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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.

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

North Loganites fed up with lack of progress on 200 East

By Alice Bailey

April 2, 2009 | NORTH LOGAN -- Heated discussion on the lack of progress on building 200 East Street took up most of the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting Wednesday night.

The city planner and the city engineer talked to the commission about studies they want to have done regarding access points by a proposed commercial subdivision.

Ken Holman, who wants to develop property he owns in North Logan, spoke about frustration he and his partner have had with some city ordinances that have impeded their progress.

"I guess our big concern is if it's taken eight years so far with the federal government to try and make a decision, I don't think we're too excited about waiting another eight years before we can actually develop our property," Holman said.

The process of building 200 East in North Logan has been in the works for eight years, and many people are upset with the lack of progress. The city is waiting for the federal government to finish the approval process to fund the road, which will be an alternative to Main Street.

Larry Soule said he didn't think the process was taking so long because of the federal, but the local government. He said federal government was in the process of mitigation, and was leaning toward the option of 6B, but the Cache Council said they wanted to use option five.

"It's a little bit unfair to just blame the federal government." Soule said. "I just want to set that straight right now. It's the local entities that have been throwing the wrenches into this, so we can't just blame the federal government. I don't want them to be taking the blame for this."

Lloyd Berentzen said he thought that giving the go-ahead on projects like the proposed subdivision was a good way to get the federal government moving on the project.

Jeff Jorgensen said doing things like that affected the environmental impact statement, which the federal government needed to have completed before they could approve the funding of a road.

Mark Hancey said he didn't like that people like Holman had to wait so long to develop their own property, but this proposal period isn't the stage at which these types of issues are really resolved.


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