Letters to the editor

Letters to the editor Johnson critic is Thune employee

To the editor:

I recently read a letter published in the Plain Talk that was written by our local city alderman, Drake Olson. I was taken aback by the rhetoric that Drake used in describing our own Sen. Tim Johnson, but I figured that everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Later however, I found out one small detail that Drake forgot to mention in his letter; he is a paid employee of John Thune's campaign. Apparently John Thune can't find anyone in Vermillion willing to sign their name to his political messages without giving them a check.

Tim Johnson has been the best friend that Vermillion has ever had. Growing up locally, Tim has fought tirelessly for projects like the renovation of Spirit Mound, funding the Newcastle/Vermillion Bridge and saving the Student Loan Program. These are issues that directly affect our economy. It makes no sense that the people of Vermillion would ever think of taking him out of office and maybe that's why a paid employee of Thune's had to write a letter bashing Tim Johnson.

John Johnson


Property tax moratorium needed

To the editor:

I would like to suggest to the governor to place a moratorium on the taxes on land for a year because of the drought, or should we close the schools in South Dakota for one year until the farmers and ranchers can catch up?

The taxes on property in South Dakota run the schools. The people who complain about low teacher pay should also be concerned about low farmer and rancher pay, even when there isn't a drought, because they are the citizens who pay the teachers.

Our legislators have their heads buried in the sand when it comes to fair taxations. Why should farmers and ranchers be taxed on their livelihood when others are not? We should be able to devise a way to finance our schools without putting the burden on a certain few. Why are property owners the main ones to finance the schools? A comment from Mike Rounds and Jim Abbott on this problem would also be useful and appreciated.

Dewey Bakken


Thank you, Vermillion lifeguards

To the editor:

I wish to thank the lifeguards at the Vermillion pool for helping me recover my bicycle which was stolen on Friday evening, July 5 during the evening lap swim. In particular, I wish to thank Natalie and Amber for keeping a lookout for the bike and calling me when they saw it being used by someone else.

The entire pool staff has been very gracious to the lap swimmers this summer and I certainly appreciate everyone on the staff.

Roger Baron


Thanks for the great fireworks

To the editor:

Thank you, Vermillion, for one of the finest fireworks displays ever presented here the evening of July 4, 2002. We all know events such as this one don't just happen. There is much advance planning and work involved, as well as raising the money needed to present these programs.

So a special thank you to Jill LeCates, executive director, and her crew at the Vermillion Area Chamber of Commerce and to Chief Doug Brunick and the Vermillion Fire Department members for their expertise and hours of work in preparing and executing this year's show.

A job well done, and a bang-up performance, enjoyed by all attending (pun intended)!!!


Bill Willroth Sr.


Thune's plan bad for Social Security

To the editor:

Tens of thousands of South Dakotans depend on Social Security in the form of retirement, disability or survivors' benefits.

Now those benefits are at risk. John Thune wants to privatize Social Security. This risky plan could cause the retirement age to be raised, and will assuredly cut benefits to those who depend on these payments the most. The impact of this on South Dakotans alone will be drastic.

Recently, a coalition of South Dakotans concerned about John Thune's plans to jeopardize Social Security released a report telling us how bad things will be � benefits for retirees could drop by $350 per month, leaving seniors with a total benefit each year that is thousands of dollars below the poverty level. Those suffering from disabilities will receive even less.

As a member of this coalition, I hope John Thune realizes that seniors, widows, and the disabled depend on Social Security too much to let him cut benefits.

Tim Johnson opposes this plan and will protect our benefits. I'll remember that in November.


Sen. John R. McIntyre

District 12


Vermillion at its best July 4

I would like to thank a few incredibly humble citizens for their wonderful efforts at last week's Fourth of July festivities in Barstow Park. Mark Loder (Vermillion Police Department) knocked our socks off with his

voice talents as he kicked off the celebration with his accapela version of God Bless America, Doug Brunick (Vermillion Fire Department) and his 17 volunteers continued to bring new innovative magic to

the fireworks display by bringing the display closer to the crowd to always bring us open mouthed amazement.

These are only two of the many examples of Vermillion at its best. There are many more who were also deeply involved in their blood, sweat and tears that put this event together, too many to mention in detail ? but I would like to say thank you to all of them for the fine effort and entertainment that Vermillion gave to our family and those who came from far away to watch our community shine.

Good job ? please keep up the fine example for us all.

Tim Bellis


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