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Tribune Staff

The general election race for Park County Clerk has drawn far more money than any other local race, say campaign finance reports filed last week.

The pre-general election finance reports for incumbent clerk, Kelly Jensen, a Democrat, and Republican challenger Jerri Torczon show Torczon with a significant monetary edge.

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Senior Olivia Rogers goes for a kill in the first set of the Powell Lady Panthers' opening round match with Rawlins in the state tournament. Powell won the first two sets but Rawlins came back to take the match 3-2 and send the Lady Panthers into the consolation rounds. Tribune photo by Don Amend

In a disappointing end to the volleyball season, the Powell Lady Panthers suffered two losses and were eliminated early from the Wyoming State 3A tournament.

The Powell girls started out strong, taking the first two sets from Rawlins in the opening round, 25-20, 25-23, but the Lady Outlaws came back to take the next two 25-18, 25-20. In the final set, the team traded points early, but midway through the match, Rawlins put together a run on their way to a 15-9 win.

Panthers' season ends with 10-7 loss to Wolverines

A stellar defensive effort by the Powell Panthers was spoiled by a late short-field touchdown drive on Friday night as the fourth-ranked Riverton Wolverines bounced fifth-ranked Powell from the 3A football playoffs with a 10-7 quarterfinal victory.

The loss ends Powell's season at 5-4 overall.

The Powell Lady Panthers ended their swim season last week with a 10th place finish at the Wyoming State Swim Finals.

With only seven swimmers qualified and facing a loaded field of top swimmers, the Lady Panthers were unable to place anyone in the individual championship heats. Seniors Maddy Jones and Monique Zorgati both qualified for the consolation finals in two events, the 100 and 200-yard freestyle events, and all three relay teams swam in the consolation finals to account for all of Powell's team scoring.

Zorgati recorded the top finish for the Lady Panthers with a seventh place in the 20. Zorgati was in 11th place in the event following the preliminaries, but cut more than three seconds on Saturday to move up to seventh. In the 100, she finished 11th.

Jones broke one minute in her preliminary swim in the 100, her best time ever and a time that would have put her in the championship finals last year, but this year left her in the consolation finals and she finished ninth. In the 200, she stood in seventh place after the preliminaries, but was unable to match that time on Saturday and finished 10th.

The two freestyle relay teams both cut time on Saturday. Jones and Zorgati joined Anya Tracy and Belen Quillen to cut more than 2.5 seconds from their preliminary time in the 200 relay, an effort that moved them from 12th place to 10th. In the 400, Quillen, Zorgati, Jones and Jessica Wurzel combined to cut nearly four seconds and finish eighth. Tracy, Wurzel, Brittany Christensen and Alyssa Smith finished 11th in the medley relay.

Coach Luke Robertson said that, despite the low finish, his girls did well.

“They swam as fast as they could,” Robertson. “It's tough when you look at the final score, but they gave it everything they had. They left it all in the pool.”

Jones cut time in both of her events, Robertson said, and Zorgati's time in the 200 was her best of the season.

Quillen also swam her best time of the season in the 500 and just missed the consolation finals.

Robertson acknowledged that the girls were disappointed at the end, but said they “had trained as hard as any group I've ever had,” and the meet was “a good way to end the season.”

Things are hopping at the Bonner Family Chicken Land. Henrietta, Pearl, Ginger and Waterhead are all laying eggs (more or less regularly and in the correct place).

We recently brought home a new pullet to replace the dearly departed Black Bart. Clarence Anderson, our chicken man in Lovell, called one day, out of the blue, to ask if we were ever going to come get our pullet.

I was surprised to hear from him, but pleased. When we realized several months ago that Gertrude actually should have been named Gerard, the first person I called was Clarence to see if he wanted to swap a rooster for a hen. He told me that three of the five Brahma chicks he bought turned out to be roosters, so, no, he didn't want Gertrude/Gerard back.

I subsequently called another chicken person and arranged to swap our rooster for Ginger. End of story, I thought, though I still really wanted a Brahma hen. Apparently, Clarence and I had some crossed wires somewhere, and I was supposed to have made the trip to Lovell to pick up Gertrude/Gerard's replacement.

When I told Bliss that our weekend plans involved going to pick up a new chicken, she was thrilled.

“Mommy,” she said, “I'm going to name our new chicken Cucumber.”

I agreed, of course — who wouldn't think Cucumber was an excellent name for a chicken? — and on Sunday we headed to Lovell.

When we arrived at Clarence's, we learned he had put our pullet in a separate, smaller cage with another hen so he could easily catch her — apparently, Clarence is not busy making pets out of his flock the way the Bonners are.

So, we transferred Cucumber to our transporting pen, loaded her in the car and we headed home.

About 10 miles down the road, Bliss said, “Mom, I think Cucumber needs a last name.”

I murmured that I agreed, expecting the naming to take a little work. No, it seems Bliss had been thinking about it for a while.

“It's Jamboree,” she said, without missing a beat.

It should come as no surprise that Cucumber Jamboree stuck.

I've yet to hear of a better chicken name!

As you probably have heard, today is Election Day.

Well, at least it is if you are reading this on the day you're supposed to, Tuesday, Nov. 2. Actually, I am writing this on Sunday evening, while waiting for trick-or-treaters.

Writing this column early, of course, means I don't have to comment on the election's outcome, since its outcome hasn't come out as I write this.

Still, as a columnist, I have an obligation to my boss, and besides, if that crowd of pundits on Fox and MSNBC can blather on and on about politics, so can I, and I'll do it for a lot less money.

