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Today's word on journalism

May 8, 2009

The Last WORD


The Fat Lady Sings, Off-Key, Drools

At about this time every year, like the swallows to Capistrano or the buzzards to Hinckley, Ohio, the WORD migrates to its summer musing grounds at the sanitarium —St. Mumbles Home for the Terminally Verbose.

The reason is clear, and never moreso than as this season —the WORD's 13th —peters out.

It's been a fraught year of high palaver and eye-popping transition, both good and not-so-much. An interminable presidential campaign saga finally did end, and in extraordinary and historic fashion. Meanwhile, the bottom and everything that's below the bottom fell out of the economy, with families, homes, entire industries and —of particular interest to WORDsters and the civic-minded —dozens of daily newspapers ("I don't so much mind that newspapers are dying--it's watching them commit suicide that pisses me off." --Molly Ivins). . . all evaporating. What replaces them, from the individual to the institutional to the societal? Are we looking at a future of in-depth Tweeting?

As any newsperson or firehorse knows, it's hard to turn your back on day-to-day catastrophe --we just have to look at the car wreck. But even the most deranged and driven need a rest. As philosopher Lilly Tomlin once observed, "No matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up."

So this morning, as a near-frost hovered over northern Utah, the unmarked van pulled into the driveway and the gentle, soft-spoken men in the white coats rolled the WORD out of bed and into a straitjacket for the usual summer trip to St. Mumbles, where the blathering one will be assigned a hammock and fed soothing, healthy foods --like tapioca, dog biscuits and salmon --while recharging the essential muscles of cynicism, outrage, sarcasm, social engagement and high-mindedness, in preparation for the next edition.
Summer well, friends.

Speak up! Comment on the WORD at

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Feedback and suggestions --printable and otherwise --always welcome. "There are no false opinions."

Revised county library plan unveiled

By Gideon Oakes

April 2, 2009 | LOGAN -- After more than a year in the works, a new proposal for a county-wide library system was released Tuesday at a joint meeting of the Cache County Council and Logan Municipal Council.

Instead of recommending a jump straight into a county-wide system, the three-member committee instead proposed a trial program wherein county residents living in unincorporated areas could use the Logan City Library for $75 per year. The county would match $30 of the fee for a total of $105 to the city.

The program would be in effect for two years starting in July, after which it may be extended, terminated or modified.

According to the proposal, the results of the trial run will be used to evaluate need for a countywide system.

“The proposal that [City Councilman] Jay [Monson] and I are going to suggest today is really a pretty modest one when you compare it to a full countywide library system,” said H. Craig Petersen, committee member and chairman of the Cache County Council.

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