HNC Home Page
News Business Arts & Life Sports Opinion Calendar Archive About Us
ONE TWISTED SISTER: Musician Dee Snider flashes the devil's horns to the crowd at Monster Circus, a rock mecca in Vegas. Click Arts&Life or a link to story. / Photo by Ben Hansen, special contributor

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


Feedback and suggestions --printable and otherwise --always welcome. "There are no false opinions."

River Heights mayor expects lawsuit over 100 East construction

By Patrick Oden

March 26, 2009 | RIVER HEIGHTS -- Litigation may be imminent for the city, as unhappy residents seek help from the state's ombudsman office regarding property acquisitions required to complete the development of 100 East Street where it borders River Heights.

"We're walking a tightrope with our property," said Pat Trostle. Her lot sits adjacent to 100 East Street and according to the Federal Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) conducted prior to beginning the development, 8,000 or more vehicles per day would pass the Trostle home on a road that has not previously existed.

Trostle provided the City Council with photos of large construction equipment next to the home and said the work, which begins at 7 a.m. and continues until 9:30 p.m., makes living conditions unacceptable to her.

"It seems like whatever happens, we're going to court," said Mayor Bill Baker after reading a written request submitted by Trostle. The request included items such as Trostle's relocation at the city's expense during the construction, which could take over a year, and restoration of property damage caused by a temporary use easement to allow equipment access through Trostle's lot and the following construction.

Trostle also objected to the council's decision on the location of a gate that will prevent traffic from entering 500 South Street from 100 East Street. The city chose the location of the gate to be set far enough off of 100 East Street to allow emergency vehicles to pull onto 500 South Street in order to unlock the gate for emergency access. Trostle claimed the FEIS clearly stated the gate was to be at the intersection and would otherwise compromise "our little road."

"It's not your little road, it's River Heights' road," Baker said in frustration.

Councilman Blake Wright, who works closely with the Planning and Zoning Commission, said the FEIS did not specify that the gate had to be at the intersection and that was Trostle's interpretation.

The council also considered the need for access to a piece of property owned by Jim Lundall in the location of the gate. Lundall does not live on 500 South Street.

Trostle, unhappy that the needs of a Logan resident were being considered by the council, made reference to the FEIS but was unable to cite the gate location requirement when asked by Wright.

"I don't know that we have to get into everyone's personal problems," said Councilwoman Francine Davis, who agreed with Baker that the council's obligation was to all 1,670 residents of River Heights and the best interest of the community as a whole.

"There's a lot of emotion attached with this," said Councilman Rob Gines. "We're getting pulled into something that's like a playground fight at an elementary school… that's what it feels like."

In other matters, the council unanimously passed a new Wireless Telecommunication Facility ordinance following the clarification of language pertaining to "unacceptable risk." The council discussed the limited locations within the city where a tower could be placed which would have to be 200 feet or "two city lots" from any residential dwellings, according to Wright.

There are several locations within Heber Olsen Park where a cellular tower could be constructed but it "wouldn't be in the center of the park," Wright said.

"It couldn't go there," Gines said, "it's the outfield of the baseball diamond."


Copyright 1997-2009 Utah State University Department of Journalism & Communication, Logan UT 84322, (435) 797-3292
Best viewed 800 x 600.