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Editorials

The coincidental firings of both the director of the Powell Valley Chamber of Commerce and the manager of The Merc in the same week is troubling.

Both positions have been unstable in recent years after long periods of stable leadership. Kim Dillivan, who was hired only last spring, is the third director of the chamber since 2007, and JoAnne Anderson is the third manager of The Merc to be terminated in fewer than 18 months.

Wyoming right to honor veterans with annual ‘Welcome Home Day’

It seems unfathomable, but for thousands of American veterans, it was an unfortunate reality. Veterans returning home from battle zones — where they risked their lives, spent months apart from loved ones and faithfully served while their plans and dreams were interrupted by war — only to be scorned or completely ignored upon arriving home.

The world came to Powell on Saturday. For one afternoon, it wasn’t necessary to use any form of travel other than the family car, or perhaps a bicycle, to get a taste — literally and figuratively — of cultures from around the globe.

The smells of foods native to many countries representing nearly every continent greeted hundreds of attendees at the annual Multicultural Showcase at Northwest College. Culinary treats from Brazil, India, China, Vietnam, Austria, South Korea, Japan, France, the Bahamas, Saudi Arabia, Libya and others dazzled their senses of smell and taste.

Curious about the assessed property value of your neighbor’s house? Or who owns a certain property? Or the square footage of any building in Park County?

Just go online.

EDITORIAL: Coal and Wyoming’s future

Tuesday afternoon, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced that the Bureau of Land Management will hold competitive lease sales of nearly 7,500 acres of land in the Powder River Basin.

Under that land lies an estimated 758 million tons of coal. Estimates of the royalties and other income generated by the sale and eventual mining of that coal range from $13 billion to more than $21 billion over the life of the leases. Wyoming will receive 48 percent of that money.

EDITORIAL: Making sense at last

In recent years, Powell’s Head Start and Migrant Head Start programs have been vivid examples of the bureaucracy, wastefulness and red tape of many government programs and agencies.

On the one hand was the Head Start program. During the school year, that program provided needed preschool services to children, operating in the basement of a local church under cramped circumstances.

Ten months ago, the new Powell Aquatic Center opened to the public, and so far, it has been a success.

Almost any time one visits the pool, he will find people learning to swim, swimming for fitness, practicing for competition or simply having fun in the water.

For several weeks now, the Powell Police Department has been on trial.

Last week, that trial came to an end in the U.S. District Court of Wyoming in Cheyenne, with a verdict that held officers liable for one action that violated the plaintiff’s constitutional rights during a raid in search of drugs. The jury awarded the plaintiff $30,001, much less than the $590,000 she sought in the civil suit.

EDITORIAL: Legislature ends

The Wyoming Legislature adjourned late last week, finishing a general session marked largely by education reform. Over the past couple of months, statewide media coverage zeroed in on education measures — from the failed teacher tenure bill to the state’s investment in public schools — and socially conservative bills — namely those regarding same-sex marriage, abortion and concealed weapons.

Last week’s sale of bonds to allow an extensive expansion and renovation project to begin at West Park Hospital is good news — particularly in Cody, but in all of Park County as well.

The $33 million bond sale will provide $26.2 million for the construction of a new emergency room and entrance to the hospital, as well as renovation of the imaging, laboratory and patient financial services area, with another $4.6 million to pay off the balance on the Cathcart Health Center.

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