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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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Report shows possibilities for further development in Mendon

By Greg Boyles

February 9, 2009 | MENDON -- A community analysis report detailing possible development restraints and opportunities was presented to the Mendon Planning and Zoning Commission last month, said Keith Christensen, assistant professor in the Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning (LAEP) department at Utah State University.

The report, done by a group of LAEP students from USU as a course project, detailed feasible locations within and around Mendon for further residential development, Christensen said. The report also showed areas where further development would be unwise due to geological restraints.

Christensen said the biggest roadblocks for development in Mendon are hydrological restraints.

"One of the unique things about Mendon is they have an intact stream corridor that runs right through the city. Development has historically been worked around the stream, there is still a nice green area around there that has not been chewed up by recent development," Christensen said.

Areas that were designated as less inviting for development due to hydraulic reasons were on the east side of Mendon, Christensen said. These areas need to have great attention put on them when considering further development, he said.

Christensen said Mendon is unique for its ability to maintain a rural community, and suggested that development in areas like the wetlands or too near the stream corridor could ruin the rural essence of the city.

The report addressed 11 concerns of the planning and zoning commission, including the impact of topographic, soil and geologic factors on future development, unique features which should be retained, methods to minimize the visual impact of future and existing development, and more.

The students also looked at existing pedestrian circulation system, and more specifically, routes designated as safe for children to take while walking to school, Christensen said.

"In their research [the USU students] watched school kids going to and from school, and in doing so, found discrepancy between what routes students should take and what routes are designated for them," Christensen said during his explanation of the report.

Christensen said the report given to the council was only an intermediate compilation of findings and could be expanded or deflated upon review.

"This is an offer from the extension program to evolve this work," Christensen said to the commission. "[The commission] needs to review it and decide what they like and what needs changing."

Christensen said the response he received from the commission upon hearing the report was entirely positive.

"They were very receptive," Christensen said. "We've done the analyses work, and made the community aware of opportunities."

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