A little support now can go a long way in the future of SD



A couple of things South Dakota is not short of wind and windy politicians. Day County is not immune to either one of these, but last Tuesday the two did not see eye to eye.

It is sometimes difficult to get people to invest and move to South Dakota. I believe once they do, they enjoy the life South Dakota offers. What makes it even harder is when politicians do not show any support for business growth or tax growth, especially at a local level. I do not know of a town, township or county that could not use the additional tax base.

That is why I was a little surprised when our Day County Commissioners showed little interest in giving a letter of support to a wind farm company.

Apex, who is involved in wind farms in Grant and Codington counties, is looking at Day County because of the past success developers have had with wind energy.

An Apex spokesperson told commissioners that if their project goes through it could potentially add $2.3 million to the tax base. Giving a letter of support does not give any future wind farm developers a green light to come in and build.

The fact is, South Dakota has great wind potential and like any South Dakotan, we complain about the wind always blowing and some even joke about a 15 mile per hour wind as a calm day. So why not capture the energy and save on fossil fuels or other means.

Wind farms, as well as solar farms, are becoming more and more popular across the Midwest.

Wind farms, even if they receive a tax break initially, do benefit the economy with more than taxes. They benefit the people who maintain and service them. The more in one area, the more likely we pick up another local family.

So while there is opposition, there should be support for economic growth. How does one politician say we will support this, let us say a hog farm or feed lot, and turn around and not support another business looking to grow in South Dakota and in our area.

Let’s keep our economy going forward.


A promise to use the power of the crown wisely



Everyone must bow before me for I am now royalty – just kidding, but I do have a crown.

Among the many career options I considered as a child was dentist. As a result, I’ve never really been bothered by going in for checkups and even for fillings. It’s always just been an interesting process for me.

Once I bragged that I had gone six years without having cavities. Unfortunately, that wasn’t quite the truth. Back then, I think my mom took me to the dentist about every two years. As it turned out, the staff once failed to inform my mom of several large cavities and I went two years before getting them taken care of. By then, my teeth were in bad shape and the nurses had the nerve to yell at me for all the soda I drank (keep in mind I was still just a kid). While I probably shouldn’t have drank so many carbonated beverages, that’s beside the point. We found a different dentist after that.

Despite that one-time bad deal, I’ve still never minded going to the dentist.

Yet I was nervous when I had a crown put in last week, my first real major bit of dental work. (It was for one of the teeth that had been so neglected, by the way.)

During the procedure, I used nitrous oxide for the first time. The nurse told me it would feel like I’d had a glass of wine – but warned me to let her know if it started feeling like I’d had four or five, because that’s too much fun, apparently.

Knowing I wanted to write a column about this experience, I started trying to think of how I wanted to describe it after the laughing gas was administered. The dentist was just beginning to poke around in my mouth when the word “psychedelic” popped into my head.

“Ah, that’s a good word,” I remember thinking. “I want to use that one in my column.”

Suddenly, I had to fight the inscrutable, uncontrollable urge to giggle. The nurse told me then she knew it was working.

My file at the dentist office notes that I am hard to numb – so they started me out with a little extra novocain. Like the Princess and the Pea, however, I had to stop the dentist when he started drilling because my mouth was still too tender. More numbing agent was delivered.

Work began in earnest when my tongue felt like a slumbering (albeit hairless) bear. After the top of my tooth was drilled away, I got to watch as the dentist designed and “built” my tooth cap on the computer screen next to my chair. The staff took me to watch their machine mill out my crown. I felt like I was being given the royal treatment as they even showed me the oven where the prosthetic chomper is baked to make it as hard as steel and the buffing process afterwards. A little more novocain was applied and the installation process went well.

Before leaving, I was shown a display illustrating how much sugar is in different beverages. I’ve seen it before, but it still gets to me when I realize that chocolate milk – a favorite – has just as much sugar as a cola or energy drink. Even sports drinks have a crazy amount of sugar infused into them.

Thinking on all those times I skipped brushing or of all that orange soda I drank as a kid, I only wish I’d have been smarter with my teeth back then and perhaps I could have avoided getting a crown altogether.

But, since a crown has been bestowed upon me, I shall use its powers wisely. Therefore, I hereby issue a royal decree: Take care of your teeth – especially you kids out there. Brushing and flossing daily is important. Trust me. Your future self will thank you.


I’ve held this in for far too long



There’s a dire and critical issue facing the American Public today.

It’s encountered by a growing number of individuals and families alike, and its sheer existence is literally imploding society.

I’m of course talking about the debilitating absence of professional football.

If you look around, you’ll agree the atmosphere feels different.

That certain person who, usually, belligerently contradicts everything your team stands for has scaled back on their contrarian ways, and they’re only thinking about cleaning the cobwebs off of their golf clubs.

Other people are already obsessively zoning in on the top college prospects and who will be showing up to the NFL combine and if they’ll get drafted in what round.

Folks like you and me, – e.g. dire hard Minnesota Vikings fans – have been clearly dead inside for a month.

To be honest with you, it’s been so bad that both Super Bowl teams could’ve forfeited the game for all I care.

It’s only now that us Vikes fans are thawing out from having our newest Super Bowl hopes literally frozen in time by some godforsaken team out of Philadelphia, the same city that Rocky Balboa and Bradley Cooper and whomever the (expletive) (expletive) else...

But I’ve digressed... Where was I?

Oh yeah: What on God’s Green Earth were the Vikings thinking?

They clearly symbolized how well the season’s going by throwing a touchdown to Kyle Rudolph on the opening drive against the Eagles, then all of a sudden Philadelphia cleans the trash left by all the senseless Philly fans on the field with our faces

After suffering a loss like that, do you know how hard it is for a person in my position not to dedicate my column space to simply bashing the Minnesota Vikings each week?

I could write an entire novel on it. In fact, I’m seriously going to.

By the time I’m done with it, no professional sports team will ever want to compete for the Land of 10,000 Lakes and Limited Championships again.

Not only will Ziggy Wilf, but T’Wolves owner Glen Taylor, Wild owner Craig Leipold and Twins owner Jim Pohlad will beg me to stop.

I mean, it’s the truth, after the Vikes losing so pathetically to the Eagles like that, it is clear to me that everybody’s paying us not to win.

Look at it this way, will the Wild win the Stanley Cup this year? Nope. Will the Twins win the World Series this year? Probably not. The Wolves are having a good season: Doesn’t matter – they’ll choke too.

Again, where was I?

... So get your husband or wife, son or daughter checked for DAPF (Debilitating Absence of Professional Football) before it’s too late.

Tell your doctor, Ray sent ya.

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