Editor’s notes: Letters to the editor from the community with topics about political candidates on the ballot for the Nov. 3 General Election will not be published after Sunday, Oct. 25. This is to ensure fairness as there will not be adequate time for rebuttal of opinions to be submitted and published before the election. Also, letters to the editor submitted from candidates on the ballot are not published as free campaign advertisements.

Because of the recent increase in the volume of letters to the editor, more approved letters will be published during the week on the Boomerang’s opinion page.

Support for StantonI am an educator in Albany County School District No. 1, and I want to express my full support of Emily Siegel Stanton for school board.

As a mental health professional, Stanton has a background and expertise in an area that is so needed in these times. She is a level-headed and science-minded individual, and these qualities will serve our district and the board well.

As her son enters the school district next year, she will have a parent perspective into how decisions directly impact students. She is honest, and has a commitment to the Laramie community and Albany County.

She will work for what’s best for our students, teachers and staff. Stanton is a team player, but will not be afraid to do what’s right even if she experiences opposition. I will be voting for Stanton, and I hope you will, as well.

Elena Martinez


Support for HeienI am writing in support of Kaleb Heien for Laramie City Council.

For as long as I have known him, I have been impressed with Heien’s positive initiative, hard work ethic and ability to think of practical, thoughtful and creative solutions and innovative ideas.

He has demonstrated servant leadership, and I urge you to vote for Heien for city council.

Karen Schmit


Voting for …I’m not voting for a person — I’m voting for the First Amendment and free speech.

I’m voting for the Second Amendment and my right to defend my life and my family.

I’m voting for the next Supreme Court justice to protect the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

I’m voting for the continued growth of my retirement, 401K and the stock market.

I’m voting for the return of our troops from foreign countries and the end of American involvement in foreign conflicts.

I’m voting for the Electoral College and the republic in which we live.

I’m voting for the police to be respected and to assure law and order.

I’m voting for the continued appointment of federal judges who respect the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

I’m voting for our jobs to remain in America and not be outsourced all over again in China, Mexico and other foreign countries.

I’m voting to secure borders and legal immigration.

I’m voting for the military and the veterans who fought for this country and who gave the American people their freedoms.

I’m voting for the unborn babies who have a right to live.

I’m voting for continued peace in the Middle East and in support of Israel.

I’m voting to fight human/child trafficking.

I’m voting for freedom of religion.

I’m voting for the American flag that is disrespected by the Democratic Party.

I’m voting for the right to speak my opinion and not be censored.

I’m voting for my children and grandchildren to assure their freedoms and future.

I’m voting for the future of my country.

Oh — I guess I am voting for a person — I’m voting for President Donald Trump.

What and who are you voting for?

Mary Benson


Support for Ben-DavidDr. Merav Ben-David is the best choice to represent Wyoming in the U.S. Senate.

I say this as a foster parent, an outdoorswoman and a scientist.

As a foster parent, I have seen first-hand how difficult (and sometimes impossible) it can be to get foster kids the medical care they need, particularly mental health care. Wyoming needs a senator who will fight for universal health care, which will have immeasurable benefits for our most vulnerable kids and their families.

As an outdoorswoman, I spend as much time as I can recreating on public lands and sharing experiences with the many folks here with similar passions. We will all benefit from a senator who is committed to keeping public lands public, to managing public lands using scientific research and to enacting environmental policies that will protect our open spaces for future generations.

As a scientist, I am excited by Ben-David’s evidence based approaches to future-proofing Wyoming’s economy, protecting the Wyoming way of life and living up to our nickname as “The Equality State.”

Wyoming, and our nation, should demand legislation based on facts, not partisan politics. I am proud to have voted for Ben-David.

Ellen Currano


More support for Ben-DavidI’ll get right to the point. Wyoming is in a world of hurt right now, and our country is facing extremely difficult issues, including a world-wide pandemic, an economic morass and unprecedented threats to the integrity of our democratic system from external bad actors.

We need true leaders representing us in Congress; leaders who are willing to confront these (and other) issues regardless of party. Now more than ever, we need country over party.

