By on May 13, 2015

DISSTongueJim Stanford’s man camp

There is nothing wrong with council member Jim Stanford’s efforts toward alleviating Jackson Hole’s housing crunch with a man camp. It is an admirable dream. It is also wrought with several holes.

Don’t look to string Stanford up for proposing the idea. At least one politician is doing something more than “campaign trail” talking about the valley’s No. 1 problem. Stanford’s proposal the other day at a council meeting was admittedly to “take the temperature of the council” and was a “very preliminary discussion” on addressing an acute shortage of workforce housing. With the Grove currently partially derailed, no idea no matter how far-fetched should be left off the table.

A municipal campground for summer peons sounds like a disaster looking for a place to happen. Yeah, Lander might pull off something similar but that’s not all that reassuring. Labor camps that sprouted when America was laying railroad tracks to connect San Francisco to a developing nation were riddled with inherent problems, namely crime.

The Jackson police force has to be shaking in their boots at the thought of monitoring Woodstock without the rock and roll. There will be fights fueled by drugs, alcohol and the nature of communal living in close proximity on a soccer field or in a parking lot. There will be petty crime, sparked by opportunity and a second-class citizenry with no invested interest in their 180-day community.

A labor camp in Jackson would also be a blight on the community. A constant eyesore reminder that Teton County has become a place for the “haves” and the “don’t have squat.” A valley of gated communities fortressed high in the sky while serfs scrape by on a Coleman stove dinner of Ramen noodles and Dollar Store desserts. Tourists will notice. They’ll take pictures. Word will get out. Visitors will stop coming and our housing issue will be solved that way.

Not even a pot to piss in unless you count the Rec Center, and there is another problem. The Rec Center folks have enough trouble just keeping a roof over their head. They don’t need the added headache of trying to service a community with their primary mission statement while making sure their plumbing can handle the extra load of daily showers and Ramen noodle “number twos.”

The other bigger issue is what is not addressed with a hospitality industry tent city. Teton County needs more housing opportunities for the middle class. Twentysomethings have always found a way to cram themselves into any living situation in order to be able to spend a summer here between college semesters. But what about the throngs of people who don’t want to come home to six roommates, nine dogs and squabbles over who drank the last beer? By far, the largest underserved demographic in the county is professional singles and small families who want their own space, whether rented or owned.

It’s the middle-income segment that is getting screwed and tattooed all over America. Jackson Hole’s unique Shangri-La magnifies that economic hurt. And a tent city in Jackson would highlight that shame for a nation to see.



PROPSFistbumpElk Fest LAX style

Lacrosse in Jackson Hole is exploding, like it has across the country. Hockey on grass is exciting and easy to follow. The game is fast, furious and full of contact. After watching a few minutes of any game I know one thing: I wouldn’t ever want to be the goalie.

Frank Menolascino handles the big butterfly net for the JHHS Boys team. They returned from Utah last weekend with two more wins under their belt. A 10-3 lambasting of Wasatch High on Friday was followed by a 9-7 win over Bingham JV on Saturday.

Team coach George Hein said despite the rain the Jackson team took the field and played some of the “best lacrosse they have played all season.”

The U15 Boys team also went 2-0 over last weekend. The girls were less fortunate, dropping both their games in lopsided losses. They could use some hometown support this weekend.

Lacrosse will be front and center this May 15-17 with the third annual Jackson Hole Mountain Roundup. Boys will play at the High School and Middle School fields while the girls are in action at Jackson Elementary. Jackson boasts a total of nine teams ranging from boys U9, U11, U13, U15 and High School to girls K-2, 3-5, Middle School and High School.

Jackson Hole Mountain Roundup kicks off at 5:15 p.m. on Friday at the synthetic fields with the high school boys team game. It will be an action-packed weekend with plenty of games all day Saturday and Sunday. Cafe Genevieve and Jackson Hole POP: Fine Artisan Popcorn will provide food. Headwall Sports is sponsoring the tournament. Funds were also provided by lodging tax dollars.

JH bombs Wasatch 10 to 3 last friday. PHOTO: JHHS LACROSSE

JH bombs Wasatch 10 to 3 last friday. PHOTO: JHHS LACROSSE

About Jake Nichols

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