1 FRIDAY March 7, th Year, No. 240 Serving Sheridan County, Wyoming Independent and locally owned since Cents Press THE SHERIDAN ON THE WEB: FIND US ON FACEBOOK, TWITTER AND YOUTUBE Big Horn boys fall in first round of 2A tourney. B1 2 outages affect Story power customers BY TRACEE DAVIS THE SHERIDAN PRESS STORY Story residents have been affected by two different electrical outages in the last 24 hours. The first was caused by a truck that hit an electrical pole, while the cause of the second was a tree branch damaging a transformer. "Yesterday, there was a concrete pump truck that went off the road on Highway 87 going to Story and broke off one of our transmission poles," Montana- Dakota Utilities Spokesperson Mark Hanson said. A spokesperson from the Sheridan-based construction company Mullinax, Inc., confirmed it was one of their trucks that went off of the road when a back tire went into the shoulder of the road and frozen mud pulled the rest of the vehicle off the highway. The driver was not injured and the truck was not damaged. SEE POWER, PAGE 2 County P&Z: Deny quarry permit BY HANNAH WIEST THE SHERIDAN PRESS SHERIDAN Nearly 50 people packed Thursday s Sheridan County Planning and Zoning Commission meeting to speak about a quarry proposed on Bird Farm Road near the intersection with U.S. Highway 87. While a majority spoke against the quarry, a representative for the permit applicants and one nearby neighbor spoke in favor. After listening to more than an hour of public comments, planning commissioners voted against the quarry by a vote of 3-1. This means the Commission will recommend that the Board of County Commissioners not approve the quarry when they consider it April 1. The applicants, Hans and Martha Hilleby, who filed for the permit under the H & M Hilleby Trust, were present but did not offer comment. The permit for the quarry requested a 20-year term to mine sand and gravel in a 156-acre area straddling Rhiner Creek about 1 mile west of the intersection of Bird Farm Road and Highway 87 in Banner. The application proposed to screen, crush and haul mined material off site using a private haul road off Bird Farm Road with hours of operation from 7 a.m. to 7 Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 5 Saturday. Bills, meetings, stress BY HANNAH WIEST THE SHERIDAN PRESS CHEYENNE During a Legislative session in Cheyenne, not all battles occur over a bill on the House or Senate floor. For the 90 legislators who travel across the state to vote aye or nay on more than 300 bills that will impact life for citizens across Wyoming, the days are packed with myriad other battles that often go unseen. Like donuts, for example. (So many calories; so much sitting.) And germs. And exhaustion. And inboxes that burst with hundreds of new s overnight, each containing words of support or disdain that must be processed, filed away and, whether admitted or not, felt. Each legislator has his or her own way of dealing with the daily stresses which begin several hours before sunrise and last until midnight for some. However, it can t be denied that legislators have weighed the demands and the long days and found them wanting against their passion for what they do. So, they grab their hand sanitizer and green tea and hole up at a hotel or apartment for a few hours each night for the duration of each year s session of the Wyoming Legislature. This year, The Sheridan Press followed Sheridan County Rep. Rosie Berger, R-Big Horn, for a behind-the-scenes look at a day in the life of a Wyoming legislator. Feb. 26 THE SHERIDAN PRESS HANNAH WIEST Rep. Rosie Berger, R-Big Horn, stands at her desk in the chambers for the House of Representatives at the Capitol in Cheyenne on Feb. 28. Berger has been a representative for 11 years and currently serves as Speaker Pro Tempore. Today is the final day for the regular 20-day budget session of the 2014 Legislature. Rep. Rosie Berger shares her story of a typical day at the Wyoming Legislature Day 13 of the 20-day budget session for the 2014 Wyoming Legislature started early for Berger, as usual. It was jammed full of votes, meetings, correspondence and functions. Here s a peak inside Berger s journal for the day: 4:30 a.m. Get up, shower 5:45 a.m. Oatmeal While Berger simply wrote oatmeal in her journal, the word conveys more than it may seem. I try to stay pretty healthy because it really can be a bad environment. I actually try to stay out of the legislative snack room because it is filled with bagels and donuts, Berger said. She has oatmeal and green tea almost every morning to start her day off with a healthy dose of grains and antioxidants. SEE DAY IN THE LIFE, PAGE 8 Rules of the game BY TRACEE DAVIS THE SHERIDAN PRESS SHERIDAN A group of approximately 60 Sheridan entrepreneurs were treated to a crash course in Wall Street economics and investments Thursday night by one of Wyoming's leading experts in the field. This week's "Entrepreneur 2 Entrepreneur" seminar presented by the University of