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Today's word on journalism

Friday, November 10, 2006

Q&A with Ed Bradley:

Q: What single issue should be covered more at CBS News?
A: Foreign news.

Q: Have you ever been assigned a story you objected to? How did you deal with it?
A: When I first started in New York at WCBS radio, the assignment editor automatically assigned any story that had a minority in it to me. I objected to being typecast and told him if I didn't get a variety of stories -- as other reporters did -- then I would take it up with the news director.

Q: If you were not in news, what would you be doing?
A: If I had the talent, I'd play bass guitar and sing in a kicking band.

--Ed Bradley, reporter, "60 Minutes," died yesterday of leukemia at age 65 (2006)

Petersboro residents tell county to back off potential waste transfer site

By Brooke Barker

October 5, 2006 | NIMBY!

While a waste transfer station has yet to find a home in the valley, around 60 Petersboro residents continued to show their unhappiness with the idea at Monday's County Planning Commission meeting.

Their message: Not In My Back Yard.

Five of Cache Valley's cities have planned to chuck their current provider, Logan City, for a cheaper and perhaps simpler alternative: a transfer station that would transport their trash to Box Elder County.

One problem: where to put it? Logan City doesn't want it because it would take away business from the landfill, and the rest of the county lacks proper zoning for a facility that commissioners deemed an industrial activity Monday.

"We're just getting started on this and we are going to have some things we need to discuss," said Lee Nelson, planning commission chairman, during the meeting Monday. "The issue for us today isn't approval in general for a facility, it is to discuss whether or not a change to our restrictions in the agricultural zone is prohibited or not."

Throughout a two-hour discussion, residents voiced their opinions on whether a transfer station should be allowed in an agricultural zone under the salvage yard description in the current ordinance.

"A transfer station and a salvage yard are two very different activities, with very different futures," said Nathan Wells Benson, a resident of the county, during the meeting."We need to think about it and have public debate as to whether this is ever appropriate for agricultural zoning."

Wells worked with Utah County several years ago, and saw two transfer stations established while there. He discussed with the commissioners the careful planning that went into their opening.

"The thing you have to keep in mind with transfer stations is that issues arise. You can't necessarily say down the road, we'll fix it."

Some of the concerns he had involved green waste, different kinds of consumer waste and asbestos.

Others who came to the meeting seemed simply concerned with protecting their small-town environment and preserving Cutler Marsh.

"It changes the character of our community," said Loren Richardson, a Petersboro resident and Cutler Marsh Recreational Area user. "Is this the goal for agriculture zones in the county to become sprawling junkyards?"

Richardson asked the commission about the impacts of the downstream wetlands, from a proposed facility by Bruce and Janna Kidman in Petersboro. The Kidmans are among the prospects the five cities are looking at as their next waste management provider.

"Please make it general, not specific to Petersboro," reminded Nelson. "If the amendment is made then you can come back and be more specific."

The Kidmans also came to the meeting to make their statements concerning the idea of a transfer station in Cache Valley. The facility they hope to build would be about 12,000 square feet at about 5600 W. 800 North near Mendon. They also plan to develop the building as a barn to blend into the rural community.

"We just quietly wanted to carry trash," said Janna Kidman. "The problem is there are no industrial areas in the valley outside of Logan City, which does not like us."

Janna Kidman also said she wouldn't mind if the facility needed to be elsewhere after rezoning, but likes the proposed location because it makes sense to have the station central in the valley and at the crossroads of Highway 23 and 30. Kidman also pointed out during the meeting that the proposed location for their transfer station is part of commercial zoning according to Mendon's master plans.

By the end of the meeting, a consensus seemed to be reached between commissioners that a transfer station will eventually need to be built in Cache County, but with the right research to make it a safe and worthwhile investment. They also agreed that it would need to be in an industrial zone, and not just an amendment to the salvage yard ordinance already in place for agricultural zones.

"We can say this falls into an industrial zone, but if it is never zoned, it will eliminate the opportunity for good businesses like this one in the county," said Commissioner Troy Allen. The next move will be for the commissioners to look at zoning more industrial areas in the county outside of Logan City, and doing more research into successful transfer stations in the area.

"Each one of us is concerned. If and when we make a decision, we want to make sure it will run well and clean," said Nelson. "There is something good that can come out of this: our garbage going to Box Elder and they actually want it."

Commissioner Linda Christiansen said that this is not a problem that will be solved overnight. "I understand that this is mostly a "not in my back yard" problem, but wherever we decide to put it there is going to be a lot of studying and mitigation, but we need to allow it somewhere."

Nelson mentioned that the county will need to look at the underlying factors in zoning, and one thing the commission will especially need to keep in mind while thinking about transfer stations is property values.

"An industrial facility in the middle of an agricultural zone is not price compatibility for the county."

The next county planning commission meeting will be at 1:05 Nov. 21 at the Cache County Council Chambers in the historical courthouse at 199 North Main. Nelson and other commissioners expressed their desire for people to continue giving their input throughout the process.

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