Wyoming Black Hills mining threatens South Dakota water

The divide between the Little Missouri and the Belle Fourche drainages is not very wide: less than a mile just west of the Missouri Buttes. At that location it's not difficult to visualize how the Clovis People migrating into the region some 12,000 years ago seeking shelter and food sources found their way into lands free of glaciation.

The Casper Star-Tribune has recently posted several articles on mountaintop-removal mining for rare earth minerals in that part of the Wyoming Black Hills. Here is a snip of the latest piece with links added from the series:
Rare Element Resources, a Vancouver-based company, hopes to spend around 40 years mining a portion of the Black Hills National Forest in northeast Wyoming for some of the planet’s most valuable minerals. “I would hope that the Wyoming DEQ sets good standards and makes sure we don’t end up poisoning Beaver Creek and Cook Lake, which are both downstream,” said Ed Mignery, whose house is down the road from the mine site. Of particular concern to area residents are creeks that start near the proposed site and eventually wind their way into the Belle Fourche River. Sundance Mayor Paul Brooks won’t tell people if he is for or against the mine project. Concerns range from potential groundwater contamination to waste rock management. The Forest Service has received more than 150 comments so far on the proposal. [Christine Peterson, Some area landowners concerned about proposed rare earth mine]
Surprise! Cross-state pollution rules? Marty could care less.
The Bear Lodge Project has three main components: 1) construct and operate an open pit mine and associated facilities on National Forest system lands and private lands within the Bearlodge Mountains in Crook County, Wyoming; 2) construct and operate a hydrometallurgical plant for further concentration and recovery of rare earth elements on private lands in Upton, Wyoming; and 3) continue mineral exploration activities by drilling and trenching on the Bearlodge Mountains, Wyoming. [press release, Black Hills National Forest]
More Canadians are taking advantage of Wyoming's continued assault on the Black Hills. A mine intended to remove Bull Hill at the headwaters of the Beaver Creek drainage in the Bear Lodge could pollute the Belle Fourche and Cheyenne Rivers even worse than they are now.
More than 140 people attended the first public meeting held by the Black Hills National Forest to address the mine plan. If approved, it would be the second rare-earth mine in the U.S. Only two rare-earth mines exist right now outside of China – one in Australia and another in Mountain Pass, California. The mine would be about 6 air miles north of Sundance in northeast Wyoming and would cover about 1,700 acres in the Black Hills National Forest. The Forest Service is accepting written comments from the public on the plan until April 30. A draft environmental impact statement will be presented for public comment in the spring of 2015 with a final objection period in the winter of 2015. [Christine Peterson, Residents question safety of proposed rare-earth mine, Casper Star-Tribune]

The Sundance Times' Sarah Pridgeon tells readers:
Rare Element Resources has initiated a land exchange that, if approved by the Board of Land Commissioners, will allow the company to acquire 640 surface and mineral acres of State Trust Land near Warren Peak, adjacent to the planned Bull Hill Rare Earth Mine. In exchange, the State of Wyoming will acquire 400 acres of additional land in the Little Grand Canyon area, says Lisa Reinhart, Office of State Lands and Investments. The exchange will aid RER in its development of the Bull Hill Rare Earth Mine, allowing waste rock and low grade material to be stored after extraction from the Forest Service land upon which the mine will sit. The detailed analysis is now available for public review on the website at lands.state.wy.us and the comment period is open until March 15, while the final Board consideration date is anticipated for April 11.
The proposed mine project is not far from Cook Lake, where landslide activity has closed the campground: the area surrounding the site is prone to slides. The chances for breaches are myriad.

Help Paha Sapa and kill this assault on treaty lands.

