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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. . . .

Speak up! Comment on the WORD at

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County council approves ag protection area, mulls 4-day work week

By Gideon Oakes

February 25, 2009 | Logan--In stark contrast to almost every meeting since George Daines resigned as county attorney in early January, finding a seat at the Cache County Council's regular meeting Tuesday night was no problem.

Among the scant audience were Curtis and Suzanne Dent who came before the council to request an agriculture protection area for their property. The Dents have received complaints from neighbors regarding the agricultural operation on their land and wanted to head off any future problems by getting the protected status.

A public hearing regarding the proposed protection area failed to attract any comments, either positive or negative.

Before the council unanimously voted to grant the approval, Councilman Gordon Zilles joked with Curtis Dent saying he had heard rumors of a pig farm being built on the Dents' land.

Dent laughed and replied, "I hate pigs."

Later in the meeting, the council discussed the four-day workweek for county employees, which has been in effect for about six months. Although it was not a public hearing, several points of view were heard from audience members.

County Recorder Mike Gleed told the council ambiguity over Friday hours was taking its toll on his office staff, saying he has been called at home on several occasions to come in for "emergency" recordings on Fridays. He said he would no longer do that unless it was clearly a matter of urgency.

Josh Runhaar, who heads up the development services office, urged the council to consider the toll being taken on employees every time a switch is made.

Local Realtor and lender Bracken Longhurst told the council that he has lost thousands of dollars because certain actions could not be recorded on Fridays.

The council made no decision on the matter, opting instead to set a time for a public hearing on the matter at its next regular meeting March 10.

In other business, the council heard reports from Julie Hollist from the Cache Valley Visitor's Bureau and Wally Bloss from the Cache Valley Center for the Arts.

In her report, Hollist lauded the new Marriott and Holiday Inn lodging facilities whose completion has boosted the number of available rooms in the area by 25 percent. She also outlined actions being taken to snag international tourism dollars as visitors travel from the airport in Salt Lake City to destinations such as Yellowstone National Park and Jackson Hole, Wyo.

Bloss detailed some of the upcoming programs being put on through the CVCA, including sold-out performances by "clean" comedian Brian Regan Feb. 26-27, and a concert by folk artist Arlo Guthrie March 27-28. He also fielded questions about the center's financial status, telling the council that the CVCA is still "in the black", despite being a nonprofit organization during tough economic times.

"Nonprofit is a tax status, not a management style," Bloss said.

The council also set a public hearing for March 24 at 6 p.m. regarding a proposed amendment to the utility corridors code.

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