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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."

Paradise works on incident management plan

By Aaron Mecham

March 6, 2009 | PARADISE -- The Paradise Town Council discussed shortening the National Incident Management System (NIMS) plan during their council meeting Wednesday evening.

Councilman Mathew Weaver suggested they could shorten the plan by combining approximately the last 20 pages and make it easier to read for others.

Mayor Lee Atwood said he thought that was a good idea, but felt like he was leaving a lot out that needed to be mentioned with the first draft he had and decided they should include the last pages for if the community grows or for very large disasters because it would provide better guidance.

Several members of the council said it would be difficult to shorten the plan while retaining the information needed.

Councilwoman Margaret Obray told a story about preparing something short and informative. The story was about Woodrow Wilson and how he was asked to give a speech and how long he would need to prepare for it. He said that depended on how long the speech needed to be. If it needed to be 10 minutes it would take two hours to prepare, if the speech needed to be 20 minutes it would take one hour to prepare, and if it didnít matter how long the speech took he was ready now.

Also discussed at the council meeting was a lease agreement for a cell phone tower for AT&T. The representative for AT&T, Cindy Hanks, said they had been working on the details of the agreement for over a year. The land they are leasing is located near the Paradise cemetery.


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