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Today's word on journalism

May 8, 2009

The Last WORD

The Fat Lady Sings, Off-Key, Drools

At about this time every year, like the swallows to Capistrano or the buzzards to Hinckley, Ohio, the WORD migrates to its summer musing grounds at the sanitarium —St. Mumbles Home for the Terminally Verbose.

The reason is clear, and never moreso than as this season —the WORD's 13th —peters out.

It's been a fraught year of high palaver and eye-popping transition, both good and not-so-much. An interminable presidential campaign saga finally did end, and in extraordinary and historic fashion. Meanwhile, the bottom and everything that's below the bottom fell out of the economy, with families, homes, entire industries and —of particular interest to WORDsters and the civic-minded —dozens of daily newspapers ("I don't so much mind that newspapers are dying--it's watching them commit suicide that pisses me off." --Molly Ivins). . . all evaporating. What replaces them, from the individual to the institutional to the societal? Are we looking at a future of in-depth Tweeting?

As any newsperson or firehorse knows, it's hard to turn your back on day-to-day catastrophe --we just have to look at the car wreck. But even the most deranged and driven need a rest. As philosopher Lilly Tomlin once observed, "No matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up."

So this morning, as a near-frost hovered over northern Utah, the unmarked van pulled into the driveway and the gentle, soft-spoken men in the white coats rolled the WORD out of bed and into a straitjacket for the usual summer trip to St. Mumbles, where the blathering one will be assigned a hammock and fed soothing, healthy foods --like tapioca, dog biscuits and salmon --while recharging the essential muscles of cynicism, outrage, sarcasm, social engagement and high-mindedness, in preparation for the next edition.
Summer well, friends.

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Feedback and suggestions --printable and otherwise --always welcome. "There are no false opinions."

Nibley hears fire department report, and talks about transportation funding

By Candice Mattson

March 6, 2009 | NIBLEY -- Transportation funding and fire department reports were among many topics discussed at City Council meeting Thursday night.

Cardell Nielsen, chief of the Hyrum Fire Department, gave the report to the council. He said there are currently 26 members in the Hyrum Fire Department and they are taking applications for more. He also reported there were 54 calls to the department in the past year and that most of those calls were concerning fire and carbon monoxide detectors.

"Really, there was no big costly fire last year, that was good," said Nielsen.

He said that most of the time, upon arrival, there is little or no detection of carbon monoxide in the home. Usually the alarm is set off by either low batteries in the detector or starting a car and letting it run in the garage. Carbon monoxide from the vehicle can eventually find its way into the home and set off the alarm.

To keep such incidents at a minimum, other fire department members present at the meeting suggested backing the car out of the garage and closing the door to let the car idle.

The council also approved a resolution encouraging the Utah State Legislature to use the same transportation funding distribution formula, should there be any increase to the statewide gas tax. The resolution would ensure transportation funding receive the same portion of the tax "so that the entire transportation network may benefit." The council voted 4-0 for the resolution with one councilman abstaining. The resolution will make its way to the Legislature where it will be considered and a decision will be made.

In other action, the council:
- continued discussion of ordinance 09-02, Design Standards for Commercial and Institutional uses.
- unanimously approved ordinance 09-03, an ordinance of design and development standards of attached/multifamily housing in conservation subdivisions.
- discussed and approved forming a committee to oversee Nibley's animal rights ordinance.
- accepted a proposal from a contractor on the continued construction of 3200 South.


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