Letters II USD student disappointed with Clark
To the editor:
As a student at USD I was disappointed in Judy Clark's response to the questionnaire in last week's Plain Talk. To read her answer, one would think that we have a "Children of Alumni Scholarship" in this state. Judy lists this as one of her greatest accomplishments in the Legislature. The reality is that there is no "Children of Alumni Scholarship." Judy taking credit for this is the equivalent of a baseball player claiming that he hit a home run, when in reality, he popped a fly ball directly into the right fielder's glove. It's called an out.
A scholarship bill that is gutted in the senate and then vetoed by the governor cannot be called a home run. It's called a failure. The fact that she claims a vetoed bill as an accomplishment is disturbing, to say the least.
Also, Judy Clark states in a letter to USD students, that she has a "100 percent success rate getting bills through Legislature" and she has "Made critically important votes ? support for education at all levels." Her statements appear to me to be purposely misleading. For instance, check her voting record on South Dakota's former state scholarship, the Governor Mickelson Scholarship. In just one day, she voted against the Governor Mickelson scholarship five times. Five times. We are now the only state in the U.S. that doesn't have a state scholarship.
She certainly had "100 percent success rate" in getting that bill through the Legislature, and she certainly "made critically important votes" that day � five times, to be precise. However, how she translates that kind of negative voting consistency into "support for education at all levels" still escapes me. Even the most generous person would interpret her claims to be, at the bare minimum, intellectually dishonest.
Nesselhuf is excellent choice
To the editor:
With all the important issues facing South Dakota this year, I felt the need to write and express some thoughts about the candidacy of B.J. Nesselhuf. I have known B.J. for quite some time and feel he would be an excellent choice to represent us in Pierre. B.J. is a man of character who can be counted on to follow through. He is honest, hardworking and has the ability to get along with almost anyone.
B.J. is not afraid to tackle the tough issues and give answers to the hard questions that most candidates talk themselves around. This kind of honesty is refreshing and appreciated. We need a person with these traits to effectively represent us in Pierre � I would encourage all to vote for B.J. on Tuesday.
It's time to stop video lottery
To the editor:
As clergy of the Vermillion community we urge citizens to vote yes on Amendment D: the amendment to stop video lottery in our state. As clergy who deal with people in crises, many of us have witnessed the incredible pain that many families and individuals have experienced in dealing with the devastating effects of gambling addiction. Since video lottery has been introduced in our state, counselors who used to spend almost all of their efforts dealing with families and individuals who have a drug or alcohol problem, are now spending the majority of their time dealing with families torn apart by gambling addition. Many of those families cannot be put back together again. The pain and loss is incredible.
According to counselors who deal directly with this issue, video lottery is the "crack cocaine" of the gambling world. Its power is that it strikes so fast. Whereas alcohol and drug addiction often takes two or three years for a person to hit "rock bottom," video lottery addiction often cleans out a family's bank account in two or three months.
Yes, there are "winners" in the video lottery world. We read about them in the paper. We see the joy on their faces. We hear of the money they have won. But what we don't see is the thousands of losers, and the trail of tears and pain that they have left in their wake. Spouses, children, friends, and businesses ripped apart by the effects of this powerful addiction.
Video lottery is a moral and ethical mistake by or state. It is wreaking havoc on the fragile fabric of what we believe is the most precious resource in our state � the families of South Dakota. The costs of having video lottery so available in our state are too high! On Tuesday, Nov. 7, we have a chance to change that! Please vote yes on Amendment D. The time to stop video lottery is now!
Rev. Brook R. McBride (pastor of the Vermillion First United Methodist Church)
Rev. Steve Miller (pastor the Vermillion United Church of Christ)
Rev. Judith A. Johnson (pastor of the Trinity Lutheran Church of Vermillion)
Rev. Mercy G. Hobbs (Vicar of St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Vermillion)
Rev. David P. Hussey (campus pastor of United Ministries of USD)
Fr. Donald Imming
F. Joseph T. Forcelle (director, Newman Center, USD)
Approve zoning change, create climate of growth
To the editor:
I am writing to encourage the citizens of Vermillion to vote yes on the upcoming municipal ballot issue concerning the rezoning of a property that is located on Cherry Street (listed on the ballot by its legal description of Maude's Addition). The rezoning of this property was approved by our city council, as the property lies along the Cherry Street business corridor and is already surrounded on two sides by commercial property and on a third by the university. The zoning approved and encouraged by the city is in line with the current uses of the surrounding land.
