Friday, April 27, 2012

Daffodils and knapweed

The daffodils are up, but the knapweed isn't far behind. As the days swing between sunshine and snowstorms, bouquets of each are in order for public matters and actions ranging from the lovely to the ludicrous.

Daffodils: To Blaine County taxpayers who supported the Blaine County School District's plant facilities tax levy that resulted in the opening of a refurbished performing arts auditorium at the Community Campus in Hailey this week. It's a facility the area can be proud of.

The old multi-use facility had been showing its age. The auditorium wasn't user-friendly for performers or audiences. That's changed with the thoughtful and lovely overhaul that was unveiled with fanfare to an appreciative crowd. Let the speeches, dances, music and plays begin!

Knapweed: To the fledging Blaine County Regional Leadership Council formed to increase cooperation and coordination among local elected officials for dodging the big local issues—a lousy local economy, valley-wide marketing, air-service support, emergency dispatch funding formulas, skilled nursing care for senior citizens and the disabled, and balancing budgets, to name a few—and spending its meeting last week playing political whiffle ball. The main issue? A proposed nonprofit radio station and the kind of programming it should have. Can consideration of iPods for all be far behind?

Daffodils: To Hailey Mayor Fritz Haemmerle for closing the city skate park in the face of misbehavior and vandalism. The action put boarders, bikers, families and city officials on notice that things need to change and that the city will not tolerate hooligans and bullies running roughshod over a public park. It put families on notice that the park isn't drop-off daycare. It highlighted the need for park supervision by professionals or trained volunteers. Nice move, Mr. Mayor.

Daffodils: To the city of Ketchum for slowing down consideration of a new downtown transit hub until bus operator Mountain Rides gets the general public up to speed on exactly what's proposed. Council consideration was rushed and Mountain Rides needs to flesh out options with illustrations and data and give people time to take them in before a decision is made.

Mixed bouquet: To the city of Sun Valley for the exquisite whodunit—or whodidn't—mystery surrounding a "forensic audit" and a fire station "break-in" complete with e-mail and file deletions. The mayor and council are holding their cards close to their vests to protect the innocent and to achieve a thorough investigation. With reputations on the line—the mayor and council's included—it's important that this mystery have a clear ending—and soon. Where's Inspector Hercule Poirot when you need him?

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