January 05 2004

[b]Lines from Lucy [/b]

Posted by Kim
Expectations for the New Year
As the year 2003 comes to an end many events and announcements made in December have us wondering what the New Year will bring.

On a National level we hope that 2004 brings an end to the U.S. involvement in Iraq and the terrorism that plagues the world. The capture of Saddam Hussein in the last month of 2003 gave hope to the idea that the conflict in Iraq could soon be over and that U.S. troops would return home in the New Year. Since the capture, attacks against our troops have not let up. We stay optimistic that an end will come soon.
Osama bin Laden remains a threat to the free world. But, the capture of Saddam gives hope to the notion that he too will be taken, possibly in the New Year.
The announcement of the United States first case of mad cow disease in the last month of 2003 has every farmer and rancher across this country concerned for his or her livelihood. The U.S. has taken precautions to prevent such an outbreak in the states and as more information comes out following the initial announcement it is hoped that the American public will be assured that we still have the best and safest beef for human consumption in the world.
Locally, our state faces great uncertainty regarding our representation in the United States Congress with the second-degree manslaughter conviction of Rep. William Janklow, R-S.D. in the last month of 2003. Congressman Janklow announced his resignation from office effective January 20, 2004, the day scheduled for his sentencing. South Dakota will have no representation in the house until an election can be held in the New Year to fill the position. The U.S. Constitution states that a governor cannot appoint a Representative. While Republican politicians jockey for the nomination to the ballot, the people of South Dakota await the sentencing of one of the States most noteable leaders in the history of the State. May the sentencing be fair and just to all involved.
South Dakotas State Fair will undergo yet another schedule change in the New Year. Larry Gabriel, South Dakotas Secretary of Agriculture announced December 23, that the State Fair has officially been changed to start Labor Day weekend, September 4, 2004. Whether or not this action will improve attendance at the fair or not is yet to be known. Hopefully, this change will be given a chance to succeed before state legislators from the states largest legislative districts attempt to kill the State Fair for good.
On a personal level, my family also has some expectations of what the New Year will bring.
Our middle daughter, Tess will start the New Year out with an adventurous road trip to Pensacola, Florida. She will spend the start of 2004 attending business school classes at Western Florida University as part of a national exchange program through the University of South Dakota.
Our oldest daughter, Laura announced in the last month of 2003 that she would make us grandparents for the second time in the coming New Year. She and her husband expect their new bundle of joy to arrive in July; it will be great to have a new family member share my birthday month.
Although we have an inkling of a few events to come in 2004, many unknown surprises await us in the New Year.
Best wishes for a prosperous New Year filled with happy surprises.

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