Letters to the Editor, October 29, 2021 | Opinion


Letters to the Editor, October 29, 2021

Housing and hairdressers

I am writing to offer a simple solution to the housing shortage in our community. In short, we need more hairdressers. At first glance, hairdressers and housing may not seem related, but the truth is, meaningful conversations held in the chair can have significant impacts in our community. Recently, this was demonstrated when a local couple donated their home on Birch Avenue to Black Hills Area Habitat for Humanity after receiving a haircut from Habitat owner and stylist Nicole McNaught.

This simple exchange between the cups led the couple to make one of the largest donations in the history of Local Habitat. Be like your hairdresser; let the conversation about our community’s issues unfold. You never know if the person sitting in your chair has a solution you were looking for.

Alecia Colombe, Rapid City

RCAS leaving ASBSD

At its November 2 meeting, the RCAS school board will debate a resolution that would remove our district from the Associated School Boards of South Dakota (ASBSD) because some board members are dissatisfied with ASBSD’s response to a controversial letter sent to the Biden administration by the National School Board Association, of which ASBSD is a member. This begs the question: what would we give up to make this political statement?

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ASBSD researches and drafts school policies and consults with local councils on proposed policies. A concrete example is the Medical Marijuana Policy just adopted by the CAAN Board of Directors – this policy was drafted by ASBSD. Withdrawing means losing access to that research and policy-writing expertise – and perhaps having to pay someone else, like legal counsel, more to help fill that void.

The ASBSD also keeps an eye on bills, legal decisions and social trends impacting schools and provides members with data and information to guide decision-making. One of these trends is the national shortage of teachers and substitutes, which is hitting our district particularly hard. Grandview Elementary School had to be closed due to a shortage of healthy staff.

The ASBSD also provides training and educational materials to school board members to help them understand such things as the state funding formula and their responsibilities regarding hiring and evaluating a superintendent. .

Some of our board members seem willing to throw in a lot of useful services just to make their political statement.

McGovern ahead of his time

October 21 marked the tenth anniversary of the death of the 1972 Democratic Party presidential candidate, South Dakota Senator George McGovern, who was ahead of his time in his race against Republican President Richard Nixon. McGovern’s platform included the end of the Vietnam War. He also called for spending the billions wasted on war to rebuild America, as well as saving lives by bringing the troops home. McGovern was too proud to point out his military experience as a decorated WWII bomber pilot. Nixon attempted to portray him as gentle on national defense. Since 2001.

We spent $ 6.4 trillion (Source: November 2019 report, Brown University Watson Institute of International and Public Affairs) between our involvement in the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Pakistan. There was also the loss of seven thousand US servicemen and other private military contractors employed to assist in the fighting. Thousands more suffer permanent physical injuries on a daily basis. Many other civilians lost their lives and suffered permanent physical injuries. Was it worth spending dollars and lives? What did we get in return?

Larry Penner, Grand Cou, New York

Lack of confidence

Some fear that social studies classes will define America by its worst moral failures, or treat children as if they hate our homeland unless, as the old song says, we “emphasize the positive, eliminate the negative. “.

The fear of realism and balance is evidence of a lack of self-confidence. A more realistic threat is that, as Democrats continue to engage in politics in more or less traditional ways, slowly crafting political responses to current issues, displaying a range of values, Republicans are stepping up their Gingrich-inspired fire, non- the policy of the prisoners towards the overthrow of our controlled and balanced government, in favor of a bizarre demagogue, rejecting election results, allowing state legislatures to reject the results if they wish.

It is perhaps fortunate that the demagogue we face in this ordeal is ridiculous, his own minions describing him as “11 year old” (Steve Bannon), “morally unfit” (FBI chief Comey), “moron” (Secretary of State Tillerson), “idiot surrounded by clowns” (economic adviser Cohn). While National Security Advisor Bolton observed that his boss lacked the knowledge, attention span and personal loyalty in leadership positions to orchestrate a coup, he still harms America with his one talent for self-promotion. There are some real, honest conservatives to support, if conservatism is your thing.

Clean energy week

Many thanks to Governor Noem for supporting the development of clean energy with his recent proclamation recognizing September 20-24 as Clean Energy Week in South Dakota.

South Dakota has long been a leader in the production of clean energy. In fact, 83% of our utility-scale net electricity generation comes from hydro and wind energy, 2.5 times more than just 12 years ago. Additionally, South Dakota ranked fourth in the country in terms of ethanol production capacity in 2020.

Governor Noem has long been a proponent of clean energy, declaring in his proclamation: “Wind power has contributed over $ 2.2 billion in capital investment… which supports over 2,000 jobs well. paid ”.

I am pleased to see our governor recognize the importance of reducing carbon emissions while promoting US energy security and competitiveness, economic development and job creation that accompany clean energy industries.

I know most of South Dakotas support his efforts to this end. Thank you, Governor Noem, for standing up for US jobs and energy independence.

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About Bernice D. Brewer

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