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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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Newton residents must register dogs and kennels

By Rachel Christensen

November 21, 2008 | NEWTON -- Residents with dogs and kennels will have to visit Town Hall before April 1 to complete registration, said Karla Ferguson, town recorder, during the Newton Planning Commission Thursday.

Town Treasurer Susan Newmyer-Jeppson is planning to hold registration every Tuesday from 7 to 9 p.m. at Town Hall, Ferguson said, however the arrangement isn't yet set in stone.

If a dog isn't registered by April 1, the owner will have to pay a fee, Ferguson said, and if the dog is impounded before the fee is paid the owner must pay double the fee before their dog can be returned.

"We had about 50 dogs that weren't licensed last year that were the year before," Ferguson said. "But we don't know if these dogs still exist."

Ferguson said the town council wants to create a dog clinic next year like they have in the past, but they need to find someone to be in charge of the clinic. This clinic is normally held within the first weeks of the new year, she said.

There were no reports from the county on animal control this year, Ferguson said.

"The problem kennels have been dealt with last year and haven't been a problem this year," she said.

Information about new dog registration and kennel procedures will be sent out to the town in a form letter, Ferguson said.

The commission also went over material commission member Helen Rigby received at conference by the Utah League of Cities and Towns. The material contained information to help commission members understand their purpose and procedures and to define planning goals.

"We should be looking 10, 20, 30 years down the road and our planning should reflect that vision," said Mike Peterson, commission member.

The commission discussed creating a vision statement that would define what they would like to see happen with Newton in the future. This statement would then be used to guide planning decisions and ultimately achieve that vision. Planning Commission Chair Roland Griffin said a public survey would be a good way to collect residents' opinions and would help the commission decide what would be best for the future planning of Newton.

The commission also discussed work that needed to be done on the zoning map. Commission member MaRee Bird suggested the new map be organized by designating each zone a different color in order to make the map easier to use. The commission discussed whether land must be zoned agricultural or if it can stay zoned as home occupation in order to be qualified for Greenbelt.

Rigby was told she could start labeling commercial zones but should wait on the agricultural and home occupation zones until more information was collected.

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