Custer County Chronicle

Home   »  Opinion

Opinion Articles


Thursday, December 18th, 2014

Getting ready to burn the beetle
Published: Thursday, December 18th, 2014

On a not-so-cold winter evening last week we gathered to begin building the Bark Beetle Blues – Burning Beetle. Karl Svensson, the star of the magnificent riffs of the blue wood blues, led us with his master shipbuilding skills in creating a monocoque design that worked so well last year. In the old days of airplane design they built patterns out of plywood for the interior fuselage and then wrapped the framework with fabric or fiberglass or aluminum. It’s the same way with our beetle.  The beautifully flexible wood strips cut with a band saw from blue wood 2x4s are stacked neatly on the floor of the fire hall in Custer, waiting for Karl and the gang to put it all together.



Thursday, December 18th, 2014

Daugaard: It’s a wonderful life
Published: Thursday, December 18th, 2014

It’s a busy week in South Dakota. There are Christmas gatherings to attend, cards to be sent and presents yet to be purchased. In schedules more hectic than usual, many of us will make time to honor our own Christmas traditions – from decorating the Christmas tree, to watching a particular Christmas movie, to singing carols or baking treats. In many families, one tradition is watching “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

“It’s a Wonderful Life” is the story of George Bailey, who repeatedly chooses to sacrifice his own dreams so that he can help others. When his father dies, George surrenders his plans to travel the world, instead taking his late father’s job at a small bank. The town scrooge, Mr. Potter, wants to shut down the bank and ultimately frames George for funds lost by George’s inept Uncle Billy.



Thursday, December 11th, 2014

Racial unrest is most disturbing
Published: Thursday, December 11th, 2014

This is supposed to be a holiday time of cheer and goodwill toward all men and all we see around the country and world is chaos. There was recent rioting and ongoing demonstrations in the country stemming from two grand jury decisions not to indict white police officers in the deaths of two black men.

It dismays most of us to see people of color resorting to burning and looting over the perceived injustice they see in these two unrelated cases centering around white police officers involved in the deaths of two black males. What message are they trying to send and what does this unlawful behavior accomplish?



Thursday, December 11th, 2014

Leaks: Controversial, fun, shocking
Published: Thursday, December 11th, 2014

I’m always looking for ways to make our publicatons better. When I have extra time (which doesn’t happen very often), I get on the internet and check out whatever strikes me that needs attention at the moment. 
It recently occurred to me that our headlines could be better, so I checked out a few resources on the internet that promise better headline writing. 
One of those offered to generate a title for your story if you enter a  key word into its search engine. For some reason, I entered “leak.” I think we had a story that week that the city had determined where some leaks were that were sucking the water out of the pipes.
The choices you get for the headlines are: controversial, fun or shocking. I tried all of them. 
Controversial came first. Here are the suggested headlines:
• 8 reasons leaks will change the way you think about everything
• Leaks die every minute you don’t read this article
• 10 ways marketers are making you addicted to leaks
• 8 deadly uses for leaks
• The 7 worst things you could do to your leaks
• Why leaks suck (Now this could have worked for the city water lines story)
• 8 things the media hasn’t told you about leaks (Since we are the media, probably not a good idea)
• 7 things Lady Gaga has in common with leaks
• 20 reasons to stay away from leaks

I’m always looking for ways to make our publicatons better. When I have extra time (which doesn’t happen very often), I get on the internet and check out whatever strikes me that needs attention at the moment. 

It recently occurred to me that our headlines could be better, so I checked out a few resources on the internet that promise better headline writing. 

One of those offered to generate a title for your story if you enter a  key word into its search engine. For some reason, I entered “leak.” I think we had a story that week that the city had determined where some leaks were that were sucking the water out of the pipes.

The choices you get for the headlines are: controversial, fun or shocking. I tried all of them. 



