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  • This article by Betsy Marston originally appeared in the May 26, 2011 issue of High Country News.
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Topic: Culture & Communities     Department: Heard Around the West     Comments: 0

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Lady Liberty v the Statue of Libertines

News: May 26, 2011
by Betsy Marston

MONTANA

So far in the West, Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer is the only one who kills bad bills by whipping out his custom branding iron, which spells out VETO. The latest Tea Party proposals that have flamed out include a bill making it harder for people to register to vote, another to permit the use of cyanide by large gold-mining companies, a bill to give sheriffs authority over the federal government in terror investigations, and a bill to overturn a voter-approved initiative to allow seriously ill patients to use marijuana legally. Videos and photos of the governor wielding his VETO iron on the steps of the Montana Capitol are on mtcowgirl.com, among other websites.

NEVADA 1, NEW YORK 0

When you make a booboo, sometimes it's smarter to embrace it. Not always, though. The U.S. Postal Service chose to embrace its error after learning that it used a photo of a fake Statue of Liberty -- the half-size one in Las Vegas that stands in front of the New York New York Casino -- as the model for the new Lady Liberty "forever" stamp. Linn's Stamp News broke the story about the snafu, which led Post Office spokesman Roy Betts to assure The New York Times that while the error was regrettable, "We still love the stamp design and would have selected this photograph anyway." Other reactions: A Las Vegas casino operator said he was thrilled by the stamp, while former New York mayor Ed Koch commented that the post office was being "stupid." We think it's fine, only we'd like to rename the Las Vegas version the Statue of Libertines.

IDAHO

A truck driver near Bear Lake, Idaho, was tooling along at 65 miles an hour when something smashed into his windshield, the glass exploded, "and this thing was screaming just like a child." The "thing" turned out to be a bald eagle, and its wing was stuck in the broken glass. When Fish and Game staffers got to the scene, the bird was in bad shape, bleeding through her mouth and nostrils. But thanks to the Teton Raptor Center in Wilson, Wyo., the eagle rapidly gained weight on a diet of quail stuffed with antibiotics, reports This American Land. Just one month after the accident, the "miracle" bird, as everybody called her, was released back into the wild.

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