Commentary

Thu
15
Aug
Edgar's picture

LETTER

The following letter by Marty Hintz, Dewey County 4-H Program Assistant, is in response to a vote by the Dewey County Commissioners to cut Extension/4-H from the county budget for 2020. (See related budget story on

p. 1 and 3.)

Dear Dewey County 4-H family and Dewey County Community member: As many of you have probably heard already, our Dewey County 4-H program is on the verge of no longer existing. The Dewey County Commissioners are voting September 3 whether or not to keep the program or cut it completely from the budget. So, as 4-H families, I am going to ask something very big from you.

 

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Thu
08
Aug
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Don’t worry about what to say

Prairie Doc

Before my junior year in high school, I returned from a Boy Scout canoeing trip to discover my sister had been killed in a car crash. I will never forget the sadness of the moment when I walked into the house that was filled with what seemed like half the caring and wonderful town of De Smet to find my mom and dad there grieving. It was near the end of that summer, but the beginning of a long period of mourning for my family and me.

There were lessons that came to me after my sister’s death. I realized how important support from a community could be. Consolation came from our friends, neighbors, church community, as well as people we barely knew. It seemed more about their presence and not their words. I noticed there were people who had trouble themselves dealing with such loss, and they sort of disappeared.

Thu
08
Aug
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Retail is not dying or dead

GUEST COLUMN

Nathan Sanderson, Executive Director South Dakota Retailers Association

In 1897, Mark Twain embarked on a worldwide speaking tour. Twain had become famous for his colorful books and newspaper columns, and his speeches were much sought-after. He didn’t undertake the tour solely to address the demands of his audiences, however; Twain had racked up considerable debt and hoped to earn enough money on his speaking tour to pay it off.

While he was in London, a rumor emerged that he had fallen seriously ill. Soon after, another circulated that he was dead and that a newspaper had published his obituary. When a reporter asked about this circumstance, Twain replied, “The report of my death was an exaggeration.”

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Thu
01
Aug
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Kids, families make choices

Last week I heard several conversations about the dwindling numbers in 4-H and the county fair. It’s true: It ain’t what it used to be. Probably never will be.

At this year’s Dewey County Fair, only 19 kids and 4 adults showed projects. There were only five entries in the cookie contest and five in the pie contest. Even counting rodeo and shooting sports, 4-H enrollment is declining the past few years.

The reasons are many, starting with the reorganization that the Cooperative Extension Service did a few years ago when they fired all the County Extension agents and offered them a chance to apply for fewer jobs serving several counties. Our local agents understandably went to other careers instead. We’ve had a series of part-time 4-H advisors and more of the work has fallen to parents, who, along with kids, have been losing interest.

 

 

Thu
25
Jul
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Celebration is soul food

Ah, celebration! A time for getting together with friends and family, kicking back and letting the good times roll. When we give ourselves these pleasurable experiences, we not only blow off steam but we also fill up our emotional tanks. It is far easier to handle life’s stressors when we’re feeling good!

What’s more, cultivating a sense of happiness and satisfaction with our lives has far-reaching implications on our health and longevity. Quite simply, people who are happier live longer, don’t get sick as often and recover faster when they do.

Thu
18
Jul
Edgar's picture

Is it fake news?

Prairie Doc

It is miraculous to consider how much access and exposure we have to information through our computers, televisions, radios and newspapers. Unfortunately, we need to be on guard because too much of this buzz can be false information.

In an October 2017 article, the Pew Research Center found 43 percent of people in 2016 received their news from Facebook listening for information that aligned with their world view (not necessarily with facts). Pew also found 23 percent had shared, by intention or accident, untrue political messages on social media. We need to be more critical of all sources of information around us. Almost as malignant as fake news are advertisements that pretend to be factually based.

Thu
18
Jul
Edgar's picture

Showing RESPECT to Native Americans

During my time working as your governor and now U.S. senator, I’ve had the privilege of establishing friendships with tribal members from all nine reservations in South Dakota. As governor, Jean and I invited tribal leaders to our home to simply break bread and get to know each other on a personal level. It’s a small thing, but we’ve also made a concerted effort to employ tribal members and people with close ties to the reservations on my staff. I believe those personal relationships help me better understand the challenges facing our tribal communities. It has been an honor to spend time—sometimes simply driving the back roads—with tribal leaders concerned about water quality, education or roads. We’ve discussed many critical and immediate concerns but one issue that has touched my heart is the emotional toll that our sometimes-dark history continues to have on our Native American neighbors today.

Thu
11
Jul
Edgar's picture

Government response to humanitarian crisis is shameful and immoral

Is our government so broken that it cannot protect children in its custody? Will Congress and the President leave for their summer vacation while the situation at detention centers on our southern border worsens?

Even the government itself recognizes the problems of detaining large numbers of immigrant children and families in facilities that cannot care for them. A Management Alert from Acting Inspector General Jennifer Costello to Kevin McAleenan, Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) states, “DHS needs to address dangerous overcrowding and prolonged detention of children and adults in the Rio Grande Valley.” The alert also says, “We encourage the DHS to take immediate steps.” Costello posted the alert to Congress and to the public at www.oig.dhs.gov.

Thu
11
Jul
Edgar's picture

Congress should cap Medicare out-ofpocket drug costs

A bipartisan group of House lawmakers recently unveiled a bill that would cap Medicare beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket drug costs.

That’s a terrific idea. High out-of-pocket costs prevent many Medicare patients from accessing vital medicines. Limiting those costs would keep folks healthy. And in the long run, the reform could generate savings for our nation’s health system.

Medicare’s “Part D” drug benefit is different from other entitlements. Rather than administer benefits directly, the government subsidizes Part D plans sold by private insurers. Insurers are largely free to design Part D plans as they see fit, as long as the plans meet certain requirements. Insurers compete for beneficiaries’ business by offering a variety of plans with different premiums and cost-sharing structures.

Thu
04
Jul
Edgar's picture

What We Declare

Stray Thoughts

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