Monday, November 17, 2008

Emerald City Morning News Roundup 11.17.08

Not exactly "red meat," but still at least slightly nutritious

Three Weber County Forum topical articles in this morning's Standard-Examiner. We'll highlight them one-by-one:

1) The Editorial Board carries a fine lead editorial this morning, noting the accession of five "Top of Utah" state legislators to leadership positions in the State House and Senate. Indeed, legislative power has perceptibly shifted toward the north of the state, at least for the upcoming legislative session. The Std-Ex quickly cuts to the chase, and reels off new Utah House Speaker Dave Clark's laundry list of proposed ethics reform measures, all of which have been vigorously advocated at various times on Weber County Forum. The Std-Ex editors then close with this ominous paragraph:
Mere good intentions are not enough. It will take strong leadership and effective whips (do you hear us Dee, Jenkins and Bell?) to get the right ethics reform bill passed in 2009.
Looks like the Std-Ex means business. We hope for their own sake Mssrs. Dee, Jenkins and Bell are listening up. Local politicians definitely don't want to get on the wrong side of the Standard-Examiner. If you don't believe us, ask poor 'ole Bill Glasmann, and the rest of the 2006 city council.

2) In this morning's Std-Ex Op-ed piece (originally published in the Washington Post,) GOP strategists Christine Todd Whitman and Robert M. Bostock offer some good advice to Republicans who are feeling glum about their party's thrashing in the 2008 national election. And they offer one simple solution to the GOP's current malaise: "Free the GOP (from the 'Social Fundamentalists)"

Looks like sound advice from the point of view this GOP warhorse. We recognise some readers may have other views, however.

3) Last but not least, Emerald City will be investing in Green Garbage Trucks, if all goes well with the city council. Once in a while, even Big Spending Boss Godfrey tries to save a dime or two, we guess. And realistically speaking, the more he can save on little things like gasoline, the more he'll have to fritter away on his grand projects and schemes!

That's it from our hometown newspaper today. Not exactly red meat, but still at least slightly nutritious.

Our readers have been strangely quiet over the past several days. Hopefully these articles will help to stir the pot.

25 comments:

Curmudgeon said...

It was a good editorial this morning: clear, concise and mincing no words. Of course, it lacked what would have been a nice touch of grace: no where does it mention that the shopping list of ethics reforms for the House it is endorsing was the list of ethics reforms the legislative Democratic caucus has been advocating for a few years now, only to have its proposals throttled in the cradle by the Curtis, Bramble and Buttars troika.

Still, I don't wish to be churlish, and I'm delighted that the Standard Examiner and the new Republican House leadership are endorsing the Democratic proposals for legislative ethics reform. It remains to be seen if the right-wing House rank-and-file can bring themselves to actually pass the Democratic proposals by pretending they are Republican ones instead. Let us fervently hope so.

Good on us! said...

Good for Ogden on making a switch in favor of reducing pollution.

Maybe this thinking will go even further and we can move to a bi-monthly pick up service.

I personally don't need a weekly pickup (especially having a recycle can as well). Imagine the savings on only having these huge gas sucking trucks driving up and down each street only 2 times a month.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

what will it cost us said...

I notice that the trucks are making 2 trips, one for re-cycle and one for refuse. Did the truck that used to pick up both with seperate sides break down? Drive around on pick up day and see the over flowing containers with once a week service. More service cutbacks will not help the over all looks of the city.

cutting up the box said...

-what it will cost-

Easy to fix the overflowing can part. Police will need to ticket those with overflowing cans. This probably should be happening anyway. After the second offense the citizen/customer will be forced to purchase a second can.

Hey and think of the money all those tickets given out to the "trashy" citizens of Ogden will bring in. i.e. it will cost us even less!

Curmudgeon said...

What It Will Cost:

Well, your suggestion... people renting a second trash container from the city so they won't have trash overflowing with bi monthly delivery... ends up being an additional monthly tax on citizens [the monthly cost of the additional trash can]. Weekly trash pick up still seems the wisest course for a city to follow to me. But then, I grew up when trash pick up was twice weekly, not weekly.

And separating trash pick up from recycle pick up was also probably a good idea. Under the old system, once one side of the truck was full, even if the other side was not, the truck had to break off and dump its load, then return to the route. Under the new system... separate runs for trash and recycles... each truck continues until full, and then dumps. Probably saves considerable gas, and time, over the previous system.

Ah'm Confused said...

Sorry if I misread the most recent post; but excuse me.

Doesn't a private contractor already haul out the Ogden residential garbage?

If garbage service isn't Ogden City's primary responsibility... why is Boss Godfrey involving himself in this?

OgdenLover said...

I just received my city water bill. Tucked inside is a little card asking for the following info:
1. Address of any homes I believe are engaged in illegal activity.
2. Addresses in my neighborhood that are rental properties.
3. My email address "so police officers can communicate with you wneh they need help in your neighborhood."

I find this terribly offensive. Why should the public be asked to narc on their neighbors? It makes me think of Hitler Youth. We already have "Tip A Cop" phone line. Guess it didn't work.

OgdenLover said...