AP Photo/Gillette News Record, Steve Remich from Rapid City Journal


'ALEC is drowning in a sea of their own lies'

Google’s controversial decision to fund the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) was a “mistake,” company chairman Eric Schmidt admitted on Monday, saying the group is spreading lies about global warming and “making the world a much worse place.” In an interview on NPR’s Diane Rehm show, Schmidt said the free-market lobbying group’s anti-climate and anti-clean energy positions are harmful to future generations, and a bad investment idea for the company. “Everyone understands climate change is occurring and the people who oppose it are really hurting our children and our grandchildren and making the world a much worse place,” Schmidt said. “And so we should not be aligned with such people — they’re just, they’re just literally lying.” [Emily Atkin, Think Progress]
Google is just one of scores of companies recently renouncing ALEC as a murder of Kochian crows.

The Natural Resources Defense Council called ALEC out in a press release linked here.

The South Dakota Republican Party's nominee for US Senate is expected to receive an endorsement from the National Federation of Independent Businesses, a Koch/ALEC cabal. Their candidate would seek the elimination of the US Department of Education: another Koch/ALEC bullet point.

Smells like the SDGOP war toilet is running over again.

State senator Dan Lederman is a flaming slimeball: he wields lawyers like the Adam Lanzas and the James Holmeses employ firearms.

Even the editorial board of the Pierre Capital Journal can't seem to get its head around it:
Heard any really bad ideas lately from the South Dakota Legislature? We have. If corporations want to whisper sweet nothings in the ears of South Dakota legislators, let them come to Pierre and follow the process our Legislature has set in place for lobbying. South Dakotans should not foot the bill so that our lawmakers can go off and flirt with ALEC.
WNAX goes on:
Senator Dan Lederman of Dakota Dunes, a republican, has been a member of ALEC for some time. Some democratic legislators have called ALEC an “extremist group.”
Note the small 'r' and the tiny 'd' in that print.

Apparently South Dakota voters love having their courts fielding frivolous lawsuits from party apparatchiks so there's no time for hearing grievances of environmental degradation visited on the state every day while burning up newspaper column inches that would otherwise cover red state collapse.

Wake the fuck up.


Holder resigning, wants cannabis decriminalized

NPR's Carrie Johnson has the scoop linked here.

US Attorney General Eric Holder has visited South Dakota: in Rapid City and to tribal nations trapped within the state's borders.

Veterans are often shamed at clinics for seeking relief from the stress of their service: the US Department of Health and Human Services holds the patent for medical cannabis.

Here is why is DEA is supporting a global black market: it sustains a budget-fat revolving door that finances war against our enemies:
We have an increasing number of for-profit prisons in the United States, and the Corrections Corporation of America, for instance, which is, I think, the biggest, signs contracts, and they have to have a guarantee, basically, that 90 percent of the prison beds will be filled. So you have Michelle Alexander, who wrote The New Jim Crow and I interviewed for Truthout, is very eloquent about this.
South Dakota's governor has proposed drug courts for persons caught possessing less-than-felonious amounts of cannabis: a measure clearly meant to reduce costs of law enforcement, overcrowding in state facilities, and the associated burdens to society. Legislation being prepared is apparently designed to address addiction but stigmatizes and shames persons for whom the use of cannabis should be as protected as it is for carrying a firearm. Red staters are those who can deny civil liberties to those “able-bodied” adults and uphold religious rights as absolutes.


Planting high VOC trees accelerating climate change

Update, biofuels made by a Fort Collins firm from ponderosa pine, a tree high in terpenes, will soon power Southwest, military jets. Read it here.

Hardwood forests and lighter-colored surfaces reflect sunlight and protect watersheds while the needles of conifers absorb heat creating faster snowmelt.
In summer, the eastern United States is the world’s major hot spot for volatile organic compounds (V.O.C.s) from trees. Chemical reactions involving tree V.O.C.s produce methane and ozone, two powerful greenhouse gases, and form particles that can affect the condensation of clouds. Research by my group at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and by other laboratories, suggests that changes in tree V.O.C.s affect the climate on a scale similar to changes in the earth’s surface color and carbon storage capacity. [Nadine Unger, New York Times.]
The Industrial Revolution and European settlement in the New World took hardwoods for charcoal then humans allowed fast-growing conifers to replace lost forests.

