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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."

Brigham city mayor presents awards for community service

By Rebecca Hansen

March 16, 2009 | BRIGHAM CITY -- Nice guys certainly don't finish last in Brigham City, as demonstrated when awards were presented to citizens for outstanding contribution and service in the community.

Mayor Lou Ann Christensen gave three awards at the beginning of the City Council meeting recently to deserving individuals and teams, saying this was one of her favorite parts of her job.

An Everyday Hero award was presented to the Youth Volunteer Council of Brigham City. Christensen said they earned this award because this "army of youth volunteers takes on projects of all kinds" which have included work with the Fine Arts Center, Peach Days, the senior center and the museum.

Ambassador awards are given out twice a year and are chosen from other awards the mayor gives out during the year, Christensen said. The individual Ambassador award was given to Sergeant Kurt Fertig of the Brigham City Police Department. Christensen said he was the sergeant who rescued a mother and her 6-year-old son from their apartment above the Bott Monument building when it caught fire on Aug. 26 last year.

"I didn't feel like I had done much," Fertig said in accepting the award. "Thank you to all of you, that's very nice."

The team Ambassador award was given to Brigham City police officers Josh Carr, John Stanford and Chad Panter. When Matt Jaramillo opened fire in the City Hall parking lot on Feb. 12, 2008, it was thanks to these officers, with the assistance of a Box Elder County Sherriff's deputy, that the incident was resolved.

"You never imagine the outcome of these situations. It falls back to muscle memory and training." Officer Josh Carr said, acting as the group's spokesperson. "I accredit it to the training through the Brigham City Police Department. Thanks to Brigham City and the police department for their support."

In other delegation, the city council approved a request from Youth Volunteer Council to designate $5,900 of their money that is in the State Treasury Fund to two $250 scholarships per year until the money is gone. They also approved the designation of a Downtown Cultural District proposed by Beth Gurrister of the Heritage and Cultural Arts advisory board.

In new business, Jim Buchanan, Brigham City fire marshal, requested approval of revisions to the fire division bylaws to include things like signing rolls and prohibiting alcohol and non-prescription drugs on premises and approval of revisions to the ambulance division policies and procedures to be in compliance with all city policies.

Buchanan said these requests had already been approved by the mayor, the city administrator and the city attorney. The requests were approved by the city council.

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