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June 05, 2014 7:20 am

EDITORIAL: Candidates earn praise but why not more races?

Written by Tom Lawrence

Thumbs up to the candidates who filed for office.

The deadline was Friday and Park County voters will have choices to make in the Aug. 19 Republican primary. There are races for sheriff, with three candidates, for the Park County Commission, with eight candidates for three seats, and for three of five legislative seats.

We admire anyone willing to stick their neck out and offer their services in public life. No matter who wins in August, it’s good to see people who step forward and offer to serve.

Thumbs down, however, to the lack of a race for the Powell City Council and for the complete lack of Democrats on the ballot.

The three City Council incumbents — Ward I’s Eric Paul, Ward II’s John Wetzel and Ward III’s Myron Heny — are all unopposed. We’re not sure if that means people are very satisfied with local government, which may be the case, or if they are too lethargic to even run.

No matter, we feel campaigns and elections are healthy and good for the system.

That’s something Park County Democrats have to think long and hard about. They could not muster a single candidate for a race for a local office.

Yes, this corner of Wyoming is even more red than the rest of this deeply crimson state. But the Democrats, who are struggling to field candidates for statewide races, can only gain ground by making an effort.

Thumbs up to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s determination to listen to anglers as it revises fish regulations.

Craig Amadio, G&F’s Cody Region fisheries supervisor, said the department is considering making clarifications on bead fishing and the use of artificial lights. But before it made any changes, it has held public meetings and asked those who enjoy wetting a line what they think.

“We work for the people of Wyoming,” Amadio said.

It’s nice to hear public employees say that, and it’s even better to see them acting on it. The folks who fish should have a say on the rules of their game.

Thumbs down to the deaths of two bicyclists in Wyoming in the past week.

Hannah M. Terry, 34, of Sheridan, has been charged in the death of bicyclist Larry Hurst, 65, who was killed Saturday when Terry, who had taken two narcotic medications for back pain, ran him over as he rode in an emergency lane.

Hurst’s wife, Sara, was also struck as she rode single-file with her husband and has been taken to a hospital in Billings, Mont. It was an easily avoidable accident.

Matthew Harker, 39, was struck by an SUV in downtown Casper on May 29. Harker died in a Denver hospital the next day. No charges have been filed and the investigation continues.

Bicyclists have a right to the road, the same as people behind the wheel of a car, pickup or truck. With warmer weather here, more bike riders are out there. Let’s be aware of their presence.

All that said, bike riders need to observe traffic rules as well. Zipping through red lights and stop signs, along with other unsafe and illegal practices, adds to the danger.

In short, people in cars and trucks should keep an eye out and show respect for bikers. And the people riding bikes should do the same.

Thumbs up to the courage and impressive attitude of Eva Nakamura Kuwata, an internee at the Heart Mountain Relocation Center from 1942-45.

Kuwata was placed at the internment camp with her parents, as more than 12,000 Japanese Americans were kept behind barbed wire fences during World War II. It is a shameful chapter in American history.

But Kuwata, largely due to her parents’ desire that they endure this hardship and survive it to live in better times, is not bitter. She is speaking about her experience and thoughts about it at 2 p.m. today (Thursday) at the Heart Mountain Interpretive Center.

It’s worth a trip to the center to hear and be inspired by her.

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