Thursday, December 4th, 2014

We couldn’t have done it without you
Published: Thursday, December 4th, 2014

This month marks a milestone of sorts for us as it was 15 years ago, Dec. 28, 1999, that Norma and I bought the Custer County Chronicle and Hill City Prevailer News, officially known as Southern Hills Publishing, Inc. It seems like just yesterday that we pulled into town on Dec. 10 with a U-Haul trailer full of very basic essentials behind our Suburban which was also loaded to the gills. Another half year here and we will have equaled the longest time we have spent in any community, tying the time we spent living in Hot Springs. This means that we have now spent over 30 years living in these great Black Hills we call home.



Thursday, December 4th, 2014

125 years of Christmas in South Dakota
Published: Thursday, December 4th, 2014

As we head into the Christmas season on this quasquicentennial year, I have to wonder what the first South Dakotans were doing exactly 125 years ago.

We know life on the prairie could be rough during those early years, especially for families who had just arrived in South Dakota from the East or from abroad. I’m sure that first Christmas was probably a let-down for some of the newcomers who were struggling to make a living and provide for their families.



Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

Thanksgiving: a time to remember
Published: Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

William Bradford was a fully committed member of the Separatists, sharing the radical idea of separating from the official Church of England — a dangerous decision, for Separatist leaders were hunted and imprisoned.

This meant that the Separatists who formed a congregation in the small town of Scrooby, not far distant from the Sherwood Forest of Robin Hood lore, were gathering together in violation of the law. 



Shop Small on November 29
Published: Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

Small Business Saturday came about on Nov. 27, 2010, when the day was conceived and promoted by American Express using a nationwide radio and television advertising campaign. (If the company had used print advertising, it probably would have caught on better). The company also utilized social media and public relations campaigns.

The idea is to urge holiday shoppers to spend money in their local small businesses the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Large retail stores traditionally advertise all kinds of “door busters” on Black Friday. This year, many of those same stores will be open Thanksgiving Day, which kind of takes the fun out of hunting for early bargains on Friday. It also tends to ruin a great traditional American holiday.



Thursday, November 20th, 2014

Elections have consequences
Published: Thursday, November 20th, 2014

Barack Obama couldn’t have said it any better after the 2008 presidential election results were in. A Jan. 23, 2009, gathering of top congressional leaders from both parties was held for a discussion over the shape and size of the newly-elected president’s economic stimulus plan. The purpose of the meeting was to promote bipartisanship.

When Obama was questioned over the contents and size of the stimulus package, he replied, “I won,” according to those who were in attendance at the meeting. Those two words probably were the best indication of how this new president was going to work with Republicans and unite the country, as his campaign rhetoric stated.



Thursday, November 20th, 2014

Time to dig out the holiday movies
Published: Thursday, November 20th, 2014

When I was in college, my best friend and I started a tradition that we still practice today, even though there are 212 miles between us: Christmas movies. 

Once the first flakes of snow fell from the sky and hit the sidewalks of Brookings, we were digging out our favorite Christmas movies. It didn’t even matter if the snow stuck or not. We saw the white stuff and that was good enough for us.

Our tradition would have stayed intact this year if it weren’t for me. But I blame that on the mid-September snowstorm we received. 



Thursday, November 13th, 2014

Sometimes I just don’t get it
Published: Thursday, November 13th, 2014

Perhaps it’s old age that causes me to overheat at some of the dumb things humans do these days—those things that are stupid, different, weird, illegal and all. They say it takes all kinds to make a country or state or town. Isn’t that the truth! Yet we have to share this place with all of those crazy people.

In short, I just don’t get it.



Thursday, November 13th, 2014

Veterans Day: Why only a day?
Published: Thursday, November 13th, 2014

Perhaps I’m burned out after all the robo calls and the campaign commercials or the whirlwind of the approaching Black Friday, but I can’t help but wonder why we designate only one day to honor our veterans. One day?

On Nov. 11 many of us will gather to honor and thank those men and women who have safeguarded our nation, both in peace and in war. It is our time to renew our commitment to those who have borne the battle; those who wrote a blank check made payable to: “the United States of America” for an amount of “up to and including their life.”



