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June 28, 2012     Lovell Chronicle
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June 28, 2012
 

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CHRONICLE 4 I The Lovell Chronicle I June 28, 2012 Illl ire ns The warnings are coming ominously early. From the Bureau of Land Management in an announce- ment Monday: "The BLM Wind River/Big Horn Basin District is warning the public that the fire danger rating throughout the (district) is extreme and urges caution for those recreating on public lands." From the Wyoming State Forestry Division: "Fuel condi- tions heavy with lingering dead and standing fuels and be- low normal snowpack has created a heavy and continuous fuel bed." From the Bighorn National Forest: The fire danger this week is ' /ery High" and campers are urged to be cautious with fire, although there are no fire restrictions -yet. From Big Horn County Fire Warden Brent Godfrey: "At this time we are not issuing a fire ban but asking residents to be extremely careful." Godfrey noted that extremely dry condi- tions exist in the. Big Horn Basin. From the National Weather Service in Riverton: This week brings "critical fire weather conditions." And only June. That was the point made Tuesday by Lovell Fire Chief Jim Minchow and Captain Bob Mangus during a conversation at the Lovell Fire Hall. The two said the Lovell Volunteer Fire De- partment is bracing for an early and active fire season in the Big Horn Mountains and lands in the Big Horn Basin thanks to recent 100-degree temperatures, windy conditions and a lack of rain. It could be a long two or three months ahead. Already, New Mexico and Colorado have experienced massive fires, and Wyoming is experiencing smoke-filled skies from large fires burning in the Medicine Bow and the Bridger-Teton Na- tional Forests and other smaller fires burning in the state, including a small fire in the Meadowlark Lake area near Ten Sleep. Another reason officials are nervous is that it is Fourth of July week. Some folks get kind of crazy with fireworks, and while fireworks are not allowed on public land, they are al- lowed on private land and on the only, within the Lovell town limits. Just Monday night, firemen were called to a brush fire ig- nited by fireworks near town, but luckily the fire was extin- guished quickly, even before firemen arrived. We urge people to be extremely cautious with fireworks this year over the next few days and exceedingly careful while camping this summer. Watch campfires closely, never leave a fire unattended and thoroughly douse the fire with water before leaving the site. Wyoming clear, blue skies and star-filled nights are won- derful, but weeks of clear skies bereft of rain is rapidly creat- ing a tinderbox Let all be careful while enjoying Big Wyo- ming this summer. -David Peck Letter to the editor Dear Editor, fore they enclosed it and protect- I want to thank Mr. Gary ed it. I have been to the top of the Noth for dubbing me a grumpy Empire State Building, climbed old man, a title I accept with hon- every step to the top of the Wash- or. I have been dubbed with many ington Monument, the top of the names in my lifetime, most of St. Louis Arch and have even which are not fit to print in this been to the top of the world. newspaper. No, I did not climb Mount In the Marine Corps boot Everest, I am referring to the camp in the 1950s, prior to all bar and lounge on the top floor this politically correct garbage, it of the Anchorage Westward Ho- was part of training to be subject- tel called The Top of The World. I ed to the most vile, vulgar and de- have mined for gold in the Yukon, grading language to prepare you helped dig up a wooly mammoth should you be captured, and I had tusk and dug up a three-foot-long a drill instructor who was a mas- dinosaur leg bone. I have hunted ter at this skill, and shot moose, caribou, bear, Each day I wake up and real- deer, mountain sheep and have ize I have survived almost twen- also shot the bull. ty-eight thousand days and can I married a wonderful wom- write more letters to the editor. I an, Alana Tillett, daughter of have survived a major east coast Lloyd Tillett, helped raise two hurricane, the Good Friday earth- wonderful children, a son named quake in Alaska and a forest fire Will, named after brother-in-law in Canada, before they started Will Tillett, and a daughter, Jai- calling them wildfires, mee. My son graduated from Col- I have seen the Rockettes live, orado State with a doctorate de- Gypsy Rose Lee live, shook hands gree and my daughter graduated with Sir Edmund Hillary on his from Oklahoma State. visit to Alaska and had tea with These are just a few things I a member of parliament in New have done on my way to becom- Zealand. I flew with Don Sheldon, ing a grumpy old man. I just want the glacier pilot that flew moun- everyone to know that I am a fat, tain climbers to base camps on happy, grumpy old man. Mount McKinley's glaciers at the Lastly, I want to wish great 15,000-foot elevation. I have been success to Mr. Gary Noth in his in 40 of the 50 states, including endeavor of writing western Hawaii, and several foreign coun- books. I am sure his books will be tries, as entertaining reading as his ar- I have been to many Civil