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June 12, 2014     Lovell Chronicle
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June 12, 2014

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CHRONICLE 4 I The Lovell Chronicle I June 12, 2014 Woe to Hailey, Idaho, or any other small town in America that finds itself in the crosshairs of ruthless national media scrutiny. As the media storm rages about the recent release of Bowe Bergdahl from five years of captivity in Afghanistan, we feel for the small town in south central Idaho, which had the audacity to plan a welcome home event for a native son who was held for five years in captivity by the Taliban. It now seems clear that Bergdahl walked away from his base in Afghanistan, and many of his fellow soldiers con- sider him to be a deserter. And certainly the release of five top-level Taliban leaders in exchange for Bergdahl was an ill-conceived and perhaps dangerous move by President Obama. But the rush to judgment about the soldier himself has been staggering - by both ends of the political spectrum. Obama's decision to "celebrate" the release with a Rose Garden ceremony featuring Bergdahl's bewildered-looking parents was clearly a boneheaded move, the latest of many public relations and policy gaffes committed by the Obama Administration. Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have complained that they weren't notified about the deal and that Obama acted wrongly, and perhaps illegally, with his unilateral move. Meanwhile, the rampant speculation by some media out- lets in regard to Bergdahrs motivations and actions in the wake of his capture has been terrible in its fury. Others have come at Bergdahl's former Army comrades with guns blaz- ing, questioning their veracity and motivation. Obama and the White House are fair game, but when it comes to the soldier - latest reports say that he may have been tortured, beaten and caged during captivity - it would be far better to let the investigation be completed before re- leasing the hounds. But we can't wait anymore, can we? We must race to judge and condemn and criticize and scream because that's the way our modern world works. All poor Hailey, Idaho, did was plan to welcome home a young man who grew up in the town about the size of Pow- ell after hanging yellow ribbons for five years. And what they got was threats: vicious emails and screaming phone calls to businesses and the chamber of commerce about sup- porting a traitor. The welcome home ceremony had to be scrapped. What is wrong with us? Is there no common decency left? An investigation may yet reveal that Bergdahl did some- thing terribly wrong, and if so, he will face the music and be punished. But we have no patience anymore for letting an in- vestigation run its course. Cable news and the Internet have seen to that. Picture Lovell or Powell or Cowley in the crosshairs of a national media firestorm. We'd be just as bewildered as Hai- ley. It makes one shudder to think of it. All the folks in Hailey did was stand behind a young man who used to wait tables at Zaney's River Street Coffee House. The debate will rage on for a while yet about the politics of Bowe Bergdahl's release. But in regard to the young man himself, let's see what the investigation turns up. The piling on is sickening. And leave Hailey, Idaho, alone. - David Peck Postmaster: Send address changes to: The Lovell Chronicle, USPS 321-060 234 E. Main, Lovell, Wyoming 82431 (307) 548-2217 Published every Thursday Periodical postage paid at Lovell, Wyoming Editor and Publisher: David Peck Reporter: Patti Carpenter Staff: Pat Parmer, Dorothy Nelson, Marwyn Layne, Teressa Ennis, John Lafko, Ana Baird, Leonora Barton. www.LovellChronicle.com meow When I was in the sixth grade a pop- when I'm as busy as bee and loaded for ular saying was "Spring has sprung, fall bear. It's important to always take the has fell, summer is here and it's hotter bull by the horns as long as you're not than ... usual." We thought that was hi- bull-headed. larious and clever, which .demonstrates One of my late uncles had a repu- the sometimes immaturity of sixth-grad- tation for eating like a horse and then ers. Or at least the kids I knew. sweating like a pig. (Except swine can't And now because of the current odd sweat so that's an expression that maybe weather (hot, cold, warm, rain, dry, wind; we should leave for the buzzards.) This sometimes on the same day), we're un- uncle also was as stubborn as a mule sure if we're in spring or summer. May- and as tenacious as a tick. Poor guy was be it should be spummer or summing. Bob Rodriguez known as the black sheep of the family Or not. At any rate the time of year has because he enjoyed playing poker as a brought blossoms, blooms and a certain number of card shark and would get as drunk as a skunk. He members of the animal kingdom. Countryside Wyo- was able to keep the wolf from the door, though, so mingites live where the deer and the antelope play, sometimes it's not easy to separate the sheep from and have a home where the buffalo roam, which the goats. makes for a really messy house. One job that I held made me feel as though I Some people (probably only me) find it interest- had a tiger by the tail, especially because the boss ing how many birds, animals, fish, insects and rep- was a snake in the grass. He was a real turkey and tiles figure in our language. A bird's-eye view could tried to clip my wings. My departure was faster be in order especially because birds of a feather than two shakes of a lamb's tail and that's no kid- flock together. And that makes it easier to kill two ding. Another boss was a weasel, who thought that birds with one stone. Either that or it's a lot of bull he was the biggest frog in the pond. The guy's atti- or I have bats in my belfry. I could even be barking tude was as ugly as a toad and I recall him because up the wrong tree. I have a memory like an elephant. Lately I've been busy as a beaver because I've I'm about out of space here, but that's OK be- always been an eager beaver, but never as slow as cause I need to wolf down some lunch and then a snail. I enjoy working like ants. In fact, some- work like a dog. Actually, I like to approach work times when I'm typing it appears that I have ants using Muhammed Ali's expression: "Float like a in my pants. Hard work has not bugged me even butterfly, sting like a bee." Letter to the editor Dan Coe always put education and