Thursday, November 6th, 2014

Political races are getting a bit ridiculous
Published: Thursday, November 6th, 2014

Count us among those Americans who are heaving a sigh of relief now that the 2014 general election is behind us. The commercials were getting a bit tiring and there appeared to be no end to the colorful, slick campaign pieces in the mail. It seems every year the ads for candidates get more negative and more ridiculous. We saw it right here in South Dakota with the race for the vacated U.S. Senate seat of Democrat Tim Johnson.



Thursday, November 6th, 2014

A trip down political memory lane
Published: Thursday, November 6th, 2014

By the time you read this Wednesday, Thursday, or whenever you get the paper, the most recent general election will be over and we will know who the governor of our state is, who our county commissioners are, who our senator is and whether or not we can gear up for some craps in Deadwood next year.

Voting is something I take seriously, and spend a long time thinking about before I go to the polls. Sometimes I immediately know how I’m going to vote on an issue or candidates, and others I struggle a long time with. During the last presidential election, I struggled mightily with who to vote for—Mitt Romney or Barack Obama. They both possessed qualities I admired and I found myself wishing I could somehow merge them into one candidate I could call Baritt Romama. I’m convinced Baritt would have made a great president.



Thursday, October 30th, 2014

What’s the matter with the PBR?
Published: Thursday, October 30th, 2014

You can please all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time. As anyone who writes opinion editorials can tell you, or anyone who writes anything at all, some days critics bestir themselves and let writers know what they think, sometimes with an invitation to return to that special hell where writers come from, post haste. 

I don’t take critics lightly.  I believe it is the responsibility of writers of opinion columns to arouse curiosity, to accept the mess that comes with writing too little about too much, and then to reflect on what happened and what needs to happen as a result. It’s how we all learn.



Thursday, October 30th, 2014

Be an informed voter Nov. 4
Published: Thursday, October 30th, 2014

You owe yourself to be an informed voter in the upcoming Nov. 4 general election, if you haven’t already voted absentee. Besides the list of local and state candidates, there are a number of other issues that need your attention. 

Constitutional Amendment Q would authorize the Legislature to allow games of roulette, keno and craps in Deadwood. Currently, the State Constitution authorizes the Legislature to allow limited card games and slot machines. A “Yes” vote would allow the addition of roulette, keno and craps in Deadwood. A “No” vote would leave things the way they are now with just card games and slots.



Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

Voting is a privilege and a right
Published: Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

 An informed citizenry is indispensable to a Constitutional republic like the United States of America. It is up to us, the citizens, to decide who is guiding our federal, state and local policies.

Voters are tasked with the responsibility of first finding out which candidates are running in races that could impact them. The Custer County Chronicle will print information in an upcoming issue, both in articles and in the public notices section, about the races and ballot topics to help provide voters knowledge to guide their voting decisions.



Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

Thank you, Gen. Custer!
Published: Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

For the past 10 years, Mitch McLain has walked the streets of Custer in the summer months and represented the community at numerous out-of-state travel shows during the off season months, portraying Gen. George Armstrong Custer. He not only looks like the former Union Army brevet general hero and Seventh Cavalry lieutenant colonel with his long curly locks, but also dresses like him in his frontier buckskin leathers, hat and boots. Mitch McLain as Gen. Custer became the face of the Custer area.

Custer Area Chamber of Commerce executive director Dave Ressler and Mitch have been great representatives of Custer, with Ressler joining Mitch in period costume in an enlisted man’s Seventh Cavalry uniform. Unfortunately, Mitch will be leaving us now as he joins his wife in Montana. It will be difficult, if not impossible, to replace Gen. Custer.



Thursday, October 16th, 2014

‘Big money’ in U.S. Senate race
Published: Thursday, October 16th, 2014

By the time you read this, the race in South Dakota for the U.S. Senate seat held by retiring Democrat Tim Johnson may well be up for grabs. Democratic operatives have been doing a good job of keeping the EB-5 reported irregularities alive in the media and doing their best to besmirch the integrity of former Gov. Mike Rounds, who seemed to be a shoo-in to win the vacated seat for the Republicans.

The entire EB-5 program is confusing to all of us who have been trying our best to follow the events which the Democrats have been attempting to link to candidate Rounds. Finding some fault with the former governor in all this mess seems to be the lone straw they are grasping at in order to win.



