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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.


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

MARCH 2009



Home-ec feminists and Barbie bashing
The Women and Gender Studies club had a retro bake sale at the TSC patio before spring break to promote Tuesday's "Reinventing Barbie Bash." / By Ryan Monk

Peanut sauce, easier than you might think
Thai food is one of my favorite types of food. So, I decided to take a little bit of the Thai restaurant and bring it to my ill-equipped college kitchen. / By Shannon K. Johnson

Egg drop soup is inexpensive, tasty and easy
Yes, reader it is time for another recipe that has been hybridized for those who live without wheat-egg drop soup. / By Shannon K. Johnson

Federal Avenue a peaceful (and homegrown) oasis in downtown Logan
At the mouth of Federal Avenue, halfway between First and Second North, two buildings serve to block out sound and sight of the heavily congested Main Street, creating a veritable nook in the center of the city. Less than a dozen shops and eateries make up the small conglomerate of locally owned businesses. / By Benajamin Wood

Got talent? Special Needs Mutual sure does
The auditorium at Mount Logan Middle School looked more like a scene from American Idol than a talent show Thursday night. Special Needs Mutual hosted another talent show this year with a great turnout. / By Ty Rogers

What bugs you? Brigham City arts center gives awards to artists for telling
A meager crowd didn't hinder lively performances by local storytellers at the Brigham City Fine Arts Center's second annual Art-Tell Saturday. / By Rebecca Hansen

Postsecret author visits USU campus
The author of the popular PostSecret books, Frank Warren, will be visiting the USU Wednesday, April 1. The performance starts at 7 p.m. in the Taggart Student Center Ballroom, and will be followed by a book signing.

Reinventing Barbie: A new kind of doll
Bag lady Barbie, Pregnant Ken and R.N. Joe. Don't be surprised if you haven't seen commercials for the twisted versions of these iconic toys flashing across your television screen. Instead, USU students can see these dolls, along with 161 others showcased in the basement of the Merrill-Cazier Library, as part of the Reinventing Barbie Bash sponsored by the women and gender studies department. / By Amanda Mears

Don't let the slow economy ruin your summer
College students have enough trouble paying for groceries during the school year, having enough money to go on vacation in the summer can seem impossible. Having been a college student for four years I have mastered the art of the cheap summer vacation and decided to share my experiences so others can enjoy their summer too! /By Kandice Crompton

Gifted State Department linguist has the world at his feet
Dean Meservy's passport is a rainbow. Stamped in a dizzying array of stamps from countries all around the world, the Providence native has certainly used it more than most people. And being fluent in about a dozen languages, nine of which he has mastered on a professional level, he never feels very lost in whatever country he happens to find himself in at the moment. /Lisa Christensen

Lessons learned from spring break
Spring Break's been over for a week, but it's still on my mind, or at least on my hand. Why's that? Well, my hand's still suffering from my not-so-typical Spring Break. You see, there was no lounging by the pool this year. There were no fancy margaritas and there certainly wasn't a cruise. Well, I take that back. There was no cruise-liner but we did cruise—by bike. And after biking through 250 miles of California Bliss, my "lefty" is still recovering. It was all worth it, though, for the Pacific Coast Highway taught this inexperienced biker a few lessons./ By Jason Sanders

Stringing beads on the necklace of life
Often Barb Farris doesn't know how her jewelry will end up; she just likes the challenge, not to mention the variety of shapes and colors of the beads. Sometimes her necklaces are bold and rebellious. Other times they are intricate and delicate. / By Storee Powell

Review: 'Watchmen': Do you remember the Cold War and Lee Iacocca?
Watchmen, the new and fabulous superhero movie made by Zack Snyder, who brought us 300, is so complex I wonder if the movie's target audience of young adults will understand the story at all. / By R.M. Monk


Pop Evil concert proves band is on the way up
A crowd was lined up in front of the door by 6:30 for the show, even though the band was not scheduled on until 9:30. Everything was in place for Pop Evil to own the night . . . and they grabbed the evening by the throat. / By Ben Hansen

Wild Art


Bluebird still doing chocolate the slow, hand-made way
The aroma of melting chocolate floats from the pot in the rolling room and resides in the brim of your nostrils causing you to lust after the creamy smell. Your eyes finally catch up to your nose and you realize you are standing directly in front of a vast display of chocolates. / By Diane Denning

Global Village: A gift shop that gives twice
Global Village is unlike any other place in Cache Valley, and not just because of its curb appeal. It stands as the only place in Logan where fairly traded handicrafts can be purchased, assisting underpaid artisans in over 30 countries around the world. / By Kate Clark

