News of Riverton, Lander and Fremont County, Wyoming, from the Ranger's award winning journalists.
Apr 1, 2014 - By Steven R. Peck
Lions and Lambs, revisited
Was that March going out like a lamb, as predicted in the old saying? Our March 31 won't be confused with May Day, but it certainly was a milder experience than March 1 was. A 30-day look back reveals that the beginning of the month was cold, cold, cold. High 12, low -1.
Monday's extremes of 45 and 26 were a bit below average, but we'll give the day credit for being lamb-like -- although it's a good thing the lamb has a wool coat.
Incidentally, we've now left behind the month -- March -- in which the record low for every day of the year is below zero And we've begun the month -- April -- in which the first record high of 80 or warmer appears in the books.
There's nothing like a deadline to get people moving. That's what happened in the final couple of days before the open enrollment period for a qualified health insurance plan under the Affordable Care Act expired Monday night. (And, yes, there will be an open enrollment period every year, with the next one starting in November.)
The exact number will be reported soon, but it's considered likely that as many as 1 million people signed up for coverage Friday through Sunday. That's a lot.
Those of you who haven't been living on the moon for the past six months might have heard that the ACA "Obamacare" law isn't perfect, and that it had some technical problems at the beginning.
Since then, however, millions of Americans have signed up, and now the nation will get a chance to see how well it all works -- with an election year as the backdrop. No pressure.
The truth is, Obamacare doesn't have to do much to outperform the existing system for most people. Remember that.
A new citizen task force intended to address problems tied to deteriorating commercial air service at Riverton Regional Airport. As detailed in both our news columns and our opinion pieces, this is an important topic for Fremont County's economy, its quality of life and its prestige. There are no easy answers, and the situation can use all the help it can get.
Here's a suggestion for all those who have been named to the task force: Knock off the badmouthing of the airport and the airline. At the March 21 airport meeting and public forum, after several people went to the microphone and described their tales of woe regarding flight cancellations at Riverton Regional, board chairman Dean Parenteaux eventually said "everyone in this room probably has a similar story to tell."
It's fine to use a public venue to air some legitimate gripes. Now, however, the task force has a different job. Members, you weren't named to the task force because you have experience a problm personally with air service. Everybody does. Acknowledge that fact and move on to what comes next.
You are not on the task force to illustrate the problem, but to try to solve it. Spending more time trashing Riverton, the airport or Great Lakes Airlines will accomplish precisely nothing. Put your minds and your energy toward something more productive than complaining.
The community is counting on you.
Two weeks ago, in this very space, the editorial writer dared to speculate in print and in public, about the NCAA mens' basketball tournament.
To quote from March 18: "Final Four? Florida, Villanova, Wisconsin and either Louisville or Michigan."
The actual Final Four? Florida, Kentucky, Wisconsin and UConn (with Michigan just one late basket away).
Two out of four. We'll take it, with Florida odds-on to win it all, just as the bracket-making experts predicted all along.
Are you a fan of the innocent April fool's Day prank, or are you always hopeful the day passes uneventfully and relieved when it's over?
We've got both types here at the newspaper office. For some, the day is no big deal. For other's, it's enough to make them see red.
Here's to a good week.
-- Steven R. Peck