Saturday, August 29, 2009

Saturday Morning Emerald City Open Topic Thread

We'll offer several suggested discussion topics, for starters

News is again slow on this Saturday morning; so we'll set up another weekend kickoff open topic thread. Before we turn over the floor however, there are several items which we'll suggest as topics for discussion.

First, we'd like to once again remind our readers of our upcoming Ogden City municipal election primary, which is set for September 15, 2009. According to our countdown clock that's ticking away in the right sidebar, this important preliminary event is coming up in just over 16 days. And while we continue to do daily updates to our Council Candidate Roster, this Weber County Forum-hosted web resource remains far from complete nevertheless. So we'll accordingly provide everyone with a further gentle nudge:

If you happen to be a 2009 council candidate, or know a candidate who's running for a council slot, we'd like to again extend our invitation to contact us at rudizink@yahoo.com. Although we're already observing significant traffic to our candidate web pages, there's still time to add their email addresses, internet links and other data prior to the typical visitor traffic surge which we expect to begin within the next week or so. There remain several candidates for whom we have been able to gather and display only the most basic information, while others have provided information which is quite robust. It's been our experience over the years that our candidate web pages generate web page hits in the tens of thousands per election cycle, so it would be a shame, we believe, for any serious council candidate to miss out on this no cost opportunity to get their information out in front of our large audience of web savvy potential voters. This is the internet age, Ogden council candidates. Old fashioned lawn signs, fliers and doorknob hangers simply don't get the job done by themselves anymore.

Next, we'll dredge into our reader comments section and bring to the front page an item which WCF reader Dan S. mentioned down-thread last night: "On another topic, did anyone notice today's editorial (and the accompanying cartoon)?" Dan was referring of course to this top-flight Doug Gibson editorial piece , and this most excellent Grondahl cartoon. Never before have we witnessed the Standard-Examiner question the propriety of mixing routine utility billing with outright political propaganda. We found the Std-Ex's sudden critical posture to be quite refreshing, to say the least, of course.

As every Ogden City property owner is painfully aware, the Ogden mayoral administration engages in shameless political electioneering year-round, at a level which makes Kaysville Mayor Neka Roundy's recent ethical lapse seem to be the act of a political amateur by comparison. Seldom does an Ogden City water bill ever arrive without pro-administration propaganda of one kind or the other.

So for purposes of today's discussion, we'll raise a question Std-Ex reader Flatlander posed in the comment section beneath the above-linked Std-Ex story, with reference to the Standard's seemingly sudden conversion to the view that water bill electioneering is unethical:
We could look at it, ...as a bit of self-serving hypocrisy or an application of selective conscience, since the paper [inexplicably] endorsed Godfrey for re-election.
Or, the alternative, we could look on it as a sign that the SE's ethical radar has in the intervening two years been cranked up a notch or two, that it now finds questionable conduct it didn't officially notice two years earlier. We could, in short, take it as evidence of improvement.
Seems to us this editorial is worthy of further discussion here on WCF.

Last but not least, we'll direct our readers' attention to this morning's Salt Lake Tribune/Kurt Kragthorpe column, focusing on Weber State University's current posture, as it begins marketing Coach Mac's 2009-10 football squad. The article presents an interesting overview of the unique circumstantial facts which lead WSU Athletic Department officials to believe they can significantly increase the numbers of fannies in stadium seats this season. As hard-core WSU football fans, we hope they'll succeed in reviving local interest in what is probably the most high adventure spectator sport in Ogden.

That's it for now, WCF readers. Follow up on our suggested topics, or feel free to hijack this thread for a discussion of your own making.

25 comments:

ozboy said...

I was astounded to find that our very own little pointy headed mayor has the same personal theme song as Obama, Reid, and that toothy old broad from California.

You can see and hear it right here:

Tim Hawkins - The Government Can

OgdenLover said...

In the past year we have seen the SE criticize the Mayor (for example, the hard-hitting editorial and video criticizing the City's lack of code enforcement re: Gadi Leshem's abandonment of the River Project houses).

However, these laudable events have not foretold a new critical (as in examining, not criticizing) eye toward City Hall and municipal happenings.

Flatlander is far more optimistic than I about the significance of this editorial as it applies to Ogden.

I don't expect the SE to become anti-everything Godfrey, but I do want to see them become a paper that honestly informs its readers about the significance of city happenings as opposed to being an unthinking mouthpiece for the Administration.

Danny said...

Ozboy,

You'll like this one too.

Tennessee Ernie Ford

Danny said...

Bombshell Alert! 8-24-09

Mexico Legalizes Drug Possession

And nary a peep from the US corporate press???

