The C-SPAN Cities Tour has spotlighted the literary life and history of over 120 American Cities. Next week, the bi-monthly broadcast project finally comes to South Dakota. According to a press release from C-SPAN and Midco (remember, C-SPAN was created by and gets its funding from the cable industry), C-SPAN staff will be in Pierre next week, September 2–7, to shoot material for Book TV and American History TV.
The Pierre City Commission will welcome the C-SPAN crew at its regular meeting on Tuesday, September 5, at 5:30 p.m. Central at City Hall. C-SPAN will spend the week recording features on the following local leading lights and sights:
Interview with Mayor Steve Harding
Interview with Governor Dennis Daugaard
South Dakota State Capitol Tour
South Dakota Historical Society
Trail of Governors
South Dakota Historical Society Press Publishing History
South Dakota Historical Society Press Pioneer Girl Project
Jim McLaird, “Hugh Glass: Grizzly Survivor”
Cathie Draine, editor of “Cowboy Life”
C-SPAN will broadcast its Pierre material October 7–8. The Cities Tour webpage says C-SPAN will feature Sioux Falls November 4–5.
On the first day, Tuesday, June 20, the panel of legislators, election officials, and other appointees (but no independent advocates of the initiative and referendum process) will meet to listen to their chosen experts and each other first. Only on the second day, Wednesday, June 21, at 9:10 a.m., will they turn to the public and say, “Gee, citizens, who actually use initiative and referendum to check the power of us legislators, what changes do you think we legislators should make to the process?”
I’ll tell you what changes the Legislature should make: none. Keep your hands off the people’s legislative process. You’ve done enough damage, and some of you (Rep. Don Haggar, Sen. Jim Bolin, Sen. Ernie Otten, all on this task force) want to do more. Initiative and referendum, Father Robert Haire‘s gift to democracy, need more protection from your Legislative meddling. If you can bear it in your grasping arrogance, leave initiative and referendum alone, and let the people come up with their own solutions…
To review, the VIP Amendment would strengthen voter power through initiative and referendum process by adding these provisions to our state constitution:
Allow citizens to refer any law, except for the general appropriations bill.
Allow citizens to refer laws enacted with an emergency clause, but leave those laws in effect until voters get to vote on them.
Require a two-thirds vote of both chambers of the Legislature to amend or repeal any voter-approved law for seven years after enactment.
Clarify that if conflicting ballot measures pass, the measure with the higher vote total takes precedence.
Set the enactment date for approved ballot questions at 30 days after the election.
Prohibit the Legislature from changing the number of voters who must sign petitions to get measures on the ballot, the time available for circulating petitions, or the vote totals required to pass ballot measures.
Prohibit the Legislature from requiring more than 10% of qualified electors to sign petitions to place constitutional amendments on the ballot.
Pierre mayoral candidate Steve Robinson said several silly things in a public forum with fellow candidate Steve Harding last Thursday. Among the silliest was that quality of life is a magical feeling that has nothing to do with city amenities:
“I don’t think we need to be spending big on ball fields and water parks and swimming holes and, what do you call that? Quality of life?” he asked, turning to Harding, who affirmed.
But as past chair of the Pierre Park and Recreation Citizen Advisory Board Anne Lewis notes, such philosophizing is not how cities make the sale:
…[Q]uality of life as strictly a function of what’s in your heart as Mr Robinson believes is a nice warm fuzzy idea, but it’s hard to showcase to potential investors and business developers and has very little impact on property values.
Our parks, on the other hand, along with solid infrastructure, good schools, and strong community organizations are assets which make Pierre a desirable place to live, both for those of us here and those we want to attract [Anne Lewis, public Facebook post, 2017.05.26].
But hey, Robinson told Thursday’s forum that “I don’t even want this job.” So oblige him, Pierre: let Robinson stay home and thrill to the beat of his heart, while Harding works as mayor to maintain the parks, streets, and other practical amenities that make people want to live and work in Pierre.
It wasn’t that hot last weekend in Pierre, but Josie Slaathuag’s March for Science speech boosted the temp a little. The Pierre Riggs junior and aspiring marine biologist would like the Trump regime to get real and fight climate change so she still has some marine biology to study when she graduates. She made this speech at last week’s March for Science in Pierre—video courtesy of her mom Missy, via Facebook:
“ARYAN”—can you put that on a license plate? Not in Maryland, where “ARYAN” is one of 4,900 terms banned from vanity plates (also out in Maryland: “OLD FART” and “BEDWETR”… which could be synonyms for the Hitler Youth praiser).
