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Lovell Chronicle
Lovell , Wyoming
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November 1, 2012     Lovell Chronicle
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November 1, 2012
 

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4 ] The Lovell Chronicle [ November 1, 2012 CHRONICLE m $24.8 million paid off over 13 years...the proposed sixth-cent specific use is simply too large. This newspaper has always prided itself as a progressive paper, proud to operate in a generally progressive commu- nity. We also fully understand that first class, growing commu- nities are those willing to tax themselves for needed proj- ects. Lovell has done so again and again, passing bonds for a new middle school, care center and the town water and sewer infrastructure system over the last 25 years or so. Those projects, as well as tax support for the senior citi- zens center, North Big Horn Hospital and tourism efforts over the years have made our community a better place. We have studied and discussed the various projects that would be funded by the sixth-cent tax, a tax, by the way, that is on the books in 10 other Wyoming counties includ- ing our neighbor Washakie County to the south. When the specific use tax was first proposed for Big Horn County, we initially embraced it, as did many in our county, seeing it as a vehicle to fund some badly needed projects. Sure, the idea initially came from Greybull to fund opera- tion and maintenance of a proposed new swimming pool, but what a great way, we figured, for Frannie to repair or replace its raw water well, Deaver to rebuild its drinking water transmission and service lines, Cowley to upgrade streets or Byron to repair its rapidly deteriorating sewer sys- tem, valuable projects all. There are some definite needs that can be met by the passage of the sixth-cent sales tax, and in the case of our smallest towns, there are few vehicles for generating the kind of money they need for infrastructure projects. But the sixth-cent project got too large and in many cases a needs list became a wish list. Given the opportunity to receive a new source of revenue, some towns piled on the projects: a pickup truck in Frannie, park improvements in Byron, a golf cart barn in Lovell. Byron at one time even proposed renovating a swimming pool that rests in a now privately-owned building: Taxpayers grew skeptical. In Lovell case, the town council considered a number of projects, then added on, feeling that as the largest sales tax generator in the county our community should benefit from the sales tax to a greater degree, an understandable ar- gument, but that,; also how government grows and over- spending takes place. We've heard it over and over in our community: "A golf cart barn? Really?" The idea that may have taken hold was paving the re- maining dirt streets in town, but even then some will argue that other folks paid for their streets in town, so why not those with the dirt streets now? Others will ask: A museum would be great, but is it a need? A middle school was a need, a care center was a need, new water and sewer lines were a need.. And so we are not opposed to the sixth-cent sales tax, but neither can we support it in its current form. We sup- port the concept but not the bloated nature of the current proposals. If the sales tax fails, we propose that the towns go care- fully and thoughtfully back to the drawing board, pare down their requests and return to the voters in two years with true community needs, not a wish list. Cowley and Deaver proposals might not change, but Frannie could eliminate the pickup (a minor amount of money, mind you), and Byron could focus.on the sewer system. Lovell could focus on the museum or look to other needs like the extension of utilities to areas of potential growth or Main Street enhancements, too bad the rules will not al- low Lovell to pay down its water and sewer bonds. In two years we'll know if Park County passed its own fifth-cent infrastructure sales tax, thus reducing the sales tax disparity between neighboring counties, and we'll know whether taxes in general are falling under a Romney Ad- ministration or whether taxes are continuing to increase un- der a second-term Obama presidency. We'll know whether our economy is looking up or is still in the doldrums. Big Horn County doesn't generate a lot of sales tax - about $160,000 per month for a single cent of sales tax. It will take 13 years to pay off the $24.8 million in projects currently proposed. Conversely, Natrona County proposes to pay off a $29.7 million special purpose tax in about 18 months. Thirteen years is simply too long for a specific use sales tax, and we cannot support it, though we respect those who believe in our communities' best interest. As communities, let continue to put our heads together and come up with about half the total amount of projects, then put them on the ballot in 2014. The current specific use sales tax effort was rushed and not always thoughtfully considered. Let go back to the drawing board and come up with some true needs for 2014, the best of the best projects. Then we can all support the specific use sales tax. -David Peck Someone famous, whose name has been forgotten (by me), is quoted as mak- ing the statement that printing someone's written work as your own is plagiarism. And someone else famous (whose name escapes me) noted that although copying someone's writing amounts to stealing, if you quote two people's work it qualifies as research. Wow, some of my schoolmates in yonder days probably should have been charged with plagiarism, especially dur- ing exams. Anyway, this topic arose in my frenzied and feeble mind because of a cer- tain publication. Let's call it Reapers Rye- grass. Some time back I came up with some "decent" puns, although