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To everyone who has a dog, it is special to them. I know our Coco is. That is why the title of this epistle says “special, special.” The “special, special” pooches are the many “service” dogs that are at work in our great state. They often work long hours, perhaps just for a treat or a thank you pat on the back.
Will South Dakota go along with the recommendation of the federal safety investigators to ban cellphone use for all vehicle drivers? That is a question our legislature will have to deal with in the upcoming session that gets underway next week. As of now, our state is one of nine states with no laws prohibiting cellphone use i.e. texting, or talking behind the wheel. Is this about to change?
There are oceans of stuff, yes, stuff, on the computer that we wade through that should go straight to the trash. Then, every now and then something pops up that needs to be shared. That is the basis for today’s column. This column generally deals with and is about South Dakota issues. Today’s column tells how the American Dream is being destroyed.
Here it is, Christmas time again. Digging into my files I discovered a story entitled simply, “The Wooden Bowl,” which is most appropriate for this time of the year. While Christmas is the season for giving, it is also the season for sharing and caring. Thus, today’s column.While I have added to the original story, it hasn’t changed its meaning. You don’t have to be embarrassed if a tear pops up in your eye.
Communities across South Dakota took a look at their needs for the past several years and with the help of state and federal grants and loans some of those needs have been taken care of. However, there is one question that probably hasn’t been asked. Is our community pretty? Is our town attractive, good looking to a visitor, be he or she a family member or someone who may be looking for a town just the size of where you live to start a new business?
Lonis Wendt recently wrote an essay on the Vivian (S.D.) dance hall as published in my hometown newspaper. The article originally was submitted to the South Dakota Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on behalf of the hall’s induction slated for April 21, 2012, at the Ramkota in Sioux Falls. While this article just refers to the history of the Vivian dance hall, it should remind a lot of us about the dance halls in most of South Dakota’s small towns that are now just a memory.
South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard recently announced that the state is still having some financial problems, but they aren’t as bad as they were last year. The improvement came with the tax revenue in the past several months has been above the estimates. The downturn in the state’s tobacco revenue is part of why the general fund isn’t where state officials would like to see it.
Millions of Muslims are seeking to immigrate to America. Islam is a civilization that has never accepted Christianity equally, and many seek Shariah Law that would expunge Christianity entirely. With this in mind, don’t you think we should solve the problem of their assimilation into our culture and language before we bring in millions more into this country? Or to put it another way, is it wise to bring in millions more into our country at such a time?
Nearly 30 percent of those released from prison here in South Dakota return within a year. There is an attempt to cut that percentage in half, primarily because of the cost of “re-housing” those prisoners. The attempt is certainly a worthwhile effort because of the economy. South Dakota needs to figure out a way to keep so many of its ex-inmates from going back to prison. No, it isn’t because I am some kind of a bleeding heart. I am thinking more about the economy of cutting the number of those who have to go back to prison here in the state.
In an August column I wrote what were to be two initiated measures to be voted on in South Dakota’s November 2012 General Election. Now, a week after the deadline, one of them will not see the inside of the ballot box. The dead one was whether or not we wanted to join the winner-take-all movement for electing U.S. presidents. The other was whether or not South Dakotans wanted to raise the sales tax by one penny.
After hearing for the umpteenth time, “It seems like all we read any more is bad news. Isn’t there any good news any more?” There is plenty of good news out there as well. All you have to do is look for it. Here are some for instances.
There are complaints out there that the pheasants are not as plentiful as in past years. And when we consider what the state went through last winter, is it any wonder why we have fewer birds. At the same time in visiting with out-of-state hunters the last couple of weeks few had any complaints about the bird count. Pheasants, or no pheasants, the bird hunt is big business in South Dakota.
It seems Iowans seem to think they have to be first in everything, even when it comes to finding a presidential candidate. They call it their nominating caucus. We South Dakotans call ours our primary election, all set for next year. The events draw all kinds of people to their state and bring with them a lot of money. For a few years South Dakota was one of the first states to hold a primary election. Why can’t we do it again?
