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Lovell , Wyoming
April 26, 2012     Lovell Chronicle
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April 26, 2012

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CHRONICLE nlons 4 I The Lovell Chronicle I April 26, 2012 iii!i Wyoming cuts while the crisis in Washington grows A couple of news items caught our eye this week and are worth noting. Last Friday, due to continuing low prices for natural gas produced in Wyoming, Gov. Matt Mead ordered directors of state agencies to prepare for an 8 percent budget cut for the fiscal year that begins July 1, 2013 - twice what the governor and Wyoming Legislature asked agencies to pre- pare for during the 2012 budget session, though agency heads were warned about the possibility of the deeper cuts at the time. When Gov. Mead prepared his 2012-14 biennial budget last fall, he based his revenue estimates on an estimated price of gas of $4 per thousand cubic feet, but by January, the price had fallen to $3.25 per mcf at the Opal Hub in Southwest Wyoming. On Monday, natural gas was trading at $1.80 per mcf, with continuing low prices triggering the response from the governor. The state loses $200 million in tax revenue for ev- ery dollar drop in the price of natural gas. That belt-tightening is fiscally prudent. Given the glut of natural gas in the market and not wanting to dip into re- serves, the governor has asked agencies to prepare to cut their budgets and also enacted a hiring freeze. There could be further cuts ahead. Wyoming is taking a reasonable, though sometimes painful, approach to a difficult fiscal situation. Contrast that to the federal government, which is spending money like a drunken sailor. The other news item that caught our eye was a report that the poor state of the economy has worsened the out- look for the Social Security Trust Fund. According to a report by the trustees who manage the fund, Social Security trust funds will run out in 2033, three years earlier than previous estimates. Thatt 21 years from now, but according to the report, the disability portion of the fund is set to run dry in just four years, though money within the fund can be real- located. Even worse, Medicare is projected I;o run out of money by 2024 -just 12 years from noW. Of course, the U.S. Congress has raided the trust funds for decades and has basically ignored the problem, placing the future of the programs in serious jeopardy. In their report this week, the trustees stated that Con- gress should address the problem "as soon as possible," but Tuesday story said that no action is expected before the November election. Well, of course not. The first priority of most, if not all, members of Congress is to be re-elected, and that usu- ally means putting off tough decisions, and decisions to preserve Social Security and Medicare have been put off for years and years. We can remember Sen. Alan Simpson warning 25 years ago about the trust funds eventually run- ning out of money. Meanwhile, the federal debt has risen to a staggering $15.6 trillion and is growing at the pace of nearly $4 billion per day. Sen. John Barrasso often says how Wyoming gets it when Washington doesn't, noting that Wyoming consti- tution requires a balanced budget, lawmakers are fiscally conservative and the governor wields the power of the line- item veto. This week news out of Cheyenne and Washington ham- mers that point home. -David Peck 2012 MEMBER 2011 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 Reporter: Patti Carpenter Staff: Gladys McNeil, Pat Parmer, Ii i n  unties $28 Dorothy Nelson, Marwyn Layne, .. i i  Teressa Ennis, Jason Zeller, Cheryl Jolley, Stormy Jameson Puns can be fun This was the week that I was going to explain how I single-handedly prevented the outbreak of World War III. Or I was going to explain my foolproof plan for colo- nizing Mars. However, a friend who is familiar with my fondness for words, and the puns that can spring from them, has provided the following Humor For Lexophiles (Lov- ers of Words). WWIII and Mars will have to wait. So with apologies here goes: *I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me. *Police were called to a day-care cen- ter where a 3-year-old was resisting a rest. *Did you hear about the guy whose whole left side was cut off?. He's all right now. *The roundest knight at King Arthur's round ta- ble was Sir Cumference. *A butcher backed up into a meat grinder and got a little behind in his work. Bob Rodriguez ... or dumb *To write with a broken pencil is pointless. *When fish are in schools they some- times take debate. *The short fortuneteller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large. *A thief who stole a calendar got 12 months. *A burglar fell and broke his leg in wet concrete. He became a hardened criminal. *Those who steal corn from a garden could be charged with stalking. *We'll never run out of math teachers because they always multiply. *When the smog lifts in Los Angeles, UCLA. *The math professor went crazy with the black- board. He did a number on it. *The professor discovered that her theory of earthquakes was on shaky ground. *The dead batteries were given away free of charge. Warmer temperatures than normal This year we are currently about two weeks earlier than normal as far as temperatures are concerned. The low predicted for the next 10 days is 39 on Saturday. You should have planted your semi-hardy plants that consist of beets, carrots, parsley, parsnips, potatoes and swiss chard. This year the end of April or first of May would be a good time to plant tender crops like bush and pole beans, celery, sweet corn and lima beans. Then close to the middle of May would be a good time to plant cucumbers, can- taloupe, peppers, pumpkin, summer or winter