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August 29, 2013 7:48 am

Thumbs up to crash heroes, down to anonymous attacks

Written by Tom Lawrence

Thumbs up to heroes Nathan Coil, 26, of Casper, and Joshua Alexander, 27, of Douglas, who rescued a Montana teen who crashed her plane in a wilderness location Aug. 20.

McKenzie Morgan, 17, of Billings, was on a training flight when she grew disoriented and her Cessna 172 went down near Francs Peak, a remote point in the Absaroka Range.

Luckily for Morgan, Coil and Alexander were on horseback, scouting the area in preparation for hunting season. They saw the crash and went to help.

Morgan’s knee began to swell, so Alexander, like a true cowboy, gallantly put her on his horse and got her to safety.

“If it had not been for these two hunters being in the right place at the right time, she may still be out there,” said Park County Deputy Hayes Randol.

These men were seeking information to assist them in their hunts this fall, but they ended up bringing home a far more precious prize. Here’s hoping they are honored for their bravery and service to another who was so clearly in need.

Thumbs down to the cowardly anonymous attacks on the person who proposed a smoking ban in Powell.

Unsigned emails attacking Sharon Altermatt, the Prevention Management of Park County team leader who brought the issue to the Powell City Council, were sent to Mayor Don Hillman, all members of the City Council, the Powell Tribune and possibly other people and agencies.

In addition, spiteful comments were attempted to be posted on the Tribune’s website and Facebook page. They were deleted before they appeared on the Tribune’s site.

We have nothing against an honest, spirited debate over issues, and understood that the proposed smoking ban would likely ignite some hard feelings.

But we have no respect for someone who hides behind a fake name to cast such despicable charges.

Thumbs up to the idea that was brought to the surface, however.

Smoking bans are now common across the nation, and some Wyoming cities and towns have adopted them. The one good thing that came out of the discussion over a proposed ban on smoking in public places in Powell was to get people thinking about the health dangers of tobacco smoke, as well as the need for respecting private property rights.

It’s a delicate balance, although we do feel healthier living should be a goal for all. As Mayor Don Hillman said, while people can disagree over the concept of prohibiting smoking in public places, everyone can agree smoking is bad for your health.

We would like to see a Powell bar convert to a no-smoking environment, or see a new non-smoking bar open. It just might surprise a lot of people to see how well it does.

A lot of people who enjoy the conviviality of a bar, with the opportunity to sip a beverage and chat with friends old and new, choose not to enter a building where smoke is in the air — and in their lungs.

Speaking of smoke getting into your eyes, thumbs down to the aerial invasion we suffered from the Hardluck Fire and other blazes burning in Wyoming and across the region.

If you see a lot of red eyes and hear people blowing their noses, they probably aren’t weeping over a family event or crying over a baseball score. They’re likely dealing with the smoke that has wafted in our area in the past few weeks.

Wildfires are a part of life here, and we accept that. But the people who are most susceptible to breathing problems are suffering more than most of us, and we’re sorry for their discomfort.

We’re ready for some cool, clear fall air.

Thumbs up to the people who brought us the inaugural Powell Arts Festival.

It’s a wonderful addition to the local landscape, and one we are confident will grow over the decades. Artists, like flowers, need attention and time in the sun, and when they get it, everyone benefits from the beauty that is created.


  • Comment Link August 30, 2013 7:29 am posted by Merry O

    In the early days of antismoking hysteria -- and it continues to this day -- anyone who spoke or wrote with sincerity about the importance of scientific integrity in the hustle of second-hand smoke scams, or the consideration of human or property rights, was branded as being paid off by the tobacco industry. What's this about personal attacks?

  • Comment Link August 30, 2013 8:18 am posted by Janna Ives

    This letter (regardless the content) was very much despicable and cowardly! I am a smoker and did not agree with Mrs. Altermatt's method of approaching the subject of the proposed smoking ban. While I did not agree with Mrs. Altermatt, I find no acceptable excuse for playing dirty. No matter which side of the argument you are on, if you can't voice your opinion with your own name, then your argument is invalid!! You've taken what should have been a civil public debate and handicapped your opponent with an anonymous attack. Shame on you! "Air Handler"?? You mean Blow Hard right? There is a saying I love: Nut Up Or Shut Up. You are nothing more than a bully. Spineless. Sad.
    I, as a smoker and as citizen of Powell, do hope that this BULLY does not represent the majority. This BULLY is not the anti smoking ban representative. This BULLY, Blow Hard "Air Handler", is nothing more than just that... a BULLY.

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