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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, 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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Smithfield votes yes on new library building

By Blaze Bullock

February 16, 2009 | SMITHFIELD -- The Smithfield City Redevelopment Agency voted unanimously Wednesday to buy land for a new library and other development.

The RDA is made up entirely of the City Council. The RDA came into session during a recess at the city council meeting, which is when the matters were discussed and the vote took place. RDA member Brent Buttars said that various ideas have been discussed over the previous five years and that he feels this is the best time and place to do it.

The RDA wants to buy the land and have a new library built on it. Aside from the library, the land will also contain spots for two commercial pads and a new city office.

The exact cost of the project isn't known yet. However, the city has approximately $1.94 million to spend on purchasing the land and getting the buildings constructed. The basic plan discussed at the meeting was to take the money to an architect and then find out the size of the buildings and when construction can begin.

Smithfield's existing library is about 11,000 square feet and the new library is estimated to be about 10,000 square feet. Despite the new library being smaller, RDA member Dennis Watkins smiled and said that the present library workers would really like the new library better once it's finished.

The sought-after land is located on the corner of 100 South and Main Street on the east side of the road.

Each member of the RDA expressed excitement for the project and thought it was a good idea. "I think it's a great idea," said Mike Oliverson. "I think it's ideal."

City Recorder Dean Clegg said there are a lot of questions as to the details of the project. Clegg mentioned that a local resident owns a house on the lot but doesn't live in it. The lot may still be purchased even if the house isn't included, although the RDA ideally wants the house as well.

Whether or not the owner of the house is willingly to sell his portion of the lot is unknown. Clegg compared the negotiations to dating, saying "it's a lot like the girls I used to date. They'd seem interested until I'd ask them out." He also said "we don't know where we're going with this yet."

The RDA still isn't sure on how exactly everything in the project will work but they all agreed it was a good idea, as evidenced by the 6-0 vote. Mayor Chad Downs said he liked the idea and that he was in full support of it.


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