- Thursday, October 10, 2013 - Kadoka Press
This state is sometimes called“The Land of Infinite Variety.”That would include blizzards asearly as October 4, hundred-and-twelve degree heat in July, andvarious other things we’d rathernot talk about. I particularly donot need major snowstorms in Oc-tober. That is way too early.Not that we suffered all thatmuch in yesterday’s blizzard. Ourelectricity was only out an hour ortwo, and it wasn’t that cold. Itwas, of course, extremely windyand wasn’t a day for leisurelystrolls in the park or across theprairie. My main complaint is thatthis kind of a weather system putsmy nerves on edge. I can’t reallysettle to anything. I’m wonderingwhen the power is going to go out,how much snow there will be togive us grief, and, primarily, whenthe dumb thing is going to getover. You’d think that I’ve livedthrough enough of these storms to just take them in stride, but Iguess I haven’t. They still get mefussed up. At present, however, the windhas subsided, the snow has quit,and the stars are out. There’s aglow in the east meaning sunriseis imminent. Things are a lot bet-ter. I can take a deep breath andget back to some semblance of nor-mal. That’s a good thing. Maybe Ican even accomplish something of value today. Who knows? Alter-nately, I may need a day to get my-self back to normal beforeattempting anything that takesrational thinking or concentration.If I ramble on incoherently here,you’ll know why.Despite the occasional storm orother form of miserable weather, Ido basically like this area suffi-ciently to plan on staying. I’vebeen to enough other places in mylifetime to compare living condi-tions, and we actually have itpretty good here most of the time.For one thing, we aren’t crowded.There is plenty of room to move. If I pass three cars on the countryroads going to town, that is heavytraffic. Quite often I pass no one.Even the interstate is by no meansbumper to bumper, and for ninemonths of the year it really doesn’thave much traffic. In the summermonths with tourists, we mighthave to keep our wits about uswhen driving, but few touristscome here from November to April. They have better sense. Thebusiest time might be in Augustwhen they have the motorcyclerally, and you can easily pass ahundred roaring two-wheelersevery ten miles and campers ga-lore. The quietest time is probablyJanuary when most sensible peo-ple stay farther south.I also like the fact that our statedoes have a wide variety of scenery. We have farm country inthe east and ranch country west.Over northeast there are lots of lakes, and a big old river runsnorth to south in the middle. Inthe southwest, the badlands takeup a chunk of real estate. Waywest are mountains and treeswhich I don’t care much for andconsider somewhat claustropho-bic, but other folks seem to thinkthey’re dandy.We also have major differencesin annual rainfall from east towest. East river often has enoughmoisture to raise corn and soy-beans while the northwest barelyhas enough to grow grass. Here inthe middle we are between the ex-tremes and usually have enoughprecipitation for grass and hay,but crops are somewhat hit andmiss. We may be able to growthem or maybe not. I never didcare much for farming so that isn’tmy main concern, but I do like tohave the enough grass to decentlyfeed the critters.Culturally speaking, the artsare more at home far east and farwest in the biggest towns. Be-tween those more heavily popu-lated areas, you aren’t going tofind many orchestras or art gal-leries, or much classical music. Iwas trained as a classical pianist,but I don’t spend a lot of time onthat here since the general popu-lation isn’t keen on that sort of thing. That’s okay. There are otherforms of music that fill the bill ad-equately, and I can concentrate onthose.Far and away, though, the bestthing about this state is the peo-ple. They are basically friendlyand helpful. If you live in this areaas long as I have, you know andlike a whole lot of people. In cities,people may not know their next-door neighbor whereas here we getto know practically everyone. If wedial the wrong number on thephone, we’re apt to know the per-son who answers and end up hav-ing a nice chat before hanging up.This is sort of nice. I like it.So, occasionally the infinite va-riety of weather we have to dealwith in this silly state can besomewhat of a pain. Other thingsmore than compensate, however,so I guess I’ll just stick around tosee what happens next. It may begood or it may be less so, but I’mprobably here to stay on thesewide-open prairies that, most of the time, I love.
