Wyoming Legislature update ?March 17, 2021 (posted 3/17/2021)
Albert Sommers, House District #20 Representative
Hello Sublette County, this is Albert Sommers reporting to you from Cheyenne on March 17th, 2021. The city of Cheyenne is slowly digging its way out of the record-breaking storm that hit on Saturday and Sunday.
Today, the House passed 9 bills on 3rd Reading, including HB0079, Subdivisions, which provides more flexibility for family member land divisions. HB0112, Lifetime pioneer trapper license, creates a reduced priced pioneer license for trappers over 65 years of age with 30 years of residency. HB0116, Concealed carry-residency requirement - 2, allows non-residents with conceal carry permits from other states to conceal carry in Wyoming. I supported all of these bills on 3rd Reading.
The House heard three bills on 2nd Reading, including HB0173, School finance funding - 2, the complete solution for Wyoming抯 K12 funding shortfall. This bill includes reductions, revenue diversions, and a penny sales tax for education when Wyoming抯 "Rainy Day" fund hits $650 million. We started the day with about $31 million in annual reductions to K12 funding, and I think we ended by cutting around $70 million.
An amendment was brought to take central office personnel and activities out of the block grant, which will make it harder for local school boards to pay their superintendents above what the funding model allows. This amendment also takes away local school boards?authority to spend more for activities than the model provides. Another amendment eliminated a proposed diversion of a revenue flow from savings to K12 funding.
I will try to bring back a part of this revenue flow tomorrow in a 3rd Reading amendment. I am also contemplating an amendment that would put activities back in the block grant. This bill was debated for hours today, and I expect it will be heavily debated again tomorrow.
I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or comments.
First bluebird reported ?March 17 (posted 3/17/2021)
Emily Ray wrote in to say she spotted a bluebird south of Pinedale today (Wednesday, March 17, 2021).
Our migratory birds are returning. We抳e heard reports of Canada geese, redwing blackbirds, and now bluebirds. Waiting to hear sightings/pictures of sandhill cranes, robins and hummingbirds (and any other signs of spring, like green leaves!). email@example.com
VFW Spring Fling Vendor & Craft Fair March 20 (posted 3/17/2021)
VFW Post 4801 in Pinedale is hosting a Spring Fling Vendor & Craft Fair on Saturday, March 20th from 10AM to 4PM. There will be lots of variety including items for Easter, little girls?clothing, Easter chocolates, plants, and more from local crafters and vendors. There is no entry fee. A portion of the proceeds will go towards the VFW Veteran抯 golf tournament in August. Tables for this fair are sold out, but they are thinking of doing another fair in April or May, so stay tuned. Pioneer Smokehouse will be onsite with ribs and pulled pork for lunch. For more information, call Pamela Cowling 307-349-3079.
Nordic Ski Trail Grooming Report ?March 17, 2021 (posted 3/17/2021)
Mike Looney, Groomer
Wednesday, 9:45AM: All trails above groomed this morning except Heart Attack. 28F degrees. Several inches of new snow between yesterday and last night. Road is not plowed yet ?there is a heavy dusting of snow. There might be some slick spots.
This Nordic Ski Trail grooming report is courtesy of the Sublette County Recreation Board.
White Pine-Kelly Park Ski Trail Map - (10.3MB PDF)
CCC Ponds Ski Trail Map - (1.84MB PDF)
Road and Weather links
www.visitpinedale.org Pinedale tourism website (links to lodging, dining, area information)
www.whitepineski.com White Pine Resort, 307-367-6606, (Nearby alpine skiing, food services, restroom)
www.greatoutdoorshop.com The Great Outdoor Shop, 307-367-2440
www.sublettechamber.com Local businesses & services, 307-367-2242
www.golfpinedale.com Rendezvous Meadows Golf Course (Additional Nordic ski trails, food services, restroom)
Wyoming Legislature update ?March 16, 2021 (posted 3/16/2021)
Albert Sommers, House District #20 Representative
Hello Sublette County, this is Albert Sommers reporting to you from Cheyenne on March 16th, 2021. The long-awaited blizzard hit Cheyenne Saturday night through Sunday. The storm left over two feet of snow in Cheyenne and up to four feet in other parts of the state. This was the "snowmageddon" that had been predicted. Between snow and wind, the city of Cheyenne froze up and nothing moved but snowmachines. By mid-day on Monday, some traffic was beginning to move, but even through Tuesday morning the city was still a quagmire of stranded vehicles and one lane traffic.
