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Friday, December 24, 2010

Ho Ho Ho! Madville Times Moves to New Domain!

Merry Christmas! Enjoy your hot chocolate, pick up all the wrapping paper and boxes... then come see the new Madville Times!
I am moving all Madville Times blogging activity to the new site effective immediately. So change your bookmarks and feeds, and keep coming for good conversation. Happy new blog... and happy new year!

Madison Central Charges Admission to Vote?

Madison Central School District held the first of its scheduled early-voting sessions this week. One local basketball fan reports that, contrary to the spirit of the 24th Amendment, to vote at Tuesday night's boys' basketball game, one had to buy a five-dollar ticket for admission to the game.

According to my correspondent, the polling station was located in the concession area in the middle school lunchroom. During games, the only way to access that area is through the northwest entrance to the middle school, where the ticket table for the game was located. There was no sign at the ticket table announcing that voting was being conducted on the premises, and my correspondent received no advice at the ticket table that one could enter to vote without buying a ticket. The only public notice of the active polling came at halftime, when the PA announcer, Mike Materese, told the crowd that they could go vote for the MHS renovation project in the lunchroom.

The polling station was managed by Monica Campbell, executive director of the Madison Central Education Foundation, which stands to gain new office space in the renovated high school if the bond issue passes.

Now I'm having trouble pinning this down in statute, since our district seems to be winging it on election law on this early-voting scheme. But if election day rules apply to early-voting sessions, publishing a schedule of early-voting sites online and in the newspaper isn't enough. Let us turn to SDCL 12-14-14:

On election day a sign, with a minimum size of eleven inches by seventeen inches, shall be conspicuously displayed outside of the entrance to any building in which a polling place is located to clearly identify the building as a polling place.

If election law allows early voting, election law should hold early voting places to the same standards to protect voter rights as regular election day voting. Individuals should not have to purchase tickets to access a polling place. The polling place should be conspicuously announced by a sign at the entrance of the building.

By the way, as we consider spending millions of dollars to build a 2500-seat gym, my correspondent reports there were plenty of open seats in the current 1200-seat gym.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Put Down the Smart Phone and Drive... the Helicopter!

As a public service, the U.S. Navy demonstrates how distracted driving can put your vehicle in the lake. The vehicles: two MH-60R Seahawks. The lake: Tahoe. The damage: $506,000. The distraction: taking photos for Facebook.

Helicopter, semi, Prius: when you're in the pilot's seat, you have a job to do. Keep it out of the lake and the ditches: just drive!

[Sponsor Mary Kenyon did not pay for this post... but she won't mind if you visit her website!]

Governors-Elect Consider Cutting Drug Programs -- Why Not Legalize Pot

Florida's Republican Governor-Elect Rick Scott is cutting jobs in the Office of Drug Control created by former Governor Jeb Bush. South Dakota's Republican Governor-Elect Dennis Daugaard inherits from his predecessor a proposal to cut meth treatment programs.

I'll invite Mr. Newland to expound further. For now I'll just note that we could probably save a lot more in law enforcement and incracertation costs by legalizing marijuana. At least that's what televangelist Pat Robertson thinks.

Web Spinning, Media in the Tank for MHS New Gym

Some statistics of interest, Web and otherwise:
  • 245: hits received by the Madison Central New Gym/Renovation Project website since launched earlier this month. Superintendent Vince Schaefer crows about this popularity on the front page of last night's Madison Daily Leader.
  • not mentioned: number of those hits coming from the Madville Times.
  • 700: hits received by the Madville Times yesterday.
  • 163: votes submitted to the Madville Times online poll on the school bond issue in one week.
  • 109: views of MHS Tour Intro, the most popular of the 18 videos I shot and posted of the MHS facility tour last month.
  • 60: views of MHS Locker Room Toilet, the second-most popular video of the MHS series.
  • 17%: amount of $16.98-million bond issue projected for new gym.
  • 75%: possible understatement of actual new gym cost.
  • 0: individual components of plan that cost more than the new gym.
  • 9: paragraphs you have to read through before encountering Chuck Clement's first use of the word gymnasium in last night's front-page 12-paragraph article on the project.
  • 16: paragraphs you had to read through to find new gym in Clement's October 8 19-paragraph article on the project.
  • 2: times Clement said "screw you" to me last March in response to my criticism of his journalism.

Ohio Loses Two Seats: Kucinich Unbound?

The Congressional redistricting that will arise from the 2010 Census won't help Dems, but I figured that, since South Dakota's already as low as it can go in House representation, there's not much to get excited about.

Then one of my favorite Ohioan transplants sends me this depressing Christmas note: Ohio will lose two Representatives, and one may be my man Dennis Kucinich!

Ohio's population grew by 183,000 people over the last decade to 11.5 million, but it wasn't enough to keep up with fast-growing states in the South.

Ohio has 18 congressional districts that now will drop to 16.

...In November, Democrats lost five out of 10 U.S. House seats they currently hold in Ohio. The remaining five are tightly packed into an area that stretches from Toledo through Cleveland and into Youngstown.

...Among the Ohio Democrats in Congress who could face losing their districts are Cleveland's Dennis Kucinich and Betty Sutton, who represents Lorain and Elyria, plus suburban Cleveland and the Akron area.

Both are in areas that have lost population in the last decade ["Ohio Loses 2 Seats in Congress, Sutton and Kucinich May Go," AP via Morning Journal, 2010.12.21].

On the bright side, I'm pleased that the Republicans might consider Kucinich a sufficiently big thorn in their side to draw him off the Congressional map. But I'll bet some elephant in the map room is thinking, "Hey! If we redistrict Dennis out of a job, maybe he'll change his mind and run in the 2012 primary against Obama!"

Bonus Ohio love: Bob Schwartz has been enjoying a solstice resurgence, cranking out lots of good blog posts on new START (passed!), ethanol, Thune hypocrisy, and other matters over the past week. Keep those keys clicking Bob!

Legislature Posts First Proposed Bills of 2011

What's that under my tree? Christmas bills! Yahoo! Start your RSS engines: the first pieces of legislation to be proposed in the 2011 session of the South Dakota State Legislature are in the e-hopper.

First in from the State House: two bills on the agricultural productivity tax (you know, the quasi-income tax now imposed on farmers in place of plain old property tax). House Bill 1001 changes shall to may in a couple spots (ah ha! So shall and may do mean different things!) and allows the folks in charge of this tax to incorporate more data in the calculations. HB 1002 clarifies the need for documentation and the kinds of data the director of equalization can use to assess taxes on ag land.

HB 1003 empowers the Interim Rules Review Committee to revert rules that impose "unreasonable" costs on local governments and school districts. If I'm reading the law right, the interim committee already has the power to revert rules for other reasons. But I wonder if this change will resurrect debates over costs that are better settled during session by the full body.

