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PROPS & DISSES: Bullish times call for billy measures
JACKSON HOLE, WYO -
Bullish times call for billy measures PROP
Call: Times are tough. Response: How tough are they? Shooting Star, the Teton Village golf course development that would hardly be described as hurting for cash, has goats assisting in its lawn care.
Jackson Hole’s unique twist in a bull market is defined as feast AND famine. When jobs are plentiful, people and bedrooms are not. Shooting Star Manager Bill Shrum said he couldn’t even get a phone call after running a help wanted ad for weed sprayers. The goat idea didn’t begin as an effort to be environmentally conscience, he said, it is purely an experiment of last resort.
Shooting Star no doubt could afford to pay weed sprayers better than the going rate but it’s likely there are simply none to be hired at any price. Shrum got crafty and enlisted the help of Goat Green, LLC, out of Fort Collins, Colo. Some 400 goats hit the ground chomping, easily chewing their way through about a third of the acreage plagued by thistle, hounds tongue and burdock, according to a News&Guide story.
Goats cost more than conventional herbicide but Shrum is enjoying the novelty and a chance to be more “green.” The weed-whacking nannies and billies also are a hit with golfers. There’s no word on whether any of the hardworking goats have been struck by a wayward shot but suffice to say: If you lose a Titleist in the rough where they are dining, don’t bother looking for it. It was dessert.
Old and in the way DISS
I understand where the Teton County Historic Preservation Board is coming from. I think I do. They’ve recently asked the Town Council to delay the scheduled demo of the JR Jones cabin on Saddle Butte Drive. But in the end, this board with good intentions and zero power is really just a pain in the ass to land owners and developers alike.
Once known as the Jackson Hole Historical Preservation Society, the group complained to the Council in late 2007 that they didn’t feel a part of the process when old buildings got razed in the name of progress. Municipal code was tweaked and the TCHPB was born in 2008.
The board appeared to have dropped the ball in October 2011, when the old Flame Motel (Sundance) was flattened for The Wort’s parking lot. (Councilman Greg Miles was the only dissenting voice.) When the board did get actively involved – as they did during the renovation of the old Wagon Wheel property – they proved nothing more than a nuisance, holding up the project for a month while they begged the public to come cart away any of the old buildings slated for demolition.
They couldn’t even give away any of the aging cabins to Rustic Inn employees as affordable housing. “They’re rotting away,” Zia Yasrobi told the board and council. Further, efforts to save the A-frame once known as the Indian Traders building also failed when Yasrobi said it was in shambles and could not be renovated or probably even effectively moved.
Look, it’s sad to see these old buildings go away. The TCHPB has some 71 in Jackson alone listed as “historically significant” properties. But they’re old buildings. A novel backstory isn’t going to erase termite damage and shoddy original construction. And moving old buildings, often deconstructing them log by log and rebuilding them on another property, is hardly preserving history. It’s recycling old peeled pine.
It will be interesting to see if Liz Cheney does indeed throw her hat into the political ring and make a run for the U.S. Senate. She has all but told three-term incumbent Mike Enzi she would be gunning for his seat.
It would mark a rarity in Wyoming’s “play nice” political history. A Cheney run less than a year after she moved her family here from Virginia would undoubtedly be viewed by most as a shameless case of carpetbagging. But Cheney has surname cachet and can always claim she traces her roots back to Wyoming, even if her father pulled a similar stunt in 2000 when he lit a shuck out of Texas in order to run as Bush’s veep.
Enzi hasn’t exactly been a lightning rod for dissent during his 16 years in office, except for maybe his latest bill to enforce the existing tax on Internet purchases. He’s been a quietly predictable GOP soldier, and it’s his office to lose. If Cheney runs and if she wins, it will be a clear indication that style beats substance in elections, something we all probably knew in our heart of hearts but didn’t want to believe.
May the most newspaper ads win.