Opinion: Letters to the EditorHerseth Sandlin is ‘S.D. to the core’ To the Editor: We’ve heard it said that Stephanie Herseth Sandlin has departed from her South Dakota roots. We don’t believe it. The other day, when our dog got loose, who helped us round him up? Our neighbor, South Dakota’s very own congresswoman. Having Stephanie as a neighbor means that we can find her and her husband, Max, playing with their son, Zachary, in the back yard. In the evenings, on our way to bed, there she is washing dishes in her kitchen window.
Herseth Sandlin is ‘S.D. to the core’
To the Editor:
We’ve heard it said that Stephanie Herseth Sandlin has departed from her South Dakota roots. We don’t believe it. The other day, when our dog got loose, who helped us round him up? Our neighbor, South Dakota’s very own congresswoman.
Having Stephanie as a neighbor means that we can find her and her husband, Max, playing with their son, Zachary, in the back yard. In the evenings, on our way to bed, there she is washing dishes in her kitchen window. It also means that we are mindful she was elected to be our representative in the United States Congress — doing that job means she has a long commute home and cannot always make it back to Brookings before the sun goes down.
While she’s in Washington, we don’t always agree with her on every vote. But we don’t have to. We have always voted to elect Stephanie because we believe in her abilities. We also know that Stephanie cares for her family, her neighbors, her community here in Brookings, and for the entire state she so passionately champions.
We cannot think of a better mother and neighbor to represent all that is good about South Dakota in the U.S. House of Representatives than Stephanie Herseth Sandlin. Gone Washington? Not a chance. She is South Dakota to the core.
Roger and Betty Prunty, Brookings
Noem’s stimulus criticism is hollow
To the Editor:
I attended the debates at the Corn Palace last Saturday and heard numerous times from Kristi Noem that the stimulus legislation of the Obama administration paid to build a teapot museum in North Carolina and a rainforest in Iowa. Curious, I tried to learn more about these projects, and was surprised by what I quickly found.
Fifty million dollars in funding was set aside for the indoor rainforest project in the Omnibus Appropriations Bill, in conference, by … drumroll please … Republican Chuck Grassley in 2004. Yet the controversy over this funding led to it being rescinded anyway. No indoor rainforest was ever built. Not quite the story Noem told, is it?
As for the teapot museum, it turns out that the area of Sparta, N.C., had lost one-third of its manufacturing jobs since 2000 and was hoping to take more advantage of the tourist traffic that was passing by on the Blue Ridge Parkway. An economic impact study for the museum projected (how accurately I can’t say) a $7.5 million annual increase in new tourism spending, and Congress did allot $495,000 for construction. The museum has since ceased operation, which does follow uncomfortably close on the heels of “the stimulus.” Except that it turns out that the allotment was made in 2006. Also, it turns out that the money was never even claimed, and remains with the federal government. Again, not the story Noem told. Anyone else see a pattern emerging?
When we consider Noem’s 16.9 percent ownership in a ranch that has received over $3 million in subsidies since 1995, it is puzzling to observe the quickness with which she has joined in her party’s demagoguing against those who receive government help in tough times. Yet the supposed examples of Obama’s or Herseth Sandlin’s profligate spending that Noem trots out to stir up animosity about “undeserving” people aren’t even true. Yikes. It seems that honesty, much like motor law, is for other people. Noem apparently believes that neither should keep her from getting where she wants to go.
Craig Kelly, Mitchell
Congress should help 9/11 responders
To the Editor:
On the ninth anniversary of 9/11, many of us are thinking about where we were on that fateful day. Maybe you were at work, at home, or in school. There is an entire generation for whom the question “Where were you on 9/11?” has the same significance as “Where were you when JFK was shot” does to baby boomers.”
