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a silent salute: The audience "claps" at Joke Night during Deaf Awareness week. Click Arts&Life for a link to story. / Photo by Leah Lopshire

Today's word on journalism

December 15, 2008

As part of my own personal "war on Christmas" (which a Utah state senator has offered legislation to outlaw), the WORD celebrates the season by going on hiatus until January. May all out days be merry and bright, and here’s to a safe, healthy and saner New Year. HoHoHo!

Empty Minds: "Of all the people expressing their mental vacuity, none has a better excuse for an empty head than the newspaperman: If he pauses to restock his brain, he invites onrushing deadlines to trample him flat. Broadcasting the contents of empty minds is what most of us do most of the time, and nobody more relentlessly than I."

--Russell Baker, Pulitzer-winning columnist

Speak up! Comment on the WORD at

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

UDOT says SR 165 through Providence will be category five road, allowing more development

By G. Christopher Terry

November 13, 2008 | PROVIDENCE -- After signing a cooperative corridor agreement making SR-165 in Providence a category four road -- "with a gun to our head" as Mayor Randy Simmons put it -- the City Council will get what it originally wanted from the agreement, thanks to some politicking by State Rep. Curt Webb.

Simmons said Webb put his personal relationships into play to get the category five designation for his district.

The Utah Department of Transportation agreed to make SR-165 a category five road, contingent on the Providence council not asking for any additional variances. This will allow for more extensive commercial development along SR-165. As to the "no variences" stipulation, Simmons said "I don't think we should" ask for any more variances.

The council also voted 5-0 to approve a readjusted 2009 budget. City Recorder Skarlet Bankhead explained that the city was within its budget. The additional funds, to be spent on improving city parks and purchasing land to build a well, will be pulled from impact fee accounts which must be used within five years. The council had previously approved the purchase of the land for the well.

The item on the agenda provoking the rowdiest discussion was Brian Olsen's complaint to the council about a herd of deer which have been ravaging his garden and yard. Olsen named cauliflower, broccoli and beans as some of the hardest-hit crops.

"I'm frustrated with the amount of damage I've had," Olsen said. He claimed that he was able to recognize individual members of a herd of deer which were born and live inside the Providence City limits. "They're just staying in a three-block radius and rotating."

A man in the rear of the room shouted, "They take one bite out of each cantaloupe and move on."

During a lengthy discussion of the deer problem it was revealed that Providence has no gun ordinance. The city is governed by state law which forbids shooting within 600 feet of a building. Numerous solutions for the herd of deer were bandied about, including construction of an elevated platform which would make shooting the deer safe, according to Olsen. Frightening the deer off with noisemakers and relocating the deer were deemed ineffective, and besides, said Olsen, "I don't want to relocate them, I want to harvest them."

Another man proposed bringing in a professional trapper to snare the deer and hold them in place, allowing himself to come along later and administer the "coup de grace."

Councilman Dave Low inquired what the Utah Department of Wildlife Resources would say to the city if there was a herd of 1,000 deer in Providence.

Mayor Simmons said he would call the DWR and have an agent present at the next city council meeting to take questions about the deer problem.

In other business:

* The council voted 5-0 to continue Resolution 08-041 approving the Final Plat Development Agreement and Addendum for the Hillcrest Subdivision Phase 1 to the next council meeting, so the City Attorney can speak to the developer's attorney and iron out some discrepancies in the language of the agreement.

* The council voted 5-0 to reappoint Alma H. Leonhardt to the Cache County Transit District Board.

* The council voted 5-0 to approve Resolution 08-045, appointing one regular member and two alternate members to the Providence City Planning Commission.

* The council voted 5-0 to amend Providence City Code Title 4 Public Health and Safety, Chapter 1 Nuisances, updating the definition from 1978. Mayor Simmons noted that currently the Cache County Sheriff's Office is in charge of interpreting Providence's Nuisance Ordinances as part of a brief discussion on the possibility of appointing a nuisance officer.

* The council voted 5-0 to correct a typo placing Ordinance 008-2008 in chapter seven, and place the Ordinance governing sale and emission of fireworks in chapter nine.

* The council voted 5-0 to amend Providence City Code Title 5 Animal Regulation and Control. Councilwoman Kathy Baker noted that the way the code is currently written, it sounds as if dogs are administering shots.

v * City Recorder Bankhead presented some information on the city's recent Sauerkraut and Turkey dinner, which she called one of the most successful dinners. According to Bankhead, more than 600 people were served dinner. Bankhead praised caterer Jeremy Jones of Iron Gate Grille in Providence, saying "I really do appreciate the way Jeremy handled the food.

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