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Tuesday notes

Aug 14, 2012 - By Steven R. Peck

Shooting stars

The middle third of August is prime viewing time for the Perseid meteor shower, but our cloudy skies Sunday -- said to be the peak night for the sky show -- spoiled some of the fun locally.

But we're still in the celestial neighborhood of the meteors this week, and it's well worth a look up -- especially if you're a night owl. About 2 a.m. probably would show a streaking meteor every couple of minutes.

Election edition

The Wyoming primary election is one week off, and The Ranger plans its primary election edition in conjunction with next Tuesday's vote. It will contain overviews of the key races, a full reproduction of the Aug. 21 primary election ballot, and paid messages from many candidates.

Look for the special edition Sunday, Aug. 19 -- and please vote Tuesday.

Meanwhile, look for page-one election coverage every day between now and Tuesday. It's not the busiest primary ballot we've ever seen, but there is a lot going on this primary season. We mean to cover it all.

Katie returns

Through the years we've taken pride in how many former Ranger staffers seek to return to the staff if and when the opportunity arises. We've welcomed back any number of them over many years.

In that vein we are highly pleased to announce the return of staff writer Katie Roenigk, who returns to our staff full time Monday, Aug. 20. She enjoyed a good stint with us for about three years before leaving for a job in Idaho last summer.

She'll have a School District 25 budget story in the next day or two, then regular contributions beginning next week.

Next stop, Rio

Fans of the summer Olympic Games are in withdrawal mode following the conclusion of what International Olympic Committee Chairman Jacques Rogge called the "happy and glorious games."

He's right. The London Olympics might be rivaled in recent times only by the great Sydney games of 2000 for their combination of joyous host, entertaining staging and fantastic competition. This was (these were?) a great Olympics.

If you can't quit cold turkey, the new NBC Sports Network is showing re-edited highlight packages this week.

Olympics audio

One mild complaint to NBC, which did a mostly fabulous job of televising the games (polish up the Emmy statue for Mary Carilllo's features stories on the British Isles right now): The live audio for gymnastics and swimming was so heavily "mixed" with crowd noise that it usually was impossible to make out what the announcers were saying.

Supposedly the intent was to create a "you are there" effect for the TV viewer, but when there is so much clapping and cheering fighting for ear time with the commentators, it undermines the whole broadcast.

Next time, NBC let us hear the experts. That's what you're paying them for.

The next great?

Somewhat lost, unfortunately but understandably, in the wrapup of the Olympics was the performance by the winner of professional golf's fourth and final major championship of the year.

You don't see the game played much better than the way Rory McElroy played it over the weekend at the PGA Championship in South Carolina. His eight-shot win surpassed the biggest previous margin of victory established 32 years ago by Jack Nicklaus.

And now McElroy, a charming 23-year-old from Northern Ireland, has won two major championships at a younger age than Tiger Woods did.

Any time you do something better or quicker than Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods, you've really done something in golf. (And it doesn't hurt when you're more likable than either of them, which McElroy is.)

Haze patrol

Last week Gov. Matt Mead urged the federal government to relinquish monitoring and enforcement of rules covering hazy skies to the states.

Sold. Now who in Cheyenne can we call about all this smoke?

Even 1988, the year of the great Yellowstone fire, didn't bring so many days of smoke and haze as 2012 has brought. It's a bit worrisome for those with respiratory conditions that aren't helped by inhaling smoke -- meaning everyone.

Meanwhile, however, the unusual conditions are bringing some of the most-spectacular sunsets we'll ever see in Fremont County. The sun resembles a giant orange as it sinks to the horizon. It's enough to make you crave a glass of juice.

Here's to a good week.

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