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April 10, 2014 7:21 am

EDITORIAL: Warm weather and kind deeds deserve praise

Written by Tom Lawrence

Thumbs up to spring.

We’re so glad it’s FINALLY getting warmer and more pleasant outside that all we have are thumbs up today. In the spirit of spring, let’s call them green thumbs.

Thumbs up to the Park County Sheriff’s Inmate Work Crew Program, which allows inmates incarcerated for lesser charges to serve on outside work details while fulfilling their sentences.

These volunteer work crews periodically remove litter from county roads as needed, or as they did in Powell on Friday, clearing four city garbage bins worth of trash from the Garland Canal. The program was launched in 2010 and has been a success.

Deputies from the Park County Detention Center form work crews on an “as needed” basis depending upon staffing levels and the number of inmates who qualify for the crews, according to Lance Mathess, the sheriff’s public information officer.

Inmates must earn the privilege to serve on a work crew based on a number of factors including their overall background, behavior while incarcerated and the crime for which they have been convicted. Only inmates who have been convicted of lesser misdemeanor crimes are permitted to perform this community service, Mathess said.

We think it’s a wonderful way to get work done with relatively little cost while getting the inmates out of their cells and used to working.

Thumbs up to the Park County Weed and Pest Control District, which donated a forklift to ReStore, a thrift store operated by the Mountain Spirit Habitat for Humanity, on March 25.

Matt Willson, Restore’s assistant manager, said the addition of the 1978 forklift is “huge.” More work will be done in far fewer hours, Willson said.

Weed and Pest Board Chairman Walt Hartung said while the district had an offer of $3,250, the board decided to donate it to ReStore.

“We’re part of the community, and we thought it was the right thing to do,” Hartung said.

Indeed they are, and assuredly it was. Here’s to Park County Weed and Pest Control for planting a seed of hope and charity. Let’s hope it blossoms and others pop up as well.

Thumbs up to the report from the Homesteader Museum that all signs point to progress.

The museum held its annual meeting on March 29, and members and guests heard good news in the report from Director/Curator Rowene Weems. An attendance record was set in 2013, the number of donations far out-stripped previous totals and progress is being made and planned inside and out.

“I’m very proud of this,” Weems said.

She, and the staffers, board members and volunteers should be. They are doing a commendable job of preserving and discovering our history.

Thumbs up to the Powell City Council for amending its chicken ordinance.

The council passed the ordinance this winter but left a hole in it. While it set a four-chicken limit, it did not include an exception for businesses. Some that were selling dozens of chickens were technically breaking the law and risking fines for each fowl violation.

That wasn’t right, and asking the Powell Police Department to look the other way wasn’t the answer, either. Amending the law, and correcting this minor flaw, was the right approach.

Of course, the law still does not allow homeowners to brood a few dozen chicks, which is what a citizen asked for early in the process. At the time, the council and Mayor Don Hillman told him to go ahead. One more modification may be needed before the chickens come home to roost.

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