Volume 46 Issue No. 30
Anpetu Iyamni, July 29, 2015
Inside this Edition –
Mni Wiconi blows whistle on Veblen CAFO dairy environmental spill
“Counting Coup on the English Language”
SWO Injury Prevention Speed Safety Initiative
Fourth look: 148th annual SWO Wacipi
One-day grief retreat August 1st at Sisseton city hall
Alvah Quinn honored with Coteau Area Endowment Award
SWO among tribes receiving economic development funds
Alternate view of food table
Photo highlights of last week’s storm damage
More names of clergy surface in action against abuse by priests
S-W Federal Credit Union annual meeting August 20th
Deadline for receipt of copy is Friday noon
Mni Wiconi blows whistle on Veblen CAFO dairies environmental spill
Spill prompts complaints to SD DENR, US EPA
Rally against CAFOs on Lake Traverse Reservation
By CD Floro
A SWO volunteer taking groundwater samples from Veblen Flats Tribal Housing and other sites adjacent to the Veblen CAFO dairy made a shocking discovery last Wednesday morning, July 23rd.
Julian Boucher discovered a Veblen dairy crew pumping liquid manure onto a field about six miles north of Veblen. There had been a rupture of the line and the liquid effluent was pouring across the field.
He shot video of the scene, showing the pipeline in the highway right-of-way ditch and leading onto the field, where he saw the break.
That video is available online and has been turned over as evidence to the South Dakota DENR and U.S. EPA – both of which are responsible for oversight of these confined animal operations. The video, and firsthand descriptions by Julian and others who witnessed the spill, clearly show a failure to protect the environment.
As for the effluent itself, there was no way Julian or other Mni Wiconi volunteers, or the OEP staff, to get samples. Authorization is required by the landowner. Otherwise, they could be charged with criminal trespass.
These large agricultural production plants are protected by federal law; trespass here is subject to the same charges as a threat to homeland security. Mni Wiconi has been taking care not to trespass, sampling only in the public right-of-way or on Tribal or trust land.
When the CAFO workers realized that Julian was shooting video from the highway (legally, not trespassing), they began a pursuit in one of their vehicles.
This pursuit, or “vehicle chase,” is not a new phenomenon.
Several weeks ago we were subject to a similar chase. We were taking photos of one of the dairy operations from outside its fenced-in perimeter when a security vehicle came flying around one of the barns and barreled toward us.
We got back in the car, in a hurry, and spun gravel out of their and back onto the road.
Others, including Paula Horne and Chief Arvol Looking Horse also report being followed.
Julian received reassurance from the Marshall County Sheriff’s office that our volunteers would be able to test groundwater without being impeded in any of the road right-of-way or other public, or Tribal and trust property.
He also said he was told that if he or others needed escorts their office would respond.
Julian is one of several Mni Wiconi grassroots volunteers, who along with SWO OEP water technicians, have been sampling groundwater near the CAFO operation to test for contamination.
Samples have tested as high as 12-plus times the public health hazard limit set by the EPA, for E.coli.
This contamination poses a serious threat to the health of Tribal members and non-Natives alike who live on the Lake Traverse Reservation and downstream.
SWO Tribal Executives authorized an attorney to send “cease and desist” letters to the CAFOs due to high levels of contamination of groundwater.
There are also many complaints of foul odor and haze in the air near the vicinity. Degradation of air quality is another health hazard for the Oyate and non-Indian people who live on the Lake Traverse Reservation.
Besides the cease and desist letters, formal complaints were filed last week with the South Dakota DENR and U.S. EPA on behalf of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate concerning hazardous discharge of waste by the Veblen CAFOs.
But wait a minute.
Isn’t this manure a by-product of dairy operations? Isn’t it a useful commodity when spread as fertilizer? Isn’t this part of the environmental plan established before any CAFO can be permitted?
Yes, but what happens when demand for profit combines with disregard – complete disregard – for the environment and health of people who live here?
This is what happens, and this is why these CAFOs hide their actions behind secrecy:
*Over-applying manure onto ag land so much that application can no longer be considered as fertilizer; instead, this practice amounts to open dumping of solid waste. Such waste causes harm to human health and the environment.
*Not living up to the dairy management plan by applying nutrients far in excess of what the crops need.
*Spreading more, much more of this raw waste than actual crop fertilizer requirements.
*Dumping super high levels of nitrate into the ground, which migrates into the underlying aquifers. These invaluable natural underground water storage systems become overloaded with the contamination.
*Short-term effects are bad; long-term spell disaster. The natural resources network is destroyed; people’s lives are cut short; and generations to come suffer from the fallout.
Take a look at the manure spilling out over the field in Julian’s picture. See how it runs down the access road. This “landspreading” is not part of a careful plan to provide crops with adequate fertilizer. No, it is a way of dumping excess solid waste that can only be held a finite amount of time in the super-sized lagoons.
It must be disposed of, as it keeps coming in a confined operation this size at the rate of about 2.4 million pounds a day!
That is an estimate, because we don’t have current statistics. These are hidden behind the industry and government offices. Even the satellite images we rely on to estimate size and number of their solid waste lagoons are more than a year old. Number of head count likewise is old – 19,300 head as of the first of January 2015.
Our legal team is seeking this information, but for now, readers should note that our estimates are conservative, lower than what they really are.
Planning is underway to hold a rally for environmental and human health hazards posed by CAFOs on the Lake Traverse Reservation. Tentatively, the event is to be held at Dakota Sioux Casino, Watertown, on Sunday, August 9th.
Among those expected to present information are attorneys retained by the Tribe.
According to Mni Wiconi volunteers who attended Sunday’s No KXL Rally in Pierre, several other lawyers involved in the anti-pipeline legal fight have asked to be linked to our attorneys.
It is this sharing in the battle – bringing tribal and non-Indian conservation groups together as allies – that will eventually bring down these giant industrial polluters.
Watch for more information, and a flyer, in the Sota next week.
"Counting Coup on the English Language"
In 2008 the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate (SWO) Tribal Council passed a resolution declaring a "Dakota Language Crisis" and a "State of Emergency for the revitalization of the Dakota Language." Since that resolution was passed, the SWO has lost 43% of its fluent Dakota language speakers. According to Tammy DeCoteau, SWO Dakota Language Program, we now have 67 speakers with a median age of 78. Across Dakota country, our relatives are experiencing even greater loss of the language; there are now some Dakota communities that have no fluent, first-language Dakota speakers left. So what does this mean? Is it important? Is it too late to fix this?
Many linguists recognize the critical importance of language to culture. They speak of how humor, emotion, ways of thinking, our relationships to each other, tradition, sense of community, and many other aspects of culture are tied to language. If we lose a language, we also lose the culture that it is tied to. As Dakotapi, our language is not only a part of our culture and identity, it is also sacred and connects us to the creator. Wakan tanka de unk'upe. The creator gave us this language, it is sacred, and its spirit must be respected.
In 2013, Sisseton Wahpeton College began implementing new strategies to increase language revitalization efforts in the hopes of aiding in the creation of new speakers within the SWO. These strategies have included the creation of new Dakota language classes, the implementation of a Dakota Language Teaching Certificate Program, mandatory language classes for all SWC Faculty and staff, a Master-Apprentice Program, and most recently, "Counting Coup on the English Language."
July 20-23, the College invited Redwing Thomas to conduct the "Counting Coup on the English Language" community class. The purpose of this class was not to just teach the language, but to teach our community how to use the language on a regular basis. Dakota iapi kin yacin kinhan….anpetu iyohi Dakota iyae kte. If we want the Dakota language, we must speak it every day. Redwing reminded those in attendance of common vocabulary that we can introduce into our everyday speech to help increase the use of the Dakota language in our community. We do not have to be fluent to start speaking in Dakota; start using what you know now, even if it is simple: Hau, Han, tuwe, taku, tukted, tokiya, tukte, tohan, tokca un.
Redwing also stated that "learning our language is a forever learning process." As adults we often expect to learn things quickly, but when it comes to language it is something that takes constant practice and support. "We have to learn together, each one of us has a piece of the puzzle." We cannot rely on just a handful of people to revitalize the Dakota language, it must be a community effort. Together, we are stronger. Together, our voices are stronger.
Attendance at "Counting Coup on the English Language" exceeded 40, resulting in the class being moved from the SWC Log Cabin to the SWC Auditorium. In response to the success of this event, the College is planning to offer more opportunities for the community to get involved with language revitalization.
Nina Pidaunayapi to Redwing Thomas for gifting our community with courage and inspiration to speak the Dakota Iapi! Pidaunyapi to all those who brought food and to the many who came to learn!
The Dakota Iapi is a part of our identity. By letting the Dakota language go, we lose ourselves. There is still time though. We can change the statistics. Speak the Dakota Iapi every day. Anpetu iyohi Dakota iapi!
"From the desk of Geri Opsal, Tribal Veteran Service Officer"
*Attention all Veterans: On Tuesday July 28th, 2015 @ 10:00AM we will be hosting Jennie Hovland from Senator Thune's office for a hour long meeting in our office to go over Veteran issues some of which are: workforce development opportunities, housing, homelessness, state veterans court and heath care. If you have any other concerns as a Veteran please contact me (698-3388) so I can present any issues. Veterans, I welcome you to come be part of this important meeting. I do want to state that we are meeting with South Dakotas Federal Delegation to voice our concerns in Pierre on 8/18/2015 this is in conjunction with our Code Talker Statue Planning Committee meeting. Commanders of our SWO groups please ensure you attend the meeting on 7/28 at TVSO office. Thank you.
*Happy Birthday Joseph Peterson, US ARMY Vietnam Era Veteran from your brother Floyd Beaudreau, US Army Vietnam Veteran! Hope you had a great day!
*Our Honor Guards are busy traveling representing the SWO this summer many trails down the Pow wow trail. Flandreau, Fort Totten & Danielle represented the SWO in New York along with the Lakota Women Warriors Honor Guard. Her daughter Talia is our lil Miss SWO and has joined the trial with her Mom and will have many experiences under her belt as her year as our representative. To Doc, Danielle, DeLano; thank you Commanders for keeping our SWO in the limelight in Indian Veteran Country. We appreciate all that you do for us!
*Vietnam Memorial Wall: If anyone would like to sign up we can take our van to view the Vietnam Memorial Wall on display at Sioux Falls, SD on August 5, 2015. Please contact our office for sign up!
*Sioux Falls VAMC Women's Health Clinic: Will have a open house 8/18/2015 and again on 8/26/2015 from 3:30 to 6:30 each day listed. The new updated Women's Health clinic is exclusively for women Veterans! If you do not use the VA for health care, there has never been a better time to start!
*REMEMBER: We are here to serve you our fellow Veteran, widows, dependents. And also you see a Veteran shake their hand---that small gesture means a great deal to them! Call us at 698-3388 or cell 268-0502.
*American Legion Post #314- Delano Renville, Commander Cell:# 268-0354 / Vietnam Veterans Kit Fox Society - Dayton Seaboy, Commander Phone:# 698-3901 ask for Doc / Desert Era Veterans - Danielle DeCoteau, Commander Cell#: 268-1765. For GAS ASSISTANCE: Geri Opsal 698-3388.
