Friday, August 15, 2008

Gondolist Sour Grapes Series Part III

Another pathetic cheap-shot from the Godfrey/Gondolist Brown Shirts

For those readers interested in crank correspondence, we call our readers' attention to this literary gem, appearing in this morning's Standard-Examiner letters section. In this, the latest in the ongoing Std-Ex "Gondolist Sour Grapes Series," Ogden Gondolist Bob Ballantyne blows off a little pent up steam, and lashes out with another cheap shot at Ogden's beloved WSU:

"Weber State should be more accountable"

In an earlier article comment, gentle reader Moroni McConkie remarked about the striking resemblance between one unyielding gondolist (Bobby G.), and the last loyalist standing in the aftermath of President Richard Nixon's fall from grace (Bebe Rebozo.)

As to Mr. Ballantyne, we believe we can draw another historical analogy: Every now and then we read in the news about some WWII Japanese soldier rescued from some remote South Pacific jungle island, still dressed in tattered military jungle fatigues, entirely oblivious to the fact that the Emperorer of Japan surrendered over six decades ago.

Years from now, as Boss Godfrey's Gondola Landgrab Dream becomes merely a faded memory... Bob Ballantyne will still be waving the Gondolist flag, dressed in the tattered uniform of the defeated Godfrey Brown Shirts. Perhaps he didn't get the memo announcing that Godfrey had surrendered, and promised not to sell the park.

Sad. Very sad, we think.


What will it cost us said...

Shouldn't his comment say more tax dollars for a climbing wall at WSU, since tax money was used for the Salomon Center which charges for use. Also mentioning Rupert Hertig and Bob Geigers letter and column and now todays letter just brings to mind Larry, Moe and Curly with my apologies to the Three Stooges

Curmudgeon said...

What struck me about Mr. Ballantyne's letter is the arrogance of it. He just assumes that what he wants is necessarily what "the community" wants. Mr. Hitzig --- an out-of-state movie producer --- wanted WSU to create an entirely new program designed to provide student staff to work on film projects he wanted to bring to Ogden. Somehow, in Mr. Ballantyne's mind, this request by an out-of-state businessman became what "the community" of Ogden wanted.

Ditto his bald assumption that the gondola/gondola scheme [though he, true to Godfreyista form, pretends as usual that only one gondola was involved] represented the wishes of "the community." If that were true, the Mayor would not have had to take sale of Mt. Ogden Park to support the gondola/gondola scheme off the table late in the election to preserve his chance of winning. I saw some of the polling on that issue late in the race. Sale of Mt. Ogden Park to support the gondola/gondola scheme was toxic for the Godfrey campaign, which is why he withdrew the idea and promised not to sell the park at the last minute. Yet in Mr. Ballantyne's happy world, that same scheme becomes what "the community" wanted. Which means of course what he wanted. Louis XIV put it only a little more arrogantly when he said "L'etat, c'est moi!"

Mr. Ballantyne asks "isn't WSU accountable to the taxpayers?" Indeed it is, Mr. Ballantyne, which is why it does not, can not, and should not, embrace every suggestion by anyone who wanders by, from in state or out, with an idea for a new program. WSU does not, should not, and cannot simply create new programs willy-nilly to please every out-of-state businessman with an idea, good or bad. There are lots of things that must be considered first, in order to insure that the taxpayers' money is being wisely spent.

Just for example: is the proposed new program duplicated elsewhere in the state? [FYI: UU has a Film Studies program.] Is there likely to be a strong enough demand from students for the program to make it viable? Are funds likely to be available from the legislature to keep the program up to date and current [particularly important where the program involves technology that changes rapidly] and competitive with already existing programs? Are funds for new faculty, new facilities, etc. necessary to support the program on a continuing basis likely to be approved by the state? Are there other new programs the department/college/university thinks are more important that it ought to ask it be allowed to create first? And so on.

None of that seemed to so much as occur to Mr. Ballantyne.

jest wondering said...

Interesting that the latest female to replace Dorothy Littrell as the administration's whipping person is President Ann Millner of Weber State.

Maybe these guys have a "male" thing.

Dorrene Jeske said...

Comment bumped to main article

Curmudgeon said...

Comment moved to new article

Momba said...

Comment moved to new article

Good Reader said...

Comment moved to new main article

Skip The Dog said...

Being a graduate of WSU my understanding is that the mission of the University is education, not gondolas or saving the economic prosperity of the City of Ogden. In my opinion WSU does a very good of educating the children of Weber County so that they can find better jobs elsewhere. When I attended Weber it was a very lonely bus ride from the Campus to downtown Ogden where I worked part time for two locally owned businesses. Neither of these businesses survived the implementation of the first Ogden City Mall.

Other than some Front Runner traffic heading to WSU (which arrives on the half hour), I just don’t see how a gondola is going be much of benefit to the University or Ogden City for that matter. I’m not a transportation engineer, but my understanding is that gondolas are very effective at transporting a dispersed population of skiers up a ski mountain. As far as transporting students between Front Runner and Weber, the UTA line 603 which is synchronized to Front Runner arrivals at the Ogden Intermodal Center, is probably already accomplishing this perceived need for a gondola at a fraction of cost.

