Letters Thanks for placing flags

To the editor:

Sergeant (E7) Jerry Anderson of Vermillion, normally arranges for the U.S. grave marker flags to be placed at the grave site of every veteran buried at BluffView Cemetery. This is done every Memorial Day to honor our veterans who have passed away.

This year, Sergeant Anderson is in Kuwait and was unable to arrange for the flags to be placed at our veterans' grave sites.

Volunteers were recruited and we would like to thank them: Lorie Epping and her daughters, Megan, Brittney and Christine and their friends, Kelly Miskimins and Alexa Regnerus. In addition, Amanda Breske and Anne Marshall helped.

The Vermillion American Legion, Wallace Post No. 1, thanks these folks for helping us to remember our veterans.

F.M. "Bud Marshall

Americanism chairman, Vermillion American Legion

Public must hold chief accountable

To the editor:

The June 6 edition of the Plain Talk was quite interesting to me and I couldn't resist commenting. I cannot believe the comment made by the city manager about the two stings leaving eight businesses unchecked. Patrick said local law enforcement just "flat out missed." "There is no excuse, we talked about it," Patrick said. "It wasn't due to any other reason."

Chief Mabry said he knows that people make mistakes but, doesn't accept that as an excuse. Isn't the city manager saying the police department made a mistake when he said we just "flat out missed"? For nine business in town who just "flat out missed" and their servers who made unintentional mistakes, there is a punishment.

They face criminal charges and loss of their livelihood for 14 days. Some employees were even fired. Who in the police department gets punished like the nine business owners and nine employees who just "flat out missed"?

Next is Chief Mabry's comment about not being concerned that the undercover operations may drive a wedge between his department and businesses in Vermillion. What an interesting comment from someone who has been on the job in Vermillion for only five months and hasn't had a chance to get to know what kind of community we are.

Vermillion is a small community with the majority of businesses being independently owned and operated by the people that live in this town. To me it seems we need to have cooperation.

Has the job of the police department changed from "protect and serve" to something else? Chief Mabry is also quoted as saying "One thing we tell them (minors) is not to lie." This sure has changed since his comment to Jere Chapman on May 7.

I was there during that phone conversation between the two and was shocked to hear him say that. I was, however, more shocked when I read his comment in the paper contradicting his earlier comment.

In the article Chief Mabry talks about two kinds of people: those who try to do the right thing, accept responsibility when they err, and strive to correct those mistakes and those who deflect the responsibilities on others. It seems to me our chief is talking about the members of the business community who stood before the city council and expressed their concerns with the direction this is taking.

Do you even have a clue what training measures were in place prior to the stings and what are in place now? None of the businesses in town are willing to jeopardize their livelihood so a young person can jeopardize themselves. We are serious enough at the three restaurants we represent in town to spend several hundred dollars to certify all three of our managers to become TAM trainers.

Yes, the sheriff's department is great about holding a class every week but, what about a server hired on Saturday and not TAM trained until the next Wednesday? We are still at risk. This allows all employees to be TAM certified during initial orientation.

Chief, what type of person are you? Who is held responsible for blotching two stings with eight businesses forgotten? You should also get your facts straight prior to your interviews such as your quote "of the six that failed the first time, only one failed the second time." Are you aware you did not even sting all six of the businesses that failed the first time?

I talk with a lot of my customers on a daily basis and it's interesting to listen to their comments concerning the welfare of Vermillion. Here are some of the comments I have heard most recently:

Why are there so many officers quitting the department?

Why do they need such an expensive SUV?

Why isn't the new police chief trying to get along with us?

Why do his career moves continue to go down in population base? Is this normal?

Our new chief needs some close observations by the public he serves. If you have the same concerns I have, please get a list of current city council representatives and let them know what those may be.

Jon Robertson


Everyone needs to share the load

To the editor:

I read with interest David Lias' editorial suggesting that more money from the Deadwood fund should be available for improving such structures as the Governor's Mansion and the Woodbine Cottage.

What Lias did not mention is that the Deadwood Fund requires matching funds. I think this is a positive feature, because it requires that the communities in which the structures reside also need to demonstrate support for these improvements.

South Dakotan communities contain rich historical structures that whose maintenance necessitates support from various sources if they are going to survive for our future generations. Everyone needs to share the load.

Evelyn Schlenker


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