Friday, May 30, 2008

Friday Morning Potpourri

Several other chewy items in today's Standard-Examiner
All links updated at 12:15 p.m. MT

By Curmudgeon

First, there is a very interesting op-ed piece by VIJAY K. MATHUR arguing that the first thing that ought to go in re: Utah's odd liquor laws is the state-run monopoly on liquor sales, which, he says, is wildly inefficient, prevents market competition from working, and is a painful example of the inefficiency of state socialism as compared to market capitalism at work. He deliciously points out the hypocrisy of Utah's right wing market-worshiping "conservatives" [politely so called] who insist that in this case a government monopoly over the sale of alcohol to consumers is much to be preferred. Don't miss it.

Second, there is a story announcing the opening, Tuesday, of the cleaned up 21st Street pond, and of coming water ski contests there sponsored by Goode Ski, and the coming organization of a water ski club to make the pond accessible to the general public. And it announces that a trail will be opened between the Intermodal Hub on 23rd Street and the pond sometime next year. Good on Goode, good on Godfrey for recruiting them for Ogden.

Finally, an interesting AP story about the conflict between scenic and historic preservation on the one hand, and energy development on the other, now playing out in Nine Mile Canyon. Worth a read, I think.

All told, a very chewy issue of the Std-Ex this morning. You'll get your half a buck's worth today.

25 comments:

Curmudgeon said...

That's 21st Street Pond, not 23rd. Typo. My bad.

Little Bird said...

Steve Tanner - "When they're gone, they're gone." I really do wonder some times if this statement means anything at all to the powers in charge. Much like the Republican's and Democrate's in charge 4,000+ American lives and in excess of 100,000 (being very conservative) Iraqi lives are expendable. All in the name of protecting "our way of life" How do these people sleep at night or hug their children and grandchildren as they rape the environment and the World we live in. All in the name of freedom and democracy. We only get to plow up the farms for urban sprawl once. We only get to destroy Nine Mile canyon for oil once. The oil from the drilling will last a couple years but the loss to mankind will be forever. Shame on us.

not impressed said...

"...good on Godfrey for recruiting them for Ogden"

Yeah! And the fascist Mussolini got the trains running on time.

Curmudgeon said...

Not Impressed:

Sorry, but that analogy is way way over the top. On balance, I think, Godfrey's not been a good Mayor for Ogden but even a jocular comparison to the fascist Mussolini is way over the line.

Look, it's not necessary to ignore what the Administration does that's good for the city in order to criticize what it does that's not. Same standard should apply to Godfrey as to any Mayor or Administration: applaud what they do well, and thump 'em for what they do badly.

Unending criticism that ignores successes is no more likely to convince people than is unending praise that ignores the failures.

RudiZink said...

Perhaps a Godfrey apologist like you would like to NAME Godfrey's "successes."

There are none, so far as I can see.

The Ogden RDA is in debt to the tune of $100 million plus. From all evidence, the Rec Center is failing.

How long is it going to take for you ivory tower professors to understand that this nit-wit Godfrey has set the course for an Ogden City Chapter Nine?

Any time you pat the little shite on the head for one good thing he's done, you lose track of the total picture.

Godfrey is Pure Evil. Surely you must recognize that, Curmudgeon, in your heart of hearts.

al said...

The Mayor gave sole rights to the 21st Street pond to Goode. They paid as much for that as Salomon did for naming rights to the Gold's Gym/novel recreation center.

Little Bird said...

As a heads up for Ogden citizens that might use Frontrunner in the next (who knows how long). The ticket machine on the far north of the parking Ogden lot is out of order. When I asked a UTA employee about this his response was "they didn't provide us with enough parts and so we're taking parts from this one to keep the other one working" Good thing they are raising the rates it appears they need money!!! So don't think one can beat waiting in line by using the other machine or one will miss the train.

Cheers,

danny said...

Al makes a good point.

In one part of the article it refers to it as the "city's pond", then says Goode may "allow the public . . . to ski the pond."

Let me guess. The taxpayer owns and pays for the pond, Goode gets all the benefit, they kick some of it back to Godfrey, and Curm kisses their butt for letting us use our own property when they feel like it.

Godfrey is pure evil all right.

City council members, have you seen the Flowrider lately? Not a year old and the inside of the room is rusting, paint peeling, sheetrock failing. It's a money hole that will get worse and worse.

Yeah, let's vote to have Godfrey screw us all again with the ice tower.

City council, when we are all going around holding a paper towel on our backsides to staunch the bleeding you can understand why we start to get a little pissed when you make it all possible.

Curmudgeon said...

Oh, lord....

