Daily Show investigates 2-headed trout

By Jim Stanford on June 15, 2012

Comments: 14 Comments

A photo that emerged last winter of a 2-headed trout poisoned by phosphate mining near a Snake River tributary drew the attention of the N.Y. Times, Gizmodo and other major media outlets.

Naturally, the Daily Show sent ace reporter Aasif Mandvi to investigate.

J.R. Simplot Co., which operates the Smoky Canyon Mine in eastern Idaho to make fertilizer, was not amused.

Again, props to Marv Hoyt of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition for blowing the whistle on the agribusiness giant poisoning our streams with selenium.

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slide photo that went viral not from Teton Pass

By Jim Stanford on January 23, 2012

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Somewhere in Idaho, perhaps, but not Glory Bowl.

The photo of a massive pile of avalanche debris widely circulated this weekend turns out not to have been taken on Teton Pass.

Showing a plow’s width cut through a 20-foot-high wall of snow, the image served as a powerful dissuasion to skiing the backcountry, as well as a commendation to WyDOT staff on a job well done opening the highway.

The image was posted Saturday by Matthias Hans Joachim Richter, a pilot who lives at Devil’s Tower, according to his Facebook profile. He attributed the photo to the pass and advised, “Please be careful out there folks!”

By Sunday morning, the photo was everywhere, as friends shared it on their Facebook pages, inviting discussion and oohs and aahs from their circles. Victor, Idaho, residents were some of the first to share. Among those who reposted it were media figures such as Jackson Hole Radio, Mary Cernicek, Bridger-Teton National Forest spokeswoman, and Teton AT.

A true journalist, Sam Petri wanted to see for himself and perhaps post his own photo on Instagram. Petri phoned friend Tony Birkholz and said, “Let’s go admire this big pile of snow like a couple of rednecks.”

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god, America and golf courses

By Jim Stanford on June 27, 2011

Comments: 6 Comments

Twice as crazy: Beck is back to perform a second show on the links.

It just wouldn’t be Fourth of July in the Tetons without washed-up TV host and deranged lunatic Glenn Beck.

The fired Faux News showman is returning to Huntsman Springs on Saturday to fulfill his duty to god and country: selling high-end real estate on a golf course.

Huntsman took out a full-page ad in the Daily to announce the “patriotic” festivities, one of two full-page ads placed by the developer this week following several profiles of the family in the News&Guide.

For a second straight year, Beck will be babbling while Widespread Panic plays a concert on the west slope of the Tetons. By several accounts, last year’s sermon was a dud. Now that the conspiracy theorist has been canned by his network, Saturday’s theatrics largely ought to be greeted with a shrug.

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how safe is Idaho nuke lab in event of quake?

By Jim Stanford on March 16, 2011

Comments: 17 Comments

The INL Advanced Test Reactor compound west of Idaho Falls. The reactor is the most powerful of its kind in the United States.

As reactors melt down and release radiation in the wake of a 9.0 earthquake in Japan, it’s natural to wonder about the safety of the nuclear facility near Idaho Falls, 100 miles upwind of Jackson Hole.

The Idaho National Laboratory sits in the middle of a seismically active area where more than 9,300 quakes occurred between 1972 and 2007, according to its website. The largest of those quakes was the 7.3-magnitude Borah Peak temblor in 1983, which killed two children in Challis, caused an estimated $12.5 million in damage and lifted the state’s highest peak by 7 feet.

Although there are fault lines in the surrounding ranges, the nuclear lab is located in the Snake River plain, where only minor quakes — less than 2.0 in magnitude — have been recorded since the monitoring system was installed, according to the facility’s website.

But a watchdog group in Jackson Hole, Keep Yellowstone Nuclear Free, says the lab doesn’t have enough safeguards. Of particular concern, says the group’s executive director, James Powell, is the cooling system in the main reactor, where pipes run through unreinforced concrete and could rupture in a quake.

“All the backup systems in place would be useless if the pipes getting water to the reactor are broken,” Powell says.

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Raptor Center frees miracle eagle

By Jim Stanford on February 28, 2011

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The truck was traveling at 60 mph when the collision occurred.

Bert Raynes already had the scoop on this, but the photo is so remarkable it bears posting. On Friday, the Teton Raptor Center released this bald eagle into the wild at Bear Lake, Idaho, six weeks after it collided with a semi-truck.

The eagle had been feeding on a dead deer and flew the wrong way as the truck approached near Montpelier, Idaho. The bird suffered internal bleeding and had pulmonary problems, but surprisingly no broken bones. The Raptor Center took it under its wing and nurtured it back to health.

“This return to the wild qualifies as the most remarkable among our success stories,” said Amy Brennan McCarthy, the center’s executive director. This was the fourth release of a raptor back into the wild this year.

Major props to the truck driver, Ben Wright, for seeking care for the eagle. Wright also snapped this photo.

Anyone who finds an injured, ill or orphaned bird of prey in the Jackson Hole region should call the Raptor Center hotline at (307) 200-6019.

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