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Don Amend

I received a call last week complaining about a political cartoon we published recently.

Well, I’m not the guy that decides what cartoon goes on the opinion page. In fact, I’m not even the guy that decides whether this column goes on the opinion page. I just write it and leave that decision to somebody else.

Powell High School has named Brittany Christensen and Jessica Wurzel as valedictorian and salutatorian of the Class of 2011.

Both seniors have maintained 4.0 grade-point averages during their four years at Powell High School, and they were chosen for the honor based on their scores on the ACT test. Both are members of the National Honor Society and have participated in the society’s service projects.

The perceived shortcomings of American public schools have made them the object of numerous reform efforts in recent years.

This is nothing new. If one looks back on the history of public education in America, it has been under attack at one time or another at least since the 19th century, sometimes for not doing enough, sometimes for doing too much.

A new organization hoping to foster economic development in Powell is forming, and it received a boost last week from the Northwest College Foundation.

The foundation board voted to commit $20,000 per year for three years from its Bill and Joanne Price Economic Development Fund, an endowment designated to provide support for Northwest College’s work in economic development in consultation with community leaders.

President Obama’s release of his birth certificate last week should finally end the silly controversy over his birth place.

Yeah, right.

Some people will never be satisfied, and they are already finding fault with the evidence submitted last week. Obama could have had Jesus himself attest to the authenticity of the certificate, and some people would still find a way to discredit it.

The county clerk’s recent decision to charge for online access to public records and the protest it drew from Realtors and others is an example of the many dilemmas faced by elected officials as they try to provide services with limited resources.

The right of the public to access some public records is a given, and it is particularly important to real estate agents and others who deal with property sales. But others, including the media, may make use of that access as well.

April 26, 2011 7:07 am

AMEND CORNER: Once in a lifetime

Last Sunday was a rare occurrence.

Easter Sunday fell on April 24, a date it hasn’t occupied since 1859. In fact, according to a website I found, it’s only the fifth time Easter has fallen on that date since the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588.

With the battle over the federal budget continuing in Washington, it’s easy to forget that, closer to home, government budgets are just beginning to be written for the next fiscal year.

Over the next few months, budgets will be developed and adopted by Park County and the City of Powell as well  as the school district, the community college district and numerous special districts.

Cool weather and precipitation over the past week have kept the snowpack in Wyoming well above average, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service has issued a high water notification for most of the state.

The snowpack in every basin in Wyoming increased last week, and the state’s average snowpack rose from 122 percent of average last week to 129 percent this week. A year ago, the average snowpack in the state was 77 percent of average.