Millville woman opens Shih Tzu breeding kennel
After four years of studying and preparation, Rael Thompson is ready to start her own small Shih Tzu breeding program with the goal of producing healthy, high quality, beautiful dogs. / By Jessica Allen

Smithfield's economy slower but still going
A lot of people have been affected by the slow economy. City Recorder Dean Clegg said in an interview Thursday that the city's economy has felt some of the effects of the national economy. / By Blaze Bullock



Wellsville gets new emergency radios from CCSO
Sgt. Jake Petersen with the Cache County Sheriff's Office met the City Council on Wednesday about the seven new 800 MHz radios that will be supplied to Wellsville's volunteer fire department and EMS. / By Ty Rogers

War is over, right? Not so, say peace activists
Six years. That's how long it's been since then-President George W. Bush sent American combat troops into Iraq to "liberate a fallen people" and help "win the war on terror" against an unrepentant Saddam Hussein and his Ba'ath party. / By Jackson Olsen

Richmond P&Z recommends rezone
The Planning and Zoning Commission sent a recommendation Tuesday to the City Council to re-zone the Glenn property. / By David Bowman

College boys can rent until May, North Logan council says
A misunderstanding about when a group of young men were to leave the house they were renting was resolved when the City Council met Wednesday night. / By Alice Bailey

Nibley hears fire department report, and talks about transportation funding
Transportation funding and fire department reports were among many topics discussed at City Council meeting Thursday night. / By Candice Mattson

Paradise works on incident management plan
The Paradise Town Council discussed shortening the National Incident Management System (NIMS) plan during their council meeting Wednesday evening. / By Aaron Mecham

Hyrum man sentenced to three years to life in prison
A Hyrum man was sentenced Wednesday to three years to life in prison after he pleaded guilty to attempted murder with injury. / By Caresa Alexander

Brigham city mayor presents awards for community service
Nice guys certainly don't finish last in Brigham City, as demonstrated when awards were presented to citizens for outstanding contribution and service in the community. / By Rebecca Hansen

Millville hearing on landscaping and fences draws no public comment
Although no one showed up for the public hearing for the proposed landscape maintenance and fencing ordinance, the city Planning Commission discussed and changed the ordinance for over an hour. / By Jessica Allen

Mendon council hears budget news: 'Better than most'
A review of the 2008-09 budget took place at the City Council meeting Thursday, where Mayor Michael Morgan announced that, although funds are tight, the city is still in on track to keep a balanced budget. / By Greg Boyles

Basement apartment can be rented in Millville, council says
The City Council approved a conditional use permit for an accessory dwelling Thursday night, but not without some resistance. / By Jessica Allen

Single-person appeal idea gets nowhere with Smithfield council
The City Council didn't even have a motion for a vote on adopting a single-person appeal authority at Wednesday's meeting. / By Blaze Bullock

Final USU budget cut from Legislature is 18 percent
Final numbers are in, and Utah State University will receive an 18 percent budget cut for fiscal year 2010. / By Greg Boyles
El recorte final al presupuesto de USU es de un 18 por ciento

Wellsville residents take time to plan, picture the future
Representatives from Envision Cache Valley hosted a workshop recently at Wellsville Elementary. This was one of eight workshops being hosted throughout Cache Valley. / By Ty Rogers

USU takes a hit but avoids worst of budget cuts
The 45-day political circus that is Utah's annual legislative session ended in the midst of Spring Break, and when the dust settled on Capitol Hill, proponents of higher education had something to cheer about. / By Jackson Olsen

Lewiston could benefit from Neighborhood Watch program, sheriff's office says
The Cache County Sheriff responded to 286 incidents in Lewiston in 2008, in which "36 of those incidents are times when an active Neighborhood Watch program may have deterred criminal activity," said Erin Kay Griffeth of the Cache County Sheriff's Office (CCSO). / By Natalie Buckley

River Heights P&Z deals with water worries
Fear of contaminants from surrounding roads entering Spring Creek via storm water runoff concerned Planning and Zoning Commission members during Tuesday night's meeting. / By Patrick Oden

Richmond declares April child abuse prevention month
The Richmond City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to make April Child Abuse Prevention month. / By David Bowman

Logan woman sentenced for drug possession
Julie Gaines was sentenced to 90 days in the Cache County Jail on Monday by Judge Clint Judkins. / By Mark Vuong

North Logan planning commission debates tree ordinance
Consideration of the tree ordinance created by the Parks and Recreation Board is still underway by the planning commission as several concerns were raised at the meeting Thursday night. / By Alice Bailey