ticles in the Lovell Chronicle. Pos- War and Revolutionary War bat- sibly an autographed copy might tlefields, a bullfight in Mexico, In- be forthcoming for this praise, dependence Hall and rubbed the just kidding. Liberty Bell many years ago be- Jim Szlemko Animals don't Some years ago, a prominent Wyoming politi- cian who believed the single-party "Republican" sys- tem in our state needed improvement approached me. This person felt there was room for another po- litical party. He said that it ,seemed that Wyoming's dominant Republican Party was just too tightly aligned with mineral and old-time Ag interests and there are thousands of people out there who are registered Republicans but who feel left out of the process. This person felt Wyoming could be bet- ter served by having two Republican par- ties. He proposed that a new party be formed called The Wyoming Indepen- dent Republican Party. Thi:s group: :could represent the majority of the 50,000 gov- ernment employees in Wyoming who are Republican. It would also be a means to reach out to those independents and even Bill some Democrats who didn't want to be dominated by mineral interests. I mention this because lately in Wyo- ming, something that is just about the opposite has been happening. CROW, which stands for "Conservative Repub- licans Of Wyoming," were recently formed to purify the current Republican Party. Another prominent acronym RINO, which stands for "Republican In Name Only," in these folks' minds, have too big an influence over the Grand Old Party (GOP). Oops, sorry, another acronym. CROW's chairman Harlan Edmonds pro- claimed in a newspaper column last Sunday: "Of course, CROW seeks to collapse the Wyoming Re- publicans' big tent. Just like liberal newspaper edi- tors and their liberal Republican In Name Only cli- ents seek to protect and expand it." But back to that conversation some years ago. My source also felt that The Wyoming Independent Republican Party could be quite popular in the wake of a 2006 general election when the Wyoming electorate, once again, proved that conventional Re- publicans couldn't elect a mineral person as gover- nor. Instead, a Democrat, Dave Freudenthal, again won. At the time, I wasn't ready to join. But I definitely said that The Wyoming Indepen- dent Republican Party definitely wouldn't work as a name. The acronym TWIRP just didn't work at all. With my marketing background, he tried out a few other names on me, such as: The Republican Independent Party for Every- one? No, the acronym TRIPE probably wouldn't work too well, either. Well, how about simply The Republican Inde- pendent Party (TRIP)? Well, might appeal to some youngsters or some motor home-traveling older folks, but definitely not for the mainstream. At least it's better than Republican Independent Party (RIP). Then, this person suggested the Wyoming In- dependent Major Party. That acronym is WIMP. Enough said. At this point, our discussion ended and my friend walked away with head down and a heavy heart. Strange things can happen with third parties. Ross Perot's efforts with a third par- ty propelled Bill Clinton into the presi- dency back in 1994. Sarah Palin was elected governor of Alaska because of a third party candidate. Years ago, Teddy ] 5t seve!t helped launch the third party Bull Moose Party. Say, wouldn t that be good name for a new Wyoming party? A few decades ago, former Casper Sniffin legislator Russ Donley's pro-constitution, arch conservative group had some mem- bers wanting a new party. The Republicans in Wyoming, because of their potentially divisive membership, used to ad- here to what they called "the big tent" system, which invites lot of people in, even if they all don't agree with each other. But it also invites in the RINOs. Wyoming actually does have a real third party- the Libertarians. They are a hoot to watch and were fun, most of the time, when I was on the 2002 campaign trail. At one Casper candidate forum, there were four Re- publicans, four Democrats and one Libertarian. The Libertarian spoke last and said: "Well, of course, we disagree with everything that's been said so far!" In Great Britain, they have lots more political parties than in the USA. One of their favorites is the Monster Raving Loony Party. I am not making this up. Their motto is: "Vote for insanity. You know it makes sense." On election night, the BBC literally takes the viewer to each part of the country. All the candidates are lined up on stage, just like a beauty pageant, and then the results are read, and the winner celebrates. Right up there on the stage is the candidate for the Monster Raving Loony Party. They rarely win, but I must admit - it's great TV. Although some times it may look like it, I do not think it is time that Wyoming and the USA joined their crazy British cousins by descending totally into lunacy, though. Check out Bill Sniffin's columns and blogs at www.billsniffin.com. He is a longtime Wyoming journalist from Lander who has three books that are available at fine bookstores. He has a Facebook page for Wyoming Books, Columns by Bill Sniffin and his Twitter address is Billwyoming. 2812 E SER 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, Dorothy Nelson, Marwyn Layne, Teressa Ennis, Jason Zeller, Cheryl Jolley, Stormy Jameson f