In addition to bringing the land use into line with adjacent properties, there will be economic benefits for the entire community in the form of increased property taxes on the property. This helps all of us. Also, as a young person in Vermillion, the lack of jobs can sometimes be discouraging. Rezoning will bring new jobs to Vermillion.
In my opinion, approving this zoning change will help Vermillion grow in an orderly manner. Business competition is healthy, in many cases bringing more choices and competitive prices to the community. We shouldn't be afraid of change. Vote yes to approve this zoning change and help create a climate of positive growth for Vermillion.
Clark is strong voice in Pierre
To the editor:
Judy Clark has been a strong voice in Pierre for District 17. She deserves our vote to continue the job. She has built an atmosphere of cooperation and trust which is beneficial to her constituents in Clay and Turner counties.
Judy is not a single issue legislator but examines each proposal carefully before determining what best serves her constituency.
In addition to her service as a legislator, Judy Clark spends much of her time in community service. She has worked tirelessly on programs and committees for the benefit of the city of Vermillion. In addition, Judy is an active member of St. Paul's Episcopal Church where she serves as Sunday School director and is a member of the Altar Guild.
I feel she has a broad knowledge of the political process and is a consensus builder that will continue to benefit District 17 in the next Legislature. Let's vote for Judy Clark to keep that strong voice in Pierre!
Engbrecht's knowledge respected in Pierre
To the editor:
My name is Matt Michels and I am a state representative representing Yankton County. I want your readers to know what an honor and privilege it is to work with Junior Engbrecht in the Legislature.
Because Junior has such vast experience in the business world as well as a former county commissioner, he has taught me a great deal about the history of taxes and the benefit of limited government in our lives. He is a common sense person who takes the many years of his experience and wraps that knowledge into action which we respect in the Legislature.
I am extremely impressed by his knowledge of agriculture issues and how hard he works to educate the rest of us in the Legislature about the serious issues affecting farmers, ranchers and all those in agri-business. It is amazing to have someone of his caliber take so much time and exert a tremendous amount of energy to ensure you are well represented in Pierre as well as nationally.
It has been a true honor serving with Junior and I respectfully hope that you return him to Pierre!
Rep. Matt Michels
Vermillion does not need another Casey's
To the editor:
We residents and property owners on N. Dakota Street are asking Vermillion voters to please reject the petition brought by Casey's to rezone the three lots on the corner of N. Dakota St. and Cherry St. ("Official Municipal Election Ballot," "Shall Lots 1, 2, and 3 [of] Maude's Addition be excluded from the R-2 General Residential District ??")
In simple language, a "FOR" vote gives Casey's permission to bulldoze the trees and house on those three lots, bury a couple of 4,000-gallon gas tanks, lay a huge concrete pad, and build another Casey's General Store right across from the Amoco convenience store. Supposedly there will be no new traffic problem on the busiest corner in Vermillion. Also, the new fire station is about 200 feet north of the corner.
An "AGAINST" vote will preserve the residential zoning of our street. We have worked hard to keep our street looking like a neighborhood with nice lawns and well-kept older homes. We bought our properties believing that our street would remain a residential zone. We have a right to keep it that way � that's why residential zoning exists in the first place.
How did this issue find its way to the ballot? First, the Vermillion Planning Commission rejected Casey's petition for rezoning. Next, although we packed the Vermillion City Council meeting hall and many of us spoke out against Casey's rezoning petition, only Councilman Yelverton and Mayor Radigan voted to back us. We then presented two validated petitions signed by property owners in keeping with state law at the next two meetings, but the votes stayed the same. Finally, nearly 500 Vermillion residents signed a third petition which put the issue on the ballot to let the people of Vermillion decide.