In the midst of several posts by me taking the Mayor to task for his ethics [politely so called], his penchant for rushing bull in a china shop style into expensive projects that have not been researched and for which the city will be financially on the hook for a long time... in the midst of all that, one notice of something that I thought --- and think --- worked out reasonably well for the city [recruiting Goode], and suddenly I'm a "Godfrey apologist" and "butt kisser." Just amazing....

As for the 21 Street Pond: well, as I recall, it was polluted beyond use, and in fact was posted against use. Following the clean-up [not financed by Goode, I think], Goode is expanding the pond substantially to make it suitable for water sports. So, the city is getting something out of the exchange. You want to argue it did not get enough, or that there were other purposes to which the polluted pond might have better been put, or that it should have been kept as a nature preserve, or whatever, feel free. You may be right. Those are arguable points about which people can, and probably in good conscience, do disagree.

But the fact remains that we had a polluted puddle closed to public use, and we now have a cleaned up pond about to be expanded by Goode to make it suitable for water sports, particularly contests sponsored by Goode, which seems to me is a net gain for the City and its residents [and no, I don't water ski]. Saying that in no way makes the rest of Godfrey's antics one less iota unprincipled or unwise.

Chill, people. Besides, berating folks who substantially agree with your criticisms of Godfrey, attacking them as "Godfrey apologists and butt kissers" because they disagree with you on relatively minor matters and say so, is a guaranteed formula for making it difficult to build an opposition.

Demanding absolute ideological purity on all points is bad tactics in politics, very nearly always. If that sort of thing appeals to you, join the Eagle Forum or the Maoists. If the opposition keeps turning on itself as some here are so wont to do, it's not really surprising that Godfrey... despite being a not very perceptive politician... keeps on winning.

Some folks here are starting to remind me of the SDS years ago at the University of Wisconsin during the Vietnam War. They'd called a big student protest meeting for a ballroom in the Union building. Hundreds of people showed up, press was there. And then one of the SDS folks arose and complained that the seats, arranged in rows, speakers up front, were set up in an "elitist and hierarchical" fashion, and he demanded the seats be rearranged in a circle so no one would have a privileged position. Others moved that the chairs be taken down all together so everyone could sit in a circle on the floor. For half an hour they debated, heatedly with much shouting, the most ideologically acceptable arrangement for the chairs. By the time they settled it, the press was gone, most of the students had left, and the few remaining [my self among them] were in stitches at the show.

And by the way, Rudi, American History has produced so far only one person who was unquestionably pure evil. Walter O'Malley.

danny said...

Sheesh Curm,

It wasn't Evil Matt or Goode that cleaned the pond, it was Union Pacific, who probably were working under a Federal mandate.

All Godfrey did was give the newly-freshened pond to Goode in exchange for a small cash bonus to himself, the same thing he would have done with Mt. Ogden Park had folks let him.

He treats the city as his own, to be sold on the cheap for personal spending cash.

So after he gets done whoring out our assets yet again to some two-bit pisspot of a company we're supposed to be happy, because they will host some events that will make a few room nights so some hotel people will also give Godfrey some cash.

With you buying his propaganda and even Dan S. assuming Godfrey has some contributors for the ice tower (which he doesn't) perhaps we should be more forgiving of the city council for being always in danger of equal, eternal, hopeless gullibility.

Thank goodness for Rudi, who seems always to see Godfrey clearly.

Never mind that the Flowrider, only months old, has paint peeling by the handful and more rust on the I-beams than the boiler room of a thirty year old Lybian freighter. No, never mind that. Let's move on to the next ill-conceived delusion of our venal child mayor.

Curmudgeon said...

Sigh.... one small dissent on Goode and the pond, and folks get the screaming mimmies, demanding absolute, abject and complete ideological conformity on all points, and no dissent. It's a means of proceeding much admired by the Eagle Forum and the Maoists, neither of which tolerates the slightest evidence of right deviationism or left deviationism, respectively.

So, once again: bringing Goode here was good for Ogden. Ditto bringing Amer sports and all the rest. Yes, I know, some of them brought only a handful of jobs. Doesn't matter. As I've said before, and will happily say again, a company bringing two jobs to Ogden is good for Ogden. Or one.

On the pond: If you read my post carefully, you'll note I did not say Goode paid to clean the pond. I did say Goode is expanding it significantly. And that that will provide a venue for water sports not otherwise available in town, and [heresy coming!] is probably a benefit for Ogden and its residents. And that whether that was the best use to which the land could have been put is certainly open to debate by principled people who disagree about that. That's all.