The Senate is a bit slower out of the blocks, with a couple of style and form changes. Senate Bill 3 has a little more substance: it clamps down on the use of South Dakota's state seal. Section specifies that the state seal may not be used for the following:
  1. On or in connection with any advertising or promotion for any product, business, organization, service, or article whether offered for sale for profit or offered without charge;
  2. In a political campaign to assist or defeat any candidate for elective office; or
  3. In a manner which may operate or be construed as an endorsement of any business, organization, product, service, or article.
In other words, if this passes, Senator Russell Olson (R-8/Madison) will have to get the Bulldog Media folks to whip up a new header for his website:
screen cap of Russell Olson's campaign website, showing political use of state sealSmall but deadly: Senate Bill 3 would ban use of the state seal in political campaign literature.
Senate Bill 3 would empower the Secretary of State to come up with rules to "assure tasteful and high-quality reproduction of the seal." I welcome readers to compose their own punchlines.

The Interim Bureau of Administration Agency Review Committee put this bill together. They even had the foresight to pre-empt complaints of censorship. Says Section 7:

Nothing in this Act prohibits the reproduction of the state seal for illustrative purposes by the news media if the reproduction by the news media is incidental to the publication or the broadcast. Nothing in this Act prohibits a characterization of the state seal from being used in political cartoons.

Hey, Ehrisman! You're still good to go! But now let's see if there's floor debate on whether blogs meet the Legislature's definition of "news media."

There's much more fun to come from our hearty 105 in Pierre. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

MHS Publishes Early Voting Schedule: No Tickets Required

I see the Madison Central School District has posted a list of absentee voting opportunities. Permit me to post the schedule hear in clean and simple text to spare you the trouble of clicking on the school's needlessly bandwidthy PDF:

Date Event Location Time
12/20 Middle School band/choir concert High School Auditorium 7:00 p.m.
12/21 Boys basketball Cafeteria 4:45 p.m.
1/7 Girls basketball Cafeteria 4:45 p.m.
1/10 Boys basketball DSU Fieldhouse 4:45 p.m.
1/12 Open voting Elementary Commons 12:45 p.m.
1/13 Girls basketball DSU Fieldhouse 5:00 p.m.
1/15 Gymnastics Cafeteria Noon
1/17 Forum Cafeteria 7:00 p.m. after Forum
1/18 Open voting Elementary Commons 3:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.
1/20 Boys basketball DSU Fieldhouse 5:00 p.m.
1/21 Wrestling (Madison Square Garden) Cafeteria 6:00 p.m.
1/25 Forum Cafeteria 7:00 p.m. after Forum

Dang—I already missed a couple!

A couple things occurred to me last night about the school district's early-voting scheme. First, the school can't conduct early voting at a basketball game... or at least not on the other side of the ticket table. Suppose concerned citizens want to observe the voting, as they are entitled by state law to do. Suppose they're on a tight budget and can't afford a ticket to the basketball game. If school business manager and election officer Cindy Callies sets up a voting table on paid side of the ticket booth, she creates a barrier to poll watchers, not to mention potential voters.

There can be no price of admission to access any polling place. That's why, in the above schedule, the polling during high school games is listed at the cafeteria or the auditorium. But there still had better not be any electioneering near that voting table!

Note also that it's a bit tough to make to observe the polls when the school district doesn't include a closing time for its early polls. Keeping democracy honest is hard work, but on January 20th, for instance, it would be nice to know if voting will run for just an hour or if I should pack a snadwich and expect to be there for four hours.

Absent from the school's new gym/renovation information site is a list of workplaces that have requested early voting sessions. If any such sessions are scheduled, we should expect similar public notification.

Note, business owners, that if you invite Mrs. Callies to hold early voting at your business, you'll need to open your doors to any person who wants to come in and watch or even vote. That's our right. You can't call Mrs. Callies and say, "I have five employees who want to vote; please bring five ballots down." If folks on the street hear that you're conducting an early vote at your office, and they want to drop in and vote at that time as well, you have to let them in, and Mrs. Callies has to bring enough ballots for such a contingency.

The school district has already lost one supporter with its gaming of the vote. I hope the school will compensate for its questionable vote-stacking by keeping the process as transparent as possible.

Poll: MHS New Gym/Renovation Bond Issue Well Short of 60%

If Madville Times readers have anything to say about, the school will have a hard time passing its bond issue. In the latest Madville Times poll, I asked "How will you vote on Madison's $16.98 million new gym/high school renovation bond issue?" Your responses over the past week:

73 (44%)
74 (45%)
Still thinking
16 (9%)

Total Votes: 163

That's pretty tight, but given that it takes 60% to pass the bond issue, these numbers suggest the school district has some convincing to do.

Now of course, the margin of error for Madville Times polls is bigger than any gym MHS will ever have, so keep your grains of salt handy. For instance, back in September, my poll on the county commission race got the winners right, Pedersen and Wollmann, though in different order. On the other hand, my poll was way off on the local sheriff's race: the tie between Lurz and Wyatt wasn't too far off, but my vote totally underrepresented Sheriff Hartman's support.

But consider: I was off on the sheriff's race because I suspect my readership underrepresents the older crotchety crowd that likes the status quo. If my school bond poll underrepresents that crowd, then the bond issue is in real trouble.

Basin Electric Suspends NextGen Coal Plant; DoE Cancels EIS

Last year Basin Electric said it was "re-evaluating the timeline" for its NextGen coal-fired power plant near Selby. Looks like the re-evaluating is over: NextGen is nixed.

From today's Federal Register:

Western Area Power Administration

Notice of Cancellation of Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed NextGen Project Near Selby, Walworth County, SD (DOE/EIS-0401)
AGENCY: Western Area Power Administration, DOE.
ACTION: Cancellation of Environmental Impact Statement.
SUMMARY: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Western Area Power Administration (Western) is issuing this notice to advise the public that it is cancelling the preparation of an environmental impact statement (EIS) under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) on an interconnection request by the Basin Electric Power Cooperative (BEPC). BEPC proposed to design, construct, operate, and maintain a 500- to 700-megawatt base load, coal-fired generation facility near Selby, Walworth County, South Dakota, and interconnect it with Western's transmission system, thus triggering a NEPA review of Western's action to allow the interconnection. BEPC has notified Western it is suspending further action on its proposed project [Timothy J. Meeks, Administrator, FR Doc. 2010-32121 Filed 12-21-10; 8:45 am, BILLING CODE 6450-01-P].

Basin Electric's webpage for the project is gone; you can still read up on NextGen's specs on the WAPA's site and in the South Dakota PUC docket. That's 700 more megawatts of coal-fired power the industry has decided we just don't need. That's also $2.5 billion in construction dollars, 1700 temporary construction jobs and 150 permanent jobs that won't be coming to Walworth County.

