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Tribune Staff

(April 30, 1990 - June 23, 2010)

Nicolas Gillett, of Powell, died Wednesday, June 23, 2010, of injuries from a rodeo accident in Jackson Hole.

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Powell sports legend Keith Bloom stands among the rubble of the old Panther Gym Wednesday morning. Bloom played in the gym's opening basketball game in December 1949. Like many alumni attending this weekend's reunion festivities, Bloom has many fond memories of the old gymnasium. For a special feature on the old gym, see the print edition of the Powell Tribune pages 10 and 11. Tribune photo by Carla Wensky

$15.7 million budget calls for wage freeze

Tough economic times call for leaner budgets, and like many municipalities in Wyoming, the city of Powell reduced its operating budget for the next fiscal year.

On Monday, the Powell City Council unanimously approved a $15.7 million budget for the 2010-11 fiscal year, beginning July 1 and ending June 30, 2011.

Three of the front-runners for the Republican nomination for governor agreed on many issues — small government, limited regulations and pushing against the federal government — at a forum in Cody on Monday.

Matt Mead, a rancher and former U.S. Attorney from Cheyenne; Ron Micheli, a rancher and former state legislator and state agricultural department director from Fort Bridger; and Colin Simpson of Cody, an attorney and the current Speaker of the House, squared off in a two-hour event hosted by the Park County Republican Party.

A young mountain lion was captured without incident just east of Homesteader Park early Saturday morning.

The lion was spotted at Road 8 and U.S. 14-A, said Powell Game Warden Chris Queen of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.

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Jack Beaudry keeps his eye on the ball during a session of peewee tennis Tuesday morning at Westside Park. Peewee tennis is one of a number of summer programs offered by the Powell Recreation District. Tribune photo by Don Amend

One-run losses send skid to five games

A June that appeared to be rolling right along for the Powell Pioneers has suddenly hit a rocky patch as the team dropped a pair of one-run decisions on Tuesday night in Billings. The losses drop Powell's record to 21-10-2 for the summer. The team has lost five in a row.

Roster for Majors team to be named later

Powell Little League named its 12-player all-star team roster for the Minors Division on Monday. Individuals on the team will begin play as the Powell All-Stars in tournament action this weekend.

Quick hits and short bits while staring at my calendar in disbelief over the fact that I'll be changing it to July next week.

• Where has the time gone? It seems like just last month that I was standing huddled and shivering in wind and rain at the Wyoming State Track and Field championships.

• Oh, wait, that really was last month.

• Then again, it was just this past Sunday that The Sports Guy was attempting to fly into Billings, only to have his flight recalled to Denver due to the threat of icing.

• In hindsight, that decision probably saved him from being on the ground for Billings' first tornado in more than half a century. Funny how seeming inconveniences sometimes turn out to have deeper purpose.

• Now that the dust has settled, it appears all that conference realignment anxiety in college sports was more shadow than substance. For those needing help keeping up with the changes, here's the abbreviated version — the Mountain West trades Utah for Boise State, the PAC-10 and Big Ten gain conference championship games and the Big XII, for now, loses its title game.

• Then again, Texas and Oklahoma still face off in the Red River Rivalry each autumn, so in reality the Big XII has the same title game as the past several seasons.

• I love soccer, and I'm really trying to get into the spirit of the World Cup. It's just very hard to do since I have to watch every game with the volume muted to preserve my sanity from the buzzing of those godforsaken horns South Africans love to blow. Are we really expected to get into the game when it sounds like we're being swarmed by angry wasps?

• Besides, all this talk of growing American passion for the sport is largely window dressing. The Los Angeles Lakers win — yawn — another NBA title and cars burn while so-called fans riot in the streets. Team USA gets jobbed by an official's call and watches the would-be game-winning goal come off the board against Slovenia, and fans have to endure 10 minutes of baseball highlights before hearing about it in the sports report.

• Compare that to France, where government officials flew mid-tournament to South Africa in an attempt to spur on their national side, and you instantly recognize the sport has a long way to go in this country to enjoy the same level of passion it does globally.

• It has been 16 days, 12 games and three states since they last appeared in Powell, but the Pioneers will finally resume baseball play on their home field this weekend. It's a great chance for area fans to reacquaint themselves with the local American Legion baseball roster as the team hosts the Heavy Metal Classic this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

• Hard as it may be to believe, the Pioneers feature two players currently batting over .500 this summer. Grant Geiser and Scotty Jameson are putting the ball in play at clips that most slow-pitch softball players would be happy with.

