Friday, October 19, 2007

Thorns and roses for good, bad performance

THORNS to the persons who tagged the Adams Gulch trailhead rest room hut with vulgar graffiti. Scarce Forest Service funds will be needed to clean the mess and replace glass windows that can't be cleaned. This vandalism obviously was needed to fill the otherwise empty, useless lives of people raised in homes barren of purpose. If apprehended and tried, part of their sentence should be a year's duty cleaning up graffiti throughout the Wood River Valley.

ROSES to the city of Hailey for diverting some of its local option tax funds to Mountain Rides (formerly Peak Bus) bus service. Helping encourage drivers to park their cars and ride buses is smart business. It contributes to cleaner air, helps reduce congestion on state Highway 75 and keeps Mountain Rides in business as it gains acceptance with commuters.

ROSES to Idaho Gov. Butch Otter for continuing to keep the state out of the mercury cap-and-trade program that would only open the door to coal-fired power plants. Idaho's reputation for pure air and outdoor recreation is far too precious to jeopardize with slick industrial gimmicks that ultimately do nothing to protect air quality.

ROSES to some 100 people—a standing room only crowd—who attended Pizza & Politics in Hailey to hear candidates in the November elections. Up-close examination of candidates and hearing how they answer questions on pertinent issues is the surest way to sort out the best men and women for office.

ROSES to Idaho's Bounty, a new food cooperative that is expanding the availability of mostly Idaho food and wines produced closer to home to avoid fuel-costly transportation of importing food from other states and countries. Its motto, "Local Food for Local People."

THORNS to the Ketchum City Council for delaying a decision on whether to form a Business Improvement District that would pay for sidewalk snow removal as well as other maintenance. Merchants by law already must clear snow in front of their businesses. But the Fourth Street Heritage Corridor also features wider sidewalks in some places, which adds costs to snow removal. The council should decide what share merchants and the city pay and get a plan for the entire commercial core in place before the snow flies.

ROSES to the memory of 97-year-old Marjorie Brass Heiss, daughter of the owners of the Brass Ranch that now is the Sun Valley Resort, who died last week. Heiss was a hardy outdoorswoman with an unbroken love affair with the Wood River Valley and its mountain lifestyle and who symbolized the great joy and healthful benefits of skiing and horseback riding.

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