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'Trees' initiative has damaging wording

To the Editor:

I read with interest a letter to the editor written by former Mayor Alice Claggett, and it's quite obvious she has not read the initiative that will be on the ballot (Nov. 2 for Mitchell voters). If she had, she is not telling the general public the consequences should this ballot measure pass.

There is more to this initiative than going out to the lake to relax, fish, boat and look for birds. This initiative says nothing about saving the trees; it does say that a 55-acre area (Firesteel Park area) which is already dedicated as park be dedicated as a park.

The other area the initiative dedicates as a park is the nine-acre wooded area near a number of residences in the North Harmon Drive area, who prefer to leave the wooded area as is, for personal benefit.

I say if they want the wooded area, then buy it.

The most puzzling and damaging part of the initiative is the words "abutting the shore line." When using the word "abutting" regarding city property, a road or street is not a barrier. Therefore, any property the city owns that touches the shoreline continues on until it ends, being city property -- such as the cemetery, golf course, National Guard, soccer complex and airport, and would also include the water treatment building area. I don't think the city wants all of these areas to be classified as parks.

The city, at the present time, cuts the grass on about 390 acres, plus 50 acres of soccer fields. The Mitchell Park and Recreation Department does not have the resources to take on any more expensive park area.

Think about this, and then vote.

Lou Sebert, Mayor, Mitchell

'Experts' will try to sway city land vote

To the Editor:

Nov. 2 we will have the opportunity to vote on an ordinance to "save the trees."

This ordinance was written by State's Attorney Jim Davies, who is, of course, familiar with legal definitions and documents.

He diligently did his homework, and the ordinance is lawful.

Do not be fooled by "experts" who might try and sway you into believing otherwise.

A vote "yes" will preserve the habitat on and around Lake Mitchell for public use and will preserve our beautiful and pristine lake.

Vote "yes" to keep public land at Lake Mitchell and save the trees.

Sandro Visani, Mitchell

'Buyer's remorse' for health-care package

To the Editor:

We have been doing intensive research on the health-care reform bill.

This was a huge piece of legislation that was rammed through Congress. Many congressmen have "buyer's remorse" now that they have had time to study the bill. Sixty percent favor repealing the bill within the next four years.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, Americans will see their insurance premiums rise by an average of $2,100. The Wall Street Journal predicts that some insurers will begin increasing premiums by 20 percent next year. Administrative actuaries predict a $300 billion increase in costs. Child-only plans are being dropped by major insurers because of mandates and price fixing on policies.

All of this additional spending will probably cause doctor shortages, more taxes and fewer choices. All these things will probably trigger more layoffs and discourage employers from hiring new workers. Price controls and government mandates usually create artificial scarcity. This is something we don't need.

This information is from an article by Dr. Ron Paul, a Texas congressman.

Ken and Gladys Baldwin, Mitchell

With Noem, we know what her vote will be

To the Editor:

I can't believe that we are talking about traffic tickets during this election, when our country is heading for a trainwreck.

Stephanie helped put Pelosi in power by voting for her. Then came the Pelosi, Reid and Obama policies, which are putting our country in grave danger. Our grandchildren and future generations will be the ones to pay off that debt.

You cannot be a spokesman for South Dakota when your leader excuses you because they already have the majority vote, and they don't need your vote -- lots of courage there.

They operate without a budget. Don't we all wish we could do that.

That's why we need Kristi Noem, who knows we can't spend our way out of our financial problems, without first cutting our spending practices, as families or as a nation. She has the vision and the courage to give this country new life and hope for the future, by action and not just with words.

We can't live in a country where if you disagree with the elite you are treated less than an equal and called any name they see fit to see in forwarding their own agenda.

We all have to live by certain laws and rules, but don't compare them to our freedoms, which should be Stephanie's first concern. With Kristi Noem, we know what her vote will be. Don't take a chance on Pelosi and Reid.