Not getting nixed: Basin Electric's Prairie Winds SD1 wind farm, scheduled to start pumping out 150 megawatts of clean wind power in 2011. Estimated cost: $350 million.

Again, check that math: $350 million gets 150 MW in wind power. That's $2.3 million per megawatt. NextGen would have cost $2.5 billion to get 700 MW in coal power. That's $3.6 million per megawatt. As I've said before, it's not envirowhackos driving the industry away from coal power. It's good old economics.

Update 10:31 CST: Plains Justice is also pleased.

Hunter: South Dakotans up to Eyeballs in Newspapers

I may complain about the paucity of local media, but Madison Daily Leader publisher Jon Hunter contends South Dakota's newspaper market has more players than most places. In his Monday editorial, our man Hunter congratulates the Garretson Gazette and the Native Sun News on ascending to the noble ranks of "legal newspapers" (i.e., getting to publish legal notices from local government entitites, the convenient racket that the newspaper association uses to protect its market share from innovators who would save tax dollars by publishing meeting minutes and new ordinances online).

In the process, Hunter notes that "There are now 119 weekly and 11 daily newspapers in South Dakota, the most per capita of any state in the nation."

Given our new official population of 814,000, that's one daily for every 74,000 South Dakotans. Turn the number another way, that's 13.5 daily newspapers per million population. According to data from the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers, that gives us press coverage almost as good as Switzerland (which has 14.0 dailies per million). Of the 25 countries with higher daily-per-million ratings, most are pa-dinkally places like San Marino, Liechtenstein, Aruba, and the Northern Mariana Islands. Our Norsky forebears also outnews us (19.3 dailies per million), but South Dakota beats Sweden (11.0), Denmark (7.2), and the United States as a whole (6.0 dailies per million, or one paper per 167,000 people).

Think of South Dakota as a single community that just happens to be spread out across 77,000 square miles: we have 11 daily newspapers serving a population about the same size as Indianapolis or San Francisco. Yahoo's directory pops up fifteen papers for San Francisco. Mondo Times lists four Indianapolis papers.

But does quantity mean quality? That depends on how you define quality in newspapers. If we're talking reach and impact, only two of those 130 publications, the Rapid City Journal and that Sioux Falls paper approach statewide status (though I get the feeling from the Web that the Mitchell Daily Republic is trying). Most of the rest do what they do reasonably well, covering their local events, but rarely reaching beyond their county borders.

If we're talking breadth of viewpoints, well, we're eating mostly white bread. Most of the newspapers Jon Hunter counts are of the same genre: community booster rags with lots of pics from the kids' basketball games and the local Tour of Gardens, spiced with the occasional contrarian letter to the editor. (Monday's Madison Daily Leader letters: advice from the Car Care Council in Maryland on keeping our cars ready for winter, and tips from a local nursing home manager on good Christmas gifts for old folks.) Most South Dakota newspapers operate in tiny media monopolies with no alternative voices on paper to challenge them. The closest thing to a regular alternative press may be the college weeklies (and note: after 108 years in print, DSU's student newspaper, The Trojan Times, is going all digital).

Compare that to San Francisco, where the mainstream San Francisco Chronicle dominates, but where dozens of alternative newspapers coexist and serve the same community with different ethnic and political viewpoints.

And as we love to point out, of those 11 South Dakota dailies, only the Madison Daily Leader is independently and locally owned. Local control matters, especially when it comes to news. When the money decisions are made elsewhere, you end up with the biggest papers in the state not maintaining bureaus in Pierre to cover state government.

Having lots of newspapers is great. South Dakota's newspapers tell stories that no one else is going to cover. But the lack of local ownership, diversity of voices, and breadth of coverage leave room for improvement. Keep printing, Jon!

Lange: SD Can Learn from Minn. Statesmanship, ND Criminal Justice

Last week I noted the difference in fiscal politics between Minnesota and South Dakota. That essay arose from a conversation with my neighbor and outgoing state legislator Gerry Lange. In the following guest column, he exapnds the view to include North Dakota:

Recent headlines here in Madison and in Minnesota highlight our two states’ sharply contrasting value systems. Here in South Dakota, our leaders are telling us we’ll have to cut ecucation funding to balance the budget! There in Minnesota, the finally-elected new governor, a multi-millionaire heir of the Dayton fortune, is acting like a statesman with “noblesse oblige!”

Rather than slashing education and vital services, he’s calling on his own class of affluent “winners” to come up with more income tax to patch their budget holes. How could sister states be so different? Could be a matter of their preferring a number one quality of life where it’s worth the trade-offs: more taxes for better wages, better infrastructure, and no taxes on food, clothing, auctions, and building contracts.

National government publications are rich with “best practices” from other states. As legislators, we brought home numerous “success stories” from meetings all over the country. One of the best that could save us millions is as close as North Dakota! They’ve been doing “electronic monitoring” and intensive probation for quite a few years. Results? 1000 fewer in prison than here, and a ten percent recividism compared with some fifty percent in most states.

Most of our leaders in Pierre know this, so it’s puzzling as to why we don’t adopt this successful approach. Do South Dakotans really believe that converting colleges to prisons has been a better strategy? Do tax-fearing voters really prefer to balance the budget on the backs of our kids?

—Gerald Lange, December 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Qwest Fails to Fix Phantom Rings

Qwest CEO Edward A. MuellerYeah, Ed, I'm talking to you. If you're done destroying your employees' morale, fix my #*¢$!^& phone!
I thought we had this problem licked. Alas, no. Here's the e-mail I just sent to the good people at the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission, who have tried in good faith to get Qwest to stop ringing my phone after midnight:

Dear Public Utilities Commission:

I regret that I must trouble you again. However, Qwest has failed to fulfill its statement that the problem of the phantom rings on my phone had been addressed by a repair test at the beginning of November. Ten minutes ago, at about 12:26 a.m. our corded phone emitted yet another phantom half-ring.

The problem now is not so much the annoyance as Qwest's consistent failure, over multiple years, to fulfill a simple request to remove the annoyance. I will contact the Qwest technician spoke with me and left a number on November 4. If there is any attention you can direct toward this matter (again), I will appreciate said assistance. Thank you.

Cory Allen Heidelberger

Now, if anyone has the home phone number of Qwest CEO Edward A. Mueller, I'll be much obliged. The Muellers moved this summer, so don't send me the number their old multi-million-dollar country club mansion.

