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November 07, 2013 8:29 am

Governor wise to call for a needed return of civility in public life

Written by Tom Lawrence

Thumbs up to Gov. Matt Mead for adding a call for decent behavior in public settings.

Mead will host the 31st Annual Wyoming Forum on Nov. 19-20 in Cheyenne. The topics are economic strategies and civil discourse in society. We applaud that second topic.

As politics becomes more polarized, and exchanges between people are often done through the Internet, a harsh tone has become all too prevalent. Where people could once agree to disagree, and do so in a polite, reasonable manner, now we see insults hurled at the shift of a digit on a keyboard.

Wyoming needs economic development and a strategy to encourage that is needed. But we also have a great desire for a civil discourse in this highly partisan age, and Gov. Mead is wise to help encourage that.

Thumbs up to rancher Troy Barnett, who ventured out early Monday to find a Wisconsin couple that was stranded on the closed Beartooth Highway.

Mark and Kris Wathke trusted a Google search when they left Yellowstone National Park on Oct. 29, and it led them about 15 miles up the alpine road until their car became stuck in snow. Give the couple credit for staying with their car for what assuredly were six unpleasant nights in sub-zero weather.

While they ran the car at times to stave off the cold, drank water and nibbled on snacks, they awaited rescue. The Park County Sheriff’s Office sounded an alarm Sunday afternoon, and Barnett’s wife brought it to his attention Sunday night. He didn’t wait for others to do the job.

Off Barnett went at the crack of dawn Monday, sure he knew where the Wathkes were. He drove as far as he could up the Beartooth Highway before switching to a snowmobile.

Sure enough, he found them on an icy, snow-covered part of the highway, which has been closed for six weeks, and they were very happy to be rescued. Barnett, a good man who acted in a heroic fashion, deserves all the praise he is getting for his efforts.

Thumbs down to the 2014 calendar for the U.S. House of Representatives.

House members will spend 113 days in session next year. That averages out to just a little more than two days per week. Not bad for $174,000 a year, which is the base pay for House members. Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., and other leaders are paid more.

This year, the House slaved away, scheduling 126 days. But that was apparently too much for them, especially with the entire House on the ballot in 2014. They only scheduled 107 days in the last election year, 2012.

Under this schedule, our House members will have more time for “district meetings” and “listening sessions,” aka campaigning, in 2014. While we may want them to spend as little time as possible “governing,” since they have generally made a mess of things, it is difficult for working-class people to see members of Congress paid so well while they work so little.

Thumbs up to the courage and strength of Ashlee Lundvall.

The 30-year-old Cody woman earned national attention when she was named Ms. Wheelchair USA 2013. She continued to amaze and impress us with her recent elk hunt at the Hyatt Ranch. Thanks to the support and encouragement — not to mention the brawn — of her husband Russ Lundvall and guide Terry Jeffers, she accomplished her goal.

Ashlee Lundvall has been in a wheelchair since a 1999 agriculture accident and also is on clot-thinning medication, which poses another risk. She pushed, pulled and dragged herself to get into the proper position and took a six-point bull elk with one shot.

Wyoming Disabled Hunters Inc. of Powell played a major role in making this dream come true for Lundvall, and it assists others who may face physical challenges but still want to experience one of life’s adventures in the outdoors.

If you’re reading this and wondering how you can find the energy and desire to get moving, look at Lundvall and follow her lead. But don’t wait too long, because she will be hard to catch.

That makes it a perfect three-for-three for the NWC orators. They have won every event they have entered, and hope to end the semester with an undefeated record when they host the Trapper Rendezvous Friday and Saturday on campus. Judges are needed, so to hear and learn from some sharp, well-spoken young people, sign up. If you want to help judge, contact Bob Becker at 754-6118 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


  • Comment Link November 07, 2013 10:05 am posted by Salty Dawg

    Of course this does not apply to the tea party people.

  • Comment Link November 22, 2013 2:01 pm posted by Jim

    Does civility apply to the law school in Wyoming and its Dean--ex Dean Steve... ?
    Bad raps were hurled at both, as we see the recent events, that unfolded in the recent booting of Dr Sternberg.
    He was misguided to slam the law school, but still kept secret from Wyoming is the: who, what, why on that.
    Sadly, he or others do not know if the bad raps were true
    Again, this is a transparency issue. Your paper is on the right track, and a civil society, and civics calls for full sunshine, on the affairs which impact the lives of People.
    In this case it is your children too, for the State's only Flagship university has gone through a mighty rock road, and still
    full disclosures were not he order of the day.
    Please keep up the call for full disclosure on these matters

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