Tuesday notes

Apr 22, 2014 By Steven R. Peck

Easter weekend

The happiest Easter Sundays in memory for most of us are those from childhood, reminiscent of grandparents, green grass and sunshine. Ma Nature cooperated this year. Easter 2014 arrived on a breezy spring day, just as it is supposed to.

Now that we're past the spring holiday, are we ready for a another dose of winter? It could come Sunday, as the great seasonal seesaw between winter and summer tips backward, but just for a day.

Mr. President

Don't expect Central Wyoming College to waste much time announcing its choice to replace Dr. Jo Anne McFarland as the first new college president since the 1980s.

There has been a thorough and well-documented search process yielding three good finalists, including an insider already in the CWC fold (the previous two presidents were promoted from within, not hired from elsewhere).

All three have been vetted with outside assistance, they have been interviewed extensively by the college board of trustees, and each has been evaluated publicly through an open question-and-answer session on campus.

And, by all accounts, each man performed well and validated his selection as a finalist. As one faculty member put it later, "Nobody came out a loser in the process."

Now it is up to the trustees to do something none of them has ever had to do before -- hire a college president. It is a momentous choice to make, but all the groundwork and ingredients are in place to a make a good one.

Gradual but inevitable

Anyone paying attention to the gradual landslide taking place in Jackson is witness to an on-the-job training exercise as an assortment of geologists, municipal government officials, emergency management personnel and construction contractors figure out what to do in response to an occupied hillside slowly collapsing.

Whose department is this, anyway? Who's in charge when the hill you've built your house on starts to slide downward at the rate of an inch per day? Who is responsible when your new business looks like it will be swallowed by an advancing mini-mountain of dirt and rocks?

To quote the song from "Ghostbusters," who you gonna call?

The collected opinion-givers were hoping that the slow-motion slide might stop on its own, but, if anything, it has picked up speed. The consensus now is to try to shore up the hillside. They might as well try. Otherwise the outcome seems inevitable. It might well be in any case.

The big rock

Sunday's "The Way It Was" picture has sparked quite a bit of talk around the office and among readers who saw the shot of the huge rock being used to help mark the route to Yellowstone National Park during the park centennial observances in 1972. (The late Ranger publisher Bob Peck was a member of the National Yellowstone Centennial Commission that year.)

Human memory isn't always razor-sharp more than 40 years later, even if it is still active. Some recall the rock sitting at the intersection of Main Street and Federal Boulevard in Riverton City Park. Others say it was placed at the northeast corner of park, but another contingent thinks that was a different boulder at a different time. And still others spoke of the bright yellow painted rocks that peppered everlasting routes toward Yellowstone (the first time the Wild West Winter Carnival Medallion was hidden, it was next to one of those).

But the rock pictured Sunday never had a home here. News coverage from The Ranger at the time noted that it was hauled east and placed at the Nebraska-Wyoming border.

There were other "yellow stones" in our area during and after the 1972 centennial, but the one pictured Sunday was just passing through.

(And has anyone been on that road recently? Is the rock still there?)

Grim math

In case anyone needs one more illustration of why it has been impossible to find the vanished, and presumed crashed, Malaysian jetliner in the ocean, here it is: The sonar mapping and locating device being used is capable of doing a detailed search of the ocean floor at the rate of 15 square miles per day. The recommended search area is about one-fifth the size of Wyoming, or 18,000 square miles.

Do the math. It's grim.

Carry a verse

April is National Poetry Month, and the period that started Monday and goes through Sunday has been designated Cowboy Poetry Week. A pleasant suggestion from those who would recommend more poetry in our lives is to find a poem, copy or clip it, and carry it with you Thursday, Poem in Your Pocket Day.

As we have done for the past few years, we'll have a suggestion in that day's editorial. Definitely a reason not to cancel your subscription before then.

Here's to a good week.

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