Sunday, November 01, 2009

One Standard-Examiner Editorial Page Our WCF Readers Won't Want to Miss

If we didn't know better, we'd swear the Standard-Examiner is finally in touch with the true sentiments of the lumpencitizens of Emerald City

Fantastic Standard-Examiner editorial page today. We'll award today's editorial page effort a solid "A" grade. On second thought... let's make it an A+:

First, the editorial board rebounds from yesterday's disappointing performance and issues glowing recommendations for the two hands-down best qualified candidates for the two open At-large council seats:
OUR VIEW: Blair for Ogden council
OUR VIEW: Van Hooser for Ogden council
Next, the Standard carries this smashingly on-point guest commentary from outgoing Council At-large seat incumbent Dorrene Jeske. Ms. Jeske pulls no punches this morning, lambastes the big spending tendencies of Boss Godfrey and lays blame for council/administration problems (overblown as they are) exactly where it belongs... squarely in the secretive and uncommunicative Godfrey administration's lap:
Retiring councilwoman: Ogden needs a strong city council
Next in order, well shine the light on these two reader letters, which we'd swear (if we didn't know better) would demonstrate that the SE editorial board is truly in touch with the sentiments of the average Joes and Jills whose taxes pay Emerald City's bills:

Ogden resident Carolyn Becker capably expands upon Councilwoman Jeske's discussion of the bogus "lack of communication" issue, and then makes a strong pitch for the election of independent-minded council candidates:
Vote for Garcia, Blair and Van Hooser
And WCF readers won't want to miss Ogden resident Harland L. Genta's letter, which draws a strong contrast between the responsiveness of council incumbent Jesse Garcia, and his missing-in-action opponent Neil Garner, with respect to one recent Ward 1 neighborhood incident. Once again Councilman Garcia demonstrates (as he's done so many times in the past) his commitment to dealing with Ward 1 problems directly and decisively, whereas challenger Garner couldn't even be bothered to respond:
Garcia works to make neighborhood safe
We'd been wondering what kind of Ward 1 councilman Mr. Garner would make; and we do believe SE reader Harland Genta has helpfully provided us a most revealing forecast.

A Weber County Forum Tip O' The Hat to the Standard-Examiner, for putting together this great editorial page, for publication on the biggest circulation day remaining before Tuesday's election.

That's it for now.

Who will be the first to comment?

31 comments:

OgdenLover said...

It's pretty hard to comment when you are struck speechless! Kudos to the SE for their excellent selections today, giving Ms. Jeske a chance to voice her opinions, and the letter writers the same.

Dan S. said...

The Blair endorsement comes as no surprise. Even before Phipps was disqualified, his campaign was in serious trouble and it would have looked pretty bad for the paper to endorse him. Blair is also a political newcomer but he's very likable and he's run a solid, positive campaign.

The Van Hooser endorsement is today's big news. I predicted last week that the paper would endorse Hains, but after watching the interview videos yesterday I became uncertain. Van Hooser came across as so much more knowledgable and enthusiastic about serving the community. Hains had nothing interesting to say and acted like he didn't especially want the job.

Perhaps the editorial board also felt a bit guilty for the way they visciously (and inaccurately) attacked Van Hooser in their endorsement of Godfrey two years ago. This year, I see, they've avoided saying anything negative about the candidates they're not endorsing.

Meanwhile, I see they've thrown Godfrey a large bone by running another of his press releases as the top front-page story. They'll still get an angry call from him Monday morning, but now they can point to that article in their defense.

Strange Days said...

Wow, that's HIGH ADVENTURE.

Is it going in next to Ernest Health, or over by the Wal-Mart, or across from the hotel at the Junction?

Curmudgeon said...

Strange Days:

Hey, the story is good news for Ogden. Seems to me when the Mayor announces good news for the city --- not, you will not, announcing that he expects in a month or so to announce good news --- the right response is "Hey, damn, that is good news. Glad they're coming. We certainly will be happy to get the jobs in construction up front, and in operations after that, and the property tax revenues as well."

It's good news. Let's just say so and be glad.

Curmudgeon said...