Have a good week.
Geri Opsal, Tribal VSO.
Storms strike area a week ago
Area residents were alerted to severe thunderstorm watches and warnings, and some tornado warnings as well, last Wednesday, July 22nd.
Locally, the hardest hit appeared to be Waubay, where trees were downed and several homes damaged by falling branches.
There were no reports of deaths or serious injuries.
Along with high wind and isolated torrential rainfall, the line of storms produced lots of hail.
Some were described as being “odd shaped.” “Pancakes.” “Splatter UFO (saucers).”
Fortunately, while a number of RV campers and trailers were destroyed in campgrounds, there were no reports of widespread loss of property.
Here are a few photos showing the fury of the skies.
Thanks to those who contribute pictures.
SWO Injury Prevention Speed Safety Initiative underway
Please watch your speed limits on Tribal roads, as the injury prevention team is urging drivers to SLOW DOWN on Tribal roadways this summer.
The speeded intervention is underway and will continue over the next few weeks.
Speeds check with a Lidar radar show that while most people are driving within the posted speed limit, some are speeding.
As a reminder, the speed limit on BIA 700 from the detour sign to the college is 55 miles per hour. On Tiospa Zina Drive it is 35 miles per hour.
On Lake Traverse Drive coming to the Health Center the posted speed limit is 20 miles per hour.
In the near future a speed sign will be set out on these designated Tribal roads to inform drivers on how fast you are traveling.
The injury prevention team's mission is to make the tribal roads safer by increasing the Oyate's awareness of speed limits on all tribal roads.
Alvah Quinn 2015 Coteau Area Endowment Fund honoree
The Roberts Conservation District has announced that Alvah Quinn Sr. has been designated the 2015 Honoree for the Coteau Area Endowment Fund.
Alvah has been a staple in Sisseton- Wahpeton Oyate Programs for 33 years, beginning in January 1980 and continuing through September 2014 as Program Manager for SWO Realty, Natural Resources, Fisheries, Buffalo, and Extension with all programs started under Alvah's leadership.
Along with his Program Manager duties, he also was active on the SWO's Tax Commission and Economic Development Committee along with various other Tribal organizations throughout the years.
The Fish and Wildlife code was established in 1985 and the Tribal fishing and hunting licenses were established.
In 1988 the tribe started planting trees for home sites and wildlife.
If you were to ride around the Reservation with Alvah, he could point out many shelterbelts and tree groves that his crew planted.
Alvah has a keen understanding of creating habitat for wildlife.
The Elk program was started in 1988 and the buffalo program began in 1990 with a small number of animals coming from Wind Cave National Park.
This program was started for several reasons with one being to develop a healthy food source of low cholesterol meat for the Indian population where there is a high incidence of diabetes.
The cultural aspect of the buffalo and the Indian people was another very important reason for the endeavor.
In 1992 Alvah was a founding member of the Intertribal Buffalo Association for which he served in different capacities over the years that included board member, treasurer, and chairman.
Alvah is a believer in detailed testing and through the diligence of this DNA blood testing the SWO herd is able to boast having one of the genetically purest bison herds in the nation with all beef gene being culled out.
The Fisheries program began in 1995 with his crew harvesting walleye eggs and stocking numerous lakes in the Coteau Hills. Over the years brood ponds and rearing ponds were established and detailed records kept of hatching success and stocking.
Alvah has spent the majority of his life and career in Roberts County.
He has always been an avid outdoorsman and sportsman and an advocate of the people of the Lake Traverse Reservation.
Many of his past projects have benefited both the Indian people and the non-Indian people of Northeast South Dakota.
Alvah and his wife Bonnie are the proud parents of 2 sons and 2 daughters and the grandparents of 5 grandchildren.
If contributions reach $1000 or more, the honoree becomes a member of the President's Club of the South Dakota Association of Conservation District's Endowment Program.
If contributions reach $2000 or more, the honoree becomes a member of the Governor's Club.
Contributions can be made to SDACD Endowment Fund, designating Alvah Quinn as the honoree in the memo and mailed to Roberts Conservation District, 2018 SD Hwy 10 Ste A Sisseton, SD, 57262, Attention: Jodi Hook, by September 1, 2015.
Recognition will be made at the SDACD Convention in November if one of the above levels is attained.
Everyone is encouraged to contribute to the endowment in Alvah's name so that he may be recognized for his service and dedication to conservation.
Any questions, please call Jodi Hook at the Roberts Conservation District, 605-698-3923.
Coteau Area Conservation Districts: Brown Marshall, South Brown, Marshall, Day, Spink, Clark, Codington, Hamlin, Deuel, Grant, and Roberts.
Honoring held for strangers who saved Oyate lives
Stacey Wanna and his family held an honoring for two strangers who saved the lives of three occupants in a van that caught on fire along I-29 between Peever and Watertown June 9. The event was held Saturday afternoon, July 25th, at Dakota Connection in Sisseton.
Jameson Bartacher of Aberdeen and Todd Clausen of Sioux City were recognized for saving lives of Gracie Wanna, baby Cassidy Wanna and Rebecca Stoughton from the fire. Rebecca later succumbed to her injuries.
Officials of the SD Highway Patrol also attended to present awards to the heroes.
Here are accompanying photos courtesy of SWO Tribal Secretary Crystal Owen.
A meal was served following the honoring.
Federal Credit Union to hold annual meeting Aug. 20th
The Sisseton-Wahpeton Federal Credit Union has announced plans to hold its annual meeting at the Tribal Elderly Center, Agency Village, SD, on Thursday, August 20, 2015, at 5:00 p.m.
The agenda includes:
*Election of three Board members.
*Election to change term limit from two to three years.
Any member of the SWFCU, 21 years of age or older with knowledge about the Credit Union or willing to learn can run for a position by filing a notice at the Credit Union office by 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 19, 2015 and must be current on any obligations at the Credit Union.
To be eligible for the door prizes, you must be a member of the Credit Union by 4:30 p.m. on August 19, 2015 and current on any obligations to the Credit Union.
Justice, give every student opportunity to succeed
Fargo, ND – July 24, 2015 – U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp today convened a group of top law enforcement and criminal justice officials, educators, and juvenile and social services professionals to discuss ways to collectively prevent criminal behavior among minors in North Dakota, as well as ways to best address the needs of young people currently in the juvenile justice system across the state to prevent lifelong contact with the criminal justice system.
During a roundtable discussion with law enforcement, criminal justice, substance abuse and mental health experts, school administrators and social services leaders, Heitkamp expressed her concern with the seeming increase of juvenile drug crimes, the creeping influence of gangs in and around Fargo, school mental and behavioral health issues, and a multitude of other issues in North Dakota that our young people are facing, and which are often leading to contact with the juvenile justice system.
North Dakota’s crime rates are on the rise – with violent crime in Fargo recently surpassing the national average and drug crime steadily increasing in the west. Together, Heitkamp and the group spoke about methods for recognizing and responding to the needs of at-risk youth, and ways to prevent these young people from becoming involved in an often cyclical life of crime.
“We know there are certain telltale signs for young people in our communities who are at risk of getting caught up in crime or trafficking, and we must to address the issues head-on to prevent bad decisions that lead to contact with the juvenile justice system – or even worse outcomes,” said Heitkamp. “But we also need to more closely examine what happens to young people once they are incarcerated – and make sure they are being cared for in a way that prepares them not for a cyclical life of crime, but to overcome their past – setting them on a path that allows them to thrive. We need strong legislation and action that helps young people succeed, and particularly targets some of the most vulnerable youth, like Native children and runaways and homeless youth. Together, we can work together to protect our children and in turn make all of our communities stronger and safer.”
Heitkamp has long worked to directly address the needs of at-risk young people by working to protect them from a life of crime and to provide the resources they need to overcome the adverse impact of trauma, poverty, abuse and violence that many have faced – particularly in our Native communities and for runaway and homeless youth.
In addition to calling for the reauthorization of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, which has not been reauthorized since 2007 and would work to prevent youth delinquency, Heitkamp is working to protect America’s young people from crime:
Pushing for Critical Changes to the Native Juvenile Justice System: Just this week during a hearing in the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, Heitkamp pushed for needed changes to the Native juvenile justice system that both bolster holistic prevention efforts and better support Native minors already in the criminal justice system by helping break the cycle of re-offending. With an estimated 73 to 95 percent of Native juveniles showing prevalence of trauma symptoms, due to violence exposure, and high rates of Post-Traumatic Stress, Native American youth are one of the most at-risk populations. Fighting for Comprehensive Change to Address Chronic Challenges Native Youth Face: Heitkamp has been working to address the challenges Native youth face through her bipartisan bill to improve the lives of Native youth by creating a Commission that would study and identify complex challenges faced by Native children. Her bill unanimously passed in the U.S. Senate in June 2015, and was introduced by both Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives just weeks later. The Commission – which is supported by all five of North Dakota’s tribes as well as former Senator Byron Dorgan – would also provide recommendations to better protect Native children and make sure they have the economic and educational tools they need to thrive. Protecting our Nation’s Runaway and Homeless Youth: Heitkamp has been a vocal proponent of the Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking and Prevention Act – which would help protect some of the most susceptible targets of human traffickers, our nation’s runaway and homeless youth – from falling victims to crimes related to human trafficking. Heitkamp helped introduce an amendment to add the measure to the Justice for Victims of Human Trafficking Act which the President signed in May – unfortunately, the amendment gained 56 of the 60 votes needed to be adopted and was not included. Heitkamp spoke on the Senate floor during debate of the legislation to encourage other Senators to support this amendment.
Opening reception for Tonya Holter Art Exhibit
An artist reception with Sisseton artist Tonya Holter is scheduled for Wednesday, July 29, from 4:00-7:00 p.m. at the Nicollet Tower and Interpretive Center.
Live music and refreshments will be part of the reception hosted by the Sisseton Arts Council.
Holter’s exhibit, which she describes as “whimsical,” includes a colorful variety of watercolors, acrylics, batik, and marbling.
Along with creating her own work, Tonya Holter teaches high school art in Sisseton and adult workshops and classes. “As a teacher I’m not in the business of producing Picassos,” Holter says.
“I want my students to create, enjoy, and recognize art for a lifetime.”
Tonya’s exhibit, which reflects the joy of art, will be on display at the Tower through August.
Funds support economic growth for SWO, Three Affiliated Tribes
Washington, DC – July 20, 2015 – U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp today announced nearly $100,000 in federal funds to help promote and develop regional economic planning strategies, strengthen local economies, and create jobs on the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Sioux and Three Affiliated Tribes.
“Rural communities in North Dakota, especially those in Indian country, have experienced firsthand challenges with developing long-term, sustainable economic opportunities,” said Heitkamp. “It is critical that rural America has access to resources that will stimulate such development. This federal funding will improve regional economic planning strategies so that these communities can successfully grow and thrive.”
The Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Sioux and Three Affiliated Tribes will each receive $48,500, which will support the development and implementation of a comprehensive economic development strategy (CEDS). Developing regional plans provide communities with roadmaps to pursue regional strategies in economic development by leveraging investments from multiple agencies to target strengths and address weaknesses. The funds are provided through the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA).
Last week’s Sota contained a congratulations message that incorrectly identified Sara Johnson.
Sara Johnson was supposed to have been congratulated for having been named the new president of the Sisseton School Board (not Enemy Swim).
The Sota apologizes for the error.
Names of seven Oblate Clergy credibly accused of Child Sexual Abuse publicly released
Some sexually abused children on or near White Earth, Leech Lake, and Lake Traverse reservations in Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota
St. Paul, MN – The names and assignment histories of seven priests of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate (“Oblates”) who have been credibly accused of sexually abusing children were publicly released Tuesday for the first time at a press conference. Some of these priests sexually abused children on or near the White Earth, Leech Lake and Lake Traverse reservations in Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota. The seven priests are:
James Vincent Fitzgerald (served at various locations including Squaw Lake, MN; Northome, MN; Cass Lake, MN; Naytahwaush, MN; Pennington, MN; and Sisseton, SD areas)
Paul Kabat (served in Northome, MN and Bemidji, MN areas)
Orville Lawrence Munie (served in Waubay, SD area)
Robert Reitmeier (served in Sisseton, SD)
Emil Twardochleb (served in Geneseo, ND; retired in Sisseton, SD)
“These priests abused a lot of Native American children in Minnesota, South Dakota and other states,” said Jeff Anderson, attorney for Doe 30.
“The release of these names and histories is an important step in making people aware of these priests and letting survivors know that they are not alone.”
The release is part of a settlement reached in a civil lawsuit brought by Doe 30 against the Oblates, the Diocese of Duluth and the Diocese of New Ulm. The settlement was reached in April between Doe 30, the plaintiff, and defendant Oblates.
The lawsuit stems from Doe 30’s sexual abuse by Fr. Fitzgerald in Squaw Lake, MN, in 1978 when Doe 30 was a minor.
Doe 19, another man molested by Fr. Fitzgerald as a child, has filed suit against the Diocese of Crookston and the Oblates in Mahnomen County District Court. Fitzgerald sexually abused Doe 19 at St. Ann’s Parish in Naytahwaush, Minn. on the White Earth Indian Reservation.
In 2013 the Minnesota legislature passed the Child Victims Act allowing sexual abuse survivors to seek compensation and justice for their abuse as minors. The deadline to bring a claim under the Child Victims Act is May 25, 2016.
Low Income Assistance available to telephone subscribers
In response to concerns about the affordability of telephone service for low-income citizens, Venture Communications is authorized to offer Lifeline to our customers. Lifeline is a federal telephone assistance program. To be eligible for this program, the applicant must participate in at least one of the following public assistance programs: food stamps, federal public housing assistance, low-income home energy assistance, Medicaid, or supplemental security income (SSI).
To be eligible for the Enhanced Lifeline or the Link-Up programs, the applicant must live on tribal land and participate in at least one of the following public assistance programs: food stamps, federal public housing assistance, Head Start (meeting income qualifying standards), low-income home energy assistance, Medicaid, national school lunch program's FREE lunch program, supplemental security income (SSI), tribally administered temporary assistance for needy families or Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) general assistance program.
Lifeline provides eligible subscribers with a credit of $9.25 each month on the basic service portion of their telephone bill. The discount applies on the main home telephone line listed in the name of the eligible telephone company subscriber. Lifeline subscribers may also receive blocking of long distance calls on their telephone line at no charge.
Enhanced Lifeline provides subscribers expanded eligibility opportunities and additional telephone service discounts. They may also receive long distance blocking on their telephone at no charge. Eligible subscribers for Enhanced Lifeline must live on Tribal Land.
If you meet the eligibility requirements, you can obtain an application from our main office in Highmore or the office in Sisseton and return it to either location. You may also print off an application from our website at www.venturecomm.net. When you no longer participate in any of the qualifying public assistance programs, you are no longer eligible for Lifeline or Link-Up. Each household is only able to receive one Lifeline discount. You are obligated by law to notify Venture Communications and advise us of your ineligibility. If you have any questions about Lifeline or Link-Up, please contact us at 852-2224 for more information.
An alternative view of the food table
Meat Eating: An Unnecessary Evil
By Nadine Floro
(Editor’s note: While meat is traditionally a dietary staple for our Dakota Oyate, today’s processed meats are worlds different than what the ancestors used. Here is a high school paper by my granddaughter, well written and giving insightful “food for thought” – groan, awful pun.)
“Flesh eating is unprovoked murder,” states an important historical figure, and it is! The cons heavily outweigh the pros of mass slaughter of innocent animals, which include how inhumane the treatment of factory farmed animals is, how very little your body needs it, and how dangerous it is to your health. Besides, who are we to argue with Benjamin Franklin?
To begin, you should not eat meat because your body doesn’t need it! Meat gives you some good nutrients, which is the most common argument for eating it. And it does offer some nutrients, including lots of protein, saturated fats, and cholesterol. There isn’t much more to it, other than a few B-vitamins (Nutrition and You). But why limit yourself? Fruits and vegetables have plenty of fiber, A-, B- and C-vitamins, and loads of potassium. The health benefits of switching to a veggie only diet are innumerable, though leading experts attempt to explain, "Vegetarians have a 40% less risk of cancer and much less risk of heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease and other problems that are common among meat eaters," says Neal Barnard, the president of Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), a non-profit organization that focuses on preventive medicine (USA Today). "Vegetarians also live several years longer and enjoy better health." So why take another life that you do not need in order to survive? It’s excessive and cruel.
On the topic of excess, let’s take a look at the rate at which meat is produced for wholesale consumption, “global meat production rose from less than 50 t in 1950 to about 110 t in 1975; it doubled during the next 25 years, and by 2010 it was about 275 t, prorating to some 40 g/capita, with the highest levels (in the US, Spain and Brazil) in excess of 100 g/capita” (Scientific American). That’s a lot of meat. How are we able to produce this much meat anyway? Well, we can start by thanking modern science and hormone injections. As a result of the amount of meat needed to be pushed out, farming companies produce genetically modified legumes, grains, and grasses for feeding. However, because the animals are bred and fed so close together, they’ve become a dangerous breeding ground for bacteria, disease, and other harmful germs. The solution? To put antibiotics in the food fed to them. In the beginning, this seemed like a great idea; we were able to kill two birds with one stone (no pun intended) by keeping our livestock clean while also causing them to grow unnaturally quickly. Unfortunately, this has proven to have backfired in recent years, as farmers and doctors alike are noticing more common widespread sickness among the population, and our medicines aren’t helping. The cause? Bacterial resistance to antibiotics. The same antibiotics used to feed cattle and chicken with is the antibiotic we use on our sick (Natural Society). If that alone doesn’t perturb you, let’s check out the effects of the growth hormones used in cattle in our populace. Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH), the use of which is currently banned in 27 countries, is a primary component in our meat production. Created by crossing cow DNA and E. Coli, rBGH infects cows’ udders and causes biological malformations, as well as leaving trace amounts of pus in the dairy aisle’s milk. Still thirsty? In addition to this gross mistreatment, cattle are slain up to six months after birth.
In addition to being bred to be slaughtered, other cruelty is involved in our meat processing. An example of this is ‘cage free’ chicken breeding. The term “cage free” might lead one to believe these chickens have the freedom to roam and the absence of cruelty. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Caged chickens have their beaks ‘dulled’ to prevent harm to themselves and each other due to the aggression caused by tight confinement. After the male chicks are sorted from the female and literally thrown away (PeTA), 90% of the remaining chickens are stuffed in battery cages that provide less space, per bird, than a regular 8.5"-by-11" sheet of paper (ASPCA), causing terror, stress, and aggression. Similarly, uncaged chickens also have their beaks ground to a stub, and are stuffed in horrifically small spaces, just without the metal bars between them. Cows aren’t treated much better. Starting before birth, a cow is falsely inseminated and injected with rBGH to produce more milk. Their lives are a constant cycle of impregnation, milking, and birth, and after about 5 years of this, they are considered “spent” and are slaughtered (in a natural setting, a cow can live around 20 years (Farm Sanctuary)). But let’s back up a few years. The moment calves are born, they’re forcibly taken from their mothers so that the milk can be produced and sold for human consumption. Most calves become malnourished and die, and continue on to be sold as veal. The male calves that don’t die off, are still sold to other beef production companies where they are force-fed an unnatural diet to grow to a ‘market weight’ of 1,200 pounds six months after birth and are sold to produce veal, or are raised to be sold as beef. In the process of becoming ‘beef’, cows are subjected to numerous painful mutilations, including (but not limited to) tail docking for ‘sanitation’, castration for ‘more tender meat’, and dehorning. The most common and accepted mutilation is branding, which is done by pressing a 950° burning metal prod into the cattles’ sides. All mutilation is shown to hurt for days, with no offer of pain relief. Is this really a system you want to contribute to?
To summarize, eating meat is not only cruel, and highly unnecessary, but it is also becoming increasingly unsafe. After learning of all the injustice faced by the farming animals, it would just be spiteful to continue eating the amount of meat we, as a nation, do. So stop, or at least decrease the amount you eat, if any. We should all be vegetarians, and give other animals the same respect we’d want for ourselves. “Perhaps in the back of our minds we already understand, without all the science I've discussed, that something terribly wrong is happening. Our sustenance now comes from misery. We know that if someone offers to show us a film on how our meat is produced, it will be a horror film. We perhaps know more than we care to admit, keeping it down in the dark places of our memory-- disavowed. When we eat factory-farmed meat we live, literally, on tortured flesh. Increasingly, that tortured flesh is becoming our own,” Jonathan Safran Foer, author, Eating Animals.
Aslam, Sunny. "Vegetarian Diet on Solid Ground." USATODAY. N.p., 28 Nov. 2001. Web. 20 July 2015. <http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/health/diet/2001-12-07-vegetarian.htm>.
"Birds on Factory Farms." ASPCA. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 July 2015. <http%3A%2F%2Fwww.aspca.org%2Ffight-cruelty%2Ffarm-animal-cruelty%2Fbirds-factory-farms>.
"Factory Farming." Farm Sanctuary. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 July 2015. <http://www.farmsanctuary.org/learn/factory-farming/dairy/>.
Smil, Vaclav. "Should Humans Eat Meat?" ScientificAmerican. N.p., 19 July 2013. Web. 20 July 2015. <http://www.scientificamerican.com%2Farticle%2Fshould-humans-eat-meat-excerpt%2F>.
"Factory Farming: Misery for Animals." PeTA. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 July 2015. <http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-food/factory-farming/>.
Fassa, Paul. "Factory Farms: Bad for Farm Animals..." Natural Society. N.p., 9 Apr. 2013. Web. 20 July 2015. <http%3A%2F%2Fnaturalsociety.com%2Ffactory-farms-bad-farm-animals-humans%2F>.
"Vegetable Nutrition Facts." Nutrition And You.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 July 2015. <http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/vegetable-nutrition.html>.
On and Off the Lake Traverse Reservation
We call readers’ attention to the Mni Wiconi article on page one.
Evidence has been collected, enough to register formal complaints with the state of South Dakoa DENR and US EPA, as well as filing against the CAFO industries plundering water from the Tribe’s aquifers and spilling toxic materials into the ground and groundwater around the plants, and fouling the air.
Such environmentally unsustainable operations must no longer be allowed to operate feely against the health of the Oyate and non-Indians living here (and those downstream). No longer to gain government protection in the bogus claim of “economic development” and “progress.”
We’ve had people ask us what is Mni Wiconi … here is the simple answer.
It is a group of folks from the Tribal community who say this destructive spiral must no longer be ignored, it must end.
Their work is in support of your elected Tribal leadership. Leadership which has so far supported initial steps sought by Mni Wiconi.
Watch for an announcement of a public meeting to be held early in August. Details should be available in next week’s Sota.
Everyone is encouraged to become involved.
Check out Mni Wiconi on Facebook.
This is not “their” battle.
This is yours.
Environmental and social justice are at the forefront of today’s battles across Indian country.
Right in line with the SWO’s battle against the expanding CAFOs on the Lake Traverse Reservation is the continued protest against the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Many of our Oyate traveled to Pierre this Sunday to take part in a scheduled No KXL Pipeline rally.
Pidamiya those who went to, or supported the effort in any way.
Sota reporter/photographer John Heminger was there and will share his photographs next week in the Sota.
Watch for them.
There will be a community grief workshop – titled “Grieving the Loss of a Loved One” – this Saturday, August 1st, at Sisseton City Hall.
Hours are from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Everyone is welcome to come and participate.
We are so pleased to see koda Alvah Quinn Sr. being recognized for his years of service protecting natural resources and developing wildlife programs. Perhaps most notable is seen at the Tribe’s bison ranch. This herd has the highest purity of any in the country and serves as a model for other tribes considering returning to their cultural roots.
Please consider donating whatever you can in his name in the SDACD Endowment Fund.
For more information, contact Jodi Hook, Roberts County Conservation District, (605) 698-3923.
Thank you to my granddaughter Nadine Zaiyana Floro for contributing a class term paper for this week’s Sota.
Her theme fits into what we have been learning about how “progressive” agriculture has been destroying our natural resources and our health.
"These are our times and our responsibilities. Every human being has a sacred duty to protect the welfare of our Mother Earth, from whom all life comes. In order to do this, we must recognize the enemy - the one within us. We must begin with ourselves..." -- Leon Shenandoah, ONONDAGA
The outside is merely a reflection of our insides. My mind is designed to tell me that I'm not crazy for thinking what I am thinking. Even if I have angry thought, my mind is giving me excuses and reasons why it is OK to think what I'm thinking. I need to be knowledgeable about the laws of harmony and balance. I cannot twist the laws to serve me, but I can adjust my life to serve the laws. This is the law - I am here to serve the Earth. The Earth is not here for me to misuse and abuse.
Oh Great Spirit, allow me the insight and knowledge of how to live in harmony and balance with my surroundings. Grant me change from within.
Words to consider (or, perhaps not!):
It is nobler to declare oneself wrong than to insist on being right - especially when one is right. Friedrich Nietzsche (1844 - 1900), Thus Spoke Zarathustra
It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried. ]Sir Winston Churchill (1874 - 1965)
Anyone can do any amount of work provided it isn't the work he is supposed to be doing at the moment. Robert Benchley (1889 - 1945)
I tend to live in the past because most of my life is there. Herb Caen
You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you. Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)
The greatest mystery is not that we have been flung at random between the profusion of matter and of the stars, but that within this prison we can draw from ourselves images powerful enough to deny our nothingness. Andre Malraux (1901 - 1976)
The Sota is always looking for news of the Oyate.
If you have information and/or photos of newsworthy happenings in your family or community, please consider sharing with your Sota staff.
For submission deadlines and other information, see below:
Except for holidays copy to be considered for publication – news, advertising, editorial opinion letters, etc. – is to be submitted to: Sota, P.O. Box 5, Wilmot, SD 57279 by 10:00 a.m. on Thursday. FAX and e-mail submissions will be accepted until 12:00 noon on Friday (with the exception of letters to the editor/open letters to the Oyate, or “opinion” letters, which must be received by 10:00 a.m. Thursday).
If you are writing an opinion letter, please note that it must be signed and the author’s name will appear in print. Letters must not contain libel and must be brief, ideally 500 words or less. Letters may be edited for content. Omissions will be identified with periods . . . editor’s explanations will be provided in [brackets]. Readers who want access to unedited versions will need to contact the authors.
Earlier receipt of copy is always appreciated. So, if you are aware of a date or message that needs to be publicized or advertised, please let us know about it in advance of the weekly deadline.
The preferred way to submit typed articles and ads, art and photos, is by e-mail.
The editor can be reached at the following e-mail address:
For more information, leave a message on the Sota production office voicemail (605) 938-4452, or send a fax to the 24-hour dedicated line (605) 938-4676.
Services for Veronica Keeble
Funeral service for Veronica Jo Keeble, 23 of Niobrara, NE was held on Thursday afternoon, July 23, 2015 at the Sisseton Wahpeton Tribal Community Center, Agency Village, SD with Rev. Fr. Charles Chan officiating.
Pianist were Kay Bursheim and Billy Kohl.
Pallbearers were Carlos Kitto, Trooper James, Daniel Shepherd, Darren Good Teacher, Tyler Shepherd, Wakute Keeble, Angelo Shepherd and Charles Vermillion.
Honorary Pallbearers were Brea Bearing, Julie Bearing, Kelli Saul, Holli Keeble, Vastana Lewendeski, Brandi Anderson, Kendall, Gavlynn, Ramona and Samantha Shortman, Heather (Tiny) James, Kayli Coffman, Brennan Decory, Tyra Gilpin, Shanda Shepherd, Alice Shepherd, Joyce Shepherd, Valere Trudell, Auntie Nicolette Keeble Golden, Gramma Darlene Kitto, Noreen Iyarpeya, Maria Iyarpeya, Heather Tylor, Pansy Johnson, Nona Johnson, Travis Gilpin, Tyler Gilpin, Gramma Rita (Brown) White, Grandpa Jimmy James, Michelle Saul, Tiffany Gilpin, Mary Drum, Stacey Farmer, Fern Keeble, Lahoma Kitto, and Nadine Lapointe.
From my heart, if I missed any of her Friends "I'm sorry." God be with you. Bless you for being her friend. Her dad said me and her were going to have a "cook off."
Interment is in the St. John's Episcopal Cemetery, Browns Valley, MN.
There were wake services Tuesday and Wednesday at the SWO community center, Agency Village, SD.
The Cahill Funeral Chapel was in charge of arrangements.
Veronica J. Keeble is survived by boyfriend Anthony Jones who got hurt trying to save her; and her father George M. Keeble; sister Amber D. Keeble, and her nephew James S. Keeble and niece Jazzlyn D. Keeble; her uncle Claude R. Keeble, Daniel, auntie Nicolette Keeble Golden, Fern H. Keeble, her grandma Katie Kitto McKay, grandma Rocky "Vastana" James, grandma Darlene P. Kitto, her uncle Carlos Kitto and Sal Kitto; her grandma JoAnne Gilpin, auntie Nadine (Virgil) Lapointe, Michelle (Eugene) Saul, Tiffany Gilpin, uncle Travis Gilpin, uncle Thomas "Trooper" James.
Ronni Jo was born in Sisseton, SD. She then moved to Santee, NE where she went to Santee Public School graduating in 2009. She took care of her grandma Mary Morill who passed earlier this year. She worked at the Santee Day care in various spot jobs. Veronica moved all over, she lived in Omaha, NE, Flandreau, SD, Sioux Falls, SD and Sioux City, IA. She always had a smile on her face, and she played volleyball and basketball. She finally learned to cook and said she could out cook her dad. We were supposed to have a cook off Ha Ha Ha. She is going to be hard to replace, me and her have been through some hard times but we moved through it. She is with her mother now and her uncle Tyler Gilpin. She was my baby and was always with me during the last part of her mother's life. She will be greatly missed. Love you my lil punk from your Dad George M. Keeble.
For Veronica's obit and on line registry please visit www.cahillfuneralchapel.com
Services Monday for Allen LaCroix
Allen Rodney LaCroix passed away July 21, 2015 at his home in Manistee, MI.
Funeral services were scheduled to be held 10:00 Monday morning, July 27, 2015 at the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Community Center with lunch served after the burial.
All night wake services were held Saturday and Sunday, starting at 7:00 p.m. with supper served after the services.
He will be laid to rest at St Matthew’s Catholic Cemetery, Veblen, SD.
His Uncle Rev. Vernal Donnell are officiating.
Pallbearers are Barry McGrady, Lawson Renville, Dustin Jarman, Michael Quinn, Peter E. Faber and Daniel Faber. Pianist will be Kay Bursheim.
Allen Rodney LaCroix, 37, was born on July 18, 1978 to Morris and Sheila (Jarman) LaCroix in Sisseton, South Dakota.
Al had a big smile, a big generous heart and his six year old daughter, Marie Lynn was the joy of his life. He enjoyed taking long walks and sitting around the bon fire visiting with family and friends. Friends and community members from the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians honored Allen with a traditional sacred fire in Manistee.
He was baptized at St. Matthew’s Catholic Church and his sponsors were Vernal and Mary Donnell.
He attended elementary school in Warner, SD. It was a close-knit community where he enjoyed playing baseball on the local team. This is when he began his love of baseball card collecting
He graduated from Dr. Phillips High School in Orlando, FL.
He then served his country in the US Navy after completing basic training in Great Lakes, MI and was stationed in Spain and California, moving back to Sisseton after his discharge.
He moved to Onekama, MI after his father’s death to be near his sister Dawn. He completed his AA degree in Business with Honors and was working toward his BS degree.
Prior to his death he worked as a security guard at BDR Rehabilitation Center in Manistee, MI.
Survivors include his daughter Marie Lynn LaCroix, Manistee, MI; mother Sheila (Peter) Faber, Snohomish, WA; grandparents Allen and Charlotte Jarman, Peever, SD; sister Dawn (LaCroix) McGrady, Onekama, MI; brothers Michael Quinn, Portland, OR, Peter E. and Daniel Faber, Snohomish, WA; step-father LeRoy Quinn Jr.; nieces Sierra Hull, Katelyn and Ashley McGrady; nephew Rusty McGrady and Matthew Hull; brother-in-law Barry McGrady, Onekama, MI and many aunts, uncles, and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his father Morris LaCroix, and grandparents, Norris and Marion LaCroix.
Notice of editorial policy
(Editor’s note: The following comes from the editor’s column and the Sota “deadlines and policies” statement published weekly in the Sota.)
Copy to be considered for publication – news, advertising, editorial opinion letters, etc. – are to be submitted to: Sota, P.O. Box 5, Wilmot, SD 57279 by 10:00 a.m. on Thursday. FAX and e-mail submissions will be accepted until 12:00 noon on Friday (with the exception of letters to the editor/Open letter to the Oyate, or “opinion” letters, which must be received no later than 10:00 a.m. Thursday).
If you are writing an opinion letter, please note that it must be signed and the author’s name will appear in print. Letters must not contain libel or offensive language and must be brief, 500 words or less. Letters may be edited for content. Omissions will be identified with periods . . . editor’s explanations will be provided in [brackets]. Readers who want access to unedited versions will need to contact the authors.
Open letter to the Oyate
On July 18, 2015, I had the honor of being invited to the Lakota Dakota Nakota Oyate Hotain Memorial Wacipi for Kimberly Rose Means at the Jameson Annex in Sioux Falls, SD.
I would like to say thank you to all the Lakota Dakota Nakota Spiritual Group that organized this Pow-Wow. It was a very humbling and emotional experience for me. I am very thankful to have been able to attend. The Lakota Dakota Nakota Spiritual group was very humble and polite, you couldn't find a better group of people anywhere. The speakers were excellent and they all had a very positive message.
To my surprise, my cousin Gary "Chicc" White was called on to speak and he called me up there, he prayed, presented me with a star quilt, and had an honor song for my daughter Bella Joy DuMarce. Even though I cried, I still came away with a spirit of peace for the rest of the day.
I truly enjoyed myself and I think a lot more people need to be made aware of this pow-wow or any of their pow-wow's. There is a lot to learn from these men, we should be helping them with their needs in whatever way we can because these are our loved ones and our people.
Again, thank you to the Lakota Dakota Nakota Spiritual Group and a special thank you to my cousin Gary "Chicc" White.
Sincerely, Barbara White-LaCroix, Sisseton, SD.
Lawsuit possible in Rush hockey game alleged racism incident
By Jim Stasiowski
Rapid City Journal – July 18, 2015 – Rapid City is among the defendants that may be sued in federal court by the Native American students who were the targets of alleged beer-spilling and racial taunts at a January hockey game in the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.
A Minneapolis lawyer, Robert R. Hopper, has filed in the U.S. District Court of South Dakota a "pre-suit notice" alleging "atrocious behaviors" by some of the defendants at the Jan. 24 Rapid City Rush game.
But the lawyer for one of the defendants responded that the notice is "little more than a shakedown for money."
State law requires that to sue a "public entity," such as the city, over some incident, written notice must be given within 180 days of the incident. Thus, the deadline for giving the city written notice occurs this week.
Named as prospective defendants in the yet-to-be-filed suit are the city of Rapid City, which operates the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, in which the Rush play their games; Eagle Sales of the Black Hills, which leases the luxury box from which the beer-spilling and racial taunts reportedly came; Trace O'Connell, a Philip resident who has been charged with disorderly conduct in connection with the incident; and "other guests of Eagle Sales' box suite" on the night of the game.
Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender on Saturday said he had "skimmed" the pre-suit notice and has scheduled an executive session at the Monday night Rapid City Council meeting for council members to discuss the possible lawsuit with legal counsel.
"I guess it wasn't unexpected," Allender said.
"It could very well be that the impact might be to elicit a settlement" from the defendants, he added. An attempt Saturday to reach an executive with Eagle Sales was unsuccessful.
O'Connell's attorney in the disorderly conduct case, Michael J. Butler, responded in an email:
"The notice to bring a lawsuit against Rapid City, the Civic Center, Eagle Sales, my client, and others is little more than a shakedown for money, captioned as a lawsuit claiming racism. I am familiar with the investigation. This case is not about racism, but it is about a few who are advancing a personal agenda and using race to do it. The lawyer filing notice should take some time to inform himself of the investigation and do his homework. "
The pre-suit notice lists as plaintiffs parents who are acting on behalf of the students. In a cover letter, Hopper refers to the plaintiffs as a "Putative Class of Native American Children."
The pre-suit notice says the plaintiffs "and putative plaintiffs class (were) subjected to (1) an escalating series of racially derogatory comments; (2) foul language; (3) objects, including bottle caps and Frisbees, thrown at them; and (4) spitting, spraying and throwing of beer onto their clothing, in their hair, and on their faces."
Some of those accusations are familiar, although the references to thrown bottle caps and Frisbees apparently are new.
The pre-suit notice said the "atrocious behaviors" were committed by "several adults ... in a private suite ... leased by the Civic Center to Eagle Sales of the Black Hills, Inc."
Those actions, the notice says, "were allowed to perpetuate and were exasperated by the negligence of the Civic Center and its responsible agents and employees acting in their official capacity on behalf of the City." In an email, Hopper said "exasperated" should have been "exacerbated," and he explained that an auto-correct feature on his computer made the mistake.
The students, all from the American Horse School on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, were at the game as a reward for academic success. They were accompanied by adult chaperons. The group had 65 tickets to the game.
After a lengthy investigation, O'Connell was charged with disorderly conduct, a Class 2 misdemeanor. His trial is scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday this week in the Historic Theatre at Rapid City High School.
Judge to take 3 to 4 weeks to present verdict in beer incident
By Seth Tupper
Rapid City Journal – July 24, 2015 – The judge in a racially charged disorderly conduct trial in Rapid City pledged Thursday to "leave no stone unturned” as he spends the next several weeks making a decision.
“I will write a decision, likely a very lengthy one,” Magistrate Judge Eric Strawn said in his closing statement to the audience and legal teams. “As long as my notes or longer.”
The judge took 23 pages of handwritten notes Wednesday on the first day of the trial, in which a Phillip man faces a municipal disorderly conduct charge in the alleged spilling of beer and racist taunting of Native American children at a local hockey game in January. He explained that he is treating the case with a level of care not typical of a misdemeanor charge because he realizes "this is of extreme importance to everyone here."
The trial ended abruptly Thursday morning after Michael Butler, attorney for defendant Trace O'Connell, called no witnesses, and both sides proceeded to closing arguments. City Attorney Joel Landeen, who is prosecuting the charge, had called 12 witnesses Wednesday who were questioned by both lawyers. The testimony of two additional people who could not attend the trial was taken earlier this month.
O'Connell, 41, of Philip, is charged with violating Rapid City’s municipal disorderly conduct ordinance. The incident occurred Jan. 24 during a Rapid City Rush hockey game in the ice arena at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. During the January game, O’Connell, who is white, was among about 20 people in an arena suite. Seated directly below the suite was a group of about 50 students and seven adult chaperons from American Horse School, which is in Allen on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
The criminal complaint against O'Connell alleges that he "caused beer to be spilled upon another person or persons, and uttered racially charged and confrontational words within the hearing of minor(s) and adult(s)."
In the days after the incident, posts on social media accounts helped draw the attention of Civic Center staff, the media and police, and the incident has since been the subject of several demonstrations by Native American activists who say it is evidence of racism in Rapid City and western South Dakota.
O'Connell, who has kept a low profile since the incident, sat at the defense table Thursday after being absent from the trial Wednesday. When the proceedings ended, he was ushered quickly backstage by Pennington County Sheriff's Department personnel.
The trial was conducted in the historic theater at the Performing Arts Center of Rapid City to accommodate a large audience that numbered as many as 250 Wednesday, but was probably half that large Thursday morning. During the trial’s first day, witnesses related varying accounts of the January incident.
A friend of O’Connell’s said O’Connell spilled beer accidentally during the excitement following a Rush goal. The friend denied that anyone in the suite made any racially insensitive comments.
Witnesses from the school group gave varying accounts of the beer incident, with some saying the beer was “poured” or “spit.” They also said men in the suite uttered derogatory things to members of the school group, such as “You’re from the rez; you should cheer louder,” and “Go back to the rez.” Some witnesses attributed specific statements to O’Connell, while others attributed them generally to men in the suite.
Defense attorney Michael Butler, of Sioux Falls, said during his closing argument that the charge against his client “is an attempt to hold Mr. O’Connell responsible for the actions of the group as a whole.” Butler said his client had no contact with anyone from the school group until he accidentally spilled beer on them while celebrating a Rush goal.
“I suspect that’s not the first time something came out of someone’s glass at a time like that,” Butler said.
After the beer spill, Butler said, O’Connell was confronted by an adult male member of the school group. It’s unclear whether any racially insensitive comments came from the suite at that time, Butler said, adding that no reliable evidence or witness testimony linked any such statements to O’Connell.
One of the child witnesses, Butler recalled, attributed some bad behavior to a man with an “orange” beard. O’Connell has a black goatee.
“What is fact, what is perception and what is repeating what others said?” Butler asked rhetorically while summarizing the witness testimony. “That’s difficult to know.”
Landeen, the prosecutor, said during his closing argument that O’Connell knew children were seated below him when he swung his beer around in a “roping” motion and caused it to be “sprayed far and wide.”
“At a minimum,” Landeen said, “his actions were reckless.”
Landeen said the children and adults from the school group are more reliable as witnesses because they were sober, while the people in the suite had been drinking alcohol throughout the afternoon and evening of the game.
“Whatever the ruling is,” Landeen said, “what happened to those kids that night was not acceptable.”
Thursday morning’s proceedings ended about a half-hour after they began. Members of the audience, perhaps expecting a full day of testimony and surprised by the brevity, filed out quietly. Several people who were there to support O’Connell declined to speak with the Journal.
Milton Bianas, of Martin, is the grandfather of one of the child witnesses from the school group. He said the case is symbolic of the racism that Native Americans experience in Rapid City while living here or visiting.
“Once we get up here, it’s in our nature that we defend ourselves once there’s something that’s racially said,” Bianas said. “We’ve come to a point now where we don’t just look away anymore.”
A judgement in the case will come sometime in the next three to four weeks, Strawn said Thursday.
Social “helper” column dedicated to young generation Oyate –
By Shay Dirtseller
This week's topic is professional negligence. Now in case most of you don't know what that means allow me to explain and give an example. Professional negligence is a breach of the duty of care between professionals and their clients. The duty of care is a common law arrangement where the client expects a level of professionalism and standards commonly held by those in the profession.
For example let’s say someone has made a false claim of abuse and the officers and social workers involved did not follow their investigation process as they should have. In cases of abuse the persons are to undergo a medical examination as to obtain evidence of said abuse. But when that isn't done and the officers and social workers neglect to include this critical information in order to rule out foul play then they are guilty of professional negligence because the person to which the accusations are against are not getting a fair investigation.
This seems to happen quite often in criminal cases and abuse cases where someone claims to have received an injury by an accused assailant but come to find out this accusation was false. When these professionals don't do their job and instead follow the saying "guilty until proven innocent" that causes a lot of innocent people to end up in jail with their life's disrupted and destroyed all because these "professionals" want to cut corners to close their cases.
How is that fair? How is that considered justice and how can we as people expect to trust our police officers or social workers who would rather just take children and blame parents instead of actually listening and getting the facts?
I know because I have had this happen to me numerous times by certain individuals making false claims. I know what it feels like to be treated like a common criminal by officials and not listened to when you know your telling the truth. And I have seen first hand the cutting of corners in investigations and the negligence and bias by authorities. I have seen others falsely imprisoned for things they didn't do because an officer took the word of another instead of actually finding facts. I've seen people who should be in jail walking free because they told police that someone else committed the crime and had their boyfriend/girlfriend lie for them and police didn't investigate further into the matter.
And it is happening right there on our reservation and I will make it known regardless of who doesn't like it. Say what you will but the way we are "governed and policed" needs to change and we for dang sure need to watch who we give power to because some are bitter, hateful people and would love to take it out on others.