Vista Bid Falls Apart: AgStar Taking Both Veblen Dairies

It looks as if AgStar Financial Services will wrest both of Veblen, South Dakota's bankrupt mega-dairies away from serial polluter Richard Millner and his fellow investors. Vista Family Dairies, a front group formed by Richard Millner and other Veblen West dairy partners to keep the dairies in their hands, has declared it will not follow through on the $21.3 million bid it made in September to buy Veblen East.
Veblen East DairyVeblen East Dairy
According to a motion filed yesterday (U.S. Bankruptcy Court of South Dakota, Case 10-10146, Document 259) by Chapter 11 bankruptcy trustee Lee Ann Pierce, Whetstone Valley Dairy withdrew its backup bid on October 28. That means the the only bidder left at the table is AgStar's Veblen East Dairy Acquisition LLC, which submitted a credit bid for the minimum $16 million for the facility and $800 per cow.

Pierce's motion gives creditors until December 30 to file objections to the sale to AgStar.

Pierce's motion notes that Vista Family Dairy's attempted acquisition was not hampered by regulators. Marshall County granted Vista its conditional use permit on October 19, and the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources granted the manure permit on December 3. The latter is particularly interesting, given that DENR had said on November 10 that it would grant no permit to Vista as long as Richard Millner had anything to do with permit-compliance decisions.

Taking DENR at its word, I assume that Vista Family Dairy had to tell Millner he was out of the power structure. And as I let my speculation run riot, I can imagine that, without Millner the dealmaker able to keep his hands in the pot, whatever investors he'd cobbled together to float Vista's bid fell apart.
Veblen West DairyVeblen West Dairy
Millner and his gang already lost Veblen West to AgStar after failing to raise enough money for a viable bid on Veblen West last month. Now AgStar appears on its way to closing on both mega-dairies.

If the DENR, the South Dakota economic development honchos, and area farmers are paying attention, we can hope AgStar's acquisitions will mean Rick Millner is done dirtying the South Dakota dairy industry for good.

Bonus Evidence: In upholding its denial of a permit for the Dairy Dozen's Excel Dairy in Thief River Falls, Minnesota, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency reiterates Millner's lengthy record of environmental violations at every dairy he's run. For the record, here's what MPCA says about Millner's Veblen dairies:

102. Veblen East Dairy is an 8,176 head dairy facility that consists of six total confinement barns and eight manure storage basins. Veblen West Dairy, previously known as MCC Dairy, is a 5,500 head dairy facility that consists of five total confinement barns and five manure storage basins. Rick Millner is the managing partner for the entity that owns both facilities. On October 23, 2009, the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources (South Dakota DENR) issued a Notice of Violation, Order, and Settlement Agreement.

103. On July 10, 2008, the South Dakota DENR inspected both Veblen East and Veblen West Dairies. During the inspection, it was noted that the basins at Veblen West were at their maximum operating level, and the basins at Veblen East were below the maximum operating level. On July 18, 2008, the South Dakota DENR approved the transfer of ten million gallons of manure from Veblen West to Veblen East. This manure was to be land applied in the fall of 2008 prior to soil freeze, and the South Dakota DENR was to be notified when this was complete. A notification was not received.

104. In April 2009, the South Dakota DENR received notification from the facilities that the basins at both Veblen East and Veblen West Dairies were above the maximum operating level and into the freeboard of the basins. This was confirmed during a May 6, 2009, site inspection by the South Dakota DENR. On May 20, 2009, Rick Millner contacted the South Dakota DENR to inform them that high winds were causing manure spray to blow over the berms of the north basins and that a line of straw bales was erected to keep the spray from leaving the basins. Various correspondence and inspections in the months of June, July, and August indicated that the basins at both Veblen East and Veblen West were above the maximum operating levels and into the freeboard.

105. The Order, issued October 23, 2009, and amended in March 2010, required both dairies to complete a number of requirements, summarized below, to bring the facilities back into compliance:
  1. As soon as possible, remove a sufficient amount of manure to return them to compliance with the freeboard requirements. The Order went on to require the removal of manure from all basins to have no more than one foot of residual material remaining by November 1, 2009. The lowering of the liquid levels in the basins at Veblen West did not happen until December 7, 2009. This lowering of the levels was not sufficient to comply with the October 23, 2009, Order (no more than one foot of manure) but was sufficient to bring the basins back into compliance with the freeboard requirements. Similarly, the lowering of the liquid levels in the basins at Veblen East did not happen until November 23, 2009. This lowering of the levels was not sufficient to comply with the October 23, 2009, Order (no more than one foot of manure) but was sufficient to bring the basins back into compliance with the freeboard requirements.
  2. Submit calculations and schedules that demonstrated that the remaining storage capacity within the basins at each facility, after the fall of 2009 pump-down, was sufficient to provide 270 days worth of storage. Sufficient calculations and schedules were never received by the South Dakota DENR. Consequently, the South Dakota DENR concluded that the volume remaining after the fall of 2009 pump-down was not sufficient to provide 270 days of storage.
  3. By November 1, 2009, submit an emergency response plan for each of the facilities to identify procedures to be followed in the event of a spill or release. The South Dakota DENR did receive a plan, but it was not sufficient to comply with the specific requirements of the Order. The South Dakota DENR has not yet received sufficient plans.
  4. Submit a design report that uses actual water usage and system operation for each facility to assess if the manure management system capacity meets the requirements of the South Dakota General NPDES Permit (270 days of storage). The South Dakota DENR has not received an adequate report to address this issue.
106. On November 17, 2009, the South Dakota DENR performed inspections of Veblen East and Veblen West and also conducted water sampling within the Little Minnesota River (headwaters of the Minnesota River) at areas were there was evidence that discharges had occurred from both dairies. The discharge from Veblen East appeared to reach an unnamed wetland; water sampling confirmed that manure did indeed reach this wetland. Neither of the dairies reported the discharges to the South Dakota DENR as required.

107. Inspections on November 17, 2009, and January 8, 2010, at both facilities revealed that depth markers (designed to clearly identify the maximum operating levels of the ponds) were missing or were broken off.

108. Inspections on July 10, 2008, and January 12, 2010, at Veblen West and December 7, 2009, and January 8, 2010, at Veblen East noted stockpiles of used sand and manure solids in areas not authorized by the permits for the facilities.

109. Inspections on January 8, 2010, and January 12, 2010, at Veblen West and January 8, 2010, at Veblen East indicated that manure application had taken place to fields not identified within the approved manure management plans for the dairies. Also, both dairies had insufficient records of land application dating back to 2008 and including all of 2009.

110. The MPCA has also received complaints about and photos of these facilities, specifically regarding the lack of freeboard, potential for overflow, and pollution resulting from improper land application of manure. The MPCA has received these complaints as the facilities sit at the head of the watershed of Big Stone Lake, located at the border of Minnesota (Big Stone County) and South Dakota.

[Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, In the Matter of the Request for Denial of Contested Case Hearing Requests and Denial of Reissuance of NPDES/SDS Permit No. MN0068594 for The Dairy Dozen – Thief River Falls, LLP (Doing Business As: Excel Dairy) Concentrated Animal Feedlot Facility, Excel Township,Marshall County, Minnesota, Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Order, 2010.12.14]

Madison School Early-Vote Stacking Fine by Secretary of State

Vote now in the latest Madville Times poll:
How will you vote on Madison's $16.98 million new gym/high school renovation bond issue?
See right sidebar—poll closes Wed 8 a.m.!

Apparently my concerns about Madison Central School District's early-voting scheme are unfounded. Various Madville Times readers have contacted the Secretary of State's office to get the straight poop on whether our school district can...
  1. deputize advocates of the school bond issue to hand out and collect absentee ballots,
  2. conduct voting at basketball games and other school events, and
  3. arrange early voting sites in workplaces at the request of employers.
According to Secretary of State Chris Nelson, all of the above are legit. One of my correspondents gets some more straight dope from Secretary Nelson's assistant, Kea Warne, whose responses to some specific questions about Madison's early-voting plans I summarize below:
  1. Should Madison Central publish a list of early voting places and times? There is no statutory requirement for them to publish this document.
  2. Will there be a voting booth to insure voter privacy? All voters (either voting in-person absentee or at the polling place on election day) must be provided a private area to vote (either voting booth or a table top voting booth).
  3. What about folks wearing pro or con stickers/t-shirts at these school events? There cannot be any political material within 100 feet of any entrance to the location where absentee voting is being conducted.
  4. How will poll watchers be arranged? Poll watchers have to be allowed to be present. A person who is wanting to be a poll watcher must identify themselves as such to the election board (on election day) or the business manager/staff conducting the absentee voting.
I still see problems here. Without a published list of early polling places, poll watchers can't find out where to go to observe the polling for irregularities. Whoever school business manager Cindy Callies deputizes to carry absentee ballots around town will need to carry a complete voter registration list and keep it synchronized with every other election deputy's roving list to ensure no one gets more than one ballot. We will also have a lot of ballots moving back and forth to different places in different pouches. The more moving parts to any system, the more chance there is for things to go wrong.

Workplace voting still strikes me as fertile ground for improper influence. When the boss waves a fistful of absentee ballots at employees on company time and says, "Hey! Who wants to vote for the school bond election right now?" there is bound to be some sense of pressure to vote.

And seriously: does anyone think it's fair to conduct a vote on a new gym in a gym while a basketball game is going on, while voters are surrounded by cheering fans clad in school colors? Madison High School is staging early voting at exactly those venues where they can implicitly say, "Look at the wonderful educational opportunities we provide for students. Can you really deny them a new gym and renovated classrooms?"

What's next? Should we allow Mike McDowell to invite the county auditor to ring absentee ballots to work for all of the Heartland employees the next time Senator Russell Olson runs for office? Should Scott Heidepriem get to arrange an early-voting site at his law office the next time he's on the ballot?

If that's just how the game is played, then so be it. But this early voting scheme is not about enfranchisement. It's about stacking the vote in the school's favor.

If incoming Secretary of State Jason Gant is worried about voter fraud, he should come to Madison to observe the most loosely conducted vote I've seen in this state.

Lake County Lags in Wages, Loses 6.6% in 2009

The Bureau of Economic Analysis just released its report on county compensation by industry for 2009. Average compensation per job increased 1.2%, to just about $57,000. Unfortunately, fewer people had jobs, so the total amount of compensation went down 3.2%. Some smalll relief: inflation was only 0.2%.

Two-thirds of our 3113 counties saw compensation go down in 2009. The map shows a familiar pattern (click image to enlarge):
compensation gains and losses, by county, BEA, 2009
The center of the country does better than the coasts. The most populous counties generally saw larger decreases in compensation (3.7%) than medium and smaller counties (2.2%–2.3%)

South Dakota looks pretty healthy, with lots of counties in the blue upper quintiles (remember, blue is good on this map, while gold shows where there's less gold). But hey, zoom in: what's that gold spot in East River South Dakota?
Compensation gains by county, Plains Regions, U.S., BEA 2009Discover the Unexpected™: Lake County bucked the statewide trend and landed in the lowest national quintile for compensation growth. Statewide, average compensation per job increased 1.3%, from $32,702 to $33,136. Total compensation statewide went down 0.7%. But in Lake County, the average wage decreased 1.8%, from $28,993 to $28,466. Total compensation in Lake County dropped 6.6%.

Only four counties—McCook, Marshall, Union, and Harding—saw worse declines on total compensation. Harding lost the most compensation, dropping 15.7%, with average wages per job dropping $3200 in one year. Weep not for Union County, though: they have the highest average wage per job in the state, just over $39,000.

Investing in Higher Quality Teachers Yields Economic Returns

Via Dr. Mankiw:

Eric Hanushek's work popped up earlier this month in our blog discussion of how the U.S. isn't producing enough smart kids and how spending more on teachers might boost our kids' math scores. Dr. Hanushek now offers a new paper that quantifies the economic good that may come from hiring better teachers.

According to Hanushek's research, an above-average teacher working with a class of twenty students creates $400,000 in additional student future earnings. Replacing the least effective teachers with just average teachers nationwide would add $100 trillion of value.

I welcome suggestions as to how we identify and recruit higher-quality teachers. But free market rules suggest that attracting quality is relatively straightforward: you get what you pay for. As I apply for jobs that pay $60K rather than $30K, I get the impression that I'm up against a tougher talent pool.

So just imagine: Suppose South Dakota raised its average teacher pay by $10,000 (which would vault us in our national ranking from dead last in teacher pay to 41st place). Suppose that pay boost drew and kept some better talent. If that increased incentive to enter the field replaced only one out of 40 average teachers with above-average teachers, we'd break even on our investment.

Monday, December 20, 2010

DWC Botches Facts on Reid Nay to 9/11 First Responder Bill

Senator Harry ReidSenator Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, patriotic champion of 9/11 first responders... unlike Senator John Thune.
Or, Note to Cons — when attacking check your facts first.

Tyler Crissman steps to the conservative mic this afternoon and gets mom's spaghetti all over his sweater. In an attempt to deflect criticism from major Dakota War College ad-buyer and Senator John Thune for his unpatriotic obstruction of medical compensation for sick and dying 9/11 first responders, Crissman fumes that the Left blogo-hemisphere hasn't criticized Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for his own nay on the Zadroga bill.

Why, oh why, wouldn't we liberals have issued such criticism of the Senate Majority Leader?

Fifty-seven Democrats voted for the bill and 41 Republicans opposed it. Sen. Harry Reid, the Democratic leader, switched his vote to 'no' at the last moment, a parliamentary move that allows him to bring the measure up again for a vote ["9/11 health 'Zadroga bill' fails in Senate test vote," AP via SILive.com, 2010.12.09].

