- Associated Press - Thursday, May 22, 2014

Aberdeen American News, Aberdeen, May 21, 2014

Offensive T-shirts show why ‘Sioux’ logo was retired

There is a reason why many people are offended by the team name “Washington Redskins.”

No matter how many times racial slurs are recast as “paying tribute,” knuckleheaded fans always remind us the real meanings of these names and logos.

Take the University of North Dakota students who used the school’s former “Fighting Sioux” Indian head logo on T-shirts bearing the inscription “Siouxper drunk.” The shirts, apparently, were worn for an annual spring student party, according to the Associated Press.

If any graphic sums up the racial meaning of these team icons, it’s got to be this T-shirt.

In some ways, UND is lucky. The “Fighting Sioux” logo and nickname are being phased out after a contentious battle. So no longer will the university condone offensive stereotypes - or, at least, they won’t look as hypocritical when they punish students for taking the iconography to its extreme.

In a world where Donald Sterling owns an NBA team and skin color is still considered a costume for D.C. sports fans, the problem in North Dakota is no surprise.


Capital Journal, Pierre, May 21, 2014

Bosworth campaign tries to wear the white hat, but does it fit?

Someone in the Annette Bosworth campaign must have been lying awake some night when the Big Idea came: Build a website for Bosworth and use it to attack corruption while also attacking the front-runner in South Dakota’s Republican primary.

Doubtless thoughts like that pop up regularly during the long, weary nights of political campaigns, but they should be discarded before morning. This one wasn’t.

And so was born www.giveemheckannette.com , a website that is, in essence, a platform to attack front-runner Mike Rounds while also trying to remain righteous.

That second part of the strategy doesn’t work too well.

No matter how much righteous indignation Bosworth tries to muster, this is unconvincing. For example, the email submission form with its message - “Have you seen South Dakota corruption up close? Tell Us Your Story” - seems to us to go beyond running a political campaign into territory that is better left to law enforcement or crusading attorneys or perhaps the press. Somehow we doubt the next U.S. senator from South Dakota is going to have much time to fix corruption back home while she, or maybe he, is away battling for the state in Washington, D.C.

So why go down that road? What sorts of stories of corruption is Bosworth hoping will come out into the sunlight, anyway?

Oh, never mind . she answers that question. We click on “Coming Soon” and read: “More information on Mike Rounds, Marty Jackley, the EB-5 scandal, no-bid contracts, big money shenanigans and more.”

And then there’s the link to this one: “Mike Rounds Reduced Killer’s Sentence.”

We forget, were there other politicians running for U.S. Senate in the Republican primary besides Mike Rounds? It’s hard to know from Annette’s video to launch the website. She only mentions Mike Rounds - twice.

“I think career politicians like Mike Rounds need to be held accountable. Some people might call that negative campaigning or an attack ad. I call it ‘giving em heck,’” Bosworth says in the video.

That sounds to us like a declaration that Bosworth intends to use negative campaigning and attack ads - browse through the Bosworth site at your leisure and make up your own minds about that - but is trying to redefine it ahead of time as championing the people’s interests.

Our opinion? The white hat doesn’t fit so well. Mike Rounds will win the Republican primary, hands down. But he’ll also be bleeding from friendly fire by the time he lines up against Democrat Rick Weiland for the fall general election. No doubt he’ll face questions from the Democrats on the EB-5 affair, and perhaps he should; but all of that begins here with Annette Bosworth, another Republican, out to give ‘em heck even if it means shooting the other guys in the posse. We suspect it’s not likely to win Bosworth the votes of many party loyalists in the primary.


Public Opinion, Watertown, May 21, 2014

Agreement among tech schools is important

At issue: An inability to reach an agreement by two technical schools could lead to more state oversight of course offerings. While some state oversight is needed, too much could hamper the flexibility tech schools need to meet employer needs.

The state Board of Education has delivered what amounts to an ultimatum to the presidents of South Dakota’s four technical schools. In a nutshell, the board told the presidents to either reach an agreement on adding or expanding programs or the board will become more involved and develop a longer and more detailed process of determining which schools offer which degrees.

On the one hand, the Board of Education’s position makes sense. After all, with only four technical schools in the state and three of them - Lake Area in Watertown, Mitchell Tech in Mitchell and Southeast Tech in Sioux Falls - within 100 miles or so of each other, there needs to be assurances that duplication of programs doesn’t become an issue. The fourth school is Black Hills Tech in Rapid City.

The current practice is the four technical school presidents work with the state Department of Education on proposed additions to course offerings. Considering all the duplication in course offerings among state supported colleges in South Dakota, technical schools don’t need to repeat that process.

That’s why what the Board of Education is saying makes so much sense. In simple terms, the board gives tech schools credit for doing a good job of communicating among themselves about current programs and planned course additions. In fact, that’s what led to the board saying what it did.

Southeast Technical Institute in Sioux Falls wanted to add an electrician program that Gov. Dennis Daugaard favored. Mitchell Technical Institutes’ leadership, however, opposed the program. That came about, presumably, after the two schools discussed the issue and when they couldn’t reach an agreement the issue ended up before the state board.

We support local control for the state’s vocational schools and their success shows that allowing the bulk of the decisions to be made at the local level has paid off for all four schools. Lake Area Technical Institute in Watertown, for example, has been recognized annually the past several years as one of the top two-year post-secondary schools in the country for the programs it offers and the quality of the education its students receive. That is due, in large part, to the people at Lake Area, the Watertown School District, and the community knowing what local and regional needs are and how that is likely to change in the future.

Tech school presidents say they need flexibility so they can better respond to the needs of local and regional employers. That’s true. But at the same time it’s important that resources aren’t being wasted by offering what amounts to the same course offerings at schools that are so close together.

To its credit, the Board of Education realizes that it also needs to make some changes. Board president Don Kirkegaard of Sturgis recently suggested that program additions and expansions be proposed at one meeting and decided at the following meeting. The long-time practice has been that the board considers and approves new programs at one meeting. Kirkegaard’s suggestion gives the board more time to consider future additions and the impact they may have.

South Dakota’s technical schools are a great investment for the communities they are in, the students who attend them and the employers who hire their graduates. They are also a benefit to the state because the schools provide an educated and well-trained workforce in a variety of different fields that can meet the needs of just about any employer. That’s a plus for state and local efforts to attract new business and encourage the expansion of existing ones. It’s important that tech schools maintain the effectiveness they have shown since they were first created. Local control is the key to that but some state oversight is helpful, too.

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