Thursday, October 16th, 2014

Newspapers are ‘points of pride’ in communities
Published: Thursday, October 16th, 2014

The following was written by Robert M. Williams, Jr., a weekly newspaper publisher in Georgia and president of the National Newspaper Association, which represents more than 2,400 daily and weekly newspapers across America. It was published last week during National Newspaper Week.

What do you care most about in life?

Most of us would put family at, or near, the top of such a list. Friends would be there. So would our jobs or businesses, our livelihoods. Our homes. Maybe our pets. Our hobbies and pastimes. Add in those around us: Neighbors, the community, etc.



Thursday, October 9th, 2014

My very own Cosby Show experience
Published: Thursday, October 9th, 2014

I've heard, but I was in a big fight a couple weeks ago. No, not that kind of fight. It was me versus the five-shelf bookcase I got at Bed, Bath and Beyond for half off. Three hours, one Band-Aid (for a cat scratch) and a slightly swollen thumb later I had won, but getting there was half the battle. 

Let’s be honest here: I’m not good with building things. Doing little craft projects from Pinterest? Yes! Fastening together a dozen pieces of wood with 50-some screws and other weird looking things? Not my thing. My brain just doesn’t work that way. So that’s why I call for reinforcement: my dad.

“Hey, Poppa…” I said as I dragged the bookcase box behind me. 



Thursday, October 9th, 2014

Ebola outbreak calls for travel restrictions
Published: Thursday, October 9th, 2014

If it isn’t one thing, it’s another. Another crisis to deal with that the president said would be unlikely to reach our shores. In a speech two weeks ago, the president sought to assure the American public that “our experts, here at the CDC (Center for Disease Control) and across our government, agree that the chances of an Ebola outbreak here in the United States are extremely low.”

He said all the necessary precautions are being taken, including working with West African countries to increase screening at airports so that someone with Ebola doesn’t get on a plane for the United States. “In the unlikely event that someone with Ebola does reach or shores, we’ve taken new measures so that we’re prepared here at home,” Obama said.



Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

Let’s hope for a long fall
Published: Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

One could argue that our summer lasted all of about five days. I wore more jackets to baseball games this summer than I will wear to football games this fall!  But that’s all right because the best season of the year is the one that now is here.

A young filmmaker/actor/musician back in Pierre tries each morning on Facebook to promote discussion by stating his Question of the Day.  Recently his question was “What is your favorite thing about fall?”

In my opinion there are too many to enumerate, but brevity has never been one of my shortcomings, so let us count them.



Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

Entire Southern Hills benefits from United Way
Published: Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

It’s evident that if you want to put your local donation dollars to good use, the Southern Hills Area United Way (UW) would be a great place to start, and end. The organization has a goal of raising $90,000 in the Southern Black Hills by Nov. 1 this year.

Presentations made last week by board members and campaign co-chairs in our Southern Black Hills towns illustrated how well donated dollars are put to good use. Youth activities are funded at the YMCAs in Custer and Edgemont. Boys and Girls Club activities are funded in Hot Springs and Hill City. The events funded go a long way in ensuring after-school and sport events to keep our area youth involved and safe.



Thursday, September 25th, 2014

Class reunions take us back in time
Published: Thursday, September 25th, 2014

Charley and I both attended our 50th high school class reunions this summer, mine in June at Alpena and Charley’s at Rhinelander, Wis., in September. I noticed that as we got closer to Charley’s home state how easily he slipped into talking “Wisconsinese.” Words I had never heard except in Wisconsin hung in the air like the scent of grilled bratwurst simmering in beer and onions.

We took off across Wisconsin, avoiding the interstate, noting the unique character of the villages that dotted the landscape, the silos and barns that comprised most of the countryside and the little “mom and pop” stores that sold sausages and cheeses from old family recipes, many of those recipes brought over from the “old country” and continued for generations.



Advanced Search

Keywords:


Filter Search:
Classified Ads
News Articles
Event Calendar
Archive

Date Range:
From:
To: