Monday, September 22, 2014

Utah Elections 2014: Utah Debate Commission Live Broadcast Schedule - Updated

Sadly, all Utah third-party candidates have been entirely squeezed out

Attention Weber County Forum Political wonks. We're semi delighted to announce the first glimmerings of public events surrounding the upcoming 2014 Utah General Elections. Here's a nifty graphic highlighting the Utah Debate Commission debates which are coming up during the next couple of weeks:

Via the Utah Debate Commission website, here are the space-time coordinates for tommorrow's WSU campus event, which ought to be of interest to Weber County-situated political wonks who might like to personally attend:
1st Congressional District
Weber State University
6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Ballroom B, Shepherd Union Bldg.
Click here for map and parking instructions.
Please visit for ticket information.
For your convenience, here's a handy webpage for non-attendees who'd like to submit questions in advance.

Added bonus for those who'd like to view Tuesday's debate online:
The Utah First Congressional Debate will begin at 6:01 p.m. Tuesday September 23, 2014.

To refresh your recollection, these are the 1st Congressional District  U.S. House of  Representative candidates who will appear on your November 4, 2014 Weber County ballots, by the way:

U.S. House of Representatives
1st Congressional District - 2 year term
Declaration of CandidacyWebsite/Contact InfoCampaign Finance DisclosuresParty
Rob BishopRob Bishop Campaign WebsitePendingRepublican
Craig BowdenCraig Bowden Campaign WebsitePendingLibertarian
Donna McAleerDonna McAleer Campaign WebsitePendingDemocratic
Dwayne A. VanceDwayne A. Vance Campaign WebsitePendingIndependent American

Notably, in their questionable "wisdom," which some are labeling as pre-election chicanery, the Utah Debate Commission will be limiting tomorrow's debate podium to GOP and Demo candidates Rob Bishop and Donna McAleer only  That's right, folks Independent American and Libertarian candidates Dwayne A. Vance and Craig Bowden have been entirely squeezed out.

It's also the same story in all other Utah Debate Commission featured debates, as to third-party candidates.

Sadly, we'll have to take what we can get however, we guess. It's the Utah Debate Commission's dog-and-pony show... not ours.

Yeah. We essentially agree with the Salt Lake Tribune:
Defective though the debate candidate screening process may be, let's get this show on the road.

We hope you'll all tune in tomorrow evening, in the event that you can't be there in person, folks.

Update 9/23/14 8:00 a.m.:  The Deseret News devotes some ink to defending the exclusion of all third-party candidates. "'You cannot be a genuine candidate unless you pay the price, The debate commission will not be the campaign for third-party candidates,' Scott Howell, commission co-chairman and a former Democratic state senator Howell said on The Doug Wright Show.":
"I am the Libertarian candidate for Attorney General. I have as good a chance to win as does the Democrat who polled 12.6% in the poll run by the Debate Commission. So, do your own research and don't let the powers that be decide for you. The debate Commission is co-chaired by long-time Republican and Democratic politicians who do not want to open it up for others to be heard. Let them know how you feel," Libertarian Attorney General candidate Andrew McCullough retorts.

Yep.  Looks like the "fix" is "in."

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Weber State University Game Day Thread: WSU @ Stephen F. Austin - Updated

Can the Wildcats whip the Lumberjacks a second year in a row?

Our Weber State Wildcats football team is back on the road today as the home town team travels to Nacogdoches, Texas to take on the Stephen F Austin Lumberjacks in the final non-conference game of the season, the same team they played a year ago in a 50-40 victory at Stewart Stadium. The Wildcats are 0-3 on the season and coming off a 42-31 loss at Sacramento State last Saturday. The Lumberjacks, on the other hand, currently sport a 2-1 preseason record, fresh off last week's victory over mighty Texas A&M-Commerce (?). Kickoff's set for 5pm (MT), Wildcats fans, contrary to our messed-up embedded graphic.

Here's the pre-game sports media setup, folks:
Catch the game via these online sources:
This go-round, our Wildcats come into tonight's game as 9-1/2 point underdogs, according to Sportsbet.Com, (for what that's worth.)

Last week our 'Cats got killed by turnovers (3 turnover fumbles). Thankfully (a little birdy told us) Coach Hill has invested this week in a few cans of that "stickum" (You know: like Oakland Raiders receiver Lester Hayes used to use).

Can the Wildcats beat the spread and whip the Lumberjacks a second year in a row?

We'll soon find out, No?.

Go Wildcats!

Final/Final: Lumberjacks roll over the Wildcats, 35-21. Dang.