Wyoming's Technology Business Center and the Wyoming Business Council featured investment CEO and UW College of Business instructor Patrick Flemming. "If you're doing anything, you've got to know the rules of the game," Flemming began, establishing that many Americans are suffering from a knowledge deficit when it comes to managing money. "I think it's the fault of the U.S. school system," Flemming said. "All of you are intelligent individuals, but how many of you have taken any personal finance classes? We have 78 million baby boomers retiring who do not know much about personal finance because we don't teach them." Flemming said it's up to individual citizens to learn how to manage their money, and that doing so makes them less vulnerable and more likely to succeed financially. "As Warren Buffett said, 'If you're playing poker, and after 30 minutes, you don't know who the patsy is, you're the patsy. " Flemming said. With that, he launched into an introduction to capital structure, economics and the stock market. Fort Mackenzie to perform local play Murder Twice Baked BY CHRISTINA SCHMIDT THE SHERIDAN PRESS SHERIDAN Fort Mackenzie High School will perform a musical who done it written by a local playwright for its spring play March 13 and 14. Set in 1920s England, the play, Murder Twice Baked, was written by Sheridan resident Bruce Scigliano with his writing partner George Krawczyk of Michigan. Together, Scigliano and Krawczyk write musical and non-musical plays through the business Theatricus. Scigliano said Murder Twice Baked was actually written seven years ago, but this is the first time it has been performed locally. He said he approached FMHS drama teacher Mick Wiest about performing the play, and after sharing it with FMHS musical director Stephanie Zukowski, Wiest agreed to produce it. It is a charming little play, it really is, Wiest said. I looked at it, showed it to Stephanie and we both thought it was very doable. There are a lot of fun, humorous parts to it and we ll have some really fun costumes. e2e program hits on economics of investment SEE E2E, PAGE 2 Cade Neeson dips Gabrielle Migrants in a dance number during a rehearsal for the Fort Mackenzie High School s Murder Twice Baked on Thursday at the Carriage House Theater. The production by Fort Mackenzie students will show at the Carriage House Theater on March 13 and 14 at 7 SEE PERMIT, PAGE 2 SEE BAKED, PAGE 2 THE SHERIDAN PRESS JUSTIN SHEELY Scan with your smartphone for latest weather, news and sports The Sheridan Press 144 Grinnell Ave. Sheridan, WY Today s edition is published for: Nancy Wilson of Sheridan OPINION 4 PEOPLE 5 PAGE SIX 6 ALMANAC 7 SPORTS COMICS CLASSIFIED LEGALS B1 B4 B5 B6
2 A 2 OPEN 0307.qxp_A Section Template 3/7/14 11:00 AM Page 1 A2 THE SHERIDAN PRESS FRIDAY, MARCH 7, 2014 PERMIT: BOCC to consider issue April 1 FROM 1 County Planner Mark Reid said county staff originally recommended approval of the permit since all requirements had been met and no letters or comments had been received as of Feb. 25 after notices were mailed to at least 19 residents who live within a half-mile of the quarry on Feb. 19. However, as of 11 a.m. Thursday, at least nine letters of complaint were received expressing concern about a variety of issues including disruption to riparian land in the area and the pit being offset only 20 feet from Rhiner Creek, which feeds into Meade Creek. County staff said they were unsure proposed mitigation measures would be enough to justify recommendation for approval and changed their recommendation to one of denial of the permit, Reid said. Todd Wagner, who helped the Hillebys put together their permits for the Department of Environmental Quality and the county, said a majority of the material mined would be used on the Morrison Ranch, also owned by the Hillebys, on the south side of Sheridan, but that sale of materials was also planned. Wagner assured that mining would focus on five acres and would not exceed 15 acres since that was the maximum allowed by DEQ. We re not mining 156 acres. We re starting out mining five. I just want to be clear on that, Wagner said. Wagner said the request was for 156 acres because it was unclear where good sand and gravel would be found. He said reclamation would be continual with only 10 acres un-topsoiled at a time and that mining could improve the rocky pastureland. Following Wagner s comments, 15 people including Attorney Kim Cannon, who was retained by three area residents to represent them commented against the quarry, many reading letters from other neighbors who were unable to attend. Brian Davidson, who lives adjacent to the proposed quarry, spoke in favor because he said the Hillebys were great neighbors and he thought the mining would improve land. Comments against the quarry were impassioned. Adjacent resident Susan Becker neared tears when she expressed that the area was precious to her and that it was her life. I beseech you, turn it down, Becker said as she walked back to her chair