kids first Dear Editor, staff. Dan did not micro manage understands that Dan had gained I have worked with his staff, but you would see him the knowledge necessary, through Superintendent Dan Coe for the at each of the three buildings that continued education, when it past 13 years in my capacity as house our schools and he was came to educating and protecting Chief of Police in Lovell. always aware of what the issues our children. Superintendent Coe has were and if they were being Dan always sought out and always put the education and resolved. Dan knewhis stafffrom truly listened to other opinions safety of our children as his top to bottom and he was not on different issues concerning number one consideration, afraid to let any staff member our children's education. He When Dan made a decision for know when they were excelling in wanted to hear other points of our school system the ultimate their position, view so the right decisions could criteria he used was: "What is the I have always known Dan to be made for our school system. educational value and the safety be open, approachable and highly Superintendent Coe is going to concerns for our children?" intelligent when dealing withbe a tough act to follow and will Superintendent Coe has been the education and safety of our truly be missed at our schools. an active member of our School children. Community members, Good Luck, Dan, and "Happy Safety Committee and is well students and his staff stopped Trails." respected among his peers, our and listened when Dan spoke Nick Lewis community, our children and his about education. Our community Lovell Police Department UW Religion Today e BY PAUL V.M. FLESHER The New Testament Gospels are so focused on Jesus' teachings and miracles that they give few details of his life expe- riences. They do not mention that grow- ing up on the ridge of Nazareth, he spent his childhood watching the reconstruc- tion of Galilee's first Roman-style city, Sepphoris, just five miles away. Or that during the years of his Capernaum min- istry, he could see the ongoing erection of Galilee's second city, Tiberias. They also fail to mention Mount Ar- bel, a cliff-topped mountain that domi- nates the skyline on the northwest side of Paul V.M. Flesher Religion Today sauce as far away as Rome. Farther south, along the western shoreline of the Sea of Galilee, stood the new city of Tiberias. Founded by Herod Antipas in 19 A.D., it was under con- struction during most of the 20s. Antip- as moved his capital there from Sepphoris and it became both an economic and po- litical center, with a thriving port and all the accoutrements of a "modern" Roman city. These included a hippodrome for rac- ing during the day and a theater for more sophisticated evening entertainment. So, the ancient city of Tiberias, down along the coastline to Capernaum's the Sea of Galilee, a peak which he would have seen southwest, would have been a source of nighttime every day from Capernaum. But what would Jesus illumination. have seen at night? But the brightest and most obvious city at night Capernaum sits at the north end of the Sea would have been the Greek city of Hippos-Susita on of Galilee, a large fresh-water lake in a geological the lake's southeast side. bowl so deep that its surface lies below sea level. To- Hippos was not a Jewish city. It had been built day, the high hills around the lake are covered with by Greek inhabitants many centuries before at the towns and villages. At night, all of them are shining, top of a high, narrow hill. This hill, a basalt plug, like candles on a circle of cakes. The lights of the stood out from the limestone-based hills around it. modern city of Tiberias cascade down the hillside, The city towered high above the Sea of Galilee, but looking like a rockslide lit up like a state fair mid- not too far from its shore. way. The lake reflects a great deal of the light. During the first century, Hippos was an inde- In Jesus' day, it would have been much darker, pendent and powerful city-state, controlling the There was no electricity, of course, so the only lights territory surrounding it. It had its own harbor and would have been fires, lamps and torches. The popu- minted its own coins, a coveted right in the ancient lation of the region was lower than today, as well, so world. fewer towns and villages existed. With its long-established Graeco-Roman tem- Add to that the practice of farmers and ruralples, its large marketplace and its theaters, Hippos people starting their day at sunrise and going to would have been the "city on the hill" for Jesus, the sleep after sunset, and you realize that at nighttime, city whose light was visible across the Sea of Gali- much of Galilee would have been quite dark. lee and which was the brightest object in the night. So, what lights would have shown out across the It would have reminded Jesus, and all Jewish Gali- lake when Jesus looked south from Capernaum'sleans, that they did not control their world, but that shore at night? they were controlled by the Romans. Close in, off to his left, he might have seen a Perhaps Herod Antipas's new city of Tiberias few lights from the town (city?) of Bethsaida. To the would grow to rival the light cast by Hippos, but in right, there might have been some light from Magda- the first century, it had not yet done so. la. This town of about 2,000 people formed the cen- ter of the Galilean fishing industry. Fishermen from Flesher chairs the University of Wyoming's Reli- around the region sold their catches there, and the gious Studies Department. Past columns and more fish were dried and salted for shipment. The Roman information about the program can be found on the name of the town, Tarichaeae, translates roughly as web at www.uwyo.edu/RelStds. To comment on this "fish factory," and it was known for its excellent fish column, visit http://religion-today.blogspot.com. The Lovell Chronicle welcomes letters from its readers and will make every effort to print them. Letters longer than 400 words may not be printed. Letters must be signed and in- clude the address and telephone num- ber of the writer. Unsigned letters will be discarded. Writers are limited to two let- ters in any 30 day period.All letters must conform to the law of libel and be in good taste. They may be mailed to The Lovell Chronicle, Box 787, Lovell, WY 82431, or delivered to our office at 234 E. Main St., Lovell. A strict 1:00 p.m. Tuesday deadline will be enforced.