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February 18, 2010

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41The Lovell Chronicle I February 18, 2010 www.LovellChronicle.com Guest Opinion Jo!n the Ride! Practme good sportsmanship at our local and state sporting events Shon Hocker Superintendent Big Horn #1 Dan Coe Superintendent Big Horn #2 Extracurricular activities are great opportunities for additional student education outside the classroom. Wyoming high schools and middle schools sponsor a number of activities and sports. In the Big Horn Basin middle school extracurricular activities are sanctioned by member schools in the Big Horn Basin Middle School Association. High school ex- tracurricular activities are sanctioned by the Wyoming High School Activities Association (WHSAA). You can get a complete list of WHSAA sanctioned activities and sports from their website http://www.whsaa.org. Each member school in these sanctioning bodies is required to follow the rules and regulations of these or- ganizations. The WHSAA Join the Ride Program (http:// www.whsaa.org/sportsmanship/jointheride.asp) pro- motes good sportsmanship for participants and spec- tators. We expect our participants to display good sportsmanship as they represent their schools and communities. We are thankful and proud of our spon- sors, coaches, and students for doing this. As spectators we need to hold ourselves account- able for these same good sportsmanship behaviors. Adults especially have the responsibility to model and regulate the good sportsmanship we want our children and students to emulate. WHSAA rules specify school district authorities are responsible for managing partici- pant and spectator behaviors at home and on the road at WHSAA events. Unsportsmanlike behaviors at WHSAA events by participants or spectators whether in the local gym or the Casper Events Center can lead to disciplinary ac- tions by the WHSAA toward that school including for- feiture of an event. ,- r We are proud of our qommuties, programs and students. Let this pride show to others through our good sportsmanship at home and on the road. Join the Ride! Letters to::the editor .............. ........... The Lovell Chronicle welcome letters from its readers and will make every effort to print .................... them, Letters longer than 400 wordsmay not ............. be printed. Letters must be signed and include the address and telephone number of the writer .......... Unsignedletters will be discarded. Writers are ................ limited to two letters in any 30day period. All letters must conform to the lawof libel ..... and be in good taste. They may be mailed to The Lovell Chronicle, Box 787, Lovell, WY ...... 82431, or delivered to our office at 234 El Main ............ Stll Lovell. A strict 1:0Opera, TueSday deadline will be enforced. 2999 MEMBER 2008 AWARD-WINNING NEWSPAPER Postmaster: Send address changes to: The Lovell Chronicle, USPS 321-060 234 E. Main, Lovell, Wyoming 82431 (307) 548-2217 Published every Thursday Periodical postage paid at Lovell, Wyoming Editor and Publisher: David Peck News Editor: Brad Devereaux Staff: Gladys McNeil, Pat Parmer, Dorothy Nelson, Erin Henson, Marwyn Layne, Kymbre Moorehead, Teressa Ennis, Jason Zeller. SUBSCRIPTION RATES t In Big Horn and Park Counties $25 In Wyoming $35 / Outside Wyoming $40 / Single copy 75 l 9 5 Ma was a 'Golden Ruler' Ma was the most unique woman I've ever known. She was incredibly naive - if you remember Gracie Allen then you've spent a little time in Ma's world. Ma wasn't dumb. It's just that things were usually black and white to her, and she interpreted things quite literally. Even puns could confuse her, although she had her own brand of humor. She had no time for complications and no patience for con- voluted explanations. She felt the same way about religion. In her family alcoholism and abuse was rampant, but by golly they were all in church dressed in their Sunday best once a week. She learned the Bible inside out, trying to find within its pages a way to make sense of her life. At barely 16 she married my father, and when he died a few years and two little girls later, her faith in anything was just about gone. She could have become cynical and empty, but she didn't have the time or patience for that, either. She tried a couple of other churches, searching for some peace, but she didn't find what she was looking for. At one point she turned to alcohol, prob- ably because it seemed like the coping skill most fa- miliar to her. But at last she found it within herself -- and in the family she was raising. That is not to say that Ma ever gave up on her faith in God. Hospital admission forms always ask for a religious preference and Ma filled out plenty of those. She'd simply tell the admissions clerk fill- ing out the form, "I'm a Golden Ruler." In a town made up primarily of Presbyterians, Methodists and Lutherans that raised eyebrows, the inevitable re- sponse was, "A what?" Ma would sigh softly and explain. "The way I see it," she'd reply patiently, "every sermon and every lesson in the Bible can be boiled down to 'do unto others as you would have them do unto you'. I believe that. So ifI have to be called any- thing on your form I guess I'm a Golden Ruler." We talked about it once. I asked her what she had against church. She thought for few minutes and then she said, "Well, Diane, church never helped me much when I was a kid. I guess they were too busy singing. Maybe I was too scared or didn't know what to ask to get me out. Me and God working together