As near as I can determine, this is my 100th column for The Craig Daily Press. I wanted to say thanks to Renee Campbell and Noelle Leavitt Riley for allowing me to continue writing after Bryce Jacobsen initially invited me to write all those years ago. Craig has become a special place for me over the past 18 years and my family has been blessed to be a part of a community that cares deeply about its people and isn’t afraid to exercise their opinions and let others know what they think.
Locally, our city and county appear to be getting their minds wrapped around a coordinated effort to help build economic opportunities in Craig and Moffat County. Fortunately, voters have made it possible for various entities to come together and have the means necessary to determine a best way forward. Potential opportunities are being discussed and we should soon see concrete action that will directly benefit our local community and county.
How do you defend the indefensible? Someone asked me that after the now infamous “hot mic” remarks made by Donald Trump. My answer is pretty simple: I don’t, I won’t and never will. But then I asked how they define indefensible, and down the rabbit hole we went! What makes something truly indefensible is a conversation America needs to have with itself. I don’t live in Donald Trump’s world, nor do I have access to his intent but I do know that what he said was demeaning to women and objectified the fairer sex.
Seems like everything we do these days is high stress, high stakes — from elections to testing, we’re a wired-up and worn-out populace. I’m fairly certain that all the people who say they are going to move to Canada if Trump is elected will do the same as they did when President Bush returned for a second term. I’m also positive that for years to come, Moffat County School District will be educating as many children as come through the doors with the same idealistic intent as I have observed over the past 18 years.
Most people who watched our choices for president debate Monday night were likely asking many of the same questions, and I’m not sure we got many answers. Clinton stuck to her well-crafted, prepared, talking points and Trump spoke off the cuff, with emotion. Certainly, the media will try to pick a winner but my analysis goes a bit deeper than who won or lost.
It’s a well-known and acceptable default to place blame on those in public service. Many times the charge is accurate, which is unfortunate because public service should be an honored. Well-meaning letters, editorials and columns have been written over the past few years that have detailed the woes of our city’s lack of economic diversity. We all know the importance of the mines and power plant as economic drivers in our community and they have certainly been taken for granted by many in our community.
One of the most difficult skills to teach young people is rhetoric, which is effectively using language and style to persuade an audience. Controversial topics can be hazardous to the orderly functioning of a high school classroom especially when we discuss hot-button issues like: presidential candidates, free college, building walls, healthcare, immigration and even how people choose to identify.
Yes, I’ll admit it... I’m on the Trump Train and coming clean about the fact that I’m voting for the most unlikely of candidates is a little like betting on the Italian Stallion when he went up against Apollo Creed in “Rocky II.” Yeah, I know, that was a long time ago but this presidential race is gearing up to be a pugilistic panorama of epic proportions as we head into the final two months.
Tests are a relative measure of student academic success and are certainly at the forefront of any discussion regarding the effectiveness of our public schools. In a country that increasingly puts an emphasis on college preparedness, the pressure is on to perform on tests that measure academic ability with a greater stress on graduating with a diploma that will serve as more than just a ticket to get into the workforce.
All kinds of different groups have been formed to try and lay out a plan for moving forward with all of the initiatives that will help make Craig a more attractive destination but also a legitimate community that offers families more than just a job.