Mt. Rushmore Wastewater Treatment System Team Receives Treatment Operation and Maintenance Award

KEYSTONE, SD – Mount Rushmore National Memorial wastewater treatment system team is the recipient of the 2017 Operation and Maintenance Wastewater Treatment Award presented by the South Dakota Department of Environmental and Natural Resources, DENR. 

The 2017 Operation and Maintenance Wastewater Treatment Award is for outstanding operation of the wastewater system and environmental compliance with its state surface water discharge permit during the year.  The award was presented during the 2018 South Dakota Water and Wastewater Association Wastewater Operations Seminar held April 11th and 12th at the Clubhouse Hotel & Suites in Pierre.

“Wastewater treatment is vitally important to our quality of life because it removes harmful pollutants that can spread disease and provides safe drinking water for use by all those downstream,” said DENR Secretary Steve Pirner.  “The winners of DENR’s Surface Water Discharge Permit Awards are to be thanked because they collect, treat, and maintain their wastewater treatment systems at the highest levels.”

Superintendent Cheryl Schreier noted, “We are pleased to have the outstanding work of our wastewater treatment crew recognized by the state.  Utility Team Members: Bruce McClure, Rod Hart, Courtney Leising, Clif Esper, Jim Strang, and Facilities Supervisor Doug Livermore consistently make the extra effort to ensure safe operation of the water and wastewater facilities while protecting our natural resources.”

Qualifications for the Operations and Maintenance Wastewater Treatment Award are based on a system’s compliance with state environmental requirements, the quality of the treated and discharged wastewater, monitoring reports, state inspections, and proper operation and maintenance of the wastewater treatment facility.

For additional park information, please visit Mount Rushmore National Memorial’s official website at

Explanation Released for Proposed Constitutional Amendment Z to Appear on November Ballot

PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley announced today that an Attorney General Explanation for a proposed constitutional amendment has been filed with the Secretary of State.

During the 2018 legislature session the Legislature passed House Joint Resolution 1006, which will appear on the November ballot as Constitutional Amendment Z.  The explanation is entitled “An amendment to the South Dakota Constitution establishing that a proposed constitutional amendment may embrace only one subject, and requiring proposed amendments to be presented and voted on separately.”

Under South Dakota law, the Attorney General is responsible for preparing explanations for proposed initiated measures, referred laws, and South Dakota Constitutional Amendments.  Specifically, the explanations include a title, an objective, clear and simple summary of the purpose and effect of the proposed amendment and a description of the legal consequences, as well as a recitation of the effect of a “yes” and “no” vote. Attorney General Explanations are not statements either for or against the proposed amendments.

Constitutional Amendment Z

Custer County Fatal Motorcycle Crash

CUSTER, S.D. – A 63-year-old man died Monday in a motorcycle crash west of Custer.

The name of the deceased is not being released pending notification of family. He was the only person involved.

A 2017 Harley FLHTK was westbound on U.S. Highway 16 when the driver failed to negotiate a turn. The motorcycle collided with the guard rail.

The driver died at the scene. He was not wearing a helmet.

South Dakota’s Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.

An approximate location on the crash can be found at: CUSTER COUNTY FATAL CRASH.

The Highway Patrol is part of the South Dakota Department of Public Safety.



PHILADELPHIA, /PRNewswire/ — Jewish American Heritage Month (JAHM) is a national commemoration of the contributions that American Jews have made to the fabric of our nation’s history, culture, and society.  The theme for May 2018 is American Jews and Music which focuses on the rich and deep influence of American Jews on American music across decades and genres. The JAHM website,, offers interactive content and educational resources to facilitate nationwide engagement. First established by presidential proclamation in 2006 and renewed every year since, JAHM encourages people of all backgrounds to learn about and draw inspiration from more than 360-years of Jewish life in this country.

“Through JAHM, we honor the values of inclusion, acceptance, and religious liberty cherished by this country,” says Ivy Barsky, CEO and Gwen Goodman Director of the National Museum of American Jewish History (NMAJH) in Philadelphia, the lead sponsor of JAHM.

