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March 18, 2010

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4 I The Lovell Chronicle I March 18, 2010 www.LovellChronicle.com nS Tournament fever in Las Vegas Basketball tournaments are great fun as any north Big Horn County hoops fan can attest, but my fam- ily attended a tournament last week that ramped up the fun factor in a big way - the Mountain West Conference Championships in Las Vegas. Wyoming high school officials have put the kibosh on cheering to such a great degree in the name of good David Peck sportsmanship that it almost seems like rooting for your home team is more of a chore than a pleasure. Not so at the college level. At the Thomas and Mack, fans were free to whoop it up to their heart's content, and what fun it was! Of course, the Wyoming Cowboys are horrible and made a quick exit from the tournament, falling to Air Force in the pigtail game, but the Cowgirls and Lovell's own Kris- ten Schemer made us proud by ousting the host UNLV Lady Rebels in round one before giving eventual tournament champion San Diego State a battle in the second round be- fore falling. We saw some great basketball in Las Vegas. The men's semifinal games Friday night featuring New Mexico vs. San Diego State and BYU vs. UNLV were as fine a pair of college basketball games as I've seen in a long time. (But then I am a Wyoming Cowboys fan, so my hunger for quality basket- ball is probably greater than other college fans since we've been starved for so long.) Before a sellout crowd of 18,500 at the Thomas and Mack, with legendary UNLV coach Jerry Tarkanian in atten- dance, SDSU edged New Mexico 72-69 and UNLV stopped BYU 70-66 in a game that began with a truly amazing dis- play of three-point shooting by both squads. But what truly made the tournament great fun was the interaction among fans from the various schools. There were only a couple of hundred Air Force fans and maybe 37 Colorado State fans - I'm not kidding - but there were thousands of New Mexico and UNLV fans, several hundred Wyoming, BYU and Utah fans and a goodly number of TCU and San Diego State fans. The arena was awash in red led by the Lobos and Reb- els and joined by smaller number of Ute and Aztec fans. One tall Aztec fan said to me as he slid by me to take his seat after spying my Wyoming,cap, "You have great colors! You're not red like everybody else,..The losers of this tourna- ment should have to change their team colors!" We saw lots of Utah and BYU fans banding together to root against the top-seeded Lobos. Don't believe it when Ute and Cougar fans tell you they are fierce rivals in the Beehive State. We found that we had a great affinity with New Mexi- co fans. They seem to be friendly, laid-back folks who are passionate about their Lobo basketball - both women's and men's. And when some Wyoming fans wore specially- made shirts reading "Alford Was Right" referring to com- ments made by New Mexico coach Steve Alford about a BYU player, for which he later apologized, Lobo fans ate it up. One fellow bought the shirt off the back of one Wyoming fan, and photos of the shirts reportedly made the Lobo fan Website. UNLV fans are also passionate about their basketball. One fellow wearing a Larry Johnson jersey sitting in the row in front of us was practically hugging everybody in sight af- ter big plays during the BYU-UNLV game. But I have to say that the UNLV "Re---bles, Re---bles" tomahawk chop cheer is really, really annoying. The other thing we discovered was that no one likes BYU, perhaps because the Cougars have been so good over the years. Many fans booed when the Cougar players - long after their game against TCU Thursday night -- simply en- tered the arena from the interview area to go through the tunnel at floor level and get on their bus. And when the Cougars began to take the floor for their UNLV semifinal Friday night, the poor chap in front of me wearing a BYU shirt had already plugged his ears in antici- pation of the cascade of boos. Another guy near us wore a BYU T-shirt until the Cou- gars lost to UNLV, then wore a Wyoming shirt for Saturday afternoon's finals. As a Wyoming fan, after seeing such great basketball with awesome shooting, passing, athleticism and defense, I yearn for a return to glory by the Cowboys, but I don't see it happening any time soon. And although there was a large Wyoming crowd early in the tournament at the T&M, many left aEer the Cow- girls were eliminated. And that surely disappointed the beer vendors and the local watering holes, given Wyoming fans' reputation for having a good time. Indeed, Las Vegas Review-Journal sports columnist Ron Kantowski put it this way in a Friday column about his attempt to find "tournament atmosphere" in Las Ve- gas: "When I arrived (at PT's Pub on Tropicana Avenue), this particular watering hole wasn't like wildebeest on the Serengeti during the rainy season. It was so quiet that a guy was reading a book at the bar. "This is what happens when Wyoming gets