Start marching

To the editor:

I too, have wondered why the numbers have dwindled in the music program. I've actually thought considerably a lot about this. It's definitely not the teachers. All they do is support and help us to be better students. It's definitely not the students. Trust me, there's interest in music. And then it hit me. Especially in the Sept. 29 Plain Talk. It's the lack of support. Aren't we supposed to be a community?

Sometimes I wonder about our town. Shouldn't we work together, help each other and support each other? Apparently, I was wrong. After reading the letter to the editor written by Mary Peterson, I had mixed feelings. Maybe she was right? Is our music program really that bad? Then I quickly came to my senses. It's not. It's wonderful, and to tell you the truth – it kept me going to school. If I was still a member in the VHS band, I might have just up and quit after that letter. But band was all I would have had. And that is true for many students currently members. We rock, and no one can tell us differently.

Let me just say this. The VHS band isn't going to be the band on Drumline, and they never will be. But I can guarantee you they work hard, they fight through challenges and they succeed. They are just like a community. They practice morning after morning and after school … just to perform for the public. Not for themselves, but for others.

Even you Mrs. Peterson. If they embarrass you – so be it. Maybe you should become a member of the band and start marching at eight in the morning. Learning the drills, the music and fighting the weather … then perform in front of hundreds of people. Maybe then we'll see who is embarrassed. I'd love to see you out there; its not as easy as it may look. Just ask the freshman … and the seniors. I would know from experience.

These students have talent and spirit. To the VHS band: Don't let anyone bring you down because they don't know how much hard work we go through every day. Stay focused, stay strong, and play loud – because apparently not everyone is hearing what you've got and others are just not appreciating your talent. I know you've got it. Keep showing it. Go Tanagers.

Shelli Knutson

VHS Band Alumni

Graduate 2006

Not in my backyard

To the editor:

Granted, no one wants a new road in their backyard. The sad part of the Crawford Road drama is that the majority of the people who will be affected knew when they bought their property that the Crawford Road extension would/could some day become reality.

The City of Vermillion is growing; new streets are needed. People have been affected by new streets, streets being widened, having to put in sidewalks, street lights when none existed before – for years. The concerns of "The Friends of Crawford Woods" are no more or less important than the concerns of those who came before them or those that will come after them. The difference here is that in the past we have had a city council that always tried to do what was best for the majority of its citizens, even though it was unpopular with those the decision affected.

After looking at all the issues and other road possibilities, I believe that the Crawford Road extension is the most cost-effective and sensible plan if Vermillion is to continue to progress and grow.

The City of Vermillion owns property that will be developed into 16 or 17 lots on the lower half of the Bluffs Golf Course. These lots will need to sell in order to get the property back onto the tax rolls and help pay for the infrastructure needed to develop the lots and help the rest of us to pay for what it takes to run a city. The Crawford Road extension will be a major selling point for those lots.

Hopefully growth within the city will give us a bigger tax base to draw from and will someday alleviate the out of control property tax burden on its citizens. High taxes have a steamroller effect: rents go up, groceries go up, elderly and families on fixed incomes suffer – the list is long. Vermillion needs grow-th. Please vote yes to the Crawford Road extension on Nov. 7 and remember to also vote no to the Crawford Woods bike path.

Michele Moore


Sidewalk appreciated

To the editor:

Kudos to the city of Vermillion for installing a sidewalk on the west side of Barstow Park from Cherry Street to Dartmouth Street. The runners, walkers and bikers who have had near traffic misses sincerely thank you.

Susan Evans


Video lottery leads to crime

To the editor:

Well, here we go again. It's been six years, but video lottery advocates are using the same old tired rhetoric to scare South Dakotans into voting to keep video lottery.

Let's set the record straight. The financial windfall to our state is way overstated because it brings a lot of baggage with it. One study out of Montana shows that every $1 million in video gaming revenue leads to 172 additional crimes ��not to mention the broken homes, lives, bankruptcies, and other devastation. Think of the extra strain put on law enforcement, our judicial system, and social programs.

One of the most outlandish claims is that video lottery creates "great jobs." The average job associated with video lottery pays $12,500 per year ��hardly a great job. Moreover, video lottery siphons more than $200 million annually from our local economies. This is hardly economic development.

Government exists to serve and protect the people. Video lottery does neither. Government also has a duty to pass laws that reinforce, not undermine, our tradition of strong family values. Please join me in voting yes on Measure 7 to repeal this cancer on our state.

Matt Skaret


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