Letters Thanks, Legion

To the editor:

As a proud member of the American Legion Auxiliary, I would like to congratulate Vermillion Post 1 and Wakonda Post 13 on the 85th anniversary of the American Legion. Legionnaires in Vermillion and across the state should be proud of their service to our country and their continued support of our troops and veterans.

When I think of the American Legion Auxiliary, I think of three things: their work to uphold our country's values, their work to ensure that this country honors those who are fighting in defense of freedom today, and their work to ensure that the memory of those who served is never forgotten.

It is not surprising that our state has the largest per capita number of veterans in the country because South Dakotans have always answered their country's call to serve. Far too often, however, veterans are pushed to the back of the line when it comes time to write the budget in Washington.

I'm running for Congress because I believe a promise made should be a promise kept. It sounds simple enough, but in the case of the government's treatment of our nation's veterans, promises are being broken, and that needs to stop.

Our country has a rich tradition of servicemen and women who accepted low pay, and risked their lives in many cases, at home and overseas. In return, the government promised to privide for the health care needs of these heroes and their dependents � a small price to pay for the defense of our collective freedom.

So please take a moment to thank Commander Richard L. Barta and other members of Vermillion Post 1 and Commander John Haver and other members of Wakonda Post 13 for their ongoing service to our country, and congratulate them on the 85th anniversary of the American Legion.


Stephanie Herseth

Candidate for U.S. House of Representatives

Member, American Legion Auxiliary Unit 39

Thanks, volunteers

To the editor:

The Clay County unit of the American Cancer Society thanks Howard Willson, Ray Hofman and all the volunteers who sold, packaged and delivered the daffodils in the community recently.

We also thank all who purchased � businesses and individuals, the city and USD � for participating in this Daffodil Day campaign.

Hope you enjoyed your daffodils. Thanks again.


Marlene Amundsen, city<</I>P> Mary Mock, USD

Gross extravagance

To the editor:

It is the duty of elected officials to carry out the wishes of the electorate, unless those wishes are illegal. Consequently, I fail to understand how the mayor has continued to press for the purchase of the bank building when the voters have voted loud and clear in opposition.

To me, it would be foolhardy under any circumstances for the city to forego the $30,000 real estate tax that I understand the bank pays. If that weren't enough, how could the mayor justify at least four times the square feet needed to house the city's business offices?

A short time ago I wrote a letter to the editor suggesting that the city rent the 4-H building at $40 per day for meetings of the city council � the space is at ground level, and other problems would be solved.

The hall is heated in winter, cooled in summer, has adequate toilet facilities and parking space. Present city council furniture and chairs could be put in place prior to meetings and moved out of the way after meetings ended.

When I had no response from the city council, I concluded they didn't subscribe to the Plain Talk and I forwarded a similar letter to the council, hand-delivered to Mike Carlson, which apparently was not acted upon.

Many Vermillion residents are having trouble making both ends meet, and we should take cognizance of the fact instead of entertaining the idea to foster what by any measure would be gross extravagance. If the city council and Vermillion Development Company had listened to me 32 years ago, they wouldn't have squandered untold thousands, if not millions, of dollars of taxpayers' money since then.

I am the president of Paint Brush Corporation, which relocated to Vermillion 32 years ago. Paint Brush Corporation is the only manufacturer who relocated to Vermillion from out of state and survived.


Douglas K. Rose


Say 'no' to 'yes' man

To the editor:

The March 26 edition of the Plain Talk carried a front page article about Larry Diedrich's brief stop in Vermillion. During his quick tour of City Hall and the municipal power building, he managed to speak exhaustively with editor David Lias. One of the more interesting comments made by Mr. Diedrich was his assertion that he is a "team player" and that was his reason for bowing out of the congressional race in 2002 in favor of Bill Janklow.

If there is anything that South Dakota does not need right now, it is another Republican "team player." We cannot afford any more representatives who say "How high?" when President Bush says "Jump." I want to be represented in Washington by someone who is not afraid to take an unpopular stand if that is what is needed to best represent South Dakota.

It is even more important for South Dakota that we have a representative who is not controlled by the Republican Party. If you have any questions about why the current G.O.P. is disastrous for folks in the Great Plains, read Thomas Frank's essay "Lie Down for America: How the Republican Party sows ruin on the Great Plains" in the April 2004 issue of Harper's Magazine. This well-researched article points out the suffering and damage that current Republican-initiated policies have wreaked on small towns and rural mid-America.

Across South Dakota, small towns are losing schools and small businesses because the current administration favors corporate interests over individual and small business interests. Large corporate interests need cheap labor in order to make the large profits which go to corporate executives and institutional shareholders, and, of course, also go into political contributions to the politicians who help keep that labor cheap. Free-market capitalism, as Thomas Frank points out, doesn't have much use for small town merchants or the agricultural system.

Larry Diedrich wants to be part of what he believes will be a Republican majority in the House and the Senate and the White House. He wants to be a team player. What we need is a South Dakotan first, not another "yes" man for the Republicans.


Caitlin F. Collier


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