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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.

Speak up! Comment on the WORD at


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

Countywide library plan sees opposition from smaller cities

By Greg Boyles

March 30, 2009 | LOGAN -- The idea of a county-wide library is facing opposition from smaller cities in the valley that say the proposed plan would not serve them properly, said Cache County Executive Lynn Lemon in a press conference Friday.

The proposal would place all libraries in Cache County under a single system, he said. This system would allow all county residents to take advantage of the services from any library in the valley, Lemon said.

However, an analysis of the currently library system showed that all libraries in the county take roughly $2.5 million to operate, which would increase to $3.6 million after the implementation of the proposed country library system, he said.

"One of our biggest arguments against the library was the cost," Lemon said. "The cost to (create a county library) is significantly more."

Lemon said another complaint against the county-wide library was the difference in quality of the many libraries around the county. While the Logan Library has a vast collection of books and services, the Mendon city library can only offer a small collection of books, he said.

This would force many of the smaller libraries to pay more than what they currently pay, while simultaneously lessening the amount larger cities pay.

"The $3.6 million was going to be the property tax of the average home, which would be some where between $60 and $80 extra a year," Lemon said.

The county recently asked every city to hold a public hearing regarding the proposed library and report back, Lemon said. Only Logan city was 100 percent behind the idea, with many of the smaller cities requesting changes to the plan.

After hearing the response, Lemon said the county prepared a new plan to examine how important a county library is to Cache County as a whole.

The new proposal would charge anyone who wishes to use the Logan library $60 for a library card for an 18-month trial period. Lemon said the county wishes to see how many people are truly interested in a county library.

"All the county is trying to do is figure out how many people want to use a bigger library," Lemon said.

The $60 per person is roughly how much residents would pay extra for property tax if plans for the county library are passed, Lemon said. However, between 3,000 and 4,000 residents must show interest for the county to consider the plan to be successful, he said.

"If only 200 people say they are willing to buy a card for $60, that's not enough of a demand if you think about (Cache Valley's) 120,000 residents," he said.


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