In the Mountain West vast tracts of land have been cleared by bark beetles where aquifers are being recharged: a practice well known to pre-Columbian cultures who burned forests to increase ungulate populations.

Instead of science, politics determines how public lands are managed: the Black Hills of South Dakota and Wyoming are prime examples. Ponderosa pine is extremely high in VOC concentrations yet it is routinely replanted because the timber lobby owns the Black Hills National Forest.


Governor's Club made Rounds, Daugaard chief executives; whither Future Fund donors?

South Dakota's chief executive is for all intents and purposes an autocrat.

Recall Cory's observation at Madville Times from March:
South Dakota's governor has exclusive control over the Future Fund, a pool of economic development cash funded by a portion of every South Dakota business's unemployment taxes. Sometimes Governor Dennis Daugaard uses the Future Fund for good (if you think focusing on job skills over Shakespeare is good). Sometimes he uses it for pure corporate welfare. [Daugaard Donors Receive Future Fund Grants; First Amendment Prevents Fix? links are mine.]

Imagine a dumpster full of pheasant carcasses with just the breasts cut out. That’s what my friend found after the governor’s hunt back in October, behind the processing place in Fort Pierre that handles the birds. [Kevin Woster, Outdoors in Keloland]
You have to admit Hani Shafai has balls. Of course he was invited to Governor Daugaard's pheasant killing contest. Shafai, a Rapid City Muslim, criticized Walid Shoebat, a converted christian, after Shafai learned of a speech at a Rapid City terrorism conference:
I don’t think it is right for anyone in any organization to generalize about these types of issues,” Shafai said. “Every group of society, regardless of its religious or cultural backgrounds, has good and bad.” [David Montgomery, Al-Qaida not a fringe opinion among Muslims, speaker claims, Rapid City Journal]
Recall the slush fund called the Governors Club: Shafai appears with Doyle Estes, who donated polluted swamp land for a soccer complex. Also appearing on that list is Roger Tellinghuisen, now managing cash resources for the complex. He enjoyed a $75,000 legal services contract after being attorney general for the state.

Richard Benda, the now-dead GOP apparatchik, appears on at least one list with Shafai. Shafai, a Future Fund recipient, gave the current South Dakota governor a generous campaign contribution.

South Dakota's previous governor showered $75 million in Future Fund cash on campaign donors without disclosing who they were.

So, fast forward to Bendagate player, Jeff Sveen, also a Future Fund recipient, Daugaard donor, and lawyer for Joop Bollen, telling a legislative panel to go fuck themselves. Sveen and Shafai also appear on the Governors Hunt list and also on the invitation to the 2011 Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup. They both appear on the SD Secretary of State's list of registered state agents.

Future fund recipients, Kathryn Johnson, a member of the Board of Regents implicated in the EB-5/Bendagate scandal, and her husband, prominent Rapid City attorney, Doyle Estes, each gave South Dakota's current governor $4000 this election cycle.

How this culture of corruption scandal is not racketeering remains a mystery.

Another disgraced New Jersey governor, under federal investigation and head of the Earth Hater Governor's Association (RGA), has endorsed Dennis Daugaard for reelection.

Why, yes: Shafai DOES remind me of Gustavo Fring.

Wismer yard signs now available

From my inbox:
Larry --
You've been asking and patiently waiting... and I'm happy to tell you that yard signs are FINALLY here!
If you are in the Sioux Falls area, you can pick them up at the office. It's located at 1320 S. Minnesota Ave.
If you aren't in Sioux Falls don't worry! We've dropped off signs in Pierre, Brookings, Huron, Aberdeen, Yankton, Vermillion, and Rapid City, and more locations are coming.
Give us a call at (605) 212-4836, and we can tell you where to pick up your signs!
Susan Wismer


