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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

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

Steep section of River Heights Blvd. will be closed for the winter, council decides

By Diane Denning

November 13, 2008 | RIVER HEIGHTS -- The City Council unanimously voted to close part of River Heights Boulevard from Nov. 15 to March 15. The road will be closed from 400 East Street to 434 East Street. This part of the road is a one-way street that meets up with Country Road, also known as 380 East in Logan.

Mayor Bill Baker said the road is dangerous in the winter because of its narrowness and steep incline, the difficulty of plowing it when it snows, and because garbage trucks drive up the road in the wrong direction.

"The road is 16 feet wide, and a plow is 9 feet wide," Public Works Supervisor Kent Parker said. "Part of the road is breaking off at one point as well. When it snows I don't dare plow down there. If my plow gets loose, there is no way of stopping it."

Some council members weren't happy with the idea of closing a road for such a long amount of time, but realized the importance of the road being closed.

"I hate to see any road closed, but I can see the dangers," said Councilwoman Francine Davis. "I can see the value of closing it in the winter for people's safety."

Mayor Baker said some people drive down River Heights Boulevard at high rates of speed when it snows, while other residents avoid this road entirely.

"In the winter most people don't want to drive down this road," Parker said. "They are too scared."

Councilman Blake Wright did not fully agree with closing the road from certain dates. "I'd like to see the road closed when it snows, not from one date to the next," Wright said.

Parker explained closing the road just when it snows would be too much work and wouldn't be as successful at keep residents off it. In a snow storm, even if he plows it, the road gets covered with snow again very quickly.

"I am against leaving this road open," Parker said.

The council agreed they will place barricades along River Heights Boulevard to warn residents of the closed road. A half barricade that says "road closed to through traffic" will be placed at 500 East. One full barricade will be placed at 400 East and another one at the bottom at 434 East, both saying "road closed."

The council will evaluate how effective this closure is this winter and if necessary readdress the issue next year.

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