Friday, December 29, 2017

Here are the best hits of 2017

Since The Dakota Progressive is taking up most of my blogging time ip is not updated nearly as often although total hit counts are holding up well anyway. Daily counts for each blog usually run neck and neck.

Blogger added a widget to track the most-hit posts in a year so it's easier to compile the list. Totals are for all time but these posts were the most hit for the year in descending order.

Thanks to all who visit!

Krebs Deep Throat for Noem Tryst Post 7,263 hits.
US Air Force dumping hazardous waste over PRTC 873 hits, 2017 post
Corps cancel Spring pulse, acknowledge native fish doomed 863 hits, 2017 post
Rapid City Journal ends racist reader comments 801 hits, 2017 post
Socialized agriculture driving Spring wildfire season 720 hits, 2017 post
Montana cannabis industry evolving 11,567 hits
Bryon Noem considering divorce 3,821 hits
Martinez, NM Dems likely headed toward deal on cannabis, death penalty 532 hits, 2017 post
Disease ravaging western ungulates after red states slaughter apex predators 511 hits, 2017 post
Earth haters blame enviros for wildland fires but ignore poor ranching practices 466 hits, 2017 post

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

New Mexico legislator wants to capitalize on cannabis

State Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino (D-Albuquerque) wants all adults in New Mexico to be able to grow, possess, and buy cannabis legally.

His resolution needs a two-thirds majority in both the Senate and the House to get the measure on the ballot for voters to decide bypassing a governor's veto.

New Mexico's opioid overdose rates have been plummeting thanks to the state's therapeutic cannabis program. The state's Department of Health recently announced the therapeutic cannabis program has risen to 45,347 total patients or a 77 percent increase over the same period last year.

Researchers and pharmacologists agree: cannabis is a safe and effective treatment as a bridge to recovery from opioid addiction. University of New Mexico researchers and the Industrial Rehabilitation Clinics of Albuquerque have released findings that showed 71% of patients either ceased or reduced their use of manufactured opioids within 6 months of enrolling in that state's medical cannabis program.

Democrats are keenly aware that to energize millennials and a jaded base radical times call for sensible approaches to reforms of civil liberties for all adults even if it means enduring some feces-throwing from the earth hater Big Food, Big Booze, Big Pharma, NFL set.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Therapeutic cannabis blazing in New Mexico

New Mexico Department of Health's therapeutic cannabis program has risen to 45,347 total patients or a 77 percent increase over the same period last year.
Despite the frequent restatement of data by the NMDOH, the rapidly expanding Medical Cannabis Program continues to exceed projections and show significant year-over-year growth. The program remains on track to reach near 50,000 patients by Dec. 31. [Albuquerque Journal]
Two additional dispensaries, Kure Cannabis and the fourth outlet for Albuquerque-based producer Minerva Canna Group, brings the Santa Fe total to seven.

Researchers and pharmacologists agree: cannabis is a safe and effective treatment as a bridge to recovery from opioid addiction. University of New Mexico researchers and the Industrial Rehabilitation Clinics of Albuquerque have released findings that showed 71% of patients either ceased or reduced their use of manufactured opioids within 6 months of enrolling in that state's medical cannabis program.

On Friday North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger approved a petition that would let voters decide if cannabis should be legal for all adults.
Jaeger says backers of the ballot measure must gather about 13,500 qualified signatures to put it to a statewide vote next year. [Leafly]
South Dakota's more forward-looking neighbor to the north is already growing interest in cannabis as therapy.

North Dakota voters passed Measure 5 in 2016 and this year the legislature drafted rules then a Republican governor signed it into law.
The North Dakota Department of Health has filed proposed rules to be adopted for the Medical Marijuana Program with the state’s Legislative Council. The NDDoH expects to file all required information no later than February 1, 2018 in an attempt to have the rules presented in March to the legislative Administrative Rules Committee. [Valley News Live]
God might not be enough for northern tier religious states: they lead the nation in anti-depressant use.

Democrats are keenly aware that to energize millennials and a jaded base radical times call for sensible approaches to reforms of civil liberties for all adults even if it means enduring some feces-throwing from the earth hater Big Food, Big Booze, Big Pharma, NFL set.

Monday, December 18, 2017

It's time to remove another war criminal's name from a national forest and a state park



The Legion Lake Fire reminds America that Custer State Park is named for a war criminal.

During the Battle of Greasy Grass George Custer attacked the encampment where the elderly, women and children were hidden and during the Washita Massacre he held a similar contingent as hostages and human shields.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says that if Confederate monuments are taken down, there’s no telling how far America might go —Native Americans could call for the removal of statues commemorating leaders who orchestrated violence against their ancestors. [Huffington Post]
After successes by tribal nations renaming geographical features in Alaska and South Dakota Yellowstone National Park could see at least two name changes.

