Daily Republic Editorial Board
Does a low-income foreign woman who enters the country illegally deserve subsidized prenatal care for herself and her unborn child? It's a tough question. Some would argue that the rights and privileges of U.S. citizenship belong exclusively to U.S. citizens, and people who enter the country illegally have no standing to obtain services or assistance from the government. On the other hand, any child born on U.S. soil is a U.S. citizen.
CHEERS to the community of Parkston, which is sprucing up its much-used baseball complex. The field, known as The Pond, is home to amateur, high school and Legion baseball, and like so many other small-town ballfields of today and yesteryear, it provides an important gathering place for the community. South Dakota's small-town summertime baseball tradition is one of the many things that makes this state great, and it's nice to see the tradition being strengthened in some places. HISSES to yet another criminal suspect who made the boneheaded choice of evading law enforcement at high speed.
Sioux Falls has a great downtown, but it wasn't always that way. One of the sparks that ignited the rebirth of downtown Sioux Falls was outdoor dining, and a major factor supporting the viability of outdoor dining is the opportunity to have an alcoholic drink with a meal. Why? Because downtowns are no longer places many people go to conduct daily business during their workday. That may have been the case 30 years ago, but it's not anymore.
CHEERS to Mayor Ken Tracy for deciding to demolish the former Veterans of Foreign Wars building sooner rather than later. The corner of First and Main, which should be a symbolic showplace for a city, has been an eyesore for nearly three years now, ever since barricades were put up around the Longhorn Bar when it was deemed an unsafe structure. The Longhorn has since been razed, and the VFW building was damaged in the process.
CHEERS to Avera Queen of Peace for the progressive spirit exhibited in its long-term plan to relocate its campus to a location near Cabela's south of Interstate 90. Debates can be had about what location is best for the hospital and its affiliated facilities, and we are concerned about the effect that Mitchell's south-bound exodus continues to have on the downtown district. But we cannot fault, and really should praise, Avera for being forward-thinking and proactive.
Employees can wear jeans every Friday at The Daily Republic in exchange for $1, which goes into our Jeans for Charity Fund. Over the years, that fund has paid out thousands of dollars to local and area organizations and causes. Today, we'll conduct a special Jeans for Charity day, with larger donations encouraged for the Wessington Springs Tornado Relief Fund.
CHEERS to the Wilbur-Ellis Corn Palace Challenge last weekend, which brought thousands of people to town for the weekend bull- and bronc-riding event. It's a unique venue for rodeo fans to enjoy a night of western entertainment, and gives the community another chance to see South Dakota cowboys compete a little closer to home after outdoor rodeo season is done. HISSES to the nasty illness that spread through Wessington Springs schools and kept about 30 children home sick.
Some people have wondered why we've waited this long for our endorsement for the U.S. Senate race. Partially, it's because we wanted to wait and make our decision on Election Day.
CHEERS to another successfully completed election. On Tuesday, Americans headed to the polls to cast ballots for national, state and local officials, as well as their own, local ballot measures. Davison County saw a 54.84 percent voter turnout, just a little bit higher than the state's turnout of 54.18 percent. While we wish it were always a 100 percent turnout, we know that's not likely, and are glad we at least fell in line with the state's average turnout.
We're not experts on EB-5. EB-5, a federal program that lets foreign investors seek United States residency in exchange for at least $500,000 invested in an approved rural project that creates at least 10 jobs, has come under a lot of scrutiny in the past few months. More accurately, it's become South Dakota's biggest political scandal of the last couple years, and it's still unfolding through investigations and legal proceedings. But despite the reams of copy written about this program and its subsequent fallout, EB-5 and what it actually did still seemed vague and obscured with jargon.