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Letters to the editor

George Hudspeth

This is to the jerk who ran into my Nissan Frontier in the Wal-Mart parking lot on Saturday, April 16, and drove off. The parking lot has cameras that video-taped the whole thing, and police are reviewing these tapes. So if you’re smart, you’ll turn yourself in now.George HudspethGypsumThere is a solutionI read letters from Fred Kinsley and Mark Conlin and there’s a lot of debate about the high gas prices. This is a pretty easy issue, and most people aren’t informed well enough, and both of these gentleman showed their real lack of knowledge. I see and hear people getting upset about drilling here and drilling there. Consider this! About four miles outside of Brookings, S.D., we have an ethanol plant, owned and operated by VeraSun. This plant takes corn, which is grown locally by farmers and turns it into fuel. The plant mixes 85 percent ethanol with 15 percent gasoline to produce a mixture called E-85. GM, Ford and Chrysler all produce at least one engine that burns this fuel, and it’s called a flex-fuel engine. This flex fuel engine will also burn straight unleaded gasoline, when you can’t get to a station that has E-85 (like stations in Colorado). So, we grow the corn locally, it’s turned into alcohol locally, mixed locally, put into tankers locally and driven the four miles into town so that you can fill your car up. The price is about 20 cents less per gallon at the pump and could be even less (at least stable) because the supply is regrown every year. What’s the point? We already know how to produce alternative (it’s not really an alternative, we’re already doing it) fuels, and the car manufacturers are already producing engines that burn it. There’s no mystery here. E-85 could do a number of things for the country. Did you know the feds, through the USDA, pay hundreds of millions of dollars in price supports to farmers and also pay farmers “NOT” to grow corn (set-aside program) so the market doesn’t get glutted and crash corn prices? E-85 would or could eliminate price supports, allow farmers to grow all they could, reduce our dependency on foreign oil, reduce pollution (E-85 burns cleaner and more efficiently), eliminate oil spills, help the family farm stay healthy. This source is renewable, it’s in practice now, and it works. This is no longer an experiment.The question is, why can’t we get this done nationwide? I think the answer is clear. The oil companies and the car manufacturers don’t or can’t control this market. Yet! Our Congress is too busy putting spin on stupid, superficial issues, like steriods in MLB. I would also guess most members in Congress are having their wheels greased by the oil companies and the car companies, so why wreck a good deal? Tom Daschle certainly knew this works and in his own state. Yet he never introduced legislation to do anything about it. The good news is he’s a consultant now and not a senator.This is not a Republican or Democrat issue. This is about doing the right thing for the American people. But why is this a surprise? We’ve known that Congress has been more worried about themselves and their “image” than doing anything meaninful, for the past 50 years or so. The fact is they don’t care about the American people. One simple piece of legislation would fix this. Simply require all oil companies and car manufactures to have a distribution system in place (they already have one) and all engines must be flex fuel (they already know how to build them) by 2015. Done, problem solved! By the way, there’s also biodiesel, made from soy beans, and that works as well.There’s no energy crisis, just a crisis of loyalty to the American people.So next time you hear some politician blabbing about “energy policy,” ask them about E-85 and biodiesel. Of course they will lie to you, but send them to South Dakota, and we can show them it works and is already up and running, along with a number of other Midwestern states.Alan LanningBrookings, S.D.Annoying animalsThis is in response to Mr. Bleesz’s letter regarding pests in Singletree. Boy, am I glad I am not the only one annoyed by other creatures living on this planet. For instance, lately these two geese have been flying really low over my house in the morning, flapping their wings noisely and honking loudly as they make their approach to my neighbors pond. I mean, what’s with the loud honking every day? You would think that after a few times, landing in the pond wouldn’t be such a big deal. And why so early? The sun isn’t even up. How rude! Don’t they realize I have had a hard night of staying up late watching TV and I just might like to sleep in? While I am at it, what’s with the cows on Brush Creek Road that keep escaping from the fenced pastures and stand in the middle of the road and poop all over it? Do they realize how long it takes to wash that stuff off my beautiful 1984 Chevy pickup? I know cows are supposed to be dumb, but that no reason to be inconsiderate. Well!I guess they are called dumb animals for a reason. So what I propose to do is exterminate all other species on the planet. Let’s face it, all animals are annoying in one way or another. Then when we are down to just humans, we can start relocating them. You know, just the ones that are annoying, like the ones that move to small towns, build luxury homes and pristine golf courses and shop at big box stores. Mr. Bleesz would be my first choice to go.Tim BarcaEagleBipartisan?There are two situations involving the U.S. Senate that I think are intriguing. The first involves the nomination of John Bolton to become our representative to the United Nations, and the second is the conflict regarding the approval of seven of Mr. Bush’s judicial recommendations. Each of them represents a unique opportunity for the Republicans to demonstrate that they are truly interested in reducing the divisiveness within the Senate and throughout our country.Regarding John Bolton: There can be no question that he has qualities that make him a questionable choice for that position. All of the Democrats, as well as several Republicans on the committee, have expressed strong reservations regarding his appointment. So, either the president should volunteer or Mr. Lugar should request that he nominate someone else.Regarding the judicial appointments: The Senate, with the support of the Democrats, has approved 190 of Mr. Bush’s 200 nominees. Rather than accept any rejections, the president has resubmitted seven of the remaining 10 for approval. The Democrats stand firm against those seven. Currently, Mr. Frist seems willing to accept the obvious consequences of changing the existing Senate rules and stuffing it down their throats. As of now, reminding the president that 95 percent of his nominees have been approved and suggesting that he withdraw the 7seven others does not seem to be an option. Too bad! So one is left to wonder, will Mr. Bush or the Republican leaders show any genuine interest in leading this nation in a bipartisan manner? Do they care that the minority party represents some 48 percent of American voters? Can they possibly believe that being divisive is in our best interests? Let’s all hope that compromise is the answer rather than autocracy.David Le VineJust say no to big boxThe town of Eagle has a wonderful opportunity to restrict big box development, which by its very nature is a blight on our narrow valley floor. These stores belong in areas more suitable for such development – around the airport is a perfect spot for them. The economics may not be as attractive to the developer as the land east of Eagle, but I am sure if he won’t move the big boxes to the airport property, some other developer will be happy to do so.Steven CoyerAvon


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