Open Spaces

Open Spaces
3:22 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

One college student shares her experience with an extreme case of domestic violence

When we talk about domestic violence, we usually focus on the perpetrators and the victims. But children in abusive families are also deeply affected. We’re joined now by Haylee Reay. She’s a sophomore at UW, and her father killed her mother.

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Open Spaces
3:18 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

C.J. Box discusses his career and new book Breaking Point.

The 13th Joe Pickett novel by Wyoming author C.J. Box has hit the stores.  Box is both a bestselling and award winning author for both his Joe Pickett series which surrounds the trials and tribulations of a Wyoming game warden and for three additional novels.  Box says he writes a book and a half a year.  He joins us to discuss the latest novel Breaking Point, but also reflects on his career.  Box tells Bob Beck that it took awhile before he had success as a writer.

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Open Spaces
3:15 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

MFA student shares essay about celebrating Hindu festival in Wyoming

LuLing Osofsky graduated from UW’s Master of Fine Arts program in writing. She frequently wrote about feeling displaced – both culturally and geographically – when she came to Wyoming. In this essay, she writes about international students celebrating the Hindu festival of Holi on UW’s campus. Holi celebrates the coming of spring and the colors that it spring brings. This year it will be celebrated on March 27th.

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Open Spaces
1:29 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Antelope Butte Ski Area could reopen as non-profit, nearby for-profit ski lodge calls foul

Antelope Butte Ski Area has been closed for nearly ten years.

The Antelope Butte ski area in the Bighorn Mountains has been closed since 2004. Now, the Antelope Butte Foundation is raising money to reopen the ski-resort… this time as a nonprofit. The Foundation has applied for a Wyoming Business Council Grant to refurbish the resort. But the owner of the nearby Meadowlark Ski Lodge is worried that the competition could kill his business. Wyoming Public Radio’s Luke Hammons reports.

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Open Spaces
1:23 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

Wyoming workers share talents, stories in poetry workshop

Workers from a variety of backgrounds gather to write at one of four poetry workshops organized by Mark Nowak, an eminent writer in residence at the University of Wyoming.
Credit Rebecca Martinez

The University of Wyoming invites thinkers and doers from all corners of academia to visit and work at the university and add some perspective to the curriculum. The Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program has invited poet and labor activist Mark Nowak to serve as its Eminent Writer in Residence for a few weeks this year.

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Open Spaces
5:08 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

March 8th, 2013

UW Economist Anne Alexander discusses the potential effects of the federal sequester on Wyoming
One thing everyone is trying to get a grip on is how the federal sequester will impact Wyoming.  Anne Alexander is an economist at the University of Wyoming.  She joined Bob Beck in the studio to discuss this.

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Open Spaces
4:56 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

UW Economist Anne Alexander discusses the potential effects of the federal sequester on Wyoming

One thing everyone is trying to get a grip on is how the federal sequester will impact Wyoming.  Anne Alexander is an economist at the University of Wyoming.  She joined Bob Beck in the studio to discuss this.

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Open Spaces
4:53 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Wyo. Lawmakers Fear Western Issues Absent in Gun Debate

In the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting there’s been an increase in calls for gun control in Washington. Matt Laslo reports the Wyoming congressional delegation fears the entire debate is leaving out western issues.  

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Open Spaces
4:50 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Lawmakers reflect on unusual session

Senators debate a bill during the legislative session, 2013

It’s been over a week since the Wyoming legislature wrapped up the 2013 session.  It was a session that many lawmakers called unusual, mainly due to the unexpected legislation that removed powers from State Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill.  The other surprise was that the interaction between legislators and the public got heated at times, especially during debate on gun bills.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck spoke with a number of legislators about the session and has this report.

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Open Spaces
4:47 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

WY future should include value-added energy projects, report says

A report released by a coalition including the Wyoming Business Council, the University of Wyoming, and the Idaho National Laboratory detailed why Wyoming should diversify its energy production methods and how the state could use its abundant natural resources in value-added projects.

