By on January 27, 2015

DISSTongueJust say no to the war on drugs

Lawmakers waste their time and effort banning party drug du jours and adding to a bloated list of junk kids are not to snort, shoot, drink or smoke. Today’s Methyenedioxypyrovalerone is yesterday’s LSD. Whether it’s ecstasy or heroin, crank or Quaaludes, salvia or laughing gas — someone somewhere is going to find a way to get funked up. It shouldn’t be the job of 60-year-old legislators to figure out how today’s youth prefers to get high and cut them off at the pass (the dutchie).

Sen. Leland Christensen’s bill to ban powdered alcohol is well-meaning, just like last session’s all-out campaign against bath salts, but it chases further down a futile path of regulating whatever the kids are huffing this month. A good indication a proposed substance ban is ahead of its time and probably only temporally relevant is when the legislative body as a whole needs to watch an episode of TLC’s “My Strange Addiction” to get prepped.

A cheap high, ‘palcohol’ faces a proposed substance ban. PHOTO: PALCOHOL.COM

A cheap high, ‘palcohol’ faces a proposed substance ban. PHOTO: PALCOHOL.COM

Is “palcohol” a serious problem in Wyoming? Better yet, will it be in 2016? Let’s stop adding to a never-ending checklist of dangerous cheap highs and deal with weightier issues facing this great state like declaring the jackalope an official state mythical creature.

PROPSFistbumpSlow King Resort 

Somewhere between repainting the bathroom walls at the hockey rink and building a world-class convention center lies a sweet spot at the base of the King.

Support from the Town Council for a $1.79 million state grant that could overhaul the aging Snow King Sports and Event Center was right on the money. Bolstered by a few additional funds, the $2.16 million project could get the center back on its feet and operating at a level befitting of Jackson Hole.

Keeping the ice frozen and adding a kitchen and meeting space is not too much to ask of a facility that has served the town well for more than two decades. Its rescue by Center Management Inc. has been nothing short of miraculous. The debate can continue on whether a second sheet of ice is needed in Teton County. Let’s not melt the first one arguing about it.

Councilors moved forward on the grant backing with trepidation. They can’t stop the daunting notion of finding enough sacks full of cash to buttress the Budge slide. What they should pump the brakes on, though, is a plan to add an additional 250,000 square feet of development to the base of the mountain that could pave the way for an additional convention center, a movie theater and a restaurant.

The Snow King area has a convention center. It has a restaurant. The town has a movie theater. Two, in fact. Nothing about Snow King will ever be world class. Not anymore. But it’s our little hill. If ever local government can feel justified in saying no to developers, it’s here and now. Councilman Jim Stanford nailed it when he read fellow board members the riot act at a recent meeting.

“Let’s be clear … the reason that the public feels a sense of ownership about Snow King is because the public does in fact own much of Snow King, including the rink now,” Stanford is quoted as saying in the Jackson Hole News&Guide.

PROPSFistbumpElk refugees are wards of the state

Neither side is wrong in the debate over whether to feed elk. That’s what makes it such a compelling argument. Lloyd Dorsey’s opinion piece the other day has merit but conveniently leaves out a few realities.

In a nutshell, proponents of feeding the valley’s elk herd say it is necessary to keep hungry elk from ravaging haystacks meant for domestic livestock. Supplemental feeding also mitigates, in part, a long-range migration corridor that has been bottlenecked with development. The Lower 48’s largest elk herd also brings in money to the state. We need to keep their numbers strong, feeding advocates say, especially now that the feds have loosed the lobo on them.

Opponents of the wapiti soup kitchen, like Dorsey, believe the practice creates unnatural conditions leading to the spread of disease, parasites and microbes.

Dorsey’s provocative headline — “10,000 elk are fed to protect 700 cows” — is not inaccurate, just one-sided. Ira Waldron’s online rebuttal to Dorsey’s piece is also correct: “The whole reason that they have to feed the elk is because of all the development in the valley.”

Yes, yesteryear’s problem was keeping enough hay to get one’s cows through the winter. Still, the present-day also has problems with hungry elk. They will be everywhere — in every yard getting chased by dogs, on every road getting whacked by cars. Everywhere.

Like it or not, to maintain the population at current numbers, elk refuges are a necessity.

About Jake Nichols

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