Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Tuesday Night Council Happenings

City Council Notes 02.06.07
By Gentle Reader Sharon

I attended the very short (one hour) and under attended CC meeeting last night.

Once again we were honored to have the Boy Scouts in attendance. The young men were from Troop 233 and were : James Monson...Citizenship in Community/Nation Merit Badge, Jared Petaine, Personal Fitness, Jacob Petaine, Citizenship in the Community Merit Badge, Dave McComber, Citizenship in the Community Merit Badge and Michael Florence, Communications. If I didn't get their names and spelling right....Councilwoman Jeske can correct me.

It is so refreshing to have the Scouts lead us in the Pledge of Allegiance. This is something I've brought up to the Council a few times in the past. So, kudos to the Council and especially Councilwoman Jeske! She's been a Scouter for over 30 years and these fine young men from Troop 233 are from her neghborhood.

After the usual approval of minutes of past CC meetings and some housekeeping that is taken care of in their earlier work meeting, according to Chair Garcia, we were left with two agenda items.

Planning Commission Reports: "Proposed Ordinance 2007=3 amending the zoning map of Ogden City to reclassify as Multiple Family Residential--East Central (R-3EC) property heretofore classified as Cetnral Business District Zone (CBD), generally located along the north side of 24th Street between 578 East and Adams Avenue and the east side of Adams Avenue between 23rd Street and 24th Street."

Mr. Montgomery presented this with a map of the area. This is being rezoned to Residential in order to 'stabilize the area', and as Mr. Stephenson noted to " maintain the character of the neighborhood". Only one person commented. A Mr. Fahid ?...could not catch the last name. He left early. He was concerned that his business which is on the corner of 24th and Adams would be rezoned. He was assured that his business would not be affected and urged to meet with Mr. Montgomery. The gentleman had a rather heavy accent, and unfortunatley I couldn't follow all that he said. Unanimous approval by the Council.

New Business: TREEHOUSE MUSEUM SUPPORT..."Proposed Joint Resoluton 2007=3 expressing support for the Treehouse Museum's request for funding from the UT State Legislature." They've already rec'd $800,000. of the one million they were allotted, and now are asking for the other $200,000. Unanimous approval by the Council.

Chair Garcial opened the floor to comments. Ms. Va. Reyes spoke about the people she represents in the inner city and their concerns that their homes not be rezoned from residential. Chair Garcia responded that he's asked her many times for the list of all the people she says she represents!

Perhaps he thinks there's some redundancy in the representation as HE represents the same people he told her.

A young man, Steven VanWaggenon, who just moved here in Dec. spoke about the "great industries and great buildings in Ogden....they set us apart, we should be taking some serious looks and support our businesses because we're going to have a different caliber of people' coming to Ogden." He then gave a rousing cheer for the gondola! THIS is what is bringing business to Ogden. He said 'let's close escrow on our old buildings..let's restore our old buildings'. He told me after the meeting that he's bot the old Berthana (Dance Hall??)...which is now a strip club according to Mr. VanWaggenon.

Then I spoke. I hadn't intended to bring up the gondola...but....since it was already in the room, so to speak..

I suggested to Mr. W. that he "educate himself. Mr. Peterson's Att'y admitted the gondola is at least 10 to 20 years away!! Also, it's been mighty quiet lately and that makes many of think something is afoot. And here it is. The gondola is back! We have businesses and new residents in Ogden...and there isn't a gondola in sight!"
What I really wanted to address was the lack of lighting downtown. I've brought this up before, and rec'd blank stares.

My husband nearly hit a man on WA Blvd recently...dark night, dark clothes. We were inches from him. The experience left our hearts pounding and we were weak in the knees. I suggested we have OVERHEAD lights on the Blvd, and those 'walking' electronic signs denoting crosswalks.

I urged the Council to "get on with the business of infrastructure, clean water on 23rd East, the welfare of our citizens. Have any of them been in the inner city and asked how many WANT a gondola? Will ride it? (more than once?), How many have $15. to take a one minute ride at the rec center?

Every person I've talked to does NOT want the gondola....and they should get out and actually talk to the folks. Get their heads out of the sky and come back to the ground."

Susan Van Hooser said that she'd had an experience similar to ours..nearly hitting someone. She asked the mayor directly what is being done about lighting? He replied that this is a 'state issue'. Feisty Ms. Van Hooser then asked , 'aren't we meeting with UDOT in March?"...Cook said it was UTA, but UDOT could be invited. Godfrey explained that signage comes from the state....'Well'....Susan pushed..."I think we need a plan to present to THEM on what we need!"

What a gal! Godfrey said, 'we've been talking about this for five years and we've gotten to this point'. HUH? The only point I see is that someone is going to be killed on the Blvd...and there goes another lawsuit against the city!

I wonder if the driver who hits a dark-clothed pedestrian on the unlighted street can also sue the city?

We were the only three speakers. Councilwoman Jeske commented that other cities are buying up their open spaces...and we must protect ours.

Steve Van Wagoner came over to me at the end of the meeting. A very nice young man. He said he's been talking to a lot of businessmen who want the gondola and some of the ski companies are here because of it. (Geiger, he asserted, was not one of them). I urged him to educate himself and get on this blog. Gave him the blog address. I hope he weighs in. Suggested he ask questions of Dan and Tec and the other really smart and informed people on this blog.

Well, that's what happened in our metropolis tonight.

Any misreporting of the facts can be corrected by Dorrene Jeske. Safsten was absent.

Update 2/7/07 10:36 a.m. MT: We link for our gentle readers' attention Ace Reporter Schwebke's Std-Ex story, wherein he reports that the above-referenced Mr. Van Wagoner says he is willing to spend millions of dollars to transform a downtown strip club into a top-flight music venue if an urban gondola project materializes. Why not spend those millions on a classy gentlemen's club -- like this one, we ask? That would certainly be unique! We also suspect this idea would be a big hit with at least one or two employees of the Emerald City Economic Development Department! Heck, the whole "A" Team could use it as an after-hours think tank!

Hey... we're just trying to help.


Curmudgeon said...


Thanks for the report.

May I suggest that next time you undertake educating new members of the Lift Ogden Amen Chorus, you pass on the web address of Smart Growth Ogden as well...

He will find much, I think, to educate himself on the issues there as well.

As for streetlights... well, surely you understand that those riding the gondola at night from downtown to the one other place it will go will not need streetlights for safety. You are so selfish to be thinking only of the non-gondola riders and their needs. Shame on you.... [grin]

Sharon said...

omygosh, are, like, sooo right! I am selfish.

I should be thinking of all those businessmen who have moved here just so they can step out their doors at lunchtime...hop onto the gondola and glide up to Peterson's (if they don't break their necks on the rocks) and get back in time for an afternoon staff meeting.

I'll repent, Curm. After all, ridership isn't dependent on any local rabble. WE'RE attracting real swells from all over the country...maybe the world! Being the first in the country to have an URBAN gondola to nowhere....what a visionary we are blessed with in M. Godfrey.

But...I shall, from now on, give out the SmartGrowth address. Excellent suggestion.

Well, If Mr. W is on here, he's seen your suggestion and hopefully will follow up.

BTW...Mr. W cut our conversation short as he had someone waiting to meet with him.....ta da.....drum roll pls......the Mayor himself!!

Tec Jonson said...

I hope to meet the recent newcomer. It is understandable the ethusiasm. I was taken in by the same hype when I first moved here. Didn't take long to familiarize myself with the essentials to see the urban gondola and weighty dependencies are nothing more than a scam and impractical.

It sickens me to have heard from some supporters that just the talk of it was enough to bring some companies and new residents. To think that a city would stoop to deception and outright lies to attract newcomers. It is an insult to their intelligence and an insult to those who have called this city home for much longer than us newcomers with our irrtional exuberance. The mayor loves to meet the newcomers to cultivate their loyalty. Using his office and position to make a newcomer feel important. I'll admit, I have never had conversations with a mayor of a city of this size and been invited to the 9th until moving here. Makes a guy feel important until you realize you're being used.

Bill C. said...

Well folks, spring time must be fast approaching,seems the Mayor's "gondola hormones" are kicking in as anticipated. I would guess the full court press is coming,heonly has months left and all his marbles are neatly tucked into one basket. We need to prepare to do an even better job of educating the public,and shake the apathy which this guy so skillfully plays on.

Curmudgeon said...

Bill C:

We need to be watchful. Here's my nightmare scenario: the PC passes on the new Sensitive Area Overlay Ordinance [eliminating the restriction on development of land sloped more than 30%], and it passes on a lightly disguised version of the Ellison Mixed Use Ordinance, and the Council adopts both. Whereupon Hizzonah promptly sells Mr. Peterson at least the 60 acres of city owned bench lands above the golf course for residential development. All of which can [the PC and Council concurring] happen before the election.

danny said...

I'm disappointed not to have heard from SGO (by email) regarding tonight's Planning Commission hearing on the Sensitive Overlay proposal. This one is every bit as bad as the last one. Hopefully there will be some folks there to speak on it as there have always been in past meetings. I hope folks are not getting worn down by all this. Wearing people down is a tried and true practice of the Ogden elite and is one that Godfrey will use this year to the fullest extent that he can. We must be perseverant as well as vigilant!

Bill C. said...

Curm, not only the 30% slope,but the Tdr guidelines I find quite disturbing. Note the ones adjacent to publicly owned open space.100% transferable. Even if some form of the slope requirement survives they get credit for that property. This also applies to geologic prohibitions. Hats off to Montgomry,he'll die trying to appease his boss(Ellison).

sharon said...

Well kids, see the SE today? That 'nice yyoung man' I mention who ment with Gdofrey...gonna dump 4 mil into our fair city...if we have a gondola!!

Seems like people who deal in Ogden learn the art of disengenuousness quickly.

Curmudgeon said...


SGO speakers will be there. Count on it.

Curmudgeon said...

The story Sharon refers to above, about an Ogden strip club owner from California willing, he says, to invest $4 million in changing the strip club into an upscale "music venue" if only Ogden builds Hizzonah's gondola [the California strip club owner apparently thinks there is only one gondola, not two, which is probably a good measure of how thoroughly he's researched the plan he now so loudly supports] can be found here.

As interesting, another Standard Examiner story about the possibilities of developing Ogden as an ice-climbing center. That has real possibilities. Mr. Chris Peterson is heavily involved in this as well [developing Waterfall Canyon waterfalls as an ice climbing venue]. I wish he would concentrate his efforts on projects like this that enhance and expand sporting opportunities instead of real estate schemes designed to chew up large portions of the public benchlands in Ogden and convert them into residential developments. Sometimes, Mr. Peterson, less is more. This is one of those times.

Jill said...

RE: Today’s SE article about Mr. Van Wagoner’s proposed project

A couple questions and comments. How many new music venues does Ogden need? Is there all of a sudden a massive demand that I am not aware about? Don’t get me wrong, I would love to see the Berthana rehabilitated! It is an Ogden landmark and should be preserved. If it can be successfully turned into a music hall, great. However, I am alarmed that Mr. Van Wagoner’s proposal hinges on the gondola being built. He was rather flippant w/ his remarks. He will do a good job if the gondola is built, if it isn’t then he will do half-assed job? Why not do a good project, regardless. If you are moving to Ogden and proposing projects based on the idea the gondola project will come to fruition then please stay out. You apparently do not know Ogden City nor do you care about the City.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to read the Berthana article. (I can never find anything on anymore - it's useless for me). I believe Curm did not embed the correct link in his post though.

danny said...

Van Wagoner said that "we should be taking some serious looks and support our businesses because we're going to have a different caliber of people' coming to Ogden."

So this strip club owner says we're getting a different caliber of people here - such as himself – and so, we need to keep getting more like him – strip club owners?

Also, what exactly are we supposed to do to “support” our businesses, throw tax money at them? I always thought business was supposed to support itself – by offering products people want to buy – as well as support the government through the payment of taxes. So is he implying that in Ogden the government needs to continue to “support” business?

A strip club owner advocating for government “support” of his business – this is a new guy? He sounds like an old time Ogden businessman to me, whatever his “caliber”.

ozboy said...

Dear Mayor Godfrey

If you do not build the Gondola I will personally move to Ogden and build 2 strip bars, a 30,000 seat music venue and 3 cat houses. Furthermore I will single handedly create the 2000 jobs that will be lost if you do not build said Gondola.

