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July 19, 2012     Lovell Chronicle
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4 I The Lovell Chronicle I July 19, 2012 CHRONICLE Ions Support our local baseball teams Small towns and baseball go together like vanilla ice cream and apple pie, and itL one of the things that make summertime a great time of year. But is AmericaL pastime on the decline? A recent story in the Rawlins Daily Times examined the decline of baseball in America, focusing on the downturn in participation in Little League Baseball both in Rawlins and nationally. The story by Ryan Costello examined efforts to keep baseball alive in Rawlins but also looked at national trends. For instance, our nation has experienced a 31 percent drop in the number of children ages 7-11 playing baseball from 2001 to 2010 compared to a 20 percent increase in ice hockey and a 44 percent jump in tackle football, according to the Times. The sport has also seen a decline of some 500,000 par- ticipants in the sport for ages 4-18 from 1996 to 2010, ac- cording to the article. And in an attempt to spur interest in youth baseball, Ma- jor League Baseball has reportedly spent $ 50 million since 1989 to promote youth baseball, from forming leagues to improving facilities. Fortunately, leaders in north Big Horn County under- stand the value of youth baseball and have provided excel- lent facilities for coaches and players to use, from the won- derful Northeast Little League Baseball complex in Lovell to the Senior League Ballpark in Cowley, which by all rights ought to be named Peterson Field in honor of Sen. Ray Pe- terson, who has worked tirelessly for years to keep Babe Ruth and American Legion baseball alive in this area. Doug Arnold and many other volunteers have revitalized Little League Baseball in north Big Horn County, breaking the league into four divisions based on age and experience, raising money and for the first time in many years, follow- ing official Little League rules and being sanctioned to play in district and state Little League Tournaments, including the district tournament being played in Cody this week. But challenges remain. Kids, especially as they grow older, experience more and more conflicts from all manner of sports camps and from competing sports like'sceer. Babe Ruth and Legion coach- es seemingly never are able'to place a complete team on the field for a ballgame, and participation numbers in gen- eral are on the decline as older youths find summer jobs or simply decide to give up the sport. Then there are the volunteers - or lack thereof. Peter- son and his right-hand man, Bill Pickett, have given literally thousands of hours of their time, along with a few others (Kelly Spann comes to mind), to coach Babe Ruth and Le- gion baseball, not to mention grooming and striping the field, maintaining the stadium, setting up for games, or- ganizing the team and much, much more. They certain- ly aren't the first. Many others have kept baseball alive in Lovell over the decades. Peterson would give anything for more adults to step up and coach at the Babe Ruth or Legion level - the league is even paying coaches now - but he has had little success, except for a few volunteers who coach in spurts. So he sol- diers on, one of the busiest guys we know, coaching and running the senior baseball organization. Lovell/Cowley/Byron is, by far, the smallest community to play American Legion Baseball in Wyoming. The next clos- est town in terms of population is Wheatland, which is sig- nificantly larger. Towns like Greybull, Worland, Thermopolis, Lander, Buffalo and Newcastle, most of them larger than Lovell, no longer field teams. So here our challenge. Let continue to support youth baseball in our community not only financially - and we could do more in that department, too - but with coach- ing. There are a lot of good baseball minds sitting in the stands or staying away altogether. Orhow about running the scoreboard, announcing or running the concession stand? And perhaps most of all, how about supporting your local teams with your presence. Little League has lots of parents and others attending every game, but attendance at Babe Ruth and Legion games is sparse, in part because games must be played during the day since the ballpark has no lights. (Oh, and if you have $ I00,000 burning a hole in your pocket...) A great opportunity, indeed the final opportunity, to see the Lovell Mustangs play at home this season is this Friday and Saturday. The Mustangs will take on Cody at 3:30 p.m. Friday for a doubleheader and will host Riverton Saturday at 1 p.m. for another twin bill. The district tournament be- gins next week in Powell. If baseball is still America's pastime, let's prove it with our attendance at this weekendL games, and letL also think about helping out more next season. -David Peck Letters policy The Lovell Chronicle welcomes letters from its readers and will make ev- ery 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 let- ters 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, or deliv- ered to our office at 234 E. Main St., Lovell. A strict 1:00 p.m. Tuesday dead- line will be enforced. Letters to the editor Please don't let pets roam Dear Editor, It has come to my attention that the community of Lovell clearly has a problem with vi- cious, territorial dogs. Just recent- ly, when I was going on my early morning bike ride, I was chased a quarter of a mile by a massive, foaming-from-the-mouth, blood- thirsty German shepherd. This isn't the first time this summer I have crossed paths with ferocious dogs. As a matter of fact, I could say that four days out of the past week I have had to pedal like my back tire was on fire from dogs ranging from Corgis to Aus- tralian shepherds. It is the point of this letter to advise the community of Lovell, in town and out of town, to take serious control of their dogs. Over the past few years, Lovell has grown increasingly tolerant to animal misbehaviors, and in my book, there is no worse reputation than that a community can't even take control or ownership of their animals. A story comes to mind when a friend of ours had her whole flock of ducks slaughtered, and there wasn't even a slap on the wrist. Another friend of ours just recently was on a morning jog when a dog came out of nowhere