Update 9/2014 10:00 PM:  The Standard's Brandon Garside is the first to provide the post-game story:
Our Take? Just like '49's coach Jim Harbaugh, WSU Coach Hill doesn't give a fig about what happens in the pre-season. He's just playin' all his players and working out what they can do together in various combos, once the regular conference starts.When that happens, he'll be ready to go.

What say you about all this theory, O Gentle Weber County Wildcats fans?

Howbout you, Ferris?

Friday, September 19, 2014

Salt Lake Tribune Confession: I Made A Mistake Of limiting Zion Curtain To Just New Restaurants, Senator Valentine Admits

Sodden Question: Will John Valentine continue to dictate Utah liquor policy from his new State Tax Commission office?

Well... it's official. After after 36 years of running the Utah legislature with an iron fist as his own personal religious fiefdom, Government Nanny Senator John Valentine is finally retiring from the State Senate:
And as career legislators are always prone to do upon their departures, Valentine candidly reflects upon his greatest legislative blunder:

Here's the gist:
As Sen. John Valentine, R-Orem, leaves the Legislature to head the Utah State Tax Commission, he expressed one alcohol policy regret: not making all Utah restaurants have a Zion Curtain.
"I made a mistake," Valentine, the major force over the past decade in shaping Utah liquor laws, said Thursday. During the 2009 liquor law debates, "I should have bitten the bullet and given existing restaurants a certain amount of time to comply with the law."
Read the full story, folks:
More proof  of the old adage that "you can't teach old dogs new tricks," we suppose.

Sodden Question:
Will John Valentine continue to dictate Utah liquor policy from his new State Tax Commission office?

We'll soon find out, we guess.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Weber State 9/18/14 Event: Constitution Address: Debating Same Sex Marriage and the Constitution - Updated

Something tells us that this is an Ogden City-situated event which you won't want to miss

Here's a quick heads-up concerning an interesting happening on the Weber State campus, which U.S. Constitution buffs and regular WCF political wonks might want to attend tomorrow, in conjunction with WSU's celebration of what the Olene Walker Institute of Politics and Public Service is labeling "Constitution Week (Sept 15-18)".

Specifically, here's the gist, via the WSU website:
As part of the week’s activities...[t]he event, “Debating Same-Sex Marriage and the Constitution,” will be held Sept. 18 at 1:45 p.m. in Elizabeth Hall Room 229. The debate will feature William Duncan, the director of the Center for Family and Society at the Sutherland Institute, and Clifford J. Rosky, professor of law at the University of Utah. Doug Gibson, the opinion editor for the Standard-Examiner, will moderate.
The discussion is intended to inform students and the public about the constitutional issues the Supreme Court will likely address if they agree to hear Utah’s appeal of the 10th Circuit Court decision upholding same-sex marriage.
Once again, here are the time/space coordinates and other pertinent information, as set forth in this nifty graphic:

Click to enlarge image

Thankfully, debate moderator Doug Gibson regularly trains in the pugilistic arts at Ogden's Foley's Mixed Martial Arts Training Center, a fortuitous circumstance which might come in handy in the event that this debate might become a little overly rambunctious.

Here's our irreverent "constitutional" take on the subject, for what it's worth [grin]:

Please be sure to mark your calenders and plan to be in attendance, folks.

Something tells us that this is an Ogden City-situated event which you won't want to miss.

Update 9/19/14 11:15 a.m.:  The Standard's Cathy McKitrick provides a top-notch recap of the same sex marriage debate at WSU yesterday:
That dude from the Sutherland Institute got his butt royally kicked, or so it appears to us.  But what say you, O Gentle Ones?

And here's a great wrap-up from the Signpost:

Monday, September 15, 2014

Jim Dabakis: Salt Lake Tribune, Other Digital First Media Newspapers, Officially On The Market

How about the citizens of Utah getting together to buy the Tribune at its current bargain basement value?

Via State Senator Jim Dabakis:

"Want to buy Pat Bagley and the Whole Dang Trib," Senator Dabakis asks? Read up, peeps, According to the Denver Post story linked below, the Trib has been recently put on the "auction block," so to speak:
Apparently, the Tribune is for sale. It WOULD have been an attractive money maker without all the shenanigans over the last year. Now, potential buyers tell me the Tribune is worth very, very little. Much of the value has been sucked out Utah's proud independant voice! But, there is a way to save an independent Trib and assure two papers in Utah for a long, long time.
The historic revenue split between the Tribune and the Deseret News was 70%-30% (based on circulation and revenues). But that has changed. Dramatically. With Clark Gilbert's Deseret News' payoff to the NY Hedge Fund that owns the Trib, it leaves the Trib as a very junior partner with an unsustainable financial split of just 30%.
Plus, instead of the long standing 50-50 split of control of the joint operating company, with the new agreement, the smaller Deseret News gains control. Having lost 50% of its profit to the D News, and lost say over distribution, promotion and printing of the papers, serious potential buyers have told me that only a shill would buy the Tribune now, UNLESS the DOJ or the Courts step in. The ugly new agreement that gave the Hedge Fund millions from the Deseret News must be reversed.
Was the fact that the Trib was stripped of its sale value before it was put on sale to possible independent buyers (like the McCarthey Family for instance) just a coincidence? 
Here is a link to the Denver Post story:
Everything Digital First Media has touched has been run into the ground, but the fatcat ownership of the Alden Capital Hedge Fund still manage to always collect fat paychecks, partially at the Trib readership's expense.