Double honest here Mr. Mayor. I wouldn't bull shit you about something so serious as saving Ogden from itself.

If you invite me to the ninth floor I'll even up the anty to 4 whore houses and give you and Patterson a free weekend pass to all of them!
(ya gotta promise to leave your Ho Reid home though!)

Curmudgeon said...

Sorry. Let me try again here.

RudiZink said...

Thanks, Curm.

We also posted the story as an update to today's article a few minutes ago.

Curmudgeon said...

Well, snarkiness aside [though it is fun], the questions to ask our new our new California-come-to Ogden strip club empressario are [among others] these:

1. Does he know how much it will cost to build the city end of the gondola/gondola system the Mayor wants? The public doesn't.

2. Does he know where that money is going to come from, plus the money to maintain and operate the downtown gondola? The public doesn't.

3. Has he seen any market studies indicating the probability that riders fares will cover even fifty percent of operating and maintenance costs, much less the cost of debt service for construction? The public hasn't.

4. Has he seen any market studies indicating there is sufficient demand for a west-facting mini ski resort on the Wasatch front to make its success likely? The public hasn't.

5. Has he seen a study of, under current and expected climatological norms over the next three decades [noting that Mr. Peterson does not expect to complete his projects here for 15 to 20 years], the average number of skiable days a year to be expected at a Malan's Basin venue? The public hasn't.

6. Hae he seen a study examining expected demand for high end vacation villas [up to 600 of them] on the Ogden benchlands? The public hasn't.

7. Has he seen an estimate, grounded on existing costs and anticipated costs, that estimates how much Ogden taxpayers will have to invest in infrastructure construction and maintenance and to provide city services to a new 600 home subdivision on the Ogden bench? The public hasn't.

8. Can he explain why, if the gondola/gondola and Malan's Basin Resort combo is such an attractive plan with a high probability of success, Mr. Peterson has been unable to find private financing in the usual markets, and must instead have city land deeded over to him so he can construct and sell enough homes to raise the money he needs to build the resort complex? No one else has been able to explain.

danny said...

Curm, all your points are informed and well said, as always, but I fear they miss the point.

The "nice young man" doesn't care about any of that, and he doesn't need to. Whatever it costs, whatever its viability, a gondola would channel at least a little traffic to his jiggling employees, if only temporarily. The commensurate cost in his taxes would be small. Even if a disaster for the rest of the city, he could expect to come out a little ahead.

This is the whole problem: People hitting up the Council for favors who couldn’t care less about the city itself, whether those people are insular bankers, real estate people, or whoever. The Council must take in the big picture while keeping a safe distance, just as Van Waggoner’s customers would be well to do. It’s when the Council gets too close or gets into bed with this local businessman or that one, they run into the real trouble.

Handouts to the few, paid for by the many, are Ogden’s problem. For Van Waggoner to make one of his first stops at the City Council, does not impress me with him at all.

Curmudgeon said...


You wrote: Handouts to the few, paid for by the many, are Ogden’s problem.

What did we expect? We elected a Republican mayor.

Bill C. said...

Some intereting tidbits about the Berthana article. No one has bought or done anything. Schwebke conducted his interveiw prior to the meeting,ran back and printed what amounts to nothing more than rummor,no fact check. Anyone could make some speculative statement as such, doesn't mean there is anything behind it. Funny how the timing of the Standard's editorial sunday would be followed by so much pro gondola hyperbole. This is nothing but the Mayor keeping the fire burning and using the Standard as one of his most effective propaganda tools. Schwebe, shame on you.

Curmudgeon said...

Bill C:

The article says our California guy is "poised to buy" not that he has bought. I don't see any report of rumor. What rumor? Schwebke reported what California Guy said he was willing to do if the gondola went in. That's not rumor. That's reporting the claims, gotten straight from the surfer's mouth [so to speak]. The article refers to plans, etc. Hard to fault Schwebke for reporting what the guy said. Whether California Guy is to be believed is another matter, and one that an op ed or editorial piece might raise, but should not have been raised by the reporter in a straight news story.

