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 […]

Is the FBI failing America?

I think we are all getting tired of seeing and hearing about public shootings in our country, including one of the worst school shootings that happened in Florida last Wednesday. When each one occurs the cry goes out that “something has to be done. There has to be more gun control!” Well, I for one, […]

A lot more to land grab story

Gov. Dennis Daugaard has a new appreciation for strong public opposition to his proposal to exchange low value state lands for 2,000 prime acres of the Black Hills National Forest, as additions of developed state parks. But this land grab is not over, only the tactics have changed. Take Camp Bob Marshall on the Bismarck […]

John McCain was a true American hero

If you have ever read a book about the life of Sen. John McCain, you know that he was a Naval aviator during the...

Truth can be stranger than fiction

It’s hard to come up with things to write about sometimes. As an English literature major in college, I had plenty of opportunities, though. Instructors were always dispensing advice with our writing assignments: “Write what you know.” “Write your heart.” “Write to your audience.” “Write so I’ll know you’ve grasped the major concepts of this […]

The sad saga of Colin Kaepernick

San Francisco 49ers backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick has caught the attention of the country lately, and for all the wrong reasons. He began by sitting while the National Anthem was being played before preseason National Football League games while the rest of his teammates stood on the sidelines, some with their right hands over their […]

Newspapers are not a dying idea

Imagine waking up in a world without newspapers. “Ha!” You say, “I haven’t gotten a newspaper in years.” But I’m not talking about just the paper delivered by carriers or the postal service. I’m talking about the news online, the links on social media, the email newsletter, the source cited in the television broadcast and […]

Land exchange is not a good deal

Every summer I try to do these three things. First, I plant some pretty flowers for my deck. Then, I watch them die (either slowly by my forgetfulness to water them or quickly, thanks to hail). Second, we have a “campfire,” where my craving for s’mores is met. (I say “campfire” because sometimes it never […]

Ten things I have learned about Custer

It has been nearly a year since Tammy and I started living full-time in Custer and, oh, what an interesting and fruitful time it has been! We survived the winter to end all winters—living in a camper no less. We have made many new friends, I have a new career and we have learned a […]

State needs to get with the program

Besides lax seat belt laws, South Dakota is one of only four states that list texting while driving a secondary offense instead of a primary offense. In other words, a driver cannot legally be stopped if a law enforcement officer suspects he or she is texting while behind the wheel of a moving vehicle. The […]

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