Keith Schroeder, Wagner

Recent McLaughlin piece was refreshing

To the Editor:

Just when I'm about to give up on people in this country and how we don't relate to each other, I read the "In Other Words" article by the Rev. Kristi McLaughlin in the Oct. 14 Daily Republic.

In a time when people resort to sound bites and name calling and presume to call it communication, it was refreshing to read the words of this woman who articulated her position without demonizing those with whom she disagrees.

There are actually places in this country where groups of people on either side of the issue of pro-choice/pro-life come together and talk. Their intent is not to change the mind of the other, but rather to give respect to the other by listening and seeking to understand. It is that mature approach to a difficult and easily divisive issue that the Rev. McLaughlin modeled in her article.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if Mitchell could host such a discussion in which the participants first promised to honor the other, and then to listen? Who knows what could happen?

Thank you, Rev. McLaughlin, for challenging us to a higher calling in how we deal with one another.

Mary Mortenson, Mitchell

Mother warned me; now I realize why

To the Editor:

I was shocked when I read about the investigation into the claims that votes were being bought at political rallies for a bowl of chili. However, it is nothing new. We are told in Genesis that Esau sold his birthright for a bowl of bean stew. My fear in all of this is just how deep the investigation will go.

I was at a football game a week ago where candidates passed out campaign literature and coupons for a dollar good at the concession stand. I used the coupon. Did I participate in voter fraud? I sure hope there wasn't a polling place near.

Year after year, the candidates are trying to bribe me with confections at the summer festivals and homecoming parades. Mother did warn me not to accept candy from strangers, and now I know why.

Mindy Ehrke, Mount Vernon

Garden Club votes to support 'tree' vote

To the Editor:

The Mitchell Garden Club voted at its September 2010 meeting to support saving the pine tree grove at Lake Mitchell by urging a "yes" vote on the initiated measure on this November's ballot.

The initiated measure reads:

"The following initiated measure is proposed by petition for submission to the voters. The initiated measure will not become effective unless approved by majority vote."

"Title: An ordinance to dedicate Certain Municipal Property for Public Use and Benefit."

The explanation by the city attorney reads:

"A petition was filed with the City requesting that pieces of real estate owned by the city be permanently dedicated for public use as parks, nature trails, biking trails, hiking trails and similar uses and be preserved to serve as a buffer for surface waters draining into Lake Mitchell. All property subject to this request is city property that abuts the shoreline of Lake Mitchell."

A "yes" vote to approve the initiated measure will prevent the destruction of the pine trees. The Mitchell Garden Club urges your "yes" vote.

Darlene Hicks-Pearson, President, Mitchell Garden Club, Mitchell

Johnson energetic, delivers on promises

To the Editor:

I first met Dusty Johnson when he and his wife, Jacquelyn, were dating. My initial impression was, "Who is this 'kid'?" Years have passed since that first encounter, and along with many South Dakotans, I have learned that this "kid" with his youthful good looks belies the wisdom, determination and common sense that he has. Plus, he's one heckuva hard worker.

We all know that Dusty, along with his family and his many supporters, can just about out-hustle anyone. Talk about boundless energy. More importantly, though, he has a genuine concern about his responsibility: serving as a public utilities commissioner. Remember what he promised us six years ago? Improved cell phone service and a focus on renewable energy. Well, he keeps delivering on those promises and more and he's not finished. The wind energy industry in South Dakota is still in its infancy, but with Dusty's leadership, we can be assured that he will always do what's in the best interest of the citizens of South Dakota.

We also know that Dusty has credibility beyond our borders. As the only state regulator invited to testify on the Kerry-Boxer cap-and-trade bill before Sen. Barbara Boxer's committee, Dusty proved he could hold his own with Washington politicians.

South Dakota is fortunate to have Dusty as a PUC commissioner, and six more years of his leadership will serve our state and its citizens well. Join my wife, Sandi, and me in voting for Dusty for PUC commissioner on Nov. 2.

Chris Paustian, Mitchell

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