Friday, September 19, 2008

Godfrey's Favorite Tool is Deception

Kickoff to a Friday afternoon open topic thread

By OgdenLover

There's a Letter to the Editor, "Godfrey's Favorite Tool is Deception," in today's Standard-Examiner from David Smith. He sums up how God-free is selling Ogden out to his buddies.

Editor's note: It's been several weeks since we set up a Weber County Forum open topic thread, and we think today's David Smith letter serves as a fine launching pad toward such an effort. His letter is yet more evidence, we believe, that "brevity is the soul of wit." This compact, but fact-filled letter provides just the kind of fodder to provoke a robust WCF discussion, so we invite all of our readers to join in. Our readership has been unusually quiet over the past week, and today's David Smith letter affords everyone an ideal opportunity to catch up.

Have at it, O Gentle Ones. Last one out, be sure to turn out the lights.


Southsider said...

Didn't we just pony up for some infrastructure at the Goode Ski Lake that would facilitate a nice PRIVATELY run compground?

Curmudgeon said...

There was some good news for Ogden in the paper today. Ogden's High Adventure Film Festival "kicked off to a good start" last night at the amphitheater downtown, reports the Standard Examiner. [Link here.]

From the story: The High Adventure Mountain Film Festival brought filmmakers from around the world to Utah for the three-day long event and workers decided this year's event would be the first in an annual event that would bring film and outdoors interest to Ogden....

[Festival producer Jeff] Lowe and Deanna Byck, Festival director, organized the event with the hopes of having a forum for filmmakers and for local residents to explore the mountain adventures of Utah....

Ogden residents wandered around the Amphitheater sampling free food from Peddler's, Rooster's and the Union Grill, three local restaurants. Participants also listened to music from local band, The Bastard Redheads, and received two free drinks of beer.

Free beer? Free beer? In downtown Ogden? Free beer? [Why wasn't I told!] In the same downtown Ogden that locked up Summer Fest beer drinkers behind barriers in a vacant lot so the chirren wouldn't see? Seems the Godfrey administration has figured out that the outdoors set is a partying crowd, and teetotal tut-tuting will not help make Ogden a mecca for outdoors adventuring.

Free beer. In downtown Ogden. In a public park. With Hizzonah who destroyed the Summer Fest in one year flat still in office? Whoda thunk it?

Also from the story: Michael Brown, who directed "The Endless Knot," attended the kick off event and said Ogden was an excellent place to gain an outdoor-themed film festival. "I'm super impressed by how well this venue works for the festival," he said. "We just got back from the Egyptian Theater, which is just a few blocks away from our hotel. Then there's this main street lined with restaurants, indoor sports interests downtown, and right outside the back door is hiking trails everywhere."

I was downtown with a guest of WSU's history department last night, who'd been here earlier in the year when the Society of Military Historians held their annual convention in Ogden's convention center [a three day event organized by faculty and staff from WSU... you know, that place up past Harrison that never does anything for businesses in Ogden.] It was, he thought, a very successful convention, and he commented again last night that Ogden seemed a perfect location for small conventions. He liked it that there were many restaurants, and good ones, within walking distance of the hotels and convention center, and many watering holes [military historians tend not to be teetotalers], and that 25th Street had a history, and an interesting one. He found the architecture interesting too. And he liked it that there were things to do beyond that within easy reach like hiking trails. [We'd hiked the trails above Mt. Ogden Park after his work was done that afternoon.]

Couldn't agree more. In fact, Ogden got good reviews from many of the SMH conventioneers I've talked to since. Hope the festival works, and returns [I will not miss out on the free beer next time!] and that it highlights Ogden as a good venue for similar events and small conventions.

down with homos said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Curmudgeon said...


Nonsense! Free beer in the public parks is a fundamental principle and basic liberty on which all can [and should] unite, across petty partisan lines. Sam Adams [brewer, rabblerouser and revolutionary] would be proud!

disgusted said...

godfrey hasnt figured out anything.
godfrey thinks that only his high adventure audience are responsible drinkers. the rest of us cant be trusted. were not refined enough or from out of town.
thats why there are no more summer fests.

