

Leaders have failed us

To the editor,

Through the history of the COV-19 pandemic, the numbers coming out of SD-DOH have been inconsistent and have been strategically timed and aggregated to hide the actual course of the pandemic. The official numbers from Pierre are not complete, and our low testing rates further hide the truth. The lying with numbers is so obvious to anyone who has been tracking the data that our Mayor has dismissed them as fiction ("Allender suspends weekly press conferences", July 22).

The Rapid City School Board president said ("5 percent of RCAS staff considers not returning this fall", July 23) said that COVID will work through our entire population. Sadly, this isn't true, even if the pandemic continues to spin out of control, as those of us who are retired or can work or learn from home may avoid infection. Instead, the failure of the politically-driven decisions Federal and State governments will be paid for the most by our low and mid income citizens, and those who we are depending on the most: our grocery workers, take-out makers, first responders, and medical professionals. The injustice of this reality is obscene.

Our leaders have failed us.

Curtis Price, Rapid City

To the Iowa complainers

To the editor,

We elected our present officials to govern the state of South Dakota in our behalf, and we will re-elect them. People who attended the Mount Rushmore July 4th celebration did so by choice. That's their right. Ross Haenfler and Marianne Dirkson of Iowa need not tell us what to do. The Black Hills of South Dakota is a location they need not visit. Stay home and tell the Iowans what to do. P.S. My wife is from Iowa, and the Black Hills is one of the things she does not complain about.

Leon Handrick

Custer

Who's going to stop him?

To the editor,

Come November, one of these two scenarios will almost certainly happen. If Trump, Putin and their swing state allies are at that time not certain they have the election rigged via their usual lies and voter suppression tactics, Trump will postpone it indefinitely or cancel it completely (same difference). If, however, they miscalculate, figure they have it in the bag, allow the election to take place and it doesn't go well for them, Trump will call it "fake" and refuse to leave office. We have a constitution, you say; he can't do these things! Wanna bet? Who's going to stop him? Republican congress people will once again violate their oaths of office, wipe their feet on that constitution and welcome the Fascist dictatorship they've worked so hard for. The military? You gotta be kidding. So all we patriots can do is help each other at the local levels and learn to survive in a country devoid of everything the USA once stood for--or will ever stand for again.

Terry Painter, Rapid City

Democrats with guns

To the editor,

I have always taken gruff from my fellow liberal Democrats for my love of guns and the Second Amendment. I support same-sex marriage, abortion rights, Black Lives Matter, toppling Confederate statues, and I have never voted Republican. At the same time, I have two .40 pistols, a Ruger 9mm, two shotguns, a .22 rifle, a 30-06 with scope, and an AR-15 and AK-47, both with 30-round magazines (of course I discarded the bump-stocks). We have an arsenal of ammo and a shooting range on our 78 acres.

I learned to love guns in the U.S. Army (reserve) where I surprised myself by qualifying ‘expert’ with an M-16 on the range at Fort Jackson. That was my first experience with small arms, and I have loved them since.

I support gun rights because I just love guns. Some of my fellow gun enthusiasts, mostly Republican, claim they support gun rights as a remedy for a tyrannical government. I always thought they were crazy, until I saw what is happening in Portland, Oregon. Unidentified para-military personnel kidnapping citizens and trampling their constitutional rights is dangerous - and tyrannical. Maybe my Republican gun buddies have been right all along- “Don’t Tread on Me!”

Richard Jones, New Underwood

We must act now

To the editor,

If you or your children or grandchildren or friends that are hopefully still alive in 2050, you must help divert a catastrophic collapse of civilization by 2050 by demonstrating September 12, 2020.

We all must act "NOW". Several reports project a future where civilization will collapse by 2050 due to instability set off by Climate Change, Plastic In Our Oceans, Overpopulation, The Sixth Great Extinction Event, Rising Sea Levels, Environmental Destruction, and people trying to flee regions of the world that simply would be too hot for human habitation.

We will reach a 4 degrees C (7.2 degrees F) rise or more in the coming decades. Children ages 12 or over must watch this video and use their social media skills to make this demonstration happen on Saturday, September 12, 2020.

Adults and children must use all social media to get people to make banners and posters and demonstrate in such great numbers that the world must respond.

In the United States, line your busiest streets and intersections (Wear masks and social distance) and show that we demand a habitable world now and into the future. We the people can make the governments act now!

Please Demonstrate September 12, 2020!

Metakuye Oyiasin (All my relatives)

Robert J. Ackerman Rapid City

Learn from Lakota Culture

To the editor,

To get an angle on the monument problem, learn from Lakota culture. They don’t wantonly destroy nature, nor alter or name a geological formation for the glorification of mortals. They name landmarks after nature, such as Eagle Nest Butte on Pine Ridge Reservation. If Black Elk Peak had been named consistent with this practice, it would be called Owls Nest Peak.

Lakota people understand that even good men do bad things. Maybe that’s why Crazy Horse refused to have his photograph taken. Without a photograph, the sculptor, Korczak Ziolkowski, intentionally or not, carved his own likeness into the mountain at Crazy Horse Memorial. Lakota and non-Lakota, alike, have remarked on this as they compare the front of the sculpture with Ziolkowski photographs. Moreover, Lakota, and other indigenous people, don't point with their fingers. I learned this as a Malaysia Peace Corps volunteer. In the spirit of Crazy Horse, we should take the monument down, or at least leave unfinished the outstretched arm with its pointing finger.

As monuments are protested, let’s rethink the meaning of elevating humans to monumental stature. Maybe take them down and focus instead on taking care of the health of the earth and of every living thing.

Sylvia Lambert, Interior

Lack of leadership

To the editor,

As peace talks proceeded for ending the long-running war in Afghanistan, President Trump was informed as early as January that bounties were being paid to Taliban-linked militants for killing American and coalition troops. The payer-organization was a Russian unit known to have performed covert assassinations in Europe. How has President Trump responded to this information? Was he angry? Did he initiate appropriate consequences against Putin? Alas, our president simply tried to keep it a secret. Trump’s non-action and secrecy led someone in the Pentagon to leak the story. We already knew that Trump never confronted Putin regarding 2016’s election interference. We’ve noted that Trump has ignored other Russian provocations throughout his presidency. Families of the twenty-some American service members killed since 2019 in Afghanistan deserve answers. Throughout his presidency, Trump has consistently shown adoration and special comity for Putin. He’s had many secret conversations with Putin and other high-level Russian ministers. He’s consistently supported Russia’s interests -- often to the detriment of our European allies. Can I be faulted for wondering if Trump is secretly beholden to Russia’s Putin? Furthermore, full economic recovery is unlikely without a national testing strategy. Shame falls on Thune and Rounds for lack of leadership.

David Wegner, Sioux Falls

Get over yourself

To the editor,

No Mask. No Sense. If one projects the virus & someone gets it, that is ignorance at its peak. Exhaling or sneezing into a mask, protects others. If Gov. Kristi Noem won't require people to wear a mask, then she needs to be replaced by someone who will. If you think you are too Macho or too cute to wear a mask, get over yourself. Care more about others than about yourself. The Mayor also has the responsibility to require people wear a mask. If any business does not require customers to wear a mask, close your doors and go home. Also, business employees also need to wear a mask. If this letter offends you, you may be part of the problem.

Allen McPherson, Rapid City

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