Families should ask questions of nursing homesAs each day of the coronavirus pandemic passes, family members, staff and communities are becoming increasingly worried about the health and safety of those inside long-term care facilities. For those with a loved one in a nursing home, AARP Wyoming recommends asking the facility six key questions:

  • Has anyone in the nursing home tested positive for COVID-19?
  • What is the nursing home doing to prevent infections?
  • Does nursing home staff have the personal protective equipment and training they need to stay safe and keep their patients safe?
  • What is the nursing home doing to help residents stay connected with their families or other loved ones during this time?
  • What is the plan for the nursing home to communicate important information to both residents and families on a regular basis?
  • Is the nursing home currently at full staffing levels for nurses, aides, and other workers?

For those who are concerned about the safety of a loved one living in a nursing home, contact the Wyoming Long Term Care Ombudsman, Patricia Hall at 307-777-2885. Families and caregivers can also find additional information and resources about COVID-19 at www.aarp.org/coronavirus.

Sam Shumway

State Director

AARP Wyoming

Assessor should drop tax issueThe Board of Directors of Laramie Senior Housing (LSH) (404 S. 30th), feel it is important the community be aware of an issue the Board has wrestled with for over a year. We do not understand why our County Assessor is continuing his quest for LSH to pay property tax even after our own Albany County Board of Equalization (which consists of our County Commissioners) ruled it should be exempt.

One year ago, LSH received a Notice of Assessment of $26,022.31 from the County Assessor’s office. LSH has been tax exempt since its existence in 1980. The Assessor, Grant Showacre, determined that LSH did not meet the definition of a charity, benevolent, non-profit corporation under Wyoming statues. After two days of testimony from board members and the Assessor, the Albany County Board of Equalization concluded on October 1, 2019 that LSH qualified as a charitable entity pursuant to Wyoming Statue Ann. 39-11-105(a)(xli) and the Property was therefore exempt from property taxes.

This decision was insufficient for our County Assessor. Instead, he has chosen to appeal the ruling to the State Equalization Board. LSH is once again required to incur additional legal fees to plead its case.

LSH is a 501©(3) non-profit corporation whose purpose is to serve and provide reduced-rent housing for the elderly, disabled and low income. LSH receives US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funding, which requires all residents to be low income as defined by HUD income guidelines. LSH falls under the same HUD definition as Ark Regional Services, an entity Mr. Showacre has chosen not to assess.

LSH alleviates the burden on charities and governmental entities by keeping residents independent, without the need to move to long-term residential care subsidized through public funds and reduces stress to other social service providers in the community.

If this ruling is overturned, all HUD facilities in Wyoming could receive an assessment. Historically, these facilities have not been taxed. In our ceaseless quest for governmental funding, is it truly necessary to take from our most vulnerable?

Roger Strube

Mary Spitler

Beth Jones

Keith Miller

Dave Hammond

Pat Engler-Parish

Is testing intentionally difficult?I do not wish to accuse our President and his White House confederates of intentionally delaying testing for the current virus, but in all honesty, I do believe it might be so. Why? Because our President has a habit of lying and insisting on his own gut feelings – as he would say it. Are we now being victims of that “gut feeling”? And is that “gut feeling” way off base from the truth?

Why has testing of the virus been so difficult? That is what I want to know – and I am sure I am not the only one; but when I ask that question, I am led to ask why would anyone want to make testing difficult? My answer – to myself, of course: because I may not want to know what a generally easy testing might indicate. Is it likely that testing would provide proof that many more of us are carrying the virus than it is convenient to acknowledge? I do not know the answer, but I “suspect” that testing is intentionally being made difficult simply because the truth would likely not be to the President’s advantage. Why? Because if one of ten of us has the virus, for instance, that would mean overwhelming our hospitals and preventing business as usual.

Is it true? I do not know, but if I were a member of an audience of a Presidential Press Conference, I would ask President Trump if he is refusing to make testing easy – or at least easier – because he does not want to know what a general testing might declare? Let him answer that. The truth is important – and if I have a problem testifying about it and what I am doing about it, then maybe I’m not being truthful. If I am being untruthful, then I should resign being President and let someone who is truthful take over. But what fools we may be to allow another fool to lead us!

Francis William Bessler

Laramie

Distrusting president doesn’t mean an excess of prideIn his opinion piece (April 21), Mr. Micheli describes a friend of his who refused to take hydroxychloroquine when she was stricken with COVID-19 because Trump had advocated its use and because she suspected Trump profits from its sale. Mr. Micheli claims this is a perfect example of Trump Derangement Syndrome.

Mr. Micheli’s friend is not deranged. She is smart to distrust a president who has lied to the American people thousands of times, and who, along with family members, has profited from his presidency. Mr Micheli uses this example to claim that pride is the root of all turmoil in America today. No, it is an utterly inept and corrupt president.

Yours,

Robert L. Kelly

Laramie

Long newspaper story worth reading“Vindication,” Daniel Bendtsen’s Sunday 4-19 story describing Savannah Stone’s rape by two Laramie men, an initial lack of justice, and finally a successful prosecution in Albany County, is powerful and important.

I write this letter because it is a long story and some readers may have set it aside or even put it in their recycling without reading it. It will take you half an hour to read, but go get it and read it. Then have your family members read it. Most activities in town are closed, so you definitely have time to read the Boomerang!

Sincerely,

Martin L. Buchanan

Laramie

Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Earth DayWith the 50th anniversary of Earth Day this past week, we are already reducing our carbon footprint during the pandemic by severely curtailing travel. But we can do so much more by cutting our consumption of animal meat and milk products. Yes, that.

A recent article in the respected journal Nature argues that animal agriculture is a major driver of climate change, air and water pollution, depletion of soil and water resources, and destruction of wildlife habitats. Oxford University’s prestigious Food Climate Research Network reports that solving the global warming catastrophe requires a massive shift to plant-based eating.

In an environmentally sustainable world, we must replace meat and dairy products with vegetables, fruits, and grains, just as we replace fossil fuels with wind, solar, and other renewable energy sources. Each of us has a unique opportunity to heal our planet by transitioning to plant-based eating.

Lider Bonatello

Laramie

President needs to let experts do the talkingLast week we got new information concerning the ongoing hype by Trump/Fox News of the drug hydroxychloroquine as a possible treatment for COVID-19. It turns out that after studies were conducted the drug is almost certainly ineffective against the virus and potentially dangerous.

Coincidentally, a top administrative scientist was demoted for daring to suggest that we really should run such studies before touting untested drugs to an anxious and desperate public. In terms of the people ‘trying it for themselves’, we heard the President declare “what do we have to lose”?

Well, aside from the risk of serious side effects, we now have a President-induced shortage of a drug desperately needed by people who depend upon it for treatment of conditions like systemic lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

Next, we were treated to President Trump’s inept and ignorant comments about using disinfectant or UV light inside the human body. There was immediate nationwide and worldwide condemnation of his remarks, as well as urgent warnings by health communities that his vague suggestions could prove fatal to people who might take him seriously. The overworked White House damage control team said that the President was being sarcastic and talking to journalists. In other words, he was making a joke. No unbiased person who saw and heard what he said would likely find this assertion credible.

If it were truly a joke on Trump’s part, it is even worse. We do not think this is any sort of a laughing matter. The pandemic has threatened public safety and the very fabric of society. We are a suffering right now and worried about our lives and the lives of our loved ones.

Mr. President, If you are unable to tell the critical difference between an informational briefing in a time of profound emergency, and a political rally full of lame and hurtful jokes, then you should just sit down, be quiet, and let educated and serious experts have the podium.

Michael Basinger

Laramie

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