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Good, Bad, Ugly

Rapid City Journal By Journal Editorial Board The Good: Thursday’s visit by Citizens Energy Corp.’s Joseph P. Kennedy II to Rapid City, where tribal officials thanked him and Venezuelan officials for help with high heating bills on their reservations. The BAD: That Hugo Chavez, the anti-American president of Venezuela, is more generous with his charity to poor Native Americans who need help paying heating costs than any of the OPEC nations that the United States considers its friends and allies. THE UGLY: The government-owned CITGO was the only major oil company in the world that responded to Kennedy’s pleas for discounted fuel oil three years ago. The GOOD: Tax rebate checks that could begin arriving in mailboxes across the nation in May after Congress passed the economic stimulus plan into law on Friday. President Bush is expected to sign it this week. The BAD: The extra $168 billion the stimulus package adds to the federal deficit. The Ugly: Whether your check is for $300, $600, or $1,200, it’s money borrowed from your children. Or your children’s children. The GOOD: The sun shone on state government this past week when a Senate committee sent not one, but two, open-records laws on to the Senate for action. One bill states a presumption of openness about government documents and the other establishes a simple, cost-effective resolution process when government agencies and citizens have disputes about open records. Rapid City voters should take a moment to congratulate Sen. ‘Mac’ McCracken for his affirmative committee vote and to urge all of their legislators to support both bills. The Ugly: Spearfish comedian Gary Mule Deer’s hairdo for his Feb. 5 appearance on the ‘Late Show with David Letterman.” It was funny. The Good: The possibilities for interfaith and intercultural dialogue that the museum exhibit, “A Blessing to One Another: Pope John Paul II and the Jewish People” presents to the citizens of western South Dakota when it arrives for a summer run in downtown Rapid City. The Good: Nucor Corp.’s $1 gift to the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology’s metallurgical program. The steel company’s donation will fund an endowed professorship for metallurgical and steelmaking technologies. The GREAT: Another successful Black Hills Stock Show & Rodeo, which wrapped up a 10-day run Feb. 3 in Rapid City. Concessions, vendor sales, crowds and per-head cattle prices were all up slightly from last year.

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