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August 07, 2014 7:25 am

EDITORIAL: City Council wise to move meetings to an earlier time

Written by Tom Lawrence

Thumbs up to the Powell City Council for deciding to change its meeting time from 7 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The council approved the change Monday night. Barring unforeseen developments, the new start time will commence on Monday, Sept. 15.

The council feels the earlier time may lure more people to its meetings. Right now, few citizens attend, and that’s a shame. The council members and Mayor Don Hillman, along with city staffers, make decisions that impact our community and our lives.

We hope that with meetings starting at 6 p.m., people may decide to stop by after they get off work and before they head home. They can see how city laws and policies are developed and offer their thoughts.

It’s something well worth trying.

Thumbs down to the undue attention given to rocker/right-wing screamer Ted Nugent at the Big Horn Basin TEA Party picnic.

Nugent was treated like a demi-god at the event, as scores of people leaned in to hear his every word, many of those harsh and others profane. That’s in keeping with his long-established style.

Nugent repeatedly avoided military service rather than serve during the Vietnam War. He fathered kids out of wedlock, sang about having forcible sex with an underage girl and has pled guilty to hunting violations.

Oh, and he has also spewed out some of the most hateful and plain idiotic comments about politics that it has been our displeasure to hear. Yet somehow, he is hailed as a hero by the far right.

We wrote a pair of stories about Nugent and published pro- and anti-Nugent columns. He is news, we realize, but we strove to offer a balanced view of the man and his career.

Seeing Sens. Mike Enzi and John Barrasso basically ignored on Saturday, along with other current and hopeful officials, while Boy and Cub Scouts posed for photos with Nugent and others were drawn to the celebrity in their midst, said a lot about what we value as a nation.

And it wasn’t good.

Thumbs up  to the courage of James Brady, who died Monday at the age of 73.

Brady was severely wounded when he was shot in the forehead during the March 30, 1981, assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan. Up until that moment, Brady was a quick-witted, funny, talented press secretary.

His wound was so serious, it was originally thought he would die, and ABC News in fact reported he had done so. But Brady fought and lived another 33 years.

His speech, short-term memory and ability to move the left side of his body were severely impaired. He spent most of the last three decades of his life in a wheelchair and was not the same man.

“What I was, I am not now,” he said in 1994. “What I was, I will never be again.”

But he emerged a dedicated champion for gun control and reasonable limits on gun access. Brady was shot by a mentally ill man who was seeking the attention of a famous actress, so he and his family knew the cost of allowing weapons in the wrong hands.

While he retained the title of press secretary for the remainder of Reagan’s presidency, Brady was unable to resume his duties. Instead, he became an advocate for a cause close to his heart, and we admire him for the strength he showed in the second part of his life.

Thumbs up to the Powell school system and the people who chose Chanler Buck as the interim football coach for the Panthers.

We wish Buck well while realizing he has big cleats to fill. Jim Stringer died with a 27-game winning streak, three straight 3A titles and four overall. Asking someone to replicate that is unfair.

But we are glad Powell High School Principal Jim Kuhn and Athletic Director Tim Wormald made a choice from the assistant coaches to show an appreciation for that crew’s outstanding performance and to create a sense of stability.

They also decided to have a head coach; allowing the coaches to lead the team by committee had been discussed but ultimately rejected. We’re glad that call was made.

Someone has to be in charge, to decide who plays and who sits, and if the team should punt or go for it on fourth and short. We wish Buck well in all those sticky situations and his team success as it faces the daunting challenge of the upcoming season.

1 Comment

  • Comment Link August 07, 2014 9:35 pm posted by Dix

    Mr Lawrence;
    You must really have it out for the TEA party movement. I guess looking at it from your perspective supporting moderate republicans because there are no democrats running is better than conservatives. It's such a shame you can not report the news objectively. Thumbs down to the Powell Tribune.

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