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Editorials

Wyoming residents should be able to access public records easily and with no cost. After all, they are the owners of those documents, not the officials who often try to hoard them.

It’s the same with government meetings. Residents should be able to oversee their public officials’ work, except in some rare cases such as personnel matters and legal actions.

Our new governor, Matt Mead, quickly fulfilled one of his campaign promises when he announced shortly after his inauguration that Wyoming would join a multi-state lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the federal health care reform act.

This is in contrast to Mead’s predecessor, Dave Freudenthal, who chose not to send the state down that path, believing it would be a waste of the state’s money.

In the past decade, more than a billion dollars was spent on school facilities in Wyoming. With a new high school, new Southside Elementary, a new Westside Elementary under construction and plans underway for middle school renovations, Powell has seen millions spent on demolition and construction in recent years.

Similar school projects are going on across the state, and Gov. Matt Mead wants to ensure Wyoming contractors receive a fair chance at those jobs.

EDITORIAL: Shooting an attack on America

Once again, an act of terrorism has our flag flying at half staff.

Last week’s shooting in Arizona, which killed, among others a 9-year-old and a federal judge, was apparently aimed at a member of the United States Congress, who was seriously wounded and will face disability, probably for the rest of her life.

The incident has revived perennial arguments about safety and security.

EDITORIAL: Legislature in session

As legislators gather in Cheyenne this week, they will be inundated with dozens of bills — eventually hundreds of them — up for consideration during the 2011 General Session 61st Wyoming Legislature.

Once again, Wyoming finds itself in a much better position than other states with its enviable budget surplus — more than $1 billion to allocate or invest.

EDITRIAL: Fire knows no holiday

Powell’s volunteer firemen once again had a holiday weekend interrupted by a major fire.

In May, firemen spent a chunk of their Memorial Day weekend dealing with the fire at Treasure Valley Seed. Last Friday, they spent their New Year’s Eve fighting a fire at a storage building near Glad Tidings Church and welcomed in the New Year at midnight while cleaning up their equipment and preparing it for the next fire.

EDITORIAL: Fresh eyes examine flawed test

For much of 2010, criticism and questions surrounded PAWS — the Proficiency Assessments for Wyoming Students.

Going into a new year, state leaders must decide what the future is for the beleaguered standardized test. Following an audit report that showed the PAWS test is expensive and not fully utilized, we’re glad Wyoming officials are taking a serious look at the exam, its flaws and whether it guides student instruction as it should.

 

EDITORIAL: Think community in 2011

In many ways, 2010 has been a bad year.

The eonomic downturn that began in 2008 persists, not only in the U.S., but in Europe and Japan, and although there are signs that things are improving, it is slow and unemployment continues at unacceptable levels.

 

Residents dreading the prospect of a large-scale hauling project over the scenic Chief Joseph Highway breathed a sigh of relief last week.

After a turn of events, the Montana Department of Environmental Quality abandoned its controversial plan to haul some 68,700 tons of gold mine tailings over the winding highway.

EDITORIAL: Christmas wishes

There are many important issues we could comment on in this space today.

Many of them are controversial, involving intense and often acrimonious debate.

But this issue is not the time to dwell on division and acrimony. It is our last edition before Christmas, time to speak of peace and goodwill rather than division and acrimony.

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