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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."

Product diversity keeps Nibley company stable in recession

By Candice Mattson

April 20, 2009 | NIBLEY--In the midst of the recession, one company in Nibley remains hopeful. EK Ekcessories, a company that produces and sells a variety of accessory products, is stable and looking ahead for the future.

"We're in a solid position right now," said production-personnel manager Brian Blotter. He added that EK Ekcessories is a debt-free private company, making it somewhat resistant to the recession. However, they haven't been entirely immune and there have been some effects of the economy on the company, he said.

"The thing is, we are feeling a little pinch from the economy, but we're going pretty good still," he added. "The vibe is pretty positive."

EK Ekcessories currently has 54 employees, which is down from the estimated 95 that were employed last year.

"I wouldn't say all of the job losses have been because of the slowdown," said Blotter. He added that he hadn't hired anyone since October and some people had quit because of change of schedules. The company also stopped running their night crew, which was mostly made of students who worked after school.

However, EK Ekcessories grew in profit 10 percent in January of this year as compared to January of last year.

"Overall, we're down about 11 percent year to date compared to last year. Compared to other companies who are at 40-50 percent, we feel good."

According to Blotter, the reason for this is because the company is so diversified. EK Ekcessories sells a variety of products such as dog collars, eye wear retainers, lanyards and motor sports accessories. The company is also a global company, with many accounts all over the world.

Blotter noted that EK recently "nailed down really good accounts" with PetSmart, and an account with Honda Canada with their motor sports products. He noted that these accounts are important, because "these are ongoing accounts, not just one order."

The company is also coming out with two new products under a new division, XTRAi. The technology behind these products is a wireless laser-censored device can be mounted on top of bike racks and on the back of a trailer or other large vehicle. If activated because they are too close on an object, the censor triggers an alarm on the remote plugged into the power outlet inside the car.

"XTRAi is our big push for this year," said Blotter. Yakima and Thule, two bike rack companies, have shown interest in them.

"Ours is the only wireless device," Blotter said, adding what makes the censors special is that they are movable, so they can be mounted anywhere.

EK Ekcessories came up with the concept for these censors and is working with a firm in Salt Lake City to make the products.

With the conception of these new products, EK Ekcessories is remaining hopeful and looking forward toward the future.

"We're not going anywhere. We're still making a profit," said Blotter, with a smile.

EK Ekcessories was founded in 1985 by Ed Kalbach and is currently located on 3200 South in Nibley. More information can be found at


Copyright 1997-2009 Utah State University Department of Journalism & Communication, Logan UT 84322, (435) 797-3292
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