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Open Spaces
4:13 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

A conversation with incoming UW President, Dr. Robert Sternberg

Doctor Robert Sternberg is the incoming President of the University of Wyoming.  Sternberg is a noted Psychologist who is currently the Provost at Oklahoma State University.  In other interviews Sternberg has made it clear that a key focus of his will be on improving academics at UW and he is also a big supporter of athletics.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck asked him to talk about a few other issues.

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Open Spaces
4:08 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

PBS documentary links railroad construction to the formation of Wyoming

A documentary about the construction of the transcontinental railroad is set to air on Wyoming PBS this weekend. The film will show how the building of the railroad shaped Wyoming into the place it is today. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden spoke with the film’s producer, Tom Manning. He says before the railroad was built, there was no Wyoming. The film, “End of Track,” premieres on PBS on March 10th at 7 p.m.

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Open Spaces
5:05 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Legislature works to improve education

The Wyoming legislature grabbed headlines early in the session by stripping powers from State Superintendent Cindy Hill.  Now they they’re focused on ways to improve education.   Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck has more….

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Open Spaces
4:55 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

New research seeks to answer key scientific questions about Sublette County ozone

Drill rigs like this one are one source of emissions that could be contributing to ozone formation in Sublette County.
Credit Willow Belden

Sublette County has an ozone problem. Ozone is produced by emissions from the oil and gas fields and contributes to smog, which can cause health problems.  Several times in the past few years, ozone levels have exceeded federal limits, and the Environmental Protection Agency has given Wyoming three years to fix the problem. The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality has been working with local residents and industry to come up with a solution. But that’s hard to do, because nobody understands the exact chemistry of ozone formation.

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Open Spaces
4:39 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Pinedale residents discuss DEQ’s response to ozone problem

Credit Courtesy of Pinedale Online

Last year, a task force of citizens, energy industry reps, and local leaders got together to tackle the ozone problem in Sublette County. They came up with a list of recommendations for the Department of Environmental Quality. Among other things, they called for tougher regulations on industry and more rigorous air quality monitoring. In January, the Department of Environmental Quality met with the task force to discuss how they would respond to the recommendations. They said nothing was off the table, but that some recommendations could take a long time to implement.

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Open Spaces
4:37 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Cloudseeding study comes to an end during a dry winter

Credit Irina Zhorov

The University of Wyoming is part of two weather modification studies. The first is the Wyoming Weather Modification Pilot Project, and the second, companion project is the Silver Iodide Seeding Cloud Impact Investigation, or ASCII. Both studies are trying to learn more about atmospheric processes and whether people can do anything to eke more moisture out of the skies. Professor Bart Geerts heads the ASCII campaign, which is finishing up its second and last year…

BACK ANNOUNCE:

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Open Spaces
4:34 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Governor reviews the legislative session

As the Wyoming legislative session winds down, Governor Matt Mead joins us to give his thoughts on the session. We start with the budget, where the governor vetoed three items.  One area of concern is the lack of funding lawmakers gave the governor for forest fires and another is the legislature’s insistence that agencies propose more budget cuts.  Governor Mead tells Bob Beck that can wait…

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Open Spaces
4:32 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Freshman legislators reflect on their first legislative session as it near finale

For Wyoming’s lawmakers, the short legislative sessions are full of long days and myriad issues. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov reports that newly elected legislators have to learn a lot quickly, but they’re taking their knocks in stride.

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Open Spaces
4:27 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Laramie residents opine on the legislature this session.

The Wyoming State Legislature heard a variety of colorful issues this session—from concealed gun laws, to abortion and gay marriage, to the controversy surrounding the removal of Cindy Hill’s main duties as Superintendent of Education. As the session comes to a close next week, Wyoming Public Radio’s Sara Hossaini talked to people outside of the Albany County Courthouse to see what issues they were following and how their representatives measured up.

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Open Spaces
4:08 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Being Bahá'í in the Cowboy State

Most Wyomingites have long since taken down their Christmas trees and wrapped up their winter holidays… But for people who practice the Bahá'í faith, the Festival of Ayyám-i-Há – where families get together and exchange small gifts, is right around the corner.

The Bahá'í religion is a relatively young one. Founded in Persia in the mid-1800s, it follows the teachings of two prophets – The Báb, and Bahá'u'lláh. They taught about the oneness of God and of religion, and that God continues to reveal truths to humanity throughout time. 

