Rebuild trust

To the editor:

Delighted, frustrated, angry and finally distrustful. These words described the gamut of reactions I have experienced reading your paper and speaking with you over the past several weeks. I was delighted when I read your column regarding the county fair and your support of the young people that participate in it. How you commended their hard work, discussed their need for support from our community and provided a wonderful piece to showcase the upcoming fair.

Then, I experienced frustration. After having seen what I feel was extremely disappointing coverage of the county fair, it's lack of pictures, poor coverage of actual events and lack of fair insert, I contacted you by phone to express my disappointment. You offered explanations and excuses for this poor coverage, expressed your frustrations with the lack of staff you had to gather information, your time crunches, etc. But you also reassured me that photo coverage and recognition of the fair highlights would take place in "next week's paper."

On to anger. Several weeks went by without the promised "fair coverage." No photos, no article, nothing! And least of all no apology to the members of those 4-H clubs that received no recognition for all their hard work, commitment and effort. All the things you went on and on about in the column weeks ago.

So, another phone call, more excuses, more half-truths. You were offered alternatives to gathering the information you needed, that you stated you "couldn't get" or "was lost." Those were lost on you! Just wait, it gets better. I was reminded that you were "trying to satisfy me" by getting the kids' names in the paper and do something to recognize them.

Oh, by now I am really mad. This is not about satisfying me. This is about standing by what you had expressed in your column in the first place and then by what you had promised me in our first conversation regarding the coverage. Was your editorial about support for the 4-H'ers a big lie? You sure didn't back up that statement with proof through the press. Come on, David; decide on what you really believe.

Finally I have distrust. Distrust of the honesty of your support of the 4-H program, the Clay County Fair and your subscribers. What, this doesn't sell papers, so don't cover it?

Apologize David, rebuild trust and follow through with your promises.

Kay Hansen


Refinery brings growth potential

To the editor:

Although we have moved from Vermillion, I still follow the Hyperion refinery developments. At this time I am working in Yemen helping to build the country's first liquified natural gas refinery. The project is changing the entire economic infrastructure of the country for the better.

The location for the offshore loading jetty and the refinery is amongst some of the most pristine coral in the world. Various species that are rare and native only to the Gulf of Aden would have been impacted had not the Yemeni government taken very specific measures to protect the ecosystems of the coral and the aquatics surrounding and dependent upon the coral. I know because I manage the contracts for the companies building the works on the waters. I see daily, if not hourly, the costs the companies are having to pay to protect the coral.

Millions are being invested to protect the corals. Preventative actions include but aren't limited to silt curtains to protect the corals from turbidity, and the replanting of sensitive corals by scientific diving teams to the engineering of the length of water outfalls with precise instrumentation to ensure the water returned outside of the coral areas and is the exact temperature of the sea water.

If the government of Yemen, an emerging nation and considered one of the poorest in the world, can effectively manage the protection of such treasures, then the state of South Dakota and the federal government

should have no problems ensuring the waterways and surrounding ecosystems are adequately protected.

This project is creating thousands of jobs for a host of tribes and small villages previously dependent upon fishing plus basic agriculture for

survival. The poverty here is heart-wrenching. I speak with locals and hear of what they have had to endure since the revolution in 1991 and

before. To say the least, the emergence of the Yemeni petroleum industry is welcomed by all. It has also been a unifying project bringing the people together for a common cause, their greater good.

I cannot begin to emphasize the importance of creating self-generating petro-chemical infrastructure within the United States, having worked internationally in the same industry. Clay and Union counties are just as deserving to earn the rewards of a refinery as any other county. It wouldn't take much to convince Hyperion to relocate into a more friendly environment – something to remember.

To close, a well-planned refinery and support network are long-term systemic growth opportunities. Numerous spin offs arise from the refinery and production must remain constant. If efficiencies are met and demand increases, then the name-plate capacity of the refinery must increase, creating more jobs. More jobs means a better economy. A better economy means a better standard of living. Important reasons to build the refinery. I ask that you work together to solve the problems and concerns at hand rather than crush the idea before it matures. Clay and Union counties deserve this.

James Larsen


Kudos to Mrs. Erickson

To the editor:

The Vermillion Plain Talk is to be commended on publishing weekly articles by Cleo Erickson for the sesquicentennial celebration. These informative accounts bring to life the early history of Vermillion and its founding fathers, old-time settlers, and illustrious citizens. Kudos to Mrs. Erickson for this look back in time and the insight it can provide our community while preparing for this celebration.

Patricia A. Kozak


Build refinery in Dallas

To the editor:

People yearn for what we have in Union County – clean air, a sustainable aquifer, and land replete with harvest. When Hyperion Resources says it can build a gargantuan oil refinery and maintain these realities, it does not seem believable, particularly as the company has never built a refinery before, let alone one that might be South Dakota green.

After months of speculation and secrecy, the media blitz that pounds away at green and clean fails to dispel the myths of cheaper gas and jobs for South Dakotans. Karen Hall, a chemical engineer who worked at a refinery in Minnesota and spoke to a gathering sponsored by the Save Union County organization on Sept. 26, reminded the audience that gasoline is a commodity and reacts to market forces, so gas in this area will not be cheaper.

Her remarks also included comments on the work force may or may not be for seekers from this area, particularly in the start-up phase of the refinery, as it is no place for �rookies.� Her charts on the tons of various polluting materials that are cast into the environment around oil refineries were mind opening.

It seems probable that a great portion of the millions of dollars needed for infrastructure will be carried by the taxpayers of South Dakota. The balance of that against the perceived possibility of jobs and the upheaval to our environment may tip in favor of Hyperion remaining in Dallas. Build a refinery there, please

Liz Merrigan

Spink / Garryowen

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