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Tuesday notes

Jun 26, 2012 - By Steven R. Peck

True summer

The first week of true summer brought us our hottest weather of 2012 to date, with four straight days of 95 or warmer. Sweat out these numbers: Friday 95, Saturday 97, Sunday 99. Monday made it a fourth straight swelterer at 96.

Interestingly, the National Weather Service certified Friday's 95 as a record for the date, then listed Sunday's 99 as a record as well.

We note again the odd practice of calculating record highs and lows for Riverton only since 1995, when the weather office was relocated to its new position west of Riverton.

Actually, the historical record high for June 22 is 99, set in 1988, and the actual record for June 24 is 101, also set in 1988.

The Ranger will continue to cite record highs and lows based on the entire 106-year history of the city, not just the past 22 years. (This information also was compiled by the weather service based on nearly a century of observations at other locations, and it remains a curiosity that the actual weather records for the city are no longer listed officially by the NWS).

Hot in '88

That summer of '88 was a very hot one in Riverton lore. It's doubtful any single year has more high-temp records on the books. After establishing six record highs in the first five months of the year, 1988 brought nine more in June alone, then two more in July.

That was the year, remember, of the million-acre forest fire in and around Yellowstone National Park.

Thou in the Dow ...

We have a about 10 weeks left in our imaginary, yearlong investment experience intended to gauge how well the nation's major stock index would recover after a period of frightening declines in early August. Would this, some wondered at the time, signal the beginning of an extended "bear" market?

That hasn't happened. If you had invested $1,000 into a Dow Jones Industrial Average index fund, which means your investment would rise or fall strictly according to how the Dow rose and fell, that "thou in the Dow" would have been worth $1,090.09 as of Tuesday morning. (It had risen as high as $1,102.90 during the previous week.)

How the Chiefs reload

Sunday's story by sports editor Bruce Tippets on the exhibition basketball game last week at Fort Washakie contained a who's who of Wind River Indian Reservation basketball talent over the past decade -- and that's bound to be quite a list.

An interesting point was made by former Wyoming Indian High School all-state Al C'Bearing. Now more than a decade removed from his own high school career, he noted that past WIHS stars still attend open gym sessions with the up and comers, playing with and against the current and future Chiefs.

"That's how we reload," C'Bearing said.

It's an interesting concept that probably isn't in play at many other schools around Wyoming -- past basketball players having an active, on-court role in developing the current team.

And, as Al C'Bearing said, it helps explain why the Chiefs are so good year after year.

Fire fears

Temperature aside, we got a weekend's worth of hazy, gray horizons, a sign, no doubt of all the forest fire activity around us. If you wanted a good view of the Wind River range, this wasn't your weekend.

When the winds are right, smoke can carry hundreds of miles without dispersing very much, and there are some big fires in both Colorado and Utah right now.

Caution, caution and more caution, everyone. The Utah blaze that drove hundreds from their homes in alarm over the weekend is believed to have been caused by the sparks from a gun during some recreational target shooting.

In conditions like these, it doesn't take much to spark a catastrophe. It is everyone's responsibility to do whatever possible to minimize fire danger this summer. If we must get a wildfire in central Wyoming this year, let's make sure it's caused by lightning, not human carelessness.

Here's to a good week.

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