Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor Abbott waiting for right moment to jump ship

To the editor:

It is unfortunate that the position of president at The University of South Dakota was, and apparently remains, a temporary stopover for failed politicians and educators seeking a safe haven while they plot a career change.

This was certainly the case with, for those of you who can remember, President Betty Turner Asher and now it seems to be the case with President Jim Abbott.

Abbott arrived at USD after a miserably failed attempt to gain the Democratic Party's nomination for South Dakota's Congressional seat. Much was made of his desire to stay at USD, once hired, and devote himself to long-term university leadership.

But, once again, a USD president is unmasked as a deliberate and calculated opportunist who was merely waiting for the right opportunity to jump ship.

Abbott may win the gubernatorial contest, but the USD community loses no matter how that race is concluded.

Hopefully in the future, USD can locate a leader who is committed to the university first, and their personal ambitions second.

Aaron R. Woodard

USD almunus


Barnett must balance official duties with political campaign

To the editor:

As news of Abbott's plans to run for governor reach us, we as students of the University of South Dakota realize that once again, the world of politics has been thrust upon us.

What does Abbott's taking a leave of absence mean for us? Only this, that he will not be the one making the decisions that affect our daily lives as students. While not every decision Abbott makes in a position of leadership can please everybody, he is still respected, and is greatly valued.

We should truly respect the fact that he is not using his position as the president of USD to promote and further his candidacy. To do that would be selfish, and would also leave his duty to the students of USD undone.

This raises a question though, what of Mark Barnett's campaign? As attorney general, he has duties to the state of South Dakota, and these should be foremost in everything he does. He is also running for governor, and is one of the names seen most frequently. Whether or not his position is furthering his campaign, I do not know, and will not judge.

He has been actively involved in state politics for quite some time. All I ask is that he continue to watch that careful balance between furthering his career, and fulfilling his duties to his people-appointed position.

Amy Glasscock,

USD student<</I>P> Vermillion

Thanks to all who made Glad Tidings a successful event

To the editor:

I would like to thank all the people who helped make the 4th Annual Vermillion Area Arts Council Glad Tidings an "event" again. Pam Kadous spearheaded the organization of the event and publicity. The arts and trades people who showed their wares included Pam, Sal Hernandez, Grace Freeman, Amy Fill and Luanne Hicks, Nancy Carlson, Sara Hanson, Phyllis Packard, Nancy Loseker, and Gail and Annie Bickle. Some great Christmas gifts were for the buying!

Sue Navrat asked great musicians of all ages to perform. Alex Verburg played piano wonderfully, as did Dale Johnson with Kim Allison on vocals. Terry Hill on guitar and Luann Hicks on flute made melodious sounds. The incomparable Clay County Community Choir sang beautiful Christmas music with a number of babes in arms. Karen Lipp and her fellow young violinists were magnificent as was Rita Nauman on harp. Her beautiful voice soared to throughout the Washington Arts Center.

Speaking of music, we would also like to thank Steve Miller for loaning us his acoustic, electronic piano for the event. Finally, there was a bake sale with brownies, candies, and other festive and very rich homemade goodies. The weather also cooperated. Hope you will have a good holiday and a happy New Year!


Evelyn Schlenker,


Vermillion Area Arts Center

Thief's Scrooge-like behavior dampens holiday spirit

To the editor:

"Bah Humbug," said Scrooge.

While the language has grown less articulate (and printable) Scrooge's spirit remains � at least with a petty thief who twice this month stole Christmas wreaths from our front stoop.

On or about Dec. 1, we hung wreath number one with care. A few days later it was missing. A victim of random mischief, we thought, or more gullibly, a strong wind.

We bought another wreath, draped it with a string of lights and cheerfully set it in the spot left bare.

Three nights later the thief returned. The following morning, instead of the usual Christmas chatter, the little ones mused on the way to Austin about what drives some people to pointless theft, vandalism and just plain meanness.

It's tempting to buy another wreath and set it out as bait. We seem to be dealing with somebody shameless and foolish enough to get caught within a couple of nights. But is it worth wasting the sleep? And, more importantly, does revenge mix with the cheer, charity and kindness that belong to this month?

No. Instead, we'll remind the little ones (and ourselves) of the worthy example of the residents of Whoville under assault from the Grinch.

Should we at least wish a coal in the thief's stocking? Again, no. A Christmas spirit filled with thoughts of petty, senseless crime is misery enough.

One wishes only that the thief can follow the full example of his soulmates, Scrooge and Grinch, and turn it around before the end of the season.

Brian Busek


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