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Opinion: Week in review: the best, worst

HISSES to the announcement that this region essentially "went backward 20 years in population," which was made last week by an official from Planning and Development District III. Greg Henderson, executive director of that organization, said that during a meeting at the Douglas County Courthouse in Armour and based it on 2010 census data. We aren't offended that Henderson made the comment, but we are discouraged by the obvious population declines that are hitting some of this region's towns. Some of our area counties lost more than 10 percent of their residents between 2000 and 2010. We didn't need this latest census to tell us what we already knew anecdotally, which is that small towns in central South Dakota are hemorrhaging their population. We hope these numbers can stabilize in the coming years, and we also urge small towns to keep fighting.

HISSES to Barry Bonds, the former baseball slugger who was convicted last week of a charge of obstruction of justice. Bonds, the all-time major-league leader in home runs, was on trial for nearly two weeks as a jury tried to decide if he lied under oath in 2003 when he was asked whether he took performance-enhancing drugs. The jury couldn't come to a conclusion that Bonds did indeed lie, and instead tagged him with the obstruction charge. Since this is an opinion column, we'll say it: We think he did take performance-enhancing drugs, and we are disappointed the home-run record is in his clutches.

CHEERS to the Mitchell United Way, which is currently accepting funding applications for the 2012 calendar year. Applications are available for any new organizations that are interested in becoming affiliated with this charitable organization. The deadline is May 9 and organizations must meet certain criteria before they can be accepted. Groups that are interested can call 996-3915 for more information. United Way is a noble organization that benefits so many groups and individuals in this community, and as the fundraising season approaches, we hope people will remember to donate.

HISSES to road construction, although we admit it's a necessary evil as summer approaches. Beginning last week, Lawler Street in Mitchell was blocked off as crews begin a major renovation to that thoroughfare. It's going to be a long one, too, with completion not expected until July. We will say this -- a segment of Lawler was renovated in front of The Daily Republic two years ago, and the improvements were well worth the months of inconvenience.

CHEERS to prom season. Mitchell's prom was held April 9 and, as always, it was fun to see the pomp and circumstance that comes along with this annual spring ritual. And even better yet: There were no unfortunate mishaps associated with prom 2011, as far as we know. We commend all of the parents and faculty who worked hard to make this year's prom a success, both in terms of the event itself and in the lack of trouble associated with it.