Curmudgeon said...


Actually, the Ogden Summer Fest drew huge out of town numbers--- many thousands. Bikers particularly as I recall. And that's why, or one reason, Hizzonah pulled the plug. Somehow, face painting didn't strike the beer companies as as good an event to sponsor as the arm wrestling contests they had sponsored and that drew big crowds, and so they pulled their financial support of the festival. Which was considerable. Somehow, a much reduced and under-funded festival featuring face painting just didn't draw as Hizzonah claimed it would, and the scrubbed-clean kid-oriented Festival tanked in one run.

danny said...

I don't understand how Curm, as an outdoor lover, likes the idea of more bodies traipsing all over the mountain.

Or does he own a hotel?

So what does Lowe bringing a very, very few people to town do for him?

Perhaps it helps keep restaurants in business for when he wants to go?

By the way, after today, welcome to the USSA. United Socialist States of America. Very sad. But it will cut into Godfrey's borrow and spend spree. It seems that depressions save Ogden time and again.

mother, baseball and apple pie said...

Here is some more scuddle butt.
Desente now owns the building on 23rd just above wall ave. Has anyone seen this besides me. Then I found out a few days ago that the Homer give Gofrey 10,000 bucks for his campaign Cutrubis now ownes the corner of 20th and washington right across from bexell station to the north. Boy When will the standard paper do a story about all the cronyizims in this town??????? sorry for the mispellings.

is anyone really surprised anymore? said...

Well, the mayor is a Republican.

Smaller scale, same philosophy, same results.

What??? said...

Yes; free beer will bring in people!!! I am way bummed that I did not attend.

Free beer and Ogden in the same sentence. I never thought I would see the day.

Better than Boulder (at least in the magazines!)

Jason W. said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Curmudgeon said...


You wrote: I don't understand how Curm, as an outdoor lover, likes the idea of more bodies traipsing all over the mountain.

Well, Danny, I have this weird idea that the more people who come to value the trails, who find recreation, solitude, solace, fun, excitement, inspiration, exercise or some combination of all of those there, the more support there will be for keeping the mountain as a wild place for us to enjoy. Being also a member of the Ogden Nature Center, and the Sierra Club, I have a real interest in encouraging people to spend time out of doors enjoying the natural areas around them , and learning more about them to increase their pleasure, and their understanding. Yes, it's possible for unrestrained crowds to "love a place to death." I've seen places like that, destroyed by careless overuse. [E.g. Palo Duro Canyon State Park in Tx.] But it doesn't have to be that way, and the more people who come to love Ogden for its city mountains and their trails, the more difficult it will be for someone... a mayor perhaps?... to sell them off to a crony to build Vacation Villas for the wealthy of other states.

In short, the more people who get into the woods [metaphorically speaking] and enjoy them, and learn how to do that without destroying them, the better off we all will be.

You wrote: Or does he own a hotel? Ans: no, I don't. I own a home in Ogden, and no other property or business.

You wrote: So what does Lowe bringing a very, very few people to town do for him?

This is one of the things I have a hard time understanding about those who sometimes seem to oppose anything the Mayor or anyone associated with him proposes or launches, merely, I suspect, because they proposed them. Here's how I look at Mr. Lowe's adventure film festival: (a) it succeeds, and grows, and each year brings to Ogden film-makers and adventure film fans, and provides some interesting entertainment for Ogden residents as well. This brings the city some good ink, rents some extra hotel rooms maybe, puts some out of town fannies in restaurant seats, and over time may increase rental of the Convention Center, if it grows big enough, which Center has been a money loser since it opened. And adds a little variety to the city's cultural life. What's not to like? (b) It flops and dies this year, or next. I just don't see how (a) fails to benefit Ogden or how (b) works to the city's advantage. Apparently, you do.

You wrote: Perhaps it helps keep restaurants in business for when he wants to go? Again, I'm puzzled. How exactly would 25th Street restaurants going broke make Ogden a better place to live? Mrs. Curmudgeon and I enjoy eating downtown now and then. Less now than before the Bush Recession and gas and food prices ballooned, it's true. But we enjoy, now and then, a meal downtown. Even sometimes in one of the new Junction restaurants. So do I want those places to stay in business? Sure. And how exactly would life in Ogden be better if they folded?

