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March 27, 2014 7:22 am

EDITORIAL: Water report was a splash of good news

Written by Tom Lawrence

Thumbs up to a report from the Bureau of Reclamation’s Wyoming Area Office, which says there should be abundant water available to farmers this year.

Lyle D. Myler, deputy area manager for the office, and Mahonri Williams, division chief of the water and lands operations for the Bureau’s Wyoming Area Office, spoke to more than 20 people at the Eagles Lodge in Powell last week. They had nothing but good news to report.

The Buffalo Bill Dam Reservoir was almost 71 percent full, or 457,950 acre feet, on Sunday. That’s 110 percent of the 30-year average, so there should be plenty of water available for crops, they said.

That’s what farmers and those of us who depend on them hoped to hear, so we were pleased and relieved to learn that is what the experts are forecasting. The only concern is heavy rains and a large snowpack that could flow a lot of water into the system in late spring and early summer.

But the Bureau staffers said they have a plan in place for that, too. There were a lot of smiling faces at that meeting last week, and we understand why.

Thumbs up to the city teaming with private companies to resolve problems at the Powell Municipal Airport and the Powell Aquatic Center.

The PAC opened in 2010, and when a pool liner was added to the leisure pool in 2012, it was installed incorrectly. The firm that did the job has returned three times, including earlier this month, to get the liner in line.

They did so without costing the city a dime, and even agreed to a sizable reduction in payment for the installation. If the job isn’t done right they will be back next year, too.

The problems at the airport included a downspout that was located in a poor spot. The water that came from it damaged a 4-foot by 4-foot concrete pad, which heaved this winter. It will be replaced this spring at no cost to the city, and the downspout will be redirected.

It’s good to see the city of Powell stay on top of these problems and commendable of the companies for standing behind their work and resolving the issues.

Thumbs up to the people who braved brisk conditions to clean up a section of the Shoshone River on Saturday.

People with the Wyoming Game & Fish Department and the East Yellowstone chapter of Trout Unlimited, as well as a few public-spirited volunteers, cleaned trash from the river banks and the river itself. More than 20 people took part in the effort.

Tribune staff writer Gib Mathers went along, and you can learn more about these trash-busters in his story in today’s paper. We think they deserved the attention and our thanks.

Thumbs down to the Powell High School girls soccer team being forced to forfeit its season opener.

The Wyoming High School Activities Association took the win away from the Panther girls Monday. While PHS defeated Pinedale 3-2 on the pitch, they will not get credit for the win because head coach Isaac Reyesmejia twice failed a mandatory 100-question test on the rules before the game was played.

In addition, the team is now on probation for the season, since Reyesmejia should not have been on the sideline Saturday. The coach joined the team relatively late after a search for a leader for the team, and passing the test was one of the final steps in the process.

On the positive side, Reyesmejia has now passed the test and can return to lead the team when it plays its second game of the season this weekend at home. He appears to be a skilled coach who has the team playing well.

Let’s hope this stumble can be put in the past and the Panthers can roar into contention this season. We’re pulling for them.

Thumbs up to the opening of the Major League Baseball season.

Baseball has had a grip on America for more than a century. Just seeing the MLB players back in action helps evoke the feeling of warm days, long nights with the sound of the game flowing out of radios and TVs and memories of games and seasons past. We look forward to the thrill of seeing some of the world’s greatest athletes hit, pitch and field on pristine emerald diamonds.

Play ball!

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