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Letters to the editor, Oct. 26, 2022

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Letters to the editor, Oct. 26, 2022


Perils of pot

In an honest review, legalizing marijuana is not to end criminal action. It’s to normalize pot use benefiting those selling it on street corners, the new city politician tax “money maker”, and amorally investment supporting un-harassed drug cartels.

The argument is not “for or against” legalization. It is a request to just provide facts and not fictions for voter’s consideration. We need rational assessment, not fantasy.

California, Oregon and Colorado lead problems consideration before cheering this on. Marijuana was legalized on a ‘promise’ to reduce crime, improve public health, increase traffic safety, regulated safe/free of adulterants and as a new tax source. Per the LA Times, 9-22-22:

…illegal weed farms are flooding rural California with more violence, labor exploitation and environmental damage;

…licensing bribery popped up among Inland Empire, San Gabriel Valley and Los Angeles County officials;

…illegal growers are back within days;

…legal growers are unable to sell their crops;

Those who push hardest for legalization ignore this chaos and provided assertions that are unsubstantiated:

…Colorado, Oregon, Alaska, California saw crime rates increase post-legalization

Doesn’t anyone ever discuss this, or is mindless numbing our new standard?

Gary Smith, Spearfish

Safety in schools

As a school board member, I can assure you, we are extremely concerned about student safety. Unfortunately we live in a time in which children are too often victims.

We can all do something to make schools safer by raising public awareness of the South Dakota State School Safety Center. Their mission is “to develop and implement strategies for schools to prevent, prepare, respond to, and recover from incidents that impact the safety and security of students, educators, and staff.”

Far too often someone knows of a potential active shooter or suicide victim but fails to bring it too anyone’s attention. So the Center provides a number of services and trainings promoting school safety. One of the best, in my opinion, is Safe2Say program, whose goal is to create a climate where students feel comfortable sharing sensitive information about a potentially dangerous situation.

Tips can be reported online at or dial 1-844-373-7233 or by using a free smartphone app. A trained safety analyst will respond.

Listen now and subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | RSS Feed | Omny Studio

I suggest downloading the app for handy tip reporting. It is quick and easy to download and intuitive to use.

Mark Winegar, Vermillion

Editor's note: Mark Winegar is a member of the Vermillion School District Board of Education. He was elected in June.

Define middle class

In Senator Thune's latest TV ad he talks about the "Inflation Reduction Act", saying he voted against it because it raised taxes on the middle class. He certainly has a different notion of "middle class" than I do - because the "Act" will not raise income taxes on people with less the

$4oo,ooo income. John Thune also fails to mention it is the "Act" that allows Medicare to negotiate drug costs such as insulin.

After all his time in Congress - it turns out John Thune is just another typical "D.C." politician who will misrepresent the facts and lie to us to get re-elected. He has been in Washington D.C. too long. I'm voting for Brian Bengs.

Richard Peterson, Wewela

For Vince Vidal

Vince Vidal, candidate for SD House in District 33, has long served the public, first through 20 years in the Navy and then as a Rapid City Planning Commissioner. He most recently served by auditing Air Force travel pay at Ellsworth AFB to ensure our tax dollars are spent wisely.

Vince believes in the middle class. He thinks we should all receive a first-class education, have access to affordable healthcare and decent jobs and careers that will pay the bills. He supports Medicaid expansion and definitely believes that personal healthcare decisions should never be made by politicians, but by patients in consultation with their doctors and families.

Since Vince is the only Democrat running for House in that district, though you can vote for two candidates, please consider voting only for Vince. Why? He’ll have a better chance of winning if you do. If all Republicans vote for both Republican candidates and you vote for one Republican along with Vince, Republican candidates will get three-quarters of the votes. Please vote only for Vince!

Vince is a decent, hard-working South Dakotan who would appreciate your vote so he can continue to serve the citizens of our great state.

Karen Hall, Rapid City

Changes to the GOP

As I grew up here in Rapid City, everyone I knew was a Republican. I even campaigned in my eight-year-old way for Eisenhower. But it’s not my dad’s Republican party anymore. So I wonder why.

Here’s what I see today. The Republican Party tolerates mean and demeaning behavior from its leaders. It gathers its flock with a common enemy - Communists, Socialists, Immigrants, LGBT, and now Jews—all in vaguely threatening language. Most citizens have no clear idea of what each of the above is, or stands for. But they hear the terms as menacing.

It’s not a coincidence that QAnon conspiracy theories are tied to the Republican Party. And I wonder where Christian teaching comes in with all this. Aren’t Christians taught to love and forgive? There hasn’t been a lot of love or forgiveness toward those so-called enemies.

What I wonder, too, is why this is tolerated by leading members of Congress. Why are leading members, those who decried the tyranny of January 6th, now falling in line behind the former President? Democrats aren’t perfect either. But I like to remember the lesson my mom taught me: “two wrongs don’t make a right."

Tamra Glover, Rapid City

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