Needless to say, the Legislature cancelled its calendar for Monday and Tuesday, but we hope to resume work on Wednesday, if enough staff can make it to the Capitol to facilitate the work. We will make up the days by extending the session further into April or by working weekends. It is likely we will push back 2nd Reading on HB0173, School finance funding-2, until Thursday. This bill is the multi-faceted solution to Wyoming抯 K12 funding shortfall, and it includes funding reductions, revenue diversions, and a penny sales tax for education when Wyoming抯 "Rainy Day" fund drops below $650 million. Amendments have been drafted that will debate central office salaries, activities, revenue flows, reserves, phased-in cuts, and whether this last COVID year should be removed from the ADM calculations.
This debate is too important to occur with Legislators absent due to the storm, and that is why we will likely move the bill out another day.
I really worry about the livestock producers where this storm hit. We have reports of ranchers not being able to reach their animals to feed them. For those producers who haven抰 been able to reach their cattle or who are calving or lambing during this storm, it is a nightmare come true. My heart goes out to all those folks battling its aftermath.
I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or comments.
Big Piney Municipal Election May 11th (posted 3/16/2021)
Candidate filing deadline March 24th
The Town of Big Piney will hold their municipal elections on Tuesday, May 11, 2021. Polls will be open from 8AM to 7PM. There are two four-year Town Council seats open for election. The candidate filing deadline is 4PM on Wednesday, March 24, 2021. Applications can be picked up from the Town Clerk at Big Piney Town Hall. These are nonpartisan positions. Municipal officers must be qualified electors residing in the municipality.
2021 Virtual Wyoming State Science Fair Award Results (posted 3/16/2021)
Pinedale and Big Piney winners
Fisher Mills & Reece Woolwine (7th grade); Pinedale Middle School; Pinedale, WY "Oh Deer!"
1st Place Jr. Division Animal Science Category
Mini-Internship in Data Science hosted by WEST, Inc. and funded by WY EPSCoR
University of Wyoming Geological Museum Jr. Division Award
Emma York & Chelsea Wright (8th grade); Big Piney Middle School; Big Piney, WY
"The Effect of Drinking Liquids on Brine Shrimp"
Award Received: 2nd Place Jr. Division Animal Science Category
Kamia Runyan (7th grade); Big Piney Middle School; Big Piney, WY
"The Effect of the Full Moon Phases on the Night Time Activity in Dogs, Cats, and Horses Behavior"
Addalee Cunningham, Natylie Evans & Kaydence Guest
(7th grade); Big Piney Middle School; Big Piney, WY
"Genetic Effects on Fingerprints"
Award Received: 1st Place Jr. Division Biochemistry/Cellular & Molecular Biology Category
Decker Normington (7th grade); Pinedale Middle School; Pinedale, WY
Award Received: 3rd Place Jr. Division Biomedical & Health Category
Magdalena Jones & Catie Langlois (7th grade); Big Piney Middle School; Big Piney, WY "The Purpose of Eggs in Cookies"
Award Received: 3rd Place Jr. Division Chemistry Category
William Hibbert (8th grade); Big Piney Middle School; Big Piney, WY
"Engineering a Wind Splitter for Semi-truck Cargo Trailers to Reduce Sail Effects of High Crosswinds"
US Metric Association Award
2nd Place Jr. Division Engineering Category
Wyoming NASA SpaceGrant Special Award
American Institute for Aeronautics & Astronautics 2nd Place
Jr. Division Award
Tryzman Green (8th grade); Big Piney Middle School; Big Piney, WY
"The Effect of UV Sterilization on Cloth Mask Bacteria"
Award Received: 3rd Place Jr. Division Microbiology Category
Hays Espenscheid & Zeferino Zuniga (7th grade); Big Piney Middle School; Big Piney, WY "The Effect of Marinades on Bacteria Growth on Steak"
Award Received: UW Department of Mathematics & Statistics 3rd Place Jr. Division Award
Cael Espenscheid & Cole Walton (8th grade); Big Piney
Middle School; Big Piney, WY "How Much Does Water Quality Account for Grass Growth?: Creek Water vs Return Flow Water"
Lesair Environmental, Inc. Award
Laramie Rivers Conservation District Award
Rocky Mountain Water Environment Association 2nd Place Jr.
