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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."

Wellsville residents take time to plan, picture the future

By Ty Rogers

March 16, 2009 | WELLSVILLE -- Representatives from Envision Cache Valley hosted a workshop recently at Wellsville Elementary. This was one of eight workshops being hosted throughout Cache Valley.

The goal of the night was to inform citizens about the growth and development in the valley between now and the year 2040.

As one attendee put it, “Everybody thinks that Cache Valley is growing because of the people coming in, but that’s just not true.” The truth is that the valley is growing from the inside out.

The workshop was kicked off with a survey style presentation that touched on many issues for the citizens that attended. It was clear that the residents of Wellsville value the agricultural land that has represented Cache Valley so well for so long, but were not closed-minded to the inevitable changes.

Multiple tables were set out to designate groups of the citizens into groups. Each group was given a large map of Cache Valley. Their assignment was to create a valley with new housing developments, new jobs, new roads and trails, and new public transportation. The only goal was to create 46,000 new dwelling units and 55,000 new jobs. In an hour, most groups were able to put a small dent in those numbers.

Envision Cache Valley is made up of local citizens trying to get other residents involved in learning about growth and development. They are raising questions and offering choices to the residents of the valley. Envision Utah is the facilitating effort driving the committee to raise awareness.


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