rafting pioneer Barker dies at 75

By Jim Stanford on July 23, 2012

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Dick Barker takes a turn on the oars during the 2011 Legends of the Snake float trip in Grand Teton National Park. Click to enlarge.

Dick Barker, the river guide and musician who built one of the most successful rafting businesses in Jackson Hole, died this morning at his home in Moose, after battling cancer for several years. He was 75 years old.

Originally from Ohio, Barker began spending his summers at his grandparents’ house on Ditch Creek as a boy. He learned to fly fish from his mother and stepfather, Joe Beerkle, and started guiding for Carmichael’s Tackle Shop in Moose in 1956.

In 1963, he and his wife, Barb, started their own float trip company, just as Frank and Patty Ewing went into business. The two families became partners in 1965, and Barker-Ewing grew to become synonymous with scenic and whitewater rafting in Jackson Hole.

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why I’m running for town council

By Jim Stanford on June 5, 2012

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Candidate for council.

In skier parlance, I have “pointed it.”

As the stories in last week’s Daily make clear (here and here), I am running for Jackson Town Council. There are nine candidates for two seats; the top four will advance from the Aug. 21 primary to the general election in November.

The task ahead is daunting, but I feel an obligation to serve and at least give this a shot. Friends and other supporters have been urging me to run since the mayoral write-in of 2008.

If elected, I would bring an open mind, a studious approach and resolve to make hard decisions.

Come August, I will have lived here 20 years. During that time I’ve met a broad swath of our community. I feel I have one foot in old Jackson and one foot in new Jackson, as by virtue of my work and lifestyle I continue to meet younger people traditionally underrepresented on the council.

As readers well know, sometimes I’m frustrated by the decisions others make for us. The solution is to become one of the decision makers. Like I told the paper, you can only stand on the sidelines so long.

I have set up a campaign website to provide more thoughts on the issues and keep people informed about the campaign. On this site I’ve always welcomed diverse viewpoints, including those with which I don’t agree, and now more than ever I welcome your input.

Here’s to a soft landing.

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Claire eyes ‘new sense of leadership’

By Jim Stanford on May 29, 2012

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Claire Fuller receives a hug from her father, Robbie, on Election Night 2008, when she narrowly lost in her first bid for Teton County commissioner.

With little more than three days remaining in the filing period to run for local office, there’s no telling what sort of new candidates will emerge to shake things up.

Claire Fuller has set out to change the status quo with a second run for Teton County commissioner. In 2008, at only age 24, Claire came within a few hundred votes of unseating political veterans Andy Schwartz and Leland Christensen.

Now 28 and more seasoned with education and work experience, the Wilson Democrat is back in the ring. The timing feels right, she said, and her desire to serve hasn’t cooled.

“I want to provide a new sense of leadership in the community,” she said.

If she didn’t run now, it might be years before she’d have another chance, she explained. “I’m at the beginning of a career of any sort,” she said. “The farther you get into that, the harder it is to leave.”

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Fat Tuesday at the White House

By Jim Stanford on February 22, 2012

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It’s good to be the president, especially when the house band on Mardi Gras features B.B. King, Buddy Guy and Mick Jagger, backed by Jeff Beck, Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, Trombone Shorty and Gary Clark Jr., among others. And, of course, the ever-smooth Barry O. on vocals.

The celebration of the blues was the latest in a series of concerts First Lady Michelle Obama has organized honoring American music.

From the Washington Post review:

‘This music speaks to something universal,’ the president said before introducing King. ‘No one goes through life without both joy and pain, triumph and sorrow. The blues gets all of that.’

PBS will broadcast the show Feb. 27. “Previous performances in the series have saluted the music of the civil rights era, Motown and Broadway, as well as jazz, country (twice), classical and Latin music,” the Post reported.

(Via Teton Dems)

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Occupy resumes across Wyoming

By Jim Stanford on October 22, 2011

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Demonstrators brave drizzling rain Oct. 16 to stand for equality.

Activists returned to the Town Square last weekend for a second round of protest in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street. The turnout was small, although the group continues to grow and a demonstration is planned for Saturday at the Capitol in Cheyenne.

Foster Friess, the conservative investor turned philanthropist and Tea Party activist, waded into the fray last week, saying protesters should take a lesson from the late Apple chief Steve Jobs. Friess circulated a post written by Joe Lindsley, one of several prolific bloggers he has gathered around his Campfire.

“Why don’t you follow the example of the man who created your iPhones, pull yourself together, and try to succeed, instead of screaming like two year olds for more cookies from the nanny state?” Lindsley wrote. (Lindsley, it should be noted, is the former small-town newspaper editor who quit after allegedly being spied on by his boss, Fox News overlord Roger Ailes.)

Never mind the co-opting of Jobs, who while he was alive railed against Fox News as a “destructive” force in America. Never mind that several of the more vocal participants in Jackson Hole are business owners, while another served in the Army and earned enough money through the G.I. Bill to pay for college.

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