Thuermer stepping down as News&Guide editor

By Jim Stanford on April 24, 2014

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Angus Thuermer will be taking his Leica around Wyoming writing about the environment for WyoFile.

The bombshell news came on the bottom of page two.

Angus M. Thuermer Jr., the dean of Jackson Hole journalism, is resigning as editor of the News&Guide, the paper reported yesterday.

Thuermer, 61, will become statewide natural resources correspondent for the online news outlet WyoFile. His last day at the paper is May 21.

Thuermer started in the pressroom at the Jackson Hole News in 1978 and worked his way up to editor. He reputedly kidnapped publisher Mike Sellett’s dog and held it ransom for a newsroom job.

Along with Sellett, Thuermer presided over the News as it became one of the top small weeklies in the country. He wrote the bulk of environmental news during the 1990s, covering stories like the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone, recovery of grizzly bears and slaughter of bison outside the world’s first national park.

The hard-nosed newsman doggedly pursued his stories, taking on developers, despoilers of natural resources and politicians who sought to conduct public business in secret. He told riveting tales of grizzly maulings, avalanches and rescues of climbers in Grand Teton National Park.

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best media exaggerations of landslide

By Jim Stanford on April 21, 2014

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Always dependable news source.

Despite daily press releases and even a live web cam for citizens to monitor the Walgreens landslide, the national media still managed to distort the situation into an earth-munching catastrophe.

Once photos of the Budge house split in two began being published, headline writers shifted into high gear. Comic banners that could have been lifted from a Daily Show sketch sounded the alarm that Jackson was in danger of being swallowed up by the slide.

Relax, Aunt Alice from Minnesota. We’re not all falling into a sinkhole.

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doc prescribes cure for Charter Internet ills

By Jim Stanford on February 16, 2014

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Earlier this week my Internet service was bogging so badly that it felt like dial-up, or worse. Unable to get any work done, and tired of waiting on hold, I posted a complaint on Charter Communications’ Facebook page. While the company did nothing, a friend happened to spot the post and offered a solution.

For anyone not in our circles still having trouble with Charter (née Optimum, née Bresnan) Internet, the problem is with the company’s domain name servers, or DNS. I’ll let the friend explain:

These are servers that translate (or “resolve”) a domain name like google.com into an Internet address like 123.456.789.123. It is like a phone book for the Internet. Charter/Optimum/Bresnan has used their own DNS servers for years. Something went badly wrong with their recent changeover to Charter and those servers are not working well. When you go to a website like nbc.com, you may actually need to “resolve” more than a hundred domain names in order to display that page. Every ad, every video, every link on the page may use a different domain name. A properly functioning DNS server can do that in milliseconds. But Charter’s DNS servers were taking a LONG time (up to 20-30 seconds) to resolve the domain names.

Here is the prescription (for Mac users): Go to System Preferences > Network > Advanced > DNS > click + and type 8.8.8.8 or 8.8.4.4 into the window. Those are Google’s servers. If using a wireless network, you also can change these settings on your router (Airport Utility for Mac users).

For those not wanting to use Google, other options are 208.67.222.222 and 208.67.220.220 from Open DNS.

Many thanks to Jim Little Jr. for his assistance. By spreading the word so widely, it was like the St. John’s Hospital physician had inoculated half of Jackson from a measles outbreak.

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newshound has nose for hops, herb

By Jim Stanford on October 24, 2013

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Jackson Hole and Teton Valley usually send a distinguished delegation to the Great American Beer Festival in Denver every year and come home with a lode of medals. This year, judging from a quick look at the awards list, Black Tooth Brewing Co. of Sheridan claimed the hardware for Wyoming.

Fortunately, our local brewers escaped the wrath of this investigative reporter from Conan who sniffed his way around the festival.

(Via Deadspin)

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looking back on 1988 Yellowstone fires

By Jim Stanford on August 25, 2013

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A bull elk surveys a burned area.

Twenty-five years ago this week, the Yellowstone fires hit their peak. Nearly 800,000 acres, or 36 percent of the park, burned that summer in a series of blazes, some caused by humans and others by storms. Winds of up to 80 mph fanned the flames, creating a conflagration beyond control.

Aug. 20, 1988, was dubbed “Black Saturday,” when the fires doubled in size, consuming more acres than all other fires in the park’s history combined.

Last year, when the Little Horsethief Fire burned up the back of Snow King and east Jackson was under an evacuation advisory, residents got a taste of fear. But watching those flames lick at the ridge above Cache Creek pales in comparison to firsthand accounts of the Yellowstone blazes.

The late Theo Meiners landed on one of the firefighting support crews in the summer of 1988 and kept a journal of his experiences. Focus Productions published excerpts in Jackson Hole Skier magazine that winter and has re-posted them for the 25th anniversary. The short essay is worth a read.

Of the Mink Creek Fire in the Teton Wilderness, Meiners wrote:

By mid-July winds had whipped this conflagration into gargantuan proportions; a column of smoke rose to over 30,000 feet, visible from Salt Lake City. The Black Rock Ranger Station became a base camp city of 1,200 firefighters. There was every kind of helicopter imaginable. Cargo planes and bombers were everywhere. The FAA even sent out flight controllers. This was war.

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