Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sunday Morning Standard-Examiner News Roundup

Our home town newspaper: Well worth the subscription price, warts and all

By Curmudgeon

For all that the Standard-Examiner often falls short of the standard some of us, myself included, would like to see it meet, it is also true I think that most of the grousing has to do with the SE's coverage of Ogden and Weber County political matters, and in particular, its coverage of Ogden's municipal government. Being your basic policy-&-politics wonk, I understand [and often share] the frustration in re: the SE's local political coverage.

However, the paper covers a great deal more than just local politics, and this morning's front page is a good example of why it's well worth subscribing still. There are three main stories, all local, all important, all well worth reading. The first, "Drug Database Use Up" by Jesse Fruhwirth, reports on increasing use of a state-run drug prescription database to limit "doctor shopping" by drug abusers.

The second story , by Loretta Park, headlined "1 in 30 Students Homeless", talks about the [for me] shocking number of school children in N. Utah who are homeless, and the consequences of that for their education and health. The story says that in any given N. Utah classroom, one child doesn't know where he or she is going to sleep that night with any certainty. One in every classroom. The story focuses on overwhelmingly Republican Davis County. This in particular caught my eye:
Davis County, in general, has a difficult time admitting there are adults, let alone children, who are homeless, McKinnon said. "Davis County's dirty, little secret is sending their homeless to Salt Lake or Ogden," he said. "Cities in Davis County believe something should be done and somebody ought to do it, just not our city. People seem to think the homeless arrive from out of town. "They are our children and our neighbor's children. They live here because this is their home."
Finally, also on the front page, Charles Trentelman [who covers water issues for the SE], reports on March being a disastrous water-month for the Top of Utah, and on resulting significantly reduced estimates of the spring runoff. Much in it worth reading, knowing about, thinking about.

And inside, a story about how mandatory fees are hiking the cost of attending public high schools in Ogden and in Weber County.

The news is not all about the Mayor and Council, not even in Ogden. And however annoyed I may get about how the SE handles a particular story [or more to the point, doesn't] about Ogden's municipal government, the paper still reports, regularly and often well, much worth knowing about the Top of Utah in general, and about Weber County and Ogden in particular. Today's issue is a good example. Well worth the subscription price, warts and all.


OgdenLover said...

Speaking of water issues, the insert that arrived yesterday with our water bill mentioned lots of work being done to improve the Ogden water supply. However, totally conspicuous by it's absence was any mention of work on 36th or streets south of that.

Maybe if they don't talk about it, we won't notice.

the lovely jennifer said...

Dear Curmudgeon,

My mother posed to me a wonderment this morning:

Where is it written, laid out, set down, carved in stone - yada yada yada - that we MUST address those in public office (mayors, senators, representatives and the ilk, er, I mean like) as THE HONORABLE so-and-so. As in , His Honor, the Mayor; or the Honorable Senator Ried; or Her Honor, Ms. Pelosi.

Is it an unwritten custom from back in the day when there might have been some honor amongst the polititions? Or is there a secret code that is followed from generation to generation, with the meaning and significance since gone to the wind?

Pray, enlighten us ...


RudiZink said...

Whatever the derivation and history LJ, I suspect the term "honorable" is mainly modernly used as a snarky pejorative.


the lovely jennifer said...

yeah, but given the widespread use and especially in the media (vis. a vis. - television & radio), can one actually detect the snarky pejorativeness of the (and I use the term loosely) title in the voice of the speaker?

When one introduces The Honorable Ms. Pelosi, does one's expression and/or tone elicit snickers and snorts from the gallery? I think not.

Maybe behind the scenes - WCF's own "Hizzonah" being a prime example of the snarkiness of which you speak - it is present, but in public forums (not internet forums) is seems not to be prevalently snarky or pejorative.


Monotreme said...

It's etiquette, a quality which is in sad decline nowadays.

H.L. Mencken, The American Language

eHow's take on the matter.

Curmudgeon said...


Well, TLJ, every holder of an elected position has been put in that position by vote of "the people." That is no small thing. And so I suspect the presumption is someone who has been elected by "the people" speaks and acts in their name, and so is entitled to the honorific "the Honorable Senator Squatbottom."

Of course not all of them live up to the title. But it is not ridiculous, I think, for people who have the honor of having been elected to office by vote of the people to be addressed as "the Honorable" [absent their having clearly forfeited any right to the title, as Mr. Bush and Mr. Buttars have done, for example.]

Once they have forfeited any reasonable claim to the title, derision and snarkiness [expressed by tone of voice, raised eyebrow of mangling of the term like "Hizzonah"] is available, and useful and, as you note, much resorted to.

With good reason.

Curmudgeon said...


Thanks for the Mencken link. A curmudgeon if ever there was one.

And buried deep in the Mencken entry, he touched on one of my pet peeves about honorifics in the US: they survive the holding of the office to which they are attached. Retired Generals are still addressed as "General." Retired presidents are still addressed as "Mr. President," or "President Nixon" [or whoever]. Former governors are still "Governor." Ditto even Senators and Representatives who have either retired or been ousted from office by their enraged constituents. Even Congressmen driven from office by the commission of a crime, and subsequent trial and conviction are still, often addressed as "Congressman." [I heard a newsman doing an interview call a convict "Congressman Cunningham."]

In a democracy, the title that attaches to an office should cease when the office is either relinquished or snatched from the officeholder's unwilling hands. A retired general should be a "Mister." Ditto a retired [or defeated] Congressman, Senator, governor, or what have you.

monotreme said...

On the subject of "dishonorifics", for reasons that should be clear, I've always loved this JB Handelsman cartoon from The New Yorker.

The Lovely Jennifer said...


Thank you for the wonderful link about honorifics. My mother will be pleased!

She seems to be so upset by politicians these days, she thinks none of them should be addressed a Hon. anything anymore, and THAT should be the standing rule of address.

Would this be a Robert's Rules of Order issue?

Standard Examiner is currupt said...

The S E is a joke. It goes after all the little petty things that Ogden misguidingly does. But when it comes to the crimes committed by Weber County elected officials it turns a blind eye.

democrat said...


The Standard Examiner is the republican propaganda machine.

head gear said...

If I steal the neighbors bikes and It happens to be the mayors. I get to go to prison, but if the mayor steals my money and I report it. I get to be told F--- --- for even bringing this up. Where oh where is the justice in this and we still get to call him honorable.
When will the city prosecute the little cute guy that puts his neighbor in a head lock, but nobody get to put him in a head lock.
I for one would hold him down till he yells uncle Greg.

OgdenLover said...

George K., the email I got from Smartgrowth Ogden gave the time for the Thursday WSU meeting as 11-1, not 12-1.

"Please try to attend one of two public "scoping" meetings for the Ogden-WSU transit corridor selection next week either Tuesday evening, March 24 from 4-7 pm at the downtown Eccles Conference Center or Thursday, March 26 from 11-1 pm in the WSU Union Building ballroom."

monotreme said...

Here's the original UTA press release.

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