As for the ice tower, about which I have posted consistently and for some time now: if it's built with private funds and has a sound business plan to provide for sustained operation and maintenance, I wish them well. But it should not be built with any more public contribution than the 200K our all-Republican County Commission forked over to our Republican Mayor who, it turns out, was blissfully unaware of what the money could be legally used for. Nor should its operating and maintenance costs be borne by the public. Those still seems reasonable stands to take to me. And I hope the Council will take them.

And, Danny, they evidently have raised some money... no, I don't think they can show firm commitments for the hundreds of thousands they say they are on the cusp of receiving from various foundations and companies. But it makes no sense to me to claim, as you do, that they have no private contributions when it seems evident that they do. Once again, demanding absolute ideological conformity to an extreme position does not strengthen your argument, Danny. It weakens it.

And none of what I've written above about Goode or the pond or the ice tower mitigates in the slightest my long-time argument here that (a)the Godfrey administration has a sadly lengthy record of unethical conduct (b) that it has engaged in shameful cronyism (c) that, when the mayor is in the throes of one of his enthusiasms, it recklessly commits the city to projects and debt without doing the necessary research first and that (d) the administration's business judgment has proven itself to be, at best, inconsistent.

And then there is the simple fact that the Godfrey administration has, on occasion, been on the right side of things, and has done some good. It strongly supported Frontrunner. That was the right position to take. It has supported, consistently over his years in office, groups like Weber Pathways and has provided city help and resources to extend the city's trail system --- e.g. the Birdsong trail. Those where the right decisions. And there are other examples as well.

None of which is sufficient to counter the downside; none of which would cause me to argue that, on balance, Godfrey has been a good mayor rather than a poor one. But trying to argue, with a straight face, that his administration has never done anything right and that it has zero achievements to show for his [God help us] eight plus years in office is so patently false that it cannot help but convince undecideds out there that those who make such an extreme and unsupportable claim are irrational extremists driven by something other than reason. Extremists arguments damage credibility; they don't improve it.

caddyhack said...

"Some folks here are starting to remind me of the SDS years ago at the University of Wisconsin during the Vietnam War."

You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

"American History has produced so far only one person who was unquestionably pure evil. Walter O'Malley."

It was unfortunate, for you Brooklynites (Brooklynese?), that your leaders dropped the ball and let the Dodgers steal away. Sorry to have pun at your expense Curm, but Mr. O'malley was a great man to most of us Los Angelesians.

As for Mayor Godfrey's success(es?): Uh, even a blind squirrel finds an acorn sometimes.

Curmudgeon said...

Caddyshack:

You wrote: As for Mayor Godfrey's success(es?): Uh, even a blind squirrel finds an acorn sometimes.

Exactly, though some here that even that is not so, or that even a stopped clock is not right twice a day.

Hunker down, put on your flak jacket and helmet. For suggesting the heresy that even by happenstance, Godfrey occasionally does something right, the screaming mimmies will be coming down on you in short order.

Of course, you deserve it for your apostasy regarding the black-hearted son-of-a-sea-snake arch fiend O'Malley. But what can we expect from people from a state who elected Arnold Schwarzenegger governor? Nuff said. [grin]

Bill C. said...

Curm, the pond is all ready enlarged, Godde had nothing to do with it. Go see for yourself. I had the pleasure of taking it all in the day before Bobby Kennedy was hoodwinked by gadi, short deck, potato nose and lying little matty. In fact this seems somewhat similar. You may recall the couch photo on the front page of the squirrel patrol daily, it was not there the day before and was gone the day after.
The pond was enlarged as part of the railroad cleanup, the even put in an artificial beach on the east end, typical lying little matty style, everything he desires is fake, but why wouldn't it be, he's a phony.

caddyhack said...

Curm,

You wrote: "Hunker down, put on your flak jacket and helmet. For suggesting the heresy that even by happenstance, Godfrey occasionally does something right, the screaming mimmies will be coming down on you in short order."

No problem. It's like the Rock Man said, "Say, babe, there ain't nothing pointless about this gig. The thing is you see what you want to see and you hear what you want to hear. ..."

You also wrote, "But what can we expect from people from a state who elected Arnold Schwarzenegger governor? Nuff said. [grin]"

Good point. I left California (the governator can't even pronounce it correctly) right after the first lousy actor was elected governor for the second time. I was in the Marine Corps the first time he was elected, but was too young to vote (against him of course.) Heh, old enough to die for my country, but too young to vote.....good times.

Tec Jonson said...