Inspired by the 2018 global Leonard Bernstein centennial celebrations, this year’s JAHM theme recognizes the many Jewish Americans who helped create the nation’s soundtrack – individuals who have been shaped by American life, society, and culture, and in turn enriched America’s musical repertoire, from classical compositions to rock and roll. West Side Story composer and humanitarian Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) used the power of music to respond to the social crises of his day. Songwriter Irving Berlin (1888-1989) was an Eastern European immigrant who produced timeless hits, including God Bless America, while fighting for the United States in WWI. Singer Fanny Brice (1891-1951), the child of Jewish immigrants, delighted audiences with her vaudeville acts, inspiring a stage and film portrayal by another widely successful artist—global stage and screen sensation Barbra Streisand (b. 1942). Chart-topping hits have been produced by Bob Dylan (b. 1941), Carole King (b. 1942), Paul Simon (b. 1941), Regina Spektor (b. 1980), and countless others. The musical output of these creative individuals continues to entertain and inspire today.

The JAHM website and Fascinating Rhythms resource booklet produced by NMAJH provide myriad ways to connect to JAHM nationally: communities can submit their related events to the calendar, dive into musical resources from the Milken Archive of Jewish Music and the Library of Congress, download and share the pdf of the booklet or contact to request hard copies, and more.  For an in-depth look at individuals such as Leonard Bernstein, visit exhibitions like Leonard Bernstein: The Power of Music on view through September 2, 2018 at NMAJH.

For more information and updates visit

About Jewish American Heritage Month
Jewish American Heritage Month (JAHM) is a national month of recognition of the more than 360-year history of Jewish contributions to American culture, celebrated in May. JAHM acknowledges the achievements of Jewish Americans in fields ranging from sports and arts and entertainment to medicine, business, science, government and military service. For more information, visit and connect on Facebook and Twitter.

SOURCE National Museum of American Jewish History


Report shows visitor spending supports 1,111 jobs in local economy

Interior, SD – A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that the combined 1,198,040 visitors to Badlands National Park and Minuteman Missile National Historic Site in 2017 spent $76.4 million in communities near the park. That spending supported 1,111 jobs in the local area and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of $93.7 million.

“Badlands National Park and Minuteman Missile National Historic Site welcomes visitors from across the country and around the world,” said Superintendent Mike Pflaum. “We are delighted to share the story of these places and the experiences they provide. We also feature the parks as a way to introduce our visitors to this part of the country and all that it offers. National park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy, returning $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service, and it’s a big factor in our local economy as well. We appreciate the partnership and support of our neighbors and are glad to be able to give back by helping to sustain local communities.”

The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas of the U.S. Geological Survey and Lynne Koontz of the National Park Service.  The report shows $18.2 billion of direct spending by more than 330 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 306,000 jobs nationally; 255,900 of those jobs are found in these gateway communities. The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $35.8 billion.

The lodging sector received the highest direct contributions with $5.5 billion in economic output to local gateway economies and 49,000 jobs. The restaurants sector received the next greatest direct contributions with $3.7 billion in economic output to local gateway economies and 60,500 jobs.

According to the 2017 report, most park visitor spending was for lodging/camping (32.9 percent) followed by food and beverages (27.5 percent), gas and oil (12.1 percent), souvenirs and other expenses (10.1 percent), admissions and fees (10.0 percent), and local transportation (7.5 percent).

Report authors also produce an interactive tool that enables users to explore visitor spending, jobs, labor income, value added, and output effects by sector for national, state, and local economies. Users can also view year-by-year trend data. The interactive tool and report are available at the NPS Social Science Program webpage:

To learn more about national parks in South Dakota and how the National Park Service works with South Dakota communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to


