PROPS & DISSES for May 28. 2014

By on May 27, 2014

052814props

Old Jackson: There’s an app for that PROP

The new self-touring app for the Town of Jackson was unveiled during Old West Days weekend at the Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum. The mobile application is a product of homegrown TravelStorysGPS, founded by Wilson resident Story Clark.

In conjunction with the town’s centennial celebration this summer and with the full blessing of the Historical Society and Museum, which continues its guided walking tours of downtown Jackson, the TravelStorysGPS app truly brings the town to life with rich historical background and interesting stories about the men and women behind the places we see every day.

“School boys John and Jesse Wort lived alone in the original Stage Stop cabin. Weekends, they walked miles home,” the talking app blurts out as your phone springs to life with audio and visual imagery triggered by built-in global position technology.

Story is an area consultant and former director at both Jackson Hole Land Trust and Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance. She also served as a county land use planner.

The app is free for download for iPhones and Androids.

Doggone travesty DISS

Town officials have the answer right in front of their noses. They need to wake up and smell the dog crap.

The closing of Sophie’s Dog Park has left countless locals and visitors without a place to let Fido stretch his legs. That’s a serious problem. As earnest as a butte insistent on oozing its way into Broadway? Kinda.

It is absurd that a mountain community such as this, where dog ownership has been classified in numerous ways as extremely significant per capita, does not have a convenient place in town where these dog owners can let their canines blow off a little steam. Parks and Rec maintains no less than 18 public parks according to its website. To the best of my knowledge, none of them allow dogs. Are you kidding?

In an outdoorsy town like Jackson, I would argue 18 parks is a ridiculous amount of parks, period. Most people who want to get away from the stresses of the city – congestion, noise, pollution, etc. – are going to pack the Thule rack and point their Outback into the woods. They aren’t picnicking in Miller Park. For every slack-lining hippy using Phil Baux, there are 15 lab owners lead footing it to Cache Creek on their 45-minute lunch break so their dog can dump all over the national forest.

A small park within city limits is handy for dogs. They would be actually used if they allowed dogs. Town electeds have been wrestling with the problem for months now, properly saying the right things to media but blaming a tight budget and the unforeseen costs of natural catastrophes as reasons why their hands are tied.

The solution doesn’t have to be costly. What about the newly developing May Park? There must be a place for dogs there. Better yet, dog owners have been not so secretly using the fairgrounds as a place to toss a tennis ball for their mutts. Fine. Fence in the area a little better and make it official. The fair board is and will always be struggling to keep that property viable in the face of a big city influx of newcomers who wouldn’t know a fifth wheel from a diamond hitch. Introducing a new user base to the grounds might just keep it from the clutches of developers in the future.

Get on it, Town Council. Make it happen. This doesn’t have to be as difficult as government likes to make every little thing seem.

Busy body lawmakers DISS

The Town Council is too busy worrying about petty problems that should never come up on a meeting agenda. Unwanted phone books? It’s a nuisance, admittedly, but hardly something we need Big Government to handle. When businesses in town wake up and realize the tonnage of phone books that are discarded and never used they will stop taking out ads in the Yellow Pages and the problem will correct itself.

Also on the town’s plate is a discussion about bums sleeping in parks (dogs are currently banned but not winos) and whether mobile food vendors should be allowed to monger hotdogs on the street like they do in New York City.

Really? Are these the hot button issues of the day requiring government intervention? Hey, I get the mayor’s argument that mobile vendors who don’t pay rent (they do pay a permit fee) have an unfair advantage over Town Square merchants. But personally, a hotdog truck or cart makes better sense than a hotdog emporium with seats, tables, walls and the necessary overhead built into the price of their mustard. I mean, who in their right mind believes they can make rent on a downtown brick and mortar peddling wieners anyway?


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