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Letters to the Editor

Letter to the Editor;

In my almost 53 years of life, this will be my fourth "letter to the editor." I'd like to put a title on this one. I'll call it LISTEN UP LOOKY-LOOS! The semi-official definition of looky-loo is: noun; a person with limited intellect who races to any scene involving fire, accident or act of God and impedes the progress of anyone dealing with said incident."*

*I made up this definition because, believe it or not, I couldn't find it in my stash of dictionaries, but I knew it was a noun and I knew it was right on.

I would be referring to the accident north of town last Tuesday, August 12, that involved the unfortunate meeting of a Midwest Cooperatives truck and a house being moved. Our officials, state and county (Highway Patrol, Sheriff's Office, West Central Electric employees), and our volunteers (fire department, ambulance) were doing their job, as they do so well 24/7, and had to deal with YOU coming through and making an immediate u-turn and coming BACK through. You should be ashamed of yourselves!!

There will undoubtedly be a PICTURE in the paper. Wait for it and stay out of the way!! The other unfortunate part of this whole incident is that the people who NEED to read this aren't "whippy" enough to read it! Oh, well. I feel better having vented. And, we will continue to deal with you idiots.**

**Most of the time, I am a mild-mannered people-lover.

Jeanie Waara

Philip, SD

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Dear Editor,

Drinking and driving crashes are 100 percent preventable. Please, keep that in mind during the Labor Day holiday weekend this year.

Preventing a crash is as simple as planning ahead. If you're going to drink, establish a sober driver before the party starts. That sober ride home can be a friend, a bus, a taxi or your own two feet.

A sober ride can also mean a savings of $4,000. That is the average cost of a first-time Driving Under the Influence (DUI) conviction in South Dakota.

Please, take some personal responsibility. Don't be a drunk driver, and do your part to keep South Dakota roads safe for the rest of the summer.

Sincerely,

James Carpenter, Director,

SD Office of Highway Safety

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(edited for space)

Dear Friends;

I am delighted that our Record of Decision and Final Environmental Impact Statement covering black-tailed prairie dog management is now available for your review.

The Forest Service will manage prairie dogs outside of ferret emphasis areas under new direction. My decision is expected to result in the promotion of existing or former prairie dog towns not being managed for ferret reintroduction. We expect that lethal methods of management would be very unlikely in the short-term unless a site-specific condition exists.

I set a range of prairie dog colony acres allowed on national grassland units in Nebraska and southern South Dakota. Colony size will provide sufficient prairie dog habitat. My decision maintains sufficient prairie dog populations to ensure ferret survival, should reintroduction be contemplated in the future.

There are two distinct areas of colonies that are managed differently; areas outside ferret management emphasis areas, and ferret management emphasis areas. I have deferred my decision on the ferret management areas until sometime in the future. My decision today focuses on the effects of prairie dog colonies outside the ferret emphasis areas only.

I expect changes to continue to affect things like livestock grazing and maintaining the integrity of borders between Federal land and other ownerships. I know most people want some certainty from my decision but certainty has been hard to come by in the Badlands and the prairies. The decision attempts to provide some certainty while recognizing the constantly changing condition, by providing the following elements:

•Identifies minimum and maximum acres of colonies to be followed until new management objectives may be developed. Colonies will generally be 1,000 to 3,000 acres, and not more than three percent of the Federal grasslands in question. When colonies exceed the maximum acres, rodenticide may be used if non-lethal means of control are not successful.

•Establishes an "expanded collaborative effort" in which all interested parties will share ideas and objectives to help make future decisions.

•Additional monitoring and research to help decision makers and the public make more scientific, timely and socially acceptable future decisions.

My decision includes "adaptive management" that adds monitoring and the ability to respond more quickly to new conditions. Flexibility will be a key to making effective decisions for prairie dog management on the National Grasslands.

The decision documents and the Environmental Impact Statement are available on the Internet at www.fs.fed.us/r2/nebraska and CDs containing the documents are available from our offices in South Dakota and Nebraska.

Sincerely,

Jane D. Darnell

Forest and Grassland Supervisor

Chadron, NE 69337-2118

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Dear Editor:

Since Sen. Tim Johnson's very unfortunate health complications in December 2006, there has been a lot of speculation about his future and what it would mean for the 2008 Senate race in South Dakota.

South Dakotans of all political stripes reacted the way South Dakotans do in such situations - with kindness and compassion for our fellow human being. Despite a lot of repeated calls to act otherwise, I and many others of both parties have been respectful of Sen. Johnson's situation and his road to recovery.

Last December, when Sen. Johnson talked about the upcoming campaign he said, "I will participate in debate, how many and where I participate in a debate will be determined later." His campaign manager, Steve Jarding, in March of this year reaffirmed to the Argus Leader that Johnson would debate.

But now the decision has been made that no debates will be held and in fact, Mr. Jarding has tried to put the onus on the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, Joel Dykstra.

They have tried to pass off Joel Dykstra as a dark horse - an unworthy opponent who doesn't have the money or name ID that makes a debate against a strong incumbent necessary. They have tried to spin it that debates against challengers are optional.

But I'm afraid they are missing the point. Joel Dykstra is an excellent candidate and South Dakota would be lucky to have him as our U.S. Senator. And as a testament to his energy and enthusiasm, he is not sitting back - he is out in the coffee shops, senior centers and Main Street businesses talking with people about how to make South Dakota a better place to live, work and raise a family.

Mr. Jarding is wrong -- debates are necessary. Often these are the only ways that voters get to see the candidates and hear what they believe in and what they can accomplish for us. Their decision not to debate flies in the face of long-standing South Dakota traditions and Sen. Johnson owes it to the voters to take part in fair, open and honest forums.

Sincerely,

Karl Adam

Pierre, SD 57501