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Today's word on journalism

May 12, 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."

Lewiston will get a new grandstand, thanks to Sen. Bennett

By Natalie Buckley

May 6, 2009 | LEWISTON -- This spring, Lewiston city received $237,500 from Senator Bennett's office to build a new rodeo grandstand and city art council members are working hard to earn money to build a playground to match.

"Our grandstand was condemned and the playground is in terrible shape," said city recorder Julie Bergeson, "Lewiston has been borrowing grandstands for the past two years. "

The money from Senator Bennett came from a fund that is set aside for the improvement of small communities. Mayor Kelly Field said that the city is very excited about the new grandstands. "They should be in by the 4th of July rodeo," he said enthusiastically at the city council meeting.

City councilwoman Karen Jackson said that the art council is working hard but "it doesn't look like we will have enough money to have the playground done in time for the rodeo.

"However," she said, "the art council is planning a lot of different activities to fundraise for the playground and encourage unity within the city." She said that the Sweetheart Swing that was held in February already brought in revenue. "It wasn't a lot but it was still some." She said that this year 82 people attended the dance and last year there were only 56.

Jackson said, "Last year we did the swing just for fun and we earned just enough to cover the costs. This year we would like to focus on doing more events like the swing and do some more serious fundraising for the playground."

She went on to say that the art council has been selling cookbooks and have sold enough that they are now able to make a profit off of them. The art council is now going to start selling these cookbooks in different stores in Cache Valley. The cookbooks will be sold for $17.50 a book and $15 a book if two or more are purchased.

"The great thing about these cookbooks is that all these recipes are things that you can find in your cupboard," said Jackson.

Last year the council did a contest for yards to beautify the city. One of their fundraising ideas for this summer is that in place of the yard contest the council is planning on doing a "Taste of Homes" cooking demo.

She said that it is estimated that the art council will have to raise somewhere between $8,000- $10,000 to cover the costs of a new playground.

"This community is perfect for these sorts of activities," she said, "The people are really friendly and sincere - good neighbors, good friends, and wide open spaces."


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