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NUTHIN' UP MY SLEEVE!: A cow moose rests Tuesday in 3 feet of snow beside the Logan River just west of Tony Grove. / Photo by Mike Sweeney

Today's word on journalism

Friday, March 10, 2006

Help Wanted: U.S. Defense Department Seeks Better PR Officers

"Our enemies have skillfully adapted to fighting wars in today's media age, but . . . our country has not adapted. For the most part, the U.S. government still functions as a 'five and dime' store in an eBay world."

--U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, on why al Qaeda is winning hearts and minds, in speech to U.S. Council on Foreign Relation (Thanks to alert WORDster Mark Larson) WORD Note: The WORD will take the next week off for Spring Break, sleeping in and seeking wisdom. Return: 3/20/06

Paradise agrees to build 4-H horse arena this spring

By David Baker

February 3, 2006 | PARADISE – After months of waiting, the 4-H Club was assured by the Town Council Wednesday night that they will have a place to ride their horses this spring.

"We are riding indoors now, but are going to be looking for sunshine soon," said Scott Summers, the local 4-H leader.

Councilman Gerry Winn said the council has looked at several locations and has "two possibilities, but nothing is for sure."

According to documents provided by the town of Paradise, in the winter of 2004 the town agreed to provide land for the 4-H Club to build a multi-use, outdoor arena. This would provide a home for the Trout and Berry Days Youth Rodeo and a place for young people to ride their horses. Plans for the arena show it will be 150 feet by 250 feet, with additional land needed for parking and other facilities like bathrooms. The suggested location was on city-owned property south of the town cemetery, near the intersection of 300 East and 9000 South.

With the help of summer fundraising, the 4-H Club purchased the materials to build the arena in September 2005. These materials include a roping chute, return run for cattle and panels for a hold pen. In May 2005, the town was notified that they would receive $17,300 in county RAPZ (Restaurant Arts Parks Zoos) tax money to fund the arena project. The RAPZ tax gives money to smaller communities to fund projects such as the arena.

In June 2005, citizens who live in the area voiced concerns about the location of the arena, including dust control, traffic, late night use, maintenance and impact of the arena on the value of the surrounding property. A group of nine Paradise residents eventually asked the Cache County Council to deny the request to help fund the arena.

Councilwoman Margaret Obray said, at that time, the Cache County Council advised the Paradise Town Council to find a new location, or be in danger of losing the $17,300 they initially received.

"We are working towards finding a different location," Winn said.

The search for a new location is "looking good," Councilman Dale Anderson added. "Hopefully we'll have another place."

No specific information on a new location was available, but Obray echoed the statements made by other members of the council, saying they have some "very good possibilities."

The council has discussed purchasing or trading for sufficient land for the new location. According to Obray, the town could also apply for additional money – probably around $100,000 – to help secure a new location and make necessary improvements. The deadline for applying for additional RAPZ tax money is March 1.

"The county council would expect us to apply for more – they informally committed to help us if we follow their advice," Obray said.

Although the search for a new location is going well, nothing has been finalized. The council assured the 4-H'ers in attendance that they would be able to use the original location as a temporary riding area if a new location had not been secured.

"4-H has bought the arena," said Winn. "Come April, we will put it up."

According to Obray, the council would be giving the 4-H Club permission to "put up their stuff on city property" until a permanent location could be finalized.

"Once we get a permanent place, everyone needs to have input to make it an attractive, very useful place," Winn said. A soccer field, parking lot and bathrooms will most likely be a part of the permanent arena design, Winn added.

The council also discussed:

– the sale of two pieces of equipment by the fire department, and voted unanimously in favor of the sales.

– a recommendation by the planning and zoning commission to allow for variety in the acceptable lot size was brought to the council. The commission recommended allowing lots to be short of length and/or depth requirements by a total of 8 feet. However, each lot still has to be a total of 1 1/4 acres. According to Ryan Obray of the planning and zoning commission, the change makes a difference in many of the lots they have checked so far. Also, this won't go too far, creating problems with roads and future development.

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