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Northwest Salmon



Community progress is like waking up each morning

by John Suhr

When the DesignSD team came to Webster it helped give the community a vision of things possible. It was then up to the people of the community to take those visions and run with them or not.

From out of that gathering last fall, a number of the committees are still hard at work trying to take those visions and help them become realities. Others may even be working on the visions they saw and trying to do their part without more meetings.

It sometimes takes a group or committee to accomplish a goal and yet others can run with an idea on their own and see where that vision takes them. There are people who work hard at getting things done. There are those who like to bounce ideas off others and see if the vision is what they see.

But no matter what the vision or case, it is good to see people working at progress and the visions they hope to take to this area in the future. Without any vision or people like them, our communities would look just like they did in the 1800s when people first settled in the area.

While the look of the 1800s is cool, I like the idea of indoor plumbing, electricity and all, so I am glad someone had the vision of those things as well as many others.

Some people do not embrace change well, but after it is made they come to accept or get accustomed to the changes made. Those same people may even see ways of further improving upon those changes. That is where having people or a committee involved in a project helps generate new ideas and thoughts. But a vision has to start someplace and it is great that people care about the places they call home and have a vision for their home community.

People who have been around 10 or more years can see a number of changes that have been made. Progress is like waking up in the morning; it is better than the alternative.



Our state’s personality is a standout among the other 50

by Amanda Fanger

Does where you live depict what type of personality you’ll have? Are there any truths to the stereotypes of the hospitable Southerner, the plain-spoken Midwesterner or the flighty Californian?

And if that is true, what does the personality of your state say about you?

A recent survey was taken of 12,703 U.S. residents in all 50 states and the District of Columbia to find out.

After the survey, the states were rated on the five dimensions of personality which included: engaging with the world (introverted/ extroverted), getting along with others (competitive/cooperative), responding to stress (resilient/neurotic), using your mind (concrete/ abstract) and organizing your life (flexible/focused).

Through that survey, it was discovered that South Dakota is the third most introverted state in our nation. We came in behind Kentucky (second) and Vermont (first). On the opposite end of the scale, the most extroverted states were Nevada, Montana and Arkansas.

In terms of South Dakota ranking third in the “engaging with the world” category, I’m left wondering whether the surveyors took into account the extreme cold we tend to experience; of course we’re going to seem like the type who keeps to ourselves when we’re busy staying indoors to keep warm!

It is interesting also to learn that South Dakota ranked first in the responding to stress category of most neurotic. My thoughts are: of course we’re neurotic! We chose to live where subzero temperatures nine months out of the year is considered “normal.”

And we were listed as the most focused state when it comes to organizing our lives. Again, I suspect this has something to do with the need to be prepared for cold.

We’re fourth on the list of the most concrete thinking. I think this is in relation to the fact that we South Dakotan’s value our traditions.

Something I found most interesting about this study was the fact that South Dakota made it on to four of the five lists for top five states while some states never made it on any of the lists. To me this communicates that the southern Dakota state is a standout state.

In conclusion, the study called both North and South Dakota the most friendly conservatives among the 50 states. The report described us as “open, warm and straightforward, these folks are community-minded and down-to-earth.”

I think that’s a description of my home state I can live with.



From fighting reds to fighting red tape

by Emre K. Erku

I was down at the veterans’ service office the other day, having a conversation with VA officer Mike Wiley about some recent change proposals in the Veterans’ Choice program.

The conversation went something along the lines of ex-military members having to be more than 40 miles away from their VA clinic in order to be eligible for non-VA healthcare. As we discussed some of its finer details a gentleman by the name of Bill Jaskulka walked in and took a seat next to mine.

It was revealed he’s a Korean War veteran who, up until this point, had never taken advantage of his beyond deserved right to VA services.

“I always thought the benefits were for somebody else,” he said, explaining why it’s his first time inquiring of assistance from the federal organization.

Wiley then turned to me with a look of admiration on his face, saying he hears this sort of answer usually once a week. Wow, I thought, what a tough son-of-a-gun. So I turned back to Jaskulka and asked him why he decided to come in to the office now. The vet, sharp as a tack, elaborated.

After returning home from overseas, Jaskulka farmed for five decades in Day County, then pumped septic tanks for another 10 years before retiring. From this hard work, his health insurance was covered. However, 14 years ago his wife fell sick, and the Jaskulkas found themselves cradled by the hands of the Department of Social Services. It was there at the department’s Aberdeen office Jaskulka was told his spouse would be covered for monthly services of healthcare.

As years passed, the department started cutting the monthly hours for her care due to financial reasons. According to Jaskulka, it went down to 20 hours a month, then 10, then... catch the drift?

So, finally, Jaskulka turned to the VA office for help. Not for him, but for his wife.

Of course, Wiley said, the VA doesn’t directly help any spouses, but through a pension program the Korean War vet would be able to attain supplemental finances for his loved one.

So Jaskulka applied, and I hope now his wife is getting the help she needs.

I guess it’s just odd to me that someone who fought near the 38th Parallel when North Korea’s Kim II Sung was flexing his tyrannical power would have to deal with such red tape back home.

I wonder how many other cases like Jaskulka’s are out in the U.S. right now...

Fiksdal Funeral Home

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