Did Hizzonah stage manage the announcement by California guy? I'd be surprised if he didn't. But he's mayor. As such, he can command press and time the release of news he helps manufacture. Comes with the job. His Californian of the Month [hopefully this time he found one not about to be indicted] came to town, made his pitch to the Council. That was newsworthy. I don't see a whole lot to carp about in the Schwebke story per se.

Curmudgeon said...

What time does the Planning Commission meet tonight?

Anonymous said...

The meeting tonight is at 5:00 with the sensitive overlay at 5:30. This is the link.

BTW I would like to express my appreciation to those who post humorous statements, such as Ozboy (above) and Rudi (front page). I know it’s a good one when I’m still chuckling hours later. Such things really brighten my day.

danny said...

I hope this isn’t off topic, but here is an article on the Governor as he talks about throwing millions to Dave Checketts and his soccer team.

"It is important for everyone to understand the proposal at hand: we are not building a stadium with State taxpayer money. This is an economic development investment in valuable property and a valuable community asset," Governor Huntsman said. "The transient room tax (TRT) is placed on hotel rooms and rental cars, paid by visitors to Salt Lake County and used to help fund tourist-related resources and facilities. This plan uses just 15 percent of that tax, while the rest is dedicated to other Salt Lake County projects."

Note that first he says it won’t use tax money, and then says it will. Unbelievable. It’s the same old thing. No money for kids, for glasses, for their teeth, no money for teachers. But millions for cronies? Heck yes! As a lifelong Republican I ask: What in the world has happened to my party?

Is Godfrey right? Must he be a whore, because they are all whores? There must be a better way. We gotta find it somehow.

Tec Jonson said...

Ozboy is back. Where ya been? I've missed the perfectly timed jabs.

I'll back you up on the scrap the gondola plan.

No gondola, I invite all my California buddies to invest here and we build an entire red light zone in downtown.

While Godfrey goes phishing for LoSuckers, we can return downtown to the model that aways brings in the moolah. Gambling, cabarets, liquor. Don't forget the free taxi rides to deliver people home to all the points a gondola would never go to.

I personally have no issue with Strip Clubs. The young ladies make a more than respectable living while they figure out that boyfriends are losers thus empowering their independence.

Music clubs on the other hand, while I enjoy live music, don't start the bands til long after my bedtime and are chronically short on interesting girls. Case closed. VAn Wagoner, your plans to close up one of our few strip clubs is a non-starter.

dorothy littrell said...

I am with you "danny said"-

The number crunchers had proved to Peter Coroon's satisfaction that the soccer stadium was not financially viable so the Governor capitulates to the Mayor of Sandy to let the taxpayers in effect pay for a recreational vehicle for private industry.

The reasoning that tax dollars paid by tourists is o.k.because Utah taxpayers are not paying them is nuts. The dollars are still coming out of needed projects in Salt Lake County.

The thinking is on a par with Weber County Commissioner Dearden's remarks about the loss on the Weber County fair in 2006 which was that the County needed to pay for something for people to do.

Since when is it the purpose of government to provide recreation
for taxpayers?

We can do it much cheaper ourselves...just let us keep our tax dollars.

Anonymous said...

Dear Dorthy

I agree! Sell the golf course.


Dumb Chris said...

Yeah! Sell it to me!

Jimmy Dean said...

Good one Rudy! When the tourists and conventioners flock to our town for their conventions, what will they want to do?

(a) Ride a gondola up 23d through Ogden's picturesque neigborhoods and onward on Harrison to the vicinity of Kinkos?

(b) Hunker down in a classy gentleman's club a short crawl from the hotel, with an ideal combination of all the things lacking in Peoria and/or Provo.

Thumbs up on the Gentleman's Club idea. I disagree with you by the way Rudy on one point. In the big picture, classy nightclubs have always been part of Ogden's charm. A high-quality gentlemen's club would be in no way "unique," historicallly. It would be more like watching Ogden get back to its roots.

monotreme said...

Many times, we at WCF are told that we are a bunch of naysayers without any positive ideas or plans for Ogden's future.

Here's one.

This story in The Economist is about state income tax credits given to landowners in return for a permanent easement that prevents development.

