Thursday, November 12, 2009

Ooops! 3 Vacant Ogden Buildings NOT Ready

Let us hope that at least the news editors of the SE understand now just how easily they were played by the administration last month

By Curmudgeon

Have to hand it to the Standard-Examiner for putting on public display today the extent to which it got royally played by the Godfrey administration last month. You'd think the editors would be embarrassed:
3 vacant Ogden buildings not ready
If you recall, a couple of weeks before the Council election [in which Mayor Godfrey was strongly backing two candidates for open seats], the SE reported that the Mayor had announced that in a month or so [after the election] he hoped to announce that three new manufacturers' outlet stores would open on Washington Blvd. just across from The Junction. Or maybe only one. In any case, the city said it would not name the companies. This the SE inexplicably treated as a major news story, not as the Administration's attempt to run up support for its candidates in the approaching election. There really was no actual news in the story at all [Mayor announcing that he hoped to announce later three stores, or maybe one, none of which he would name, were coming to Ogden.]

Almost a month has now passed. The election is over. And do we see this morning that the mayor has announced what the SE dutifully reported three weeks ago that he announced that he hoped to announce?

Ah.... no. Today Mr. Schwebke reports there will be no announcement about three companies ---or maybe one --- opening outlet stores on Washington this year. Because the buildings the city is rehabbing for them won't be ready. We're told by administration sporkesmen that the Mayor's office had hoped the stores would be open for the Christmas shopping season, but, sadly, the buildings won't be ready in time.

So, we're supposed to believe that four weeks ago, the Administration expected the stores to be leased, stocked and open for the Christmas selling season [which begins in two weeks], but that now, only four weeks later, the administration has suddenly realized that not only will the stores not be leased and open for the Christmas selling season, they won't be ready for occupancy until sometime next year. Oooops! Sorry 'bout that.

Well, is the Godfrey administration at least willing tell us what stores have not signed the leases we were told the Mayor hoped to announce had been signed by now? Ah... no. In fact, now we're told there's no rush to sign leases or to announce the companies [allegedly] involved since the stores won't be ready for occupancy until sometime next year anyway. Maybe.

Let us hope that at least the news editors of the SE understand now just how easily they were played by the administration last month, and that they will be reluctant to run "Mayor announces he expects to announce" stories in the future.


Curious reader said...

I doubt that the 3 store announcements had much to do with the elections. After all, out of some what 35,000 registered voters, only 6000 voted? Too much apathy on both the voters' side and the candidates' side. And now's certainly the time when we need involvement at all levels.

But I agree, it does make one wonder what is going on upstairs, other than being true to form in making premature announcements about developments/projects that are basically in the beginning stages. The Mayor likes seeing cranes in the air and having things underway and I believe that that leads to more assumption than finalized reality.

It does, however, create publicity (some would call it news) and get or keep the good folks of Ogden talking about the progress and/or changes that are on the plate). This course is followed by many officials in cities across that country and isn't really so strange. When it happens, it happens, the completed project is celebrated and all the pre-publicity is usually forgotten.

A newspaper's job is to report the news, and announcements are certainly in that realm. Plus, it keeps bloggers, and those who dissent, busy. Where would you guys be without this stuff?

There are many stories in this city, 65000 of them as they say on TV, and this is but one of them. It would be nice, however, if one of these times we got the announcement that a project has been completed, signed, and is "in the can" when the time is right. To continue along this path really serves know purpose except to put the people on notice that work is going on. But it is questionable as to why the Adminstration chooses to publicise what in the end should be a positive but what, because of annoucements such as Curmudgeon has pointed out, dampens things and cause the citizens to say, "here we go again." It goes against the credibility of many good people who really do much positive work toward the growth of our city.

This can be said of both sides.

By the way, I missed reading the election cnvass results....what happened to Garcia?

ozboy said...

Mr. Curmudgeon

You wrote:

"Let us hope that at least the news editors of the SE understand now just how easily they were played by the administration last month, and that they will be reluctant to run "Mayor announces he expects to announce" stories in the future."