"Now not just marijuana, but cocaine, LSD, and heroin will be tolerated for personal and limited use. That means about four joints, or half a gram of cocaine, or 50 milligrams of heroin. Bigger quantities, sales, and public consumption are still strictly forbidden."

"It also focuses on rehabilitation for repeat drug users, making treatment mandatory for abusers."

Could it be that the madness will finally end?

Drug prohibition: Another way the government violates the Constitution and justifies itself as it destroys lives and society itself.

Curmudgeon said...

OL:

In re: "Flatlander is far more optimistic than I about the significance of this editorial as it applies to Ogden. "

Flat does not seem to have made a judgment about how to assess the SE's editorial. He merely noted that there are two mutually exclusive conclusions that can be drawn from it. There's just not enough data yet, seems to me, to determine with any certainty which of the two conclusions is the right one. Discerning TOT [trend over time] requires more data points. Too soon to tell.

Dan S. said...

Curm: We already have plenty of additional data points, if you look at other issues where the S-E would be expected to take a strong editorial stand but has failed to do so.

One example is open government. The S-E, like all newspapers, often editorializes in favor of open government. But it's been over two years since they've criticized the Godfrey administration for withholding information from the public. They've taken no position on the Sierra Club's GRAMA lawsuit, or on the secrecy with the plans for the golf course and water tanks. Recently they even editorialized in favor of more "leadership" meetings, which are closed to the public.

Another example is campaign finance disclosure. The S-E has yet to editorialize on the whole Envision Ogden scandal. Nor did they take a position on the council's recent revision to the campaign finance ordinance. Yet they repeatedly bring up these issues at the state level, regarding the legislature.

Free Money 4 Godfrey Cronies said...

I just heard a reliable report that Godfrey crony Thayne Fischer just received a $70,000 grant from "Crossroads of the West." Does anybody here have any information about this?

Curmudgeon said...

Dan S:

Most of the examples you gave deal with stories that broke about two years ago --- same time they were ignoring Godfrey's utilities letter campaigning. The editorial we're discussing as a possible indicator of a heightened awareness of ethical improprieties by local office holders ran this week. We don't know, then, whether the editorial is an indicator of something new at the SE or an anomaly. We'll have to see. You're not going to get an argument from me that the SE treated Hizzonah with kid gloves in the past and reported, but did not editorially comment on, his ethical lapses. Of course it did. The question raised by the recent editorial is whether it indicates a new editorial direction at the SE regarding lapses in ethical conduct by public officials. And that, we don't know yet. That's all.

RudiZink said...

I'm going to go way out on a limb and suggest this. The Standard has had a new editorial page editor since the first of the year. I've had some positive interactions with him (Doug Gibson) and I am convinced that he brings a higher level of ethical awareness to the SE editorial board. His predeccessor, Mr. Porter, was a "political pragmatist" at best, whereas I believe Mr. Gibson has a much better grasp of "core" ethical principles.

I'll thus throw the weight of my opinion (for what its worth) toward the speculation that the Std-Ex has indeed upgraded it's moral compass.

alicefrommehill said...

I love the suggestion that anyone that would invest in Ogden MUST be a "crony". The inverse of that argument, unfortunately, is more true than the original suggestion itself. Opposition to Godfrey is almost consistent with non-investment, non-growth, non-improvement.
Of course, no one would invest money in Ogden unless they were a "crony" of the mayor. Seriously, if they looked at Ogden in the way WCF looks at it, why would they? I sure as hell wouldn't put a dime into this city if the hierarchy of WCF was in charge. OXOX

Curmudgeon said...

Miss Alice:

There does seem to be a long and mutually beneficial relationship between the Mayor and Mr. TF. "Crony" is a pejorative way to describe that relationship. "Friend" would be a less pejorative choice, and "associate" a still more neutral way. But given the Mayor's history of arranging what we used to call down on the bayou "kinfolk deals" for his associates, the more judgmental term is not an entirely unreasonable one for people to choose.

As for your claim that "Opposition to Godfrey is almost consistent with non-investment, non-growth, non-improvement. " Well, Miss Alice, that's nonsense. Just another reiteration of the Godfreyista's "naysayers!" meme which was lame when they introduced it and is lame still now. The question is not "will Ogden grow" but how. The question is not "should public monies be used to promote the city" but how. The question is not "should Ogden seek to attract new investment and businesses" but is it being done wisely and in ways that won't bury the city in debt for decades. I'm afraid it's folks like you, Miss Alice, who are insisting "those who don't like suggestions are opposed to all suggestions, those who don't want to do what I want to do don't want to do anything." With an attitude that arrogant, I think you will find a warm and welcoming place in the Godfrey gaggle.

laughing my ass off said...