I eagerly await Mr. Crissman's retraction. Or maybe they'll just delete that post and all the comments that follow. Revisionist deletion is the Dakota War College way.

Meanwhile, if you're from Nevada, call Senator Reid and tell him to keep fighting for H.R. 847. If you're from South Dakota, call Senator Thune and tell him to stop fighting H.R. 847.

Update 19:04 CST: Dang it! How are we supposed to sustain a healthy blog snarkfest if we go issuing corrections and apologies and straightening out our facts? Mr. Crissman replies promptly with a mea culpa... and corrects my shoddy geography. Harry Reid is indeed senior Senator from Nevada, not New Mexico as I originally stated.

South Dakotans Worse Than Average at Money Management

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has published results of its nationwide Financial Capability Study. KELO follows the order of the press release for South Dakota and puts the good news first: we South Dakotans are third best at "financial literacy." In this survey, "financial literacy" is determined by performance on a five-question financial quiz that you can take online to see how you score compared to your fellow South Dakotans. (Perfect 5 for me; South Dakota's average is 3.27; U.S. average is 2.99.)

In terms of what we actually do with our financial knowledge, South Dakotans are worse than national averages. 23% of South Dakotans spent more than they made... and that's not counting buyinh a house or car. 62% of us budget the way I play whist: living from paycheck to paycheck without much of a plan. 65% of us lack a three-month rainy day fund. 26% of South Dakotans have taken non-bank loans (e.g., predatory payday loans) in the past five years. 64% of us don't comparison-shop for credit cards (although on that score, does it really matter?).

It just goes to show that doing well on a quiz doesn't mean you'll do well in life.

Daugaard Visits Madison Middle School -- Kids! Ask Tougher Questions!

Speaking of the budget, I learn from KJAM that the man making the state budget, Governor-Elect Dennis Daugaard, swung through Madison to address kids at Madison Middle School. They asked some tough questions, like what Daugaard is nervous about. Now if only some bright eighth-graders could have made him more nervous by asking which of their teachers Daugaard would fire to satisfy the 5% cut to K-12 education he is likely to support.

Regents Face Less Rosy Budget Picture

I noted last week that my current employer, the South Dakota Board of Regents, is projected to receive $54 million more in federal funding in the coming budget year. Under that headline, one may also note that Governor Rounds's otherwise austere budget includes $3.8 million more in state funds.

However, as Bob Mercer reports, those numbers are deceptive. The public university system will likely be tightening its belt (or are we at the budget-cutting point where strait jacket is the more apt metaphor?) just like everyone else. According to Mercer, the governor's plan expects the Regents to take $10.6 million in stimulus dollars and sock it away for FY 2012. As was the case with Rounds's entire budget address, his proposal offers no vision of how or whether the state will make up that funding shortfall when those stimulus dollars finally run out.

Mercer also notes that Governor Rounds included in his budget proposal the 2% pay increase the Regents requested. Our university profs, grounds crews, and other staff would be the only state employees getting a raise. I can certainly make the case for giving our university staff the raises they have foregone for two years... but don't expect anyone in the Legislature's Republican majority to do so.

In their budget discussion last week, the Regents apparently got a timeline for our next governor's budget. Board president Terry Baloun tells Mercer we may see Dennis Daugaard's budget proposal around January 19. Set aside some blog time for that date!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Thune Blocking Compensation for 9/11 First Responders

Mr. Feser alerts us to the guff Senator John Thune is rightfully catching for his opposition to the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010. What's this bill? Oh, just a little compensation for men and women who ran toward fire and sacrificed their health and lives to try saving their fellow Americans on September 11, 2001.

Senator Thune voted to block a vote on health care compensation for 9/11 first responders on December 9.

Now I can't tell whether Thune and his War College lackeys would call this bill pork or prosciutto. Since it would help New Yorkers and not South Dakotans, I suppose they'll bleat pork! I just call it fulfilling our obligation to our neighbors who risked their lives for us in the face of terrorism.

My friend Adam posts a couple of videos showing 9/11 first responders talk with Jon Stewart about the Zadroga bill. Below are some comments from OpenCongress.org's page on HR 847:

I'm a 40 year old retired cop from the First Pct. in lower manhattan. I was there the morning of 9/11 and worked over 2,100 hours in the pit the months that followed. My breathing ailments are too long to get into and I understand I will be heavily medicated for whatever time I have left. I'm writing this and urging passage of this bill for my kids sake. (Ages 8 & 6)What's done is done but at least give me the peace of mind of knowing they will be taken care of. Ret. PO Dave Smith.

I am one of the forgotten rescue workers who spent weeks and months in the "pit". I do not seek glory or a pat on the back for what I did. I live with the choices I made. I wouldn't change a thing except I hate to see my family watch me deteriorate. I can't do things I used to, I have no energy, I can't breathe, I can't sleep. I am waiting for the inevitable and it sucks. I never smoked and now I am on all kinds of respiratory meds and a machine at night. Please pass this bill, I am not the only one in this position. Passage will help the people and families of those who dedicated their time and for some, their lives, to help others in need. God Bless America!

John Thune has supported borrowing over a trillion dollars to kill people and break things in Iraq and Afghanistan. But he won't support spending $7.4 billion to treat the people who responded to the first shot of that war.

Senator Thune thought it was more urgent to rush tax cuts to his richest friends than to provide health care for dying patriots. Well, now that that baby's been put to bed, the junior senator from South Dakota should have no more reason to oppose Zadroga, right?

Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth Sandlin joined Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the House in passing this bill in September. Senator Thune, get on board. Make South Dakota proud and do right by these brave Americans by joining the Republican senators Kirsten Gillibrand says will support this bill.
Update: Watch the Daily Show video, and you'll see Mike Huckabee tell the Republicans to pass this bill.

Update 2010.12.20 21:44 CST: The GOP is feeling the heat:

"I can tell you, whoever votes against 9/11 responders a couple of days before Christmas is truly un-American," said John Feal, a former New York Police Department supervisor who lost a foot when a steel beam fell on it during in recovery efforts at the World Trade Center and who launched the non-profit Feal Good Foundation to lobby on behalf of first responders [Laura Mascaro and Tina Susman, "GOP under Pressure for Opposition to 9-11 Responders Bill," Los Angeles Times, 2010.12.20].

LAIC Wants More Time to Pay Off Tech Center

Included on Monday night's Madison City Commission agenda is a request from the Lake Area Improvement Corporation to give us taxpayers our money back more slowly. In a memo to the commission, the LAIC asks for an extension of the loan it got from the city to build the Hueners-cum-Heartland Technology Center on the north edge of town. The request reads thus:

Request to extend City Community Development loan on the Heartland Tech Center between the LAIC and the City of Madison.

