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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."

At long last, 'Flights of Learning' will land at North Logan library

By Alice Bailey

April 13, 2009 | NORTH LOGAN -- After years of planning and fund-raising, the Friends of the North Logan City Library are planning the dedication of the city's first statue at the city library.

The statue will be in place between May 1 and May 5 and the dedication will happen at 1 p.m. May 16 at the southwest corner of the library.

The name of the statue is Flights of Learning, and it was designed by Bryce Petitt, a native of North Logan. He approached the Friends with the design for the 7-foot-6-inch statue several years ago, where he gave an estimated cost of $18,000. A small model of the statue has been in the library since 2001 next to a collection box that has helped raise an estimated $8,000 that has gone toward the purchase of the statue.

"It's a big relief to have the statue being completed," Marcia Cheney said. "The price of actually putting it together increased a lot from the time it started. But it'll be nice to have it done and out there."

The price of the statue has gone up since the initial estimate to $25,000, due to the rise in the cost of brass. Because the statue is funded by donations, the rise in cost has delayed the statue's purchase.

The statue is of a young boy with an open book in his hand that has birds flying out of the pages. It will be placed on an 18-inch base that is 6 feet in diameter. The base contract was awarded to Design West this week.

The statue is meant to be practical, and the base was designed so that people could sit on it.

"That's the sculptor's attitude," Keith Jones, president of the Friends of the Library, said Thursday. "He would rather people walk up and feel it and touch it and handle than act as if it's something just to look at. He guaranteed if anything breaks off, if a bird breaks off or anything, he'll replace it because he knows it'll never break off."

The majority of the proceeds for the statue have come from the James Thorne Foundation, and Arts on the Lawn, which is put on by the mayor annually.

For more information on the statue and the upcoming dedication, go to


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