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What it means to be American

To be an American, would seem to mean that each of us enjoy all of the rights and privileges of every other citizen.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable. Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

Should the quality of a child’s education depend on which school district they live in? Should a woman’s right and access to health care and an abortion depend on which state she lives in? Should your right to vote depend on which state you live in? Should the minimum wage be dependent on which state you live in? Should Medicaid benefits depend on which state you live in?

Should the dispensation of justice vary depending on which county, state, or federal jurisdiction with which you are involved?

If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, there is no such thing as an “American.”

Douglas Erickson

Rapid City

Return to old farming practices

In the recent article on farmer struggles, I think the quote from Matthews highlights the primary issue.

“Working harder is not the answer,” Matthews said. “Working better is not the answer. It’s beyond their control."

Current farmers accepted the global marketing model and chose to feed the world with the least cost. Consumers do not want to pay the true cost of their food as they hide behind large retail corporations. The more people know their producers, the less concerned that they will be about the price. Form new co-ops, stop growing corn and soy, go more than organic by returning to old practices that respect the animal and soil, and seek new products (insect meat and locally viable crops).

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Farmer woes will continue as long they let the industrial agricultural system see soil, plants, and animals as machines to be tuned and manipulated for maximum output. Nature is not efficient for only one organism. It shares profits with all organisms.

Edward Davis

St. Paul, Minn.

Thanks for book drive success

I would like to thank all the community partners and donors who made the Readiatrics Book Drive such a resounding success this year.

Over March and April, donor drop-points at Books a Million, the public library, the Dahl Arts Center, and all Black Hills Credit Union locations collected hundreds of books for area children. The Rapid City Firefighter’s Station No. 1 was a new drop-point this year and collected books from firefighters and staff.

By May 6, my husband, Don, and I brought the collected books together to donate more than 6,000 books to the S.D. Dept. of Health Offices on St. Patrick Street. The books are now being distributed to families receiving services at the Dept. of Health and to other child services organizations throughout Rapid City.

The Current Events Club has donated money to buy books for children receiving services at the Rapid City Psychiatric Ward.

Thank you so much to the collection organizations and the generous people of Rapid City for making our 20th anniversary book drive a win for literacy in Rapid City and the Black Hills.

Darla Drew Lerdal

Readiatrics Book Drive

Rapid City

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