GAO clears Corps; Rounds knew about Lake Sharpe silt

US Senators called for testimony from the attorney general of the State of South Dakota. It's suing the US Army Corps of Engineers to determine ownership of so-called 'surplus water.'
Fort Pierre and Pierre, South Dakota, sit at the head of Lake Sharpe. The Army formed Lake Sharpe after the closure of Big Bend Dam in 1963. The capital of South Dakota and its sister city now face a flood of epic proportions because of a combination of high water releases from Oahe Dam and the presence of a silty delta at the head of Lake Sharpe, which begins just southeast of Fort Pierre. [Muddy Mo: Reservoir Siltation and the Flood of 2011]

Missouri River discharge from Oahe Dam at Pierre in 2011
photo courtesy Bruce Venner
A report released Sept. 12, 2014, by the Government Accountability Office said a number of factors were behind the flood and there were no forecasting tools available to the Corps that could have prevented the event. “By June 2011, the volume of water coming into the reservoirs from the extreme rains and melting snow was so great that the Corps had no choice in June and July but to release water to accommodate the inflow and prevent damage to dam infrastructure, such as spillways in danger of being overtopped,” the report says. [Joel Ebert, Pierre Capital Journal]
Hardly coincidentally, a former earth hater governor of South Dakota after having built a house in a swamp that flooded received a generous self-reimbursement from insurance coverage underwritten by his own company. He's the same US Senate candidate under federal investigation for his role in the EB-5 Bendagate scandal. He also lavished $75 million of state money on political cronies and donors and flagrantly violated the Indian Child Welfare Act.

A sleazeball earth hater state senator who also built a house in a swamp sued the Corps.

Recall this intersection at interested party in June, 2011?
The Corps sells 24% of US hydropower capacity. The Corps enjoys sovereign immunity; expect a political powerplay directed at them from Marty Jackley.
South Dakota's earth hater junior US senator is leading a crusade to block the US Environmental Protection Agency from identifying non-point sources of pollution deposited by his GOP donors.

With federal investigators crawling up every GOP asshole in the state with microscopes there may be justice served yet.


Lakota seek changes for mal-named Black Hills features

Harney Peak is not South Dakota's highest natural point, Odakota Mountain is. It is not the highest US point east of the Rocky Mountains, either: Guadalupe Peak in Texas is.

The tower erected on top of a mal-named feature in The Hills That Are Black making it the state's tallest geomorph was just more scorn heaped on the Lakota People.
A Native American man says the name of South Dakota’s tallest mountain is offensive and should be changed. Basil Brave Heart, who is from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and describes himself as an Oglala Lakota elder, wants the name Harney Peak changed to Black Elk Peak. Brave Heart’s motivation is Harney’s role in the 1855 Battle of Ash Hollow, also known as the Battle of Blue Water Creek, which occurred in present-day Nebraska during a period called the First Sioux War. 
A force of 600 soldiers under Harney’s command attacked 250 Sioux and killed 86 of them, including some women and children. The same Lt. Warren who later named South Dakota’s highest point for Gen. Harney wrote about the battle in a journal. “The sight on the top of the hill was heart rending — wounded women and children crying and moaning, horribly mangled by the bullets,” Warren wrote, in part. “Wars carry a shadow,” Brave Heart said, “and the U.S. is carrying a shadow for all the atrocities it committed.” Jay Vogt, a member of the board and the director of the South Dakota State Historical Society, said any interested party could formally apply to change the name of Harney Peak. [excerpt, from Seth Tupper, Rapid City Journal]
This blog has hammered on the absence of Lakota in South Dakota high schools and on language equivalents for geographical features on SDDoT highway maps.


Pueblo likely new stop for Southwest Chief

A former South Dakota governor now running an embattled race for the US Senate blew Amtrak funding on an airplane for his own personal use.

