Excerpts from recent South Dakota editorials
The Associated Press
Rapid City Journal, Rapid City, March 13, 2013
Houston trip has potential
If you want people to visit, you first have to invite them. That’s what a Rapid City group did recently when they traveled to Houston to meet with their travel and business counterparts.
The group of about two dozen business and civic leaders flew to Houston to promote the Rapid City area as a tourism destination and a developing energy sector with connections to North Dakota’s booming Bakken oil fields. They met with Houston travel agencies about Black Hills tourism and held roundtable discussions with business representatives to sell Rapid City as an economic development opportunity.
It helps that United Airlines will begin seasonal daily flights between Rapid City and Houston on June 6 following a successful trial of the air connection last summer. Rapid City travel and economic development officials would like to convince United to continue the Houston flights year-round. Houston is United Airlines’ largest domestic airport hub.
The trip’s cost was paid by the companies, Rapid City Economic Development Foundation, South Dakota Tourism, Black Hills Badlands & Lakes, Black Hills Air Service Partnership and other entities.
Ben Snow, president of Rapid City Economic Development, said he didn’t expect immediate results from the trip and was taking the long view of a possible Rapid City-Houston connection. “It takes years sometimes to develop things to a point where a company’s ready to make a move or develop a satellite office,” he said.
We like the idea of exploring Houston’s potential as a tourism and economic partner. It could pay off in the future in a big way.
Trying to persuade United to continue the seasonal Rapid City-Houston flights and possibly expand it to a year-round connection also is a worthwhile effort. Rapid City’s economy relies on strong air travel connections.
Like many business opportunities, it may take some time before anything comes from the Houston visit. Kudos to the Rapid City business group for making the Houston trip and extending an invitation to make a return visit.
The Daily Republic, Mitchell, March 13, 2013
Renewing interest in Lake Mitchell important for community
We find it peculiar that the true depths of Lake Mitchell have never been measured. The lake, the result of a reservoir built on Firesteel Creek, is a busy recreation site during the summer for swimmers, anglers and boaters.
Almost a century since it was formed, we’re finally going to learn its true dimensions, thanks to a recent decision by the Lake Mitchell Advisory Committee. The panel decided to spend between $500 and $800 to rent the appropriate mapping equipment. The city’s engineering department will do the work.
Good for them. It’s a project that’s overdue. Measuring the depth of the lake will aid anglers and boaters. It also will establish a baseline, so years from now we can tell how much sediment has settled on its bottom.
Lake Mitchell has been a bit of an orphan throughout its years. It used to be that Mitchellites drank its water — often begrudgingly, because of its odor — but a Missouri River pipeline built in 2003 means we no longer drink from the lake.
When the pipeline came to town, the lake seemed to have slipped beneath the radar a bit. It was no longer necessary for the Public Works Department to watch it as closely as when it was our drinking water reservoir.
However, the Lake Mitchell Advisory Committee and the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department have recently taken greater responsibility over the lake, and both seem genuinely interested in seeing progress there. That’s good news, since the lake is an important part of Mitchell’s past, present and future.
Argus Leader, Sioux Falls, March 11, 2013
Tribes show wisdom in forming group
Sometimes history is in the present.
That’s how one tribal leader sees a recent meeting between representatives of four Sioux tribes recently in Rapid City. The Oglala Sioux Tribe hosted Standing Rock Sioux, Rosebud Sioux and Crow Creek Sioux representatives, an event that hasn’t happened in more than 100 years, according to Bryan Brewer, president of the Oglala Sioux.
While that certainly appears historic, more history seems ready to be made as well. The 60 people who attended the meetings agreed they wanted to work together and wrote a set of bylaws to do so. They also plan to meet again in April and say that 22 Sioux tribes are eligible to join them.
While they’ve talked about it and dreamed about it, they see this as a chance to work together as one nation.
Working together with one voice holds the promise of more attention being paid to issues and needs of the Sioux tribes. In many ways, they share the same fight and similar problems and challenges. As a people, they understand those struggles and might have similar ideas how to best handle them.
Even if each tribe continues to have individual issues it seeks to solve, unity might make them stronger and help smaller tribes, in particular, be heard.
We applaud the tribes and encourage the effort, one that could have great results.