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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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River Heights P&Z deals with water worries

By Patrick Oden

March 18, 2009 | RIVER HEIGHTS -- Fear of contaminants from surrounding roads entering Spring Creek via storm water runoff concerned Planning and Zoning Commission members during Tuesday night's meeting.

Plans for Boulder Creek subdivision were reviewed by the City Council last week and were given back to planning and zoning to address several issues concerning the accumulation of storm water and potential runoff. The current plan calls for a retention pond in the back of lot eight, which the council and commission doubts would be adequate.

If the proposed retention pond is not large enough to hold all potential storm water and runoff, it will travel into Spring Creek without having first been absorbed into the ground. Soil acts as a natural filter for contaminants, such as oil from vehicles, which wash from the surrounding roads during storms.

Developer Dan Hogan will have to conduct a water table study on the property from April through July to access the potential for standing water and runoff.

City engineers will conduct their own study to access the potential contamination of Spring Creek as well as the feasibility of basements which Hogan plans to construct in the new homes. If the water table is too high, basements could be flood or require sump pumps to insure that basement flooding will not damage the new homes.

The commission also addressed concerns about the developer's desire to redirect Spring Creek through the southwest corner of the subdivision. Hogan wants to redirect Spring Creek, which snakes through the corner of the proposed Boulder Creek subdivision, to take a more direct route across the property allowing for more developable space.

The commission will require Hogan to submit a landscape plan, which complies with federal guidelines, to insure the natural aesthetics of the creek will not change. Commissioner Lorin Zollinger said it would be nice to know it's going to look natural.

"We don't want them building a dam," said Zollinger.

The commission drafted a list of requirements that Hogan will have to satisfy prior to submitting the plat plan to the commission.

In other matters, the commission approved the adoption of a new Wireless Telecommunications Facility ordinance which will now be sent to the city council for acceptance.

NW
MS

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