Tuesday notes

Apr 30, 2013 By Steven R. Peck


Yes, it's true: Another snowstorm is on the way. Weather forecasters say all signs point to another 2-3 inches between now and Wednesday night. In fact, by the time you are reading these words, the snow may well be flying.

Even before the newest storm, this already had been certified as the fifth-snowiest April on record in the Riverton Valley after three straight weeks of early-week snows. This week apparently will make it four.

Here's a not-so-bold prediction: The April snow onslaught won't last much longer. Wednesday is May 1.

Dreaming of a white May Day

In case you have forgotten, it most certainly still can snow in May. The way things have been going, don't be shocked if it happens. Many in Fremont County recall a massive May snowfall in 1975 that left 24 inches in Riverton and 30 in Lander -- on high school graduation day, no less.

Grad edition

Speaking of graduation day, we are planning our annual Fremont County graduation edition. It goes to press in a couple of weeks. Making "absolute" statements can be a tricky proposition, but we'll venture one here and proclaim that no newspaper edition in Fremont County this year will have more names and faces of local people than our grad edition.

Line in the sand

For many months, President Obama, speaking for the United States, has said that the U.S. would not tolerate the use of chemical weapons by the government of Syria against its own citizens in that nation's appalling civil war.

Now, for the first time, the U.S. acknowledges that just such a weapons deployment has occurred.

What now? No one favors involving American troops in a ground operation in Syria, but our nation's position both as world superpower and moral leader would seem to demand a reaction beyond a condemnation from a podium.

The administration is soft-pedaling the chemical weapons accusation a bit, calling for more analysis amid suggestions that it might have been a very isolated use that wasn't ordered by a central command authority, or that it might even have been an accident.

That hair-splitting might get the United States off the hook for its promised response temporarily, but the pressure will really be on if Syria widens its use of these reprehensible weapons.

Five in the 500

Stock markets in the United States have been on the rise again in recent days. The famed Dow Jones Industrial Average is just a good day or two away from closing above 15,000 -- a gaudy height that seemed all but impossible just a year ago.

Meanwhile, our ongoing investment experiment called Five in the 500 continues to track the progress of an imaginary $500 investment in the Standard and Poors 500 Index.

We used President Obama's second Inauguration Day in January as the starting point of the test. Had you invested $500 in an "index fund" that went up or down solely on the performance of the overall S&P 500 closing level, as of Monday it would have grown to $525.50.

D.C. comics

It's always a night of laughs at the annual White House Correspondents dinner in Washington, where members of the news media and government get together (with a considerable number of show-biz types) to eat dinner, pat each other on the back -- and then roast each other with jokes, some of them biting.

There is an emcee from the entertainment world -- Conan O'Brien this year -- but the star of the show always is the president. In one bit, Obama touched on the recent opening of the George W. Bush presidential library. The president said he was already thinking about his own presidential library.

"Some have suggested that we put it in my birthplace, but I'd rather keep it in the United States," he said to loud laughter.

Reflecting on the election, Obama said "I know Republicans are still sorting out what happened in 2012, but one thing they all agree on is they need to do a better job reaching out to minorities.

"And look, call me self-centered, but I can think of one minority they could start with (raising his hand). Think of me as a trial run, you know? See how it goes. (More laughs)

"If they won't come to me, I will come to them. Recently, I had dinner with a number of the Republican senators. And I'll admit it wasn't easy. I proposed a toast -- it died in committee."

High expectations

If April showers bring May flowers, can we assume that April snow means a big May show? Given what we've been through recently, we ought to be in for some spectacular apple blossoms and lilacs two or three weeks from now.

Something to look forward to.

Here's to a good week.

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