News of Riverton, Lander and Fremont County, Wyoming, from the Ranger's award winning journalists.
Jul 1, 2014 - By Steven R. Peck
No paper Friday
From the department of newspaper holiday housekeeping: The Ranger will not publish Friday in commemoration of Independence Day, a national holiday. The offices of The Ranger, Ranger Printers and The Advertiser will be closed for the day.
We will publish as scheduled on Sunday, July 6. Our best wishes for a safe and happy holiday.
There's a new baby in The Ranger family. Staff writer Alejandra Silva delivered an 8-pound, 5.7-ounce son Friday, which was her precise "due date." That only happens about 5 percent of the time, according to the statisticians. The new boy has been named for his father, Edgar.
Alex, who also is the managing editor of the weekly Wind River News, will be taking a couple of months of maternity leave. We'll muddle along without her while she tends to more important things.
Nice and cool
It's Fourth of July week and our weather has been more like May Day. Wonderfully cool-ish conditions have persisted for the first 10 days of official summer. The forecasters say that is about to end. Wyoming summer weather -- meaning sunny, dry and hot -- is on the way. We could well see 90-plus degrees both Thursday and Friday.
There haven't been many mosquitoes around Riverton yet this year, and there still won't be now that the City of Riverton has started its daily schedule of mosquito spraying. Not everyone is a fan of the "mosquito truck," but we live in one of the most-active West Nile virus areas of the West. It is a real and proven public health hazard that is improved greatly by the fogger. And, in the opinion of most, so is the quality of life simply because there are fewer flying bloodsuckers.
Unruly weather led organizers of Friday evening's public farewell for Central Wyoming College president Jo Anne McFarland to move the event from its outdoor site on the grass of Circle Drive to Rustler Gym. More than one person commented to a member of The Ranger news staff that they drove up to campus, saw no one on the grass outside, jumped to the conclusion that the event had been called off, and drove on.
It's a fair bet that a considerable number of other well-wishers did that same thing, which is a shame because if anyone ever deserved a big, festive farewell with lots of people there, it's Dr. McFarland.
As it was, those who made it to the gym had a nice time, heard some choice remarks from an impressive lineup of speakers, and got a chance to give a well-earned ovation to one of the community's most significant individuals.
One of the interesting cases to come before the U.S, Supreme Court this session was decided Monday, when the court, in its typical 5-4 split, ruled that a private employer could get away with not abiding by the Affordable Care Act, which is federal law, if they object on religious grounds to providing health insurance that covers birth control for women.
It won't take long, of course, for religion-based challenges to be raised in the courts on other aspects of health care, such as mandatory vaccinations, certain blood transfusions, other prescription drugs, and even some aspects of prenatal care. Each of these has found an opponent citing religion as the objection.
The U.S. government has had a complicated, conflicted relationship with religion dating to the origins of the republic. This case -- broadly argued but narrowly ruled, and on a 5-4 split to boot -- probably won't change that age-old situation.
Sign of the season
While we are still waiting for the hot weather that normally accompanies the month, another sign of the season is showing itself. Smoke from some faraway place drifted into the Wind River Valley overnight. Wildfire season is here.
Some fires are unavoidable. Let's all take the pledge today to do what we can to prevent the others.
Here's to a good week.