This is the time for blunt, honest talk. The last thing we need to do is elect tired retreads who’ve already had their shot and failed. Yes, I’m talking about Cynthia Lummis — but don’t take my word for it, take hers. She herself said, “When I was in Congress, I only got one piece of legislation passed … eight years, that’s all I got accomplished? It’s frustrating.”

In their only debate, when challenged, Lummis repeatedly offered two words: “No rebuttal.” This is incredibly insulting to the citizens of our state, who deserve answers and to know where their elected officials stand.

Enough said. This is not about party (we’ve had quality leaders from both parties in the past). That’s what Lummis is counting on, and that’s what politicians want you to believe when they have nothing else to offer (after all, you could argue that one party has controlled our state for years and look where that’s gotten us). It’s about people and leaders.

Merav Ben-David is a scientist and University of Wyoming professor who will tackle tough issues and do what’s best for Wyoming heading into a murky future.

Lummis had her chance — eight years of a chance. The hard truth is she was a “nobody” in Congress and got nothing done. Why would Wyoming want to send her back for more of the same?

Change is hard. Changing old habits is hard. But nothing will get better unless we look forward to new leadership. Ben-David is a leader who can make a difference. Elect Ben-David to the U.S. Senate.

Gary Trauner


Then and nowIn the 1970s I was attending engineering college in West Virginia.

On our campus we had a lot of international students most of which were Iranian. Although Iran was very westernized, Mohammad Reza Shah (the last Shah of Iran, 1941-79) was promoting education programs for his country.

The Shah did have many detractors who did not like this and demonstrations were rampant in Iran and even in the United State. We had demonstrators on our campus and all wore paper bags over their heads for fear of retaliation against their families in Iran. All attempts by the Shah to quell unrest in Iran were painted as horrific violations of human rights even in western media.

Playboy magazine even sported a depiction of the Shah as the devil. Eventually the Shah was run out of Iran and the country fell under control of an Islamic regime.

What the press refused to cover were the Catholic Iranians in the U.S. who were demonstrating against the new Iranian regime and again wore paper bags over their heads. Many of these young demonstrators never saw their families again.

Today we see the same press portraying President Donald Trump as Adolf Hitler or the devil with only rumor to support these claims. We are also experiencing protests and violent riots that the press is supporting or covering up.

This bias for revolution is even witnessed locally here in Wyoming. In 2016 the polls and press were telling us that Hillary Clinton was going to be president, why should we believe them now? Don’t be discouraged, go vote.

Derek Mancinho


Wearing masks at state CapitolI was at first upset when I read in the paper that the Wyoming Legislature was not going to mandate the wearing of face masks during the upcoming session.

On second thought, it would be a great statement for the state if there were pictures of all the members of the Legislature wearing masks without being told to.

Considering that right now the COVID-19 cases statewide are at their highest and growing daily. We know the larger numbers of cases have happened at the University of Wyoming and community colleges.

The school districts throughout the state have required students and staff to wear masks and other safety measures to protect each other so in person learning can take place.

As leaders, models and examples for the people and especially the children and young adults of Wyoming our legislators are the ones that should be using all the COVID-19 recommendations of Gov. Mark Gordon and the Wyoming Health Department.

By wearing masks during this session our state representatives and senators will be showing respect and consideration for their fellow legislators and staff.

Mary O’Flannigan


Multiple school board supportI will support two candidates in Area A: Mark Bittner and Jamin Johnson, and one candidate for the At-Large seat, Denise Deem.

I support these candidates because they have what I believe is the trifecta of qualifications for this position on the Albany County School District No. 1 Board of Trustees.

First, all three have been long-standing members of this community and have proven themselves dedicated to the well-being of the citizens of Albany County. Secondly, these candidates have all had, or currently have children come through the ACSD No. 1 system. Their personal experiences as parents have afforded them a better knowledge of how our district interacts with families and students, how it supports them, and where improvements could be made. Thirdly, these three candidates do not have personal agendas, grudges or bones to pick. They are not interested in “righting old wrongs” and do not come to the table with preconceived notions about the district’s past administrations or operations.

Bittner and Johnson have proven themselves during their tenure as board members to be prepared, thoughtful and contributory. Their participation and viewpoints have contributed greatly to the work of the board and the respectful discourse that occurs during our meetings.

