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Tuesday notes

Aug 11, 2015 By Steven R. Peck

Day by day

Residents of the Wind River Basin get a fundamental lesson in the movement of air across the continent this time of year as wildfire season continues across the West. One day our skies are clear and blue all day. The next day they are pale and flat, with the sun gradually changing color to bright orange as it sinks to the western horizon, its light filtered by smoke. The next day might be crystal clear again, with the following one carrying a whiff of wood smoke to Fremont County nostrils.

Such is the nature of the jetstream, weather systems, changing barometric pressure and other climate and weather factors that can and do affect us, often without our realizing it (until the sun changes color, that is).

Mead on NPR

Wyoming got some national media exposure Sunday when Gov. Matt Mead was interviewed on National Public Radio's "Weekend Edition" morning show. Host Rachel Martin quizzed the governor on the likely effect of the Environmental Protection Agency's newly announced crackdown on carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants.

The governor was his usual calm, well-spoken self, pointing out the obvious to the national radio host: No matter one's personal opinions on carbon emissions, climate change and coal mining, there is no way to make the new rules look good in terms of the Wyoming economy, which benefitted last year from coal employment, sales, transportation, power generation and severance taxes to the tune of at least $1 billion.

Tornado video

If you haven't yet seen the video footage of a the tornado that tore through an area in Taiwan on Monday, make a point to find it. Rarely has video of a twister been captured in such immediacy and detail. Cars and trees fly through the air, and at one point a man is deposited on the ground near the camera, dazed and confused --but seemingly OK otherwise.

It is startling video of a storm meteorologists say actually wasn't all that powerful for a tornado. A lot of them are much stronger than this one. Yikes.

Powerful picture

Everyone in The Ranger newsroom would prefer not to be covering the Center of Hope shootings of July 18, because we all wish they had not happened. But when momentous news does occur, it is our job to cover it to the best of our ability.

In that vein, we have a "photo of the year" candidate in Tibby McDowell's picture of Roy Clyde being taken into custody by Riverton Police Department officers moments after the shootings took place.

Her image of the suspect, kneeling on the street near the Center of Hope, shirtless, arms over his head, with officers pointing their weapons at him, already has been published many times around the nation.

We can't say for sure if a Ranger photograph had ever been published in the New York Times before last month, but McDowell's picture was there as this terrible crime gained national attention. Our congratulations to her for being on the spot and in focus to get the picture. We'd rather this photo opportunity had never presented itself, but when it did, McDowell was there, and she nailed it.

Crowded stage

Last week's first big debate of the 2016 presidential campaign season is reported to have received the biggest television audience ever recorded for a cable TV program that wasn't a sporting event. Analysts are offering up opinions as to why that was, but, heck, just the immediate family and friends of the candidates would constitute a sizable chunk of TV viewers by themselves. That was one big panel on stage.

March for peace

Fremont County residents produced a good turnout on Saturday for a walk through central Riverton dubbed the 2015 Inaugural Community Peace March. Several hundred residents spent an hour or so walking together from the Center of Hope alcohol detox center on East Adams Avenue to Riverton City Park.

The event came about through the desire to maintain a good community climate following the shooting of two people at the Center of Hope in July. Planners say they plan to organize similar parades every year from now on.

It can be hard to know how to respond to such an abominable event as the Center of Hope murder. But a peaceful gathering intended to reinforce community trust and cooperation is better than most.

Here's to a good week.

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