I doubt very seriously that this screw up is going to change anything at the Standard. Your comment pre-supposes that the Standard was indeed duped by Godfrey. I don't think that is the case at all. I think the Standard is, and has been for a long time now, in league with Godfrey and all of his sneaky game playing with the citizens of Ogden.

The Standard will continue to print drivel like this as long as the Suits of Sandusky keep draining cash out of Ogden thanks to the Godfreyites and their real estate and banking cronies.

Curmudgeon said...

Curious Reader

You wrote: "A newspaper's job is to report the news, and announcements are certainly in that realm."

While I'd agree that the Mayor's announcement that companies X, Y, and Z had signed leases for shops on Washington would be news, I disagree that an "announcement" [politely so called] announcing an intention to announce is news. Company names included? Yes, then even that would have been news. But with no names included, and nothing more stated than an intention to announce something, maybe, a month later? No.

As for impact on the election: it's precisely during off year low turnout elections that the swinging of just a relative handful of votes can make a significant difference. And I did notice that a major theme of both of the candidates for open seats strongly backed by the administration was "bring more business to Ogden." [They were more than a little fuzzy about how they were going to do that, but they both repeated the mantra "bring more business to Ogden" over and over and over again.

In light of which the Mayor's announcement that he hoped to announce that he was bringing more business to Ogden seemed to me then, and does still now, campaign-related. Otherwise hard to see why he'd announce an intention to announce that, today, his administration had to take back.

While picking someone up at the Greyhound stations this morning, I drove past the buildings. Anyone downtown today ought to, and be sure to look round back. They are no where near completion. Windows in some cases not in, interiors open to the air, construction dump trucks still collecting rip-out trash. Round back, huge holes and huge piles of sand in what I presume are parking areas. Hard to tell under all that sand.

I find it hard... no, impossible... given the state of the buildings today that any sentient being in the Administration believed four weeks ago that they'd be finished, leased, stocked and ready for Christmas shopping. Which raises, yet again, questions about the Administration's penchant for dissembling dishonesty when it serves not apparent purpose [other than a possible electoral one, I'd say].

In light of the state of the buildings this morning, the Administration's claim that it had hoped that three outlet stores would be in place and open there by Christmas is flat impossible to swallow.

Drive by and see what you think [and be sure to look round back].

street performer said...

The Standard Examiner got served? Again?

They better go back to culinary school, before they get used to it.

Speaking of old buildings said...

I saw this ad posted today.

For Sale:
Ownership in the Star Noodle building on historic 25th Street in Ogden, Utah. The Star Noodle building has been long associated with the historic 25th Street scene in Ogden. A few years ago, I joined a group of investors (Thaine Fischer) that purchased the building in hopes of restoring it's original beauty. But due to the economic times of the past 1.5 years, the length of the investment has been increased to an additional 3-4 years. My orginal plan was to use this money to send my son to college. Now I can't afford to stay in the Star Noodle and send my son to college at the same time. The building has plenty of promise with over 14,000 square feet of retail space. 2 blocks from the train station and in the heart of downtown Ogden. Ogden is a 20 minute drive to Snowbasin Ski Resort, home of the Olympic Downhill. And 30 minutes to Powder Mountain Ski Resort. Potential for City Council to approve a Gondala that would go from downtown Ogden up to Snowbasin! I have 2 shares for sale. Each share is worth $70,000. Shares can be split into $35,000. All details with the Operating Agreement can be shown if you're interested. Please contact me at or 425-353-1995.

Historic 25th Street

Star Noodle Building

XPPC said...

Star Noodle

"----- in hopes of restoring it's original beauty"

Yea ,right Nate -- my hearts bleeding for you. Send your boy to Weber State.

get real said...

Still singing the Gondola to Snow Basin song, what a joke still.

More bad lies from the administration and Economic Development rather than bad economy.

Curmudgeon said...

Nice catch, Get Real.

The the umpteenth time, Snow Basin management has said in plain, even blunt, terms and several times, it is not, repeat not, interested in an over-the-mountain gondola to Snow Basin resort.

At least the ad said "potential" instead of treating the Ogden-to-Snow Basin gondola as inevitable. That's progress of a sort, I guess.