Protect yourself from injustice and start speaking up against this blatant disregard for a person's civil rights. God Bless and prayers to all those who have or are still fighting against this kind of battle! You are not alone.
By Rep. Kristi Noem
July 17, 2015
Earlier this month, I met Maddie. Maddie is 14 years old and from Sioux Falls. She’s an incredible singer and a dedicated dancer with dreams of appearing on Broadway someday. And she, like 42,000 South Dakotans, lives with diabetes.
Maddie has lived with Type 1 Diabetes for half her life. She was only seven when she was diagnosed. Her parents had noticed a significant uptick in the amount of water Maddie was drinking, and even with the increased water intake, Maddie seemed dehydrated. It turns out the dehydration came because her kidneys were working overtime and still couldn’t quite keep up. It was a classic symptom of diabetes.
Maddie has handled her diagnosis incredibly. When she isn’t singing or dancing or acting, she’s advocating for increased diabetes research. It was in her role as an advocate – a delegate to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Children’s Congress, in fact – that I had the chance to meet her. Maddie told me that she hopes one day we can find a cure so kids like her don’t have to go through the needles and the poking and the feeling sick that she’s had to go through.
I was glad to tell her that Congress agreed and that we had made funding for diabetes research a priority. Just this last March, we extended a special program for Type 1 diabetes research as part of H.R.2, which passed Congress and was signed into law by the President. With more than 1.25 million Americans living with Type 1 Diabetes today – a reality that is costing the U.S. economy $245 billion annually – it’s important we do all we can to fight for a cure.
Just a few weeks ago, Gage – my 10-year-old nephew – was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes too. His older brother Hunter had been diagnosed with it a few years back. A few days after Gage got way home from the hospital in Sioux Falls where he learned how to give himself shots and test his blood, he told my sister-in-law: “If God is going to heal me or Hunter, I hope he heals Hunter. He’s had diabetes a lot longer than me.” It was an innocent phrase from an incredibly sweet and selfless boy, but I want so badly to be able to tell him one day that because of the incredible work of researchers, he and Hunter can both be healed.
We have a long ways to go before Maddie, Gage, and Hunter can be cured of this disease, but I’m glad we are at least getting closer every day.
DM and Indians
By Richard P. Holm MD
In 1735, John Wesley visited Savannah in the Province of Georgia in the American Colonies, and gave an account of the Native Americans as the perfect example of health. He described this as mostly due to their lean diet and their rigorous physical lifestyle. It is now nearing 300 years later and people of all races could learn from the habits of the early American Indians.
What has happened since has deeply affected not only the American Indian but also the white and multi-ethnic settlers of this country. As advancements in technology has taken away the need for hard daily work to survive, the American public has became lazy, letting the wheels and motors do the walking. Especially over the last 25 years, we have become a country of game-boy, couch-potato, TV watchers, who drive to school and work, always looking for an easier way.
At the same time diets have changed, with the availability of inexpensive oil, flour, syrup and cheese. This made fry-bread, pizza, donuts, cheesy potatoes, and sugary drinks the dietary staple, rather than the lean meat, fruits, vegetables, roots, fungi, and legumes, which were the traditional American Indian and Native Alaskan diet.
With all these too-easy and greasy-sugary ways, comes an epidemic of obesity, with two out of three Americans over-weight, and half of these frankly obese. No surprise an epidemic of diabetes has followed. Right now 12 million Americans know they have diabetes, and about five million more have it but don't know it. Paradoxically, obesity and type II Diabetes is about twice as bad in the American Indian population who, in the 1700s, were looked upon as the epitome of health.
So how can we change this trend in not only the American Indian population but in all the rest of those European, Middle Eastern, Asian, African, Mexican and South American immigrant populations that make up this admixture we call America?
It certainly will not come from developing and prescribing more medicine. One study from Bosnia-Herzegovina showed educating children and parents about diabetes made the biggest difference. This spreading of education must come not only from economists, politicians, educators, and medical care providers, but especially from local community leaders and elders working together to bring on a leaner diet and more rigorous physical lifestyle.
We all could learn from the habits of the early American Indians.
Ripple Effect –
Backyard Ponds are for the Birds
Not to be underestimated or taken lightly but backyard ponds really are for the birds and butterflies, frogs, fish and you and your family. Backyard ponds are also very beneficial to the environment in many ways at your home, in the city or on your farm.
An article on textra-fish.com talks about the 5 environmental benefits of a pond: 1. Water Conservation - Ponds offer a self-sustaining cycle of hydration that keeps plants alive without having to water them.
2. Less mowing, fewer pollutants - Less mowing means less use of gas and reduced carbon monoxide emissions
3. Fewer pesticides and fertilizers - Pesticides and fertilizers for the lawn can be harmful, creating runoff that ends up in our water supply.
4. Supports local wildlife - Adding a pond or water garden to your yard not only adds beauty to your yard, but it also supports the indigenous wildlife in your neighborhood. Ponds attract and create a haven for beautiful fish, dragonflies, frogs and birds, adding to wildlife propagation.
5. Creates environmental awareness
Not to mention ponds can serve as clean drinking water and quality forage required to produce healthy livestock. For some farmers, ponds serve as reservoirs for animal drinking water. For example, a dairy cow or horse each need approximately 15 gallons of water per day; sheep need 2 gallons; hogs need 4. Ponds can be replenished easily by rain.
Backyard Conservation Magazine offers some simple tips on how you can install a pond in your yard or on your farm:
1. Consider placing your pond to blend into its natural surrounding avoiding trees as this will cut down maintenance on your pond significantly. Aquatic plants grow better in full sun. Plan to landscape around your pond to add wildlife habitat to your water feature.
2. Add a pond liner. Pond liners keep the water from seeping into the soil.
3. Once you install the pond consider a mix of emergent, submergent, and floating species. Emergent plants, those that have their roots in the water but their shoots above water, can be added to the margins of pools. These include cattails, arrowhead, and water lilies. Submergent species, or those that remain under water such as elodea, are often used as oxygenators. These are plants that remove carbon dioxide from the water and add oxygen. These plants are essential in most ponds to keep the water clear. Plants should cover 50 to 70 percent of the water surface. Native plants usually do not need fertilizer.
4. Consider stocking your backyard pond with native fish. They are fun to watch and help keep the pond free of unwanted insects. Most small ponds will warm up quickly in the summer, so make sure you stock with fish that can tolerate elevated temperatures. You'll also need scavengers, such as aquatic snails and tadpoles, to help control algae. If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of backyard ponds and how to incorporate this environmentally friendly landscaping feature, please visit the following websites for more information. Your local nursery, landscaper, or other supplier can also give you more information on the step-by-step process of building a pond.
The RRBC is a grassroots organization that is a chartered not-for-profit corporation under the provisions of Manitoba, North Dakota, Minnesota, and South Dakota law. Our offices in Moorhead, MN and Winnipeg, MB can be reached at 701-356-3183 and 204-982-7254, or you can check out our website at www.redriverbasincommission.org.
Education watch on the Lake Traverse Reservation
Funding for 8 ND universities
Washington, DC – July 15, 2015 – U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp today announced nearly $2.5 million in federal funding for eight universities in North Dakota to support students from disadvantaged and underserved backgrounds through academic tutoring, course selection advisement, financial aid assistance, education counseling services, and assistance with student transition from two-year institutions to four-year institutions.
“Getting a good education is invaluable and beneficial for the futures of students all across North Dakota,” said Heitkamp. “To help students from underserved communities get the educational tools they need, it’s important that academic services at our public institutions are accessible, and that students have quality educational opportunities regardless of their background. These federal funds will help make that possible.”
The funding is distributed as follows:
· Minot State University: $439,999
· North Dakota State University: $422,941
· University of North Dakota: $336, 183
· Cankdeska Cikana Community College: $281,511
· University of Mary: $281,510
· Dickinson State University: $260,369
· Lake Region State College: $247, 577
· Dakota College at Bottineau: $220.000
The funding is authorized by the U.S. Department of Education as part of the TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) Program.
Thune’s office accepting Fall Internship applications
Washington, DC – U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) is currently seeking intelligent, hard-working college students to serve as fall interns in his Senate offices located in Aberdeen, Rapid City, Sioux Falls, and Washington, D.C.
Interns in Thune’s state offices will participate in constituent service and state outreach activities, while students in the Washington, D.C., office will have the opportunity to witness the legislative process, give Capitol building tours, and attend Senate votes, hearings, and press conferences. Both in-state and Washington, D.C., internships will allow students to work closely with constituents, sharpen their research and writing skills, and learn a multitude of valuable office skills.
“Students who intern in a Senate office have a unique opportunity to experience our democratic process with a front-row seat to the action,” said Thune. “Interns gain valuable knowledge about both state and national issues and an understanding of the inner workings of a Senate office. I encourage all college students to consider applying for this rewarding experience.”
Thune is chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation; chairman of the Senate Republican Conference; and a member of the Senate Committee on Finance and the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.
College students who are interested in interning in Senator Thune’s Washington, D.C., office should submit a resume and cover letter by Thursday, August 6, 2015, to:
Senator John Thune Attn: Justin Bergeson
511 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
By fax to: 202-228-5429
Or by email to: email@example.com
College students who are interested in interning in Senator Thune’s Aberdeen, Rapid City, or Sioux Falls offices should submit a resume and cover letter by Thursday, August 6, 2015, to:
Senator John Thune Attn: Robin Long
5015 South Bur Oak
Sioux Falls, SD 57108
Or by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information, please call 202-224-2321.
Educators gather at White House to rethink School Discipline
Washington, DC – July 22, 2015 – The U.S. Departments of Education and Justice are hosting teams of superintendents, principals, and teachers from across the country today for “Rethink Discipline,” a day-long conference at the White House on creating positive school climates and implementing effective discipline practices. The conference seeks to advance the national conversation about reducing the overuse of unnecessary out of school suspensions and expulsions and replacing these practices with positive alternatives that keep students in school and engaged in learning, but also ensure accountability.
“Creating and sustaining safe, supportive schools is absolutely essential to ensuring students can engage in the rich learning experiences they need for success in college, work and life –that’s why rethinking school discipline is critical to boosting student achievement and improving school outcomes. Today’s conference shows that there are leaders across the country who are committed to doing this work. We are proud to stand as partners with these educators to say that we have to continue to do better for all of our students,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.
According to data from the Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC), the number of students losing critical learning time due to out of school suspensions and expulsions is staggering. Over 3 million students are suspended or expelled every year.
At the event, the Department of Education will release new maps based on the CRDC data illustrating out-of-school suspensions across the country to help educators and communities understand the extent of this practice. The maps highlight how southeastern school districts have the highest rates of out of school suspension in the nation. The maps also clearly demonstrate the widespread and frequent use of out-of-school suspension among students with disabilities. The following maps are being released today:
· Percent of all students who have received one or more out-of-school suspensions by district
· Percent of students with disabilities who have received one or more out-of-school suspensions by district
The impact of out of school suspensions and expulsions on students is devastating - suspended students are less likely to graduate on time, and more likely to repeat a grade, drop out of school, and enter the juvenile justice system.
