In support of trapping
I would like to comment on the article on trapping reform in Wyoming 11/14/20. I live here in Loveland, Coloroado, where in November 1996 a bunch of folks decided to pursue the elimination of trapping by ballot box and it passed, barely.
Since then wildlife issues have become rampant here. Coyotes next to the suburbs sometimes attacking pets and sometimes attacking people. I understand there in Wyoming a dog was killed by accident and now a group has been created to reform trapping. It seems more to me like a personal agenda by a few individuals. Hopefully, the Wyoming Game and Fish can work on a compromise before this group next will be wanting to ban trapping there.
The author made several questionable statements to push his agenda. There is way much more open space and land there so maybe the real issue is proximity to humans and human activities are the real issue. The statement that trappers leave traps until next season is ridiculous and speculatory, traps are not cheap either. While I am sorry someone lost a treasured pet to start this issue, I don’t think Wyoming needs to completely rewrite the regulations to satisfy a few peoples agenda.
Go tofurkey, not turkey
This week, President Trump will take a break from brooding over his election loss to pardon two turkeys. Every one of us has that same awesome power to pardon an innocent, sentient bird by choosing a plant-based roast for our Thanksgiving dinner.
The 222 million turkeys killed in the U.S. this year are raised in crowded sheds filled with toxic fumes. Their beaks and toes are clipped to prevent stress-induced aggression. At the tender age of 16 weeks, workers cut their throats and dump them into boiling water to remove their feathers.
Consumers pay a heavy price too. Turkey flesh is laced with cholesterol and saturated fats that elevate risk of chronic killer diseases. Prolonged cooking is required to destroy deadly pathogens lurking inside.
Now, for the good news. With growing popularity of Tofurky and other plant-based holiday roasts, U.S. turkey production has dropped a whopping 25 percent from its 1995 high of 293 million.
This Thanksgiving, let’s give thanks for our good fortune, health, and happiness with a cruelty-free plant-based holiday roast available in convenient sizes. An internet search on "vegetarian Thanksgiving" offers more options and recipes than we could possibly use.
Read the fine print. Or don't.
Donations (with fine print) to Trump’s recount campaign is like most of his promises to his base, such as with asserting he won the election (but the votes make Biden appear to have won only because the election was rigged).
Also, he was successful at defeating the pandemic (blame falls on Democratic governors such as NY’s Cuomo, but not Republicans) so that by Nov. 4 no one would be talking about it (even though far more than 100,000 new cases are being detected daily with 1,000 deaths, the vaccine is here).
Then there's this one: Mexico would pay for the wall (even though new stretches of wall have not been erected nor has Mexico paid even a peso)
Then there's the war on Christmas in which now everyone will say “Merry Christmas” (I don’t, preferring “Happy Newton’s Mass,” which I sent to the White House (no response); nor has anyone been coerced into saying the words who demurs by saying “Seasons Greetings” or “Happy Holidays” or some other phrase), et al.
It's being responsible
Reading Bill Sniffin's column of Nov. 18 about the COVID 19 pandemic in Wyoming, reminded me of another of his from Oct. 26 that still angers me to the core for its carelessness.
There he listed and claimed that many nationally known news sources were partisan and a danger to the country. I was stunned that a journalist would infer that people should censor themselves by limiting their news in the midst of a health crisis that is out of control now mostly because of an inept president.
Those who narrowed their intake to talk radio, twitter and Fox got to cheer the president as he mocked the virus and jeered the mask wearers while continuing to brainwash his followers into believing that their fellow Americans are their enemies.
Those who followed NPR, CBS, MSNBC, CNN, ABC, New York Times and others, got to hear from renowned scientists in the field of pandemics and public health, current and former high ranking government officials on both sides of the aisle; good reporting from all over the nation and the world, and from respected, well known U.S. military leaders. High quality, fact-based, verifiable journalism still exists. Turning your back on it just limits one's perspective and decision making power.
This is not about left or right, this is about the health of our communities, supporting our health care providers and saving lives. Everyone can help. If for no other reason, wear a mask in public places out of respect for the nurse you know, the elder you love, the friends you treasure. Trump and Sniffin should let the experts lead on this issue.
Enjoy your mask
I do not understand why my fellow citizens, at least many of them, resist wearing a mask in order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19; but let me say it this way. Enjoy wearing a mask, regardless of it being a requirement or simply a recommendation. Why not? Why make this an issue when it is such a simple thing? Why?
Of course, if wearing a mask is a detriment to your health because it might make breathing too hard (as is the case for a few I know), then maybe you should not consider wearing a mask. But for all of us who are only slightly handicapped at most, when wearing a mask, why not?
Never mind all the talk about it being a violation of your freedom. Lots of things are “violations or impediments to freedom,” but that does not keep people from abiding by some rule or other.
So why is wearing a mask more a violation of your freedom than having to stop at a stop light? Why is wearing a mask more a violation of your freedom that having to drive within a speeding limit? Why is wearing a mask more a violation of your freedom than not being able to smoke in a public arena?