after her second turn at the mic. Arguments against the quarry included: concerns about safety on Bird Farm Road, which has several blind corners and services several school buses and bus stops; the potential for pollution in Rhiner and Meade creeks and water wells since the water table is high in the area; air quality with the dust and noise caused by mining and truck traffic; the short timeframe for notification, although Deputy County Attorney Lynn Smith said all legal requirements for notification were met; quality of life for residents who live as close as 400 feet from the proposed site; and concerns about the application itself requesting such a large area and time span. Commissioner Steve Noecker said he was most worried about the public s welfare, especially safety on Bird Farm Road, when he voted against the quarry. Commissioner Audrey Brown said the quarry was a misfit with the area and didn t fit into the county s comprehensive plan. Commission Chairman Bernie Bornong said he was concerned about the proximity and disruption to so many neighbors, the safety of the road and area children, and the riparian areas in the middle of the proposed mine site. Commissioner Jeremy Smith said he generally supports quarries because all citizens drive on gravel and asphalt roads built with quarry materials, but that he struggled with this quarry more than any other one he has considered in six years on the Planning Commission. He did amend his motion to approve the quarry to include stipulations that operating hours be 8:30 a.m. to 3 Monday through Friday and none on weekends, that setbacks be 200 feet from Rhiner Creek and 1,000 feet from any residence and that traffic on Bird Farm Road only be allowed to go east to Highway 87. Smith voted to recommend approval of the quarry. The BOCC will consider the quarry permit April 1. Spirited send-off THE SHERIDAN PRESS JUSTIN SHEELY Big Horn first-graders Lindsey Walker, left, and Brooke Alexander hold up their poster against the wind during the Big Horn Rams send-off celebration Thursday afternoon at Big Horn High School. Wyo. schools chief says going back to work CHEYENNE. (AP) Gov. Matt Mead says state schools Superintendent Cindy Hill s plan to retake control of the Wyoming Department of Education will create unnecessary chaos. Hill announced Thursday that she will return to the agency s offices in Cheyenne on Monday morning. That could set up a conflict with Richard Crandall, who was appointed by the governor to run the education department. Wyoming s Supreme Court overturned a 2013 law that removed the elected superintendent as department head. Legislators enacted the law after complaints about Hill s performance. The case is now before a lower court. Mead says it s best to wait for the court to issue a final order. Hill says Mead and lawmakers have had plenty of time to resolve the issue but have only stalled. POWER: Expected to be restored today, MDU says FROM 1 Mullinax credits the driver's skill in not overreacting when the situation presented itself. Hanson indicated the entire pole had to be replaced, and crews had to shut off the electrical current to complete the task safely. "It took longer than expected," Hanson said, indicating it began to rain and snow while crews were working. "It was sloppy out there from what I understand and conditions weren't great." Hanson said the accident occurred at approximately 3 and power was restored to the approximate 1,300 customers affected by 9:15 This morning, 900 MDU customers were again without power because a piece of equipment called a recloser was tripped somewhere on a line. "It's like a safety mechanism to indicate there's a problem on the line," Hanson explained. "It basically shuts down when the power being fed from that line makes it seem like something might be wrong. It could be a power surge, uneven voltage, or just anything that's not usual." This morning, crews patrolled the line and found a tree limb that had fallen and damaged a transformer, causing the outage. "It's probably a lot of the same customers this morning," Hanson said. As of print time, repairs had begun and electrical service was anticipated to be restored shortly. E2E: Community gatherings to promote networking FROM 1 He discussed stocks, which are percentages of ownership in a corporation, and bonds, which are representative of corporate debt. Flemming also went over a glossary of economic lingo and touched on the function of Individual Retirement Accounts, the stock market and trading practices. In addition to understanding how investments and compound interest, Flemming emphasized the importance of vetting a financial advisor. "A good advisor is worth their weight in gold," Flemming said, indicating historical performance, how an advisor gets paid and their understanding of the market are key indicators to consider when evaluating a money manager. Flemming said discipline is a key component of investing because most financial growth via compounded interest