Walter O'Malley may be a hero to LA Dodger fans but he is no hero to the residents of Chavez Ravine before the powers that be instigated communist leafleting and brought in the FBI to "quell the unrest". Eventually myuch of the area was condemned as a slum and bulldozed The rest of the residents fell victim to real estate sharpies who bought out many of the residents who knew nothing of the value of the property. I was quite impressed by Dodger Stadium when I first went there in 1965. Looked like the cleanest thing ever built. Sort of Disneyland for the sports world. I knew nothing of the suffering of the former latino residents who were shuffled away and their vibrant community forgotten.

Curmudgeon said...

tec:

O'Malley had his architects design the original Los Angeles Stadium with no water fountains, so fans would have to buy drinks. That sums up the black-hearted villain nicely.

caddyhack said...

Okay, okay....O'Malley did some foul deeds. I, too, was impressed by Chavez Ravine in 1965, but knew nothing of his nefarious deeds until much, much later. I wish the Dodgers had stayed in the Coliseum, with that stupid wall and the short left field, instead of all those people losing their homes.

As for no drinking fountains....who drinks water at a baseball game? Only curmudgeons.

PS-Did you know Mount Ogden Golf Course was originally built with no drinking fountains (on the course) and no bathrooms? The city built the course on the super cheap. That's why there have been so many problems and ridiculous debt. The ladies used to have to use the bushes, just like the men. Real classy. More good times.

Curmudgeon said...

Caddy:

You wrote:

PS-Did you know Mount Ogden Golf Course was originally built with no drinking fountains (on the course) and no bathrooms? The city built the course on the super cheap. That's why there have been so many problems and ridiculous debt. The ladies used to have to use the bushes, just like the men.

Hmmmm... now you have me wondering if Squatters Brew Pub got its start in Ogden?

OK, OK, waaaaay past time to retire, clearly....

Caddyhack said...

Sweet dreams Curm

caddyhack said...

Danny wrote:

"seen the Flowrider lately? Not a year old and the inside of the room is rusting, paint peeling, sheetrock failing"...."and more rust on the I-beams"

The I-beams may be made of Core-ten or "weathering steel," which develops surface rust and doesn't require painting, as per some bridges.

If there is paint peeling and problems with sheetrock, so soon after completion, that's emblematic of deeper concerns. Shoddy workmanship or poor design principles could be a factor. Mold could become an issue. However, look on the bright side, it may only take more tax payer money for increased maintenance.....continuously.

Guess I'll have to go take a peek. The last indoor pool I went to, in Ogden, was at Rainbow Gardens.

danny said...

Caddy,

Every resident should go see the flowrider to see what shoddy incompetence looks like.

Look at the ceiling. The paint is coming off in sheets with heavy rust forming underneath.

The beams along the front glass have rust running down on the paint. Somebody rolled some more paint on the rust to hide it, but there's too much to hide.

The sheetrock is failing and has been patched everywhere.

This isn't an aesthetic decision, like the rusted telephone poles and bridges that have no paint that form a layer of rust. This is painted metal that is supposed to be protected by paint that used the wrong kind of paint.

They threw it together fast and on the cheap, mis-designing it and using the wrong paint and sheetrock in construction, and with no decent venting of the steam and water from the flowrider that attacks everything.

Behold the glory that is Godfrey. His cronies got paid for this crap. Now they will be paid again to fix it. And more $5000 checks will go Godfrey's way from the contractors wives and children when the contractor runs over the legal limit himself.

caddyhack said...

Danny,

Was R&O the general contractor and was this done on a no-bid contract? Any idea who drew up the plans and specifications? I wonder who drew up the contract and who reviewed it.

Your observations are troubling, to say the least.

disgusted said...

curm

your comment below

Chill, people. Besides, berating folks who substantially agree with your criticisms of Godfrey, attacking them as "Godfrey apologists and butt kissers" because they disagree with you on relatively minor matters and say so, is a guaranteed formula for making it difficult to build an opposition.

i find it interesting that you who jumps on any little comment made by someone else posting about a subject that doesn’t reflect your exact same position gets a blog response from you correcting their point of view or your explanation as to how their opinion is flawed. you delight in trying to control the conversation and setting the protocol for all conversations. now when you get a dose of your own medicine on an issue that is purely subjective and people are telling you that they disagree with you in their own way you say chill people we don’t want to berate folks that we substantially agree with. hell curm how does it feel. pot calling the kettle black. ive always found it more rewarding to support than to correct. agree on the points that you agree with but don’t support just be quiet on the points that you don’t. contribute to the overall conversation subject bring in new facts do research rather than critic the contributions of others.

the other comment that you made

Demanding absolute ideological purity on all points is bad tactics in politics, very nearly always.

this point goes for comments by people on the blog as well. are you trying to build an opposition or fracture an opposition cause at times it sure feels like the later.

ramesh said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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