Open the government

Re: Partial shutdown

Sheridan, as you know, has a very substantial number of federal employees. To wit: Veterans Affairs Medical Center, U.S. Forest Service, Federal Aviation Administration, Social Security Administration, and more who are now facing a crisis of their own financially. They do so many things for all of us, most of which we never realize until it is too late. We all need to help them, as they help us, by contacting each one of our congressional delegation to end this immature political tug-of-war. Holding federal workers hostage to further congressional demands is a national disgrace.

The inability of our elected leaders to compromise has led to the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. I am proud of my work as a federal employee in service to the country I love. Federal workers nationwide are forced to stay at home and wait for the government to reopen, and are no longer able to provide the services on which our fellow Americans rely.

Middle-class federal workers and their families are stretching their pennies until the shutdown is over. Even though pay may be restored eventually, bills still arrive on time even if paychecks don’t, and many federal employees are being forced to make difficult and unnecessary financial decisions to make ends meet.

Our legislators in Congress and the president need to stop playing political games with our government’s services and those who provide them. We are now in a crisis and our leaders must work to promptly reopen the government. We must call them to reach consensus immediately so committed federal employees across the nation and right here at home can get back to work for our country.

Blaine Murphy



Stealing viewers

Re: NBC affiliate

While the news about the Casper NBC affiliate (The Sheridan Press, Jan. 8, 2019) may be news to some, it is not to me or even thousands of other Sheridan County residents.

Rapid City was given the label of Designated Market Area by the Nielsen Corporation with the blessings of the FCC years ago. What most county residents don’t know is that Sheridan County became isolated when DISH TV and DirectTV were banned from broadcasting their signals in Sheridan County several years ago. At the time, Duhamel Broadcasting of Rapid City (aka KOTA Territory) wanted Sheridan County exclusively as its own base for selling TV ads to Sheridan businesses. However, residents of Campbell County (Gillette, et al) and Johnson County (Buffalo, et al) could receive both DISH and DirectTV, thus county lines “jailed” Sheridan County from receiving Denver channels’ four major network stations, ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox.

More recently, Atlanta, Georgia-based Gray Television bought out Duhamel, the ABC affiliate for Rapid City, then added KNBN (NBC) and KEVN (Fox), giving Sheridan County those three stations. Thus, the Casper NBC station gets whacked from Sheridan County by a Georgia-based company so they could have Sheridan County all to itself. What’s missing, you say? Ah, yes. CBS, which carries the majority of AFL — Broncos games, and other tasty TV morsels. Sheridan County gets CBS, as well…all the way from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, just across the line from Minnesota and Iowa.

Want Wyoming Public TV? If so, you won’t get it unless you have cable, and maybe not even then. But you can get South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa PBS and learn all about the goings-on in those states. But not what’s going on in Wyoming.

Sheridan County is now penned-in and dependent on national network stations by GRAY Broadcasting. Who can fix this? The FCC, ultimately, and maybe our board of supervisors, Sheridan County’s delegation to the state Legislature and especially to our federal representatives, Enzi, Barrasso and Cheney.

Black-and-white TV has been history for a long time. Maybe now it’s time to tune out Gray, as well.

Bob Rogers