My question are; 1) has there been a qualified study to determine that transportation services between downtown Ogden and WSU are inadequate, and 2) why do we need a gondola when buses can perform the same services at a much lower cost?

Incidentally, I use Front Runner two to three times a week to commute to a better paying job out side of Weber County.

dan s. said...


In 2004-05 there was a feasibility study on transit options between downtown and WSU. The study was done by UTA, Wasatch Front Regional Council, Ogden City, and a highly qualified consultant, with input from WSU, local businesses, and others. The study looked forward to the year 2030 when the population will be significantly higher and road congestion will be more of a problem than it is now. The conclusion was that bus ridership will certainly increase, but the existing local buses would suffer from being caught in congestion. Therefore the study recommended a significant transit investment in either a streetcar or bus-rapid-transit system, either of which would operate mostly in its own exclusive right of way. A gondola option was also studied but was rated lower than the streetcar or BRT.

dorrene jeske said...

While we’re on the topic of transportation, I and Council member Doug Stephens were privileged to attend a ceremony this morning commemorating the completion of the I-15 NOW project. We toured the newly constructed I-15 from Hinckley Drive to 2700 North in a fire truck thanks to Ogden Firefighter Kenny Miller. It was really fun and the ceremony was very nice with Lt. Governor Herbert being the key speaker. We heard from others who were involved from UDOT to the constructors who all did a great job of completing the project 90 days early and UNDER COST! Way to go, Guys! You did a beautiful job! Everyone be sure to notice the extraordinary and beautiful artwork when you go through the underpasses! This whole project is a credit to UDOT, the constructors, the artists, the Weber County Commissioners and staff, and all the cities mayors, staffs and everyone else involved!

danny said...


Ballantyne letter, and other Gondolist musings - - DUMB! Oh Sweet Maryanne, so boring!

Postings above - - Obvious, but true.

Please you Gondolists, go back to paying people to write your guest commentaries and letters to the editor. When you write them yourselves you sound silly. And it's getting so old and repetitive it's not even fun to laugh at you anymore.

Tec Jonson said...

The whole Gondolist Manifesto and even the opponentry skips over the most damning aspect of it all...

That from a technical and engineering standpoint...let's turn on the logic...a gondola across town was proposed only, not as a standalone transit system, but as only the bottom component serving a mountain gondola, that would serve tiny 188 acre Malan's Basin proposed and highly impractical resort. Therefore any town gondola would have as a dependency an already built mountain gondola which it would supposedly serve as part of another figment of the Godfrey imagination..."the seamless link from SLC INTL to Snowbasin" That seamless link suffers from a very unseamless routing through the SLC Transit hub via bus before ever getting on the 50 minute Frontrunner ride to OGD, which you then, as Godfrey proposes, hop the town gondola for a 4.5 mile ride taking 40 minutes to the Foothill base of the mountain gondola...which then would take you on another 15 minute ride to Malan's Base...where you then ride the ski gondola to ski tiny and steep and bumpy and icy Malan's Basin. No connection to Snowbasin is desired for a number of ONLY technical snow patrol, terrain, and operational reasons.

Now working backwards, Snowbasin will not have a gondola accessing it's side, Malan's Basin is too tiny to support a resort, westside terrain is too treacherous to allow everyday skiers a route to WSU as NON-SKIER Godfrey and LAME SKIER Chris Peterson claims.

So by logic of dependencies now we do not have a viable Malan's Resort and no incentive from Snowbasin for a westside gondola thus CRUSHING any need, be it foolish any on any number of transit technology points, for a TOWN FUCKIN GONDOLA. When will we ever hear and end to this nonsense and the bitter ravings of the last straghtjacked gondolistas. I was on that stupid committee. When I observed the bitterness and negativity, and when they sprung the MT.OGD sale plan on us, and when it was obvious that Peterson had no clue or plan, and when i bothered to do some simple research(I trusted that LO founders had some research, they did not) I bailed out on them, much to their chagrin. I was not the only one.

So their you have it in a very swollen nutshell. It is necessary to engage a little logic to understand a few key technological and safety limitations of the westside ski terrain, the carrying and development capacity of Malan's Basin, the ridiculous 2 1/2 hour unseamless transit connection from SLC to Malan's via bus, frontrunner, 4 or 5 stage gondola link, and not reach the gem of Snowbasin anyway, HAVE I SAID ENOUGH ...Please any of you LO stragglers, take a minute to refute any part of my extensive trail of hopeless dependencies and tell me that this is still viable. Give us more than attacks on the local University that is the true economic engine of the community.

Common Sense Charlie said...

Danny, I'm with you! What a bunch of bores these gondolist whiners are! Bobby Geiger calls everyone who disagrees with the mayor and the Geigers as "Stupid," "Nay Sayers" and "Pessimists." When I read their posts, I get the feeling that they're describing themselves.

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