It's a beautiful day today. The sun is shining. Kids will be in Rapid Creek, cooling off. Fishermen will enjoy wonderful conditions. The bike path will be cluttered all day with people who have the potential to enjoy a perfect day.
Jennifer Smith will never have another perfect day. Never. She became a widow and lost her son to a motorcycle accident in the Gap. Her grief is unimaginable. And our hearts and prayers are with her and her family.
The accident was avoidable. Right turns on red from Jackson Blvd to east-bound Main should be outlawed. That can happen immediately. A raised median should be constructed from Halley Park to Jackson Blvd. as soon as it can be designed, engineered and constructed. Yes. It's an emergency.
That bit of asphalt, concrete and paint presents an interesting political scenario.
Stan Adelstein and Bob Fischer, both Republicans, have valuable real estate in the Gap, near where Jennifer and her son Kain lost their husband and father; son and brother.
Bob Fischer has already weighed in on the issue in a Rapid City Journal story yesterday.
Mayor Alan Hanks, who was supported by Adelstein in his bid for the mayor's office, announced at last night's council meeting that he has instructed his public works director to study West Main to determine if a raised median is in order.
Of course it is in order, Alan! You know it. I know it. The council knows it. They've known it for years and the only thing that has ever stopped it is an unreasonable fear of Bob Fischer's rath.
Fischer is quick to remind people that he is a man of God. He's a "family values" kind of guy. In fact, he's among the most powerful "family values" guys in the country.
Mr. Adelstein, a lay rabbi, is also a man of God. And he and Fischer have been at odds for many years over the issue of a woman's right to choose what happens to her body. Adelstein has been among Rapid City's most visible philanthropists in his support of community causes. If Mr. Fischer supports anything in this community, other than his church, he's pretty quiet about it. Of course, he supports Rapid City residents with low low prices and no interest for two years if paid in two years....
So now Adelstein and Fischer are both faced with the question: Life or money. Mr. Fischer has made it clear that while Jennifer Smith's tragedy is unfortunate, it does not outweigh his customers' convenience; her husband's and son's lives were not as valuable as his property.
Mr. Adelstein has yet to weigh in. But I'm betting here and now he'll support the city in whatever measures it takes to try to avoid the loss of another life, no matter what effect such action will have on his property value. I could be wrong. And if Mr. Adelstein opposes a raised median on West Main, then I will happily take him to task here.
And so as we all celebrate a beautiful July 21, take a moment from an otherwise perfect day, and consider Jennifer Smith, who prepares to bury her husband and son.