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- THIS WEEK: DECEMBER 17-23
- THEM ON US
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Props ‘n Disses 5.21.14
JACKSON HOLE, WYO - The cost of choice DISS
The Town of Jackson now knows the cost of ignoring the Constitution: About a quarter million. A recent settlement between the Town and anti-abortion activist Mark Holick will give the Bible Belt preacher a $225,000 payday. TOJ is financially responsible for $10,000 of the total.
It may have not been Holick’s intent to cash in when he organized a bus trip for his baby-saving believers, but the crusade will certainly keep his Kansas parish in sacramental wine for a few years. Domaine Leroy all around.
The news played well on pro-life websites. Operation Save America director Flip Benham wrote: “Congratulations on a job well done in the strong Name of Jesus. We are delighted to hear that Mark got his settlement from the city. It was hard earned and well deserved. We continue to pray that Jackson Hole will soon be abortion free and that Wyoming will become the first abortion free state in our nation.”
The 3-2 State Supreme Court ruling in April 2012 paved the way for the suit brought by Holick and company. His 2011 arrest on the Town Square after his group crashed Elkfest was a violation of his First Amendment rights, according to the court’s decision.
The “Second Coming” a year later was less eventful. With police handcuffed, community leaders in the religious realm helped galvanize Jackson with their “Civility, Compassion and Love” campaign. The turn-the-other-cheek method helped quell picket line tempers but Holick was already counting his money by then.
It’s a lesson town officials need to learn before local rodeo operators eventually bristle at the wet blanket thrown on their pre-buck invocation, a prayer that had to be read in front of the mayor and council for approval. Is this China?
This column carried condemnation after Holick’s arrest in 2011. The hasty decision to bar protesters from downtown for fear Boy Scouts would be introduced to radical notions and graphic scenes of murder was ill conceived and, eventually costly. Since then, BSA now allows gay membership. Go figure.
Fit to be tied DISS
The Aerial Adventure Course development proposed at Snow King, which includes zip-lines, a half-dozen rope courses, mountain coasters, swinging bridges, pirate nets, treetop challenges, Tarzan swings, and other aerial activities is too much. But not because the neighbors are bitching.
At the core of the issue here is not whether a couple of neighbors abutting the Forest land leased by Snow King are going to be put out by the incessant “Tarzan yells” accompanying tourons as they swing from the trees at the King. The problem with the whole AAC is the never-quenched thirst of this resort community in its push to build out and build up in order to attract and placate an American public with an attention span now shorter than that of a goldfish. No, really. They tested it (Harvard Business School historian Nancy Koehn).
Because couples now travel with kids in tow, vacation destinations like Jackson Hole have been forced to come up with entertaining bells and whistles that will keep Junior entertained long enough for mom and dad to get some alone time with their smart phones. Ask any JH resident what they cherish most and want to preserve and they will say the valley’s natural resources. But a tree doesn’t stand a chance. Its ability to generate revenue is tied to the zip-line hitched to it.
To be fair, the proposal being considered by the Bridger-Teton calls for the disturbance of nearly 1.5 acres and the removal or alteration of some 61 trees so impact to the environment will be minimal. A qualified biologist will make sure no bird nests are in the trees coming down and the bulk of the work won’t begin on them until after the seasonal migration is over (August 15). Many of the trees slated for removal are standing dead, according to USFS.
Still, Snow King’s all-out blitz to compete with the Village and boost ROI at a property that struggles to remain viable in the 21st Century comes at the expense of enjoying the natural offerings of our public lands. A build up of amenities at the base of the King will only increase traffic and further stretch an already inadequate workforce with nowhere to live – a failure of town policies addressed in a recent action plan.
Median nerve PROP
The last thing we need on Broadway is a traffic-calming device like the medians that were shot down last week by Town Council. The council, despite Jim Stanford’s usual protest that the town is turning into Atlanta Motor Speedway, voted down two proposed pedestrian islands.
Crossing Broadway on foot is attempted far less by humans than mule deer. Broadway is a major vehicular artery. Between never-ending construction at the five-way and ding dongs who think they’re going to hang a left coming out of the Phillips 66 at the “Y,” Broadway is already bogged down enough without having to encourage foot traffic across.