Tuesday notes

Jul 14, 2015 By Steven R. Peck

All summer

There are only two months on the calendar that are summer and nothing but summer. We're in the middle of one of them, and it's going to feel like it the next few days -- and we mean that in a good way. There are lots of fun things to do in the days ahead, to say nothing of simply marveling at the season. Take advantage.

Sports editor

By now some readers have heard through the grapevine something that today is being made public and official. Longtime Ranger sports editor Bruce Tippets is leaving the job he has held since 2002. He and his wife, Stephanie, are moving to Utah, where she has been hired as a public schoolteacher.

Bruce's final day is July 25. Meanwhile, a new sports editor is coming aboard. His name is Scott Akanewich (pronounced Uh-CAN-uh-witch), and he'll begin work Monday. He and Bruce will get a week or so to overlap, and Scott then will have a few weeks to get his Fremont County sports bearings before the busy fall sports season begins.

We'll plan to give Bruce Tippets a send-off for readers who want to say farewell. Watch for details on that soon.

Diversions hiatus

Don't expect to see our usual Diversions section in the Sunday Ranger for a while. We're putting it on summer vacation until school starts, when the annual Student of the Week feature page, which usually anchors Diversions on the back page, returns.

Meanwhile, we did present a newly formatted Diversions page in Sunday's Section A, including a new advice columnist, Cheryl Lavin. She'll stick around for the summer as well, perhaps with a long-term run in her Ranger future.

Iran deal

After years of careful talking, and through demonstrations of patience that would try Job himself, an agreement on halting Iran's nuclear energy -- and, by extension, its presumed nuclear weapons program -- has been reached. Secretary of State John Kerry announced the deal Tuesday morning.

While there may be a "deal," this is still far from a "done deal." President Barack Obama months ago agreed to let Congress review any agreement, and it will require United Nations approval as well.

The Republican-controlled Congress, boisterous and disagreeable among its own members, is more or less unanimous in not wanting to concede any victory to the president, and a sweeping foreign policy agreement with Iran is not something many members will approve of.

Expect those arguments to last all summer, with the 2016 presidential election figuring prominently in the rhetoric.

Williams and Spieth

We've already had a triple crown in horse racing this year, so why not a grand slam or two in tennis and golf?

In the former, Serena Williams claimed the third of the four grand slam tennis championships on Saturday, winning on the grass courts at Wimbledon to go along with her earlier crowns this year at the Australian and French opens. Remaining is the U.S. Open. Suffice it to say, she will be favored.

On the golf course, the phenomenal 21-year-old from Texas, Jordan Spieth, heads to this week's British Open Champion-ship with the first two major golf titles already in his pocket.

The professional grand slam has never been won in golf, and with good reason. Winning consistently and predictably in golf is harder than in tennis. Williams has won 12 tournaments in the past year alone. Spieth has won five pro tournaments in three years.

The variables are much greater in golf. The biggest winner ever, Sam Snead, won 82 PGA tournaments, but it took him 30 years to do it. Jimmy Connors, the top winner in men's tennis history, won 109 tournaments in just 16 years. Martina Navratilova won 167 singles titles on the women's tour over 20 years -- twice what Snead did, and in just two-thirds of the time. It's just harder in golf.

Still, Spieth has won the Masters and the U.S. Open, and he won in a playoff Sunday at the regular PGA Tour stop in Davenport, Iowa, for his fourth title of the season. It's been years since anyone has played so well. Spieth has a chance.


The biggest bash of the 35th annual Riverton Rendezvous celebrations is coming up, following a good kick-off last week.

This weekend brings the Friday Night Cruise, the subsequent car and bike show, and the hot-air balloon rally.

A sneak preview of the balloon rally reveals that three specialty "shapes" will be among this year's 26 confirmed balloons. That leaves more than two-dozen "ordinary" balloons, but any ballooning fan will tell you that there is nothing ordinary about them at all. Each has its unique colors, design, name and pilot.

(Incidentally, the "Our Skyscrapers" editorial that often has been printed during balloon-rally week is scheduled for this week. Look for it on Friday, and thanks to the readers who have mentioned it.)

Enjoy Riverton Rendezvous, and here's to a good week.

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