1. Call to Order – Roll Call – Pledge of Allegiance

2. Approval of Agenda

3. Approval of Minutes – April 30th, 2018 Meeting

4. Declaration of Conflict of Interest

5. Public Presentations – Public Hearings – Public Comments

            a. 2017 Audit Presentation

            b. Custer Area Chamber of Commerce Presentation

c. Custer BID Board Presentation

d. Executive Proclamation – Arbor Day


6. Old Business

            a. HomeSlice Media Contract – Custer BID Board

            b. Toby Brusseau Productions Contract – Custer BID Board

            c. Marketing Manager Contract – Dolsee Davenport – Custer BID Board

7. New Business

            a. Drainage Evaluation & Design Services Proposal – ACES

            b. West Dam Reconstruction Contract Amendment #3 – Banner

            c. Mailbox Replacement Policy




8.  Presentation of Claims –

9. Department Head Discussion & Committee Reports –

10. Executive Session – Personnel, Proposed Litigation, & Contract Negotiations (SDCL 1-25-2(1-4))

11. Adjournment



Planning Commission Meeting – May 8th, 2018 5:00 P.M.

General Government Committee Meeting – May 14th, 2018 4:30 P.M.

Park & Recreation Committee Meeting – May 15th, 2018 5:30 P.M.

Regular City Council Meeting – May 21st, 2018 5:30 P.M.

Public Works Committee Meeting – June 4th, 2018 4:30 P.M.

Regular City Council Meeting – June 4th, 2018 5:30 P.M.



PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley announced today that an Attorney General Explanation for a proposed constitutional amendment has been filed with the Secretary of State.

During the 2018 legislative session the Legislature passed Senate Joint Resolution 1, a proposed constitutional amendment that will appear on the November 2018 general election ballot as Constitutional Amendment X.  The explanation is entitled “An amendment to the South Dakota Constitution increasing the number of votes needed to approve a constitutional amendment.”

Under South Dakota law, the Attorney General is responsible for preparing explanations for proposed initiated measures, referred laws, and South Dakota Constitutional Amendments.  Specifically, the explanations include a title, an objective, clear and simple summary of the purpose and effect of the proposed amendment and a description of the legal consequences, as well as a recitation of the effect of a “yes” and “no” vote. Attorney General Explanations are not statements either for or against the proposed amendments.





File 20180503 138586 1kwi1o7.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1
China hopes to make more microprocessor chips in China, which makes it a great industry to lead a boycott. AP Photo

Amitrajeet A. Batabyal
Rochester Institute of Technology

The U.S. and China are locked in negotiations both sides say they hope will avert a painful trade war.

The Trump administration has threatened to impose a series of tariffs unless China agrees to limit what he calls “its illicit trade practices.” The Chinese government, for its part, appears unwilling to accede to his demands and has offered some retaliatory trade sanctions of its own.

The ostensible reason President Donald Trump is willing to risk a trade war is because he argues – justifiably – that U.S. companies have been taken advantage of by their Chinese counterparts for decades, required to hand over lucrative intellectual property in exchange for access to China’s growing middle class.

Tariffs, however, aren’t the answer to that problem, as my research in international economics and the design of international environmental agreements shows. Rather, if Trump really wants to achieve his stated aims, he should put American businesses on the front lines of his strategy and call for a boycott of China.

Doing business in China

If that sounds preposterous, consider the origins of this escalating conflict.

Its seeds can be traced back to the opening up of the Chinese economy as a result of reforms introduced by Deng Xiaoping in 1978 and the zeal of American – and more generally Western – companies in taking full advantage of new business opportunities in this gigantic market.

However, in many instances in the past four decades, the presence of mandatory technology transfer policies and foreign ownership restrictions have meant that market access has been granted only to Western firms willing to play ball. In addition, there is now considerable evidence that Chinese businesses, often with the participation of government officials, have been conducting cyberattacks on American companies to steal their intellectual property.

The Trump administration estimated that this theft of American intellectual property costs US$225 billion to $600 billion annually.

And since companies are already on the front lines of this fight, with the most to lose, it makes sense that they’re the ones to lead the counter attack.

A boycott by firms

So how would a boycott work? Importantly, the U.S. couldn’t do it alone.

American companies, like everyone else, want to make money in the one billion person market that is China and hence it would not make sense for them to unilaterally withdraw. By doing so, they would be giving up valuable market share to their rivals. For example, if a top U.S. luxury car seller such as Cadillac were to unilaterally boycott the Chinese market, then it would be giving up valuable market share to other rivals.