The Southwest Chief received nearly $12.5 million in federal aid this week after reporting about 356,000 riders in 2013.
In May, Gov. John Hickenlooper signed a bill creating a commission to work with officials in Kansas and New Mexico, who also could have had stations affected, to try to keep the current route. It also proposed an additional stop in Pueblo. A 2014 report by two professors from Colorado State University at Pueblo said a station in Pueblo could increase tourism and add close to $3 million in visitor spending, and an estimated $175,000 in state and local tax revenue based on 2013 fiscal year numbers. [Stephen Hobbs, Colorado Springs Gazette]
Until a serious mass transit system happens on the rez industrializing the land makes little sense. Put the old Milwaukee rail bed back into passenger service between Sioux Falls and Rapid City with stops in Kadoka, Belvidere and Murdo. After upgrades the new Rapid City, Pierre and Eastern spur from RC to Dakota Junction could handle passenger service, too.

The Rail Runner between south of ABQ and Santa Fe goes through several pueblos and is well-supported with stops in each community: it has brought at least access to prosperity in an historically poor state.

South Dakota recently secured some $12 million in rail funding to pay political favors to grain shippers while junkets by the state's GOP legislators have come under question.

New Mexico's governor says she wants to maintain the state's share of the line but her party is saying no:
Discussions centered on a five-way share of the estimated $200 million price to maintain the tracks for the next decade. New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, Amtrak and BNSF each considered contributing $4 million annually for 10 years to prevent rerouting the Southwest Chief. A proposal to that effect died in the New Mexico Legislature this year, while Colorado lawmakers and the Kansas Department of Transportation advanced funding plans, including pursuing federal transportation grants. [Patrick Malone, Steve Terrell, Santa Fe New Mexican]
Republicans haul commodities while Democrats also choose to move social capital: more reasons midterm elections are important to American Indians and young voters.


Farrar/Rounds photo caption contest

Two earth hater former South Dakota governors met for a photo op and it didn't go well.

Compare and contrast the two photos. Winner gets coffee or cocktail at your favorite watering hole in the US.


World, US leaders calling for end of war on cannabis

On Monday, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter said he would sign a bill that would make Philadelphia the largest city in the country to decriminalize marijuana possession. Just two weeks ago, the City Council in Santa Fe voted to decriminalize marijuana. Earlier this year, District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray signed a bill to decriminalize possession of up to an ounce of marijuana in the U.S. capital. Ballot initiatives on legalization of marijuana will go before voters in Oregon, Florida and Alaska in November. Meanwhile, a group of former presidents and United Nations leaders gathered in New York Tuesday to call for an end to the criminalization and incarceration of drug users. [Democracy Now!]
It would be interesting to know the results of drug tests on red state governors and their staffs after this little taxpayer-funded soiree. Nerdling Dusty Johnson works for South Dakota's embattled executive. He's been tweeting some profound stuff lately: make him pee in a cup.

The Netherlands and Uruguay are watching cannabis progress in Colorful Colorado:
For the first time in Colorado’s legal marijuana market, recreational cannabis outsold medical pot in the month of July, according to numbers from the state’s Department of Revenue. In July 2014, customers purchased more than $29.7 million in recreational marijuana — up from $24.7 million in June. Medical marijuana patients spent more than $28.9 million on marijuana in July — comparable to June’s $28.6 million in sales. Since Jan. 1, Colorado has brought in more than $37.5 million in taxes, licenses and fees for recreational and medical marijuana. [Ricardo Baca, The Cannabist]
Be sure to vote on new poll!


RCPE employees vote to join international union

In short-line labor news, a majority of Rapid City, Pierre & Eastern Railroad Inc. (RCP&E) workers on Aug. 27 voted in favor of joining the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART) Transportation Division. Launched on June 1 after its owner Genesee & Wyoming Inc. acquired the former Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad (DM&E) west end line from Canadian Pacific earlier this year, RCP&E operates 670 miles of track predominantly in South Dakota, with segments in Minnesota, Nebraska and Wyoming. The DM&E's workers previously were represented by the United Transportation Union, which through a merger helped form the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers. [Progressive Railroading], links are mine.
The new Rapid City Pierre and Eastern Railroad is owned by the same multinational, Genesee and Wyoming, as the rail link handling Powder River coal with access to the siding in Newcastle, Wyoming; but, RCPE has no track going north to the frack zone.
South Dakota Proppants says it has found sand deposits about 15 miles southwest of Hill City that it says is of sufficient quality to be used in the fracking process. And because the proposed mine’s location is close to the Bakken oil fields, it would give SDP an advantage over competitors. The company has secured 1,750 acres of claims in the area it wants to mine. The company would have to get an operating permit from the state Board of Minerals and Environment and water permits from the state Water Management Board, a process that could take at least two years. The estimated jobs and annual revenues of the proposed sand mine compares favorably with the more controversial proposed Powertech in situ uranium mine near Edgemont. [Rapid City Journal editorial]
US85 north of Belle Fourche is already crumbling and over capacity so adding more traffic is senseless.