The coolest thing here is that they're tradeable, so I can get an ROI of 80 cents on the dollar even if I don't own any state income taxes.

I know it's too late for this year's legislature, but maybe a forward-thinking representative like Neil Hansen could push this sort of plan forward.

It would certainly give Mr. Peterson a good reason to hold onto his land and receive money in return for not developing it. Similarly, I could see selling the Mt Ogden Golf Course to someone who agrees to sign such a covenant.

Any thoughts from the more astute WCF regulars?

mercy livermore said...

"Hopefully this time he's found one not about to be indicted". Funny...laffed out loud!

Your questions for the 'nice young man' to ponder are excellent also.

A 'gentleman's club'???? What about us wimmin? You chauvinist pigs you.

Do Chippendale dancers take checks...I usually don't carry cash. have been sorely missed, my dear.

Curm and Ozboy...I'm just swoonin' wondering which one of you boys I love best!

skater said...

Has anybody here ever roller skated at the Berthana? It was a great place in the sixties. I believe there was even ballroom dancing one night per week. The Berthana has a great history.

Curmudgeon said...

Quick and Dirty Report on Planning Commision Action on Sensitive Area Overlay Ordinance:

Much interesting occured, but for now, the bottom line: on a motion to approve the new Sensitive Area Overlay Ordinance and the accompanying staff report and send to the City Council, the motion failed 3 votes in favor, 3 opposed. [Mr. Aretncio, the 7th member, was not present.]

Subsequent motion by Mr. Herman [hope I got the spelling right] to adopt the proposed ordinance but to keep the ban on construction on land sloping 30% or more until the Planning Staff and Planning Commission can consider and draft a "Hillsides Area Zoning Ordinance". At that point,the PC will consider amending the SAO Ordinance to remove the ban on development of land sloping more than 30%. [Reasons behind the motion complex, and I'll post more on it later, but for now, that was the gist of it.] The substitute motion passed by a vote of 4-2.

The advantages of doing it this way, according to those who favored the substitute motion, is that it puts in place immediately the necessary updated provisions of the SAO ordinance [expanding the area covered, etc], but keeps the ban on development over 30% slopes until new zoning covering hillside development can be drafted, particularly dealing with maximum densities on such lands and minimum lot sizes [to encourage clustering]. Told you it got complex.

So, SAO passed on to the council, but ban on development on land sloped over 30% remains in place for the time being.

Further deponent sayeth not.

Anonymous said...

the history to the ballroom is that the city had condemed the place and now that there is 4,000,000 on the table godfrey eats it up and tells them get the gondola in place and i'll uncondem it? boy is godfrey ever a horse trader. if if if if if what a ify game, and yes the berthana has a great history, it is just to bad the little mayor did see it in the glory days.....

ozboy said...

Thanks for the welcome back.

I have been rather inconvienenced the last little while. I don't know how long it has been, time doesn't mean much when your in the hole.

Yes folks, I have been in the old slammer. At least the small reminants of our dear old jail on the ninth floor. They have appropriately turned it into the honcho's office now, but there is still a small dark windowless cell accesible only through the honcho's bookcase. I think he normally keeps his crayons and dirty magazines in there, as well as using it for a place to hide when that troublesome woman from North Ogden comes a lookin for him.

The Honcho and the Chief caught me lurking around a U-Haul truck one night in front of city hall. There was a half finished "F____ You God free" sign on the side of the truck and there I was with my drawers down around my knees with red paint on my butt.

Yes, I was indeed guilty of paying my respects to the Honcho with a little butt painting. I had finished the "F" on the first line, and the "you God free" on the second one, and had just dipped my butt in the paint bucket and was ready to finish the "abulous" behind the "F" when the funny lookin little guy arrested me. Seems he had been following me around town for a while, and it was like he had cactus in his undies about something. He did have a pretty neat looking space rangers badge that he flashed as he announced the arrest.

Little did I know that butt painting little love notes on trucks was agin the law here in Godfreeville. Back in Harrisville this sort of thing goes on all the time and is consiered the highest compliment you can give to Royalty.

So's anyway, Mr. God free rats me off to big chief who shows up and relieves me of my paint and shorts and tells me he had been meaning to do it earlier but just plain forgot. He took a look at my butt and said I just made him see Red.

