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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."

Millville hearing on landscaping and fences draws no public comment

By Jessica Allen

March 16, 2009 | MILLVILLE -- Although no one showed up for the public hearing for the proposed landscape maintenance and fencing ordinance, the city Planning Commission discussed and changed the ordinance for over an hour.

The public hearing opened at 8:30 p.m. and as the board members waited, some of them tried to voice their opinions on the ordinance as members of the community but found it a challenge in doing so without also acting as a board. In the end they decided to wait quietly for the next five minutes until the public hearing could be closed.

For an hour the commission discussed and made changes to the proposed ordinance, debating what the citizens of Millville should or shouldn't be responsible for with their property.

"I don't want it to be a burden for people with larger lots," Commissioner Jim Hart said in regards to part of the ordinance that requires citizens to take care of undeveloped lots.

The commissioners tried to keep the ordinance in faith to the city motto of "country living at its finest."

In regards to fencing and the type that could be used Catyse Easton made the point when she asked her fellow commissioners, "Let's say I have a collection of Volkswagen doors that I want to put up as a fence, do you see what I'm saying?"

Discussion continued on the subject of how high fences could be and what they could be made of.

The discussion of a guidance book, which would include landscaping, fences, plants, and grasses that would be suggested for citizens that would be permitted by the city, was of an interest for the commission.

Modifications were made to the ordinance and will be brought forth in front of the City Council for approval.

The public hearing regarding the signage ordinance was opened an hour late, but no one had shown up for it to voice their opinion during the meeting so it was closed. Discussion among board members took place but was put on hold after awhile to be continued in the next meeting.

Discussion for the next meeting will include the signage ordinance, the proposed group living facilities ordinance, and conditional use ordinance 17.20.030.

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