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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.

Speak up! Comment on the WORD at

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

College boys can rent until May, says North Logan council

By Alice Bailey

March 6, 2009 | NORTH LOGAN -- A misunderstanding about when a group of young men were to leave the house they were renting was resolved when the City Council met Wednesday night.

Hazel Manning, the owner of the house, was told several months ago that it was against city ordinance to house so many young men in a house located in a single-family residence zone. The ordinance states that if the tenants of a house are unrelated then only two people may occupy the house. The city told Manning the renters needed to leave at the end of the semester.

Manning stated before the council that she thought "the end of the semester" meant the end of the spring semester and not the fall semester. Kicking the college students out of the house in March would leave them with no where to go because it is difficult to find residence for only a two months.

“I’ve spent hours calling apartments trying to find a place for them,” she said. “They won’t rent to someone for two months without a $300 deposit and a year commitment.”

She said the boys have been good neighbors to those around them, and said that everyone would make a conscious effort to make the house look less crowded than it had a reputation of doing by changing the parking arrangement.

“Could they please stay until the first of May? The first few days of May, whenever school gets out?” she asked.

The mayor had prefaced Manning's statements by saying the council would be unable to make a response that night but would approach the matter on a later date. When she finished her remarks the mayor attempted to proceed to the next item of business but was stopped by Lloyd Berentzen, who moved that the agenda be amended to address the issue.

The motion was passed, and when the council voted to extend the time the young men had in the house, it passed unanimously.

Berentzen said the request was a reasonable one and he saw no reason why it shouldn’t be OK’d. The decision was met by applause from the tenants.

In other business the council:
- approved the proclamation establishing April as Child Abuse Prevention Month.
- discussed a proposal to make dog and cat licenses valid for three years.
- discussed a proposed interlocal agreement between the Logan and North Logan libraries.
- approved a change in the fire department’s budget for vehicle purchase.
- discussed the municipal budget for FY2010.
- discussed the results of a disaster response exercise from Feb. 26.
- discussed the hiring of a new city employee.

NW
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