Northern Wyoming News - Serving the Big Horn Basin for over 100 years

By Karla Pomeroy

Karla's Kolumn: The challenge of forgiveness


January 26, 2019

If you missed the community presentation for Rachel’s Challenge Thursday night at the Worland Middle School Auditorium you missed something special.

Larry Scott, uncle to Rachel Scott who died in the Columbine High School shooting in 1999, talked about how the tragedy has affected his family and how Rachel’s life has inspired the school program Rachel’s Challenge. He issued five challenges to parents and community members. All of the challenges can change your life and can change this community but in the midst of the discussions of the challenges was a message of forgiveness.

Rachel’s brother Craig Scott had to deal with her death, deal with watching two of his good friends get shot, thinking he was next until the fire sprinkler system turned on (due to the smoke from the gunfire). It distracted the two teenaged shooters enough that they never turned back to Craig. But in dealing with all of that, he was also dealing with the fact that the final words he had issued to his sister were not words of kindness. They had argued about him making them late to school, about selecting the music on the car radio and he got out of the car slamming the door, never realizing he would never see her alive again.

He struggled with forgiving himself and forgiving the shooters for taking away his sister. After two years, his father finally figured out what his son was struggling with. He asked Craig if he had been the one who had died would he have forgiven Rachel. Craig said yes. His father told him Rachel would and did forgive him. He was then able to forgive himself and eventually forgive the shooters.

Larry said, “It was like 200 pounds had been lifted from his shoulders.” He encouraged people to forgive themselves and forgive others.

It is easy to get wrapped up in regrets and thoughts of what we have done to others or what has been done to us. Larry Scott said people need to choose to forgive, themselves and others.

He also use Craig as an example to encourage those in attendance to think of their loved ones, family and friends, and to make sure that in the next three days that they let their loved ones know how much they are loved.

And, if we treat one another with kindness then we can start the chain reaction that Rachel Scott wrote about in her final essay she ever wrote for Columbine High School.

Don’t be fooled, lodging tax will impact you

The State House last week passed legislation to impose a 5 percent statewide lodging tax, this upon any lodging tax already levied by cities and counties. The maximum lodging tax that can be levied by cities or counties would decrease from 4 percent to 2 percent after 2022, thus in 2022 the maximum lodging tax to be levied would be 7 percent.

Three percent of the statewide lodging tax will go toward the office of tourism, in essence a user fee to fund that department.

While I’m all for user fees, and one study states that 80 percent of current lodging tax is paid for by visitors outside of Wyoming. That figure is hard for me to imagine.

Think about it. If you are a parent or grandparent going to watch your children/grandchildren play in regular season games or tournaments, or in post season tournaments, then you’ll be staying at motels and paying that lodging tax.

If you’re from Cheyenne and want to come visit Yellowstone, you can’t make that in a day so you’ll be staying in motels and paying that lodging tax.

If you’re a construction company or road crew or in any other industry that requires travel (and in full disclosure that includes my husband with his business) you’ll be paying that lodging tax unless you opt to stay in a camper or sleep in your vehicle.

How about concerts or events at the Casper Events Center, or Cheyenne for Frontier Days or to Laramie for a University of Wyoming ball game? That’s right, you, as a Wyoming resident will be paying that lodging tax.

What about state conventions such as the recent Wyoming Press Association convention, Weed and Pest conventions, state meetings for American Legion, Eagles, Elks and many other organizations? That’s right you too will be paying the statewide lodging tax.

I understand that the Legislature is working on establishing stable funding sources to become less dependent on the mineral industry, but in so doing, you as residents need to be aware of the many tax proposals making their way through the Legislature this year. You need to consider how those tax increases will impact you and let your legislators know your thoughts on these taxes.

Looking Ahead

This is the final Saturday edition of the Northern Wyoming Daily News. Our final daily publication, before we morph into the weekly, the Northern Wyoming News, will be next Thursday, Jan. 31. We will be treating that as another Saturday publication that will include the Sun Country Review with the Around the Basin events calendar and full TV guide. It will include our church page and comics.

The first Northern Wyoming News publication will be Thursday, Feb. 7.

We encourage you to check it out. We’ve been planning this publication for a month, and our staff is committed to making the weekly publication a great product. In addition to the local news that we bring to you every day, we will also continue to publish the calls for service from our law enforcement and fire department, we will continue to publish the court dispositions as well as court stories. We will be publishing births, death notices, marriages and the weather report. We’ll have a few comics for your entertainment, along with some puzzles. We’ll have classified ads and public notices (legal advertisement) and much more for you to peruse throughout the week until the next publication.

Cost on the newsstands will be $1 and an annual subscription is $48 for in state subscribers. Current subscribers will have their subscriptions extended accordingly based on the new pricing.

The online subscription will be available Wednesday evening by 8 p.m. The print publication will be on newsstands late Wednesday evening and in your mailboxes on Thursday.

We ask that you continue to support us through this change and beyond as we continue to bring news, opinions and sports about things that matter to you, about the things that happen in this community and about the people in this community.


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