and bit her in the calf, and drew blood. She heard nothing but "oh *blank* would never do that..." I could go on with stories that I have heard about others having confrontations with unruly dogs in this community, some minor, some even fatal. I want to plead with the com- munity, please remember that this is summer, and people like to enjoy the outdoors. So control your dogs, and allow everyone a safe opportunity to take those se- rene evening walks, morning jogs, etc., with the peace of mind that they won't be risking a leg or a neck. Your dogs belong in your yard, not on the road or the highway chasing fellow community mem- bers. It's called Pet Ownership 101, which we all learned when we were very young that having a pet takes "great responsibility." And if you're lacking that, then you probably don't need a pet at all! With most sincerity, Brady Winland Wild horse letter was misleading To the Editor: I felt that I must comment on the letter in last week's paper con- cerning the Pryor Mountain wild horses and the range that they live on. It appears to me that most people don't know the facts on the "roundups" here on the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range. Let me begin by saying that once wild animals are fenced, they must be managed. It would be cruel, irresponsible and inhu- mane to enclose breeding animals into an area and then simply let them reproduce and then fend for themselves for food and water. If there were no fences involved and the animals could wander any- where for food and water, then there would be no real need for management or roundups. But, this is 2012 and not the old' days when anyone could just go out to the range and catch the wild horses to use, sell for slaugh- ter or perhaps just shoot them. They are now protected and they are fenced, therefore there must be management and this manage- ment is "caring concern." There has .to be a balance of population and forage. This comes in the way of birth control, re- movals and range improvements. This is based on the best scientif- ic knowledge that we know of. An overgrazed range will lead to poor body condition for many, if not all, of the horses and ultimately starva- tion. The loss of foals born to mares in poor body condition would occur and many foals and young mares would not survive. The life expec- tancy of these wild horses also would be greatly reduced. While I agree with the un- fairness of large numbers of wild horses being rounded up in oth- er parts of the country due to the cattle ranching industry and mis- management in the past, this is not happening here on the Pry- or Mountain Wild Horse Range. There are no cattle grazing on the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range, therefore there is no com- petition for forage with cattle. The BLM is required to go through legal processes whenev- er an EA (environmental assess- ment) is needed. The public is asked to comment on these docu- ments and if you are an interested party, then you can send in your comments. This is not an "illu- sion." This is a fact! The Pryor horses are a very sought after breed and all of these horses get adopted right from Brit- ton Springs. They DO NOT go to slaughter. Britton Springs is the BLM facility right here in Lovell and anyone can go to see the re- moved horses if they think they might want to adopt one, or even just to check to make sure that these horses are being taken care of. I have to give the Billings BLM Field Office a lot of cred- it: Jared Bybee, Jim Sparks, and others who care enough to listen to the public and not have a "he- licopter roundup." They have lis- tened to the public and are trying to remove horses by bait and trap methods. This is more humane for the horses and I appreciate their efforts and concern for the horses. After all, isn'ttlls,'what Ve want?i To preserve this .special herd of wild horses so that they can be healthy, and survive for genera- tions to come! Find out the facts at the Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center. Lori Graham Director, Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center A successful Big Horn Lake Celebration Dear Editor, Wow, what a gorgeous sum- mer day for a celebration. The day was wonderful, with a slight breeze all day, which we all en- joyed. The Friends of Bighorn Lake want to extend a big "thank you" to so many. We refrain from naming all of you for we would surely miss someone. To Superintendent Jerry Case and his professionals, we say thank you for letting us help you promote Bighorn Canyon Na- tional Recreation Area. To all of the businesses and towns in the Big Horn Basin area, we thank you for displaying ban- ners, digital sign display time and handing out refrigerator magnet reminders to the public. You also donated food and drink items plus sponsored boats for the free boat rides, which helped the owners with their cost for fuel. Some of you tagged your radio and news- paper ads with invites to the cel- ebration. To the area radio stations and newspapers for articles and audio spots highlighting Bighorn Can- yon National Recreation Area and the Sixth Annual Big Horn Lake Celebration. To the law enforcement, AIS inspectors, search and rescue, and parking attendants we say "thank you for helping the visitors in a friendly, helpful way." To the more than 90 FOBHL helpers (before, during and after the event), boat owners and dock attendants, you served the visi- tors wonderfully. It was great to see so many lime green vests all over the Horseshoe Bend area. The Triathlon added contin- ued excitement this year with more than 90 contestants. The under-16 crowd had a great time with their mini-triathlon. Every- one is looking forward to the 2013 version on July 6. Thanks to Ben Zeller and his helpers for another awesome, well "run" event. To the Horseshoe Bend Ma- rina folks for providing needful, friendly services to the visitors. The biggest "thank you" of all goes to you who came to enjoy Big Horn Lake. Come back often and bring your friends. We welcome your thoughts and comments about this celebration. See you on July 6 for the 2013 Big Horn Lake Celebration. Bob Croft and Friends of Bighorn Lake Board of Directors 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, Dorothy Nelson, Marwyn Layne, Teressa Ennis, Jason Zeller, Cheryl Jolley, Stormy Jameson