By on October 6, 2015

Fired up over the stars and stripes

151007TOU-1Good grief! Jackson Hole, Wyoming has been exposed – largely by right-wing media – as a liberal-minded haven for the PC correct-gone-mad after the school district’s attempt to quash “America Day” for fear of offending…Americans.

The high school’s homecoming week was marked by the cancellation of the informal event celebrating patriotism and the nation took notice. Glenn Beck, Fox News, and the NY Post were just a few of the national news outlets that lined up to give J-Hole a black eye over the decision.

Story blogging commentary was predictably vicious

“This joker [activities director Mike Hansen/principal Scott Crisp] can resign yesterday, which isn’t fast enough! He is a traitor and treachery to our country!” wrote BumsNightmare on one story.

“PaulWBrown added, “I expect schools in states like California to take such actions but it is frightening when it happens in states like Wyoming and Texas.”

Bomb-sniffing R2D2

151007TOU-2_origCongrats to Square One. The Jackson-based tech firm landed a $1.9 million federal contract to further develop their bomb-sniffing robot, “Tri-Sphere.”

Square One has been fine-tuning the design for six years. The company will partner with GH20 and Northeastern University to build more demo models for the Department of Defense.

Antler ban prongs out

With more and more elk migrating from Yellowstone over Togwotee Pass to the Dubois area, state lawmakers are looking to expand the ban on shed gathering with them.

The Casper Star-Tribune reported members of the Joint Travel, Recreation, Wildlife and Cultural Resources Interim Committee are considering a bill that would extend the October through May ban to parts of the state east of the Continental Divide. A bill is being drafted for consideration in 2016.

‘Vailed’ threats

151007TOU-3_origSome Vail residents feel ignored by presidential candidates panhandling through the Rocky Mountain West. Allen Best’s column “Mountain Town News” noted Ben Carson’s $75,000 swing through Jackson. In addition, Republican Ted Cruz stopped by the library for a free public talk and then pressed the flesh at a fundraiser where the going rate for a 30-minute session hosted by a Texas oilman was $2,700, Best wrote.

Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton also travelled to Park City and Aspen this summer. “But where are Vail and Beaver Creek, the supposed favorites of Wall Street, in all this? Nowhere to be seen,” Best whined.

Yellowstained National Park?

It’s not news that Pinedale pushes the envelope when it comes to EPA compliance for air quality standards, but Yellowstone? Grand Teton?

Wyoming Business Report relayed news that the EPA cut Wyoming a last Thursday when they settled on a higher than anticipated ground-level ozone standard of 70 parts per billion, down from the 2008 max of 75 ppb.

WBR’s Mark Wilcox noted that had the agency issued standards at 65 ppb, “much of Wyoming would have immediately sunk into noncompliance, including its prestigious national parks.” Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks both experienced the fourth-highest eight-hour maximum in the state averaged out between 2008 and 2012.

The gas extraction industry blames Wyoming’s cold weather inversions that trap cruddy air. Wyoming politicians reacted predictably.

“Once again, the Obama administration is unleashing a new rule that costs too much while providing very little benefit,” said Sen. John Barrasso in a press release.

Licensed to kill

Jackson photographer Tim Mayo pulled a fast one on Game and Fish. A WyoFile story earlier this week reported Mayo, who has sued to stop the annual elk hunt in GTNP, managed to buy a special park hunting license himself despite the fact they are reserved for “qualified and experienced” hunters only.

Mayo bought a tag over the counter at the G&F office in Jackson. Officials have no idea whether I could hit the broad side of a barn, Mayo said.

“When I did take the [hunter safety] course they had basically play guns. Instructors asked rudimentary questions like ‘Do you know the difference between a turkey and an elk?’” Mayo told Angus M. Thuermer Jr. of WyoFile. “It’s about as simplistic as can be. There is no measurement of marksmanship. You’re never asked to shoot a gun.” PJH

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