Silver Dollars & Wooden Nickels: Pig-kissing teacher earns a dollar |

Silver Dollars & Wooden Nickels: Pig-kissing teacher earns a dollar

The Nevada Appeal’s “Silver Dollar” and “Wooden Nickel” feature recognizes positive achievements from the capital region and, when warranted, points out others that missed the mark.

Silver Dollar: To Maria Sauter, a sixth-grade science teacher who organized Dayton Intermediate School’s annual fundraiser for the Children’s Leukemia and Lymphoma Fund. And for her trouble, students donated the most money to Sauter, which means she had to … kiss a pig. Sauter, a good sport, puckered up and planted one on Porky, saying, “It was cold, and wet, and a little stinky. I have definitely kissed worse in my life.” Now that’s dedication.

Wooden nickel: To a recent report in the Wall Street Journal that Western states are expected to face a bumper crop of grasshoppers this summer, which could lay waste to crops and pastureland. Holy Moses, what next? Would any of us really be surprised if the Carson River turned to blood and hordes of frogs started hopping down Highway 50?

Wooden nickel: To Sen. John Ensign, whose troubles just keep coming. Last week, CREW, a Washington ethics watchdog, filed a complaint against Ensign and other past and current residents of C Street House, claiming their below-the-going-rate rent violated congressional gift rules. Given Congress’ not-so-arduous Tuesday-Thursday work week, and another in a string of complaints and investigations to deal with, one wonders when Sen. Ensign has time to attend to Nevada’s business in Washington.

Wooden nickel: To the lunatic fringe, which is making life in these United States increasingly scary for those of us who believe change should be wrought through the ballot box. One “sovereign citizens” group’s letter sent this week demanded Gov. Jim Gibbons’ resignation, or else he’d be “commandeered.” The group claims to be nonviolent, but their rhetoric speaks directly to the disenfranchised, and possibly unhinged, elements of society, the same anti-government elements that spawned Terry Nichol and Timothy McVeigh. And that’s a scary thought indeed.