occurs over a decade or longer. "Find something you can feel comfortable with," Flemming advised. "I can quantify these numbers and say that over a 10-year period, I can feel pretty good that this projection is going to be somewhere in this area." E2E presentations are community gatherings staged to promote networking and business knowledge for local economies. Flemming, who graduated from Harvard with a bachelor's degree in economics, resides in Laramie. BAKED: Death by rhubarb creates mystery on stage FROM 1 According to the Theatricus website s description of the play, All appears well at the Oh so proper Brentwood Manor that is until Lady Brentwood s favorite son, Birch, falls dead after eating a slice of rhubarb pie. Is it murder or simply bad rhubarb? If it was murder, whom should we suspect? Convoluted plot turns and quirky characters are bound to keep you guessing! Wiest said seamstresses Shelley Reinke and Dena Wells are creating fun costumes appropriate for the time period of the play and Stephanie Zukowski is serving as musical director. Eleven students are participating as cast or crew. A lot of these students are rookies but have come a long ways, Wiest said. Some I don t think would ever have dreamed they would be singing on stage. A couple of them said no way they would ever sing, but yet here they are doing it. Plan to attend? Show times are at 7 March 13 and 14 at the Carriage House Theater at the Trail End Museum. Cost is 7 for adults and 5 for non-fmhs students.
3 A 3 OPEN 0307.qxp_A Section Template 3/7/14 11:09 AM Page 1 FRIDAY, MARCH 7, THE SHERIDAN PRESS A3 County Parks and Rec board discuss Kleenburn, Three Poles areas SHERIDAN The Sheridan County Parks and Recreation Board, consisting of the county commissioners, met Tuesday to discuss election of officers and issues about park land in the county. Commissioner Mike Nickel was elected board chairman, and Commissioner Terry Cram was elected secretary/treasurer. Commissioner Bob Rolston was reappointed to a five-year term on the board to end January In the meeting, Nickel mentioned that several people had expressed concerns about trapping being done in the Kleenburn Recreation Area near Acme. Trapping is not expressly denied in the Kleenburn rules. However, fishermen and other recreators said they have come close to stepping in traps and have had a few dogs get trapped. The board voted to modify the rules to outlaw trapping in the area and will put up a new rule sign that includes the addition. Secretary of the Public Land Users Committee Bill Adsit also spoke about plans for the Three Poles recreation area, which is used by BMX bikes and 4-wheelers for recreation. He said the committee is drafting a five-year master plan for the area, is working on fence repair and hopes to build an obstacle course for BMX bikers. He also said the committee is developing an list to advertise clean-ups of the area and get users more involved in care and upkeep. Bill to compensate exonerated inmates dies CHEYENNE (AP) A bill spelling out how Wyoming could compensate people who served time in prison before being exonerated by DNA evidence died Thursday in the closing hours of the Legislature. Under the original version of the bill that passed the Senate, anyone exonerated by DNA evidence would have been eligible for up to 500,000. The House had amended the bill this week to specify that people who were exonerated based on DNA evidence would still have to return to court to prove their innocence before they could collect payment. A conference committee of House and Senate members failed to reach agreement on the bill on Thursday. Sen. John Schiffer, R-Kaycee, is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He said Thursday he was upset by the failure of the original bill, which the Joint Judiciary Committee had endorsed before the legislative session. Schiffer said that the bill as it left the Senate would have given an exonerated person an incentive, to get paid for the time they spent in jail wrongfully and go on about their business. In order to get paid, Schiffer said, the bill would have specified that the exonerated person agreed not to sue the state. With the amendment, they would come back in and it could be anywhere from years to decades later, and have to prove that they were innocent, Schiffer said. In fact, they would have no incentive to do that. Their incentive is to not do that, and to go to federal court and bring a civil action. Only one Wyoming inmate has been exonerated by DNA evidence. Andrew Johnson of Cheyenne was released from last year after serving 23 years in prison after DNA evidence in the 1989 rape case excluded him as the source and prosecutors dropped charges against him. Johnson said last year he believed the state should take emergency action to compensate him. He said he didn t have money for a vehicle, insurance or other necessities. If I was to walk out of here and die, my people couldn t bury me, he said. Rep. Tim Stubson, R-Casper, served