Make an informed vote
To the editor,
I’ve read and heard the pros and cons of the school bond issue. On January 11, I took the buildings tour offered by RCASD. It was an apparent and startling reality that Rapid City must take immediate action to update, improve, and build new facilities. Please consider taking the last tour on January 25 at 10 a.m.
Meet at the East Activities Entrance at Central High School. Consider attending the last presentation at South Middle School cafeteria on January 28 at 6:30 p.m.
Your informed YES vote will be the first and necessary step to give our city and our kids the BEST chance to be properly prepared for their future, which is the future of Rapid City. Our kids and teachers spend a great deal of their lives in those buildings. Rapid City MUST have the best teachers, MUST have the best technology and, MUST have safe and secure buildings so that optimum learning can be achieved.
Thank you to all who have worked tirelessly on this issue.
Deb Tieszen, Rapid City
Civility ends when fundraising begins
To the editor,
When we moved back to South Dakota, people were very nice, regardless we’re liberal and most here are conservative.
Maybe because they’re so nice, maybe because we look and sound like the local majority, personal niceness persists into the epoch of Trump, regardless of nastiness in public forums toward abstract liberals, non-Christians, foreigners, and people who don’t play colorblind. Niceness also persists through correspondence on issues with Senator Thune. Responses from him or his minion over his signature have consistently been civil, rational arguments citing facts, figures and background values.
While unpersuaded by his arguments, I saw respect for me and my beliefs, sufficient for confidence that democratic processes are working. Then came a fund raising letter from “Friends of John Thune”, hopefully written by someone else, regardless he signed it. It’s a two page smear of 154,000 Democratic constituents of the Senator. While most of us support fair taxes, protection of the environment, and of workers, and consumers, we aren’t partisans of “sky-high taxes, job killing regulations”, “socialism”, “the end of American sovereignty”, or “unrestricted abortion on demand paid for by taxpayers”. We don’t spread mean lies about our neighbors. We expect Senator Thune to treat us the same.
Peter Hasby, Rapid City
Don't live above your means
To the editor,
The levels of high debt have allowed the country to live above its means.
The rallying cry of pass the $290 million bond issue for our children overlook the facts that they are affected by the debt choices made and are being made.
The federal debt is over $23 trillion. The CBO and other institutions have published reports that high debt can reduce living standards and wages.
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And high debt increases the probability of a fiscal crisis, and to add another $290 million more in local debt shows we have forgotten the Great Recession which nationwide crushed the stock and housing markets, household wealth, and jobs.
The decline in tax revenues forced the state and Rapid City to implement budget cuts, and the city had to dip into its budget reserves.
Locally, hundreds of jobs were lost as layoffs occurred. Businesses closed including Sanmina-SCI and Merillat Cabinets.
We need to keep in mind, whatever debt is incurred today will have to be paid off by our children and grandchildren tomorrow.
Mark Lilly, Black Hawk
The US is facing a threat
To the editor,
This year the USA is facing a far greater danger to our democracy than it did in WW2 or at any other time, including the Civil War. Our involvement in WW2 mostly took place in the European and Pacific theatres.
The continental USA and it's institutions were never effectively attacked. Likewise, during the Civil War, the South was never on the verge of defeating the North, and even if they had successfully seceded they wouldn't have had the resources or will to do anything more than protect their rights to have slaves.
But today, everything our country has ever stood for is under attack, and it's come from within.
The evidence is blatant, voluminous and available to anyone interested in facts. The re-election of Trump and his lackeys will do what WW2 and the Civil War couldn't: Destroy our democracy.
However, this is what most South Dakotan voters apparently want. Surely they're not naïve enough to anticipate any other result.
Terry Painter, Rapid City
Find a way to partner with schools
To the editor,
Nearly eleven years ago we approached the Rapid City Area Schools hoping to learn more about how we could connect with schools in our neighborhoods and community. We were prepared for things like staff lunches or reading buddies, assuming those would be most needed. We quickly discovered that the greatest and most urgent priorities involved the maintenance and care of the buildings themselves … if they were not ready for staff and students, there would be no use for staff lunches or reading buddies.
Over the last eleven years, we have had the privilege of partnering with the RCAS team in twenty-four buildings to paint classrooms and hallways and lunchrooms … renovate staff lounges and student learning centers … landscape and repair playgrounds and yes, provide staff lunches and reading buddies … but there is so much more to be done for these students, families, staffs and these epicenters of neighborhoods that make our community all it is and all that it can be.
Please give time and attention to learn more about what is happening, and no matter how you vote, please find a way to partner with our schools.
Katy Kinnan, Fountain Springs Church