Sorry, but I'm hard put to understand why you think, somehow, it's a criticism of my views to suggest I want Ogden's downtown restaurants to succeed. The question is, why do you want them to go under, as your post seems to suggest you do?

Bill C. said...

Dear Curmudgeon, you have obviously been sucked in to the truely naive spin that the lying little mayor and gondola examinar would like you to swallow.
First I'll say that if this film thing works to get folks downtown, great.
But there's part of the story you've not grasped yet.
This opening party was supposed to generate income for the frozen phallic symbol, tickets were printed to be sold. When none were purchased they were at least wise enough to bag charging for admission to the amphitheatre party, and made it free. So much for the fund raising, this bash has started out in a negative as far as futhering the cause of the most idiotic idea yet to fly out of the lying little oriface located just under the, the, huge devining forehead of one lying little matty gondola godfrey.
The one foreigner quoted in the paper is here to present one of his short films, I doubt very much that many have come here from futher than Hooper or maybe the newly formed Powderville to view these little films that may be old PBS sponsored reruns, that have lost there placement to programs like, this old house, and saturday cooking shows.
At least by making the party free some locals showed up for the fee mini cups of beer and finger foods, otherwise it would have been only remnants of the beleagered old lift ogden thugs and not much more.
Like I said, as far as their little film thing goes, I hope it can do OK, it's just sad that it wouldn't even have been considered if it didn't further some clandestine evil being forcefed to the folks of Ogden by their incompetent lying little mayor.

Curmudgeon said...


I figured the free entry was a fall back for low ticket sales too. But so what? The end result was a free event for Ogden city, some interesting adventure films being screened, and some folks in from outside to take part. [And the precedent set of free beer in the public parks of downtown Ogden.] And we lose on that how?

Mr. Lowe comes back seeking more tax funds for the tower, I will write to my Council members opposing the idea, as I did the last time. But the Council and City cut him a deal: if he can raise, as he says he can, all the rest of the construction funds from private sources, the city will pony up another $100,000. Not the deal I would have made, but a deal's a deal. He raises the rest of the cash, good on 'im I figure. And I hope the film fest does well, repeats and, over time, takes off. I still don't see how Ogden loses if that happens.

Jake said...

"Free beer? Free beer? In downtown Ogden? Free beer? [Why wasn't I told!] In the same downtown Ogden that locked up Summer Fest beer drinkers behind barriers in a vacant lot so the chirren wouldn't see? Seems the Godfrey administration has figured out that the outdoors set is a partying crowd, and teetotal tut-tuting will not help make Ogden a mecca for outdoors adventuring."

Nope. It was the result of a major screwup:

The amphitheater management (John Nicholas) "forgot" to secure a single event beer permit -
The beer had been delivered, servers hired, etc ... and guess what? - no frickin' license to sell the golden nectar ...
Only alternative, give it away ...
It really wasn't an administration PR move ... it was OA blunder ...
Even free, less than 200 beers were served ...

Curmudgeon said...


You wrote: Even free, less than 200 beers were served ...

If only I had known in time, I, public spirited citizen that I am, would have been happy to pitch in and bump the numbers a bit. I consider encouraging and supporting the distribution of free beer in a downtown Ogden park to be civic responsibility of some importance. If only Mrs. Curmudgeon and I had known in time....

WhatWardRUin said...

matthew godfrey has not served a single honorable day since he took office 9 years ago. he started off by hiring stuart reid to teach him how to be a politician and scott brown to teach him how to be a project manager; he couldn't have picked worse role models. he has surrounded himself with the cast-offs from other entities; dave harmer whom it is painfully clear why he was fired from the state, and john patterson who will always be known for his philandering and driving wvc into financial distress. he picks up the deadwood from the city council, mark johnson and bill glasmann. enter his list of friends, all with their hands out; curt gieger, chris peterson, gahdi lesham, dave goode, dave earnshaw, et al. godfrey has single handedly spent the city into financial ruin. the city is $600,000 in the hole in it's state required budget reserve account. he has mortgaged most city owned buildings as colateral for his idiotic projects, the city is under a 2% budget freeze, and layoffs are just around the corner. city departments are grossly unbderstaffed and underfunded and godfrey salivates over nonsense like ice towers and velodromes.

