New policy for letters to the editor

All letters to the editor must include a name, address and phone number for verification purposes. Addresses and phone numbers will not be printed. Letters sent via email should include “letter to the editor” in the subject line. In order to protect against viruses, the Laramie Boomerang will not accept letters sent as an attachment.

Letters to the editor are subject to editing for length, libel, grammar, spelling and content. Submission does not guarantee publication. Letters should be no longer than 350 words. Deadline for letters to the editor getting into the Sunday edition is 5 p.m., Fridays. Also, please limit submissions to one letter per month, in order that others may have the opportunity to “speak their mind.” Thank you.

There also are bad tenants

It was certainly painful to read the Article, “The Artful Dodger” in the Boomerang, since I try to be a very conscientious landlord, as most Laramie landlords are. I have had wonderful tenants, some of them even becoming long-term friends.

However I have also had some real stinkers. I and other landlords I know could fill up many more pages of the Boom with horror stories, since tenants can sometimes be the most artful dodgers on the planet.

I have never been able to collect lost rent, damages way above the deposit, stolen articles, like my bike I loaned to a tenant because I felt sorry for them or get back good tenants who’ve left because of bad.

If the City Council wants to play referee in the relationship between tenants and landlords could they do it with equity so landlords are protected? Or simply leave it alone, because despite the hazards of managing rentals, I’m sure landlords would rather take their lumps on occasion than have the well intentioned efforts of the City to mediate through legislation.

Joe Arnold


Need to rent? Do your due diligence

I’ve heard horror stories about the same three to four landlord/rental managers for 25 years. Yes, there are some nasties in town. But here’s how, if renters take some personal responsibility, we can defeat them.

Twelve to 15 years ago the rental market was tight; you signed leases in June for the fall semester. Not anymore. WyoTech built dorms; multi-roommate models were built; freshmen lived on campus; landlords were left with empty units and bills to pay.

Pre-COVID, “For Rent” signs were visible near the university in late summer/early fall for apartments that used to rental word-of-mouth. There’s no student housing shortage now. Therefore, there’s no reason to rent sight-unseen. Get a motel room for a few days, view apartments, check conditions, mold, etc., then walk away if it isn’t up to snuff. When substandard rentals stay empty, landlords will fix them or lose money. Let the market prevail.

Pet owner? Until about a dozen years ago, there weren’t pet-friendly apartments. Now there are. But pets and short-term leases make it unlikely A-list and maybe B-list rentals are open to you. Understand what you can expect. Constant turnover and neglectful pet owners are a disincentive to maintaining properties.

Cutting short your lease? It’s a contract with legal obligations and penalties. You read it; you signed it. Rentals are businesses. Crummy place or not, the landlord has expenses. Vacating but honoring the lease? Don’t leave your belongings there to save storage expenses — or else get renter’s insurance.

Walk-throughs? Take a video, noting problems and issues, with the landlord in the picture! Renting long-distance? Do that walk-through and videotape/record it the day you arrive! Don’t complain about not getting deposits back if you didn’t protect yourself. At the very least, it’s helpful in small claims court.

The city doesn’t have the proverbial pot, staffing, equipment, vehicles to be a housing authority and it shouldn’t try. But market forces can do the job. People use social media for everything else. Out the bad landlords/agents! ASUW should have a clearinghouse collecting reviews. Someone should start a Laramie Renters Beware Facebook page. That would certainly expedite change.

Prospective tenants have a responsibility to take care of themselves and their interests, not the city.

RoseMarie Aridas


(Editor’s note: Ms. Aridas is also someone who rents. In the past, several employees with the Laramie Boomerang have resided at her property.)

It’s in the best interest of the public

Your Feb. 6 editorial is correct. Keeping government notices in newspapers is in the public interest, rather than making them available only on the internet.

Many people only access the internet from phones or tablets, devices not suited for in-depth research or lengthy reading. Some older citizens, who are often the most involved in public affairs, do not use the internet at all. Internet-only government information will not be seen by many people. Internet-only information also may not be timely. I attended meetings of one Albany County agency that was often months behind in posting its minutes and financial reports to the web site.