In a roundabout way you're right, Ms. Frommhill. No level-headed independant investor would buy a business or otherwise invest in Ogden, so long as the BD department socialists are providing big subsidies to the favored friends of Mayor Godfrey. It's therefore probably fair to characterize this proposition as a WCF sub-theme.

Unless you're a favored Godfrey crony, you'll ultimately suffer the same fate as many long-established businesses in Ogden who've paid their dues over the years.

Godfrey will use taxpayer money to suddenly subsidise a new competitor; and you'll find your way to bankruptcy.

Socialism does have a long history in Ogden; but its never been so ugly as the brand of corporo-fascism that's now practiced in Ogden City.

It would be quite interesting to review a list of investors who've arrived in Ogden without a Godfrey subsidy, if any.

It would also be equally interesting to view a similar list of businesses who have left Ogden due to the pressure of competitor subsidies.

No, I doubt that the even the inverse of your strawman argument is true. Do you have any actual data, "Alice," or are you just blowing typical Godfrey Administration smoke?

Monotreme said...

Alice:

Thanks for telling me what I think. I was completely and totally unaware of my feelings for Ogden until you clarified things for me.

I'm sure happy there are people like you here to tell me what and how to think, and when to think for good measure.

Ignorance is Strength.

Curmudgeon said...

Apropos of nothing in particular on this thread, and as a partial antidote to Miss Alice's whining: was at the Ogden Farmer's Market this morning. Looked like another pretty good day there. Decent crowds til noon at least. Five weeks left, I think. If you haven't been yet, still time to make a visit. Or two.

Sundance still performing, to the delight of children. [Borrow a kid if you don't have one and use him or her as your excuse to pet the horse. Note: strongly advise you get parents' permission first.] Some interesting ceramics there. [Do you know what an "orgy cup" is? I didn't.] Ogden Nature Center booth had hand woven market baskets from Africa that seemed to be moving well. Not inexpensive, but interesting. Sierra Club there today, offering a revised and updated new printing of their Ogden Area Outings Guide. "Hot off the presses!" they said. Melons from Green River selling today too, I think. Lots of cooked food on offer as well.

Pleasant way to spend an hour or so strolling in the park and downtown of a warm fall morning. Admission is free. And "The Jupiter" shuttle is available to haul you back up from the bottom of 25th Street if you run out of gas.

DR. OPPOSITE said...

Anne: "I love the suggestion that anyone that would invest in Ogden MUST be a "crony"."

Interesting proposition.

If you doubt whether Mr. Fischer is a Godfrey crony, Anne, ask yourself this question:

In the case of purported Godfrey crony Thayne Fischer, who reportedly pocketed $70 thousand in taxpayer cash recently, did Mr. Fischer "invest in Ogden," or did Ogden taxpayers "invest in Thayne Fischer?"

It's so complicated; It goes far beyond man's imagination.

Dan S. said...

For what it's worth, Mr. Fischer gave over $2000 to Godfrey's 2007 campaign.

I heard about the Crossroads of the West grant. I also heard that other eligible businesses had little or no opportunity to apply. And I heard that John Patterson chairs the committee that awarded the grant. But I don't claim to understand the situation in any detail.

Curmudgeon said...

Comment bumped to front page

disgusted said...

fischer also purchased the bic building on washington and the vacant lot to the south next to farrs jewelry in a no bid sale from the city for a k mart blue light special price. i figure the price was about 50% of market.

oh to be a fom.

ozboy said...

Alice!

I was sure that Arlo told you not to eat the brownies!!!

Jennifer Neil said...

In re: the upcoming primary election on 15 SEPT 2009, and since I am a candidate -- I would like to say I have been talking to various people, attending meetings of the Council and Open Space type. I haven't seen many (if any) of the other candidates in attendence. Hmmm.

I have also been visiting places - one place recently in particular our very own Ogden Fire Department Station #3 on 3rd & Washington. Please see my blog for a full report, with the exception of a couple small things I failed to mention: they have problems with sewage back-up when they do their laundry ... not very much fun to clean up ... and they have, as their only option, an old rickety WOODEN ladder with loose and broken slats they use when light bulbs need changing!

Jennifer Neil

Biker Babe said...

Ozboy - I thought it was the brown acid that was bad ...

just sayin

BB

OgdenLover said...

I'm sure the Mayor hasn't forgotten that the Firefighters supported Susie Van Hooser in the last Mayoral election.

Jennifer Neil said...

OL

I'm not running against the mayor, I'm running for City Council.

But, I'm sure you are right.

JN

Curmudgeon said...

JN:

You wrote:

"I'm not running against the mayor, I'm running for City Council."


Good. Exactly right.

Blaine Carl said...

Alice--do I have a pal here?

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