Santa Fe County rallied to stop basalt mining on La Bajada: will enough people in Custer or Pennington Counties care enough to protect the Black Hills?


More South Dakota fracking news linked here.

Until a serious mass transit system happens on the rez industrializing the land makes little sense. Put the old Milwaukee rail bed back into passenger service between Sioux Falls and Rapid City with stops in Kadoka, Belvidere and Murdo. After upgrades the new RCPE spur from RC to Dakota Junction could handle passenger service, too.

The Rail Runner between south of ABQ and Santa Fe goes through several pueblos and is well-supported with stops in each community: it has brought at least access to prosperity in an historically poor state.

Stock in Genesee & Wyoming has been sliding after insiders, including the company's Chief Financial Officer, Senior Vice President, and its Director, unloaded several thousand shares after a buy recommendation.


Giago: little difference between Rapid City and Ferguson

Here are a few more reasons American Indians and Democrats should be outraged over South Dakota's culture of corruption:
Most, and we do mean most, Native Americans believe that the Rapid City Police and Pennington County Sheriffs still profile Indians in traffic stops and in other arrests. Profiling means looking at people of a different race much more closely than at people of the white race. This means stopping them more frequently for traffic violations real or imagined or just for being an Indian walking down Main Street and looking suspicious.
Every time we see that the police department has hired a bunch of new officers and their pictures are published in the local daily, all the Indian community sees are a bunch of new, white faces. And we wonder why there are no Indians represented in the new hires. Whose fault is that? Who does the hiring?
It’s like the situation in Ferguson, Missouri where the community is almost 60 percent black and yet of the 53 police officers on the force only 3 are African American. So look at the mess that city is in now and it is not beyond imagination that the same thing could happen in Rapid City given the right or wrong set of circumstances. The writing is on the wall and it is high time that the Rapid City Police Department wake up and smell the coffee. Forewarned is forearmed and we don’t want to be the ones to say “I told you so” should violence erupt between the Indian community and the Rapid City Police Department. [excerpt, Tim Giago, posted at Indianz]
Here is another look at Rapid City's failure to serve and protect: Racist City, SD, (Rapid City), Where Life is Violent, and Often Deadly.


Thanks to bark beetle Black Hills water supplies recharging


An insect native to the Black Hills is saving precious water resources.
A big Ponderosa pine tree can suck up lots of water. While the trees are drought tolerant, they are also very good at absorbing and transpiring water in wet years. Thousands of acres of dead pines trees like these may mean higher flows in Black Hills waterways. In the Black Hills thousands of acres of Ponderosa are now gone in the wake of the biggest infestation of bark beetles in recorded history. And researchers with the United States Geological Survey now believe fewer pines maybe increasing the amount of water in some area streams. [Charles Michael Ray, Bill Janklow's idea of public radio]
Listen here.


Negligent homicide likely in South Dakota detention case

This case stank from the very beginning.