Finally, in reading the paper we naturally see what is in the paper even if it is not information that we were looking for. In the Saturday Feb. 6 paper were the printed minutes of the Albany County Commissioners’ meeting, including a large expenditure for a computer software subscription. Seeing that info in the paper caused me to look into whether the county is getting good value for that expenditure.

Martin L. Buchanan


(Editor’s note: Martin L. Buchanan writes a column upon occasion for the Laramie Boomerang.)

No, we’re not yokels

Do the folks (I’m being polite) from back east really think that Wyoming people are so stupid that we have to have somebody tell us who to vote for? I really resent the party bigwigs who seem to worship the former president. I guarantee that I will not vote for whoever they put up, even if it’s the Pope.There was a businessman about 10 or so years ago who tried to tell the locals who to vote for. I haven’t gotten anything from his business since.

Susan Tupper


Young lives must not matter

Once again the Wyoming Legislature ignores an important social problem — youth suicide. The House of Representatives voted down HB 62, which would have mandated teachers receive two hours of suicide prevention training a year, and provide prevention training to our children.

Tom Coulter’s Feb. 5 Boomerang article reported that in 2018 Wyoming had the highest suicide rate among adolescents in the country. Rep. Tim Hallinan was quoted to say, “I think it’s a rare condition.”

None of the suggestions/reasons for defeating the bill listed in Coulter’s article offer a solution to this crisis. According to the 2017-2021 Wyoming Suicide Prevention Plan, in 2015 20.3% of Wyoming high school students contemplated attempting suicide. Eighteen percent had a plan to kill themselves, and 11% actually attempted suicide. I wonder if Rep. Hallinan knows of his own state’s data.

There is a huge difference between efforts to “prevent” suicide and those to “treat” it. The Wyoming Department. of Health recognizes this. During December and January, it offered four trainings to State employees in QPR — Question, Persuade, Refer — an evidence-based suicide prevention program. The focus of QPR is to question someone’s intent regarding suicide, persuade that person to accept and seek help if thoughts of suicide are expressed, and refer the hurting person to appropriate resources.

If every school employee and student got this training —and hopefully parents and community members— the incidence of suicide ideation and attempts would go down. Combine suicide prevention, bullying prevention and substance abuse prevention with relationship-building skills and our kids would live happier, more satisfying lives.

It seems to me that the legislature sees this as an individual issue, something private, embarrassing, that should be taken care of in the family and church. It’s not. It’s a public health issue, a screaming crisis, and needs to be dealt with at the State level. Schools are the most effective environment within which to focus efforts. One in five of our kids hurt enough to think of killing themselves. By defeating HB 62, the Wyoming House of Representatives is telling us they think this is OK. It’s not OK.

Jeffrey J Olson


So sorry, can’t help you

I just called UC Health after getting a general message from the UC Connection. The woman told me UCH was trying to make the connection to WY work but that it does not. She referred me to ACPH, which does not help. She did say that if you are a UC Health patient, you could drive to Denver for a shot after getting a personal message from UCH.”

I am interested to know why the Ivinson Memorial Hospital board and administrators didn’t make this phone call and go to Phase b instead of letting us fend for ourselves with misinformation.

How many IMH employees have received their shots without any problem? I am glad they didn’t have the problem the rest of Albany County residents have had to endure.

So now it is the responsibility of Ivinson Memorial Hospital board and administrators to answer the Albany County residents’ questions about how we are going to get our shots without all this runaround. This should not be happening.

I can and will say that when I called 307-766-8222 that I was treated with kindness and the lady told me where they were at with the vaccine schedule. She then explained to me that I could be put on a contact list. This list is used when someone who scheduled an appointment to get a shot does not show up. If you are on the contact list, you would have 15 minutes to get to the office. This is done so the vaccine can be used and not destroyed.

Anybody got a bus so we can all go to Colorado to get a COVID-19 shot?

Gloria Youmans


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