bounced early." Truer words were never spoken, but we still had a lot of fun. Hindsight is 2020 Welcome to the 10's, the most awk- (in North America, about ward decade since 1910. What will we call this decade when we look back? The tens? The teens? The adolescent years? The next 10 years promise to expand on the traditions and technologies laid out over the history of humankind, and as always, no one really knows how much impact the changes of the next 10 years will make. It seems impossible to make an accurate guess. Recently, from my perspective, we have been entering some crazy times - the years that 1970s futuristic movies were based on, showcasing on the silver screen the crazy twists and turns of tech- nology and society beyond the year 2000. I've been waiting all these years and I'm disappointed I don't have a flying car or a hover board yet. In the next decade, people born in 1999 will be legal to drink alcohol. On their birthdays I was a sophomore in high school, and I remember partying in'99 like it was yesterday. Now I feel old. In the next decade, drug use that has been il- legal in the U.S. for more than 70 years could be deemed as acceptable, as states and municipalities around the country legalize medical marijuana and/ or personal use of marijuana. The debate about this issue is a raging ongoing exchange; with some tout- ing the regulation of marijuana as the savior to crip- pled state budgets and others worried that it could open the door to many more serious problems in so- ciety. The Internet will continue to spread its web of cables, wireless networks and other modes of ser- vice, allowing a large percentage of the human race to be interfaced on the global level, sharing information more easily as giant corporations like Google and Microsoft develop new ways to use the Web. According to the Internet World Statistics, the number of Internet users grew from 360 million in 2000 to 1.7 billion in September of 2009. This num- ber represents 25 percent of the world population Brad Devereaux A Flock of Words 75 percent of the population is online). While we might not ever see anything close to 100 percent of the world population on the Internet, the Web is still growing with no signs of stopping. Technology is advancing, continuing on a bell curve that is approaching a ver- tical line of new developments. Universi- ties have begun throwing billions of dol- lars at nanotechnology research, which some think, once 'realized, could impact every area of our lives. The world's largest atom smasher in Geneva began a new research program last month, increasing the energy used to smash protons into each other in hopes of revealing secrets of matter in the uni- verse. The $10 billion machine was dam- aged after it began smashing a year ago, but it came back online in mid-2009 and has been running smoothly since. Scientists think the machine could shed light on phenomena scientist have theorized about for years, like dark matter, antimatter, black holes and the creation of the universe, also known as the Big Bang Theory. Others are scared that it could have a negative effect, like creating a black hole that sucks the earth and all of its inhabitants in, never to be seen again. If that happens, I guess we'll never know. Come to think of it, what did we call the past 10 years? I guess "the 2,000s." We seem to have made it through the past 10 years OK, even with the con- stant threats of A1 Qaeda, anthrax, global warming, H1N1, Craigslist stalkers and txtin' n drivin. The next 10 years will be a wild ride. Who knows what will be the big news stories in the next decade. The first woman president, World War III, the cre- ation of perpetual motion and clean renewable ener- gy, or a society that makes great leaps toward being in harmony with nature are all possibilities. I wonder what percentage of future generations will be reading the Lovell Chronicle on ultra-thin portable LED screens. I guess we'll have to wait and see, because hindsight is 2020. Health bill to be 'deemed' passed An up or down vote on the health care reform bill is looking unlikely, yet it ap- pears by this weekend the deed will be done. This controversial entitlement pro- gram, which in part mandates Americans to buy health insurance, will probably be "deemed passed." It's just one more ploy. The reconcili- ation package contains the changes and amendments that President Obama put into the Senate bill on health care. Nan- cy Pelosi has said that she is now look- ing into the possibility of using a process known as "deem and pass." It has been used before, but never for anything this massive and expensive. "It's more insider and process-orient- ed than most people want to know," she said Monday. "But I like it because people don't have to vote on the Senate bill." The House will vote on the reconciliation pack- age as a "rule vote." They want us to believe that they are voting on a reconciliation rule and on the more palatable fixes to the bill, not the reform bill it- self. There