Commentary

Wed
21
Jun

Stand up, help out, make the call

We hear time and again from local law enforcement people that prevention is the key to community safety. Although they will answer every call when something has happened, they would prefer to hear from the public when there’s still a chance to prevent something awful from occurring.

Two recent cases illustrate this point. A few weeks ago a vehicle crashed into a dumpster and rolled over on the south end of Timber Lake’s Main Street. The vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed. Both occupants were seriously injured but it’s a miracle that no one else was injured or killed, as there are usually children riding bikes and playing in that street. The speed limit is posted at 15 mph. It was estimated the car was going 60.

AFTER the accident, local law enforcement officers heard that several people had seen the vehicle speeding through town but no one reported anything to them. Everybody probably thought someone else did.

 

Wed
21
Jun

The joy of worrying

By Jill Pertler 

I used to live a carefree life. I didn’t worry about the future or wars or the economy. I drove on sketchy roads up mountains and even climbed those mountains on occasion. I spent too much money on impractical shoes. I ordered my chili extra spicy and wore white after Labor Day. I rode a bike without a helmet and drove a car without a seat belt. I ate fast food and drank sloe gin. I held snakes, dined on sushi and rode roller coasters with both hands in the air. And then everything changed.

I had kids. Four of them to be exact.

Oh sure, kids bring love and liveliness and spirit and stickiness to your life. They make you think and rethink everything. They also cause you to pay attention to words like safety, security, practical, pragmatic, logical and legal. They add fun and take it away all at the same time. They turn you into a grown up.

 

Wed
14
Jun

A good compromise

By Gov. Dennis Daugaard

For at least 20 years, the northeastern part of our state has been dealing with the issue of nonmeandered waters. For that entire time, the state has NOT been dealing with the problems that our laws have caused. This issue arose during the 1990s, when eastern South Dakota received far more moisture than normal.

Excessive rainfall created new lakes – called nonmeandered lakes – out of areas that once were farmland, pastures, small sloughs or other watersheds. Nonmeandered lakes come in all shapes and sizes, and offer varying degrees of recreational opportunities. Some, such as Cottonwood Lake in Spink County, are well-developed with several boat ramps and over 100 cabins and homes surrounding it; others may be only a couple of acres and a few feet deep.

 

Wed
14
Jun

Three boys on the beach

By Jill Pertler

They were splashing in the waisthigh water of the lake. Boisterous and loud. Three boys on either side of about 10 years old – if my estimate was accurate. I sat on the dock, observing from a distance. The sun shone from behind a splattering of light cloud cover in the otherwise blue sky.

The wind blew steadily – stronger than usual – cooling the warm summer air, causing waves and even a few whitecaps on the lake. For once I could watch without the responsibility for maintaining safety in the water. These boys reminded me of my own and their energy was familiar but they themselves were not.

 

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Wed
07
Jun

Stray Thoughts: The Yard

By Mark Peacock

My yard is not appreciably different from any other local yard; a patchwork of grass clumps and bare areas over expansive soil. It is what it is because I have cared for it, or have not, by choice, and while I may be green at many things, my thumb is not. There is one tiny corner of my yard where years ago,

I dumped out an overflowing cat box to expose the contents to the light of day and to allow my household a chance to breathe fully once more. For years, I watched other varmints unconnected to my household add their own contributions to this mix and mosey on, leaving a conspicuously barren scar on the landscape. Don’t get me wrong…I needed to get rid of this toxic waste, although arguably there were many better ways to do it, and I never expected the toll it would take on the environment. But I still wouldn’t change it…and so it is. Life is like that. Despite this little spot that may never fully recover,

 

Wed
07
Jun

Slices of Life: Dandelions - weeds or not?

By Jill Pertler

pull the dandelions out of the garden, without consciousness or appreciation of their sunny yellow dispositions. They are weeds, after all.

Gardeners think nothing of pulling weeds in order to make room for the non-weedy, desirable plants. But who decides which is which? It’s in the eye of the beholder. That, and location, location, location.

 

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Wed
31
May

It’s not about the Barbecue

By Mark Peacock

Every year we set aside one day to let out what’s inside one moment we respect with pride the finest from our ranks who died. A time to render honor due to those who fought for me and you and gave it all ‘til they were through for America’s red, white, and blue.

In our darkest days, our soldiers stood, from Fredericksburg to Belleau Wood from Guadalcanal and to Pusan, our fighting forces soldiered on; from Okinawa to Normandy, they fought to keep our country free from Khe Sanh to Afghanistan, nothing could stop our Fighting Man.

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Wed
31
May

Enjoy your West River Summer

“West River: More than a place, it’s a state of mind.”

That’s what we wrote on the front page of our first-ever edition of West River Summer. That was in 1991. We created it as a “Guide for Local Folks and Visitors” and it’s had that same mission for 27 years.

Many of the events, the people, and the businesses that fill the pages of West River Summer have changed but the flavor of western hospitality continues.

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Wed
24
May

South Dakota WORKS

By Gov. Dennis Daugaard

In South Dakota we have the third lowest unemployment rate in the nation. This is a source of pride, but it’s also a double-edged sword. Because so few South Dakotans are unemployed, we have a shortage of qualified workers to fill job openings.

We lack skilled workers in accounting, engineering, information technology, health care, manufacturing trades and elsewhere. Workforce development is not a new challenge for South Dakota, and it’s an issue that states across the nation face. In recent years, we have been working to identify the components of an effective workforce system and develop strategies to meet employer needs.

 

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Wed
24
May

A visit to the cemetery

Larry Zimmerman, Secretary South Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs As Memorial Day approaches, it is a great time to pause and consider the true meaning of this holiday. Memorial Day represents one day of national awareness and reverence honoring those Americans who died while defending our nation and its values.

While we should honor these heroes every day for the profound contributions they made to secure our nation’s freedom, we should especially commemorate them and their families on Memorial Day. Let us never forget how fortunate we are to live in freedom and let us always commemorate our history and honor the sacrifices these heroes gave to protect that freedom. Military life and ceremonies are inspired in tradition and symbolism, and funerals for our fallen are no exception. Let me share with you some of the symbolism of military funeral honors.

 

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