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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."

Deputy sheriff explains recent Providence dog drama to council

By Megan Wiseman

March 26, 2009 | PROVIDENCE -- Animal control policies that were recently used on residents with unregistered dogs were explained to citizens and the City Council Tuesday night.

Mayor Randy Simmons invited Lt. Chad Jensen from the Cache County Sheriff's Office to come speak to the council after a concerned citizen wrote a letter to the Herald Journal editor about animal control policies and the recent events that entailed.

Providence city sent out personalized letters, news letters and made phone calls to residents who had yet to register their dogs and gave a deadline of Feb. 1. If residents missed the deadline, deputies then went to the homes of these residents and issued citations.

"I didn't think that this was a bad avenue to go about it," said Jensen about making sure residents registered their dogs. Jensen said that other cities had given only a couple of days notice before residents had to register their dogs and he felt that Providence had gone to great lengths to ease the residents into the process.

Simmons said the city wasn't trying to make money off of residents by having them pay for registration, but it was a matter of public safety and making sure that the dogs are current on vaccinations.

Jensen also explained that the time that was used by the officers to go to the resident's homes was taken out of the animal control contract that the city has with the CCSO. Jensen said Providence contracts with the county for animal control and also for regular patrol, but they are two separate contracts and there was no time taken away from the patrol through the city.


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