Duffy, who has worked on key civil rights cases involving American Indian voting issues, said action by the state means that any personalized plate must be recalled because of a single complaint, no matter what the message.
“What this means is that every atheist can now wipe out anything that seems to refer to God,” Duffy said. “Will vanity plates for members of the armed forces suddenly be declared offensive if they offend a single pacifist? It’s absolutely preposterous.”
Even obscenity must be judged by the mores and standards of a community, not just one offended individual, Duffy said.
“Here, all we need is one lone citizen who is apparently invested with the complete authority to determine what is good taste and decency for all the rest of us,” he said. “It seems a little tyrannical to me” [Kevin Woster, “State Looks to Pull Anti-Bush License Plate,” Rapid City Journal online, May 3, 2007].
So, for your evening civics discussion, should the state allow apparent declarations of racist sentiment on its license plates?
On Saturday, April 22, believers in science, logic, and facts (that should be all of us) and the foundational role of reason in democracy will rally in Washington, D.C., and around the world to protest the anti-science attitude of the Trump Administration.
Four marches are in the works here in South Dakota:
Rapid City: 9:00 a.m. MDT, starting at School of Mines Surbeck Building
Pierre: 2:00 p.m. CDT, starting at federal building/U.S. Courthouse, 225 S. Pierre St.
Sioux Falls: 10:00 a.m. CDT, starting at Carnegie Town Hall, 235, W 10th St.
Aberdeen: 1:00 p.m. CDT, starting at Central Park, across from the ARCC.
If you join me here at the Aberdeen march, we’ll walk a square through the heart of Aberdeen: Central Park to the public library, then over to Main, up to red Rooster, and back to Central Park, where we will find the Green Aberdeen Earth Day Fair in full swing at the Briscoe Building.
Eliminates funding for the Essential Air Service (EAS) program, which was originally conceived of as a temporary program nearly 40 years ago to provide subsidized commercial air service to rural airports. EAS flights are not full and have high subsidy costs per passenger. Several EAS-eligible communities are relatively close to major airports, and communities that have EAS could be served by other existing modes of transportation. This proposal would result in a discretionary savings of $175 million from the 2017 annualized CR level [White House FY2018 Budget Blueprint, 2017.03.15, p. 35].
“We do appreciate running government as efficiently as possible, those are our values … (but) I would argue that this program is vital for rural America,” said Laurie Gill, the Republican mayor of Pierre, South Dakota.
…Without the subsidies, airlines would no longer service their communities, local officials said. In Pierre, that means people who live in the state capital would have to drive more than three hours to reach the nearest airport with scheduled flights, Gill said.
Hunting, one of the underpinnings of the local economy, might also suffer, she said. Hunters across the country are drawn to the state during pheasant season [Joan Lowy, “Trump Would End Subsidies for Rural Airline Service,” AP via Aberdeen American News, 2017.03.16].
Hughes County, including Pierre, voted for Trump 63.31% to 29.96%. Codington County, including Watertown, voted for Trump over Clinton 66.54% to 27.20%.
The SDGOP spin blog and I agree that the gun radicals who lobby under the banner “South Dakota Gun Owners” go too far with their propaganda flyers against any and all perceived enemies of their guns-everywhere policies. Spinster Powers features SDGO’s latest leaflet littering Pierre homes telling citizens that Sheriff Mike Leidholt is anti-gun, just because he testified against House Bill 1072, the plan on the Governor’s desk to repeal the requirement to get a permit to carry a concealed pistol.
The Orange flyer also suggests that Sheriff Leidholt slaps women:
Never mind that, as a law-enforcement expert, Sheriff Leidholt understands better than anyone the implications of deregulating concealed weapons. Never mind that there’s a good argument that the Constitution does not guarantee a right to sneak around with a firearm hidden in your pants. Oppose gun absolutism (remember, SDGO calls itself “South Dakota’s only no-compromise gun rights organization,” which means they can justify any tactics in the cause they imagine to be inviolable), and SDGO will craft its words to tell your neighbors that you “want to slap a woman….”
Dakota Rural Action along with various tribes will be holding a “peaceful protest” against the Keystone XL Pipeline in front of the Hughes County Courthouse in Pierre Wednesday morning
According to Dakota Rural Action Community Organizer Tamra Brennan, the rally is in regards to a hearing that will be held in the courtroom involving a lawsuit against the Public Utilities Commission for approving the Keystone XL pipeline to run through the state. The rally begins at 11am.