Curmudgeon said...

Mother, baseball....

You wrote: Desente now owns the building on 23rd just above wall ave. Has anyone seen this besides me. Then I found out a few days ago that the Homer give Gofrey 10,000 bucks for his campaign Cutrubis now ownes the corner of 20th and washington right across from bexell station to the north. Boy When will the standard paper do a story about all the cronyizims in this town???????

I'm not sure your complaint about cronyism holds up above, but it could. Did Desente buy the property on 23rd from the city? Or from a private owner? If the latter, I don't see how cronyism is involved. The private owner was free to sell to whomever he pleased, Desente included. If it was city property, and its being available for sale was not clearly advertised, or if it went to Desente for less than someone else offered, then your charge of cronyism might well stand up. But not if it was sold by a private owner without city involvement.

Same with the Cutrubis property at 20th and Washington. Did he buy from the city or a private owner? If the latter, I don't see how cronyism applies. If the former, did the city make it known that the property was available for purchase, and was the Cutrubis offer the highest one? If not, your charge may well be on target. But if it was properly advertised for sale, and no one out bid Cutrubis, I don't see a problem.

WhatWardRUin said...

campground update

the state of utah has strict rules and regulations regarding the operation of all campgrounds, public or private. those rules include the operation and management which specifically state that full time operator must be on site when the campground is open. the rules also require flush toilets because the facility is within 300 feet of a public sewer. godfrey has claimed that the $14,000 price tag was exagerated and it can be built for under $10,000 by eliminating the 80+ trees that were planned. great, the landscaping that is supposed to provide shade, privacy and screening is scrapped to make this suddenly legal for him to go forward without council approval. if he is not going to construct the state required bathrooms ($120,000) he should at least keep two trees; one for girls and one for boys.

Curmudgeon said...


I found it telling that Hizzonah's spokesman said Councilwoman Wicks was wrong about the city having to get the Council's approval to go ahead with the project, but then in the same story it's revealed that the city is cutting spending on landscaping in order to get the construction costs below 10K so it won't need Council approval. Seems to me that means Councilwoman Wicks was right, not wrong.

And thanks, WhatWard, for digging up state regs on campground operations. Do you have a citation you could post were we can find the appropriate regs? Beginning to look like this was another of Hizzonah's "speak first, think later" signature projects... the sort of thing that drives his staff bonkers, or so I've heard. He gets some idea in his head, and wants it done yesterday. Careful planning, when he's in the grip of one of his enthusiasms, he apparently deems an impediment to progress, and something only naysayers worry about.

BTW, What Ward, this --- if he is not going to construct the state required bathrooms ($120,000) he should at least keep two trees; one for girls and one for boys --- was wonderful. Damn, I wish I'd written that. Still chuckling....

Jake said...

"Desente now owns the building on 23rd just above wall ave."

That's not what I heard. The story I got is that this warehouse on 23rd is owned by Curt Geiger.

Curmudgeon said...


OK. Either way, if the purchase was from a private owner with no city involvement, I don't see how MBAP's charge of cronyism stands up.

Bill C. said...

In keeping with the original tone of this thread, I beg of everyone to pause and examine how this stupid mythological High Adventure crap is damaging, not helping Ogden.
First we must recall it's origin, failure of the High Tech slogan. It was a simple shift based on getting the Jackass Center accomplished, and because a few outdoor recreation outfits were wharehousing here. The High Adventure thing only pertained to the Jackass Center at the time. The marketing was more about a good place for outdoor recreation companies to relocate here, not because we offer any real High Adventure outdoor amenities. We have great skiing in the winter and good summer recreation nearby.
Rents are typically low, and the cost of living was lower than the rest of the intermountain area.
A few more companies moved in, very small and all paid handsomely to come. Then the state paid an enormous amount to Amersports to come. All this was 4 years ago, since that time every deceitful action this administration has attempted has been under some bogus cover th this High Adventure diversion. Has it been successfull?
Has it helped Ogdens bottom line at all?
Any of the good that has come from any of this could have been accomplished without the High Adventure BS, but without it lying little matty would have had to make a real case for his proposals and demonstrate their soundness before hand.
Until the folks of Ogden wake up and call BS on this, he'll continue to use it for all the same crony serving devious scams he's pulled in the past, and is still doing.

