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Editorials

The 11 percent increase in Park County’s assessed property valuation announced this week is generally a positive development.

The increased valuation means that, without raising tax rates even one mill, property tax revenue in the county will rise by $5.8 million, which will help the county, towns, fire departments and other taxing entities in the county maintain their services.

The red, white and blue of Old Glory will be flown in communities around America in recognition of Flag Day today (Tuesday). While honoring the history, symbolism and significance of the flag, the annual holiday also is a good time to recognize how to properly care for the revered American symbol. (See the related flag guidelines.)

New proposals by the Bureau of Land Management for managing land in the Big Horn Basin have, predictably, ignited the perennial discussion of balance in the development of land and resources.

Everyone in Wyoming knows, or should know, how important mining and drilling are to the state and to our pocketbooks. Income from the development of our mineral wealth, particularly our energy wealth, is what enables us to enjoy excellent highways, a good educational system and other benefits while enjoying lower taxes on fuel, sales and property than almost every other state. That realization argues for fewer obstacles to further mineral activity in the Big Horn Basin.

With no tax support for its operating expenses, the U.S. Postal Service runs like a business. And, like many businesses in recent years, the U.S. Postal Service has struggled to remain solvent. Last year, the struggling organization posted an $8 billion deficit.

Of course, an $8 billion deficit means cutbacks — plain and simple.

Powell residents are no doubt aware of the positive impact Northwest College has on the economy of Powell, but they may not be aware of the size of that impact.

Now, thanks to a recent independent study into the role NWC and other Wyoming community colleges play in the state, we can see just how much the college means, not only to Powell, but to the rest of Park County as well as Big Horn and Washakie counties as well.

It was a tough call.

When Powell Valley Healthcare officials hired anesthesiologist Dr. Cory Pickens, they knew he was in recovery for abusing prescription medication.

They were then faced with the difficult decision about how or when to disclose details of his conviction for prescription drug fraud. They could either be completely forthcoming with the information when they announced Pickens’ hiring, or they could keep it quiet and give the new doctor and his family time to get adjusted to the community before releasing details about his past.

EDITORIAL: Pause to remember

This year, Memorial Day comes amid a flurry of efforts to honor our veterans.

In recent months, Gov. Matt Mead has traveled to Park County specifically to meet veterans, particularly those who fought in Vietnam and Korea, and thank them for their service.

Following a year of turnover and transition, it appears as though things are looking up for Powell Valley Healthcare. It’s been a year of ups and downs as the organization has undergone a number of major changes in leadership.

Former chief executive officer Rod Barton left the position in August, and in the months that followed, the organization saw an interim and a new CEO, a new chief financial officer, five newly-elected members of the seven-member Powell Hospital District Board of Trustees as well as several changes on the physicians’ staff.

EDITORIAL: To the class of 2011

Sunday, 94 of you will walk out of Powell High School to take on a new world. Later next week, 15 more of you will do the same when you graduate from the Shoshone Learning Center.

In our culture, graduation from high school is a major landmark on the way to adulthood, and it’s an exciting time for you graduates as you set off for new adventures and challenges. And though you probably won’t admit it, there will probably be bittersweet moments this weekend as you say goodbye to one world and prepare to enter another.

As our neighbors in Idaho and Montana gear up for wolf hunts, hundreds of wolves roaming Wyoming remain on the endangered species list.

Idaho began selling wolf hunting tags May 5 — just a day after the predators were taken off the endangered species list in most states. Montana wildlife officials are looking to issue wolf hunting licenses beginning in August.

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