The key point is that many of those rivals are in Europe and have also been used and abused by Chinese companies and hence have a similar interest in finding a way to prevent them from stealing any more of their intellectual property.

If all Western luxury car makers jointly boycotted China, then this would be equivalent to acting as if a Chinese market didn’t exist. Clearly, profits would take a hit in the short run, but the long-term objective of ensuring that Western companies do business on a level playing field would be met.

Cars and chips

Also, a boycott wouldn’t have to involve more than a few industries to be effective. Specifically, the focus would need to be on industries that China, through its Made in China 2025 scheme, would like to dominate. Two strong examples are cars and computer chips.

China has been trying to develop a domestic automobile industry since the early 1980s, an effort that has largely failed. But now, under the Made in China initiative, it is seeking to become a leader in electric vehicles.

However, it needs Western automakers to continue to operate in China and conduct research on battery technology and on electric vehicles in order to achieve this goal.

Thus if Western car companies and particularly those actively conducting research in battery technology jointly agreed to stop competing in China, that would send a strong message to Beijing. Either China could try to go it alone with no Western collaboration or it’ll have to realize that systematically strong-arming companies will not help it attain its goals.

A second example of an industry in which a Western boycott would be effective is microprocessor chips. This is because China is still significantly dependent on imports despite operating a few notable supercomputers that use solely home-made chips. Almost 90 percent of chips used in China are either imported or produced domestically by foreign companies, so a boycott would force the government to sit up and take notice.

For a boycott of this sort to work, it is important that American officials not attempt to go it alone, making it seem like a purely China versus U.S. spat. Successful boycotts follow a “strength in numbers” logic.

And this is where the Trump administration enters the fray. It could use its diplomatic muscle to enlist the governments of like-minded allies – particularly the European Union – to get their companies in key industries to join the American-led boycott. This could be part of a wider effort to credibly and collaboratively communicate to China that it needs to play fairly. As New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman recently noted, the “last thing Beijing wants is a U.S.-E.U. united front demanding it play fair.”

Not only would this selective boycott make it harder for the Chinese government to achieve its Made in China 2025 dreams, it would also anger consumers, who are increasingly hungry for Western goods – something the leadership is well aware of.

And in contrast to tariffs, such a campaign would likely have no adverse impact on American consumers.

One important caveat: This course of action, like imposing tariffs, would probably do little to reduce the threat of intellectual property theft by Chinese hackers.

The Chinese government is hoping to make more high-tech products in China by 2025. AP Photo/Ng Han Guan

Would a boycott work?

When we think of a boycott, we usually imagine consumers avoiding a particular product. Such boycotts have had varying levels of success.

A corporate boycott of a nation is much less common. To the best of my knowledge, a corporate boycott of a nation along the lines suggested here has not been attempted before. Historically, boycotts against a nation have typically been designed to persuade consumers to not purchase products from a nation, such as the anti-apartheid movement or the more controversial boycott of Israel.

What I am proposing is a country boycott by companies located in multiple nations and hence it is not possible to directly gauge the likelihood of success based on past actions

That being said, vigorous diplomacy by like-minded nations sharing a common objective has yielded positive outcomes in as diverse and difficult cases as the 1987 Montreal protocol to reduce ozone-depleting substances and the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Similarly, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries cartel has demonstrated how businesses across nations can take joint action to achieve a common objective, with mixed success.

Might China retaliate? Perhaps, but the costs would be high if the U.S. were to successfully organize a boycott involving companies in several dozen countries. More likely, it would find accommodation a much more palatable option in the face of a united front.

The ConversationThe recent tariffs aside, Western businesses and nations need to stop treating China with kid gloves, which I believe they have been doing for years. A boycott would be a good start – and wouldn’t risk a trade war.

Amitrajeet A. Batabyal, Arthur J. Gosnell Professor of Economics, Rochester Institute of Technology

This article was originally published on The Conversation.