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Don Amend

Wyoming residents, by and large, have some misconceptions about the state’s government.

A few years ago, I heard Paul Hickey, then a Democratic candidate for governor, recall a conversation he had with a gentleman concerning the Wyoming Supreme Court’s controversial ruling on the state’s system of financing public schools. The gentleman asked Hickey if he would impeach the Supreme Court if he were elected governor. Hickey responded that he wouldn’t, because the governor doesn’t have the power to impeach judges. The gentleman then declared that he couldn’t vote for Mr. Hickey.

With the assistance of digital cameras, our house has turned into sort of a photographic museum.

Recently, for want of something to do, I looked around at the photographs that occupy the various bookcases, walls and other surfaces in the family room, the largest room in our house, and counted them. It’s a ridiculously high total covering a variety of subjects, but by far the largest group, 30 pictures, is made up of shots featuring one or more of our four grandchildren.

I noticed last week that my colleague, Dante, drew a lot of criticism with his take on rodeo, and some of it was not very nice.

I’ve driven over the Big Horn Mountains countless times, so it’s a pretty routine trip. So routine, in fact, that sometimes the scenery doesn’t register with me.

To all my readers of the Powell Tribune:

Sorry for the long silence, but I have been in a fog since early February. For the first two weeks of the month, I spent most of my time sitting, riding or walking around with weights as much as 30 pounds dangling from my head trying to straighten me out some, and it worked, too. After that 11-day ordeal, I was about four to six inches taller than before. More importantly, it gave the surgeons the needed space to repair my upper vertebrae.


About 20 years ago, I noticed a lady approaching the tourist information hut I was minding down in Greybull one summer morning. I could tell by her face and her determined stride that she was steamed about something, and I was right. In fact, she was somewhat beyond steamed, just short of enraged.

It’s been a few weeks since I wrote a column, not so much because I needed time off as because I’ve been having a bit of trouble communicating with the old Greek muses who inspire us literary and artistic types.

I can usually depend on inspiration from Clio, the muse of history, when something historic, such as the second inauguration of Barack Obama, happens. But this time, I think Melpomene, the muse of tragedy is speaking up for Republicans and Erato, the muse of love poetry, is arguing for the Democrats, and, as one might expect, they haven’t been able to compromise. That leaves an opening for Thalia, the muse of comedy, of course, but the other muses won’t even let her in the conversation.

This week, the Wyoming Legislature opens, faced with a number of difficult choices.

The principal challenge is to continue to meet the state’s needs in the face of a slump in the demand for coal and low prices for natural gas, as well as possible cuts in the federal budget that might affect the state. Balanced against that is the problem of meeting the state’s needs in areas such as highway maintenance and construction.


Today, a piece of history landed in my mailbox in the form of Newsweek.

As usual, the week’s big story was identified on the front cover in big letters that read: “Last Print Issue.”

A look back at the year we are about to leave reveals, as most years do, a mixture of positive and negative news stories in the pages of the Powell Tribune.

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