The two of them, along with the honcho's date who looked pretty classy, all purdy in high heals and nylons - you know those kind with the dark seam up the back, hauled my red ass up the back elevator to the ninth floor and through the bookcase into the little dark slammer.

All the while the honcho, who had really thick soles on his shoes, and his date kept on a canoodlin and feelin each other up and that kind of nasty stuff. Made me pretty nervous in that tiny elevator with the two breathin all hot and heavy and the chief a cursin and saying how much he hated being in a small space with a bunch of fruits. Hell, I never saw any fruit on the damn elevator and I still can't figure out why he kept a saying so. These people are pretty strange sometimes.

The classy babe kept calling the honcho "little Matty with the big batty", whatever the heck that means. The honcho kept moaning "oh Stu baby whisper little nasties in my ear". Don't know why he would call a fine chick like that Stu? Maybe she's a good cook or something.

Anyway it was all dark in the little slammer behind the bookcase in the office of the little guy with the platform shoes. They said they wouldn't ever let me out until I swore for the Gondola and agreed to attend some sort of revival meetings they called lift Ogden.

At first it didn't seem like such a bad idea, hell I assumed it would be just a bunch of guys like Matty with the real thick shoe soles. None of it really made a whole lotta sense by this time, cept I thought the lift Ogden thing meant that everyone was a going to be wearing lifts in their shoes like him. I was all for their offer cept the swearing part. I learnt in Sunday School to never swear, even at or for Gondola's, whatever the heck they are.

So there I sat in the dark. I had no sense of time or place. Every once in awhile they would bring in some little scrawny dude who would make some sort of chants about saving Ogden and 2000 jobs and being first in the whole world. It all was very crazy and disjointed and I never could quite figure out what he was trying to get across to me. He was one wild eyed little devil sometimes. I think they called him "G" man or "G" spot or something like that.

Finally they told me that there would no longer be any thick soled shoe meetings. Said some fancy bald headed pettifogger had another plan. Any way they said they would let me go if I would only say something nice about their pet gondola.

So call me a sell out if you half to, but here it is: "nice gondola"

Now that's my story and I'm a stickin to it. Butt quite frankly the whole sorry assed affair has made me lose my love of Butt painting. Seems like these fellows have just plumb taken all the joy out of it anymore.

long john said...

Ah'm shore releeved that yew have excped frum that dark place behind the boukcaze.

If'n I'd knowed bout yor sitiashun, me and the boys woulda throwed a rope on them bars and with bout 14 stron horses we'uns woulda pulled them suckers down and yew cud haf jumped on the back of mister dillon's horse and rid away!

Shur wud like to stan yew to a shot o' rye wen yew nex cum to town.

here tell a dandy fella frum over Californy way done bot thet strippin joint. Is thet whar the little man with the thik souls on his shoes got that hevy breethin gal? We cud chek it out sometime.

in tha meentime ah'm tippin my hat to yew.

sharon said... also make me laugh outloud!'s late and I wake my snoozing husband.

I'll have to read your harrowing escapades earlier!

Curm...thanx for the write-up of the PC meeting tonite. I had planned to attend and at the last minute was unable.

Anon at 9:56...good point about the condemned ballroom being UNcondemned. The mention (have we SEEN it?) of money surely does have a magical way of restoring rotting walls.

Was there a big crowd? Hope so. Hardly anyone was in attendance at the CC Tu nite.

sharon said...

How odd...I had written to Anon in my post above as my last two sentences...and it wouldn't post and then when it did, the sentences were switched around. we poltergeist???

Moroni McConkie said...

Holy Shiite, prodigal OZBOY is back! Kill the fatted calf! Close the banks! Mold the jello! Deck the Berthana! How your shrewd, quirky commentary has been missed!

Van Wagoner said...

Hello Smart Growth,

The passion that is expressed through intellectual dialog, be it verbal or written I would like to endorse. It is my opinion that healthy debate connects the community, which leads to a government for the people, by the people. On the other hand any lies, misconceptions and/or rumors are unhealthy to all citizens and I will not be caught up in such apathy.