Senate DemocratsShould Stop BlockingFunding for DoDCivilians, NationalGuard Employees
Military service covers a widerange of duties and responsibili-ties throughout the branches of our Armed Forces. From operatingand maintaining equipment, todefending our nation at home, todeploying forces abroad, each of these men and women—civilian,National Guard and Reserve, andactive-duty military—are criticalto sustaining our military readi-ness. Due to the important natureof their job, those who serve anddefend our nation should not beforced to face the added anxiety of wondering how their pay will beaffected by disagreements overspending in Washington.On Monday, September 30th,President Obama signed the “PayOur Military Act” to provide payduring a lapse in governmentfunding for active-duty membersof the Armed Forces. The legisla-tion, which passed with unani-mous support in the Senate, alsoprovided the Secretary of Defensewith the authority to pay civilianand contract employees who areengaged in supporting our ArmedForces. Unfortunately, despite en-actment of this law, the Depart-ment of Defense (DoD) civilianpersonnel and full-time NationalGuard employees throughout thecountry were furloughed.In response to these furloughs,I sent a letter to Secretary of De-fense Chuck Hagel calling for himto send these hard-working menand women back to work. My let-ter stressed that the legislationsigned by the president grantedauthority to pay civilian and con-tract employees who are engagedin supporting our Armed Forces,including many of those who wererecently furloughed at Ellsworth Air Force Base and South DakotaNational Guard installations. I be-lieve that Congress acted withclear intent to prevent the fur-lough of National Guard employ-ees and civilian DoD personnelwho support our Armed Forces, aposition supported by the Adju-tant General of the South DakotaNational Guard, and am dismayedthat the administration still choseto inappropriately furlough thesemen and women.In addition to my letter, I alsooffered a unanimous consentagreement on the Senate floor topass a bill to ensure NationalGuard and Reserve servicemenand women who are not on active-duty are able to train and receivecompensation during this lapse ingovernment funding. Unfortu-nately, Senate Democrats blockedfunding for this bill along withthree other common-sense fundingbills to resume normal operationsfor several important governmentfunctions, including: veterans’services, lifesaving medicine andtreatment, and national parks andmuseums. I was disappointed thatthe Senate Democrat MajorityLeader chose to play partisan pol-itics rather than pass measures tofund these important services.I will continue to work to endthis unnecessary partial govern-ment shutdown and put our DoDcivilian personnel and NationalGuard servicemen and womenback to work.
| Syd Iwan
From the U.S. Senate
| Senator John Thune
From the U.S. Senate
| Senator Tim Johnson
Finding CommonGround to Fund theGovernment
At midnight on October 1st, thefederal government shut downdue to a lapse in appropriations.I’ve heard from hundreds of SouthDakotans about the shutdown andhave heard from hundreds whosupport the effort underway toprotect people from the damagingeffects of Obamacare. I want totake this opportunity to sharesome insight into where I standand to let you know what I’ve beendoing to try to resolve this issue.I was not in favor of shuttingdown the government and I wantto see it get reopened as soon aspossible. In the past, governmentfunding bills have always includednegotiations on reforms that canbe put into place. That is why it isso surprising that the Presidentand the Senate are refusing to ne-gotiate. I have voted four times inthe past week to keep the govern-ment open while also asking thatno one get special treatmentunder Obamacare – which issomething I’ve heard repeatedlyfrom South Dakotans who havecontacted me and asked for.One of the most recent bills Ivoted for would have kept the gov-ernment open while also delayingthe individual mandate in Oba-macare for one year. This mandaterequires all individuals to pur-chase health insurance or pay atax. President Obama previouslydecided to give big businesses adelay from this requirement, sowhy should we treat individualsand families any differently? I be-lieve it is only fair that big busi-nesses and the people of SouthDakota be treated the same underObamacare. All of these attempts to fundthe government while providingfairness from Obamacare havebeen rejected out of hand by theSenate Majority Leader. In re-sponse, I supported an attempt toconvene a formal conference com-mittee so the House and the Sen-ate could meet and work out ourdifferences. Unfortunately, our re-quest for negotiation was rejected.Our country’s spending prob-lems are simply unsustainable.The federal government goes $4billion into debt every day. Withthe debt we have accumulated inthe past year we could have fullyfunded the state of South Dakota’sbudget for nearly 200 years. Wecannot continue to borrow moneyfrom China to fund our federalgovernment today and expect ourchildren and grandchildren to pickup the tab. That’s why the Presi-dent’s insistence that we continueto do so and stick with the statusquo is so shocking.Obamacare is a law that toomany people don’t want and ourcountry can’t afford. It is filledwith nothing but broken promises.In fact a recent Manhattan Insti-tute study shows that youngmales in South Dakota will see a145 percent increase in their pre-miums because of Obamacare. A 64-year-old female in SouthDakota will see her premiums in-crease by over 93 percent, accord-ing to the same study.While I would prefer to see thelaw completely repealed and de-funded, I have been and remainwilling to find common groundwith Senate Democrats. I amhopeful that the President willbegin to start productive conversa-tions with Congress that will keepour country strong and safe. They just need to be willing to come tothe table and talk.In the meantime, I have beensupporting targeted funding billsthat would allow our governmentto continue doing things like payour troops, operate national parks,continue children’s cancer re-search, and take care of veterans.These basic functions of govern-ment are not controversial.There’s no reason we shouldn’tfund them immediately.Please know that I will con-tinue working to resolve this prob-lem. In the meantime, I hope Icontinue hearing from you. I ap-preciate hearing your stories andreceiving your feedback. Pleasestay in touch.