Where I was on 9/11 is not nearly as meaningful as what I was doing in the weeks that followed. I was fortunate enough to work with the security and rescue workers in and around Ground Zero. We fed them, talked to them, and basically did whatever we could to make their work as bearable as possible. It was an incredible time to be in New York. We had the privilege of helping our country heal and make Ground Zero a magnificent complex. We worked with some of the finest people I’ve ever met.
Unfortunately, our work came with a price. Many of us have died from illnesses related to being there or are ailing from these disorders. While that itself is unfortunate, the real tragedy is that our government still has no comprehensive care program for us who served during this historical time.
The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, which would stabilize funding of medical care for 9/11 responders so it will not depend on the whims of Congress, has not passed. Despite a 255-159 vote count, this was conducted under a “suspension of House rules,” which required a two-thirds majority.
I urge you to support the passage of this bill. Contact our representatives, both Senate and House. This is not a Democrat or Republican issue. It is just recognition for our service. It’s the least that can be done by a grateful nation.
Richard Rezac, Highmore
Stand up against monopolies in ag
To the Editor:
I would like to commend the individuals who attended the Department of Justice hearing at Fort Collins, Colo., concerning the meatpacker concentration.
One thing that impressed me was the more than 2,000 people attending from a wide range of backgrounds. There were individuals representing the Food and Commercial Workers Union, Food and Water Watch, Farm Bureau, R-CALF, Farmers Union and consumer groups from New York to California.
Packer concentration was not the only concern, but a major problem with our food supply is retail concentration. One retailer has doubled its share of the food dollar, while the farmer share has remained the same. The American consumer is paying for this in the American and world food market.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder asked the question, “How did we become a great nation?” He then commented that we are great because we made, manufactured and produced products for our country and the world. We should not lose sight of that.
Tom Vilsack, the U.S. secretary of agriculture, stated that 40 percent of our troops come from our rural areas, which is only 16 percent of our country’s population. Our nation’s food and security are dependent on rural America. Speak out before multinational corporations control our destiny. As consumers, we have the power to change the direction we are heading. We need to reinvest in our state and communities. We have to stand up against the last 30 years of deregulation and growth of corporate monopolies.
Concentration in the livestock markets lowers ag prices, and concentration in retail industries moves jobs overseas. You have the chance to comment on the enforcement of anti-trust laws by Nov. 22. Your comments can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org. It is the first time in 30 years of deregulation that consumers and producers have the opportunity to speak up. A few minutes commenting just might be what it takes for improvement in your, your children’s and your grandchildren’s future.
Joel Keierleber, President, Tripp County Farmers Union
Other backs fumbled more than Peterson
To the Editor:
With the NFL season upon us, maybe this will show that Viking Adrian Peterson isn’t really the “Mr. Fumble” that many have been quick to call him.
I’ll use five Hall of Fame backs and use their first three seasons in the NFL, which is where Adrian is at right now.
These are household names any fan will recognize: Tony Dorsett, Eric Dickerson, Barry Sanders, Walter Payton and Emmitt Smith.
Adrian has 20 fumbles, 4,484 yards; Tony, 28 fumbles, 3,439 yards; Eric, 37 fumbles, 5,147 yards; Barry, 19 fumbles, 4,322 yards; Walter, 30 fumbles, 3,921 yards; and Emmitt, 19 fumbles, 4,213 yards. As you can see, two have one fumble less and only one has more yards.
The era that the Hall of Fame backs played in was to tackle the runner and not the ball. Maybe the defensive backs just aren’t too eager to take on Adrian, because after all, the ball doesn’t provide much force when tackled.
“Buzz” Hortness, Armour
Tags: our towns, stephanie herseth sandlin, south dakota to the core, roger and betty prunty, kristi noem, stimulus criticism, craig kelly, sept 11 responders, terror attacks, richard rezac, agricultural monopolies, food and commercial workers union, food and water watch, farm bureau, farmers union, eric holder, tom vilsack, joel keierleber, tripp county farmers union, adrian peterson, mr fumble, buzz hortness, rcalf, opinion, letters, politics, brookings, highmore, armourMore from around the web