Hayden Valley memorializes Ferdinand V. Hayden who advocated for “extermination” of tribal people and Mount Doane is named for Lieutenant Gustavus Doane who led a massacre of the Piikani, part of the Blackfoot Confederacy.

According to US Geological Survey officials the Board on Geographic Names has received no official proposal to change the names to Buffalo Nations Valley and First Peoples Mountain.

Senator Lisa Murkowski and the US Park Service are doing what Alaskans are asking of Congress urging the body to approve a name change for North America's highest peak to Denali, an Athabascan name meaning “the high one.”

This blogger has been arguing for Lakota names on South Dakota's geological features for at least twenty years. It is the opinion of this blog now that the mountain was renamed for Nicholas Black Elk, a holy man who rejected the Roman Church, it should be in the Lakota language: loosely translated as Paha Heȟáka Sápa.

Tribal nations and pueblos in New Mexico are also mulling changes to events and geographical places that glorify Spanish colonizers.

US Presidents Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren drove thousands from their lands and to their deaths over the Trail of Tears yet Rapid City brazenly displays their likenesses in conspicuous locations downtown.

South Dakota is home to numerous sculptures that idolize genocide visited upon American Indians. Mount Rushmore is the state's premier example of racist ideology. Its sculptor was a member of the Ku Klux Klan.

Sturgis in Meade County is home to Fort Meade: one of the last outposts supporting the US Army's war against Native forces. Samuel Sturgis and George Meade are both known for slaughtering American Indians.

The South Dakota Board of Geographic Names spent most of their time on the proposal to change the name of Squaw Humper Dam in Oglala Lakota County. The proposed name is Tahc’a Okute Mni Onaktake, which, according to Lakota and internet sources, translates roughly as “blocking water at a place for shooting deer.”

The word 'squaw' is derived from Algonquin and Inyan Kara Peak in the Wyoming Black Hills is the bastardization of American Indian words; but, humper is simply wasicu for any man engaged in the act of copulation.

With the Oglala Lakota Nation as an interested party Chief Arvol Looking Horse has submitted a request to the U.S. Board on Geographic Names saying the words “Devils Tower” are a malapropism.

During the 2016 session South Dakota's Republican legislature voted to usurp the local control of the SD Board in favor of federal command over geographical names.

It's time for the State of South Dakota to abandon Bear Butte State Park that it claimed through colonization and remand it to the tribes for governance so they can restore its name to Mato Paha and for the US Park Service to add the name Mahto Tipila to Devils Tower National Monument.

Meanwhile, another site named for a European known for exploiting American Indians is being upgraded.

Custer’s name is on a peak in the Black Hills National Forest and should be removed. It's time to remove his name from the Custer National Forest, too.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Legion Lake Fire pinnacle of red state failure


Cost to We the People for managing the 2013 Pautre Fire was about $1 million. No livestock were lost and there was minimal damage to fences. 3,519 acres of federal land and 7,160 acres of private property were cleared of invasive grasses.

The US Forest Service knew an advancing cold front would aid the clearing of foot-high grasses and mowed a fire break instead of using a disk to make a fire line so the blaze escaped the planned boundaries. Disturbing soils with implements can allow the growth of weeds introduced by European settlers in the 19th Century. Snow showers ended the fire, there were no injuries and the only structure lost was a derelict rural schoolhouse.
South Dakota Stock Growers Association leaders are questioning what they’re calling an unbalanced response of federal land management agencies to fires that burned public and private land. Representative Lynne DiSanto is bringing forward a bill, on behalf of the Stock Growers Association, that would hold the federal government responsible for their actions. [Today's KCCR]
DiSanto supports the actions of the sleeper cell of armed christianic militants who stormed a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon: a procedure known as "Bleeding the Beast."

Ponderosa pine only reached the Black Hills just over a thousand years ago. When the Custer Expedition came through the Black Hills bringing invasive cheatgrass for their horses stands of ponderosa pine were sparsely scattered but a century and a half of poor ranching and land management practices have created an unnatural overstory best controlled by the mountain pine beetle, prescribed fires and periodic wildfires. After a century of destructive agricultural practices invasive grasses infest most of western South Dakota.
Before humans began suppressing them, wildfires occurred naturally in grasslands and forests. Prescribed burns are sometimes conducted to mimic the positive natural effects of wildfires. Wind Cave officials hoped to stave off a catastrophic wildfire by burning off some of the thick, dry vegetation that wildfires feed on. [Seth Tupper]
Just a hundred and fifty years ago whatever forage was left after the bison migrated south the tribes cleared.

