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Today's word on journalism

May 15, 2009

The Last WORD

The Fat Lady Sings, Off-Key, Drools

At about this time every year, like the swallows to Capistrano or the buzzards to Hinckley, Ohio, the WORD migrates to its summer musing grounds at the sanitarium —St. Mumbles Home for the Terminally Verbose.

The reason is clear, and never moreso than as this season —the WORD's 13th —peters out.

It's been a fraught year of high palaver and eye-popping transition, both good and not-so-much. An interminable presidential campaign saga finally did end, and in extraordinary and historic fashion. Meanwhile, the bottom and everything that's below the bottom fell out of the economy, with families, homes, entire industries and —of particular interest to WORDsters and the civic-minded —dozens of daily newspapers ("I don't so much mind that newspapers are dying--it's watching them commit suicide that pisses me off." --Molly Ivins). . . all evaporating. What replaces them, from the individual to the institutional to the societal? Are we looking at a future of in-depth Tweeting?

As any newsperson or firehorse knows, it's hard to turn your back on day-to-day catastrophe --we just have to look at the car wreck. But even the most deranged and driven need a rest. As philosopher Lilly Tomlin once observed, "No matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up."

So this morning, as a near-frost hovered over northern Utah, the unmarked van pulled into the driveway and the gentle, soft-spoken men in the white coats rolled the WORD out of bed and into a straitjacket for the usual summer trip to St. Mumbles, where the blathering one will be assigned a hammock and fed soothing, healthy foods --like tapioca, dog biscuits and salmon --while recharging the essential muscles of cynicism, outrage, sarcasm, social engagement and high-mindedness, in preparation for the next edition.
Summer well, friends.

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

Opinion: Tour of Logan business gems reveals idealism, care
Logan doesn't have as vibrant a local business scene as other cities. Main Street is in shambles, with businesses closing, and the big-box stores are continually moving into the northern parts of the city, pushing the average commute higher. / By Blaine Adams

Directive feeds off the passion for board sports
Directive Board Shop, with its concrete floors and skating gear, may feel like another mass-marketed mall shop, complete with disinterested teenagers tending the counter and overpriced, low-quality merchandise. But employee Jarvis Parry, who's been at the store for four years, says Directive is different. / By Blaine Adams

Superior Computers carves niche with custom service
Walking through the doors of Superior Computers, one gets the impression of utilitarian charm; the emptiness, save a few CPUs in boxes, indicates the store is not focused on flashy displays or thrilling tech demos. / By Blaine Adams

Greenline Scooters offering Logan eco-friendly transportation
Opened in December, Greenline Scooters, on Main Street, aims to redefine Cache Valley's view of scooters. / By Blaine Adams

Ibis an oasis of hipness -- and fine coffee -- in LDS Logan
Caffe Ibis is that coffee shop that has fresh biscotti and sports walls adorned with herbs and syrups (all organic!). Not an unusual place; quite common in every city in America. But in Logan, Utah, the café is positively counterculture. Logan doesn't run on coffee. This city runs on faith—a religion that views coffee drinking as a sin. / By Blaine Adams

Retro, classic games draw fans from afar at Fun Unlimited
Stacks of rare and unique collectibles practically spill out the door, inviting customers inside. Customers who venture into Fun Unlimited in Cache Valley Mall find themselves under siege from all sides by all types of media, many of it "retro" or classic video games. / By Blaine Adams

'Guilt-free shopping' sets Global Village Gifts apart
It's an unusual store with a unique vision: make fair trade work for everyone, from villages around the globe to the customers in Logan. / By Blaine Adams

Timberline boasts personalized tobacco service
Although customers must be at least 19 years old to even enter Timberline Smoke Shop, the store says it's focused on providing personalized service. / By Blaine Adams

Western Wats logs millions of survey calls per year
Last year, 7,860,840 calls came out of an unassuming little building on Golf Course Road, and that's not just calls but completed surveys. The surveys are from Western Wats, just one of 11 phone survey centers in the nation and several more around the world, though most are in the Intermountain West. / By Alex Methvin

Persian Peacock owner urges Cache Valley to shop locally
Persian Peacock, the Logan lingerie boutique, is no stranger to controversy. But owner Jessica McWhinnie isn't interested in offense or sensationalism. / By Blaine Adams

Morning market merriment: Gardeners ready for new round of summer sales
Imagine yourself on a summer Saturday morning. Eating your usual cereal, watching the normal shows that seem to get worse each week. Wasting away in the overused couch cushions until one o'clock begs you to get in the shower. Time to begin living what's left of your day. / By Dana Ivins

Logan store promotes fair trade movement
Shopping has seldom been so fun, or rewarding. Recycled paper picture frames, unique jewelry, mouth-watering chocolate and handmade journals are just some of the things that are being sold by Global Village Gifts. / By Katie Krusi

American-Russian business ventures turn on communication, culture
As an annual survey of executives on foreign investment in Russia for 2008 showed, just in the last few years Russia has become one of the largest recipients of foreign direct investment among the countries with transitional economy, and its market today can be called one of the promising and fastest growing in the world. / By Svetlana Ostraya

Silver linings: Bike shop enjoys sunny side of economy's storms
Walk through the doors of Wimmer's Sewing Machine and Vacuum Cleaner Co. on Main Street and you will find exactly that. Vacuum cleaners lined neatly in a row flanked by an array of sewing machines. The essence of oil fills the air and you can't help but feel confident. Whatever your vacuum or sewing machine need, Wimmer's can help. / By Patrick Oden

Katie's in Wellsville: A Main Street anchor for decades
When Katie Turner started her hair styling career 50 years ago, a hair cut cost $1.50. She only got half of that for working. Today, a hair cut costs $12 at Katie's Hair Corner, 99 E. Main Street. Katie has worked there for 41 years, but bought the corner lot 32 years ago. Katie has one employee that has been working part time with her for 12 years. / By Ty Rogers


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