Sublette P&Z Workshop on short-term rentals March 25 (posted 3/16/2021)
The Sublette County Planning & Zoning Commission invites interested parties to a public workshop on Thursday, March 25, 2021 at 6:00PM in the Lovatt Room of the Pinedale Library. This workshop seeks input on the possible development of County policies regarding short-term rentals in the unincorporated areas of Sublette County. Due to the maximum occupancy guidance of 50 persons, written comments submitted to the P&Z Department are preferred. A link for virtual attendance will be posted at www.sublettewyo.com and http://www.facebook.com/SubletteCountyWY/.
Town of Pinedale encourages residents to keep running water line bleeders (posted 3/16/2021)
Don抰 be fooled by warm temperatures. The Town of Pinedale encourages residents to bleed water lines continuously in the winter to prevent your pipes from freezing. Even if you think it is warm enough to stop, a little prevention goes a long way. Most residential lines are allotted 40,000 gallons per month to allow a safely bleeding line. This could save you thousands of dollars by not having to deal with a frozen water line. This applies only to residents on Town of Pinedale water system. Those on rural individual wells with septic systems should not run bleeder lines. For more information, call Town Hall at 307-367-4136.
Easter Services at St. Hubert church in Bondurant April 4 (posted 3/15/2021)
St. Hubert's will be conducting an Easter service on Easter Sunday, April 4th at 11:15AM. The Rev. Randy Belton will be conducting the service. Masks and distancing will be required. If you plan on attending, please let Dan or Sharon Smitherman know in advance (not mandatory, but appreciated), email: email@example.com, phone: (307) 732-4180.
Changes at the Sublette County Library (posted 3/14/2021)
Effective Tuesday, March 16th
Sublette County Libraries
With Governor Gordon's lifting of the statewide mask requirement and restrictions on public spaces, the Sublette County Libraries will adjust our services beginning Tuesday, March 16th as part of our phased return to normal operations.
?DVD browsers will be available for you to leaf through and decide which DVDs to bring home.
?Our meeting rooms will operate at the governor-mandated capacity and will once again allow children and food.
?Returned library items will be discharged from your account right away.
?Public computers will no longer be cleaned regularly by staff, however hand sanitizer and cleaning wipes will be available for your use.
?Our March book club and writers' group meetings will occur in person and we are looking forward to offering more in-person programming ?watch for announcements!
What's not changing:
?Plexiglass will remain at our circulation desks and library staff are encouraged to continue wearing masks when interacting with patrons.
?Our weekly Storytimes will remain virtual for now.
?Our free IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) tax preparation service on Saturdays will remain as a document drop off and pickup service. Masks are required for this service.
?Our Curbside Pickup and Quarantine Delivery services will remain available to anyone who requests them.
We are looking forward to further expanding our services in the coming weeks while balancing the protection and safety of our staff and community... Stay tuned!
