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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."

Greater Good Foundation makes a lot from a little

By Brittney Jacox

April 17, 2009 | A local grassroots organization, The Greater Good Foundation (GGF), is changing lives and making a difference. Their principle is simple but their impact has been great.

For the past few months the organization has been providing a means for thousands of individuals to offer what little they have to bring the community together.

The results have already been felt by numerous Cache Valley individuals. Tanya, a single mother diagnosed with several severe medical issues, is one recipient. She has been struggling to stay on top of bills, take care of her daughter and keep her home. In an interview with Channel 4 News Tanya said:

"...I will lose everything I have worked so hard for. I bought my home when I was single and have kept it for 21 years. Now because of my health it doesnít look like a very good future for me."

For some time, Tanya has been fighting to keep her home from falling into foreclosure, and with the growing economic recession and her worsening health, her fears were becoming a reality.

One day, while listening to the radio she heard the promotion for The Greater Good Foundation, and despite her situation she decided to donate what little she could afford to further this cause. In a letter she wrote to the organization she said, "I want to make a donation. It is small. I wish I could do more but it is sent to you with a big heart. I know that it will help someone out there."

Touched by the details of her story, organizers decided to lend a hand and help pay off the remainder of Tanya's mortgage, saving her home and ensuring a safe place for her family to live in.

When interviewed by television stations, Tanya broke down into tears saying, "I canít believe, I canít believe that somebody, that people would come together and help me be able to keep my home."

Several months ago the foundation began a local campaign dubbed, The Greatest Change Experiment. The goal of which is to gather together charities, businesses and citizens within the community to strive towards the common goal of helping those in need.

Local businesses rallied around the effort, donating advertising dollars, support and a percentage of sales to the foundation. Six local radio stations put aside regular programming for several days and held a live radio-a-thon, raising funds for the foundation.

Dollars and pennies flew in from around the valley as the community opened their hearts to the message of the Greater Good Foundation. One little girl rode her bike from her home to the radio station and donated $130 in one dollar bills as her contribution to the cause.

Since the unveiling of the Greatest Change Experiment, the foundation has raised over $75,000 to give back to Cache Valley. The donations will be presented to local charities such as the Logan Food Pantry, CAPSA, Child and Family Services and many others.

The growth and success of this movement lies within the basic fundamentals of this foundationís philosophy. They believe help should be given voluntarily. Businesses, charities and the community can unite in a common goal; a little can go a long way.

The Greater Good Foundation already has plans to promote similar campaigns throughout the state, as well as expanding into other states and eventually expand internationally. Founder of the Greater Good Foundation, Nick Thomas had this to say about the organization: "We will succeed by bonding the nonprofit community together to work for one common goal, the greater good."

To contribute or learn more, check out thegreatergoodonline.org

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