|From the editor-in-chief:As WyoFile’s Spring Fund Drive enters its final week, we want to take a moment to thank those of you who have given. So far we’ve seen many returning donors as well as a slew of first-time gifts. We appreciate all of the generous support. If you haven’t given yet, we invite you to join in supporting top-shelf journalism in Wyoming.
This week WyoFile features “Subsidair: Tiny Wyoming airline tops in federal support,” by WyoFile reporter Gregory Nickerson. It was $4.4 million in taxpayer funds that convinced Great Lakes Airlines to move its headquarters to Cheyenne in 1999. The airline still soars above all others in the amount it receives in controversial federal subsidies. Now local travelers are bypassing the state’s airports because of unreliable service. Is the investment worth it? “If everyone seems to have one bad story, that undermines the whole purpose of the subsidy in the first place,” said Rod Godby, UW professor of economics.
WyoFile continues its healthcare coverage this week with“Lawmakers watch as feds bring Obamacare to Wyoming,” by WyoFile reporter Ron Feemster. Wyoming legislators stood on the sidelines, as did many of their colleagues in other states, hoping that Obamacare would go away. Now many of those states are moving on while Wyoming’s legislative leaders claim wisdom in allowing the federal government to implement a health insurance exchange.
Wyoming needs to do a better job caring for its homeless, but there’s no need to go back to square one. This week in The Drake’s Take, Kerry Drake says that if the state had a better coordinated effort to provide people shelter, it could nearly triple the amount of federal funds spent annually on services and programs. But it doesn’t, and Wyoming is leaving a lot of money on the table that could be put to good use.
This week in Peaks to Plains, Kelsey Dayton writes about the increasing use of electrified fences as an alternative to hanging food to avoid bear encounters in the backcountry. Forest Service officials say it requires special permission. But if used properly an electrified fence can deliver 9,000 volts. “It’ll knock you on your butt,” said John Gookin.
If you missed it on Friday, you’ll want to read Gregory Nickerson’s newest Capitol Beat post to get the details behind Wyoming’s loss of $53 million in federal mineral royalty revenues. This most recent loss due to the federal “sequester” scuffs Wyoming’s freshly revised budget, and it appears the state may not have any legal recourse, “leaving only the option of taking up the matter with Wyoming’s congressional delegation.”
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— Dustin Bleizeffer, editor-in-chief
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Archive | April, 2013