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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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Smithfield establishes rules for lighted commercial signs, bans the color red

By Tim Olsen

November 21, 2008 | SMITHFIELD -- To light or not to light? That was the question posed to the Planning Commission when they gathered together Wednesday night.

After weeks of deliberation and research, the commission started to put the finishing touches on a new ordinance for electronic signs in the city. Using Hyde Park's Advanced Restoration Systems sign as an example of what was not wanted, the commission laid out a plan.

One of the topics of greatest discussion was how close together the council would allow the signs to be.

"I'm not fundamentally against the signs," Commissioner David Price said. "But I am against them being lined up every 50 feet."

In the end the commission agreed that a minimum distance of 100 feet be the standard kept. The group did, however, say that measurements of certain lots would be taken and the matter revisited.

Other matters discussed involved the presentation of the sign. Factors such as auto dimming, the way the messages would scroll, the intensity of the color and how the message would change were all things talked about and set aside to another date.

Following the ARS example of what not to do, the council also outlawed the use of the color red for any electronic signs.

"You can see it from Preston," Price said in reference to the ARS sign.

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