is a line in that package which says that as soon these changes pass, the bill which they affect is automatically assumed to have been previously passed, when the votes are tallied and if the recon- ciliation package passes and is signed by the presi- dent, the health care bill was passed retroactively. Just how dumb do they think Americans are? Our kids and grandkids are about to be saddled with huge new law and not a single member of Con- gress actually will have signed it. All they have to do is vote on the "changes" and the health care bill is "deemed" law. The majority of them haven't even read it. Nobody on Capitol Hill agrees on how much this will cost. Nobody agrees on how it will be paid for. Nobody agrees on how this will affect Medicare. No- body can tell us how people who can barely afford groceries are supposed to be able to buy mandated health insurance. Nobody up there can say for sure whether this bill will or will not use taxpayer money to fund abortions. Most of those pushing this par- liamentary farce through believe that the average American hasn't got the sense to see this for what it is - the elite telllng us to sit down and shut up ]e- cause they alone know what's good for us. They claim that this bill will lower insurance premiums. How, by undercutting the insurance companies? Supposedly Medicare/Medicaid will be made solvent. How, by further reductions in fees for services to doctors and hospitals? They tell us that we will be able to keep our current insurance plans and doctors. How will that work when both are out Diane Badget View from the soapbox of business? The legislature should be ashamed of this. Most Americans don't want this par- ticular bill. It smacks of shady deals. The unions are threatening Representatives who are undecided or who are leaning to- ward a "no" vote. Parliamentary rule is being voted on instead of the substance of the bill. If this bill is so doggone good why has it taken all of this conniving to get it done? With this "deem and pass" vote, this bill can become law without single Repre- sentative facing constil;ubnts back home and explaining a yes or no on health care. Keeps everybody happy and in office, right? How much has this cost us so far just in hiring extra staff, paying for late night sessions and in printing supplies? Just in case you hadn't heard, in an attempt to persuade lawmakers still on the fence, the student loan reform package has been sneaked into health care reform. That kind of sweetens the pot for some, doesn't it? What heros! Let's not forget that this plan will "create jobs!" Unfortunately they are government jobs. Have you seen the size of the bureaucracy this monstrosity will create? There is no doubt that there are aspects of our health care system that need improvement. We need to change the way insurance companies take advantage of fine print, denying coverage for pre- existing conditions and dropping coverage if some- one becomes seriously ill. Premium costs need to be brought under control and made much more afford- able. We need to allow purchase of health insurance across state lines. We must aggressively pursue Medicare/Medicaid fraud wherever it exists and punish the perpetrators with more than a slap on the wrist. Frivolous law- suits lead to unneeded testing and malpractice in- surance rates drive operating costs up for our health care providers - costs which must be passed on to patients - so Tort reform should be on the table. Why couldn't they tackle those things one at a time instead of all at once? The most obvious rea- sons are arrogance and power. When we "owe" the government for our safety, prosperity and daily lives then we have given the government the power to rule us instead of the right to lead us. The whole reason for this "deem and pass" vote is because the majority has realized that it proba- bly doesn't have enough votes to pass health reform. Well, DUH! If they don't have enough votes to pass the bill then maybe the bill just shouldn't pass! Nah, that'll never fly. It's too obvious. Letter to the editor Separated yard waste accepted at farm Editor: On a trial basis, Blue 80 Con- struction is happy to accept yard waste delivered to our farm at no charge. We will accept yard waste ev- ery Saturday through May from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. We are locat- ed seven miles east of Lovell at 606 Hwy. 14A East. Grass clippings, leaves and compost will need to be separated from wood debris on site. No gar- bage will be accepted. Compost waste will be incorporated into heavy soils to increase tilth, and wood waste will be burned in a pit, ashes to be used for selective horse-powered organic farming in the future. Please check out the "composting" link on our Website, www.icfinstall.com for further specific information. Kevin Schilthuis, President Blue 80 Construction Company Lovell 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 SUBSCRIPTION RATES In Big Horn and Park Counties $25 In Wyoming $35 Outside Wyoming $40