Jackson

Kenneth W Gerard

It turns out there can be too much of a good thing, even when it comes to snow in a ski town like Jackson.

Earlier this week, a series of winter storms caused the roof of a building that housed three businesses to collapse there. Then, Monday night, winds in excess of 90 miles an hour buckled about ten steel transmission poles, leaving several areas around Jackson without power, including Teton Village. About 3,000 people have been affected by the outage.

Wikipedia

As part of NPR’s A Nation Engaged series, Wyoming Public Radio set out to hear what Jackson residents are hoping to see from the new Trump Administration. Rebecca Huntington brings us the voices.

U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Johansen Laurel

Teton County’s Habitat for Humanity has released design plans for twenty-four low income homes that will help address the housing shortfall in the area.  

Many of the people who work in the Jackson area can’t afford to live there, and a recent study found that a third of the county's residents spend more than thirty percent of their income on housing.

A local group hopes to build the three bedroom units over the next four years, and sell them to people who make less than eighty percent of the county’s average.

Snow King Mountain – Jackson

Dec 23, 2016
Snow King Mountain Resort

Snow King Mountain is Wyoming’s first ski area and Jackson’s Town Hill for ski racing, tubing, night skiing, and family fun.  Recently added is Wyoming’s only mountain coaster, the Snow King Cowboy Coaster, which is open all winter long. 

Wikimedia Commons

One of President-elect Donald Trump’s biggest campaign promises was to enact stricter immigration policies. That has caused concern for the Jackson community, a town with a large immigrant population. Immigration laws are outside of the jurisdiction of local law enforcement, but Mayor-elect Pete Muldoon said the town could pass a resolution or ordinance to limit its cooperation with federal authorities.

Four recipients of the 2016 Governor’s Arts Awards have been announced. Two recipients are from Jackson: author, art historian, and curator Adam Duncan Harris, and arts advocate Tim Sandlin. Marianne Vinich is a visual artist and art teacher from Lander.

And a posthumous award has been given to Forrest Mars, Jr., the Mars candy bar heir and arts patron from Big Horn who died last July at age 84.

Aaron Schrank

 

Emotions are running high following the 2016 presidential election. Educators in Jackson are helping their large number of Mexican students cope with emotions they may be encountering at home.

“We have to determine what's important. Was my wig, really important?” asks teacher Thomas Ralston.

“No!” respond his third-grade class.

“So do I think if I used my earth and space book, every single thing in my earth and space book should go in my report?” he asks.

“No!” respond the students.

Brett Neilson

Jackson resident says a state system that flags voters as potential non-citizens may be intimidating some U.S. citizens, who have the legal right to vote.

Jackson's Gina Valencia became a U.S. citizen in 2010. That November she registered to vote in her first U.S. election and then voted in five elections. The Wyoming Department of Transportation has a copy of her U.S. passport on file as proof of her citizenship.

But this year, she received a letter from the Teton County Clerk saying she had been flagged by the state as a "potential non-citizen."

JACKSON HOLE COMMUNITY HOUSING TRUST

Two new housing proposals in Jackson recommend that the town pay for infrastructure improvements on behalf of private developers, as long as they limit access to those facilities to lower income renters.

Mayor Sara Flitner said private developers are usually responsible for building their infrastructure as needed. But because the cost of housing has eclipsed wages in Jackson, Flitner said the town council is considering an exchange of infrastructure improvements, such as water and sewage, for income restrictions on new development’s housing.

Jackson is renowned for its dramatic landscapes and outdoor recreation, but arts organizations would like Jackson to be just as well known for its world-class cultural offerings. For the first time, Dancers’ Workshop and the Grand Teton Music Festival are teaming up to cross-promote each other’s events.