During the whole process, the rezoning petition was supported almost entirely by Casey's Yankton lawyer and Alderman Slagle. Their main argument equated a second Casey's General Store with "economic development." We disagree. In our opinion, the six to eight part-time, minimum-wage, no-benefits job promised by Casey's is not real "economic development."
Furthermore, the Vermillion money spent at the proposed Casey's will not stay here, but will go to out-of-town lawyers, the manager from Nebraska, Casey's Iowa headquarters, and to stockholders. "Economic development" really means putting Vermillion money into Vermillion banks and thereby making it available to others to develop business and/or buy homes here. What's more, there already are six convenience stores plus one gas station on Cherry Street. Vermillion simply does not need another Casey's.
We have taken the correct steps in the democratic process to preserve our residential zoning. All but two of our elected representatives on the council repeatedly voted to ignore our objections and petitions � Washington, DC isn't the only place where big government tells us what is right and how it's going to be done. So, we are asking the people of Vermillion to please vote "AGAINST" Casey's rezoning petition. We need your support to keep our small town neighborhood street with grass and trees from one end to the other.
Vote in favor of Wakonda bond issue
To the editor:
I'm writing to encourage everyone to get out and vote for the upcoming school bond election to be held in Wakonda's old gym on Tuesday, Nov. 14, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. The election will decide whether or not Wakonda residents want to build a new elementary school, a school-community library, and remodel the existing school.
I currently have three children attending Wakonda School and they are the fourth generation to attend and hopefully graduate from Wakonda High School. I'm excited about this bond issue and hope the people of the Wakonda District will support it.
I've heard people say that they don't want to pay higher taxes to build onto and remodel a school that is dwindling in enrollment. I don't want to pay higher taxes either, but as far as I can see, if we don't pass this bond, our school will probably close up for lack of interest, the district will dissolve and our children will be forced to go to other districts. Our tax dollars will then go to their districts to pay for their new and remodeled schools.
Every district that borders us has either built new or remodeled in the past three years including: Vermillion, Gayville-Volin, Irene, Viborg and Centerville. So instead of paying for a new addition in our district, we will be paying on a bond in one of their districts. Whose school would you rather pay for � someone else's or our own? I personally choose Wakonda!
Wakonda has done many things over the years that people probably doubted would ever succeed such as building the school in 1922 and trying to pay for it in the Depression years; building a swimming pool in 1960; building a nursing home and adding on assisted living, apartments and a clinic; putting a wooden floor in the gymnasium; and most recently raising almost $50,000 to pay for pool renovations. The Wakonda community has always worked hard at making things happen and I think this will be no exception.
The school will be holding an open house on Sunday, Nov. 5 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Please come and visit all the classrooms to see for yourself why more space is needed. The rooms might not seem quite as big as we remember from our school days.
Please vote yes on Nov. 14 and show our children that we value their education just as the generations before us valued ours!
Donna R. Henriksen
Let Clark continue to make a difference
To the editor:
My first impression of Judy Clark, when she applied for the job of director of Vermillion United Way, was that here is a person who can get things done. My impression was accurate. Judy Clark energized our United Way organization and we raised more money than we ever had for the charities in our community. Much of the reason for that was the time she personally spent talking to businesses and service groups.
Judy has since gone on to found a new group, Vermillion Beautiful, which has already made a substantial improvement in the way Vermillion looks. She also serves on the Board of SESDAC, serving those with disabilities, and the Big Friend, Little Friend board.
Without making a show of it, Judy Clark helps those who need help. Let's let her continue to make a difference for us in Pierre.
Re-elect Bern as state's attorney
To the editor:
During the years we have worked with Tami Bern as state's attorney, we have found her to be diligent and compassionate in her work with our students. Tami has responded quickly to any of our concerns with students. She is willing to spend long hours determining what can be done to help students and their families.
As a member of Clay County Child Protection Team, she has taken a leadership role. She is an invaluable member because of her knowledge of child welfare and willingness to work collaboratively with educators, law enforcement, agencies and medical professionals. Tami always seems to have the best interest of children and young people as her priority.
We support her re-election as state's attorney.