School Districts across the country have already made progress in transforming policies and school climate to support student learning including the following districts attending the conference: Oakland, Los Angeles and Vallejo City, (CA); Baltimore (MD); Broward County (FL); and Syracuse and Buffalo (NY). For instance:
· Baltimore City Schools, with help from the Council of State Governments’ Discipline Consensus Project, revamped their code of student conduct for a more rehabilitative approach to misbehavior. The State Board of Education is implementing new discipline regulations – from giving school systems more flexibility in managing cases, to requiring that students suspended for short periods are able to complete schoolwork they’ve missed.
· LA Unified was the first district, in 2013, to ban suspensions for willful defiance –which disproportionately impacted African-American students, and includes actions like refusing to turn off a cellphone or failing to wear a school uniform – in favor of alternative discipline.
· Syracuse has adopted a new code of discipline, established training for staff in alternative approaches, and hired an independent monitor to oversee progress.
As part of the conference, new resources and initiatives are being announced today to assist school leaders in their efforts to reduce suspensions and expulsions and provide school environments that are safe, supportive, and conducive to teaching and learning.
· Addressing the Root Causes of Disciplinary Disparities: An Educator’s Action Planning Guide: This new resource from the Department’s National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments provides a guide to assist schools and districts in identifying the root causes of disparities in the outcomes of school discipline through an analysis of student-level discipline data. Addressing the Root Cause of School Discipline Disparities provides a practical, action-oriented method for schools and districts to develop an action plan to address the roots causes of discipline disparities. The Guide includes a Disciplinary Disparities Risk Assessment Tool to aid in data gathering and analysis, templates to help plan and facilitate communication among stakeholders, real world examples from schools and districts already experiencing success and much more tools and information.
· Rethink School Discipline: Resource Guide for Superintendent Action: This Resource Guide offers a set of seven potential action items to help school leaders implement safe, supportive school climate and discipline by engaging stakeholders, assessing the results and history of existing school climate and discipline systems and practices; implementing reform; and monitoring progress. Also included in the Resource Guide are links to federal guidance and resources as well as postcard templates that districts may use to support local educator and parent and family engagement in the district’s school discipline reform efforts.
· Support for State and Local Educational Leaders and Partners from Other Systems: On July 27, the U.S. Department of Justice is launching the National Resource Center for School Justice Partnerships to advance school discipline reform efforts across the nation. In addition to serving as a dynamic resource hub, the center will also serve as a training and technical assistance portal for juvenile courts, schools, law enforcement agencies, and others to support school discipline reform efforts at the local level. Among its many responsibilities, the Center will support the Supportive School Discipline Training and Technical Assistance Collaborative, an effort by the U.S. Departments of Justice, Education, and Health and Human Services to coordinate resources and provide strategic support to schools and school communities in areas such as building safe and supportive learning environments and addressing disparities in discipline for students of color and students with disabilities.
· #RethinkDiscipline Public Awareness Campaign: In the weeks and months following the conference, the U.S. Department of Education will continue to use social media events, blogs, and other approaches to engage the field about new tools and resources to help school communities to improve school climate and discipline.
The White House Rethink Discipline conference builds on the work of the President’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative (MBK), the White House Council on Women and Girls, and the Supportive School Discipline Initiative— a collaboration between the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice launched in 2011 to support the use of school discipline practices that foster safe, supportive, and productive learning environments while keeping students in school. Highlights from the Initiative’s work this past year include:
· At the White House Summit on Early Education, Secretaries Burwell and Duncan announced the release of a policy statement on expulsion and suspension practices in early learning settings. The effort, part of MBK, encourages states, early childhood programs, and families to partner in preventing, reducing, and eventually eliminating the expulsion and suspension of young children from early learning programs.
· Education and Justice jointly released a School Climate and Discipline Guidance Package to provide schools with a roadmap to reduce the usage of exclusionary discipline practice and clarify schools’ civil rights obligation to not discriminate on the basis of race, color, or national origin in the administration of school discipline.
· Educators at the conference have already started to implement the School Climate and Discipline Guidance and will share challenges they have faced and best practices they have identified. Additionally, participants in the conference have committed to improving school climate with the goals of ultimately, avoiding disruptions in instructional time and boosting student achievement. At the end of the conference, they will identify next steps for action on school discipline so as to deepen implementation of the School Climate and Discipline Guidance.
· Education released the results of the 2011-2012 Civil Rights Data Collection, which includes school discipline data from most every school in the country and certain juvenile justice facilities.
For more information about the Administration’s work on school climate and discipline go to >www.ed.gov/rethinkdiscipline<.
Making Summer More Energy Efficient
By Nathaniel Sillin
It's expected to be a hotter summer this year, but don't confine your money-saving efforts to the thermostat.
The warm months can be the best time to focus on cutting year-round energy costs (http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/steo/report/electricity.cfm). Free of snow, ice and wind, it's easier to spot problems, do repairs and budget for energy-efficient appliances and fix-up projects that can save considerable money in the future.
Your first step should be better tracking and analysis of the energy you buy. The most common sources of energy spending are home utilities and fuel costs for vehicles. However, if you own a vacation home, operate a business within your residential space or have different vehicles for land or water, see if you can separate those numbers so you can more clearly identify usage patterns month to month and find ways to cut back.
Think about an energy audit. Whether you do it yourself or pay for the services of a certified professional summer is the best time to do a basement-to-rooftop energy audit (http://energy.gov/energysaver/articles/professional-home-energy-audits). Some utility companies have home energy audits online so you can see where your energy is going. Prospective homeowners might make an energy audit part of their home inspection process. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, in 2014, the average American spent 60 percent of their energy dollars heating rooms and water. Another 16 percent goes to lighting, cooling and food refrigeration. The remainder – nearly a quarter of total home energy uses – covers all miscellaneous energy use in the house.
Then focus on the thermostat. In the summer, confine heavy air conditioning use to the hottest nights, and the rest of the time, try to set the thermostat a little higher than you do now. For example, the U.S. Energy Department says that setting your air conditioning to 78 degrees instead of 72 can save between 6-18 percent on your summer cooling bill. Before you spend money on a programmable thermostat or convert your real-time utility billing to a budget plan, note that some research questions their value (https://today.duke.edu/2015/04/autopay). First, see how much you can save by shutting off vents and doors and drawing curtains in unused rooms and spaces. If you don't have pets, you may consider setting your thermostat significantly higher than 78 before you leave for work.
Lights out. We've all been admonished to turn off the lights when we leave a room, but there are other things we can do to capture random, or “vampire,” energy waste. Sensors, dimmers and timers can reduce lighting use, and installing power strips can keep computers, microwaves, cable boxes, DVRs and high-end TV sets from sucking energy even when they're not turned on. Unplugging between uses works too. Also, swapping conventional incandescent bulbs for compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) can provide lighting that lasts longer and saves money on replacements.
Check for tax credits and rebates. Make a call to your tax professional, check the Internal Revenue Service's website (http://www.irs.gov/uac/Form-5695,-Residential-Energy-Credits) and EnergyStar.gov for news on residential energy credits for specific replacement appliances and energy-saving improvements to your home. Keep in mind that Congress traditionally acts late each year to renew old credits or to approve new ones.
Consider energy-smart landscaping. Keep in mind that well-placed trees and shrubs can shield a home from the sun and the elements year-round and potentially save 25 percent on energy costs annually.
Cars, gas, and public transportation. If you drive, consolidate errands, fill up your tank at cheaper times and consider smartphone apps to find low gas prices for commuting and vacation use. And if you don't regularly use public transportation, start testing it during the summer. The additional walking most people do when they take public transportation has health benefits as well.
Bottom line: This summer, don't just try to keep cool. Save money by changing your year-round energy behavior.
Nathaniel Sillin directs Visa's financial education programs. To follow Practical Money Skills on Twitter: www.twitter.com/PracticalMoney.
Submitted by Eric Hanssen
Browns Valley, Minnesota 56219
Is it okay to use fresh wood and bark mulch in the landscape? This is a common question from the areas of the state that was recently hit hard by the April ice storm. The storm left thousands of broken and fallen trees in its wake and this debris is being rapidly turned into chips. Homeowners are wondering if these chips can be used for landscaping this spring and summer or if they must be composted first. The two most commonly mentioned concerns with using fresh wood chips in the landscape are will the chips transmit diseases to the trees and shrubs that the mulch is used around and will the chips rob nitrogen from the soils and cause the plant leaves to turn yellow? There is very little fear of transmitting a pathogen to a tree via the mulch, even if the mulch is fresh. Most disease organisms do not survive for very long in mulch. The only possible concern is transmission of pine wilt if fresh pine chips containing the nematodes are placed around another pine that has wound near the base. Another often cited concern is transmission of verticillium wilt or Dutch elm disease but this is highly unlikely. The other frequent concern is that fresh chips will result in a loss of soil nitrogen and yellowing of plant foliage due to the loss of this element. Nitrogen is generally the element most lacking in the urban landscape and is usually the only one that needs to be added on a regular basis (our soils contain adequate amounts of phosphorous and potassium for woody plants). It is true that incorporating fresh wood chips into the soil will reduce available nitrogen as the soil microbes that break down the wood utilize soil nitrogen, however if the wood chips are placed on the soil, not in the soil, this is not a major concern. The only soil layer that may show reduced nitrogen is the upper couple of inches and this will not result in enough nitrogen reduction to affect woody trees and shrubs. Also most of the chips being produced from the ice-damaged trees are very coarse, large dimension, so do not break down very quickly and there is even less of a problem with a nitrogen deficiency. The loss of nitrogen can be a problem, however, for vegetables and annuals so do not use fresh wood chips, particularly sawdust size chips, in the home vegetable garden or as mulch around annuals. The fresh chips can be placed around established trees and shrubs to a depth of 3 or 4 inches and leave a 6 to 12 inch space around the base of the plant mulch-free.
This article comes from Professor John Ball, SDSU Forestry Specialist in his Pest Update publication available online at
REQUEST FOR BIDS FOR MATERIALS
Project: Roofing Rental Homes RFB-07-09-14 The Sisseton Wahpeton Housing Authority (SWHA) and Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate (SWO) Office of Construction Management on this 9th day of July 2015, herein provides notification that bids will be received for building materials for the roofing of thirty (30) rental houses located in New Effington, Peever, Big Coulee, Summit, Veblen, Veblen Flats and Sisseton Housings, for the following materials which need to be procured: Metal roofing material, soffits, fascia, rain gutters, vents, down spouts and all required hardware for installation for thirty (30) rental homes, as itemized on a per housing unit basis The listing of materials required for this project is attached to this RFB. Bidder is required to prepare and submit bid amount on a per house unit basis for all required materials, itemizing all prices for materials, and providing a total cost for building materials for all thirty (30) housing units. Bidder is required to indicate on the bid sheet the response to the following: Can materials provided be stored at supplier's place of business until needed. Can bidder deliver materials to work sites on a per housing unit basis as may be needed by the labor contractor, and is there a cost for delivery of these materials Sealed bids will be received by the SWO Office of Construction Management beginning on July 10, 2015 and ending on July 27, 2015 at 2:00 pm. Any bids received after this time and date will not be opened and sent back to the bidder. Acceptable sealed bids will be opened by the SWHA Executive Director, SWO Construction Manager and SWHA Housing Board on July 27, 2015 at 3:30 pm at the SWHA Conference Room. Notice of this Request for Bids herein is posted on the bulletin boards of Sisseton Wahpeton Housing Authority, Sisseton, SD; SWO Construction Management, Agency Village, SD; SWO TERO, Agency Village, SD and copies of the same supplied to all building suppliers located on or near the Lake Traverse Reservation, SD. The SWHA and SWO Office of Construction Management reserves the right to accept or reject any and/or all bids received for this project. For further information please contact: David Spider, SWO Construction Manager, P.O. Box 509 Agency Village, SD 57262 (605-698-8232).