155 S. Tyler Ave., P.O. Box 489, Pinedale, WY 82941-0489
Phone: (307) 367-4114, Fax: (307) 367-6722
Monday - Thursday: 10:00 am - 8:00 pm
Friday: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Saturday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Big Piney Library
106 Fish St., P.O. Box 768, Big Piney, WY 83113
Phone: (307) 276-3515, Fax: (307) 276-3516
Monday - Friday: 10:00 am - 6:30 pm
Saturday: 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Wyoming Legislature update ?March 12, 2021 (posted 3/14/2021)
Albert Sommers, House District #20 Representative
Hello Sublette County, this is Albert Sommers reporting to you from Cheyenne on March 12, 2021. Today, three bills passed 3rd Reading in the House, including HB0001, General government appropriations - 2, which was the supplemental budget bill for the general appropriations of government. This supplemental budget contained about $450 million in General Fund reductions to state agencies, which is nearly a 16 percent cut. According to a Bloomberg article, Wyoming had the nation抯 largest drop in state revenues during the pandemic, with nearly a 21 percent reduction.
The Senate and the House start mirror bills for the budget on each side, and work them simultaneously. When the budget bill hits 2nd and 3rd Reading, both bodies can bring amendments. This allows individual legislators to bring needs from their constituents into the budget, or propose deeper budget reductions. This past week, the House debated 42 budget amendments on 2nd Reading and 27 on 3rd Reading.
The House passed four major budget amendments during 2nd and 3rd Reading. There was general concern from the public and in the Legislature that these cuts had too deeply impacted critical programs in the Department of Health and Department of Family Services. These programs serve the most vulnerable people in Wyoming. In response, the House adopted a budget amendment that put about $19 million from our "Rainy Day" fund back into these programs.
The House also passed an amendment to invest $10 million from our "Rainy Day" account in carbon capture research and technology, subject to matching dollars from other entities. Carbon capture is being promoted by the federal government, and the Legislature hopes Wyoming can be a leader in this field.
The University of Wyoming and Wyoming抯 community colleges were subject to very large budget reductions; an amendment passed the House to return a total of about $14 million to these institutions. The most interesting budget amendment to pass the House appropriated $4 million to the University of Wyoming to be expended on operating and maintaining blockchain technologies to support cryptocurrency.
Each of these amendments passing the House today support the most vulnerable citizens of Wyoming, new and legacy industries to make Wyoming competitive into the future, and post-secondary education in Wyoming. I supported these amendments.
Now that the House and the Senate have each debated and amended their separate budgets, members of a conference committee will be appointed from each body to work out their differences. Even though both sides start with identical budget bills, the two bodies amend those bills into very different budgets. This conference committee will have five legislators from each body, and their debates will be long and difficult.
You can find more details about all the 2021 bills here: https://wyoleg.gov/Legislation/2021
I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or comments.
White Pine Annual Spring Fling Bash March 26-28 (posted 3/12/2021)
Spring Fling Bash at White Pine
White Pine Ski Area is winding down for the winter sports season. They will be open every weekend in March for the winter ski season. Lifts run from 9AM to 4PM Friday, Saturday and Sundays. The tubing hill is open from noon to 4PM on Saturday and Sundays.
They will be hosting their end of season Annual Spring Fling Bash March 26-28th for their closing weekend. Events include the popular Cardboard Sled Race on Saturday, March 27th. Get started constructing your crafts now! If you need cardboard, White Pine has a lot (307-367-6606).
$5 Registration Fee. Registration starts at 8:30am. Races start at 10am.
The Tubing Hill will open to regular tubing after completion of the Cardboard Sled competition. $5 Regular Tubing to start after the Completion of the race (as long as there is still enough snow for the tubing hill to operate).
On Sunday, March 28th, the will hold their Pond Skim event. The time is still to be determined, depending on conditions.
Crazy costumes are encouraged all weekend (keep it G-rated please and family appropriate).
2021 Spring classes offered at Sublette BOCES (posted 3/12/2021)
Sublette BOCES is offering their 2021 Spring Classes, just in time to combat COVID and spring fever. Classes include pottery, jewelry making, silk painting, babysitting, welding and metalsmithing, birding, bread making and cooking, sausage and jerky making, and more. Their two classes in basic firearms and concealed carry are already full. Register today at www.subletteboces.com/classes.
