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Props and Disses: 1.16.13
$13 million rain dance DISS
Aaron Millions is barking up the wrong tree if he thinks he’s going to get rich taking Wyoming water from the Green River. The real money is in convincing the state you can make water out of thin air.
The drought conditions of last summer couldn’t have come at a better time for Barry Lawrence, whose efforts to make it rain have been squeezing state coffers dry for eight years now. Lawrence is the project manager on a comprehensive cloud-seeding project in partnership with the Wyoming Water Development Office.
“We’re continuing on,” Lawrence told the Star-Tribune when he learned that state lawmakers were extending the program yet again despite cutbacks on tourism, education and other less important areas. “We got a lot of good science going on here. We’re looking forward to when we are able to deliver our results, and that will be in a couple of years.”
Lawrence said that a couple of years ago, too. In 2005, the state freed up $8.25 million for a five-year pilot study to determine whether manmade manipulations could make it rain in the Wind River. In 2010, research leaders said they needed a little more time and little more money. Same story in 2011, and now again. The state is now into this farce about $13 million worth. They could have towed a melting iceberg here from Baffin Bay for half that.
Bart Geerts, a UW professor of atmospheric science, explained that the project hit a pause with the dry summer we just experienced. Storms are needed before the cloud-seeding monitoring can be done, he said. Huh? I thought that’s what we’re paying for? Any fool can do a rain dance to the beat of thunder claps on cloudy day. Another egghead with the project said further delays were created when too much snow in the Medicine Bow hampered results.
At this point, Lawrence could tell legislators anything he wants. He’s got the state over a barrel. We’re too far invested in this charade to pull out now. Insufficient data will call into question any answer they come up with. If they ever do.
Pass parking not a rodeo yet PROP
Halfway through the 2012-13 winter and so far so good on Teton Pass. Ambassador Jay Pistono is doing a remarkable job keeping the peace on the pass. When it snows it pours on the pass. Everyone wants a crack at fresh pow’ and civility sometimes takes a backseat to reckless abandon in the small parking space on top.
Keeping the unofficial Glory Bowl lot from turning into a free-for-all is a fulltime job and Pistono has been playing traffic cop and keeping everyone abreast of the conditions with aplomb this year. WYDOT is always one idiot parking job away from kicking everybody out of the pool. Pistono provided these tips to keep the state happy and other users chill.
First: park west and park tight. When done right, the lot can accommodate up to 63 vehicles. If everyone thinks only of themselves, it ends up being more like a 42-car lot. “Starting the parking from the west side helps to set the parking lot up properly,” Pistono says.
“While waiting for a spot, WYDOT asks all drivers to use their flashing lights to warn others,” Pistono says. “If you arrive and the parking lot is full, say good morning to the other drivers and figure out who arrived first. Let the first person who arrived have the first parking spot.”
Watch door dings and keep a handle on your dogs, Pistono adds. Also, be smart about picking up those who’ve finished their run. Pull all the way over, don’t litter, and watch out for snow plows. Those guys have enough to worry about without looking to see if they’re going to plow you up.
Poaching sucks DISS
Bill Long says he usually gets his man when it comes to poaching. Long is one of the game wardens assigned to the Jackson area. In 35 years, not too many roadside shooters have escaped from his watchful eye.
The latest poaching case involves two wolves shot in Area 8 which lies east of Grand Teton NP, bordered to the north by Blackrock Creek and south by the Gros Ventre River. Wolf packs dubbed Pinnacle Peak, Lower Gros Ventre, Phantom Peak and Pacific Creek have been known to use the area on a regular basis.
Even outfitter BJ Hill, who has shown little love for the lobo, was critical of the poachings. A $5,000 reward is being offered for information in either killing. One of the two poached wolves was found shot dead in the Gros Ventre in early December while a second wolf was found on December 21, several miles from the first wolf carcass.