Corrections for the blogsters:

1. I am for the rehabilitation of the Historic content.
2. I am not a “strip club” owner nor do I wish to be, as stated in this blog community.
3. I am a native Utahan, blessed with returning to my roots in which I will raise my family with the appreciation for our outdoors.
4. I will give to my community and never expect in return.
5. I do not, nor will I ever stoop to lying or degrading another.
6. I did meet the mayor for the first time that evening after speaking with the wonderful Sharon. Sharon had stated “smart growth” had possession of the current Gondola projected financials and its tax effect on the citizens………may I see it?

My goal is to return “THE BERTHANA” to its original glitz and glamour of the days of prosperity. I would like all Ogdenites to enjoy another place to go, in which we can be proud of. I welcome any stories, pictures, and any other memorabilia from the days and nights at The Berthana.

If you have genuine comments that will contribute to a better Ogden for all of us, please contact me at your convenience.


Ted said...

If Mr. Berthana thinks a better Ogden includes saddling us with a monsterous Urban Gondola he is either uninformed, disingenuous or nuts.

Welcome back, and please study up on things before you don your saviour robes and mount your white steed for the welcoming home parade.

Ogden is in desperate need of smart, honest and sincere returning home boys, not Godfrey/Gondola sycophants who make their potential contribution to our town contingent on this very stupid Urban Gondola idea.

You have gotten off to a very rocky start by making such a dumb statement (assuming you actually said what was reported) The only people that the Gondola business resonates with is the very small and shrinking number of shills for the mayor and his inner circle. Spread your feelers beyond that small circle and you will find how profoundly unpopular that Godfrey, Geiger and the Gondola idea really are.

RudiZink said...

Greetings, Mr. Van Wagoner; and welcome to Weber County Forum.

A coupla things:

1) Weber County forum is a non-partisan forum designed for 24/7 discussion/debate for all citizens of Northern Utah.

2) Weber Ounty Forum IS NOT an appendage of Smart Growth Ogden, just as we are not beholden to any other group whose members may post here. On the other hand, those SGO people are among the smartest people who post to this site. Thus they fit in nicely here.

3) Although we appreciate your checking in, we believe that encouraging private email communications would be contraproductive to the primary mission of Weber County Forum, which is to discuss local politics 24/7 under the light of day. We thus formally say that we discourage our readers from communicating with you privately.

If you can handle that, you're welcome here. If you decide to engage in actual discussion, we will watch your back. Cheap shots against you will not be tolerated, if you decide to engage in conversation on this blog.

We might also add that Weber County Forum's blogmeister is likewise a prodigal Utahn and 20-year California resident, who returned to Ogden upon his retirement a while ago to make a difference in Emerald City.

There are others like us, Van Wagoner... Ozboy being another example.

Wethinks you're hanging out with a bad crowd -- if you're being stroked and cultivated by Boss Godfrey. He's about 10 months shy of being ushered out of his Mayoral office. As we told the clowns of Descente N.A. a year and a half ago, they've hitched their wagon to a Lame Ox.

Better you should communicate with "the folks," if your intention is truly to improve Emerald City.

If you have any misgivings so far about your relationship with Boss Godfrey... please don't hesitate to register those reservations here, Mister Van Wagoner. Believe us! There are MANT OTHERS who will share your pain!

Okay, it's your turn, Mr. Van Wagoner!

Thank goodness you haven't closed the "Berthana transaction." eh?


sharon said...

I never mentioned SmartGrowth to you. Tho Curmudgeon gently reminded me that I should have given you their web address.

I reported that I'd met you, that you cheered on the gondola, and that you were meeting with Godfrey.

All true..and, of course, that you were going to restore the Berthana.

Others have had some fun with the 'strip joint'...but my post didn't poke fun at you. And, I hope that you will carefully read what SmartGrowth has to say.

SGO has submitted several questions to the mayor...a lonnnng time ago, and so far, none have been answered. Godfrey has had his hands slapped publicly by SnowBasin execs, several times, for continuing to assert that Peterson's non-existent 'resort gondaola' will go to SnowBasin. Ain't gonna happen.

Do educate yourself, as I urged you to do Tu. nite.

I'm sure you are a sincere young man....hate to see you end up in a bad situation. Take Rudi's advice.

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