BTW, the card is mailed back to the Mayor's office, not the OPD.

pain in the said...

I would put Bob Geigers address on the cards, since his home doesn't fit in with the neighborhood. Or Cavendish with his overgrown front lawn, or the other properties "G" train has for sale with weeds knee high. Could be quite a collection back to the mayor.

monotreme said...

Ogdenlover:

"Nearly all children nowadays were horrible. What was worst of all was that by means of such organizations as the Spies they were systematically turned into ungovernable little savages, and yet this produced in them no tendency whatever to rebel against the discipline of the Party. On the contrary, they adored the Party and everything connected with it... All their ferocity was turned outwards, against the enemies of the State, against foreigners, traitors, saboteurs, thought-criminals. It was almost normal for people over thirty to be frightened of their own children."
- George Orwell, 1984, Book 1, Chapter 2

monotreme said...

And the statement on the card is a lie: crime is NOT the lowest it has been in 20 years.

The online form is here.

I would remind you that if you use a laptop and public wireless connection, such as in a coffee shop, the origin of your transmission is virtually untraceable.

Civil disobedience is called for.

disgusted said...

how cowardly and irresponsible it would be to use a system like this to report a neighbor.
i would rather confront my neighbor face to face to address several of these issues listed rather than to anonymously turn them into the police.
the accused party will have no ability to address or know who his anonymous accuser is. what happens when one party uses this system to harass another party that the first party doesn’t like and where the second party hasn’t done anything wrong.
the new neighborhood slogan – trust no one for they may use what they know about you to get you in trouble.
this will definitely bring neighbors closer together – NOT.

rebel with a cause said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Curmudgeon said...

Well, folks, seems to me the Nazi references are getting way out of hand here. The fact is, a lot of crime is reported by residents who see it going on in their neighborhoods and who want it stopped. [What do you think the Neighborhood Watch Program is all about?] Things like corners that become drug sales points, or empty houses that become the same. As I recall, folks right here on WCF were quite happy about residents in the river project area being on the look out for, and reporting possible arsonists [aka "suspicious persons" engaged in "suspicious activities"].

As for Disgusted's suggestion that if you see a neighbor engaged in criminal conduct, you should just march up and confront him... sounds like a good way to get yourself shot to me.

The email address is a request not an order. If you don't want to do it, don't. I didn't send mine in. I doubt the police will be on my doorstep in a week or so, or the Mayor, demanding that I hand over my email address or face the consequences.

And yes, in general, I hope people do keep their eyes open and report criminal conduct they might see in their neighborhoods. There is nothing whatsoever about that request, which seems perfectly reasonable to me, akin to setting children to inform on their parents. Not even close. If there's a crack house operating a block over from me, I damn well do hope residents on the street notice and let the police know. I wouldn't hesitate for a minute. And I sure as hell would not go marching over on my own to demand an accounting.

Rebel With a Cause said...

As The *Real* Rebel With a Cause: I say, stop using my identity, you who stated *Hate and distrust is spawned in the Mayor's office.* I may not comment often, but I've been *Rebel* for the past year, and I wouldn't want those who know who I am to think your language was mine. I agree with your sentiments but I never swear. I know who Cavendish is, though, so you have some catching up to do. But don't let me discourage you from commenting. Just get yourself another alias, please, and I thank you very much.

Monotreme said...

Curm:

Read carefully. It's not about crime, real crime, crime with a perpetrator and a victim. You'd call 911 for that. It's about code enforcement, in particular, reporting rental property that hasn't registered with the city.

The information on the mail-in card goes to City Hall, room 900, not the police. That's a tip-off that it's not about law enforcement.

And the advertisement and repetition of the "crime is down" meme makes the whole thing deeply offensive. It's shameless.

Go take another look and then tell me it's okay.

Rebel #2 said...

Hate and distrust is spawned in the Mayors office.

They need more revenue for his stupid damn ideas.

Monotreme has it right, go to the neighborhood coffee shop with your laptop.

Screw Godfrey and the establishment.

Who the hell is Cavendish?

Comment reposted by administrator

disgusted said...

curm
serious crime needs to reported directly to the police. dont disagree there.
but log on and read the code enforcements that the mayor is suggesting that people report through this system.
would you suggest that someone report their neighbors barking dog through this system for a first complaint or just go talk to your neighbor. several other listed code violations to report are equally as trivial.

hehehehe said...

These so called infractions that the Mayor wnats us to report to the city, so they can generate more revenue, should be handled on the lowest possible level. Neighbors talking with each other solving problems and issues in their neighborhood.

Who needs mor government in our lives, especially when it is run by the sleaze on the ninth floor in Ogden?

I'm going to coffee today, and rat off Gadi from my lap top. Then I am going to the library also to do the same.

Curmudgeon said...

Disgusted:

OK, we agree about reporting crime, or suspicion thereof regarding neighbors too.

As for reporting code violations: well, Disgusted, there are code violations and there are code violations. Report a neighbor for not keeping his lawn trimmed exactly as code requires? No. Of course not. Report a neighbor for parking cars up on blocks in his front yard for weeks, months? And after I'd wondered aloud to him how long they were going to be there being "fixed"? Yes.

