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June 19, 2014 7:23 am

EDITORIAL: Street extension woes could — and should — have been avoided

Written by Tom Lawrence

Thumbs down to the problems and confusion that led to a shutdown of work on the extension of East Monroe Street.

The one-block addition between South Jones Street and Panther Boulevard was added to the city last fall as a Missoula-based developer planned a $2.3-million apartment complex. The Buck Creek Apartments were scheduled to open June 1.

They’re still not open, and the street in front of them is unfinished. There is a dispute over who was responsible for an error in the amount of fill the city required beneath the street surface.

After the developer, contractor and subcontractor could not come to agreement, all work on the street halted on June 10. We have been told by the developer that a compromise is in the works and the street will soon be completed, allowing the apartments to open by July 1.

That’s good news, but it’s regrettable such a mess was allowed to develop.

Thumbs up to Jubilee Fun Day in Clark this Saturday.

It’s the 27th annual event and we feel the community has chosen an appropriate theme — “We Are Clark.” Things get started at 8 a.m. with doughnuts and coffee at the Clark Pioneer Recreation Center and continue with a 9 a.m parade, a marksmanship show by the Cowley Desperados Mounted Shooters and fun and games for kids.

Clark has absorbed some hard blows over the past two years and there have been some news reports that aren’t the most pleasant to read or hear about. But those are isolated incidents — Clark is a pleasant, friendly community and this celebration reflects that spirit.

Appropriately enough, volunteer firefighters, EMTs and first responders will serve as grand marshals for the parade. They deserve the recognition.

For more information or to volunteer, call 307-645-3255 or visit www.clarkpioneerreccenter.org.

Thumbs down to the raw and deadly power of lightning and the lives it takes each year.

Lightning may be the ultimate display of nature’s power, a jagged illustration of the sheer beauty and majesty of the heavens. But it also has deadly consequences, as hundreds of people found out the hard way over the years.

The good news is, that number is in sharp decline, according to the National Weather Service, from over 100 lives lost more than 40 years ago to 23 in 2013. While that’s still too many, it’s headed in the right direction. That’s why we’re glad to see the NWS declare Lighting Awareness Week, which will be observed June 22-28.

People are most vulnerable while they are fishing, camping, boating or hiking, since they are not able to swiftly find cover. The primary reason the number of lightning-related fatalities is dropping is because of educational efforts such as Lightning Awareness Week.

If you want to be informed before spending time outdoors, you can check the NWS forecast online at weather.gov/riverton or call 1-800-211-1448 to speak directly with a meteorologist.

To learn more about lightning and how to be safe around it, go to www.weather.gov/riw/?n=lightning_safety_week.

Thumbs up to the quick and easy agreement reached by Park County and the communities within it over how to divide $3.3 million in state dollars.

Park County, Powell, Cody, Meeteetse and Frannie will split what is known as “consensus” funding by 2015 population projections — Park County will get slightly more than $1.41 million; Cody a little less than $1.12 million, Powell’s share will be $740,586, Meeteetse gets $38,382 and Frannie will get $2,245 on this pool — it may get some money from Big Horn County’s share of the state cash, since part of the tiny community is in that county.

It works out to about $112 per citizen and it also shows how well these government entities can work together.

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