CASPER, Wyo. — Good afternoon, everyone, and happy New Year! How have you been dealing with the howling winds Casper has been seeing in recent weeks? Are you cheering on Wyoming-born speedskater Brianna Bocox in her quest to make the Olympics? What do you think of ART 321’s plans to host challenging exhibits in a new “Immersive Installations” show?
We’ve gathered reader comments that touch on all those questions and more in the first 2022 edition of Oil City Speaks!
- Casper has been seeing some extreme winds in recent weeks that have led to damage such as trees blowing over along the Bridle Trail on Casper Mountain. Here is a hot take from one reader in response to the windy Wyoming weather:
Anyone who grew up in Casper knows that strong wind is nothing new, but you can hear a lot of chat around town about winds this season seeming worse than usual. People have seen trees blow over on their properties and strong winds have led to concerns about the stability of structures like the eagle statue in Mills. Casper recently had to take down flags at City Hall and the Hall of Justice due to stressed poles in the wind as well.
How have you been coping with the strong winds? Do you have any creative ways of viewing the gusty conditions in an enjoyable or humorous light? Do you think strong winds affect the culture of the community? If you were to make something, what would you create that is inspired by the wind? Did you know that the root word of “inspire” stems from the Latin word spir that means “to breathe”?
- Speaking of breathing, the first baby born in Casper in 2022 was born at 10:59 a.m. on New Year’s Day at the Banner Wyoming Medical Center. Here’s a heartwarming welcome greeting addressed to Xakhia:
If you celebrate a birthday around the New Year, happy birthday! And merry un-birthday to everyone else!
What do you think is the best way to celebrate a new person coming into the world? Do you have any great birthday memories in Casper? What are you looking forward to for the year ahead?
- One inspiring story this week is about Wyoming-born speedskater Brianna Bocox and her quest to make it to the upcoming Olympic Winter Games in Beijing. In the spirit of inspiration, here’s a heartwarming comment wishing Bocox success:
Bocox has two more chances to qualify for the Olympics after narrowly missing out in the Women’s 1,000 meters at the United States Olympic speedskating trials on Thursday. The top two finishers advance to the Olympics.
Bocox will be skating again at the U.S. Olympic speedskating trials in these competitions:
Women’s 500 meters: 4-5:30 p.m. Friday, USA Network
Women’s 1,500 meters: 2-4 p.m. Saturday, USA Network
- Some people found reason to gripe surrounding a story this week about the City of Casper asking people to drive carefully amid icy conditions and avoid hills as the ice melt used by the city doesn’t work as effectively in single-digit and subzero temperatures. Here’s a hot take about people complaining and some thought-provoking comments about driving in the snow and ice in winter:
In response to the story about ice melt and driving in Casper, some readers complained about the fact that the ice melt used by the city isn’t as effective in very cold temperatures. The city said that when temperatures are in the single digits or below zero, ice melt is only used in intersections and on hills since the ice melt is less effective (and in order to be more fiscally responsible).
Do you think city efforts such as snow mitigation sometimes get too much grief from the public? Does the reduced effectiveness of the ice melt in frigid temperatures frustrate you?
Who in Casper hasn’t complained about the wind before? Why do you think weather-related topics are something people seem to like to complain about? Is it because the weather is something that is a backdrop to everyone’s experience in the community and serves as shared common-ground for conversation? Is it because people can vent about the weather without hurting its feelings? Is it simply because it is fun to complain sometimes? Or is there something more serious about these complaints that needs to be taken more seriously?
- How seriously do you take people’s concerns about the upcoming “Immersive Installations” show at ART 321 that is expected to include some displays that are intentionally challenging? One of the exhibits is expected to incorporate the artist’s own blood and ART 321 is working with the Casper-Natrona County Health Department to ensure safety. Did people who expressed concerns to the health department do so out of a real concern about public health or out of concern about the potentially controversial nature of the art show? Here are some hot takes and thought-provoking comments from readers:
Do you think it matters why someone may have complained to the health department about the art show? Are you glad that someone is working to ensure public health safety at a public event?
Are you glad to see ART 321 making space for some challenging art? Do the concerns people express about a thing amplify your interest in that thing? Are you more or less likely to go see the show after hearing people have complained about it, or is that irrelevant to you?
- A story this week about the Wyoming Game and Fish Department urging people not to feed wildlife led to some conversation about the problems that feeding wildlife can create. Here is one thought-provoking comment:
Attracting wildlife to a developed area is one of the problems Game and Fish said that feeding wildlife creates.
“The animals are continually crossing roads where they are hit by vehicles or chased, and sometimes killed, by homeowners’ dogs,” Game and Fish said. “Just being in close proximity to humans generally elevates the stress on these animals.”
“On the other hand, if an animal becomes habituated to human contact, it may lead to human injury. People and often children are fooled into thinking an animal is tame and may try to approach it. These animals are still wild and may unexpectedly strike out in self-defense or defense of [their] young.”
Game and Fish added that feeding wildlife can lead to damage to vegetation. Feeding wildlife can also lead to longer-term problems as animals become habituated to receiving human-provided food.
“Wild animals are generally very habitual,” Game and Fish said. “Once fed, they will often return the following year with their offspring and others and will soon overwhelm the hobby feeder. In addition, they may also lure in predators such as coyotes, mountain lions or domestic dogs, which are often attracted to large groups of prey animals.”
- That’s all from Oil City Speaks for now! Disagree with anything we said? Great! Feel free to get involved with discussion about what’s happening in our community by commenting on stories posted to Oil City’s Facebook page. Have a great day!
Why are we putting together this Oil City Speaks story?
Oil City News is all about offering coverage of the people, places and events that shape the community we love. We strive to provide informative stories for our readers and value dialogue about the Casper area community and the Cowboy State.
What makes for a valuable online discussion? It is no secret that readers are sometimes wary about the “dreaded” comments section (on stories posted to Oil City’s Facebook page). While comments may seem frustrating at times, they can also allow people to voice their perspectives, add more information for readers to consider or give people a way to celebrate their community together.
That’s why we’re bringing you Oil City Speaks, a selection of noteworthy reader comments from our local coverage. We care that you care about your community and we want to take the time to recognize comments that stand out to us. We’ll also offer some fact-checking on comments.
We’re not here to police your comments or your views. Comment Guideline: We welcome comments expressing all points of views on our posts–positive and negative–but reserve the right to remove posts that contain inappropriate language, links to items for sale, hate speech, personal attacks, threats, or are off-topic.