But even if you are concerned about your freedom being violated by having to wear a mask out of simple courtesy of protecting others from your breath that may or may not be infected with a virus ... hey, think about making it a joy to wear a mask in the first place.
Put on a mask and make fun of yourself. Why not? Why make such a simple thing as wearing a mask such a big thing? Just do it and stop making excuses for not doing it, okay? You may not save a life by doing so, but you may cause someone to lose their life if you don't. Just consider the tradeoff, alright? Thanks for listening!
Francis William Bessler
Another for wearing a mask
Yesterday, I attempted to visit my box at the Laramie post office after hours to avoid the crowds. As I approached, I saw a man inside, unmasked. Another exited his car and approached the door in front of me, also unmasked. I turned around and went home. As an essential worker, and the supervisor of others whom I must not infect, I couldn't afford to get sick.
COVID-19 was late to arrive in Wyoming but has been devastating now that it is here. Our state's test positivity rate is the highest in the nation at a startling 68.8%, indicating insufficient testing and many undiagnosed cases. According to biostatisticians at Georgia Tech, the probability that someone will be infected and contagious at an event (or bar or restaurant) where just 15 randomly selected Albany County residents are present stands at 96%.
Even before Thanksgiving, our state's Rt (rate of transmission) is approximately the square root of two, which means that the number of cases is doubling every two incubation periods, or about every 10 days.
Exponential growth is nonintuitively rapid once it starts; at that rate of spread, as much as half of the entire population of Albany County, still a hotspot despite a local mask order, could be ill by New Year's Day. There is simply no way that Ivinson Hospital can handle this. To be blunt: unless we take much more effective measures, people we know and love will die.
Amid this brewing crisis, the strongest action our craven, partisan governor has taken since spring has been to call those who refuse to wear masks "knuckleheads."
Alas, it is he who is the knucklehead, a criminally negligent one. Unless we immediately impose and enforce effective restrictions, as the majority of other states and cities are now doing, the devastation will be far worse than most of us can imagine.
At a loss to understand
As a parent of Laramie High School students, I have been pleased by the District’s efforts to hew closely to the CDC’s common sense COVID-19 recommendations during this difficult period.
Since last week, however, I have been at a loss to understand the rationale for keeping the District’s schools open. It seems to me that the district is at least a week behind the curve in contributing to the mission of fully protecting students and staff and not allowing our city's health care providers to become overwhelmed.
The district has acknowledged the threshold of 5% active cases in the county has been surpassed. It is also my understanding that the district is experiencing more than two COVID-19 cases per day in the schools. As I understand it, this data meets two of the district’s own metrics for shut down.
As we know, COVID-19 cases spread exponentially and hospitalizations and deaths tend to lag reported cases by about two weeks. Given that we live in a semi-rural environment with limited health care resources, and in light of the very significant uptick in Albany County cases since mid-October, it hardly seems hyperbolic to suggest that our community may be on the precipice of a public health disaster.
As I write this, three of my daughter's five teachers are out awaiting test results after experiencing cold-like symptoms or as a result of a family member's exposure to COVID-19. In addition, cold-like symptoms experienced by members of my family have prompted me to seek testing.
I agree strongly that it is usually in the best interests of students to physically attend school. I am grateful for the heroic efforts of our teachers and staff to educate and care for our students in this demanding environment.
But the desire to function as normally as possible should never be allowed to morph into recklessness. It appears self-evident that our community has too many active cases to justify allowing schools to remain open. A judicious pause now may be the best chance to reopen in a few weeks with the staff and students healthy.
Learn from the past
In 1968, a turbulent election year like 2020, my mother set a Thanksgiving table for twenty-five people in the midst of an influenza epidemic. Within days, 23 of our 25 family and guests were very sick with the Hong Kong flu.
Today, public health officials are begging states to limit Thanksgiving to household only. What is your governor saying? Inexplicably, Utah’s governor is allowing families in Utah to invite anyone and everyone they want.
Woods Cross, Utah
Whose money is it?
On Dec. 1 the City Council will hold a hearing on the sale of a parcel of land in the Turner Tract. This land has an appraised value of $550,000 There is an offer from Encore Partners of $430,891, this is nearly 20% below the appraisal. In real estate parlance this is less than a low ball offer. The excuse for leaving 20% on the table is 20+ full-time jobs.
Once again city staff has displayed ignorance of whose money they are in charge of. This land is what used to be called the public treasure now it is just the politicians bank account. Is the city so broke that we should be having a fire sale?
When the Turner Tract was purchased, great promises were made to not parcel it out in small chunks but over the years that is exactly what has happened. Many will say it is only a lousy 120 grand, so what. It is the taxpayers money not city staff's. They have a fiduciary responsibility towards the taxpayers.
Encore Partners seems a reputable company wishing to build a fine facility. The point however is why couldn't staff leave 18% or even 10% on the table. Maybe staff should read some books on the subject perhaps even "The Art of the Deal"
Quilts of Valor say thanks
I want to thank the Boomerang for covering the Laramie Quilts of Valor bed turning event. Even though we didn't have a good turnout, everyone getting the Boomerang was able to read about it. Thanks again.