Letters to the editor, Sept. 8, 2021
Council member misinformed
Council member Bill Evans apparently is not aware that some city employees did indeed lose their jobs because of budget concerns due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I had been a Page at the Rapid City Public Library for 14 years in May of 2020 when I got a phone call from the library director, informing me that I would be let go because of budget concerns. I am not the only library employee to have lost their job.
My immediate supervisor was also let go, as well as two other employees. I would gladly have worked through the pandemic without a bonus of hazard pay, if I had only been allowed to keep my job. Please become better informed before you announce that no city employees lost their job due to the pandemic, council member Bill Evans.
Josey Sittig, Rapid City
In favor of homeschooling board members
I continue to read and hear progressive voices shrieking against Kate Thomas and Breanna Funke as school board members because their children are homeschooled. Rather than allow these nonsensical voices to go unchallenged, here are three reasons why such statements lack, knowledge, logic and display a hidden bias and even discrimination against those who choose to homeschool their children. In fact, I believe that parents who have a direct, hands on role in the education of their children are possible the best candidates to be on a school board.
1) just look at the list of famous homeschoolers: entertainment titans Christina Aguilera, Taylor Swift and Justin Beiber; in sports, Olympian Simone Biles and Marina Sharapova; in science/math George Washington Carver and Aaran Fernandez. Their lofty accomplishments are directly attributable to their home education. So imagine if the knowledge/experience of their parents could influence public school policy!
2) School board members were voted into office by their peers, who had time to examine their lifestyles and approved!
3) the best reason, is that South Dakota law is silent on whether parents that homeschool can serve on local school boards…silence implies consent!
Edward Manzano, Rapid City
Any one of us who watched with dismay as the Taliban rampaged Afghanistan 25 years ago destroying that country's centuries old artifacts and subjecting its women and progressive professionals to fear for their lives should be equally or much more dismayed/angry over today's GOP Republican laws against freedom of choice, and freedom to vote. Some states under GOP control like Texas, Missouri and Utah have passed laws giving citizens the power to enforce laws that are unconstitutional in themselves. Others are considering laws that would allow GOP officials in some states to change the outcome of votes they don't like by changing the electoral votes. They are trying to "pick the voters" instead of the "voters picking them!"
Here in 'deep Red' South Dakota, we the people choose to make marijuana use legal and our 'elected' officials fall all over themselves on trying to restrict our vote beyond our intentions. Like when we passed Initiative No. 22 (dealing with ethics) our past GOP governor said we'd been "hood-winked!"
I ask you, is the GOP 'Taliban' working for you? Yes it is, for some; but not for the majority for sure!
Jake Kammerer, Rapid City
Interesting but wrong
Tim Goodwin's columns make interesting reading, even when they're just plain wrong. Last week, in between taking shots at President Biden and the South Dakota Supreme Court, he tried to explain the legislative redistricting that must be done, based on last year's census figures.
Our current legislative districts are blatantly gerrymandered, to reduce Democratic chances and Native American participation. North Rapid is divided between three districts. Goodwin describes District 33 as "the west side going up into the Hills." Actually, the west side of town is mostly in District 34, and District 33 includes North Middle School, General Beadle and Knollwood Elementary, Lakota Homes, but also Black Hawk, Countryside, Johnson Siding, and neighborhoods out Nemo Road.
It's revealing that Goodwin forecasts "little if any change in our district." If legislators get to draw their own districts, they'll perpetuate the gerrymanders for another ten years. This is why we need an independent redistricting commission.
Jay Davis, Rapid City
Who has medical freedom?
The people who say that are for limited government and "medical freedom" just used big government to take away that very thing from women in Texas.
Brian-Diego Colson, Rapid City
You're voting your rights away
How is it that Gov. Kristi Noem keeps fighting to take away our rights, but people simultaneously cheer her on for being pro-freedom? How does a person get to be this ignorant?
You are voting your own rights away and cheering it on.
Adam Harrington, Rapid City
Time for rational people
Perhaps Senators Castleberry (District 35) and Frye-Mueller (District 30) will read this but my hope is that at least their constituents will. Whether out of ignorance or intentional misrepresentation of the Second Amendment to the US Constitution, Sen, Castleberry is missing the “original intent” of the amendment.
(Given), “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, (therefore) the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
Using basic English grammar skills, the “original intent” can be interpreted to mean we have the right to bear arms so we can have a well regulated militia. Advocating for every college student to be armed has nothing to do with maintaining a militia and is so totally foolish; it is hard to believe a rational human being would want such a thing.
Speaking of a rational human being, why would Sen. Frye-Mueller spend one minute with the disgraced lawyer Sydney Powell? Powell is so far out she could be labeled a true “nut case”. Then to travel all the way across the state to listen to Mike Lindell and attend his Cyber Symposium is not just poor judgement, it is a little bit crazy. Mike Lindell is not a sane person. Frye-Mueller should find a better use of her time than hanging out with Sydney Powell and Mike Lindell. Since I am not in either district 30 or 35, I cannot vote these two extreme right wing women out of office. My hope is that the rational voters of those districts will.
Bruce H. Venner Rapid City
Are fireworks our biggest problem?
Is the lack of fireworks at Mount Rushmore really the biggest problem the state is currently facing? How about the explosion of COVID cases in the western half of the state? You are acting like a spoiled little girl who didn't get a pony for her birthday.
For clarity, the Biden Administration did not cancel the fireworks. I believe the Forest Service would not issue a permit due to legitimate concerns for significant fire risks in a year of some of the worst forest fires on record. Finally, although rarely a concern of yours, our indigenous brothers and sisters have some real issues surrounding the event.
Jim Schuster, Narberth, Penn.