The Division of Criminal Investigation is apparently still reviewing procedures at a Black Hills 'boot camp' after another child died while in the custody of South Dakota 'Corrections.' Brady Folkens of Brookings was 17.
Folkens’ mother, Dawn Van Ballegooyen, said she went to Custer to visit him Saturday and was told he was ill when she arrived. She talked to her son, who said he had been sick for a few days and had thrown up. Medical staff told her he had liver blockage. “He was awake, and he was a little yellow,” she said. “But he was my same Brady.” Corrections spokesman Michael Winder said Folkens said he felt ill beginning Thursday. Shortly after his mother’s visit, Folkens was flown to Sioux Falls. Van Ballegooyen followed in a vehicle, and had her sister meet Brady at the hospital. But by the time she arrived at the hospital in Sioux Falls, her son had died, and staff were working to revive him. [Beth Wischmeyer, Sioux Falls Argus Leader]
Flown from the Custer Airport to Sioux Falls, about 350 miles: a flight of at least two hours in a state plane?

Brady's mother has been billed for the fateful plane ride and believes the state may have have infected her son with Hepatitis C possibly during a forced hair cutting incident, his immune system weakened from a potent acne medication contraindicated for use with other medicines with which Folkens was being treated.

In a phone interview Ms. Van Ballegooyen told this blog Brady never had a previous acne condition. After being urged to by the Brookings Police Department she signed off on Brady's admission as a child in need of supervision (CHINS) after Folkens' experimentation with cannabis. She is distraught with grief and is ready to fight for the truth but has yet been able to find a lawyer who wants to go up against Attorney General Marty Jackley.

She said she has been poring over documents and doing extensive readings on the legal ramifications of criminal neglect leading to wrongful death and the window for an argument before a judge is closing.

Brady's official death certificate shows the 17-year-old died from lymphocytic myocarditis associated with Parvovirus B19: Dawn Van Ballegooyen believes that the state is covering up key evidence.

Why was he not helicoptered to Rapid City about fifteen minutes away for dialysis? Why was Brady admitted to the State Treatment and Rehabilitation (STAR) Academy without any symptoms of Hepatitis C but then was later diagnosed with it?

The state has a history of poor choices made by state employees: fourteen year old Gina Score died after a forced run in 1999. The state settled with Score's family for an undisclosed amount of money without accepting guilt for her death.

This might be as close to an admission of guilt by the State as we'll see without a trial or lawsuit:
Jim Seward, general counsel for Gov. Dennis Daugaard, said the group is tasked with finding ways to divert youth away from commitments at the state's juvenile facilities in Custer, Plankinton and Sioux Falls. If the juvenile justice system were a pool, Seward said, with the shallow end being county probation and monitoring, DOC commitments would represent "the deep end." It's also clear that regardless of the divergent definitions and programs, South Dakota commits more juveniles per capita than almost any other state. More populated parts of the state are more likely to have options for troubled youth beyond a trip to the STAR Academy. Judges, prosecutors and probation officers from smaller areas have told work group members that they'd like to see more ways to avoid commitments. [John Hult, Sioux Falls Argus Leader]
This is a good example why PAs or CNPs assigned to medical cases is questionable: as i suspected, whoever diagnosed Hep C profiled Brady as a user and chose to do nothing about it.

DCI investigating itself means a criminal trial will probably never happen even though many associated with this tragedy believe crimes were committed. The best Brady Folken's family can hope for is a wrongful death lawsuit.

If you are a lawyer or know of one with a license to practice in South Dakota please contact me: lawrence dot kurtz at yahoo dot com.


Anthropocene coming home to roost

We have met the Borg and he is us: this time humanity is the asteroid.
On September 1, 1914, Martha, a passenger pigeon who lived in an aviary at the Cincinnati Zoo, was found dead in her cage. At the time, Martha was believed to be the sole passenger pigeon left on Earth, and, in the intervening century, no evidence has emerged to contradict this. The passenger pigeon was once the most numerous bird in North America, perhaps in the world; it’s estimated that when the first European settlers arrived, at least one of every four birds on the continent was a passenger pigeon. But whatever happened, the mystery should give us pause. Species that seem today to be doing fine may be sensitive to change in ways that are difficult to foresee. And we are are now changing the planet at a speed that’s probably unprecedented in at least sixty million years. [Elizabeth Kolbert, A Century of Extinction]