How about the citizens of Utah getting together to buy the Tribune at its current bargain basement value and create a trust that would create autonomy in the newsroom and guarantee that we have professional journalism in this state now and for decades to come?

As Mr. Dabakis notes, the new anti-trust-violative DNews-Trib joint operating agreement would possibly have to be somehow voided, of course., hopefully by mutual agreement, if the price is right, of course..

Just a thought.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

WSU Game Day Thread: Weber State Visits Sacramento State

We expect former Coach Sears and his Hornets team to finish tonight's game with their tails tucked between their legs

Keep your eyes on this page, Weber State football fans, as our Weber State Wildcats  travel to Sacramento, California where they'll face Big Sky Conference rival, the Sacramento State Hornets at Hornets Stadium this evening.  Kickoff for this technically non-conference, pre-season game is set for 7:00 pm. (MT) folks.

The Weber State Wildcat Club provides the pre-game setup:
After a home loss to the top team in the nation, the Weber State football team returns to action Saturday night to face a familiar team and a former head coach. The Wildcats will hit the road to play at fellow Big Sky Conference member Sacramento State Saturday night in Sacramento in a non-conference game. The Hornets are coached by former WSU head coach Jody Sears.
Read on:
The local Sacramento sports media offer a few pre-game words on this topic, too:
Information overload? Not for true Wildcat fans, wethink...

Once again our Wildcats come into tonight's game as underdogs, according to  Sportsbet.Com, although the predicted 6-point spread is laughably slight:

Click to enlarge image
The 'Cats have handily beaten the point spread for two weeks running.  Why not again tonight?

Tonight's game will be broadcast live via the usual online sources, of course:
Pull up your Barcaloungers® and pop up your Orville Redenbachers®, Wildcats fans. We expect former Coach Sears and his Hornets team to skulk into the Hornets locker room after tonight's game with their tails tucked between their legs.  Write that down, so you don't forget it, by the way.

Go Wildcats!

Update 9/13/14 10: 42 pm: WSU Wildcats get their ass kicked 42-31:
At this juncture, we're seriously considering indefinitely suspending our six-year weekly pre-game WSU story series, folks.  Like many Wildcats fans, we're growing ever more fed up with our constant string of sadsack, mistake-prone losers.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Standard-Examiner: Free Wi-Fi In Downtown Ogden, Will It Work This Time?

Nice work, Mayor Mike!
In our request for proposals, we stated that we wanted to partner with a company that could provide wireless service to downtown, free to citizens, and with no cost to the city,”
Ogden City IT Operations Manager Andy Lefgren
Free Wi-Fi in downtown Ogden, will it work this time?
September 11, 2014

If people know that can get free Internet service downtown, they’re going to come. It’s all part of making the downtown area more vibrant.
Ogden City IT Operations Manager Andy Lefgren
Free Wi-Fi in downtown Ogden, will it work this time?
September 11, 2014

Pretty clever concept, wethink. Here Mitch Shaw's tantalizing lede:
OGDEN — Turns out FlowRider isn’t the only place where you can surf in downtown Ogden.

For those looking for less “wet” and more “net,” Ogden City is now providing free WiFi Internet access downtown, allowing anyone in the area to surf the Internet to their heart’s content. The city announced earlier this week that it has partnered with WebNX, an Internet infrastructure provider with new facilities in Ogden, to offer the free wireless internet access.

Ogden City IT Operations Manager Andy Lefgren said the service has no use limitations and will provide a dedicated 10 gigabit per second bandwidth feed. Currently, the wireless network is available from 21st Street to 22nd Street between Washington Boulevard and Grant Avenue. Lefrgren said the municipal network provides speeds up to four times faster than the average home user is able to purchase.

Lefgren said eventually the entire downtown area will be a wireless access zone. The overall implementation strategy will happen in four separate phases and is expected to be fully complete by December 2016.
Read the full story here, folks:
Nice work, Mayor Mike!

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