PROPS & DISSES: 3.26.14

By on March 25, 2014

JACKSON, WYO – School board bucks politics PROP
Good on ya, school board trustees, for keeping politics out of the classroom. The Next Generation Science Standards nested within Common Core have effectively edged a creator god out of the classroom by reason of Darwin’s evolution theory, a flawed postulate disproved by a lack of transitional fossil records for one.

Wyoming lawmakers, led by Governor Matt Mead, took the low road in throwing up the mandatory roadblock on the newfangled science. Rather than bristling over a thicker chapter on natural selection while thinning out Genesis a bit, Mead objected on behalf of a state knee-deep in fossilized carbon to NGSS’s proposed teachings of global warming.

State politicos couldn’t possibly align coal-burning Wyoming with an educational philosophy that advocates man-made climate changes are a reality. To his credit, the governor publicly stated during his 2010 campaign that he was skeptical global temperature changes are a result of mankind’s (known colloquially as “China enabled by Wyoming”) dirty habits. It might have been more encouraging to some if state leaders bucked NGSS on the grounds that it bulldozes the Garden of Eden but they did what they had to do in Cheyenne.

Kudos to Teton County School District trustees for refusing to fall in with Mead and company. Again, the motivation has to be questioned. It would be easier to swallow for many if school board members rejected Common Core outright on more suitable grounds, but their declaration that our kids receive value from exposure to any new teaching is a positive one. A Jackson Hole High School graduate may one day go on to become CEO of Arch Coal or be elected to high office on a Democrat ticket.

Either way, kids need a chance to be who they will be.

State speed trap PROP
Driving the vast expanses of the great American West requires two things: books-on-tape and speed. Just try to make Casper from anywhere in the state with radio silence and the cruise control on 55. You’ll go mad.

I’m not advocating speeding. That would be reckless and could possibly toss our publisher into a state of anxiety. But the truth of it is, hammer down on a Wyoming highway is practically a rite of passage, and I have always trusted in our treasured and valued Highway Patrol to cut locals a break. And now we learn they do.

According to new data, Wyoming Highway Patrol issues far more speeding tickets to out-of-state drivers than Wyoming residents. This is at least some consolation to locals who have for years had to deal with the highest rate of tickets issued per capita than any other state or territory in North America.

WHP administrators say they don’t target non-bucking horse plates but that’s nonsense. Stops on I-80 are motivated primarily by the hope of a big score. Patrolmen are not going to waste their time and effort on running down a Riverton Ranger for doing 82 in a 75.

A California tag flying by at five over the limit, however, might entice a trooper to make the stop with dreams of a trunkful of methamphetamine to brag on back at headquarters.

State legislators recently jacked sections of I-80 to an 80-mph speed limit. It’s a good start. Even better would be to add another one of those dual limit signs distinguishing trucks from other motorists, only this one should read: “Speed Limit 80, 65 for Utah drivers.”

The ‘Rice’ stuff PROP
What is so appealing about Joe Rice, and the reason he wins best employer and entrepreneur in our annual Best Of year after year, is his humility. Rice is not above admitting defeat and living to fight another day.

Dolce never worked. Jackson wasn’t ready for an after-movie latte and pastry shop. We aren’t sophisticated enough, perhaps. And tourists didn’t get it either.

What the downtown core area needs is a cheap burger. Ever since Billy’s bolted, tourists have been hankering for a quick lunch that isn’t going to break the bank. A Liberty Burger joint next to Merry Piglets will fill the bill nicely. Smart move, Joe.

Now what to do with Pizza Artisan…

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