on the House conference committee on the bill. He said Thursday that House members were concerned that people could be exonerated by DNA evidence but not be actually innocent of the crime for which they had been convicted. The concern was you could have an exoneration, which doesn t mean actual innocence, that would automatically trigger an expenditure of these funds, said Stubson, a lawyer. And so, what they were trying to do was to say you had to go through this next step and establish actual innocence in order to get these funds. Police car damaged on icy roads US employers add 175K jobs despite harsh weather WASHINGTON (AP) U.S. employers stepped up hiring in February despite a blast of harsh winter weather, renewing hopes that the economy could accelerate this year. February s gain of 175,000 jobs, up from January s 129,000, coincided with a rise in the unemployment rate to 6.7 percent from a five-year low of 6.6 percent. The rate rose because more people began seeking jobs but some didn t find them. That s still an encouraging sign: More job hunters suggest that people grew more optimistic about their prospects. Friday s figures from the Labor Department were a welcome surprise after recent reports showed that harsh weather had closed factories, lowered auto sales and slowed home sales. Along with an increase in wages last month, the report suggests that some employers are confident that consumer spending will pick up in coming months. If the economy managed to generate 175,000 new jobs in a month when the weather was so severe, once the weather CHEYENNE (AP) Developments at the Wyoming Legislature on Thurs., March 6, the 19th day of the 2014 Budget Session: ADJOURNMENT: Both houses of the Wyoming Legislature adjourned at about 4:30 after hearing addresses from Gov. Matt Mead. GAME AND FISH: Gov. Mead signed into law a measure that will allow the Wyoming Game and Fish Department to apply for state general funds to cover to costs of employee health care and grizzly bear management. Supporters said the move will allow everyone in the state, not only those who buy game licenses, to help to cover the cost of wildlife administration. SUICIDE PREVENTION: Mead signed into law a measure requiring suicide prevention education SHERIDAN A police patrol car was damaged Wednesday when it slid across an ice patch and into a mailbox. The law enforcement vehicle sustained more than 1,000 in damage, but the mailbox was anchored in concrete and undamaged. Sheridan Police Department Sgt. Travis returns to seasonal norms... employment growth is likely to accelerate further, Paul Dales, an economist at Capital Economics, said in a note to clients. Investors welcomed the news, pushing up the Dow Jones industrial average about 44 points in late-morning trading. The severe winter had less effect on hiring than most economists had feared. Construction companies, which usually stop work in bad weather, added 15,000 jobs. Manufacturing gained 6,000 for a second straight month. Government added 13,000 jobs, the most in six months. Shipping and warehousing companies and retailers cut jobs. Still, the monthly average of 129,000 jobs that employers have added from December through February marks the weakest threemonth stretch since mid It s down from a 225,000 average for the previous three months. The report presents a picture of a grinding but positive recovery in the economy, said Stephen Wood, chief market strategist at Russell Investments. Tiny fans wishing well Colton Williams walks up the line of celebrating students sending off the Rams to the 2A state tournament Thursday afternoon at Big Horn High School. Wyoming Legislature nears end of session Koltiska said an officer was conducting a traffic stop and hit the ice patch when pulling over on the side of the road. He said the vehicle will still be usable until repairs are complete. He described the aftermath of the accident as minor damage to the bumper and fender of the vehicle. Sheridan's city police cars are insured through a government liability pool. for teachers and school administrators. FISHING: Mead signed into law a bill that will allow the state game commission to set regulations allowing anglers to fish with artificial light. Supporters say allowing the use of light will help in fishing for burbot, a predatory fish that has been stocked illegally in the Green River drainage. GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK: The House and Senate agreed on a bill that would allow state officials to negotiate to trade two state parcels that are inholdings in Grand Teton National Park for unspecified federal property elsewhere. The bill heads to Mead for his consideration. TAIWAN: Mead signed a joint resolution today that marks Wyoming s relationship with Taiwan, a country that Mead visited last year on a trade mission. There is demand in Taiwan for American beef and new opportunities for tourism given the inclusion of Taiwan in the visa waiver program, Mead said in a