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 planning commission approves subdivision request

By Blaze Bullock

April 16, 2009 | SMITHFIELD -- The Planning Commission voted unanimously in favor of developing a new minor subdivision at a public hearing Wednesday.

Steven Schenk's request to the commission to give him permission to build a final plat for a two-lot minor subdivision and obtain a conditional use permit was granted. The approximate location for the construction is 272 N. 300 West. The two lots are just under one acre combined.

The proposal came with some opposition at the hearing. Robert Levan lives in a house just north of the lot where the proposed construction would take place if the City Council approves it in their next meeting. Levan expressed concern that construction of the two lots would cause dust and dirt to be blown into his back yard and house.

"I will not be happy if I have a house full of dirt," Levan said. "I don't want my yard destroyed."

Levan said the construction would be "bad aesthetically and monetarily."

Chairperson Rik Vernon responded by saying that in similar situations he hadn't heard of any complaints.

Lynette Gardner lives just south of the lots and said she was opposed to the construction but for other reasons. Gardner has horses in a fenced area that borders the southern part of Schenk's land. Her concern is that kids living in the house might get hurt by her horses. Deputy Recorder Charlene Izatt said that Gardner can't be punished if someone's children get hurt by the horses in the fenced area.

Levan said he's not against the construction but that he wants to make sure it's done properly. "I want everyone to know that I will be monitoring this," he said. "I just want to make sure every rule is followed to the letter."

Schenk said he's been in the construction business for about 20 years and that he'd do all he could to make sure the area is clean. Schenk also said that he might not be able to prevent Levan's yard from getting dirty. "There's no doubt about it, it could be a problem," Schenk said.

Levan suggested the Planning Commission look at the site before they make any decisions on the matter. Levan also guaranteed the situation was something they had never dealt with before. "I suggest you take a field trip ," said Levan.

Vernon mentioned the possibility of waiting until the next meeting to make a decision on the matter. Schenk said it would be difficult to wait a month for the next meeting because City Manager James Gass told him it would be best if the construction could be done before July 1. July 1 is the day the city will begin construction on the neighborhood's road, which would be difficult to do if Schenk was making a driveway to the lots, Schenk said.

Commissioner Barbara Kent said there was no legal reason to stop the construction. Commissioner Roger Douglas agreed with Kent and suggested they vote in favor of the proposal so Schenk could be done with the driveway before July 1. The rest of the commission agreed as evidenced by the unanimous vote.


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