Current Situation
  • 3% interest only has been paid to City for 5 years
  • LAIC has paid the City approximately $41,700 in interest payments
  • Principal amount is $287,500 -- no payments on principal have been paid
Request of new terms
  • Would like to extend the loan for 15 year term w/10 year balloon
  • Principal amount would be for $280,000
  • 4% interest
  • Monthly payments of approximately $2,100
  • New payment schedule to begin on January 15 2011 as a ACH into City account.
To date nearly 60 jobs have been created at the Heartland Technology Center. The initial intent was to build a spec building that would create jobs and bring a new company to the community utilizing DSU students.

The facility mission was reestablished and it became an incubator for new entrepreneurs and businesses. InfoTech, Logic Lizard, SBS, CAHIT, and the 2010 Research Center are a few of the businesses that have been housed at the facility.

In January of 2011 SBS will be graduating from the incubator and moving into a new facility, Washington Plaza II, and creating 40 new positions over the next several years. We are currently working on an expansion of one of the new tenants to take the existing space.

The mission of the incubator is to provide affordable space for a business to grow and mature. That has been accomplished and continues to work as designed.

The LAIC makes this request on behalf of job growth and job sustainability for Madison.

Note that this request appears to make $7500 in principal just disappear. Are we taking that out of the LAIC's annual tax subsidy? And while I'm thinking of it, did we ever get that budget Commissioner Abraham requested last summer? That budget would probably help us understand why the LAIC needs to change the conditions under which we loaned them the money for this project. But no: the LAIC likes to talk in vague inklings and passive voice and expect us to hand them more money at their whim.

I suppose I should be relieved to see that, if you want money from the LAIC, you at least won't be expected to write complete sentences in your proposal.

Senate Votes 65-31 to Let Gays Shoot Straight for America

Dr. Blanchard said it was time to repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell, and the Senate listened. Our Senator John Thune lacked the courage to vote yes, but Senator Tim Johnson did not. Various fundagelicals are showing their lack of faith in the strength of our soldiers and the Republic they defend.

Dr. Blanchard encapsulates well my sense that the folks opposed to gays serving in the military don't have much in the way of good arguments. Unit cohesion? That's all you've got?

This strikes me as a very bad argument. There are all kinds of reasons why one solider might be disinclined to trust another. He's Irish, or a Democrat. She's a privileged White girl, or a Red Sox fan. It is one of the jobs of soldiers, sailors, marines, etc., to judge their fellows by their competence and loyalty and nothing else. We expect our armed forces to do their job in harm's way, which means in the face of a kind of fear that us civilians can scarcely imagine. Compared to that, nervousness about a fellow warrior's sexual orientation seems like pretty small potatoes [Ken Blanchard, "It's Time to Dump DADT," South Dakota Politics, 2010.12.18].

Well said, Ken. Now let's sign off on this issue and do what soldiers do: drop the bull and fight our real enemies, the terrorists who want to destroy America, not the good men and women who want to defend it with honor and integrity.

Update 21:30 CST: Equality South Dakota gives me a welcome shout and shares some optimism for more positive change. EqSD also points to this WaPo article that indicates the relief and disbelief current gay soldiers feel. One compelling passage:

For some, the news was bittersweet. That was the case for a 28-year-old West Point Army captain who resigned from active duty this spring after wrestling for years with deprivation, loneliness and half-truths. His boyfriend was sitting next to him.

"Oh God, oh God," the decorated captain, who served two tours in Iraq, said by phone from Dallas as the vote neared. "My heart was thumping."

Text messages began pouring in as soon as the tally was announced.

"So when are you back on active duty?" wrote a straight intelligence officer who served with him in Iraq in 2009.

"LOL. I dunno," the captain responded.

"Let me know so I can get stationed there," the intelligence officer wrote back. "I work with a lot of morons. It'd be nice to have a battle [buddy] with some common sense and discipline again" [Ernesto Londono, "Gay Troops Cautiously Optimistic Following 'Don't Ask' Repeal," Washington Post, 2010.12.19].

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Noem Fails to Land Seat on Agriculture Committee

Someone please unspin this for me: Kristi Noem, soon to be South Dakota's lone Representative in the U.S. House, for all her supposed pull with the new Republican majority, fails to land a seat on the House Agriculture Committee.

The Agriculture Committee is the one committee for which Noem has more experience than I do to serve as a useful member. She relentlessly touted her lifelong farm background on the campaign trail. Right after the election, Noem herself said landing a seat on the agriculture committee was among her top priorities:

Once in Washington, Noem says she hopes to serve on the agriculture committee.

"But then we'll go on from there. Maybe commerce; energy will be extremely important. We'll see what we can do and we'll be on the one that's best for South Dakota," Noem said [Shawn Neisteadt, "Noem Reflects on Campaign, Looks Forward," KELOLand.com, 2010.11.03].

Noem repeated later in November that she wanted an Ag seat, plus Energy and Commerce. She also mentioned Natural Resources.

Noem got little of what she wanted. She landed the Natural Resources Committee, which is apparently "less competitive to get a seat on" (i.e., Noem got the crap assignment), and the Labor and Education Committee, for which she as a non-college graduate from a union-busting state is singularly unqualified. And all Noem's spokesflunky Joshua Shields can whimper in response to a direct question about the failure to get the ag nod is "there are several good committees Kristi considered. She is pleased with her assignments."

My only hope is that she will use her position on Ed/Labor to put her Tea-Bag cred to work and kill No Child Left Behind. Why, oh why, do I keep hoping against hope that Republicans will display philosophical consistency?

Noem's assignments are one more sign that the GOP leadership sees her as more valuable as a trick pony for their fundraisers and press appearances than as a strong voice for South Dakota interests. Maybe they noticed that she never did get around to posting a coherent ag policy on her campaign website. Or maybe even the GOP leadership couldn't ignore Noem's clear conflict of interest over making a living off farm subsidies and subsidized crop insurance.

Either way, South Dakota has just lost its only voice on the House Agriculture Committee, which shapes legislation on all manner of ag issues as well as on the rural electric systems and rural development.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Obesity Stable Among South Dakota Kids

Governor Mike Rounds is holding legacy-pressers to take credit for increasing South Dakota jobs, GDP, and university enrollment. Does he also want to take credit for maintaining the percentage of heavy kids?

The South Dakota Department of Health reports lots of our kids are still fat. "For the 2009-2010 school year, 32.7% of students were either overweight (16.7%) or obese (16%)." We've seen a little slimming from last year, but the numbers have hardly budged from in academic year 2003–2004, when 15.8% of South Dakota kids were obese and another 16.1% overweight.

Now note if you read the DoH reports that they changed terminology in the AY 2006–2007 report. Before that, kids in the 85th to 94th percentile for body-mass index (BMI) were labeled "at risk of overweight," while kids at or above the 95th percentile were labeled "overweight." In '06&ndash'07, "overweight" became "obese" and "at risk" became "overweight."