So here it goes.

The first thing that comes to mind about this election is that it illustrates the extremely fickle nature of the American people. That's not a surprise to anyone who has watched recent history. Every president I can remember, even Ronald Reagan, had public approval poll numbers that went up and down fast enough to give an astronaut motion sickness. Just about anything can fuel these roller coaster rides — military success or failure, sexy interns, slips of the tongue — but usually, the economy is the culprit.

Take our last three presidents, for example. George H.W. Bush lost to Bill Clinton, with a little help from Ross Perot, because of a recession. Remember “It's economy, stupid?”

Toward the end of Clinton's term, the so-called dot.com bubble popped, and the economy slowed down, helping George W. Bush to take the presidency. Then, as that Bush was approaching the end of his term, the economy really took a dive, and that dive was a big factor in the election of Barack Obama. Now Obama is in trouble because he hasn't ended the recession in two years, and people want to throw out his party.

As a people, we are fickle in large part because we have unreasonable expectations of our leaders. We not only expect them to solve our problems, but we expect them to solve them quickly. We don't know exactly what should be done, but we expect something should be done and we should see immediate results. And, of course, they are supposed to do all that without really doing anything that might be considered intruding on our freedoms.

If a president doesn't produce those results, he goes from being Superman to scum in short order.

Presidents and other politicians, of course, bring this on themselves with their promises.

George Bush promised us that all those tax cuts and deregulation would keep the economy humming forever, which it didn't.

Barack Obama made the same mistake during his campaign, promising immediate results through stimulus spending, and most people haven't seen those results as yet.

The result is an angry electorate, giving rise to the other big factor in this election, the Tea Party.

There isn't really anything new about this movement. There have been rebellions by “the people” all through our history, and they have showed up in a variety of ways.

The Tea Party is, in fact, reminiscent of the groups protesting the Vietnam War 40 years ago. Like the Tea Party, those people were anti-establishment and angry at both political parties. Their chant of “Power to the People” sounds an awful lot like the Tea Party's complaint that the government isn't listening to the people. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised that some of the 60ish Tea Party members were among the 20-something protesters back in 1969, although most of them have cut their hair since then.

Once the economy recovers, which I suspect it will, regardless of who wins the election, the Tea Party will disappear, just as the Students for a Democratic Society did when the Vietnam War ended. And even if it survives, it will encounter the same tendency that the Republicans and Democrats have to deal with now: the contradictory wishes of “the people,” who don't want government action, except when they do.

It wasn't all that long ago that people were demanding more action from the government in health care, the economy and the environment. Now, they have changed their minds and want less.

Consequently, it's a pretty safe bet that, whatever the voters decide today, they'll change their minds in the future.
It's just a question of when.

Consider the high number of bear conflicts in 2010.

Over three weeks in October, two hunters killed two attacking grizzly bears near Cody. In the past six months, two grizzlies have fatally mauled two humans and injured others in the Greater Yellowstone region.

Wyoming has tallied a record 251 conflicts between bears and humans this year, from a bear eating corn on a Heart Mountain farm earlier this fall to the recent maulings of hunters, according to the Associated Press.

Including the latest hunter-shoots-bear incident last week, at least 45 grizzlies have been killed or removed from the wild this year in the Greater Yellowstone region.

Last fall, grizzlies were re-listed as protected under the Endangered Species Act, and the federal government is considering whether to also place whitebark pine on the endangered species list. The declining tree species provides protein-rich pine nuts, a favorite for grizzlies prior to hibernation.

Though the grizzly re-listing points to bears' dependency on whitebark pine nuts, some research suggests grizzlies are actually fine without them.

“We have not detected an impact of the loss of mature whitebark pine on the grizzly bear population. Rates of reproduction and survival remain high, and the population is still growing,” said the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee in an August statement.

Still growing indeed. The grizzly population in and around Yellowstone is at its highest level in decades, according to a report released last week. At least 603 grizzly bears roam the Greater Yellowstone region — more than three times the number in 1975, when the bear was first placed on the endangered list.

More grizzles mean more conflicts.

But fewer pine nuts don't necessarily mean more bear-human conflicts.

“In fact, grizzly/human encounters and bear mortalities are primarily determined by grizzly and human population densities rather than whitebark pine cone production,” wrote Chris Servheen, the grizzly bear recovery coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, earlier this year.

Given the high number of conflicts between humans and bears this year — and the many grizzly relocations — it is time to reconsider how the increased bear population is managed by the federal government. Numbers show the bears are thriving in the Yellowstone region, indicating a growing grizzly population that no longer needs endangered species status.

(Feb. 22, 1935 – Oct. 26, 2010)

Jerome “Jerry” Martin Storeim of Greybull died at his home on Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2010. He was 75.

(March 12, 1964 – Oct. 27, 2010)

Mary Roemmich of Deaver died Oct. 27, 2010. She was 46.

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Dave Sweet (left) of the East Yellowstone chapter of Trout Unlimited, and Tanner Rosenbaum, both of Cody, search for trout trapped in the Garland Canal. The group had a good day, with the help of at least a dozen volunteers, 487 trout were captured and safely released in the Shoshone River Monday. Tribune photo by Gib Mathers

A second chance to swim

With water draining from canals for the winter, the East Yellowstone chapter of Trout Unlimited once again is pursuing trout in draining irrigation canals.

As of Monday, around 2,200 trout had been captured in canals and released into the Shoshone River.

Page 453 of 513

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