“For our two organizations it just made good sense to work together and to do our part to hopefully raise the profile of the community through what we’re already doing,” explained GTMF executive director Andrew Todd.

patandvictor.com

The official video for Pat + Victor's song, "Wyoming." Written by Victor Pokorny. Listen to Pat + Victor's entire "Stay! Positive!" EP starting Aug. 23, 2016 on iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud, Google Play and other streaming and purchase sites. 

National Interagency Fire Center

Teton County health officials are warning people living in communities near wildfires about lower air quality.

Wildfire smoke has particles in it from burning material that when inhaled can be harmful on the body, especially during exercise. These particles can irritate an individual’s eyes, lungs and throat.

“You know, it’s not a good time when it’s really smoky out to go run to the top of the mountain,” Rachael Wheeler of Teton County Public Health said. “You don’t really want to aggravate your body when the air isn’t clean.”

donaldrunnicles.org

This summer, the Grand Teton Music Festival celebrates 10 years with music director and conductor Donald Runnicles. As he tells Wyoming Public Radio’s Micah Schweizer, the festival features a lineup of rising young stars as guest soloists with the orchestra.

Wyoming Public Radio’s first broadcast of the Festival Orchestra is tonight, immediately following coverage of the Republican National Convention.

David Swift

 

When someone gets sick, it can be difficult to know what to do for them. Should you bring flowers, food, a card? Jackson resident Kathleen Neiley is providing an answer to that question and employing rural women around the state with her new business Full Circle.

Quilts. The company creates custom, group funded t-shirt quilts for cancer patients, and its workforce will be made up of women in rural areas of Wyoming. Neiley told Wyoming Public Radio’s Caroline Ballard the idea came from her own experiences.

Vertical Harvest

A documentary following the first year of business for an innovative greenhouse in Jackson is one of ten finalists in a nationwide film competition.

The film, called “Hearts of Glass,” details the challenges of the Vertical Harvest greenhouse through its first year of “vertical farming,” a process that grows produce by stacking it on top of each other instead of side by side. Vertical Harvest also hires disabled people in the community to help grow the produce.

Art Fair Jackson Hole

The annual Art Fair Jackson Hole is expanding as it celebrates its 50th anniversary. For the first time, the Art Association of Jackson Hole has contracted with an event planner to organize the fair. Erika Bossi’s goal is to broaden the fair’s audience.

“We’re making it more of an event this summer, so that we’re any number of different people to the art fair,” she said.

Snow King Mountain Resort Website

Jackson's Snow King Mountain Resort plans to upgrade its facilities within the next five years.

The small ski area will build multiple restaurants on Snow King Mountain's summit that will serve over 1,000 people, as well as a modernized cable-car lift able to carry out 1,500 people per hour to the top of the mountain. 

A stargazing observatory is also planned for the summit, which Resort General Manager Ryan Stanley said would hopefully attract people beyond skiers.

Harvey Barrison via Flickr Creative Commons

About 150 tenants at the Virginian Village apartments in Jackson are struggling to find new places to live after being notified last week that they’re being kicked out of their homes. 

The property owners of Jackson’s Virginian Village apartments say tenants must be out by the end of July—and some must leave as soon as May 1. California-based Bedford Investments plans to remodel and sell the complex’s 56 units.

A documentary produced in Jackson is set to premiere on public television stations around the country this spring. "Far Afield" stars naturalist Bert Raynes, a longtime Jackson Hole News & Guide columnist.

The film follows the life of Raynes as he discovers his two great loves – nature and his wife, Meg. Together they founded the Meg and Bert Raynes Wildlife Fund.

gtmf.org

    

  

The Grand Teton Music Festival has long been a major event for classical music in the summer. Now, the festival is expanding with its inaugural Winter Music event, which runs March 15-18 in Jackson Hole. As GTMF executive director Andrew Todd explains to Wyoming Public Radio’s Micah Schweizer, this month’s mini-festival is about two larger goals.

tetonwildlife.org

The Jackson area may have a raptor center to rehabilitate birds of prey, but when other species are injured, there’s nowhere to take them. 

