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OUR VIEW: Hisses and cheers

CHEERS to Mitchell's new sports authority, which was created last year and will help bring a national ice fishing tournament next winter to Lake Mitchell. The authority is funded by a $1-per-night tax on occupied hotel and motel rooms in the city, the revenue from which also helped fund the construction of the second indoor ice rink at the Mitchell Activities Center. It's good to see the authority is helping attract events to Mitchell, which is exactly what it was created to do.

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HISSES to state Rep. Steve Hickey, R-Sioux Falls, for his crass Facebook rant against gay people. Hickey obviously has an opinion on homosexuality, and that's fine. To each his own. But his strongly held beliefs do not justify his use of a garbage metaphor to describe an entire segment of humanity. It's the kind of talk that is unbecoming of a legislator and clergyman (Hickey is both), and we condemn it.

CHEERS to the U.S. Supreme court for upholding the right of town councils to open their meetings with prayer. We support the separation of church and state and would cry foul if councils allowed prayers from only one religion. But as long as the opportunity to offer the prayer is extended openly to the various religions represented within a community, democratically elected officials should be allowed to open their meetings with prayer if they choose to. And, if enough atheists within the community object to the practice, why not skip the prayer sometimes? That's the kind of reasonable accommodation of diverse viewpoints that our politics too often lack.

HISSES to the shortage of rain that is afflicting the Mitchell area. Though last week's rain was nice, Mitchell was still about 5 inches short of its normal year-to-date precipitation total as of this writing late last week. We were reminded recently by a wise observer that "South Dakota is always two weeks from a drought." Let's hope for some good rainfall in the near future.

CHEERS to the Dakota Wesleyan University women's golf team and coach Adam Anderson. The Tigers won their sixth straight Great Plains Athletic Conference title recently, giving DWU 11 titles in the past 12 years. That's an exceptional run of success.