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Powell, WY

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Editorials

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.

In the early 1970s, a small group of volunteers started Powell’s first industrial park through a budding organization they named Target Powell Valley.

Over the next 40 years, the nonprofit’s dedicated volunteers furthered economic development in the Powell area by securing land, developing infrastructure and making lots available at a reasonable price to new or expanding businesses.

The Wyoming Legislature continues to search for the magic solution to what they perceive as the failure of Wyoming’s schools.

Much of lawmakers’ attention this session has been focused on the performance of schools in the state, which they say is not as good as it should be. They are focusing on the state’s teachers in an effort to change the situation, trying to legislate more effective ways of evaluating them and making it easier to terminate them.

After tossing out the trash, most residents give little thought to what happens with their garbage.

That’s not the case with local and county leaders, who have spent countless hours over recent years thinking, discussing, and at times, arguing about what happens with trash in our region’s landfills.

EDITORIAL: Paying the price

Tuesday night, Park County residents were afforded an opportunity to hear about the nation’s budget problems from one who is intimately familiar with them, and a crowd of 250 or more people took advantage of the opportunity.

Former Senator Alan Simpson, who co-chaired the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform appointed by President Obama last year, invited all comers to listen to his comments on the recommendations that commission had made for addressing the nation’s debt and question him about them.

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