Curmudgeon said...


Sorry. Your argument is not convincing.

1] First we must recall it's origin, failure of the High Tech slogan. Irrelevant. The pitch to make Ogden over into a high-tech center failed. It would have not made much sense to keep on playing that losing hand. And the failure of the high tech campaign bears in no way at all on whether what replaced it was a good idea or not.

2]The High Adventure thing only pertained to the Jackass Center at the time. I'm not completely sure that's so, but let's assume that it is. So what? If the marketing concept expanded beyond that so that Ogden itself began to be marketed as a high adventure destination, then the earlier more limited [and not very convincing] use of the term to apply only to the bowling/ski-ball/wind tunnel ride/surfer ride indoor amusement park is, again, irrelevant to the question of whether the later development of it into something more was a good idea or not.

3]You ask Has it been successful? Has it helped Ogden's bottom line at all? You seem to think those are rhetorical questions, since you don't directly answer them. What do we know for a fact? That the HA marketing campaign has gotten Ogden some very good ink, in, now, a fair number of periodicals and newspapers, some with a national distribution. You can dismiss this as "nothing" if you like, but I don't think most people involved in marketing Ogden as a tourist destination, or as a good place for outdoors oriented companies to locate, would.

4] "Any of the good that has come from any of this could have been accomplished without the High Adventure BS." Sorry, Bill, but that's a hypothetical. You may think that, but no one, not you, not me, not anyone can say for a fact that it is so. And it does seem to concede that it has done some good, doesn't it....

5] Finally, Bill, all the "High Adventure" meme is is a marketing tool. Period. Seems like a whole lot of heart burning is being devoted to a marketing campaign that seems, in terms of good ink in good places, to have worked, at least in part.

Everything that's been done in the past few years that you don't like... and I don't much either, like for example a large public subsidy for constructing a speculative niche sports venue downtown... had to pass the scrutiny of the City Council. You'd have to think they are, collectively, idiots to believe the reason they approved what you and I would not have is that they were mesmerized by the "High Adventure" meme. No, Bill, I don't think the majority of the Council is composed of idiots who lose all judgment and sense when Hizzonah starts barking "High adventure! High adventure!" at them. Consider, at least, the possibility they they think what they've approved are good ideas for Ogden. Often, I've disagree with those judgments. That doesn't make the Council members idiots. It just means they disagree with me on some [not all] public policy matters. That is, of course, never wise, disagreeing with me. Of that there can be no doubt. But it does happen and I'm not arrogant enough [yet] to think everyone who does has been bedazzled into idiocy by Hizzonah chanting "High adventure! High adventure!"

WhatWardRUin said...


i have the citation in my office in salt lake. i'll grab it monday and post it.

Curmudgeon said...


Bill C. said...

Curm, have you forgotten how long mass transit has been delayed because of this stupid high adventure crap? Have you forgotten that lying little matty is still trying to get our golf course and benchlands into private ownership? How about the return of scott brown, supposedly to put together some sort of high adventure velodrome? We can't help but wonder if it's so he can further his own property values or maybe even increase his holdings. Seems his history shows he refuses good offers and discourages potential buyers, and then winds up owning these same properties down the road. Now there's a push to alter zoning on a property he's directly connected to. Icecicles, downtown camping, cash awards to geigers. Giving the 21st st. pond to a crony supporter. Breaking the RDA to secure land for a no contest pleading fraud that owes 6 million bucks for not claiming his innocence. Are you blind my friend?
As for if anything good has come of this, I can't really think of anything. I was just leaving open the possibility that someone might.
This film thing could have been done without all this high adventure rubbish, Sundance does real well in Ogden. The theatre is not real expensive to rent and if you have a decent film and some promotion why couldn't it work.
I find it funny that you mention tourism, one our biggest hotels has just filed for bankruptcy.
And the majority of those articles you've mentioned were nothing more than paid advetizing, probably with you own money, and for a gondola for hell's sake.

