Reading is doomed

What you’re doing right now — the simple act of reading — is doomed. No, this isn’t something new. John Hallwas, at john ing-decline, states “I return to the issue of reading from time to time, both because I’m an obsessive serious reader, and have been since I was a teenager, and because the […]

Getting ready to burn the beetle

Mountain pine beetles and their famous assault on the Black Hills and over 50 million acres of Western pine forests, from Mexico to Canada, is over or winding down. While that’s never true, the intensity of attacks in the Black Hills has declined to the point of endemic or normal levels of less than one […]

The cycle of the bark beetle

The young crew of tree markers at the gas station looked hammered, the way firefighters look after 14 days on the line. Their trucks were older models, but in good shape and the magnetic signs on the sides of the front doors declared their official status. “Seeing any bugs?” I asked. “Not as many,” said […]

Sugar, sugar, sugar

Everyone likes sugar. But sugar is bad. It’s kind of a problem. There are so many forms of sugar, it’s hard to keep track of how much we’re actually eating. And, let’s face it, it just tastes good. For some people, it can be as bad or worse than any addictive drug. We all know […]

Great chapter in my book of life

With pen in hand I struggle to write this, my last column as Secretary of the South Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs. Perhaps Winnie the Pooh said it best when he said “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” I’m very thankful that Gov. Daugaard invited me to be […]

Golden Rule applies to hospitality people

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out how the traveling public deserves to be treated. Just put yourself in their place. What kind of treatment do you expect when you are traveling or on vacation? Do you expect to be acknowledged when you enter a motel, restaurant or retail store? Of course you […]

Welcome to augmented reality

What you are holding in your hands today is an historic newspaper, the first of its kind in our 138-year-old history. It is, without...

YFZ A decade later: Are the children still free?

South Dakota’s 100th pheasant season

October in South Dakota is a glorious month. I love the crisp mornings, chilly evenings and weekend sounds of marching bands in homecoming parades....

The few things I do know

It’s a generally accepted recommendation among writers that you write what you know about. As I know next to nothing about virtually anything, that pretty well leaves an empty supply of column fodder. I do, however, have plenty of opinions, but that is not to be confused with knowledge. There are a few things I […]

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