Berman said...

must be sad telling your kid you blew his college fund on a Fisher fiasco

Ed J said...

2 shares equals $140,000.00

I wonder how many total shares were sold?

Curmudgeon said...

I'm sorry the investment didn't pan out for the guy. It would have been better for Ogden, not only the investors, if a viable business had opened on the site a long time ago. Instead, the investors tore the facade off the building, put the dragon sign in storage [I hope], and left upper Historic 25th Street with one of its biggest continuing eyesores.

I hope he finds a buyer, and that the investors entice a business to the site soon, if they cannot open one themselves. Ogden gains noting by having the property sitting there, sub-surface of the facade exposed to the elements, for still more years to come.

Have to admit, though, that my sympathies are a little diminished by the guy involved still flogging the Mayor's gondola obsession in his advert. And really, not even entirely honestly, since the bizarre double gondola scheme [one from downtown to WSU, city owned and operated, and another privately owned and operated from WSU to Malan's Basin] Hizzonah proposed would not have carried people from Ogden to Snow Basin.

Curious reader said...

Curmudgeon, given the election results, none of the "announcements" of the premature variety of which you so vehemeninently (sp?) complain seem to have done the Godfrey gang much good.

And, your eloguent but ad naseum writing explaining the subtleties of the newspaper can be boiled down to one point: a newspaper's job is to report the news, whatever the news may be, in a way that sells newspapers.

Professor, it's all about the bottom line. Don't be so surprised at any of this, either the announcements, the projects, the politics or what and how the newspaper tells the public about these stories. I agree, it's somewhat of a shame, but I think that's how it is, world wide to small town America.

What about Garcia? In or out?

Anonymous said...

Say not that Curm rephrases and parses until it makes you nauseous; instead, take responsibility for your own limited perception: "I am used to reading at an 8th grade level, have a short attention span and enjoy short sentences with little words. Indeed, say instead you only want to read the same 800 words you and your aquintances use daily.

Say also that anyone who does not use exclusively those same 800 words are "pedantic and highfalutin.

And then get back to work sodding my lawn.

CR said...

Hey Cook....I think Curmudgeon can defend himself. He doesn't need your pathetic attempt to impress by using such "highfalutin" vocabulary in such a weak attempt at humour.

Sod you, pal and then sod your own grass....if you have any.

Curmudgeon said...


Well, about its all being about the bottom line. Maybe so. But I'm a real mossback on newspapers. I think Jefferson got it right in thinking they [and "the press" more generally] are essential to the successful conduct of the public's business and the successful operation of a republic. Which means I look upon the job of reporter and, even more, of editor, as more of a high calling than merely a paycheck generator [though of course ideally the job will be both at the same time].

If you think it's a shame too that what used to be called "news judgment" might now not only influenced but determined by the bean counters, then you and I aren't very far apart on this matter at all.

Sounds like you've watched "The Front Page" a few too many times as well.

Anonymous said...

CR: I was wrong. I did not look close. It was 600 words that you use. Enough for you to get by, I am sure. Did not mean to talk big. Have a nice day.

Curious reader said...

Enjoy your weekend too, Cook. Let's see, I've used about a dozen words and have only 582 left. It's back to Vocabulary 101 for me. Sure glad you're keeping me in line....I've been so confused.

Curmudgeon, I too think we are closer to each other's views regarding a newspaper and the way it should be published. Years ago, Wm. Randolph Hearst offered a million bucks to the movie mogul who made "Citizen Kane," to not release the film. I point this out because, even back then, some were screwing around with the press, trying to effect the standards that are so essential to our 1st Amendment and a true press. I basically agree with your thoughts and premise regarding the Standard and its present publication methods. I probably should have mentioned this disparity so I didn't appear to justify how the Standard does its business. I was simply pointing out this "new" & present philosophy that seems to have permeated much to today's media.

We'll have to keep a watchful eye on the sons-of-bitches. I'm being serious here, as how and what we're told does effect our right to know and, I believe, runs contrary to what the framers of our Constitution intended.

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