By on December 16, 2014

DISSTongueMedic aid needed

It’s not that Wyomingites are all fat and out of shape. Teton County pulls more than its weight raising the curve for the state’s health outlook, yet a new survey shows we are less healthy than last year.

America’s Health Rankings, released last week by the United Health Foundation, dropped Wyoming from 17th to 25th, overall. The study takes into account numerous statistics including the state’s high rate of deaths attributed to drugs, a high rate of smoking, a lack of health insurance and a dip in state funding of public health.

Wyoming’s biggest challenge is making adequate health care available to residents in rural parts of the Cowboy State. Despite government incentives to health care providers, the report placed Wyoming 45th for its dismal doctor to patient ratio: 90 physicians for every 100,000 people.

The good news is that number has held steady for the last six years, and medical professionals tend to stick around once they move to Wyoming, according to the Wyoming Office of Rural Health.

Wyoming continues to be a dangerous place to work thanks to lax labor laws within the oil and gas industry. And we are still smoking too much, though puffers have declined (23 to 20.6 percent). Most pack-a-dayers are in Hot Springs County, by the way.

PROPSFistbumpUphill battle won

OK, let’s assume the King isn’t going for the good publicity endorsement with their recent policy announcement stating they will implement an uphill skier program in the new year. The idea is a solid one and a shot across the bow at their monster valley rival: JHMR.

Snow King is better suited to the inclusion of uphill skinners and it is exactly the kind of thing the Town Hill needs to be doing in order to stay grassroots. The Uphill Pass, available for $7.50, plus whatever users wish to kick in for the Save the King kitty, is a win-win for the local resort and the hardcore calorie-burners who plan on taking advantage of the right to snub chairlifts in order to get their swerve on.

Hiking the King at sunset. Photo: Robyn Vincent

Hiking the King at sunset. Photo: Robyn Vincent

Dr. Roland Fleck’s highly publicized feud with JHMR in 2011 created awareness for the mad men and women who prefer to earn their turns with sweat equity. It’s a tough call for resort managers who recognize the inherent danger in inviting two-way traffic on ski hills.

Snow King has long been a place where uphill skiers have been tacitly allowed to do their thing – especially after Hill Climb. An official policy makes the King look hip and progressive. Nice job.

PROPSFistbump‘Prugh-dent’ upzone

Developer Greg Prugh is not alone in waiting, waiting, waiting for LDR revisions that might provide some direction in what he can do with his mobile home park in Jackson. His spot zone approval to Urban Residential after Don Frank had a change of heart is a step in the right direction.

Prugh says he will build new rental units at 135 West Kelly Ave. He has always been someone the town has enjoyed working with and he is a local. Bob Lenz’s fear that a precedent may be set in allowing one-off upzoning for every Tom, Dick and Greg that comes along holds little water. If only SOME precedent might be set, developers could get moving with projects – many of which might alleviate our housing crunch.

Greg Prugh Jr. Photo: Google Plus

Greg Prugh Jr. Photo: Google Plus

Tackling each request at a time before sweeping zoning changes have been put into effect is no more harmful than sweeping zoning changes. The public was invited to weigh in on Prugh’s request and the area is an appropriate one for UR zoning.

Pockets of trailer parks in Jackson are going to go away. That’s just a fact. Beginning with individualized upscaling and upzoning, and doing it with a proven local developer is smart growth.

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