Wyoming bill would legalize hitchhiking

By Jim Stanford on November 26, 2012

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Thumbing it has long been a part of Western life.

In a move that will warm the hearts of Capt. Bob Morris and backcountry skiers, a state legislator from Teton County is working on a bill to legalize hitchhiking in Wyoming.

Sen. Leland Christensen, R-Alta, will seek to remove from the law a prohibition on soliciting rides, according to the News&Guide. The paper reported:

” ‘It’s a law on the books that doesn’t make sense, especially in these economic times,’ said Christensen, who remembers when his father used to hitch rides home when the family would visit his grandparents.”

Christensen’s view is reinforced by a recent New York Times op-ed, titled “Hitchhiking’s Time Has Come Again,” which argues that the dangers of soliciting rides have been overblown and even fabricated to dissuade people from the once-widespread practice.

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Posted under Crime, Environment, Politics, Republican Party, Wyoming Legislature

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party tonight at Betty Rock

By Jim Stanford on November 6, 2012

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Betty Rock is offering an $8 special for burger, fries and drink all off-season.

Teton Dems are gathering tonight at Betty Rock to watch the election results and congratulate candidates on a race well run.

There will be food and drink specials, and Betty Rock will stay open late on what could be a late night for the presidential decision. The party will start soon after polls close at 7 p.m.

I expect we’ll have local results around 9. Betty Rock has a TV for national coverage and wifi for the latest updates.

Come by for a burger and beer. I plan to be there at some point. On such a momentous night, the pull of home is strong.

Let’s hope we have a lot to celebrate, locally and nationally.

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Posted under County Government, Democratic Party, Food, Politics, Town Government, Wyoming Legislature

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where to vote on Election Day

By Jim Stanford on November 5, 2012

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Voting precinct and poll locations in town. Glenwood Street is the divider between the Fair Building and Recreation Center precincts. Click to enlarge.

There are two days left to cast a vote in the 2012 election. Today, residents can register and vote in advance at the county clerk’s office, 200 S. Willow St.

On Election Day, voters must go to their neighborhood polling place and can register before casting a ballot. A higher-resolution version of the above map, including the entire county, can be found here. Polls are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

In town, there are four places to vote. Residents east of Redmond Street vote at Senior Center; those between Glenwood and Redmond vote at the Rec Center; everyone between Glenwood and Highway 89 votes at the Fair Building; and neighborhoods farthest west vote at the Presbyterian Church.

Only a photo ID is required to register. While a Wyoming driver’s license is preferred, other states’ are accepted, too. The clerk’s office is closed Tuesday.

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

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voting opens in primary

By Jim Stanford on July 17, 2012

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No need to wait until Aug. 21 to vote in the primary election — anyone may register and vote in advance right now, right up to the primary day.

Simply stop by the clerk’s office between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday in the Teton County administration building, 220 S. Willow St. (the same building where you register a car or pick up stickers for license plates).

The only requirement is a photo ID. No proof of residency is necessary. While a Wyoming driver’s license is preferred, other states’ are accepted, too.

And as a sage man often reminds us, you need to have lived here only a minute to vote.

This way, come Aug. 21, you won’t be caught backpacking in the Winds or working a double shift without having cast a ballot.

The field for Town Council just got a little less crowded. Councilor Greg Miles is dropping out of the race, narrowing the field to eight candidates for two seats. (The top four will advance from the primary.)

Miles announced his intention at last night’s council meeting and also posted a message to friends on Facebook, saying he is stepping aside to “allow some new ideas to come forward.” Miles said he wants to support his wife, Melinda Binks, who is producing a TV show in Los Angeles, and looks forward to working in the private sector again as a housing developer.

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

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wolves evade capture

By Jim Stanford on March 13, 2012

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A federal biologist has been unable to shoot the wolves by helicopter because they are staying near residential areas.

Two weeks after a federal wildlife manager said he planned to kill them, wolves are still roaming the south end of Jackson Hole near residential areas and ranches.

Mike Jimenez, wolf recovery coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said there are just two wolves — one white and one black, possibly a mating pair. The predators remain comfortable on the periphery of the Indian Trails, Indian Springs and Cottonwood Park neighborhoods and even south Wilson, near Fall Creek Road, he said.

Because the wolves often are in these areas, Jimenez has been unable to fly in a helicopter and shoot them with darts.

“It’s just not a place we can do anything,” he said. There have been no reports of wolves harassing pets, people or livestock since an Indian Trails homeowner posted a video Feb. 23 of wolves crossing his backyard, Jimenez said.

Jimenez has been tracking the wolves from the ground and by airplane. The animals have ranged from the southern end of the valley, near the South Park elk feedground, across Highway 22 to the north and as far west as Wilson. Their behavior is consistent with wolves establishing a home territory, he said.

“We know where they are, but they’re in small pockets at the far end of a field, or in someone’s backyard, and that’s not an appropriate spot” to capture and euthanize them, he said.

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Posted under Environment, Politics, Wyoming Legislature

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