We can't give up

To the editor:

South Dakotans, we can't give up now. We cannot allow the Federal Railroad Administration's denial of DM&E's loan application to close the door on a tremendous opportunity for residents of this state and the entire Midwest.

Our visionary Congressional leadership in South Dakota unequivocally supports the DM&E expansion project. Sen. Tim Johnson, Sen. John Thune and Rep. Stephanie Herseth understand the importance of the rail upgrade and expansion to our state and have championed this project.

South Dakota is a land-locked state. The proposed DM&E project would provide access to markets far beyond our state's borders. Our current rail transportation system is already stretched beyond its capacity, limiting development and expansion opportunities for South Dakota farmers and businesses.

The demand for rail capacity will continue to grow across the nation. Creation of another Class I rail line in the Midwest would provide increased competition, resulting in lower rates to transport goods for all South Dakota producers.

President Bush's energy initiatives require increased bio-based fuel production. Our state has a unique ethanol climate, with a projected 1 billion gallons of ethanol production in the near future.

Rail expansion is needed to move ethanol and other value-added products produced here in the Midwest to ports and markets all across this country.

If we fail to address bottlenecks when delivering the growing supply of ethanol and co-products to market, ethanol – the industry our state has built – will not reach its full potential.

Community leaders along the DM&E rail line support the project. They understand the economic benefits and job opportunities it would provide to their towns and rural communities.

South Dakota citizens and our political leaders must continue to work together to find a way to turn this transportation opportunity into reality.

Bill Chase,


We want to hear from you

To the editor:

At Sanford Vermillion Medical Center, we take our obligation to provide comprehensive, quality healthcare seriously. Part of providing services is knowledge of the needs and wants of those consuming services.

We want to hear from you! We are LISTENING!

To that end, Sanford Vermillion Medical Center will be conducting a consumer survey in March 2007. I urge and ask everyone who receives a telephone call to take the few minutes needed to complete the survey because of the benefit that it will provide for Vermillion and the medical center.

Even if you do not use services locally, your input and feedback will help us understand how to better serve everyone's healthcare needs.

The survey's intended purpose is gather opinions and perceptions of healthcare services provided in Vermillion. We have hired a professional research firm that will be completing 400 randomly selected telephone calls to conduct the survey.

The survey is designed to be approximately 10 minutes in length, and respondents will remain totally confidential. No personal information will be shared or given to the medical center – only the aggregate results.

The survey will assist Sanford Vermillion and the community to focus on the needs of our citizens, making enhancements and improvements based on feedback from those who consume healthcare. The results of the survey will aid us in the planning and implementation of programs and services.

I want to personally thank each person in advance who receives a call for the time you give to complete this telephone survey which will help to guide Sanford Vermillion Medical Center's future efforts.


Timothy J. Tracy, CEO

Sanford Vermillion

Medical Center

"Dedicated to the

Work of Healing"

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