Legalized gambling was supposed to be the key to unlock South Dakota’s financial crisis. While it has become a major contributor to the state’s purse, it has been discovered that contribution isn’t as big as the state officials who started video lottery thought it would be. South Dakota’s smoking ban is being blamed for the so-called loss. In other words, keeping down the state’s profits. Thus there will be a move to erase the smoking ban from the state’s books.
Some folks really pony up to reunions, all kinds, family, class or high school, college, and military units, just to name a few. Others dislike them so much they get sick rather than go to one. I, for one, like them, the whole bunch. We just returned from one, kinda like a military unit. But we weren’t a unit, just super good friends who date back more than 50 year./p>
Our nation recently commemorated the fateful day when two planes crashed into the twin World Trade Towers in New York City 10 years ago. But did you know that several years ago, a bomber crashed into the Empire State Building in New York City–a bomber that was eventually bound for Sioux Falls, South Dakota?
There is a misconception out there that South Dakota isn’t a very “newsy” state, meaning not much is happening in our state. How wrong they are. Newspapers are filled with news every day of the week. A review of some recent news articles proves a point. Many other folks don’t know what they are missing when they don’t read a newspaper
There are $527 million worth of exemptions in South Dakota’s tax code. A legislative committee was assigned the task of finding those exemptions that could be put back on the books since the state is so short-handed for funds. Unfortunately, the body only could come up with $332,000 worth of exemptions out of that $527 million to be put back on the books for collection. This package will be recommended to the full Legislature come January.
Some scams are devilishly devious and some are comically clumsy. Whatever they are, they are out to make some big bucks at your expense. They are not like the proverbial duck; if it looks like a duck, if it acts like a duck, if it smells like a duck, and it quacks like a duck, more than likely it is a duck. Not so with a scam. If it looks like it will make money for you, if it asks you to help, and it begs like a pro, more than likely it is a scam out to get you for all it can.
Depending on who is saying it, but the blame game is being played on the causes of loss of revenue with South Dakota’s video lottery industry. Today’s column takes a look at the various factors affecting the decline of play in the gaming industry. There is no one reason, but a multitude of causes of why video lottery is not as popular as it once was.
Learning all the new buzz words related to the internet’s social networking is a rather tough assignment for a lot of us, especially those of us who are passed retirement age. Still, those of you who are still part of the younger bunch can learn from the old codger set. That is if you are willing and intelligent enough to listen. Social networking, especially from a moving car or sending the wrong information about yourself can hurt you and even kill.
South Dakota voters will be asked to vote on at least three ballot issues come Election Day 2012. One of them is a referred measure and the other two are initiatives. It is important to study these issues so they can be discussed and cussed between now and November of next year. They are now in the Attorney General’s office waiting for him to put a title and write an explanation on each of them. One of them is on the National Popular Vote movement and the other establishes a state sales tax increase of one cent.
The latest report says the state is seeing some growth in its sales tax revenue. At the same time there is a group in South Dakota who want to raise the sales tax by one cent and plan to put the idea as a ballot measure in the 2012 November election. The revenue from that one penny would go just for public schools and health care providers. With increased sales tax revenue is that extra penny tax needed?
A special legislative committee is looking at all the sales and use tax exemptions there are on the books in our state. The committee is looking to find additional funding to help run state government. Will it find that money by eliminating some or all of those exemptions? It would take a lot of intestinal courage to do so, but do our legislators have the stomach to do it? Looking at the size of this herd of sacred cows, certainly there must be some that should be put back on the discussion list.
By the time the middle of July rolls around every year the summer is half over, everything “summerish” has been done. It really becomes the lazy part of the calendar before school starts. But press coverage goes on every day. Today’s column gives a sampling of what is happening right here in South Dakota.