Monday, July 20, 2009

More tiny, but viable, towns

The Casper Star Tribune ran an intersting article over the weekend about a town that's disappeared.

Commenting on this on SMH, I noted:

A Casper Star Tribune article that sort of sheds light on some of the topics discussed here: ... 0157b9.txt

This article discusses an entire town disappearing. But it misses part of the reason for that. The town was only a few miles from another, that being the town of Midwest. Midwest is just about four or five miles from another, Edgerton. And Midwest is only about 50 miles from Casper. So the town in the article was probably only about 30 or 40 miles from Casper.

When it was founded, travel conditions would have made the town probably both necessary and viable. But by the 30s, when it disappeared, it was really redundant and inefficient, it's role having been taken over by older and slightly larger Midwest.

Today, Midwest and Edgerton are sort of shadows of their former selves as well.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

1920, law, and the Geology Museum

I learned just the other day that the University of Wyoming College of Law was founded in 1920, and received ABA approval in 1923.

Shoot, that's a lot earlier than I thought. I had thought, for some reason, that the College of Law dated from after World War Two. It sort of redefines my concepts of what the university regarded as worthwhile or important early on. When the College of Law was founded, I think the school was about 30 years old.

In other new, the University has had to cut its budget fairly significantly due to the decline in mineral revenues. Nearly the entire state budget is funded through severance taxes, which have taken a real hit in the last year. The change in economic fortunes has been massive, due to the national slow down, and the regional decline in the value of natural gas. So, as a result, Gov. Freudenthal has ordered ever state agency to cut back, and also enacted a general hiring freeze.

The University has taken the ax to distance programs, I guess (I'm not really up on that). But as part of the cutbacks, the very old Geology Museum is being closed.

It's a shame. I'll admit that I find it sad as I'm a graduate of the Geology Department. I hate to see it close. I don't know how old it is, but it's real darned old. I don't disagree with the need to cut back, but I find it very difficult to accept that a cut back in a feature of a hard science department is academically sound.