A Republican with an actual background in forest management called the escaped Cold Brook Fire a "roaring success:"
The Wind Cave fire reduced the heavy thatch of dry grass, young junipers and young pine trees that are drowning our forest everywhere, opened up much new grazing ground, increased grazing productivity for buffalo and wildlife, and will turn out to be just what the doctor ordered. [Frank Carroll]
So, after the Cold Brook Fire South Dakota's vulnerable Republican senior senator wants control over the Department of Interior's science-driven prescribed burns.

The Wanblee and Cottonwood Fires were long overdue. The largest post-settlement incident in the Black Hills is the Jasper Fire. It's a hardwood release success story.

But, now the shoe is on the other foot. Governor Denny Daugaard has asked for and received assurances of federal cash to manage the Legion Lake Fire that began on state-owned land and has grown to at least 53,875 acres with 50% containment.

South Dakota is the fourth most dependent in the US but its governor says he hates dependency yet South Dakota is a perpetual welfare state and a permanent disaster area.

Wildfire expert Joe Lowe has called Daugaard incompetent and uninterested in governing.

Commissioners for South Dakota's Game, Fish and Plunder have been briefed about the risks Custer State Park's domestic buffalo face in the wake of the state-caused Legion Lake Fire.
The secretary said the fire burned through a major part of the buffalo range inside the park. He said the park staff doesn’t want to be in competition with the private landowners who have lost hay too.
Read that here.

Buffalo are bison with cattle genes. They have vacated Custer State Park threatening the genetic integrity of the bison at Wind Cave National Park and routinely wander onto highways to injure visitors in the park named for a war criminal.
A livestock owner cannot intentionally allow the animals to wander off his or her property. And if the owner is responsible for the fences that enclose the animals and fail to maintain them, he or she can be held liable for damage caused to another’s property or the cost of medical bills if a person is injured after crashing into a cow on a road. According to the state Department of Agriculture website, the owner of domestic animals such as cattle is not liable for injuries for them being at large unless he or she knows the animals are vicious or should have reasonably anticipated there would be injury from them being at-large on the highway.
Read that story here.

The human-caused Legion Lake Fire represents strategic failures by Black Hills Energy, the State of South Dakota, SDGFP and the South Dakota Republican Party. The absence of prescribed burns and the persistence of invasive cheatgrass in the park are just two more examples of poor planning by GFP. Instead of allowing native aspen to be restored stands of doghair ponderosa pine that grew after the Galena Fire are feeding the current blaze.

Hypocrisy is a Republican value.

Just as the State of South Dakota sued Black Hills Power and Light after the Grizzly Gulch Fire Black Hills Energy should sue the shit out of South Dakota for the Legion Lake Fire for not letting crews cut ladder fuels in a right of way under a power line.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Spearditch to lose Bay Leaf Café

1993 marked the beginning of the end of my marriage but it was also the year Taffy Tucker, her ex-husband French Bryan and his boyfriend, George Huck began rebuilding the old Queen City Hotel.
“Getting the building rehabbed, it was a much bigger undertaking than we ever anticipated,” Bryan said. Even though there were times during the rehabilitation of the building they questioned what they got themselves into, that work remains one of his favorite memories of owning the business. “It was two or three official documents from being condemned,” he said of the rough conditions. The closing date for the pending sale of the building is Dec. 29. It has sold to another restaurateur who declined to elaborate on her plans for the business at this time. [Black Hills Pioneer]
Taffy is a Deadwood girl and Orville Bryan grew up in rural Spearditch, attended Spearditch High School then graduated Black Hills State College. Orville was named "French" after the Sebastian Cabot character in teevee's Family Affair by college classmate Dale Bell of posse comitatus fame. French and Taffy married then with Bill Walsh, Mike Trucano and their wives bought Deadwood's Franklin Hotel. Taffy's dad, Doug, was the Franklin's maître d' for about two decades.

French served as Deadwood's mayor for a time but he and Taffy divorced yet stayed close friends after he came out.

Before gambling came to Deadwood in 1989 the Franklin got deeply into debt to Twin City Fruit after one of Deadwood gaming's Founding Fathers, Mike O'Connell, fell over a railing at the hotel and lost the use of his legs. French came to TCF temporarily and worked as our sales manager to help settle arrears.

After gambling came to the Gulch and Twin City Fruit was sold to Sysco French left the area for a time but returned to buy the Queen City Hotel. I ultimately contracted the drywall installation and finish of the building that would become home to the Bay Leaf Café and met the mother of my daughters there. She was working for Bill Walsh at the Franklin part time.

