councilmen to state reps: legalize it

By Jim Stanford on January 23, 2014

Comments: 17 Comments

Earlier this week, the town council invited state lawmakers and county commissioners for a discussion on the upcoming legislative session.

Sen. Leland Christensen and Reps. Ruth Ann Petroff and Keith Gingery talked about bills they plan to work on and issues such as state funding for local government. The latter is nuanced and not very sexy but important for how the town and county provide services.

Bob Lenz

At the end, we addressed a topic a little more tangible: a pair of bills that would legalize or decriminalize marijuana. The first, to be sponsored by Rep. Sue Wallis, a Campbell County Republican, would permit medicinal or even recreational use, while the second, authored by Rep. James Byrd, a Democrat from Laramie, would lower the penalty for possessing small amounts to $50 or $100.

That I support such measures is hardly a surprise. But what raised eyebrows was when 81-year-old Councilman Bob Lenz, a retired pharmacist, emphatically weighed in.

“Just legalize it and tax it and control it,” Lenz said. “I think you save a lot of problems … I’ve never had a joint in my life, but [from] everything they tell me, everybody smokes it.”

Skip ahead to the 61:30 mark. The marijuana discussion lasts about 6 minutes.

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Posted under County Government, Crime, Politics, Town Government, Wyoming Legislature

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Flat Creek flood fight

By Jim Stanford on January 21, 2014

Comments: 13 Comments

An excavator clears ice from rocks in Flat Creek on Saturday. By Sunday, five trackhoes were working in the creek to alleviate flooding.

Flooding caused by ice formation along Flat Creek came to a head this weekend, and the town again had to assist homeowners in breaking up the ice.

After being contacted by constituents in the neighborhood, I went out there with Mayor Mark Barron on Saturday to survey the flooding, ice buildup and efforts by residents to protect their property. The flooding affected homes from Stacy Lane to Crabtree Lane and was some of the worst people had ever seen.

In a matter of hours Friday, I’m told, the level of the water and ice rose about 3 feet. This came after I tried to walk the pathway behind the post office Thursday and found it impassable.

Putting heavy equipment into the creek to break up the ice is not a delicate operation, despite the operators’ best efforts. The ice was 3 feet thick or more, and anchored to the stream bottom in places. For every trackhoe breaking it up, two more were needed to scoop up the loose ice floating downstream, else a jam could form and cause even worse flooding.

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Posted under Environment, Politics, Town Government

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recycling center accepting more plastic

By Jim Stanford on January 7, 2014

Comments: 4 Comments

Sublette County Commissioner John Linn kneels at the perimeter of the landfill near Big Piney. Note the abundance of plastic strewn about and beyond the fence.

Plastic bags thrown in the trash end up all over the landscape, from the beaches of Hawaii to the sand dunes of the Sahara. Dramatic images from coastal areas show creatures like an otter, dolphin and turtle ensnared by plastic.

Here in the West, plastic blows across the sagebrush plains like tumbleweed and ends up in our streams and forests. To reduce this pollution as well as the cost of hauling trash, our recycling center greatly has expanded the types of plastic bags and packaging it will accept.

Bread bags, produce bags, Ziplocs, bubble wrap, dry cleaning bags and Visqueen-type sheeting are among the types of plastic residents now may recycle, along with grocery bags. Plastic wrap used to package paper towels, napkins, toilet paper and such also can be recycled. A full list can be found here.

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Posted under County Government, Economy, Environment, Politics, Town Government

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mercifully, Liz Cheney quits race

By Jim Stanford on January 6, 2014

Comments: 7 Comments

Here’s how the news was received in Jackson Hole last night.

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Posted under Humor, Politics, Republican Party

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face to face with Angler

By Jim Stanford on January 3, 2014

Comments: 28 Comments

Dick Cheney, pictured here when he was vice president, had been enjoying a peaceful holiday vacation in Jackson Hole, while chaos still reigns in Anbar, Iraq.

On my way home from skiing yesterday, I stopped at Albertsons to get a bag of salt. Been having a problem with ice buildup on the side of my house, the result of new gutters depositing melting snow onto the frozen ground.

I grabbed a 25-pound bag from outside, walked into the store and paid for it.

As I was walking out, an older man was walking in, dressed in a shearling coat and cowboy hat. He was, unmistakably, Dick Cheney.

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Posted under Humor, Politics

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