Opinion: Letters to the EditorA new perspective on road problems To the Editor: I am writing to offer a different perspective on the discussion of road repair, maintenance and “returning some roads to gravel.” Beginning last Wednesday, I traveled via automobile across the state of Iowa, down to Hannibal, Mo., and over to Jacksonville, Ill.
A new perspective on road problems
To the Editor:
I am writing to offer a different perspective on the discussion of road repair, maintenance and “returning some roads to gravel.” Beginning last Wednesday, I traveled via automobile across the state of Iowa, down to Hannibal, Mo., and over to Jacksonville, Ill. A considerable portion of the distance of 760 miles was over roads in a sorry state of maintenance/repair. One stretch across Iowa was like riding on railway ties: bumpity, bumpity, bumpity. Another shorter distance saw the cement road with edges broken, patched with asphalt and also riding like railway ties. (Note: Patching with dissimilar materials with different expansion coefficients creates more problems than are solved.)
In Illinois, the same thing exists. In the small towns, the streets are full of cracks and are uneven continuing the saga of bump, bump, bump. Even stretches of interstate in Minnesota are very rough, all contributing to severe wear and tear on a car (or truck). So, Davison County doesn’t have it so bad, even with just a small number of un-patched, shallow breakups that remain to be fixed before the fall harvest.
Beyond that, for the consideration of all commissioners, I offer the following factors for consideration as the discussion ensues regarding turning to gravel roads where there is now some asphalt, albeit a “dust or blotter cover.”
A. The property valuation on housing must be reduced to compensate for lack of paved streets/avenues versus original valuation based on existing paved access.
B. The cost of additional maintainers (e.g. road graders) to keep gravel roads in top-notch condition (e.g. no washboards, potholes, or soft spots) to support the heavy traffic load, particularly on the infrastructure roads centered on the POET ethanol plant.
C. The cost of additional personnel to operate and maintain the additional equipment must be considered.
D. The cost of additional fuel, other lubricants, protective cover and operator training for the additional equipment.
E. The need to declare null and void the contract to demolish the Tower Building in order to have funds for the additional equipment, personnel, cover and training.
F. The loss of good will and respect of the commissioners by county residents were the grind-up proposal to be implemented.
E. Clark Edwards, Letcher
Avera a blessing for Mitchell residents
To the Editor:
I just recently had the misfortune — or opportunity — to see our medical services people in Mitchell in action. I have been a lifelong resident of Mitchell and grew up next to most of the people that work at Avera Queen of Peace Hospital. I played sports with and against several of them and knew them in that format and through social functions. But I had never seen their professional side in action until this week.
I was truly amazed at the level of care, the compassion and the professionalism that was shown by everyone — from the emergency room staff, to the diagnostic people working with multimillion dollar machines, to the third floor nurses that were so knowledgeable and compassionate, to Dr. Holum and Dr. Howe and the surgical and anesthesiology teams. They keep a light, but very professional attitude with everything they do. I don’t think most of us understand or realize the blessing it is to have this quality of care available in our city.
We all hear about rising medical costs, the medical and insurance industries being out of control, and so many other negatives about the medical field, but your perspective changes when you’re the one who needs the care. Yes, it is truly expensive to be in the hospital, but a funeral is expensive too, and the day after isn’t as much fun.
I bought my first new car in 1974 for $3,100; today it would cost $41,000. Nothing we do today is cheap, and we don’t want a cheap medical industry; we want quality and that’s what we have here in Mitchell. We’re truly blessed to have the quality of medical people that work at Avera and the other clinics around town. Take time to say a special word to them and appreciate the intense circumstances they work under most of the time.
And yes, I will still grumble when the bill comes.
Michael Asmus, Mitchell
Independents may have the solutions
To the Editor:
Your July 23 Our View ended with a call for a solution to our state budget problem. Do we not understand what a $101 million influx of federal borrowed money to fix the state’s $31 million reduction in revenue means? Our state government is spending $70 million more than it used to.
And it is partnership with federal programs such as Medicaid that is driving that spending upward. Yes, the federal government is giving us more and more funds, but they are also telling us where to spend it and our own. And that does not include rural roads, despite the $115 million increase (or 42 percent) the state Department of Transportation is expecting from the feds in its 2011 budget. So why is Sen. Mike Vehle’s campaign pledge for more taxes and fees on us the citizens, to fix the rural roads?
Overall, the state of South Dakota has increased its federal funding portion of the budget by over 35 percent. That is one-half billion more than what we spent pre-Obama. South Dakota should be in great financial shape if that money is being spent wisely. Next year’s budget should be a cake walk.
As Sam Kephart pointed out on July 22, the federal monies are borrowed (much from China) and represent an immoral debt that we are passing on to our children. On July 24, this paper reported that some of that borrowed money will end up as a 30 percent investment in the South Dakota Wind Partner’s public/private partnership. How many of your readers know that wind turbines use rare earth magnetic devices in which China controls 90 percent of the market?
So why is Matt McGovern’s July 13 statement against America’s use of foreign oil not challenged in regard to Chinese produced wind energy devices? And when he says it is unfortunate that people play politics with science, he should get a mirror.
What we must come to understand is that we have both political parties playing politics with the financial well-being of future generations of Americans. Too bad this paper is not fond of independents. We just might provide the solutions this paper is seeking.
Steve “Sibby” Sibson, Mitchell
Define immigration law, then enforce it
To the Editor:
Congress finally passed the new banking and consumer protection bill after the big bankers and financial institutions got the part they didn’t like removed from it, which was probably the best part of the bill. President Bush asked for the same thing several times while he was president but the Democratic Congress never did anything about it till it was too late. Anyway, we hope it does some good and gives the general public some protection from another financial disaster.
I am confused what the law in this country really is, and I am sure a lot of other people are, too. Now Arizona has a law encouraging law enforcement officers to do what they should have been doing all along: enforcing our federal immigration laws. And the Obama administration is suing the state to make the law unconstitutional. A couple of people made a list of some 1,200 illegal immigrants that were on the food-stamp program and other public benefits and sent it to law enforcement officials. Now they are being prosecuted and may be facing criminal charges. I thought by law you were supposed to report any crimes you knew about. I know of several cases where people faced criminal charges and spent time in jail because they did not report criminals they knew about.
Why don’t we define what the law really is and enforce it that way?
John Zilverberg, Highmore