Props ‘n Disses 5.21.14

By on May 20, 2014

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.


About Jake Nichols

Jake is a work in progress.

2 Comments

  1. JH Native

    May 21, 2014 at 8:38 am

    Kudos to the wackos (OSA), at least freedom of speech triumphed even if I disagreed with their method. Just because a bunch of pansy-asses were offended by graphic images doesn’t mean the Gov’t can mute the voice that is protected by natural law and our Constitution. I’m offended by the images of the hairy women of the Rainbow Gathering crowd. This doesn’t I have the right to prohibit their coming to Town or sharing their way of life to others. I simply choose to ignore because I am an adult and behave like one.

    I would love to see the ropes course, et al built at Snow King! Not only would some of our guests use it, but also us locals, especially after a night of heavy drinking. Like it or not, the “tourist” is what supplies most of the money for our economy and it would behoove us to cater to them on some levels. The more money they spend here, the more money local business make. The more businesses make, the more they can spend in advertising in this paper. The more advertising space bought in this paper will, eventually, make it possible for it to become a high quality resource! :)

    ~JH Native

  2. Peter

    May 22, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    The TOJ and the local justice system made a coordinated effort to harass and intimidate the anti-abortion activist Mark Holick and his crew. The effort to limit his basic constitutional rights was only part of the story.

    This is not unusual for local officials and law enforcement.

    If you’re a business owner who doesn’t like minorities or abortion protestors or the poor all you have to do is call up the JPD and have them send over an officer to give the pesky person a no-trespass order. You don’t need a valid reason for the order. The JPD will go harass whomever the business wants to harass. The fact that they went after the right-to-life crowd is part of a pattern of bigger problems at the JPD.

    It’s called the Old Boy Club.

    The Town of Jackson has just lost another round in the SCOTUS in regards to the rodeo. The Supreme Court upholds prayer at government meetings and I can’t see how that doesn’t extend to rodeos.

    If anything, it will prove that God doesn’t care about praying cowboys anymore than the non-praying ones.

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