Confusing, I know. Just drink less pop and ride more bike, would ya?

Early in the Rounds Administration, the Department of Health set a goal to "reduce the percent of school-age children and adolescents who are overweight or obese from 17% in 2003 to 15% by 2010.” With the wording change, that goal became "reduce the percent of school-age children and adolescents who are at or above the 95th percentile BMI for age (obese) from 17 percent in 2003 to 15 percent by 2010.” No such luck.

Interestingly, the number of underweight kids has increased, too. In AY 2003–04, 2.8% of students (27,245) were below the fifth percentile for body mass index. I can't find the 2009–10 report yet, but the 2008–09 report shows 3.9% of students (40,202) underweight.

I guess that's one more example of the middle class getting smaller.

2010 Initiative Job Growth Concentrated in Big Towns

Gotta beat Montgomery to the Pivot Tables!

Among the milk and honey Governor Rounds says flowed from his 2010 Initiative are job gains in South Dakota. Some folks say government can't create jobs, but I'll let Governor Rounds sort that out with his fellow Republicans. Let's just look at the numbers.

If I'm generous and look at the statewide seasonal numbers from the state Department of Labor, I find that from October 2002 to October 2010, South Dakota added 18,220 jobs, an increase of 4.5%. Over the same period, the size of our workforce increased by 24,480, a 5.8% rise.

But those job gains were not shared by every area of the state. 32 counties gained jobs. 33 counties lost jobs (Clark County broke even.) Minnehaha County led the pack, adding 5655 jobs. That's almost a third of the state's growth. Lincoln County added another 4780 jobs (a state-leading 29.7% job boom). The Sioux Falls metroplex, two counties, thus accounted for over 57% of the job growth of the last eight years.

The biggest losers by raw number? Meade County lost 570 jobs over the last eight years. Turner County lost 550. My home county of Lake lost 395. McCook lost 345. Hmm... all counties within commuting distance of a big metro county.

The full data is below. The data follow a pattern similar to the population growth numbers we discussed here back in March: South Dakota is growing, but the growth is happening mostly in a few urban centers at the expense of rural communities.

If I were the governor of the state trying to create jobs, I might try to spread that employment growth a little more broadly.

South Dakota Labor Stats, 2002-2010
Area Jobs Gained Job Gain % Workers Gained Worker Gain %
Statewide 17470 4.3% 24315 5.8%
Statewide Seasonal 18220 4.5% 24480 5.8%
Aberdeen MiSA 1080 5.0% 1215 5.5%
Brookings MiSA 1495 8.8% 1735 10.0%
Dewey-Ziebach LMA 45 1.4% 160 4.6%
Huron MiSA 600 6.8% 630 7.0%
Mitchell MiSA 265 2.1% 405 3.2%
Pierre MiSA 820 7.2% 930 8.0%
Rapid City MSA 2220 3.6% 3415 5.4%
Sioux Falls MSA 9540 8.4% 12115 10.5%
Spearfish MiSA 1115 9.3% 1300 10.5%
Vermillion MiSA 470 6.8% 530 7.4%
Watertown MiSA 220 1.2% 420 2.3%
Yankton MiSA -85 -0.8% 75 0.6%

Aurora 95 6.6% 120 8.1%
Beadle 600 6.8% 630 7.0%
Bennett -35 -2.6% -15 -1.1%
Bon Homme -335 -10.2% -300 -8.9%
Brookings 1495 8.8% 1735 10.0%
Brown 1095 5.6% 1225 6.1%
Brule -15 -0.5% 15 0.5%
Buffalo -50 -10.1% -20 -3.7%
Butte 310 6.3% 385 7.6%
Campbell -85 -9.2% -90 -9.4%
Charles Mix -200 -4.7% -135 -3.1%
Clark 0 0.0% -20 -1.1%
Clay 470 6.8% 530 7.4%
Codington 205 1.4% 370 2.4%
Corson -10 -0.7% 10 0.7%
Custer 390 8.9% 460 10.2%
Davison 140 1.3% 270 2.5%
Day -245 -8.3% -200 -6.6%
Deuel -20 -0.8% 25 1.0%
Dewey 30 1.2% 155 6.1%
Douglas 75 4.5% 90 5.2%
Edmunds -15 -0.7% -15 -0.7%
Fall River 70 2.0% 125 3.4%
Faulk -30 -2.6% -25 -2.1%
Grant -85 -2.0% -25 -0.6%
Gregory -125 -5.1% -110 -4.3%
Haakon -90 -7.3% -85 -6.8%
Hamlin 15 0.5% 50 1.8%
Hand -55 -2.9% -60 -3.0%
Hanson 130 7.4% 135 7.5%
Harding 45 5.9% 55 7.1%
Hughes 725 7.6% 800 8.2%
Hutchinson -25 -0.7% 0 0.0%
Hyde -35 -4.5% -30 -3.8%
Jackson -5 -0.4% 25 2.1%
Jerauld 200 16.5% 205 16.5%
Jones -40 -5.4% -40 -5.3%
Kingsbury -185 -6.1% -140 -4.5%
Lake -395 -5.9% -255 -3.7%
Lawrence 1115 9.3% 1300 10.5%
Lincoln 4780 29.7% 5265 32.0%
Lyman -40 -2.0% 0 0.0%
Marshall 130 6.8% 155 7.9%
McCook -345 -11.9% -295 -9.9%
McPherson -150 -11.9% -140 -10.8%
Meade -570 -4.6% -370 -2.9%
Mellette -20 -2.2% -5 -0.5%
Miner 50 4.4% 70 5.9%
Minnehaha 5655 6.3% 7650 8.4%
Moody 5 0.1% 110 2.9%
Pennington 2790 5.6% 3785 7.5%
Perkins -170 -9.8% -155 -8.7%
Potter -65 -4.7% -55 -3.9%
Roberts 335 7.5% 405 8.7%
Sanborn -185 -12.2% -170 -10.9%
Shannon -100 -2.8% 125 3.3%
Spink 160 4.9% 170 5.1%
Stanley 95 5.3% 120 6.5%
Sully 45 4.6% 55 5.6%
Todd 245 7.6% 350 10.3%
Tripp -200 -6.4% -210 -6.5%
Turner -550 -12.1% -505 -10.8%
Union 505 7.1% 645 8.8%
Walworth 10 0.4% 55 2.0%
Yankton -85 -0.8% 75 0.6%
Ziebach 15 1.8% 0 0.0%

p.s.: Yesterday Dakota War College urged us liberals to do more fact-checking. Dakota War College then ran a post parroting the state press release in praise of the 2010 Initiative. DWC, I say with all due respect: I check more facts before breakfast than you check all week. Pass the raisin bran.