Letters

Letters A voice for farmers

To the editor:

South Dakota's agricultural community is vital to our state's economy. It is important that, when we vote in the special election on June 1, we vote for the person that will best protect South Dakota's family farms and ranches and facilitate growth in the agricultural community, Stephanie Herseth.

Having grown up on a fourth generation South Dakota farm, Stephanie understands firsthand the challenges facing South Dakota's farmers and rachers and offers real solutions to those problems. In Congress, Stephanie will support a ban on packer ownership, ensuring fair prices to small, South Dakota producers. She will fight to ensure that free trade means fair trade and fair prices for South Dakota's farmers. And Stephanie will work to expand renewable energy production in South Dakota through value added agriculture.

A vote for Stephanie Herseth on June 1 will be a vote to, at last, give a much deserved voice to South Dakota farmers and ranchers.

Roland Chicoine

Elk Point

Some drives are legitimate

To the editor:

Some comments, regarding your editorial, "Use caution when registering to vote," from a citizen who has helped on many voter drives.

Many legitimate groups conduct voter registration drives in public places. Some pay their workers, some do not. Although Tim Dietrieck's actions seem dubious, it is still possible he is working for an authorized organization. If they are really paying $2 for each registration, they must be highly motivated to get them properly processed.

I also assume that they know to hinder or prevent one from registering to vote is a federal offense. It might be helpful if you publish his Web site so people who filled out their forms with him can research it for themselves, and to distinguish that group from more open organizations.

At any rate, since my group is conducting a petition drive which includes voter registration, and since I arrived in town a few days after the mysterious Mr. Dietrieck, I wish to make a few facts clear to the public. Mr. Dietrieck does not work for us. We are The Libertarians, and we have no wish to hide our light under a bushel. Our Web site, accessible to every citizen, is www.lp.org. Before proceeding with any registration, I signed in with the auditor's office at Vermillion City Hall, and that is where I have been turning in the forms.

I can assure the citizens that all registrations, regardless of party chosen that The Libertarians handle will be turned in in a timely fashion, and if all qualification are met, you will be registered to vote.

Also, we do not retain the information from the forms, nor do we put people who sign our petitions on any mailing list. Furthermore, I might mention that I have taken courses in voter registration; I am a deputy-register in another state, and have over the years, helped thousands of Americans become voters!

Finally, thank you for your service in listing locations. Many new residents to the state do not know where to go. Still people working long shifts can find it difficult to reach them at the proper hours, therefore Hy-Vee and other locations which have permitted citizen groups to reach the public deserve only praise for their civic-mindedness.

As for Mr. Dietrieck, one presumes him innocent until proven guilty of wrong doing. Hopefully more facts will be attained about his group.

Regardless, let not suspicion darken the labors of the many established groups who conduct regular voter drives; apathy not action is the enemy of our republic system.

This nation was formed out of citizen action, and whether in war or peace only by an active citizenry will it be maintained.

Bob Lynich

Richmond, VA

Thanks, Vermillion

To the editor:

I want to thank everyone for the fantastic welcome home we received last week when we returned to Vermillion.

There are so many to thank: The Vermillion community, Mayor Roger Kozak, Chamber of Commerce, Vermillion Police, Ambulance and Fire departments, Clay County Sheriff's Department, S.D. Highway Patrol, American Legion, VFW, Hy-Vee, University of South Dakota, the Vermillion business community, and everyone who furnished vehicles for the parade and the drivers.

To the organizations and groups that sent care packages to us while we were gone, thank you! A special thank you to all of the students from the Vermillion school systems. From the time our bus was met and escorted into Vermillion there were people all alongside the road with signs and flags. To see all of the people along the parade route, especially all of the students dressed in red, white and blue chanting "U-S-A!" was unbelievable.

The Deactivation Ceremony at Slagle Hall was amazing. From the minute we entered the hall to see all of the people and to hear the music playing was overwhelming.

Vermillion is truly a wonderful city to live in. It was knowing we had the support of everyone at home that enabled us to be away for over a year and to do our jobs.

Again, thanks to everyone,

SFC Jerry Anderson

Co. B 109th Med. Bn.

The right track

To the editor:

The Citizen's City Hall Advisory Committee is working very hard to seek and learn all available information about the City Hall situation. They have

pledged to work vigorously to gain the trust of the public by asking them their opinions and listening to their wishes.

This group of citizens is very concerned that they start their task regarding the physical future of city hall with a clean slate, leaving all options on the table and open for consideration. They want to take their case to the people before they make any recommendations to the city council.

I took the opportunity to observe the first two meetings of this committee on Monday, March 29 and Tuesday, April 6. Chairman Rich Braunstein conducted the meetings in a very professional and open manner, while making sure that each member was able to fully contribute their ideas. The overall consensus of the group is to soak up as much knowledge as possible and communicate their findings to the public on a regular basis.

This committee understands that public perception is crucial to the success of their effort, and they have set a process in motion to ensure citizen input. They are definitely on the right track, and I am sure we will hear much from this group over the next few months.

It has been very gratifying to be a silent listener and watch the City Hall Advisory Committee diligently do their work!

Sincerely,

Dan Christopherson

Alderman, Central Ward

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