Deem has served on several boards and most of them have directly impacted youth in Laramie. Her common sense “get ‘er done” approach to things will be an asset to the school board.

All three of these candidates are respected in our community and are respectful in their interactions with others.

These candidates need your vote — only the top three candidates in Area A and the top one for the At-Large seat will serve on the school board for a four-year term. Be thoughtful when you make your decision about this office, especially now as budget cuts will be certain to come to education.

Choose candidates who are going to have creative problem solving, forward vision and the courage to boldly face the challenges ahead, who will weigh issues of equity and support best practices; that will do what is best for ACSD No. 1 students, faculty and our entire community.

Karen Bienz


Hospice of Laramie eventThe upcoming Hospice of Laramie Virtual Wine Gala is an excellent opportunity for local residents to demonstrate their support for this local nonprofit.

Hospice continues to serve persons in the final stages of their life on an outpatient basis, their families and the bereaved. The organization is entering a new phase with new Executive Director, Jessica Stalder, and plans to expand services to include palliative care and reopening the inpatient Hospice unit in the near future. The continued involvement of our community remains critical to the success of the Hospice mission.

Tickets to the Virtual Wine Gala to be held from 7-9 p.m. Oct. 29 via Facebook Live, can be purchased through the link on the Hospice of Laramie website hospiceoflaramie.org. Ticket purchasers are offered a bottle of wine which can be picked up at Hospice House on the day of the event. An online silent auction will open for bidding on Oct. 24 through the conclusion of the event the following Thursday.

Director Stalder and a tour of the Hospice House will be featured, along with presentations from our wine vendors, regarding their products and food pairings and local sponsors. Music will be provided by Wolves in Cheap Clothing and Peter Parolin will again emcee the event.

An anonymous donor has pledged to match all Virtual Wine Gala proceeds and donations up to $100,000! Please consider this very special offering to celebrate and give to Hospice of Laramie.

Judith Olson

Hospice of Laramie board member

An independent optionAs independent voters, we ask all Wyoming residents to consider thinking independently this election season.

We are a senior couple who live in Wyoming because of the amazing landscape of mostly public lands and the relatively light smattering of human population. One of us was born in Rock Springs and has ancestors who moved to Wyoming in the 1870s. The other one moved to Wyoming first in the 1980s.

We have voted for Republican candidates in the past and we have voted for Democratic candidates. Mostly we prefer to think things through and not be tied to any particular party line. But we have watched the Republican Party become more hateful and more controlling — especially these last several years.

We disagree vehemently that a pledge to support Grover Norquist is more important than an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. We are tired of a party that tries to enforce a narrow version of a singular religion on others. We are frustrated with corruption at the highest levels. We watch and watch as the rich get richer and as the Republican candidates yell louder and louder.

If you don’t care for professional politicians consider voting against Cynthia Lummis and against Liz Cheney in the U.S. Senate and House races. Because of the light smattering of humans in Wyoming, we may not be able to move the national needle, but we sure can influence who we send to Washington on our behalf.

Locally, you probably know your candidates and you can make your own determination of who to vote for, like we did. We are voting, not for any party line, but with our hearts for all of humanity, and with our minds to back science-based policies. We do not live in fear, and we sure know how to think for ourselves.

Frank and Karla Bird


Carbon emissions, pricingWith all the wildfires and smoke impacting the whole of the West, we in Wyoming should expect a nationwide push for a price on carbon emissions.

Rather than regulations inflicted upon us, Wyoming’s members of Congress should participate in creating a carbon-pricing policy that is most equitable for the people in Wyoming and least harmful to the Wyoming economy. Among legislation proposing a free market solution to carbon dioxide emissions, rather than regulations, is the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (https://energyinnovationact.org).

Already introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by a Republican and a Democrat and with 87 cosponsors, it is probably the most effective, equitable and least complicated of a number of similar legislations. It incentivizes for solutions to carbon emissions, rather than dictating regulations.

Instead of wishing for our past, let’s insist our leaders take part in planning how Wyoming can productively participate in the already transforming energy economy.

Madeline Dalrymple


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