As for the rental matter... the only one specifically mentioned in the flier with the water bill--- well, Disgusted, if the ordinances require a business license to rent out a single family home, and there is in the city a problem with owners not getting the business licenses they should when they rent out a home, then I'm a little hard put to see why the city shouldn't be trying to locate such properties. If I were renting out homes, I'd have the damn license [and pay the fee/tax to get it]. Not sure why so many here seem comfortable with some property owners skirting the law and evading their taxes/fees and thus cutting into city revenues, particularly during a budget crunch. Want to ask the city council to remove the business license requirement for people renting one home? Fine with me. I'll sign the petition. But the remedy is to change the ordinance, not to encourage folks to look the other way on folks in violation. Besides, Disgusted, you wouldn't be reporting your neighbor in such cases... your neighbor would be the people renting the home... you'd be reporting the absentee landlord. You may not see a difference there, but I do.

As with most things, all this requires is a little judgment on the part of folks. Minor code violations, hell, no I wouldn't call in a neighbor ever. Code violations that were creating a problem property, and problems thus for me an my other neighbors, you betcha.

But the notion that this is the start of some of Communist/Fascist "come on children, turn mommy and daddy in to the Gestapo" regime seems to me to be a wild over-reaction bordering on paranoia. And, again, it's voluntary. Don't want to send them your email and don't want to call in a neighbor for code violations, don't do it. Period. Seems pretty simple to me.

I suspect in the case of trivial code violations, most of the calls are going to come from the nosy Parkers and folks already crosswise with their neighbors who do most of the petty-violation-reporting already. But the city's asking for residents' help in reporting real problem properties that the city may not know about doesn't strike me as a bad idea. Particularly since the whole thing is voluntary. Not interested, just don't do it. No biggie, seems to me.

Curmudgeon said...

hehehehe:

You wrote: I'm going to coffee today, and rat off Gadi from my lap top. Then I am going to the library also to do the same.

Why from the library? Or the coffee shop? You want to report Mr. Lesham for serious code violations, why not be a stand up guy and do it under your own name, straight up? Give the specific locations of the properties involved... the addresses... and the serious violations you think are involved, send it directly to the Mayor as requested and copy the city council members. Why the hell not? What's the point of hiding who's making the complaint? You think you're right, then sign the damn thing.

hehehehe said...

Curm

After thinking about what I just wrote, I have to agree with you. It was stupid.

Why Hide?

I'll do the right thing.

RudiZink said...

Two reader comments moved to new article

On the inside said...

Ogden Lover and Monotreme, I was appalled as you that the Mayor would ask and expect people to covertly report the actions of their neighbors. Next we will have the City installing cameras and microphones in our homes to keep better tabs on us – sounds a little too much like Orwell’s “1984" to me.

Cavendish is the little devious troublemaker, Tom Moore, who has disgraced his noble profession of teacher.

Curmudgeon, what the mayor is asking people to do is a lot different than “Neighborhood Watch” programs! The neighborhood watch programs, don’t ask you to report if your neighbor’s back lawn is longer than 6 inches or he has an old lawnmower that he’s working on behind the shed – these are more of a code enforcement issue which is what the mayor wants reported so he can get more fine revenue. The neighborhood watch program is just being a good neighbor and keeping an eye out for unusual or questionable behavior of strangers in the neighborhoods.

This is another tactic of Godfrey’s to further divide the city and pit neighbor against neighbor. And it does come straight from the mayor’s office. The City Council knew nothing of this underhanded “1984 Big Brother is watching” plan.

I love the alias “Rebel With A Cause!” I wish I had thought of it for a couple of reasons – I’ve been a rebel ALL my life as long as I can remember (my mother wished I’d have a kid “just like me!”) And James Dean and Sal Mineo were my era. And I’m still a rebel!

As far as the new editorial editor goes: BEWARE, oh, ye Weber County Bloggers and Council Members! This is NOT RUMOR or HERESY! Doug Gibson is a friend of Brandon Stephenson and lives in Brandon’s former Ward, and like Brandon, he is in the mayor’s pocket so far that he cannot see the light of day, and his nose is browner than the rest of his face due to the constant relationship with that part of the mayor’s anatomy that contains his brains, and also is used to support his body when seated upon chairs. He believes that Godfrey walks on water. Thus these things should be taken into consideration when reading his opinions.Ogden Lover and Monotreme, I was appalled as you that the Mayor would ask and expect people to covertly report the actions of their neighbors. Next we will have the City installing cameras and microphones in our homes to keep better tabs on us – sounds a little too much like Orwell’s “1984" to me.

what will it cost us said...

If they want enforcement why can't the city use the trash collectors who are at every home once a week to notify the code enforcement folks? I read the City Council will be hiring an auditor of the enforcement department, to make sure there isn't any special favors being given. The trash trucks have computer lists to easily track homes with cars on blocks, weeds, unkempt lawns, un-plowed sidewalks when the snow flies.

They are all city employees, hey lets have a quota system to give them bonuses to see how many homes they can target. It's a win, win to improve the city.

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