Pinedale Dental donates to Fishing for the Fight (posted 3/12/2021)
Pictured: Chaunce Goodrich-Fishing for the Fight Board president (L) and Dr. Kunard-Pinedale Dental (R). Courtesy photo.
Fishing for the Fight
Fishing for the Fight has been selected by Pinedale Dental as a 2021 Smiles for Life campaign local recipient. The donation will assist Sublette and LaBarge residents.
About Smiles For Life:
From March through June, hundreds of dental practices throughout the U.S. and Canada professionally whiten teeth to raise money for charity through the Smiles For Life Foundation. Ultradent (makers of Boost in-office teeth whitening and Opalescence?take-home trays) donates ALL of the teeth whitening supplies, and participating Crown Council dentists donate ALL of their time to whiten teeth during the Smiles For Life campaign. Together, they offer professional teeth whitening services at substantially reduced prices with 100% of the proceeds going to the foundation which is then divided 50% to a local charity (in 2021, Fishing for the Fight) chosen by the participating dentist, Pinedale Dental, and 50% to a charity approved by the Smiles for Life Foundation.
About Fishing for the Fight:
Initiated in 2016, Fishing for the Fight (FFF) is a competitive fly-fishing contest which raises funds to assist Sublette and LaBarge residents with special needs, children with chronic illnesses and families fighting cancer, through our partnership with Kickin' Cancer. Led by a volunteer board of medical specialists, tournament experts, business owners and community advocates, FFF has assisted with travel expenses, adult mobility trikes and recently a support canine arriving this Summer!
Dr. Kunard has also donated his time and fishing guide expertise for multiple Fishing for the Fight tournaments! FFF is a 501-C-(3) non-profit organization. If you or someone you know could use assistance, please check out our website at:
https://www.fishingforthefight.com and click on Apply for Support.
Easter Egg Hunt April 3rd (posted 3/11/2021)
Pinedale Lions Club
The Pinedale Lions Club will host its annual Easter Egg Hunt in Boyd Skinner Town Park on Saturday, April 3 at 10:00 AM sharp! Children from toddler through 5th grade are welcome to come and join in the fun. Don抰 be late; you can抰 hold back hundreds of kids from all that candy 杢oddler stampedes are crazy! The Easter Bunny will make an appearance again this year, so be sure to bring your camera. The Pinedale Lions Club has been putting on this fun event for the children of Pinedale for over 25 years.
Events lining up for 2021 (posted 3/9/2021)
Mark your calendar
Now that COVID-19 appears to have settled down to a manageable level, we抮e starting to get more and more events filling out the calendar for 2021. Once the health restrictions ease up more, we know there will be more of our annual events announcing their dates too. Keep an eye on our Calendar of Events page for the latest list. Here are some highlights we know about right now.
March 12 ?Sunday March 14: The Drift Mountain Races
?marathon, marathon, and 100 mile winter race in the Upper Green
Big race starts on Friday. Other two races are on Sunday.
March 13, 2021: Daphne Platts Film Festival
Free, Lovatt Room, Pinedale Library, 7PM. First of four recently released award-winning movies being shown on Saturday evenings from March 13th, March 20, March 27 and April 3rd. The Film Festival kicks off with the award-winning movie, Nomadland. 7 pm. Children are not permitted unless accompanied by an adult. Refreshments will be provided in individual bags. Admission is free. Face masks and social distancing are required. In the event that a film becomes unavailable due to COVID-related shipping or streaming difficulties, a substitute film will be offered instead. More info: www.sublettecountylibrary.org
April 1 & 2: The Addams Family
Musical comedy presentation of Pinedale High School. 3 performances over 3 nights.7PM at Sheppard Auditorium. Tickets can be purchased at the High School office, NAPA Auto Parts, Office Outlet, or from any cast member. There will be a matinee on Friday at 2pm. Tickets are $5/seat.
