we have risen

By Jim Stanford on November 7, 2012

Comments: 12 Comments

Mets win World Series! No, unlikely candidate wins election. This was primary night in August, but a similar scene played out last night at Betty Rock.

On a visit to Dublin in 1994, I was struck by one of the monuments along O’Connell Street, a statue of an Irish labor leader named Jim Larkin. His words on the inscription have resonated with me ever since:

“The great appear great because we are on our knees. Let us rise.”

Jim Larkin on O’Connell Street.

When I started this blog six years ago, one of my goals was to help citizens stay informed so they could empower themselves and take part in their government. I did not imagine they one day would elect me.

Over the past few weeks, I was impressed by the numbers of particularly younger people paying attention to the races down the ballot and doing their homework on the issues. Yesterday’s massive turnout attests to that. Win or lose, I felt good about the effort and citizens’ participation.

I tip my cap to Hailey Morton, Phil Cameron and Jim Genzer for running a great race. It’s going to be difficult to reconcile all the conflicting opinions in town, but I promise to keep an open mind and welcome the dialogue, as always.

After a wonderful and surreal night, my most sincere thanks go out to all of you for your support, encouragement and your votes.

(Top photo by David Stubbs; Larkin statue by Phil Douglis)

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Posted under From the Publisher, Politics, Town Government

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beavers continue to foil park officials

By Jim Stanford on September 21, 2012

Comments: 3 Comments

A highly trained park ranger engages a beaver in a tense standoff.

For the second time this season, Grand Teton National Park has been forced to close the Moose-Wilson Road by a family of pesky beavers. The road will be closed Monday afternoon to Tuesday morning.

The beavers have built a large dam and lodge in the wetlands north of the Death Canyon road. The dam has “created a substantial pond that threatens to completely flood the road and cause structural damage,” according to a park release.

The beavers have been brazen, crossing the road to cut trees and shrubs and bringing branches back to shore up their construction. Tourists looking for moose in the pond have had to drive through water at times.

Earlier this year, the park installed a device to allow water to pass through the dam, but the beav’s would not be deceived. They packed the pipe with mud and stopped the flow.

During Monday’s closure, the park will try again with a longer pipe. Eventually, the park plans to relocate this portion of the road away from wetlands.

The sabotage of Moose-Wilson Road is the latest blow in the beaver uprising against the human occupation of Jackson Hole. A few winters ago, beavers struck by felling a prominent stand of cottonwoods along Flat Creek in west Jackson.

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Posted under Environment, Humor

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with my own two hands

By Jim Stanford on August 21, 2012

Comments: 3 Comments

Today is the primary election, in case anyone needs a reminder. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. To find your neighborhood polling place, click here. The clerk’s office, which had been the place for early voting, is closed today.

Thank you to everyone for supporting my campaign for Jackson Town Council. I’ve tried to put forth some good ideas and have enjoyed the dialogue. I have not put up any yard signs or asked anyone for money (although some have given); all I’m asking people to do is vote.

The top four candidates for town council will advance from today’s primary to the general election in November. I hope to be one of those, but if not, I’m OK with doing what I know best: rowing the Snake River and being a journalist.

There are a lot of ways, as Ben sings, to make the world a better place. Best of luck to all the candidates for trying. Onward and upward.

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Posted under Democratic Party, Music, Politics, Town Government

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why I’m running for town council

By Jim Stanford on June 5, 2012

Comments: 17 Comments

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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Posted under Democratic Party, Economy, Environment, Politics, Town Government

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taking power over power

By Jim Stanford on April 11, 2012

Comments: 12 Comments

Transmission lines from a coal-fired power plant in southern Wyoming. Lower Valley faces tough decisions in the years ahead regarding what type of power it purchases and how it should distribute higher costs to members.

Last summer, readers reacted angrily when Lower Valley Energy decided to hike electricity rates in winter, rather than charge more to the heaviest consumers of power. The cooperative later backed down from the plan, but at least one commenter asked to be informed when board members are up for re-election.

Here’s your heads-up. Lower Valley has two seats open this spring, including the District 4 seat held by part-time Wilson resident Ted Ladd. The other seat is District 3, which includes Hoback Junction, Alpine, Little Horsethief Canyon and points south. Nancy Winters of Star Valley is the incumbent.

Read More…

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Posted under Economy, Environment, Politics

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