Taffy convinced this blogger to audition then perform six seasons as Mother Ginger in the Black Hills Dance Theater’s production of the Nutcracker.

The Franklin later sold to become part of the Silverado complex. That building is hurting today.

A story about the restaurant is posted at the Rapid City Journal, too.

The above artwork was done by my former sister-in-law Debbie Streeter.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Neighbor Nancy's happy bosque bird-day

Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge is about 135 miles south of the ranch on I-25 and it's Neighbor Nancy's favorite birthday trip. Click on any image for a better look.


There were tens of thousands of snow geese again this year but the water was more abundant closer to the main channel of the Rio Grande.



Canada goose numbers seemed way down from previous years. The rangers said budget cuts meant fewer people to collect data on counts of each bird species. The Service was conducting a burn of mechanically masticated tamarisk.




We saw two huge flocks of Sandhill cranes and many other smaller groups of them scattered throughout the refuge. There were certainly tens of thousands. We've been hearing them flying over the ranch for at least two weeks. The Rio Grande is about ten miles from the ranch as the crane flies and there might be some water in the Galisteo Dam just a few miles away.



The mule deer had plenty of cover and fields of ear corn. Note the leaves still on the cottonwoods. Several unidentifiable trees had lost their leaves and were already budding.



This red tail and some marsh hawks were the four raptors we saw this year. There are usually bald eagles all over the refuge but not this trip. It was a glorious day and drive with a high temperature of 63 degrees!

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Saturday's roundup: a week on cannabis

Minnesotans suffering from autism and obstructive sleep apnea will be able to seek relief with therapeutic cannabis starting next July.
Health Commissioner Dr. Ed Ehlinger announced the additions following a state and public citizen review of medical research. Ehlinger selected autism and apnea due to "increasing evidence for potential benefits."
Get the story here.
Minnesota Timberwolves big man Karl-Anthony Towns believes the NBA should allow players to use marijuana for medicinal purposes. His girlfriend's nephew is autistic, and Towns has seen how some of the new treatments involving properties of marijuana have helped the young boy and his family deal with the condition.
Read the rest here.

Researchers recently published findings cannabis is an effective therapy for opioid use disorder.

Some Minnesota counties are suing opioid manufacturers alleging a decades-long campaign convinced doctors and patients that opioids were safe and not addictive.

Democratic Minnesota Senator Al Franken has promised to bone up on the law as his state liberalizes its cannabis policy.
Now, the senator is on a bit of a marijuana bill cosponsorship spree, and some observers think it's good politics -- in addition to good policy -- at a time when Franken's name is being floated as a possible 2020 presidential candidate.
Read the rest at Forbes.

An Iowa company will be the first in that state to develop therapeutic cannabis for patients there.

Better late than never, the Moody County Enterprise is rubbing Marty Jackley's nose in his inability to get a conviction in a tribal sovereignty cannabis case.
Jonathan Hunt, 44, was sentenced Nov. 21 in Moody County Circuit Court after having agreed to testify in the case against his boss, Eric Hagen, earlier this year. Hagen, who was president and CEO of Monarch America, was found not guilty in a jury trial. More than a year earlier, the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe executive committee had entered into a five-year agreement with Monarch America to design, construct and develop a 10,000-square-foot marijuana grow facility to supply a 15,000-square-foot retail recreational marijuana consumption lounge, according to court papers.
Read the rest here.

Flandreau has a long history of racism and a crooked law enforcement industry.

South Dakota's more forward-looking neighbor to the north is growing interest in cannabis as therapy.

North Dakota voters passed Measure 5 in 2016 and this year the legislature drafted rules then a Republican governor signed it into law.
The North Dakota Department of Health has filed proposed rules to be adopted for the Medical Marijuana Program with the state’s Legislative Council. The NDDoH expects to file all required information no later than February 1, 2018 in an attempt to have the rules presented in March to the legislative Administrative Rules Committee.
Read more here.

A crowd of Montanans heard testimony in Helena on proposed therapeutic cannabis rule changes (pdf) imposed by the repressive Senate Bill 333 on the Department of Public Health and Human Services.
“You guys making these guys jump through more hoops, more laws, more costs to the provider, doesn’t do a patient any favors,” said Will Leishman, a patient from Butte. DPHHS will continue taking public comments on the proposed rules by mail, fax and email. Once the rules are finalized, DPHHS will give providers and patients two months’ notice before putting them into effect. [KTVQ teevee]
God just might not be enough for northern tier religious states: they lead the nation in anti-depressant and meth use.