release. In addition, Taiwanese utilities are interested in Wyoming coal and natural gas. This is a relationship to build upon. Special on mortgage loan purchases and refinances: No loan origination, processing or underwriting fees! Offer is subject to credit approval. Contact Melanie Jacobs at The Bank of Sheridan today! Don t Wait offer expires March 31, The government revised up its estimate of job gains for December and January by a combined 25,000. December s gain was revised up from 75,000 to 84,000, January s from 113,000 to 129,000. Average hourly pay rose 9 cents in February to 24.31, the biggest gain since June. Hourly wages have risen 2.2 percent over the past 12 months, ahead of 1.6 percent inflation over that time. Friday s report makes it likely that the Federal Reserve will continue reducing its monthly bond purchases at its next meeting March The Fed is buying Treasury and mortgage bonds to try to keep longterm loan rates low to spur growth. Fed policymakers have reduced their monthly bond purchases by 10 billion at each of their past two meetings to 65 billion. Though harsh winter weather didn t appear to slow hiring much, the number of Americans who said weather forced them to work part time in February rather than full time reached the highest level in the 36 years that the government has tracked the figure. Hours worked fell. THE SHERIDAN PRESS JUSTIN SHEELY 1375 Sugarland Drive Sheridan, WY Horse buyer at Buffalo Livestock March 18th 9am 5pm Buying all kinds and classes of loose horses Paid on the spot Licesensed and bonded No commissions, no waiting (ISSN X) Published Daily except Sunday and six legal holidays. COPYRIGHT 2014 by SHERIDAN NEWSPAPERS, INC Grinnell Ave. P.O. Box 2006 Sheridan, Wyoming Periodicals Postage Paid in Sheridan, Wyoming. Publication # SUBSCRIPTION RATES 1 Mo. 3 Mos. 6 Mos. 1 Yr. City Carrier ONLINE RATES 2 Mos Mos Mos Yr Stephen Woody Kristen Czaban Phillip Ashley Becky Martini Mark Blumenshine Motor Route EXECUTIVE STAFF County Mail POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Sheridan Press, P.O. Box 2006, Sheridan, WY Publisher Managing Editor Marketing Director Office Manager Production Manager
4 OPINION A4 THE SHERIDAN PRESS FRIDAY, MARCH 7, 2014 Tarheels at Duke: always a great game PUBLISHER S NOTEBOOK Stephen Woody The hardest ticket in sports? Some say a home game at Lambeau Field with the Packers. Others posit The Masters golf championship. While others claim the Kentucky Derby. All are tough to get into. They are committed deeply into generations of family traditions, are famously part of divorce settlements and routinely have a finite number of seats. Yet, the hardest ticket in sports? It s a ticket to the North Carolina- Duke basketball game inside Cameron Indoor Stadium at Duke University in Durham, N.C. It is a heated, fan-driven, historic rivalry with the school campuses separated by just nine miles, aka Tobacco Road. Overall, the University of North Carolina leads the series, But since coach Mike Krzyzewski took over the Duke program in 1980, the Blue Devils are (.884) at home. (Coach K has won four national titles at Duke and 14 ACC championships.) Early on in residency in North Carolina, you are asked: do you pull for Carolina or Duke? Or North Carolina State in nearby Raleigh? (We lived there 12 years in the 1980s-1990s.) It takes years of gentle politics, good deeds done, and over-the-fence cajoling to score the occasional pair of Duke tickets for yourself and a son. Duke and Carolina tickets? Forget about it. Unless you re family, or in tight with a generous alum or have at reach considerable inheritance, those tickets are virtually impossible. One example: the Cameron Crazies, members of the Duke University student body, camp out for weeks in a tent city, aka Krzyzewskiville. hoping to get inside Cameron Indoor for this one game. Cameron is part of the story. Cameron Indoor Stadium was built in 1940 without air conditioning and not much comfort therein. There are just 9,314 precious seats for one of the historically best college basketball programs. Cameron epitomizes the term: cracker box. No bad seats, a home gym vibe, stifling heat from a sold out crowd, three hours of pure energy. Fans have to pick their way carefully along the sidelines to get to their seats, trying to avoid running into players like Bobby Hurley, Christian Laettner, Shane Battier, J.J. Redick and others as they run their warmup drills. In comparison, the Tar Heels home court, named after its legendary coach Dean Smith, seats almost 22,000 and was designed for concerts and other multi-use options. It opened in The Smith Center is certainly hallowed ground, but its acoustics lends a sterile feeling. The seats are comfortable, the climate controlled. Florida State player Sam Cassell called the Tarheel faithful the wine and cheese crowd because they preferred refreshments delivered to their seats instead of the raucous rhythm of a big game. UNC has almost 30,000 students; Duke, about 6,400. The