squash, tomatoes and watermel- on. Remember, if you are using walls of water or other temporary covers you can plant sooner and remember this guide is for the lower elevations. Higher eleva- tions like Hyattville and Ten Sleep will need to wait a week or two later. Many have asked me about planting field corn. Iowa started planting field corn about April 10 and we are about 19 to 20 days later on average for our frost free days. Iowa did have corn that got nipped. I am recommending to start planting field corn around the first of May. How much in each direction of that date you plant will depend on how much you have to plant, because earlier is generally better as long as it doesn't freeze. It is hard to predict the weather. That is why we go on averages, but as we know, this year is not average. Dallen R. Smith BHC Extension Agent This has been a relatively dry and hot spring, so I am recommending that you deep water your trees. Run the water at a very low volume for 12 hours on the very large trees. You should do this ev- ery two weeks. Newly planted trees need to be watered every other day until they get a good root system established. Wa- tering trees correctly help them to resist disease and insects. Even some healthy trees need to be sprayed for insects and disease from time to time. You need to know what the problem is before you select the product to use on your trees. Keeping the lawn out of the drip line of the trees will allow them to grow three times as fast. Grass below the drip line robs the trees of water and nutrients that the trees need. The extension department is doing a chicken killing demonstration at the Larry Wer- ner residence, 945 Hwy 20 South, just a mile south of Basin, on May 26 at 9 a.m. We will teach the low stress ethical harvesting of chickens using cones and demonstrate the whiz bang plucker that can be rented from the extension office. Then we will dem- onstrate how to clean them and put them in shrink wrap bags and they closely resemble chicken that you purchase in the store. After harvesting chick- ens the old-fashion way, I am amazed at how easy it is with the right equipment and how good the end product is. Letters to the editor A public meeting of the few Dear Editor, I attended the public meeting at the community center, and oth- er than the 12-14 people hosting the meeting, the turnout was very small. It was the usual 20-25 regu- lars who go to this type of meeting and is only about 1 percent of the population. To me, this shows how con- cerned people are about their town. They would rather just go with the flow and complain about it later. I believe you should complain about it first, even if no one listens to your opinions. Although no names were men- tioned in the Lovell Chronicle's article about the meeting, I was pleased to see a couple of my com- ments made it in to print, so maybe someone is listening. About the center median, I would remove it except for the west end curves and go to single lanes, east and west, with a center turn lane. I would put the traffic light at Nevada to blinking caution on Main Street so the through traffic would flow smoothly through town. I don't know how many times I got behind a car that did not use a turn signal, wanting to turn lel at the light with a semi in the right lane and several cars behind me. Aggravating to say the least. I heard the traffic light was placed at Nevada because of the fire department. However, I have seen the fire truck just slow down and proceed through the red light. A remote on the fire truck that would turn the blinking caution on Main Street to full stop red would allow the fire truck to pro- ceed in any direction. The lovely flowers from the center median could be put on ev- ery corner down Main Street. On the 6-cent tax I voiced my opinion against the tax. Although it is for a good cause I am just against raising any tax. If you go to Billings on a Saturday after- noon to the parking lots of Cost- co, Walmart, Lowes, Home Depot, you can count 150-200 Wyoming cars. Many with County 9 plates and also County 11 and 20. .I think the state should join the lottery program like most of the other states in order to raise extra money. Many people think betting is a vice and a sin, but it is a vice of personal choice the same as smoking and drinking is a per- sonal choice. But both bring ex- tra tax money to the state. I have seen a member of the clergy with Wyoming license plates buying lottery tickets in Bridger, Mont. Our local representative vot- ed against the lottery as it was against her beliefs and principles, but I think the vote for the lottery should be put on the state ballot for voters to decide. Enough of my opining. Let's see some letters from other resi- dents about these subjects that were preoccupied with personal matters and unable to attend the meeting. Jim Szlemko Report the foul odor Dear Editor, If anyone is having problems with the foul odor permeating throughout our little town, call Greg Meeker at 1-307-335-6968. He is the person in charge of air quality control for the State. The more calls he gets, the more acute the problem is (as per Mr. Meeker). Tim Harris Letters to the editor The Lovell Chronicle welcomes letters from its readers and will make every effort to print them. Letters longer than 400 words may not be printed. Letters must be signed and include the address and telephone number of the writer, Unsigned letters will be discarded. Writers are limited to two letters in any 30 day period. All letters must conform to the law of libel and be in good taste. They may be mailed to The Lovell Chronicle, Box 787, Lovell, WY 82431, oi delivered to our office at 234 E. Main St., Lovell. A strict 1:00 p.m. Tuesday deadline will be enforced. We're on Facebook Like us at 'Lovell Chronicle'