April 10: Big Piney Rec Spring Fair
Saturday from 10AM-3PM at the Big Piney Rec Center. Tables available, signup deadline April 2nd, 307-276-4071. $20 with a table, $10 without a table. Crafters and food vendors welcome. 650 Piney Drive.
April 24: 8th annual Spring Fair & Rummage Sale
Saturday, 10-3PM, vendor tables available, Sublette County Fairgrounds
May 11-13: 21st Annual Living History Days at the Museum of the Mountain Man
With the American Mountain Men. More details TBA. School children from around western Wyoming are invited for living history demonstrations.
June 11: More famous and Infamous Women of the West
7pm at the Museum of the Mountain Man
June 18-20: Sublette County Rock Hounds Gem & Mineral Show 2021
9-5 on Friday and Saturday, 9-4 on Sunday at the Sublette County Fairgrounds
June 18 & 19: Midnight on the Mesa trail race
Sponsored by Friends of PAC. This is a 12-hour trail running relay under the stars. Begins at midnight for first runner to take off. 4-person teams and goes to noon on Saturday. Complete as many laps on the 4-mile loop as possible in the 12-hour time period. Course takes runners to the top of Mount Airy with views of the Wind River Mountains onto the Mesa. Limited to 40 teams. Early registration until April 30 is $80/person. Late registration May 1-June 11 is $100/person. This event is a fundraiser for Friends of PAC.
More info here
July 4: Chuckwagon Days
Big Piney/Marableton 4th of July celebration
Parade, rodeo, community picnic, street dance, fireworks
July 4: Town of Pinedale 4th of July celebration
Community picnic, games, fireworks
July 8-11: Green River Rendezvous
Pinedale. Museum living history programs, Traders Row, Street vendors, nightly rodeos, Saturday parade, Rendezvous Pageant, DeSmet Mass, Beard cutting, Library book sale, more. Make your lodging reservations asap (now is not too soon for that week ?lodging in town books up).
More info: www.greenriverrendezvous.com
Area info: www.visitpinedale.org
July 17 & 18: Wind River Mountain Festival in Pinedale
Outdoor adventure, live music, vendors, adventure race
More info: www.windrivermtfest.com
July 18: Surly Pika Adventure Race, Sunday
Part of Wind River Mountain Festival in Pinedale.
Town of Marbleton asks residents to run water bleeders (posted 3/9/2021)
This winter抯 "No Dig" policy for the Town of Marbleton went into effect on November 15, 2020. This means there will be no digging allowed on Town property during the winter months while the ground is frozen. Please help prevent water lines from freezing. Marbleton residents on the Town waterline system are advised to run a bleeder in a sink or bathtub during the cold winter months to keep water running through the system. A bleeder should be a pencil-lead size stream of cold water. This can help prevent frozen pipes and bursts. Marbleton resident抯 water bills are on a straight fee, not metered, so running the bleeder will not raise your water bill. The Town is not responsible for frozen service lines. If you have rental homes, please ensure that their water is running as well. For questions, call the Marbleton Town Hall at 307-276-3815. Do not run a bleeder if you are on a personal well water system that is apart from Town water.
2021 Daphne Platts Film Festival begins March 13 (posted 3/7/2021)
The 2021 Daphne Platts Film Festival begins on Saturday, March 13th. There will be four recently released award-winning movies being shown at 7:00PM on Saturday evenings from March 13th until April 3rd in the Lovatt Room of the Pinedale Library. The Film Festival kicks off with the award-winning movie, Nomadland. Children are not permitted unless accompanied by an adult. Refreshments will be provided in individual bags. Admission is free. Face masks and social distancing are required. In the event that a film becomes unavailable due to COVID-related shipping or streaming difficulties, a substitute film will be offered instead. Daphne worked as a librarian at the Pinedale Library and also served as Library Director for many years. She passed away in 2017.
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