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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."

Hyrum's share of stimulus money may not be as much as hoped

By Caresa Alexander

March 30, 2009 | HYRUM -- Thursday evening the planning commission discussed amendments to city ordinances and plans for the expected stimulus money.

According to Zoning Administrator Ron Salvesen, Hyrum put in for $300,000 of stimulus money for a fire station, water reservoir and possibly some trails.

“What we are hearing back is that there is not going to be a lot of money available,” said Salvesen. He said most the money is controlled so there is not much money open for projects.

“When it filters down to all the states, little Hyrum is not a very high priority,” he said.

Councilman Scot Algood brought up that Hyrum had applied for a recreation tax. The RAP (Recreation, Arts, Parks) tax is something that Hyrum has usually received, according to Salvesen. He said this year the tax money would probably go toward finishing the parking lot by the senior center.

“It is not a big money grab like we hoped it would be. It doesn’t look good,” said Salvesen.

Several ordinances were discussed including residential facilities for persons with disabilities.

Earlier that day Salvesen attended a meeting with county planning and city managers. He said cities are going to be encouraged to have ordinances in place regarding group homes. It is becoming a problem in the state as neighborhoods cannot handle them. Salvesen referenced a problem in Duchesne where the city is being sued and fined because it tried to stop a facility. Since Duchesne did not have an ordinance in place, it could cost the city millions of dollars in fines. Salvesen said with an ordinance in place cities will have more control by law.


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