Commentary

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.

 

Thu
18
May

Cell phone dependency is unhealthy

By Amanda Fanger

What’s the one thing you never leave the house without? This question was asked by the radio DJ the other day and right away I knew the answer. My cell phone.

Honestly, I wasn’t super excited about that because it seems to speak to a deeper issue about the world we live in today. Every once in a while I think on the fact that I am among the last generation to fully understand what it means to live without 24-hour connectivity. I was 18 before I got my first cell phone and even then it was gifted only as a safety precaution – in case I ran into vehicular trouble whilst traveling back and forth from home to my first job in town.

 

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Thu
18
May

LETTER

Just a couple of weeks ago Dakota Access Pipeline had a failure that resulted in an oil spill in Spink County, South Dakota.

This pipeline was promised to be so safe that the possibility of an oil leak was astronomical. This makes me wonder if the people who built this pipeline look upon the same stars or live on the same planet. Not only are their astronomical predictions wrong but they have so very little concern for this planet that it cannot be the same one in which we reside.

 

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Thu
11
May

The American Dream

By Mark Peacock

Ahh…the American Dream.

Many are those who wait and pray for it to arrive but who won’t get off the couch to let it in if it does… too much work without a guarantee, you see.

Disguised as effort, as it often is, many would never recognize or let it into their home in the first place.

 

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Thu
11
May

Controlling health care costs

By Richard P. Holm, MD

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly called the ACA or Obamacare, could have been named the “Access and Cost Act.” It was successful in “protecting patients” by guaranteeing access. . . making insurance available for more than 20 million people who were not able to get insurance prior to the ACA. The second part of the name, “affordable care,” referring to cost, has not been as successful, however.

Politicians have said, and this is correct, “Since the ACA was implemented, increases in health spending have slowed.” Personally, I do not find this statement reassuring, when looking at the enormous cost of health care in the United States. We spend $3.2 trillion per year for health care, which is twice the average cost per person of the next ten most expensive countries and more than five times the outrageous $600 billion we spend per year on the defense budget.

 

Wed
03
May

Listening for God

By Richard P. Holm, MD

How do any of us cope with the catastrophes of life? Years ago, a couple faced the tragedy of an accidental death of their young, only child. Even though most marriages don’t survive such an insult, this one did. Between that woman and man, there was love, forgiveness, and the Church. The people of the congregation, like the wings of a mother hen, surrounded the couple with support, comfort, and warmth.

Some critics of organized religion say that we are hard-wired to believe in God. They say that it explains why religion exists but not why God exists. They point out that no society has survived more than three generations without a religious foundation including belief in prayer, the afterlife, and ritual, but just because we need God, doesn’t mean God exists.

Wed
03
May

Making good choices behind the wheel

By Gov. Dennis Daugaard

Traffic fatalities are a recurring headline. Hardly a day goes by when we don’t read another story, hear a radio report or see the terrible images on television.

The good news is the numbers indicate a decrease of traffic fatalities in South Dakota. In 2016, there were 115 fatal vehicle crashes. That is the lowest total since 2011 and the second lowest of all time.

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Wed
26
Apr

Some of us don’t follow the rules of the road

By Jill Pertler

I’ve never claimed to be a great driver. Good, perhaps. Careful, for sure. My family would tell you I am cautious – sometimes to the point of being jumpy at the wheel. By jumpy I mean on the lookout for surprises, aka accidents waiting to happen. Pedestrians who come out of nowhere. Squirrels darting across the street.

Dogs without leashes. And cars. Mostly other cars. I have trust issues with other cars, or more specifically the drivers of those cars. You can’t count on them to see you or follow the rules of the road. Many are looking at phones. Everyone knows you shouldn’t text and drive but I see it all the time. Hence my caution and predisposition to brake first and ask question later. Defensive driving 101 – I practically invented the topic.

 

 

Wed
26
Apr

The power of the arts: One South Dakotan’s story

By Jim Speirs Executive Director Arts South Dakota

 

As I think about the deep and lasting impact of the National Endowment   the Arts (NEA) and South Dakota Arts Council in our state, friend and fellow musician Jami Lynn immediately comes to mind. I’ve worked with Jami on many occasions and she has often talked about her love of being a South Dakotan and joy in sharing her art “at home.

” Folk singer/songwriter Jami Lynn Buttke first gained an appreciation   music in a small South Dakota elementary school. Today she is a professional per mer of bluegrass and folk music, and brings her exuberance and musical talent into state classrooms as a roster artist with the South Dakota Arts Council’s Artists in Schools & Communities program. She believes in the power of the arts because of her own story of discovery

 

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