Letters

Letters Don't forget walk to Mound

To the editor:

The confusion of activities at the W.H. Over Museum needs to be cleared up. In the last issue of the Plain Talk, you published a delightful article about the 10K/5K Run Walk, but didn�t even mention that the previous weekend, Aug. 26, 27, the museum is sponsoring the Annual Lewis and Clark Days with a walk from the point from which Lewis and Clark�s expedition probably left their canoes to view the curious, but now famous Spirit Mound. The festivities will actually begin on Friday with crafts, both traditional and contemporary, Indian tacos, buffalo burgers and Native American dancing.

Saturday morning, Aug. 27, a group of people who want to experience a walk of 201 years ago will meet at the Vermillion River, Cotton Park, and walk to the Mound, about 8.5 miles. Along the way lunch will be served and a talk by Jim Peterson will refresh their memories about what went on. I feel like calling this part of our weekend The Memorial Walk. Originally, 11 of the expedition, plus Seaman the dog, made it, though Seaman got too hot so one of them had to take him back to the river.

Meanwhile, back at the museum, the crafters will be showing their wares, a bus will take the less hearty souls to the Mound either Friday or Saturday, if so desired, Indian tacos will be available at noon each day, and the event will close at 5 p.m. with a traditional soup supper. Since this is a museum-sponsored event, you can reserve a place at a table or the walk, or get answers to questions by calling 677-5228.

This is the sixth year we have had Lewis and Clark Days. Each year it has been somewhat different. Our date is chosen because it is the closest weekend to the day the expedition actually walked there, Aug. 25. Of course, the previous weekend you can visit Elk Point where the descendants of Patrick Gass, who election took place there, are honored and many things are happening.

No need to go far out of town and waste precious gas. Enjoy each event in its own right. And if you are young and hearty, do a run on Sept. 3.

Dorothy Neuhaus,

director

W.H. Over Museum

Vermillion

Noon meetings shows a weakness

To the editor:

In last week�s letter, our mayor attempted to justify the council�s decision to have a noon special meeting on the Mondays of regular council meetings. It was all spin and nonsense.

By ordinance, the council is permitted to call special meetings for a specific reason. One would think an emergency, a situation that shouldn�t wait for the next meeting, would be the reason for a special meeting. But to schedule 24 special meetings per year under the guise as �educational� is outrageous.

If council members want to tour city facilities, they could do it at a time when the evening agenda is not discussed. By discussing the regular meeting agenda at noon, the public is left out of most of the discussion of items. The noon meetings are like a �dress rehearsal� and the council is in lock step for the evening meetings.

I think the council members should do their own research instead of being spoon-fed by city staff. Since only one member of the council had the common sense and political courage to oppose these noon meetings (held at a variety of locations), it appears the only difference next year is that the taxpayers won�t have to cough up the $2,000 to feed them.

I maintain the council is misusing the special meeting authority.

Paul M. Hasse

Vermillion

Ethanol is a great success

To the editor:

When I read the July 22 editorial, �Ethanol can�t ease energy woes,� I was perplexed. I believe that it�s time for the ethanol critics � especially those from the East and West Coast � to look at the big picture and come to the Midwest � to South Dakota, in particular � to see for themselves how the United States benefits from the ethanol industry.

I have seen, first hand, how corn � a home-grown, renewal resource � comes into an ethanol plant, is processed, and subsequently transformed into the environmentally friendly ethanol and feed products that are then exported out of the state and the country.

The production of ethanol has already shown itself to be an outstanding economic success in South Dakota. According to the South Dakota Corn Council, Corn Growers Association Web site (www.sdcorn.org/sdcorn/ethanol/default.asp), �More than 8,000 South Dakota farm families have invested in some form of ethanol production. That�s over 60 percent of all corn growers in the state. Currently ethanol production utilizes over 100 million bushels a year � that�s about one in every four rows of corn. South Dakota has been a pioneer in the ethanol industry, and we continue to lead in this area. Since 1988, 10 ethanol plants have been built and are currently operating. The ethanol plants have been a great success, showing a 33 percent return on investment. So far, they have produced approximately $400 million in capital investment for South Dakota.�

Neither should one overlook the many other local and regional advantages to be gained from the ethanol industry, including some 400 direct, industry-related jobs in South Dakota alone, construction jobs at new plant sites, environmental benefits, and the simple fact that when you fill up your vehicle with E-10 or E-85, at least 10 percent or 85 percent of what you�re purchasing didn�t come from the Middle East. For those interested in learning more about using ethanol in you vehicle, visit �E is for Ethanol� at www.drivingethanol.org/ and the National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition Web site at www.e85fuel.com/ index.php.

I applaud Paul Roberts� Aug. 12 Guest Commentary and whole-heartedly agree with his conclusion: �Ethanol is a good energy value.�

Sincerely,

Barry Banks

Vermillion

An employee of the ethanol industry

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