So wildlife biologists Renee Seidler and Lindsay Jones have been working with wildlife agencies in Wyoming and Idaho to start the Teton Wildlife Rehabilitation Center.

Teton Wildlife Rehabilitation Center co-founder Lindsey Jones says she and her partner, Renee Seidler, especially want to help animals injured in conflicts with people.

The Jackson Town Council and Teton County Board of Commissioners agreed to a draft housing action plan for the community this week, following a 3-day summit.

The 80-page plan will need to be approved by a vote at a joint meeting November 2. Under the plan, the county and town will work together on housing issues with a joint Town-County Housing Director.

The Teton County Housing Authority will be restructured to allow for joint control with the town of Jackson. It will remain a quasi-governmental agency, but its scope and focus will be significantly reduced.

The SHIFT Festival kicks off its second annual conference this week at the Center for the Arts in Jackson.

Director Christian Beckwith says the conference is the first of its kind to bring together outdoor recreationists, land managers and conservation advocates.

"We’re really looking forward to getting everybody into the same room at the same time, cross-pollinating the conversations that we typically just have amongst ourselves, and seeing where it goes from there," says Beckwith.

Riot Act, Inc.

The next big name in sketch comedy could have its roots in Wyoming.

This Saturday, September 19, the Jackson-based theatre company Riot Act, Inc. will hold a sketch comedy workshop with hopes that participants will go on to form a comedy troupe of their own. The workshop is open to all levels of writers and actors.

Jenny Booth Art

Fashion shows in major cities aren’t the only places that define style. Right now, the 23rd annual Western Design Conference is in full swing in Jackson. The juried show features the work of more than 100 artists from around the country—including many from Wyoming. Director Allison Merritt spoke to Wyoming Public Radio’s Micah Schweizer about what the event brings to the world of design.

Art Association of Jackson Hole

Nine up-and-coming Jackson artists will be featured in the fourth annual Jackson Rising exhibition opening this weekend. Local artists recommended their peers for the Jackson Rising display. Art Association Gallery director Thomas Macker says this process of finding new contributors keeps the exhibition fresh year after year.

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort / Instagram

A low pressure system that moved through Wyoming Monday brought some strange weather, including strong winds statewide and snow in the upper elevations in the Tetons.

Gusts nearing 70 miles per hour were recorded in the Jackson area, and windy conditions fueled wildfires in Natrona and Sweetwater Counties.

Dave Lipson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Riverton, says this kind of weather is more typical of September or October.

Miles Bryan

When the housing shortage in Jackson comes up, Joshua Landon might be the face that comes to mind. When we met outside of my hotel in Jackson he arrived in a beat-up 1997 Chevy Suburban. It was smoking. Heavily.

“This is really bad,” Landon says.

It’s kind of important Landon keeps this thing running. Because it's not only ride...the SUV is his home, too. “I got a mattress back there,” he says, pointing to where the back seats were folded down. “Memory foam--pretty comfy.”

Courtesy Jackson Hole Community Housing Trust

 

 

Kelly Matthews teaches special education at Jackson’s Colter Elementary School. She rents a studio apartment in town—above a garage workspace.

“It’s not an optimal place, but it’s a roof,” Matthews says.

Matthews makes $67,000 a year. That’s more than the $58,000 average for Wyoming teachers, but it’s not enough to get Matthews into a 2-bedroom place for her and her 8-year-old-son.

“He gets the bedroom, and mom gets the couch,” says Matthews. “I’ve been sleeping on the couch for two years.”

artassociation.org

Downtown Jackson will be hosting a myriad of artists Friday, July 10 through Sunday, July 12. This year, Art Fair Jackson Hole is featuring 40 new artists alongside more than 100 returning artists.

Elise LaMay is Art Fair’s new events director. She says the fair showcases regional artists and artists from around the country. "I think we just have such a long history here in our community, both in terms of the art fair and in bringing art experiences to everyone here in Jackson," she says.

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