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Today's word on journalism

March 17, 2009

Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 1863-2009

"Can Seattle's oldest newspaper be successfully transformed into a child of the information age? The Northwest is a land of big dreams. With the demise of the Soviet Union, one quipster noted that Puget Sound is now home to three empires still bent on global dominion: Microsoft, Amazon.com and Starbuck's. If the stars align properly and with a quality product, Seattle will show the way to a new model for journalism of the written word."

--Joel Connelly, columnist, in today's final print edition of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Editorial Comment: And when the newspapers die. . . .

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Brigham City's natural history museum looking for a permanent home

By Rebecca Hansen

February 6, 2009 | BRIGHAM CITY -- With the approval of the City Council, a task force will attempt to find a location and funding for a permanent home for the Natural History Museum in Brigham City, which currently features the Gunther family fossil and mineral collection.

In 2008, the Gunther family donated a portion of their collection to Brigham City. According to their Web site, Lloyd F. Gunther has been collecting fossils and minerals since he was 12 and with the help of his son, Val Gunther, and grandson, V. Glade Gunther, has acquired a "world-class" collection. Specimens from the collection can be found all across the country in different museums and universities, Val Gunther said.

"We send specimens all over the place," Gunther said, "but we wanted to save our best material for Brigham City."

The current location for the museum, 60 S. Main Street, contains both mineral and fossil specimens, including several trilobites. Gunther said more trilobites are collected in Utah than anywhere else in the world. One display includes half-billion-year-old trilobites that are exclusively from the Brigham City area.

Gunther said the city has indicated that is will likely take seven years before a permanent home is ready for the collection to move in. While the city has indicated that it will not be contributing financially, Gunther said it will endorse the project and support fundraisers.

One proposed location for the museum would be on the block of 100 East between 100 South and Forrest Street, Gunther said. The city owns most of that block and would consider tearing down some rental buildings, Gunther said.

The price to construct the building is expected to be at least $4 million, Gunther said, and would house both the natural history museum and the Brigham City museum, which is currently in the basement of the senior center. He said they would prefer the building be simple so "the focus can be on the collections and interactive exhibits for children."

The vision for the natural history museum incorporates many interactive exhibits including a movie theater, a mineral lab, a mock-up of an aquarium that depicts living fossils such as the alligator and sting ray, and a reconstruction of a quarry with replicas of fossils, Gunther said.

Admission to the museum is free and appointments are required. To make an appointment, call 435-723-6420.

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