HNC Home Page
News Business Arts & Life Sports Opinion Calendar Archive About Us
ONE TWISTED SISTER: Musician Dee Snider flashes the devil's horns to the crowd at Monster Circus, a rock mecca in Vegas. Click Arts&Life or a link to story. / Photo by Ben Hansen, special contributor

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


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

Smithfield's enjoying a growth spurt, officials say

By Blaze Bullock

April 9, 2009 | SMITHFIELD -- Population growth is booming here, says city recorder Dean Clegg, and Smithfield has evolved from an agricultural community to much more of a "bedroom community."

Clegg also said that there are a lot of of people in the community that still depend on dairy or agriculture for 100 percent of their income.

"We've expanded tremendously," he said. The city has about 10,000 residents and that number is rising.

Clegg said the city is inviting people to move there. He said the city has some of the lowest tax rates in the state and the absolute lowest rates in Cache county.

City Manager James Gass said the city has grown so fast that some of its roads are getting too congested. Gass said he'd like to see a road built that would connect from 400 West and about 400 North to Saddleback Road. He said the proposed road would give drivers an alternate route from the very busy 300 North.

Some residents are not too happy with the city's population growth and the changes that might accompany it.

Jeff Gittins owns a dairy farm in the city and said he doesn't like the idea of the connection of 400 West to Saddleback Road. "I'm not anxious to have an intersection at the main gate of my dairy," said Gittins.

Gittins also expressed concern over the idea of changing zoning laws for the land by his dairy. "It seems to me a shame that we took 1 to 2 acre agricultural areas and turned them into residential areas," he said. "We're not favorable about this."

The Planning Commission and City Council have changed some zoning laws because of the rapid population growth. The booming population has caused a need for a new elementary school, said the council. That's why they changed zoning laws on a lot just east of 800 West from an agricultural zone to a school zone.


Copyright 1997-2009 Utah State University Department of Journalism & Communication, Logan UT 84322, (435) 797-3292
Best viewed 800 x 600.