Mendon may allow home-owners to rent rooms
In a surprisingly short meeting last night the Planning and Zoning Commission reviewed a proposed amendment to the city zoning ordinance that would allow residents to rent sections of their home to non-family members, something that is currently prohibited in Mendon. / By Greg Boyles

Hyrum's share on stimulus money may not be as much as hoped
Thursday evening the planning commission discussed amendments to city ordinances and plans for the expected stimulus money. / By Caresa Alexander

Countywide library plan sees opposition from smaller cities
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. / By Greg Boyles

North Logan plans to add section to Bonneville trail
The city is planning on adding their part of the Bonneville Shoreline Trails, which will create a trail for biking and walking from Provo to Idaho. / By Alice Bailey

Logan city to meet Tuesday with county on library issues
The Cache County Council and the Logan Municipal Council will meet at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday to discuss the current status and the future of library service in Cache County. / By Gideon Oakes

Smithfield's electronic sign law will have public hearing
A public hearing to amend the city's electronic sign law has been set for April 15. Under current law, businesses are not allowed to have flashing signs or anything close to it. / By Blaze Bullock

Brigham City council hears rationale for Little Mountain landfill
The Northern Utah Regional Landfill Authority thinks a regional landfill at Little Mountain still has value and can benefit all communities involved. / By Rebecca Hansen

School cops: Resource officers provide much more than hall patrol
School resource officers who are assigned to work in the Logan School District do much more than just patrolling the halls to make them safe. / By J.P. Rodriguez

Smithfield residents concerned about proposed Saddleback connecting road
The City Council held a public hearing Wednesday to amend the Land Use Map but never came to a vote. Some local citizens and council members are afraid of changing zoning laws that could allow the construction of a new road going from the corner of 400 West and 400 North to Saddleback Road. / By Blaze Bullock

Lewiston lists activities for child abuse prevention month
Mayor Kelli Field signed a proclamation declaring April 2009 to be Child Abuse Prevention Month and "encourages all citizens to actively help protect our children and work to create strong families within this community." / By Natalie Buckley

Nibley P&Z discusses land use chart, issues business license
Home occupation permits were the main focus of the land-use chart discussion on Wednesday night. The commission also discussed possible amendments to the chart. / By Candice Mattson

Deputy sheriff explains recent Providence dog drama to council
Animal control policies that were recently used on residents with unregistered dogs were explained to citizens and the City Council Tuesday night. / By Megan Wiseman

River Heights mayor expects lawsuit over 100 East construction
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. / By Patrick Oden
El alcalde de River Heights espera el litigio de la construcción de la calle 100 Este

County rethinks its four-day work week
The Cache County Council took public input at its regular meeting Tuesday regarding the four-day work week for county employees, which has been in effect since last August. It will make a decision on the policy at its next regular meeting April 14. / By Gideon Oakes

Nibley makes counteroffer to zoning administrator
At a special City Council session on Thursday night, a decision was made to make a counteroffer to Shari Phippen, the current zoning administrator of Nibley. / By Candice Mattson


Getting there on Amtrak is half the fun
The Amtrak train has six stations in Utah, and is best for travel if you're heading toward California or Chicago. From California the train goes north or south, and from Chicago you can explore the East Coast. Riding the train opens you to people and places you would never have known existed. / By Kandice Crompton

Driving to West Valley to get six bucks back: Don't be bullied by bad parking attendants
Have you ever felt scammed by a parking attendant? I have, and learned you don't have to put up with it. / By R.M. Monk

So I'm finally graduating . . . now what?!
I've waited and waited for that long-off day when I would finally be free and off into the real world. And now it's here and I won't lie, I'm a little nervous. For some time, many people would tell me just what I had to do to graduate, and I of course filed it into some deep, dark recess of my brain. Of course it's gone now that I need it. So here are a few pointers I've picked up over the years, and mostly my last few months of school. / By Michelle Butler

The five best classes at USU
As graduation approaches, I've been contemplating my experience inside the classrooms. And let me tell you, I've had it good at Utah State. / By Jason Sanders



And the clock strikes 12 on the Aggies
One spot separated Utah State and Marquette in the rankings heading into Friday morning's NCAA tournament opening-round game, with the Golden Eagles holding that advantage. / By Tim Olsen

Wilkinson bids farewell to fans with a win over San Jose State
The Aggies led by as many as 20 points early on senior night against San Jose State University and everything seemed to be going their way until Gary Wilkinson left the court in agony midway through the first half. / By Craig Morris

Forget me not: Nevada reminds Aggies of the significance of Reno
USU locked up its first outright conference championship Thursday as a member of the WAC, but Saturday night the Aggies were reminded by Nevada that the title -- and possibly a slot in the NCAA tournament -- run through Reno. / By Tim Olsen

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