third part of the Duke attraction besides good basketball and a great place to play within is the student body, aka the Cameron Crazies. They are a clever bunch with just the right amount of brio to taunt the Tarheels team. For example: Once a Carolina player had been caught shoplifting. He was suspended from the team for a few games, but upon his return, he faced Duke and its student body. Whenever he fouled or mishandled a ball, the student body, wearing cheesy black bank-robber masks and some in orange jail jumpsuits would yell: He stole it! Son William and I once caught a game with the U. of Oklahoma when Billy Tubbs was the Sooners coach. Tubbs was balding, but had this huge, sweeping combover hairstyle. Every time Tubbs made a coaching gesture or chewed on the refs, the students pulled out pocket combs and combed their hair. Tubbs usually coached with a hot temper but on this occasion, he grinned (some) when the students did the comb-over. After the game, Tubbs complimented the student mimicry. William is a photojournalist in Colorado and has covered several games at Duke, usually finding a place on the floor, sitting on top of the K under the one of the baskets. A few years ago, coach Gary Williams and the University of Maryland Terrapins rolled in and it was a warm night in February. Cameron was sweltering inside and neither coach pulled off his suit jacket. Williams had a propensity to sweat and by the end of the first 10 minutes of play, his suit jacket was soaked. Whenever Williams would challenge a ref s call, the Crazies would yell and point at him: Perspiration! Whenever coach K gestured, they would point and yell: Inspiration! The Tarheels and the Blue Devils, both 23-7 on the season, will square off again Saturday evening. At Duke. LETTER California budget example needs closer examination Re: Parker column, Sheridan Press, Mar. 5 Kathleen Parker seems enthralled with California Gov. Jerry Brown s ability to get that state s budget balanced and implement (supposedly) restraints on spending. Before the good people of Wyoming consider taking some of Brown s medicine, perhaps they might want to consider some facts from the once-golden State as reported by Thomas Del Beccaro in Forbes Magazine. While Parker seems enamored with Brown s production of a 6 billion surplus, she neglects the fact that the California public employee retirement fund is said to be underfunded by 329 billion and that medical benefits are said to be 64 billion in the CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER Vladimir Putin is a lucky man. And he's got three more years of luck to come. He takes Crimea, and President Obama says it's not in Russia's interest, not even strategically clever. Indeed, it's a sign of weakness. red. By Brown s own assessment, the medical deficit is expected to grow 59 percent in the next four years. Consider also that California has the highest income taxes in the country, the highest gas taxes, the most regulations of any state, and the fourth-highest unemployment rate. All that despite California s having oil reserves of tremendous magnitude. However, the California fringe environmental lobby has ensured that this huge shale formation will lie untapped and up to 25 billion in state and local taxes and almost three million jobs will not materialize all due to ideological irrationality by the Democrat Party as presided over by Brown. Add to the above the fact that four million taxpayers (myself included) and a large number of companies have moved away from California Really? Crimea belonged to Moscow for 200 years. Russia conquered it 20 years before the U.S. acquired Louisiana. Lost it in the humiliation of the 1990s. Putin got it back in about three days without firing a shot. Now Russia looms over the rest of eastern and southern Ukraine. Putin can take that anytime he wants if he wants. He has already destabilized the nationalist government in Kiev. Ukraine is now truncated and on the life support of U.S. and European money (much of which cash for gas will end up in Putin's treasury anyway). Obama says Putin is on the wrong side of history and Secretary of State John Kerry says Putin's is "really 19th-century behavior in the 21st century." This must mean that seeking national power, territory, dominion the driving impulse of nations since Thucydides is obsolete. As if a calendar change caused a revolution in human nature that transformed the international arena from a Hobbesian struggle for power into a gentleman's club where violations of territorial integrity just don't happen. "That is not 21st-century, G-8, majornation behavior," says Kerry. Makes invasion sound like a breach of etiquette like using the wrong fork at a Beacon Hill dinner party. How to figure out Obama's foreign policy? In his first U.N. speech, he says: "No one nation can or should try to dominate another nation." On what planet? Followed by the assertion that "alignments of nations rooted in the cleavages of a long-gone Cold