Blustery Sunday morning in WYO....
Lots of news this week on the Medicaid expansion front. Wyoming Association of Churches sponsored a big rally Thursday on the plaza between the Capitol and Herschler Building. Wind raged that day so the crowd took shelter within the flared wings of the strangely structured Herschler, named for a WYO Gov, as is the case with most of the state buildings. Rally organizers (and two of the speakers) were Rev. Rodger McDaniel of Cheyenne and Rev. Dee Lundberg of Casper. One counter protester showed up. A young man clad in a stocking cap and a Duck Dynasty T-shirt held a sign that read, "Support Gov. Mead." Have to give the guy some credit, not only for braving the cold in a T-shirt but for showing up. I heard someone at the rally say, "I've been that guy," meaning that Liberals in our state tend to always be outnumbered when it comes to protests. Think of the brave few who showed up for Iraq War protests back in 2003 or those folks in Laramie and Sheridan who showed up for weekly peace vigils for years. During the heyday of the Occupy movement, three hardy souls in Pinedale attended rallies and posted photos on Facebook.
I received a call last weekend requesting phone calls and e-mails to legislators urging them to support Medicaid Expansion. The barrage of e-mails and the rally had some effect -- two ME bills made it out of committee this week. Kudos to the Wyoming Assn. of Churches and local Democrats for all their hard work on behalf of the state's uninsured.
To read the bills:
Medicaid expansions –- limited benefits -– 14LSO0139.C1 (Medicaid Fit)
Medicaid expansion –- insurance pool -– 14LSO0140.C1 (Arkansas model with modifications)
I continue to be amazed by the volume and quality of arts events springing up all over the state. My day job is spent broadcasting the good news about the arts via print and electronic resources. I'm especially impressed by some of the unique ways local organizers come up with the nurture the arts. Over the hill in Laramie, the indie newspaper News from Nowhere keeps tabs on cultural events and provides a forum for creative writing. It's sponsoring "It's Another Art and Music Thing" on Saturday, Jan. 18, at noon to whenever in the Gryphon Theatre and the gymnasium in the Laramie Civic Center, 710 E. Garfield St. One of the bands on tap is Laramie's Sunnydale High which performs songs based on the 1990s TV show "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." My son and wife are both Buffy fans, although I never really got into it. But that there's a band which is devoted to the show says a lot about creativity and fun and all the cool local resources that we have in WYO. The Jan. 18 event showcases other area bands and local artists. The Laramie Burlesque Troupe will perform. You'll also run into poets and writers and other scribes and bloggers and ne'er-do-wells. Tickets are $5 in advance and $8 at the door, which is yet another art and music thing bargain. E-mail for info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Starting Wednesday, I'll be blogging from Florida for a week. I would say that I'll be in my shorts and flip-flops blogging from Florida, but temps are only expected in the 50s and 60s. That's warm for us snowbirds, but not sure how much beach time I'll get. May seem funny for Wyomingites, but it gets cold in January in The Sunshine State. But there should be plenty to blog about. Read this headline in today's Daytona Beach News Journal: "Great White Shark lingers off Daytona Beach coastline."
We're gonna need a bigger boat.