Sunday, February 28, 2010

Reading the Sunday paper -- food co-ops, neglected houses and news about upcoming governor's race

I read today's Wyoming Tribune-Eagle almost cover-to-cover. I spend more time reading news online these days than I do in the paper. But the Sunday paper is still a ritual. Something about the tradition -- the rustle of the pages and the smell of the coffee and not having to go to work. Local stories, too. These are tough to find online, especially since the WTE has such a lousy web site.

One local news headline got my attention: "Alternative grocery store might replace old Safeway." News came a few weeks ago that the State of Wyoming bought the downtown Safeway property. The store will shut down this week. The wrecking ball will follow.

On Saturday, about 30 people met at the library to discuss forming a food co-op downtown. I wouldn't actually call a food co-op an "alternative grocery store." It's a membership organization that usually stocks food not available in chain grocery stores. Twenty years ago, I belonged to the food co-op in Fort Collins. I bought granola in bulk, and organic rolled oats and local honey and veggies in season. Thing is, you can get most of this stuff at Safeway or King Soopers, even Albertson's. My local Albertson's stocks a great selection of mixes from Bob's Red Mill, including Buckwheat Pancake Mix, my favorite.

But it's not about discounts or replacing a chain store in the downtown area. It's about community. It's about growing and eating and purchasing locally. It's about making downtown a thriving livable place. So many empty buildings in our downtown. So few residents, especially in the city's core area. A food co-op would be a great addition. Hope the organizers are certain of their goals. If you're interested, the next meeting will be on Saturday, March 6, 2 p.m. at the Laramie County Public Library in Cheyenne.

I was glad to see that the Cheyenne City Council is taking up an ordinance on vacated residences. This fits in with the previous story. The houses on the block adjacent to the downtown Safeway have been abandoned and boarded-up for more than a year. Safeway bought the houses and once had plans to tear down the old store and build a new Super Safeway with a big parking lot such as the one on South Greeley Highway. But the economy turned south, and the neighbors were stuck with a block of abandoned houses. Safeway should have been fined for every day those houses stood abandoned and neglected.

That's what we should due to other negligent slumlords in Cheyenne. Until a few weeks ago, we had an abandoned house in our neighborhood. It was an eyesore. Abandoned along with the house was a beat-up pick-up and a van. They just sit on the street, blocking the road grader which smooths our dirt street each month. I saw today that someone has bought the house and has put up a "for rent" sign. Let's hope this landlord doesn't morph into a slumlord. By the way, I have nothing against renters. I was a renter for more years that I've been a homeowner.

Syndicated columnist Bill Sniffin out of Lander announced that Wyoming U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi will not be running for governor. Huh? Late last year, Mr. Sniffin had teased us about a mystery candidate for the governor's race.

A lot of wild speculation was dished my way as people speculated that I was talking about Dick Cheney, Liz Cheney, John Barrasso, Cynthia Lummis, Dave Freudenthal turning Republican, Ray Hunkins, Eli Bebout and even this writer (wow!).

Dick Cheney? Liz Cheney? God forbid that those plagues would be loosed upon the state. Ditto Cynthia Lummis. Gov Dave turning Republican? Guess it could happen. Some of my lefty friends might say that Dave is DINO -- Democrat in Name Only. But this is Wyoming with its one-party system. I guess you could say there are two parties -- Republicans and Republicrats. I belong to the fringe party that nobody pays atention to -- Democrats.

But Enzi isn't running. He's too busy singing in the No Chorus of Senate Republicans. Maybe next time...

1 comment:

bigfrank said...

The Feds have everyone so scared of whole foods and are pushing their money that they are getting from Monsanto down our throat in GMO's, high-fructose corn syrup, MSG and countless others. Now a state like Wyoming wants to stand up and shove back with HB54 it gets shut down. Doesn’t even get out of committee in the Senate because they are too scared of the big boys to even let it out. That pisses me off. While the FDA is still trying to figure out where the salmonella peppers came from they are busy telling us we are too dumb to ask questions about our food safety from the grower and to trust that mystery beef from Wal-Mart injected with so much crap just so it looks fresh. Maybe if they shut the heck up and did their job they could find those where those peppers came from and I could go to a whole foods or a local farmer that has his pride on the line not the bottom dollar. But then again this is coming from a government agency that has to validate its existence and comes up with crap such as "Nutrition from food has no direct correlation to your health".

Jump on board now to support next years Wyoming Food Freedom Act if you like Food Co-ops and such. For if you dont then the feds will have it all shutdown and big farmer will rule and you will be forced to eat the GMO crap.