Vermillion, you have a voice
To the editor:
Last spring the Vermillion City Council passed Ordinance 1083 to change a residential portion of Dakota Street to a business district, for the sake of putting in a Casey's store. This was done against the recommendation of the planning commission, against the protest of the property owners in the area and against the wishes of the USD student body.
Due to a referendum petition, on Nov. 7 the voters within the city limits of Vermillion will get a chance to vote on this rezoning. If this property is rezoned who wins? The seller of the property and Casey's. At what cost? Additional congestion to the busiest intersection in town, loss of student housing and the residential border to the campus, devaluation of area properties and commercialization of residential Dakota Street.
Voters of Vermillion, this is your last chance to let our city council know we do care and we are paying attention. Let your voice be heard on Nov. 7 and vote no on Ordinance 1083.
Vote may determine abortion issues
To the editor:
Does your party and presidential candidate support a woman's right to choose partial birth abortion? (Twice President Clinton vetoed bills that would have done away with this method of killing children.) It is likely that two to three members of the Supreme Court will be replaced during our next president's term. What moral values will these presidential appointees support?
By your vote you help select our next president. This selection may determine whether this killing continues. Should we really be free to kill children? The killing of innocent children ? is it really that different from the Holocaust?
If not there � where?
To the editor:
It is very important for all of us in Vermillion to vote "FOR" the last question on our Nov. 7 ballot. The issue is whether we should change the zoning of the southwest corner of the intersection of Cherry and N. Dakota Streets (in Maude's Addition) from residential to business.
The Vermillion City Council has already passed this question three times. Council members stated that the property is on Cherry Street which is named in the city's comprehensive plan for business use and that this is not "spot zoning" because it is nearly surrounded by other commercial properties. The council also mentioned that a business would pay the city higher taxes and create some new jobs. Cherry Street is called the business route. If we can't have a business on the business route � where can we have it?
Defeating this question could discourage other businesses from coming to Vermillion, which will aggravate the already existing problem of people shopping out-of-town. If we say "no" to this question, we set another precedent of being unfriendly to business. This could also reduce future benefits to Vermillion from our new bridge.
The leader of the opposition already has his own commercial zoning adjacent and southwest of the subject property. Even though his property is on residential Elm Street, he wants to stop this property from having commercial zoning on commercial Cherry Street. Other vocal members of the opposition who live on busy N. Dakota Street think that having a business on this corner will destroy their peace and quite. N. Dakota Street hasn't been a quiet street for decades. They also say we don't need another convenience store in Vermillion. Who has the right to say when we have enough convenience stores or churches or hardware stores? Don't the people who use them determine this?
For our future and for fairness, please vote "FOR" this question.
Re-elect Clark to help District 17
To the editor:
Judy Clark is running for state representative of South Dakota, District 17. What an energetic person she is!
She attends, listens, and then reacts.
I wholeheartedly support Judy Clark for re-election. Please let Judy Clark help our district for another term.
Clark goes beyond call of duty
To the editor:
As Election Day approaches, I find myself very undecided with regard to many of the candidates. However, there is one candidate that has gone above and beyond the call with their responsibilities in Pierre. That candidate is Representative Judy Clark for District 17.
As a small business owner, wife of a farmer, and Davis Town Board trustee, I am using this letter to the editor to inform voters of Rep. Judy's genuine interest in the people, towns, and occupations not only in her district, but statewide and nationally.
Rep. Clark has visited with me in my shop about concerns I have for small business and the survival of same. We have also talked, at length, about the farmer's plight in getting a fair dollar for his crop. Manufacturers have the freedom to set the price they want for their goods and receive it. The prices farmers receive for the crops and livestock raised are set, controlled, and subsidized with government's involvement. As we have talked, I have watched the anguish and frustration on Rep. Judy's face regarding the frustrations farmers continue to have.
Finally, Rep Judy Clark is the only government elected person who has visited with our local town board about issues that concern small town South Dakota. She has a genuine interest in the people and communities of not only her district, but the state and country as well. She has traveled many miles to "hear" what the people are concerned about and she listens well. I wish all of the candidates were as genuinely interested, as Rep. Clark, in "Joe and Jane Public"
LeAnne J. Hummel