had to do it. That's when I figured out that sticking a label on something doesn't make it a good product. My fam- ily was called a good, church going family, but that label didn't make them good people." She took a big drink of her coffee and stared deep into the cup. Then she looked up at me and her bright blue eyes were intense as she counseled, "You have to live what you know because labels never tell Diane Badget View from the soapbox the whole truth." I guess being a Golden Ruler was as close to being labeled as Ma would allow. I remember that conversation in such amazing detail because it was one of the few times I ever remember Ma explain- ing anything so thoroughly. It was at that moment I truly understood that labeling based on beliefs, affiliations or personali- ties was unacceptable. Is this column about criticizing orga- nized religion? Absolutely not! It's about having the courage to live your convic- tions. She chose her path, and then she and God walked it together. She found the strength to put one foot in front of the other and the courage to put her past be- hind her and begin a new life. And it's about labeling. Since I started this col- umn I have had occasion to talk with quite a few readers who seem to need to find a place to "put" me. A very sweet lady once asked meifI"was always so negative. Not too long ago another woman asked me about my "deep conservatism" and the very same day a gentleman at the post office said, "You don't make any bones about being a Republican, do you?" None of that offends me one bit. Whether people under- stand me or not they are at least thinking about something I've written. I am an American. When I see our flag snapping smartly in a stiff breeze, glorious against a clear blue sky, I'm a proud American. When things are be- ing done that I think will hurt my family or my fel- low citizens, I become a protective American. When I see the Constitution being referred to as an archaic document that is out of touch with today's world I become an angry American. And despite the feeling that many in Washington don't seem to be listening, I will continue to remain an outspoken American. If I could vote in a primary election as an Inde- pendent, I guess that's how I'd register. I am not a Republican, nor am I a Democrat. I don't hold much store in being called a liberal or a conservative. I have no tolerance for anyone hanging on so stub- bornly to a political label that nothing constructive gets done. If a candidate wants my vote then that candidate will have to earn it and then be prepared to hear from me frequently after the election. After thinking long and hard about what label I would choose ifI was being pressed for an answer, I settled on one. I've done some stupid things in my life and had times when I didn't do the right thing, but the ex- ample Ma set usually helped steer me back on track. So if anyone needs to label me, I'd be proud to be simply known as LaVonne's daughter. I don't think she'd mind. Rural Living Conference Saturday This is a good time of the year to men- tion the University of Wyoming's Soil Testing Program. Farmers, homeown- ers and gardeners wanting to get a bet- ter handle on their soil profile are encour- aged to go to their local Extension Office to get the necessary paperwork to send in a soil sample. A general soil analysis costs $20. The lab analyzes the soil for the three major soil fertility elements: nitrogen, phos- phate, and phosphorus. The Ph of the soil is determined along with the organic matter content. Salty soils can be a prob- lem for us and this is looked at, too. Soil. texture is determined like sandy, clay, sandy-loam, etc. I don't recommend soil testing a site every year, but whether it is a farmer's field, garden or lawn, a soil sample can give some great base line information for enhancing the productiv- ity when problems are suspected. How do we collect a proper sample, you ask? The lab will need a good quart of soil to run the needed tests. I like to take an empty bucket and collect soil from three or four different spots in the garden or more in a large field. Dig down at least a foot and collect a little ribbon of soil from the bot- tom, six-inch profile and a ribbon of soil from the top and put it in the bucket. After doing this at all the sites, mix the soil in the bucket and place Jim Gill Ag Chat a good quart full in a zip lock bag. An- other point: don't sent the lab wet soil. Make sure it is dried out before sealing the bag to mail it in. The Extension Office will provide the field history forms and payment in- formation you will need to send the sam- ple in to the soils lab in the College of Agriculture at Laramie. *** The Park County Extension Office, Conservation District and Weed & Pest are sponsoring a Rural Living Confer- ence this Saturday at the Park County Fair Grounds. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. with the program beginning at 9 a.m. Concurrent sessions will be offered each hour through mid-afternoon. I will be speaking at 9 a.m. on native plant ma- terials. Tree care, pollinating insects, cover crops, septic systems, noxious weed control and much more will be offered at the day-long program. A free noon lunch will be provided, as well The Hot Springs Extension Office, Conservation District and Weed and Pest will be conducting a Ru- ral Living Conference in Thermopolis on Thursday, March 18. The program will begin at 5 p.m. at the Big Horn Federal Bank Conference Room. Contact Barton Stam, Northwest Area Extension Educator, for more information at 307-864-3421.