For complete scope of work, contact the SWO Construction Management office.
REQUEST FOR BID
Project: Roofing Rental Homes RFB-07-10-14 The Sisseton Wahpeton Housing Authority (SWHA) and Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate (SWO) Office of Construction Management on this 9th day of July 2015, herein provides notification that bids will be received for labor/installation for the roofing of thirty (30) rental houses located in New Effington, Peever, Big Coulee, Summit, Veblen, Veblen Flats and Sisseton Housings, for the following scope of work to be performed: Installation of metal roof materials, soffits, fascia, rain gutters, vents, down spouts and all required hardware for installation for thirty (30) rental homes, as itemized on a per housing unit basis. Contractor is responsible for removal of all construction debris and clean-up of each site Contractor is responsible for cost of travel to and from each work site The Scope of Work has been set forth by the SWHA and SWO Office of Construction Management and is attached to the RFB for each rental house to be addressed. For this project, eligible contractors shall be required to provide and supply all labor, tools and construction equipment necessary to complete the project. All required materials for the project shall be supplied by the SWHA. Bidders shall prepare and submit costs proposed for labor/installation and complete the scope of work for each housing unit identified on the attached bid sheet. Bidders will be required to bid for all thirty (30) units for work to be performed and the proposed cost to complete. Bidders are required to submit proof of Liability Insurance and Workman's Comp for all workers employed by the contractor for the project. Failure to submit all required documentation shall not be accepted and returned to the bidder as an incomplete bid. Sealed bids will be received by the SWO Office of Construction Management beginning on July 10, 2015 and ending on July 27, 2015 at 2:00 pm. Any bids received after this time and date will not be opened and sent back to the bidder. Acceptable sealed bids will be opened by the SWHA Executive Director, SWO Construction Manager and SWHA Housing Board on July 27, 2015 at 3:30 pm at the SWHA Conference Room. Notice of this Request for Bids herein is posted on the bulletin boards of Sisseton Wahpeton Housing Authority, Sisseton, SD; SWO Construction Management, Agency Village, SD; SWO TERO, Agency Village, SD and copies of the same supplied to all building suppliers located on or near the Lake Traverse Reservation, SD. The SWHA and SWO Office of Construction Management reserves the right to accept or reject any and/or all bids received for this project. For further information please contact: David Spider, SWO Construction Manager, P.O. Box 509 Agency Village, SD 57262 (605-698-8232).
For complete scope of work, contact the SWO Construction Management office.
ADVERTISEMENT FOR BIDS BID NOTICE
The Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Office of Construction Management herein gives notification that sealed bid proposals will be accepted for the OWENS BRIDGE REPLACEMENT PROJECT, as outlined below: Proiect Information: This structure, 121-30(3), is located 13.0 miles Southeast of Sisseton on BIA Route 121 on the Lake Traverse Reservation, Roberts County, South Dakota. Scope of Work: For this project please see the attached Scope of Work requirements and Detailed Services the Contractor must provide for the project Project Completion: Please refer to the time requirements stated in the attached Scope of Work. Bid Opening: Deadline for receiving bids will be July 30, 2015 at 3:00 pm. Bids received after this time and date will not be considered. Preference will be given to Indian owned firms as required by the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate TERO law and regulations. Bid award shall be subject to availability of funds. The Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Construction Management Office reserves the right to accept or reject any/all bids. Applicable Taxes: Tax related questions can be directed towards: SWO Tax Office Brenda Bellonger Office: (605) 698-3541 TERO related questions can be directed towards: SWO TERO DelRay German Office: (605) 698-3549
If there are any other questions, please contact David Spider, Construction Manager or Cliff Eberhardt, Transportation Coordinator.
For complete scope of work, contact the SWO Construction Management office.
Saturday, August 1st. 2015. 9am-2pm. 414 7th Ave. W. Pottery, sheet sets, jewelry, more misc. items. Boys clothes size 7/8, some adult men, women's dresses size 18, tops size 2X, pants -medium to large.
Dakota Nation Development Corp.
Position: Executive Director.
Open until filled.
Contact DNDC for a job description, 698-3200.
Tiospa Zina Tribal School
2015-2016 School Year Vacancies:
Substitutes needed for custodial, kitchen, teaching, and transportation - starting at $10/hr, varies per position Qualifications: GED/High School Diploma (please contact the HR office for more information) Applications are accepted on an on-going basis
Vacancy: Bus Monitor ($13/hr) (Vacant Routes: Sisseton, Lake Traverse, Veblen, Dakota Magic/Rosholt, Enemy Swim/Waubay) Qualifications: High School Diploma/GED+; currently has/willing to obtain CPR and First Aid certification Opening Date: November 21, 2014 Closing Date: Open until filled
Vacancy: Dakota Studies Teacher Qualifications: Current South Dakota Certification meeting the Highly Qualified status for Dakota Studies Instructor Opening Date: March 12, 2015 Closing Date: Open until filled
Vacancy: High School English Teacher (Sign-on Bonus) Qualifications: Current South Dakota Certification meeting the Highly Qualified status for a High School English Teacher Opening Date: April 30, 2015 Closing Date: Open until filled
Vacancy: High School Science Teacher (Sign-on Bonus) Qualifications: Current South Dakota Certification meeting the Highly Qualified status for a High School Science Teacher Opening Date: April 30, 2015 Closing Date: Open until filled
Vacancy: Special Education Teacher (Primary and Secondary) (Sign-on Bonus) Qualifications: Current South Dakota Certification meeting the Highly Qualified status for a Special Education Teacher Preferred, will consider applicants with current South Dakota Certification meeting the Highly Qualified status per Secondary or Primary Education levels. Opening Date: April 30, 2015 Closing Date: Open until filled
Vacancy: Elementary Teacher (Sign-on Bonus) Qualifications: Current South Dakota Certification meeting the Highly Qualified status for an Elementary Teacher Opening Date: May 22, 2015 Closing Date: Open until filled
Vacancy: Alternative Learning Center Teacher Qualifications: Current South Dakota Certification meeting the Highly Qualified status to teach 9-12 grades Opening Date: May 22, 2015 Closing Date: Open until filled
Vacancy: Middle School Student Services Coordinator Qualifications: GED/High School Diploma and 1 year directly related experience. Opening Date: June 12, 2015. Closing Date: June 26, 2015
Vacancy: Cook Qualifications: GED/High School Diploma and willing to obtain certification in state Child and Adult Nutrition Services. Opening Date: June 12, 2015. Closing Date: June 26, 2015
Vacancy: Special Education Paraprofessional Qualifications: GED/High School Diploma and 461+ score on the Paraprofessional Praxis or 48+ college credits, and 1 year experience working one-on-one with student with significant behavioral needs. Opening Date: June 17, 2015. Closing Date: July 1, 2015
Vacancy: Gymnasium Custodian Qualifications: GED/High School Diploma and 1 year experience Opening Date: June 24, 2015 Closing Date: Open until filled
2015-2016 Coaching Vacancies:
For List of Coaching Positions Below: Proof of all SDHSAA coaching requirements at the time application is submitted. Requirements are to complete the following courses through the National Federation of High School Sports (NFHS): Fundamentals of Coaching, and First Aid and Safety for Coaches. Must also submit a letter of intent that answers the questions found on form Athletics Coaching Questionnaire.
OPENING DATE: April 17, 2015 CLOSING DATE: Open until filled
Head Volleyball Coach
Head Golf Coach
Head Track Coach Assistant
Girls Basketball Coach
Junior High Volleyball Coach (*certifications not necessary for Junior High Volleyball Coach)
Junior High Track Coach
Assistant Track Coach
Assistant Wrestling Coach
2015-2016 Extra-Curricular Assignment Vacancies:
For List of Extra-Curricular Assignments Below: Applicants are required to have a GED/High School Diploma, be able to fundraise if applicable, identify and recruit students if applicable, meet on a regular basis if applicable, and perform the duties per assignment description (contact Human Resources for description information).
OPENING DATE: May 1, 2015 CLOSING DATE: Open until filled
Destination Imagination Advisor
Junior Class Advisor (2)
Middle School Student Council Advisor
Military Club Advisor
Horse Club Advisor
School Improvement Plan Facilitator - School communications working group facilitator
Senior Class Advisor (3)
Technology Mentor (K-2, 3-5, and High School)
If interested please submit an application and Advisor Questionnaire to the Human Resources Department at Tiospa Zina Tribal School. Opening Date: September 11, 2014 Closing Date: Open until filledIf you would like to apply to be a part of the TZ tiwahe you may pick up an application from the TZTS HR office located at #2 Tiospa Zina Dr. Agency Village, SD 57262. Applications may also be printed off the HR web page by downloading from links under employment forms to the left. Completed applications may be sent to PO Box 719, Agency Village, SD 57262. Faxed to: 605-698-7686. For further information call 605-698-3953 ext. 208. Indian Preference employer. At will employer. All applicants are subject to a Background Check and Pre-Employment Drug Test, pursuant to SWSB policy.
Dakota Connection Casino
Clerk/Cashier (1) full-time, rotating shifts, day, swing, graveyard, includes weekends & holidays. Excellent customer service skills; math skills essential; ability to operate necessary equipment; physical ability to lift moderate amounts of weight; previous experience working with money preferred; strong organizational skills managing various functions; dependable & available to work any & all shifts. Must be at least 21 years old & have a High School diploma or GED.
Opening date: Thursday, July 23, 2015
Closing date: Wednesday, January 29, 2015 @ 4:00 p.m.
All positions will be exposed to noise & tobacco smoke
Indian preference will apply/EEO Employer.
Apply with the Human Resources Department, call or write for job description. Submit application to: Human Resources Department Dakota Connection Casino, 46102 SD Hwy 10, Sisseton, SD 57262.
Dakota Connection Casino
Clerk/Cashier (1) full-time, rotating shifts, day, swing, graveyard, includes weekends & holidays. Excellent customer service skills; math skills essential; ability to operate necessary equipment; physical ability to lift moderate amounts of weight; previous experience working with money preferred; strong organizational skills managing various functions; dependable & available to work any & all shifts. Must be at least 21 years old & have a High School diploma or GED.
Opening date: Thursday, July 23, 2015
Closing date: Wednesday, July 29, 2015 @ 4:00 p.m.
All positions will be exposed to noise & tobacco smoke
Indian preference will apply/EEO Employer.
Apply with the Human Resources Department, call or write for job description. Submit application to: Human Resources Department Dakota Connection Casino, 46102 SD Hwy 10, Sisseton, SD 57262.
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