THEM ON US

By on February 24, 2015

Forever valentine

A Casper man made national headlines when he gave his wife flowers for Valentine’s Day. Big deal, right? Him and 20 million other guys.

Well, Jim Golay did it from the grave. When Shelly received the usual bouquet of flowers with a note – “Happy Valentine’s Day Honey. Stay Strong! Yours Forever, Love, Jim” – she figured it was her kids keeping their father’s memory alive. It wasn’t them, they swore. So she called the florist.

Jessie Row explained to Shelly, almost bawling herself, she remembers, that some man came in her shop and arranged for his wife to receive flowers on Valentine’s Day, every Valentine’s Day, for the rest of her life. He knew he wouldn’t be there to order them again. He had an inoperable brain tumor and died last July. “It was like something you only hear about in the movies,” Row told Los Angeles’ KTLA-News 5.

The NY Daily News and several other national outlets ran wild with the story of love beyond boundaries during Valentine’s Day weekend. Golay was 53.

Shelly and Jim Golay (Photo credit: KTLA Channel 5)

Shelly and Jim Golay (Photo credit: KTLA Channel 5)

Flipkey spree

In the Denver Post Business section last Sunday was a giant story on the growing trend of short-term rentals. Jason Blevins’ piece titled “Mountain towns learn to love — and regulate — short-term rentals” tracked the ever-increasing popularity of VRBO.com, HomeAway.com, Airbnb.com and the like for renting our homes by the week and month.

In Colorado, Steamboat Springs, Vail, Breckenridge and Crested Butte are seeing huge growth increases in inventory since 2009. The fad is not without its downside.

“Longtime residential neighborhoods are seeing homes turned into mini-hotels, with parking, noise and trash problems that follow a steady stream of visitors,” Blevins wrote. “And locals are finding themselves shut out of the long-term rental housing market as owners pursue more lucrative short-term tenants.”

Crested Butte, in particular, has relied on a “vigilant program” to keep landlords in compliance with local tax laws. Short-term rentals there now account for 60 percent of the town’s lodging tax revenue, according to Mayor Aaron Huckstep.

Blevins mentioned Jackson Hole as one place that has banned short-term rentals in its residential neighborhoods.

Housing crunch continues

The title of an article for The Center for Michigan/Bridge Magazine caught our eye. “What Michigan could learn from Aspen, Jackson Hole making housing affordable for year-round workers,” it read.

Journalist Nancy Derringer took a hard look at the red-hot real estate market – at least at the high end – throughout the West.

“Teton County has a similar [to Aspen] housing program, for similar reasons: Median home prices are relentlessly marching toward the $1 million mark,” said Stacy Stoker, Teton County Housing Authority interim director. Without some sort of help, Stoker added, middle-class workers who make the good life possible in Jackson Hole will not be able to live there.

Prices aren’t quite as extreme in Jackson as they are in Aspen, but they’re moving in that direction, Stoker also told the Michigan publication. The biggest need now is for more housing for service workers.

“Last season, 12 percent of the (seasonal) workforce was camping. All summer long,” Stoker said. “Those are dire straits.”

Cheney taunting

Anti-Cheney protesters gathered last Tuesday at an event on the University of Wyoming campus. Former Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife Lynne were in Laramie to discuss her new book about James Madison.

About 15 members of the group Wyoming Citizens Against Torture stood outside the entrance of the University’s Gateway Center, holding signs saying “Arrest Cheney Now” and “Torture Is A War Crime.”

Laramie Resident Bob Strayer helped organize the protest. There were no arrests and neither Cheney acknowledged the hubbub.

MSNBC and CNN were just two of the news outlets to run the story.

Cheney protesters gather on the University of Wyoming campus (Photo credit: Casper Tribune)

Cheney protesters gather on the University of Wyoming campus (Photo credit: Casper Tribune)

 

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