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Open Spaces
4:01 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

UW MFA graduate LuLing Osofsky reads her poem, “The Pines”

LuLing Osofsky is a graduate of U-W’s graduate program in creative writing. She writes poetry and essays on topics as disparate as Jewish boxers who fought during the Holocaust and being Chinese in mostly white Wyoming. She graduated in 2012. This is poem called The Pines. 

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Open Spaces
5:45 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

February 15th, 2013

Increased coal exports overseas bring up questions of royalty payments
Coal producers in the U.S. are looking to markets abroad to make up for decreasing demand at home. But a recent investigation by Thomson Reuters news service suggests there might be royalty underpayments on those shipments. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov reports that royalty question is still unresolved.

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Open Spaces
5:36 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Increased coal exports overseas bring up questions of royalty payments

Coal producers in the U.S. are looking to markets abroad to make up for decreasing demand at home. But a recent investigation by Thomson Reuters news service suggests there might be royalty underpayments on those shipments. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov reports that royalty question is still unresolved.

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Open Spaces
5:33 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

The importance of Wyoming's Permanent Mineral Trust Fund

Credit State Treasurer Mark Gordon from the State Treasurer website.

Frequently during the legislative session you will hear lawmakers refer to Wyoming’s Permanent Mineral Trust fund.  The fund was established in 1974 by then Governor Stan Hathaway and it is funded by a portion of severance taxes or taxes paid by the energy industry and occasional money deposited by the legislature. Income from the fund can be used to pay for government.   It has a market value of roughly 5.6 billion dollars.  It’s viewed as a key part of Wyoming’s funding future. Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports.

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Open Spaces
5:30 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Wyoming Lawmakers Wary of the President’s New Agenda

President Obama laid out a sweeping agenda in his State of the Union address that would have a big impact on Wyoming if enacted. Matt Laslo caught up with Wyoming lawmakers in Washington and reports on their reactions to the controversial plan.

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Open Spaces
5:26 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Cheyenne homeless project reduces recidivism, but transients remain on the streets

Last summer, the Cheyenne Police Department launched the Homeless Empowerment Action Team, or HEAT. Police officers and the director of Cheyenne’s homeless shelter, the COMEA House, went around town and talked with homeless people.

They made sure homeless individuals knew the rules regarding trespassing, panhandling, and public intoxication, and warned them of the penalties for breaking those laws. They also told homeless individuals about services available to them. The goal was to help the homeless get back on their feet, and make them law abiding citizens.

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Open Spaces
5:23 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

NRCS in final stages of soil mapping project

Soil scientists Drew Mather works on the soil survey in Sweetwater County.
Credit Courtesy the NRCS

The Natural Resources Conservation Service is finishing up surveying the soil in Wyoming. They’ve been working on the project for decades, and they’ve completed surveys in most of the counties in the state. We’re joined now by James Bauchert, the acting state soil scientist. He says the survey is part of a national effort to inventory, or map out, all the soils in the U.S.

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Open Spaces
5:21 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Health experts recommend testing for radon in the cold winter months to prevent lung cancer

The Wyoming Department of Health is encouraging Wyomingites to test the concentration of radon in their homes this winter, because it’s the time of year that houses aren’t well-ventilated, and the cancer-causing gas is more likely to rise up to living areas. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that radon kills about 20,000 people per year. Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez spoke with Dr. Wallace Akerley, director of thoracic oncology at the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Utah. She started by asking him what radon is, exactly.

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Open Spaces
5:16 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

UPSTARTS: Lander native’s software company develops far-reaching demand while working close to home.

Jason Kintzler is the founder and CEO of Pitch Engine, a publishing software company in Lander. He’s also the author of “The Great American Startup.
Credit Rebecca Martinez

In our occasional series “Upstarts,” we profile Wyoming entrepreneurs. There’s no shortage of self-starters in this state, many of whom build, grow or make things… But until recently, tech start-ups were almost unheard of in the Cowboy State. Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez visited with Jason Kintzler, who founded the Pitch Engine software platform in his native Lander and authored the book, “The New American Start-Up.” She filed this report.

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