yet another famous individual (no, I don't know his name either) stated that so far sci- ence has yet to find a cure for puns. I've used puns all my life. In fact I've been called a punny guy, even puntifical. I've written puns into the work I did for National Geographic, Life Maga- zine, National Review and Harper's Bazaar. Unfor- tunately, none of the work I submitted was used. However, the puns I submitted to Keepers High Bob Rodriguez pun Chest were my own, wrung from the in- side of my head. So I was astonished a while back to read a copy of Feeders Food Fest and see my jokes printed, but attrib- uted to someone else. They were even in the same arrangement as sent by me. I was a bit steamed at this effrontery so I wrote a letter to Leapers Die Rest stating my complaint and advising that the puns were mine. I received an answer from the publica- tion's legal office. Unfortunately, I cannot read lawyer gobbledegook and responded with a request that Eaters Fly Mess ex- plain how someone else was credited with my work. The answer I received was still more long- winded and confusing legal jargon. Reading between the lines I determined that the publication was sim- ply avoiding a direct answer. So I gave up on my claim. I am still a bit miffed at some of my jokes be- ing credited by Beepers Horn Rest to someone else. I'm letting the whole situation fade into the sunset, although such situations are difficult for readers to digest. Letter to the editor Dear Editor, Just wanted to send a little note to the voters of North Big Horn County. I had a fun experience the other day. I drive the public transportation van from time to time, and I picked up a little lady at the beauty shop. She jumps in the van, clicks her seat belt and exclaims, "This is sooo nice. You know, when you get to a certain age they kinda frown on you renewing your driver's license, so I sold my car. This service is so convenient!" So I said, "Well, what is your age?" She said, "I am 98 years old," and you can only imagine my surprise, and I said," Well, my philosophy is "the North Big Horn Senior Service District will be here, extending all kinds of services, when you are ready for us, and it only took you 98 years 'til you needed us." I wanted to remind all the voters to please vote "for" continued senior services, so we will be here for all of North Big Horn County. Denise Andersen, Director North Big Horn Senior Center A monthly look at the night that the sun revolved around the skies of the northem Rocky Moun- Earth. tains, written by astronomers Ron No less than.the, great Greek Canterna, University of Wyoming, scientists Ptolemy and Aristotle Jay Norris, Challis, Idaho Obser- championed this Earth-centered vatory; and Daryl Macomb, Boise ...... cosmology until 1543, when Co- State University. pernicus published the "Revolu- tions of the Celestial Spheres." A sun-centered solar Our engaging winter constellations rise around system was not widely accepted until Newton's ex- 9 p.m. The Milky Way spikes across the sky direct- position of gravitation and the laws of motion -- only ly to the zenith (overhead) and settles down on the three centuries ago. western horizon. The work of one important astronomer who Slightly to the south of the Milky Way and differed with this Earth-centered viewpoint, Aris- mostly overhead, the two prominent constellations, tarchus of Samos (ca. 310-230 B.C.), comes to us Pegasus and Cassiopeia, can be seen. The winged via "The Sand Reckoner" by Archimedes. This trea- horse, Pegasus, is recognized by its famous Great tise describes the main features of Aristarchus' uni- Square. The queen, Cassiopeia, is recognized by the verse, including a sun-centered system, the Earth stretched-out "W" or "M" star pattern, revolving around the sun and a star sphere also cen- Rising prominently in the east and a definitetered on the sun, but at a vastly larger distance than sign of the arrival of winter is Taurus the bull. This any previous model had envisioned. majestic constellation forms a prominent in the Aristarchus proposed that the star sphere lies sky and is the location of the nearest cluster of stars, about one trillion miles from the sun. The nearest the Hyades. Aldebaran, the bright orange star, star, Proxima Centauri, lies at about six trillion forms the eye of the bull. Orion, the hunter, follows miles, a distance measured only in modern times. Taurus. In his only surviving work, Aristarchus esti- Planets for this November: Jupiter rises at 8 p.m. mated the distances of the sun and moon. He de- on the eastern horizon in Taurus the bull. About 1-2 termined the sun to be 18-20 times more distant hours before sunrise, Venus and Saturn can be seen than the moon. He employed correct geometric in Virgo, near the star Spica. reasoning, using the size of the moon's shadow Finally, don't forget the Leonid meteor shower during solar eclipses as well as the angular diam- Nov. 17. It could be a great show since the moon is eters of the sun and moon. Yet, the true ratio of in a new phase, their distances is actually close to 400. The dis- Famous astronomers: Aristarchus crepancy probably resulted from Aristarchus' er- (Best URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aris- rant measurements of the sun-moon-Earth angle tarchus of Samos) at the half-moon phase. From the time of the ancient Greek world A lunar crater is named for Aristarchus. It is (around the fourth century B.C.) through the Mid- the brightest of the large lunar craters, even visible die Ages, astronomy was dominated by Arab contri- to the naked eye. The brightness is due to it being butions. Virtually the whole civilized world believed a young formation, which is only about 450 million that the Earth was the center of the universe, and years old. 2012MEMBER 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