UP to those who have supported Cheyenne’s commercial air service by choosing to fly to Dallas/Fort Worth from here, rather than driving to Denver to catch a plane.

Statistics from the Cheyenne Regional Air Focus Team show approximately 30,000 passengers have boarded about 1,000 flights in the first year the service has been available. As expected, in addition to local residents, the airport is drawing people from northern Colorado looking to avoid the crowds and the often slow commute along Interstate 25. The air service also has helped attract at least five national conventions to Cheyenne this year alone.

We hope to see that support continue, while CRAFT looks to add a leisure flight to Las Vegas, Phoenix or another destination. If the market would support it, we’d also like to see weekly flights to other parts of the state (Cheyenne to Jackson, anyone?).

At the same time, though, we hope to see the existing American Airlines flights become self-sustaining, rather than relying on the $2.1 million minimum revenue guarantee that drew the airline here. That subsidy will continue for at least another year, but we hope to see the amount needed decrease as time goes by.

The best way for that to happen, of course, is for us to keep filling those planes. So next time you’re looking to fly somewhere, rather than automatically heading to your favorite discount ticket website, first check out www.aa.com and see if flying from Cheyenne is an option for you.

DOWN to members of the Wyoming Legislature’s Joint Judiciary Interim Committee for failing to support a bill that would have required Wyoming to report people to the National Instant Background Check System if their mental health issues disqualified them from owning a firearm.

As we said earlier this year, the proposed change wouldn’t prevent all mass shootings. But we continue to disagree with those who argue that such a requirement would be a gross infringement of their Second Amendment rights.

These folks seem to think that if this bill passed, seeing a doctor for anxiety or depression would automatically bar them from owning a gun. But under federal law, a person may be barred from owning a firearm only if they have committed a felony, been involuntarily committed to a mental health institution or been declared criminally insane.

Others fear it would move Wyoming one step closer to passing a “red flag” law, which would let police confiscate firearms from potentially dangerous people.

Although this bill likely wasn’t perfect – some argued it lacked a clear definition of which mental illnesses would be disqualifying – we hope those who support the idea don’t give up. While it’s true Wyoming hasn’t experienced a mass shooting in recent memory, we shouldn’t wait until it happens here to take reasonable action to help prevent it.

UP to Gus Lopez, executive director of the Cheyenne-Laramie County Health Department, who announced recently he intends to retire Nov. 15.

Mr. Lopez has been a steady, well-respected leader for public health in Laramie County for the past 16 years. Before that, he served in the department’s Environmental Health Division, and at the beginning, in 1969, he started as a mosquito technician. What a great story of starting at the entry level and working your way up!

A retirement party will be held from 2-4 p.m. Nov. 15 at the department, 100 Central Ave. We hope you’ll join us in thanking Mr. Lopez for his service.

UP to Cheyenne Botanic Gardens staff for the work that went into last weekend’s fantastic Dia de los Muertos celebration, which drew around 1,000 people to the Gardens in Lions Park.

Featuring music from three local groups, dancing, crafts and several ofrendas to honor the dead, this event had something for everyone. It also has the potential to become a fantastic new annual tradition in the Capital City. Felicidades!

WE WANT TO KNOW WHAT YOU THINK: Contact us via email at opinion@wyomingnews.com.

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