From the U.S. House
| Representative Kristi Noem
Republican ShutdownPuts South Dakotansat Risk
Visitors to Mount Rushmorehave been turned away. More than400 civilian employees atEllsworth Air Force Base havebeen sent home without pay.South Dakota small businesses re-lying on federal Small Business Administration loans to grow andcreate new jobs have been cut off from this credit. USDA officesacross the state are shuttered.These are just a few examples of the real, every day impact the gov-ernment shutdown is having inSouth Dakota.Nationwide, the shutdown hasresulted in 800,000 federal work-ers being furloughed, more than400 national parks and monu-ments being closed, veterans edu-cation and rehabilitation benefitsnot being processed, and 19,000children being sent home fromHead Start centers. The shutdownis disrupting our recent economicgains. It will cost our economy $10billion each week the governmentremains closed. Additionally, athree-to-four week shutdown isprojected to slash our country’sGDP by 1.4 percent. For the goodof the country, Congress mustreach a deal to end the govern-ment shutdown.Last week, the Senate passed a“clean” funding bill to keep thegovernment running through mid-November. This would give Con-gress time to negotiate alonger-term measure to providefunding certainty through the re-mainder of the fiscal year. This billrepresents a compromise fromSenate Democrats and funds thegovernment at spending levelsthat are closely in line with theHouse-passed Ryan Budget. Un-fortunately, the House has refusedto vote on the Senate bill and hasinstead attached a controversialpolicy rider to delay the AffordableCare Act, commonly called “Oba-macare.”There isn’t the support in theSenate to approve a policy riderdelaying Obamacare, and thePresident has vowed to veto theHouse bill. Republicans havemade their case against Oba-macare legislatively and judiciallythrough the courts, but they havelost the argument each time. TheSupreme Court issued its decision,the American people had theirvoices heard in last November’selection, and Obamacare is mov-ing forward as a result. There is atime and a place to debate policy,but it is reckless to hold our gov-ernment hostage when one sidedoes not get its way.We live in a nation where thereare checks and balances. OurFounding Fathers created a gov-ernment designed around theprinciples of compromise and con-sensus. Unfortunately, a relativelysmall minority in the House haveabandoned the spirit of compro-mise, grinding the government toa halt until they get everythingthey want. This is not the way ademocracy works.South Dakotans are rightfullysick and tired of the gridlock andpartisanship in Washington. Ourcountry simply cannot afford tostumble from one manufacturedcrisis to the next. The Americanpeople expect and deserve better.While I believe we can find solu-tions to contentious issues, it willrequire compromise and a willing-ness to work together for the com-mon good. The time has come forthe House of Representatives toend the government shutdownand for Congress to get to work onthe nation’s business.
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To the crew that preparedand served the good meal at theWest Central Electric supper lastWednesday. Great prizes too!
To Jackson County forgiving Bennett County $500 forthe elderly meals that is to reim-burse the cost for the service inJackson County. They provide aservice that would cost residentsway more and is very muchneeded.
Kudos & Concern:
To JacksonCounty Commissioners for settingup 911 county wide. But now theradios need upgraded for the 911service and this is a great expense.Who’s responsibility will it be? Theambulance and each fire depart-ment or the county?
To the SD DOT, West Cen-tral Electric lineman, and theemergency workers who were outin the recent blizzard clearingroads, restoring power and help-ing those in need! We are thankfulfor your hard work and dedication.
To all the neighbors help-ing neighbors during the storm.During difficult time the extrahelp and support can makes a dif-ference!•Want to telling some one “good job” or have a concern? Express ithere! Call the Kadoka Press at837-2259 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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