Bill C. said...

Oh, Curm, about that particular City Council, the voters did determine they were idiots, the only remnant is Brandon Anally Stephanson.

Curmudgeon said...


Mass transit has not been delayed because of the High Adventure marketing of Ogden. It's been delayed because the Mayor blocked it for years to preserve the corridor and funding for his gondola obsession and to prevent them from going to trolley transit instead. Which is also why he was trying to get the golf course for his crony.

I've made no argument for Hizzonah's gondola or his sell the park to his cronies plan, and so on. I've been vocal here opposing them, as have you. Just saying the the "High Adventure Ogden" marketing plan is just that... PR... and had not much to do with whether the park got sold or the trolley got delayed, that's all. You're attributing a powerful lot of force to a marketing slogan, Bill. Rezoning the Windsor has nothing to do with the High Adventure marketing program. The Administration's penchant for cronyism is well known, has been the target of lots of comment here, much of it by me. Attributing his penchant for shunting properties to his buds to the High Adventure marketing campaign makes very little sense. "The film thing" was a film fest involving exclusively high adventure and extreme sports films, so it seems to me the slogan fit it pretty well. As for the articles and the good ink... sorry, Bill, but I noticed folks here came up with some reason why every one of them really didn't mean anything. About the sixth time I heard that, it began to lose its impact.

The Ben Lomond's problems began when the city decided to build the convention hotel [originally a Crown Plaza property], well before the Olys and before the High Adventure remarketing of High Tech Ogden. The Ben Lomond owners warned then that downtown Ogden would not sustain three upscale hotels. They predicted they'd fold if the convention hotel got built. It got built, and as soon as the Olys ended, the Ben Lomond folded. It's been in financial trouble ever since. It's been partly chopped into condos. It expelled a long established and successful club on its premises out in prep for its reemergence as a refurbished upscale hotel bar... which never happened, since the renovators ran out of money. Twice I think. You're going to have to find better evidence that the marketing plan for Ogden has had no appreciable impact than one down-sized hotel that dropped its chain affiliation long ago [which cut it off from that chain's reservations system and access to customers], which closed for a year, and which has been deep in debt for a while, and struggling for longer than that, going into Chapter 11.

For some reason, you seem to be assuming that my not getting all angry about the High Adventure PR campaign to market Ogden is, somehow, an indication of my support for Hizzonah. Nonsense.

As for "that council," --- no, Bill, the voters didn't determine they were idiots. The voters voted some of them out of office. Again, I'm not arrogant enough [yet] to assume that everyone whose election I oppose is an idiot. I'd also note one of the people the voters chose over a Godfrey-endorsed candidate quickly abandoned his Council post and took a job in the Godfrey administration. I'd be a little more humble about reading the electorate's mind if I were you, Bill. Remember, those same voters who you think judged the losing councilors "idiots" for supporting Godfrey's policies sent Hizzonah back into office for four years last year.

Bill C. said...

Curm, regretfully, I have to be the one to break it to you, High Adventure is nothing more than the double secret synonym for gondola in the small remaining lift ogden gondola cult. And everything for them is riding on it. Anything lying little matty does is geared toward that ultimate adrenaline rush he thinks he'll get when he finally boards that gondola with potato nose, cavendish and that thorazine addled hater of squirrels peterson.

Curmudgeon said...

Sorry, Bill, but I'm afraid I'm not paranoid enough to believe that Hizzonah's plan for a velodrome or a BMX track in Ogden are really secret gondola plans in disguise. He's not abandoned his obsession, which is reason enough to keep us all on our toes. But there's more than enough to criticize in Hizzonah's conduct of the public's business without trying to find gondolas under every bed.

wsu_alumi said...

Wouldn't it be funny if The 4-Heads bed IS a gondola??
Like little kids have race-cars...
he has a modified gondola.
How cute.
I wonder how Mrs. 4Head likes it....

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