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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."

Brigham City facing projected revenue loss close to $500,000

By Rebecca Hansen

April 13, 2009 | BRIGHAM CITY -- Preserving the city's mission to "maintain and enhance the quality of life for citizens" is no easy feat with a drop in revenue due to the current economic climate, Mayor Lou Ann Christensen said.

Christensen gave a presentation of the 2009-2010 fiscal year budget for Brigham City at the City Council meeting Thursday, which outlined what challenges are being faced and how the mayor plans to deal with them.

"My overall goal in preparing the budget was to maintain the level of service to our citizens," Christensen said.

Sales tax and interest income are projected to decrease nearly $490,000 this coming year, Christensen said.

She said she is also proposing a 1.9 percent utility rate increase, which will cover the cost of operation for all utilities. The city has also budgeted $4.2 million for capitol projects and a two percent raise for city employees.

"In all the years that I have been involved in the budget process while serving as an elected official, this year's budget has certainly been one of our most challenging." Christensen said. "During these difficult economic times, I'm very sympathetic to the struggles that our citizens and businesses are experiencing. We can only trust that the economy will recover in the coming year and restore out faith in the leadership of this great nation."

In other business:

-- The council approved a request by the police department to apply for grant money to fund three additional police officers through the Community Oriented Policing Services Hiring Recovery Program

-- The council approved the transfer of $150,000 from the Leisure Services to the Capitol Project fund. The money was gathered to match grant funds that were going to be used on West Forrest Street, but the grant was never received.

-- The council approved the use of Capitol Project funds to complete a retaining wall at the golf course maintenance building and to remodel the concessions stand at Pioneer Park by a vote of 4 to 1.

-- Mayor Christensen declared April 24 Arbor Day.


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