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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."

Brigham City council hears rationale for Little Mountain landfill

By Rebecca Hansen

March 27, 2009 | BRiGHAM CITY -- The Northern Utah Regional Landfill Authority thinks a regional landfill at Little Mountain still has value and can benefit all communities involved.

At the recent City Council meeting, Nathan Rich, director of the Wasatch Integrated Waste Management District, said County Commissioner Jay Hardy had asked him to come give the council a presentation on the route the landfill authority (NURLA) is taking with the Little Mountain project. Rich said that the project needs the full support of the county and they want to get some public input.

Mayor Lou Ann Christensen asked Blake Fonnesbeck, Brigham City public works director, to give an impromptu explanation of how a regional landfill would affect the city. Before he could speak, he was stopped by Councilwoman Ruth Jensen.

"Before Blake gets grilled about this I want to stop him," Jensen said. "If anyone should be giving a presentation, it should be him [Rich]."

In response to this, the people in the council chambers began clapping. Christensen had to ask them, "please don't clap."

Fonnesbeck said that landfills are very expensive, with local landfills equaling the best rates for citizens. A new cell with less people to fill that cell means rates go up, Fonnesbeck said, while the more people who fill that cell keeps rates more affordable.

Another alternative would be to ship trash to another landfill, which is "just so expensive," Fonnesbeck said. He said even if this project keeps the rates the same, it would be doing good by the citizens.

"When you've got one (a landfill) with potential of growth, you should do what you can to keep it," Fonnesbeck said.

Having a municipally owned landfill controls the cost of dumping, Rich said. With commercial landfills, its not about the cost of land-filling, he said, it's the cost of competition that drives the rate up.

Rich said other members of NURLA are interested in working with Box Elder County with either an interlocal agreement or a long-term lease as opposed to an outright purchase.

Councilman Reese Jensen said he felt that seeking any sort of approval by the city council was premature. He said since no proposal had been presented, the council couldn't take any position on behalf of the citizens.

"Personally, I support taking it to the public," Jensen said.

Christensen said she encourages everyone to attend the public meetings being held by the County Commission. The next one is March 31 at the county courthouse in Brigham City, at 6:30 pm.

In other business, the council made appointments and reappointments to the Heritage and Cultural Arts board, the Natural History Museum task force, the Shade Tree commission, the Planning Commission, the Parks commission and the Volunteer Center advisory board, as well as a promotion in the police department and the hiring of a new employee in the library. The mayor also presented Dr. Carey Lloyd with the Individual Everyday Hero award.


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