• Three others — Tyler England, Auston Carter and Colter Bostick —head into the weekend with batting averages at or above the .400 mark. Could it be possible that this year's Pioneer squad is swinging the sticks better than last year's edition?

• Here's a tip of the ol' ball cap to Powell's Kaleb Asay for his recent national collegiate title in saddle bronc riding. Enjoy the feeling that comes from being the best there is at what you do, and good luck working your way up the PRCA money list in pursuit of a larger title the rest of the year.

• While on the subject of being the best there is, how many Powell High School and Powell Middle School athletes reading this column are regular visitors to the weight room this summer? Your competitors are. Championships are won in the off-season.

A few years ago, I did something that I thought was completely altruistic; I voted to pay more taxes so Powell could continue to have a swimming pool.

I considered this a completely unselfish act, carried out solely to benefit Powell's younger citizens. After all, aside from a couple of sessions in motel spas, I hadn't been in a swimsuit in 20 years, and I really didn't have any impulse to put one on.

Furthermore, my wife, who can't swim, totally avoids pools, and our children both live more than 1,000 miles from Powell. At the time of the vote, we didn't even have any grandchildren, so there wasn't even any expectation that I might want to take a visiting descendent for a swim in the pool.

As a result, I didn't expect to get any personal benefit from the pool at all, so why should I want to pay taxes for it?

Being one of those soft-hearted liberals, though, I voted to pay them anyway.

Since then, though, something has changed, and the change began with another altruistic impulse. Since I had not only voted for the pool, but supported it publicly, I began to think I might be obligated to put my money where my mouth is and buy a membership to support the pool. When I broached this subject with my wife, though, she suggested that, if I was going to go that far, I should also actually venture into the water. Not only would that demonstrate real commitment to the aquatic center, but it would do me some good as well.

Well, as it happened, about the time the aquatic center was getting ready to open, information from the annual health fair was advising me to increase my exercise level. It triggered the memory of one summer back the 1980s, when my daughter was preparing for the fall swimming season. I took to accompanying her to the pool before breakfast and swimming five or 10 laps while she covered about 40. I also remembered that, by the end of the summer, I was in pretty good shape.

As a result of this spousal advice and old memories, I have visited the aquatic center roughly twice a week to splash up and down in the big pool ever since it opened.

Now, as you can imagine, after 20 years of not swimming, my first swimming episode was not what you would call smooth.

Anyone watching my first session probably was afraid that he or she might have to jump in to save me from going down for the third time.

It is true that, with swimming as with riding a bicycle, once you've learned to do it, you never forget how — but knowing how to do something and doing it are not always the same thing. I had to keep telling my arms what to do and reminding my legs that they weren't supposed to simply float along behind while my arms did all the work. Convincing the four of them to cooperate took a while. Then there's that whole breathing thing, which has to be coordinated with the arms and legs to avoid inhaling large amounts of water, but I generally avoided that problem by swimming the backstroke most of the time.

Despite my basic incompetence at getting all my body parts to work together toward a common goal, though, I managed to cover a couple of hundred yards on that first visit. I had to take a breather at each end of the pool, but, I figured that was OK, since I was doing something I hadn't done since I was in my 40s.

Well, six weeks later, nobody is going to mistake me for Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps or even for the slowest beginning swimmer on the Powell USA team, but I have made progress. Every trip to the pool has been easier than the last, and I have stretched my workouts to 500 yards or so. On my last trip, I actually swam four lengths of the pool without once having to stop and gasp for air, and I only swam part of it on my back.

This week, I plan to do even better.

As for the benefits, this whole swimming pool thing, coupled with skipping desserts and cutting back on spaghetti, has resulted in the shedding of approximately 15 pounds, bringing me down to a weight I haven't seen since before the last time I went swimming. I'm breathing better, sleeping better, and my knees and ankles aren't bothering me as much as before.

Consequently, I'm counting on the activity to help knock off another five or 10 pounds.

Furthermore, quite aside from the health benefits, I now do have grandchildren, and a couple of them will visit next month. I'm looking forward to taking my granddaughter to the pool, and from what I hear, she's looking forward some time in the water with Poppa, too.

In short, by doing something for my community, I received benefits I hadn't expected at all, and I figure I am receiving a pretty good return for my money. There's a lesson worth pondering in that.

And hey! Come on in! The water's fine.

Page 486 of 508

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