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Tuesday notes

Oct 16, 2012 - By Steven R. Peck

Obama vs. Romney

There's another presidential debate Tuesday night, the second of three planned this election year. This one will feature the "town hall" setting, when audience members ask the candidates questions and the moderator follows up as the candidates move around the stage.

After Mitt Romney's strong performance (in which he turned and ran from virtually every policy position he had held until that night), there'll be more attention than usual on President Obama's response this time around.

The most likely outcome of debate No. 2? Both candidates put in a good showing.

The least likely outcome? Romney getting the jump on Obama again. The president can't afford to let that happen a second time.

Betty B.

Our collective Ranger hearts go out today to our colleague Craig Blumenshine, whose mother, lifelong Riverton resident Betty Fleak Blumenshine, died Sunday. Craig soldiered on through his sportswriting and dailyranger.com duties for us through a very demanding half year, or more, as "Betty B" struggled against a series of ailments. That commitment is typical of Craig, and it has not gone unnoticed or unappreciated around our newsroom.

Slow going

Whatever else is being said about the various state and federal investigations into water contamination around Pavillion and its possible connection to natural gas exploration, no one can claim the inquiry is a rush to judgment. The process has crept forward as if on the back of a tortoise, and it looks to follow that pace for the rest of the year. Another round of public comment is expected to consume a timetable covering the rest of the year.

This is a hugely sensitive topic, both economically and environmentally, with a lot riding on whatever final conclusion is reached. The powers that be are in no hurry to ignite more controversy. Eventually and inevitably, however, they must.

Broncos 35, Chargers 24

Pretty good Monday night football game, eh? If the Denver Broncos do enjoy a new period of prosperity for the next few seasons, it's likely that it could be traced to Monday's game, when they wiped out a 24-0 halftime lead and fairly well routed San Diego 35-24. And whoever that No. 18 is can still play some ball.

Working the core

New information on consumer prices Tuesday showed a jump of .6 percent in the inflation rate last month, mostly tied to the increasing price of gasoline. The analysts are quick to point out that the volatile economics of gasoline are not considered part of the "core inflation rate," and that when this core rate is examined separately, the inflation looks much more tame.

The other item cited for its volatility outside the core inflation rate is food. This always has seemed odd. Consider your household. Is there anything much closer to the "core" of your own spending than the money you shell out for food and gasoline? They are about as core as core can get.

Cross-county clash

The Riverton Wolverines today can claim a distinction they haven't had since the previous century: conference football champs. Riding a five-game win streak and having vanquished more than one opponent that had made life miserable on the football field for Riverton in recent seasons, the Wolverines are assured of hosting a playoff game next week. That hasn't happened in almost a decade.

Meanwhile, there's the very large matter of the annual cross-county contest between the Wolverines and their top rival, the Lander Tigers, to close out the regular season. Lander won an exciter last year at Bill Bush Stadium. Whether RHS can turn the tables is Friday's question. Be at Wolverine Field on Friday night for the answer.

Three in one

This is the unique period in the local landscape when three seasons at once can be seen. Some trees already have dropped all their leaves and are mid-winter bare. Some are in their full fall glory, with rich yellows and reds from autumn's paintbrush. And a few brave deciduous souls are still holding out, displaying their full complement of deep green leaves as if the calendar read July, not mid-October.

These conditions only exist for a few days. Notice and enjoy them.

Here's to a good week.

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