Flat Creek flood fight

By Jim Stanford on January 21, 2014

Comments: 14 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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pathway stroll wards off winter blues

By Jim Stanford on December 5, 2011

Comments: 3 Comments

View of Flat Creek, as seen from newly plowed Garaman Trail.

Cheer up, it’s only -13 outside.

Wouldn’t want to be in Rafter J subdivision this morning, in a home heated by electricity, as the power is out and the cold is hampering repair work.

In these frigid, short days, a time of transition before ski season fully sets in, it helps to get out of the house or office and just walk. Even a 10-minute stroll in the sun can do wonders for one’s disposition.

That’s why I’m grateful to the anonymous donor who has made possible the plowing of the Russ Garaman Trail behind the west Jackson post office, along Flat Creek. This is a move whose time has come; grooming the pathway in years past for nordic skiing was a lofty goal, but Wyoming is not Norway, and hardly anyone ever skied to school or work using the trail.

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Posted under Politics, Sports, Town Government, Weather

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MacPhail’s passes taste test

By Jim Stanford on August 23, 2011

Comments: 12 Comments

MacPhail's cheeseburger and fries. Everything was fresh and filling.

After all the chatter about whether the most anticipated opening of a burger joint in Jackson would MacPhail, I had to experience the place for myself.

So on a recent evening, following a whitewater run down the Snake, two friends and I convened at MacPhail’s in the old Taco Bell location on Broadway. We arrived just after 9 p.m., so it was a relief to be seated. (One of my pet peeves about Jackson is a lack of eateries serving late, besides the Brew Pub.)

The restaurant has been redone nicely, but the interior is small and a bit loud. Perhaps some funky music would help. We had no problems with service; it had been a busy night, yet we were greeted promptly and all our needs met. Beer was poured in a frosty glass. There were munchies on the table to pass the wait.

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Posted under Business, Food

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burgers sizzling as high-end biz MacPhail’s

By Sam Petri on June 14, 2011

Comments: 36 Comments

MacPhail's has taken over the former Taco Bell. The burger joint will offer creekside tables out back, which might appeal to tubers floating Flat Creek.

Five months after Taco Bell crunched, wrapped and supremely split town, a new burger joint that promises to serve locally raised beef on custom-made buns is working to open in the location by July 1.

Owner Bruce Bollinger of Victor signed a lease in April and has been working to revamp the fast-food shell into a 40-seat restaurant that serves burgers, fries, beers and milkshakes in a casual, sit-down environment that’s cheaper than The Bird, he said. (So, despite readers’ pleas, there will be no In-N-Out.)

Workers hung signs for the Broadway business, named after Bollinger’s grandmother, Agnes MacPhail, earlier this month. The restaurant is not a chain.

MacPhail’s is one of several moderately priced eateries opening this summer as Jackson’s once-booming luxury economy flounders. Burke’s Chop House on Glenwood recently relaunched as The Garage, ditching fine dining in favor of burgers, pasta and simpler fare. Pinky G’s is gearing up to open in the Pink Garter Plaza, replacing the former Cafe Ponza pizzeria.

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Posted under Economy, Food

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we all live downstream

By Jim Stanford on June 11, 2010

Comments: 5 Comments

Not pictured: runoff from lawn fertilizer and weed killer.

This oil spill isn’t in the Gulf of Mexico. This is Millward Street in downtown Jackson, where the sheen is flowing toward Flat Creek and the Snake River.

And in the incessant rain these past few weeks, similar slicks have been observed on Pearl and Cache and in the Pica’s parking lot. Pretty much anywhere cars meet pavement.

BP is polluting the Gulf with twice as much oil (or more) than initially estimated, an Exxon Valdez’s worth every few days, but what are we doing about it in our community? Friends of Pathways’ Bike Week comes along at a good time.

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Posted under Environment, Politics, Weather

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