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Tuesday notes

Apr 11, 2017 By Steven R. Peck

Easy does it

Heading into the middle third of April, snowpack in the Wind River Mountains remains at about 200 percent of average. Sunday's busy little snowstorm here in the Riverton Valley was magnified by altitude and temperature in the mountains. There is a lot of snow up there.

We'd all kind of like to see some warmer temperatures (a year ago Sunday our high was 75 degrees), but it's just as well that we're getting seasonal conditions for the most part. That means highs in the low to mid-50s, with lows around the freezing mark. Temperatures like those won't allow for too much snowmelt in the mountains. What we need now is a trickle of mountain runoff, not a torrent.

Find those eggs

See page 12 of today's edition for the first installment of our annual Ranger Easter Egg Hunt. We've hidden two oversized wooden eggs (decorated by Ranger bookkeeper Marcia McBeath) somewhere in Fremont County. Every day for the next 10 papers, if necessary, we'll publish a decipherable clue for each egg. Read the clues, unscramble the letters in bold, and go egg hunting.

The prize for each egg is a $200 check from The Ranger, a big Easter basket packed with treats and toys, and 10 free drinks from Java Java in Riverton.

Happy hunting, everyone.

Losing a councilman

The Ranger joins in the community's sense of loss with the death of Riverton City Councilman Lee Martinez. He died last week at age 76.

A lot of very useful leadership, experience and knowledge of community matters is lost with him, and it cannot be replaced readily. Our condolences to his family, and to the City of Riverton as well.

Naming the name

Word is expected soon on who Riverton's next city administrator will be. Three finalists came to visit last week, and apparently one of them has been offered the job. The question is, which one?

City leaders want to be sure they have their man before making it public. If, for some reason, the top choice turns down the offer, then the city feels better positioned to approach the next man up if the rankings of the candidates are not publicized ahead of time.

Sometimes that happens, but it's important to note that an organization which names finalists for a position feels comfortable offering the job to any of them. There was nothing official as of Tuesday afternoon, but the announcement is likely to come any day now.

Dow Now

The stock market practically was at a standstill last week, so the same was true for our investment exercise called Dow Now. Last June, with markets enduring a mini-crash after the "Brexit" vote in Great Britain, we imagined placing $1,000 in a Dow Jones Industrial Average index fund, which is nothing more than betting on whether the Dow rises or falls each day. We are leaving the hypothetical money alone for a full year to see what happens.

What's happening over the past month or so is not much. The "investment" has been good over time, but it's hardly changed at all recently. Had you actually invested $1,000 in a Dow Jones Industrial Average index fund last June 24 and simply left it alone since then, as of Tuesday morning it would have grown to $1,156.37 (up 43 cents from last week).

Vamos!

Sergio Garcia won the Masters golf tournament on Sunday. It wasn't a happy occasion for the man who lost in a playoff, Justin Rose, the former U.S. Open champ and winner of the first gold medal in golf last summer when the sport was reinstated at the summer Olympics after more than a hundred years. But even Rose acknowledged that if he couldn't win it, he's glad Garcia did.

Many others felt the same. The Spaniard with the big smile and long, straight tee shots has been one of the popular players among both spectators and other pros for almost 20 years now, ever since he emerged as an exuberant teenager who almost took down the great Tiger Woods in the PGA championship back in 1999.

Expectations were sky high for Garcia after that. He's been a very successful pro, with nine PGA tour wins, lots of Ryder Cup success, and about $30 million in winnings. But he never putted well enough to rise to super-elite status - until Sunday when he dueled Rose hole for hole, taking the lead, losing it, then scrambling back with big putts at 14, 15 and the clincher on the first playoff hole.

The Masters is one of the milestones of the sports calendar every year, and when Sergio sank his eagle putt on 15, grabbed the ball from the cup and shouted "Vamos!" he forged one of the grand old tournament's unforgettable moments.

Here's to a good week.

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2017-10-20