War" like NATO? "make no sense in an interconnected world." Putin's more cynical advisers might have thought such adolescent universalism to be a ruse. But Obama coupled these amazing words with even more amazing actions. (1) Upon coming into office, he initiated the famous "reset" to undo the "drift" in relations that had occurred during the George W. Bush years. But that drift was largely due to the freezing of relations Bush imposed after Russia's invasion of Georgia. Obama undid that pushback and wiped the slate clean demanding nothing in return. (2) Canceled missile-defense agreements with Poland and the Czech Republic. Without even consulting them. A huge concession to Putin's threats while again asking nothing in return. And sending a message that, while Eastern Europe may think it achieved post-cold War independence, in reality it remains in play, subject to Russian influence and interests. (3) In 2012, Obama assured Dmitry Medvedev that he would be even more flexible with Putin on missile defense as soon as he got past the election. (4) The Syria debacle. Obama painted himself into a corner on chemical weapons -- threatening to bomb and then backing down and allowed Putin to rescue him with a promise to since 1998, most to sanity-friendly states. The total unfunded liability in California (state, county, and municipal) is said to exceed 1 trillion. A paltry 6 billion short-term surplus won t put a dent in that. The jury is most certainly still out on whether Brown and his beloved party will in fact be able to stabilize California s economic and fiscal woes in the long term. Based on my 30 years in California and on the factual record taken in its totality, I would advise folks in conservative states to beware of those recommending approaches to solving problems until we see whether or not such problems are indeed solved, or whether they are just being kicked down the road out of political expediency. Charles Cole Sheridan Obama s inaction enables Putin s grab for Ukraine get rid of Syria's stockpiles. Obama hailed this as a great win-win, when both knew or did Obama really not know? that he had just conferred priceless legitimacy on Bashar al- Assad and made Russia the major regional arbiter for the first time in 40 years. (5) Obama keeps cutting defense spending. His latest budget will reduce it to 3 percent of GDP by 2016 and cut the army to pre-pearl Harbor size just as Russia is rebuilding, as Iran is going nuclear and as China announces yet another 12-plus percent increase in military spending. Puzzling. There is no U.S. financial emergency, no budgetary collapse. Obama declares an end to austerity for every government department except the military. Can Putin be faulted for believing that if he bites off Crimea and threatens Kiev, Obama's response will be minimal and his ability to lead the Europeans even less so? Would Putin have lunged for Ukraine if he didn't have such a clueless adversary? No one can say for sure. But it certainly made Putin's decision easier. Russia will get kicked out of the G-8 if Obama can get Angela Merkel to go along. Big deal. Putin does care about financial sanctions, but the Europeans are already divided and squabbling among themselves. Next weekend's Crimean referendum will ask if it should be returned to Mother Russia. Can Putin refuse? He can already see the history textbooks: Catherine the Great conquered Crimea, Vlad (the Great?) won it back. Not bad for a 19th-century man. CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER writes a weekly political column for The Washington Post. He is also a Fox News commentator. THE SHERIDAN Press Stephen Woody Publisher Kristen Czaban Managing Editor Phillip Ashley Marketing Director Becky Martini Office Manager Mark Blumenshine Production Manager DROP US A LINE The Sheridan Press welcomes letters to the editor. The decision to print any submission is completely at the discretion of the managing editor and publisher. Letters must be signed and include an address and telephone number which will not be published for verification purposes. Unsigned letters will not be published, nor form letters, or letters that we deem libelous, obscene or in bad taste. delivery of letters into the Press works best and have the best chance of being published. Letters should not exceed 400 words. The best-read letters are those that stay on a single topic and are brief. Letters can be edited for length, taste, clarity. We reserve the right to limit frequent letter writers. Write: Letters to the Editor The Sheridan Press P.O. Box 2006 Sheridan, Wyo IN WASHINGTON President Barack Obama The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Washington, DC Phone: Fax: Rep. Cynthia Lummis 1004 Longworth HOB Washington, DC Phone: Toll free: Fax: Sen. Mike Enzi Senate Russell Building 379A Washington, DC Phone: Toll free: Fax: Sen. John Barrasso 307 Dirksen Senate Office Building Washington, DC Phone: Fax: The 1st Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.