You can see them stumbling around the streets this morning, mumbling to themselves, lost, distracted and confused. Their pole star has shifted, and the sun has risen in the west for them. For the Standard Examiner, which they've insisted for so long is really "The Gondola Examiner" which, they were certain, marched without missing a step to the beat of Mayor Godfrey's drum, and would not print a syllable, much less an endorsement, without the approval of a management and ownership they knew --- they just knew --- was solidly in the Mayor's pocket, has endorsed Ms. Van Hooser and Mr. Blair for Council seats.

And so they wander this morning, disbelieving, cast adrift, Wastach Arthur Koestlers....

disgusted said...

Dan S and Curm

i love the way godfrey tries to put a spin on everything. the headline story about the company QBP is more about bringing a warehousing operation to town than what was spun in the paper as being about another high adventure company coming to town. this company provides spare parts and accessories to bike shops around the country. its a warehousing operation period and its not going to be bringing high paying jobs to town.

one other observation. it would appear that the company is basically setting up in the bdo and yet the story was carefully worded not to point that out. wonder why that was if not to minimize the fact that it is a warehousing operation rather than a high adventure company. another words to supports godfreys spin.

were always happy to get more jobs in town but the city needs to be using the remaining space at the bdo to bring in high paying jobs not just warehousing operations. firms such as engineering companies or specialty manufacturing or high end repair facilities. operations that require highly skilled people that pay commensurate to those required skills.

not specific to this announcement but in general when will the administrations highly paid bd guys start earning their money and start finding companies that will actually be accretive to the administrations stated goal to bring high paying jobs to our community rather than just giving special deals to fom real estate developers or leasing out our remaining space at the bdo to warehousing operations.

Curmudgeon said...

Disgusted:

I'd just note that the terms under which the company got an incentive grant from the state [not city] were reported in the story [so many jobs at at least the agreed on minimum pay rate, etc.]

It's good news. The Mayor's statement itself put a little spin on it [high adventure hype], but the story itself did not. This was straight news reported as straight news.

I agree that the last Mayoral announcement "story" --- politely so called --- the SE ran was all hype and no substance, all hat and no cattle as they say. Remember what it [you should excuse the expression] "reported:" That Hizzonah announced that in a month or so he hoped to announce that three companies, or maybe one, none of which he would name, might be moving an outlet operation to public-rehabed buildings on Washington.

Today's story named the company involved, had company spokesmen confirming the news, gave details about the deal that had been struck, a location for the project and a date on which it would begin. This was real news, and it was good news for Ogden.

I was happy to read it. I'm glad they're coming. We can use the construction jobs up front, and the operation jobs a bit later, and the tax revenues it will put into the city's coffers.

It's just good news all around, and I see no point in not saying so.

Pat Dean said...

Maybe we need to take this news a little further.... You folks do understand that these extra parts need to be manufactured prior to being shipped all over kingdom come... This announcement will probably benefit the local machine shops and fabrication facilities that are in dire need of our support since the defence industry has slowed to a snails pace.

We are trully blessed to have more industry coming into town...

Kudo's to Ogden and to our State officals for getting QBP to expand their operation in our fair community...

Not GoogleGirl said...

Can anyone provide a link to this front page good news article that is being discussed?

Curmudgeon said...

Not Google Girl:

The link you want is here.

AWM said...

Pat..I doubt very seriously that it will bring any notable manufacturing base to Ogden. Except for the high end of cycling (customframes etc), almost everything is exclusively made overseas. BUT it is a good fit for Ogden spinning off the outdoor franchise. I wonder if parts will become cheaper in local shops because of shipping milage being almost nil.

disgusted said...

Pat Dean

although defense spending overall is coming down hill afb is unique in that its a maintenance and repair base. since everything in the air force that flies is mechanical they constantly need maintenance and repairs and upgrading with the newest technology. thus the impact on our local economy should be negligible even if the big picture in defense industry is slowing. another point being that the air force is doing more and more outsourcing and contracting for services so companies that provide these services at hill afb could be recruited to establish in ogden.

one other point is that as the baby boomers that have worked out there for years are now retiring the base has been in a constant hiring mode as of late. these new hires should be encouraged to move into ogden and with the right incentives inner city ogden. of course this would require a real effort on behalf of the city to reduce the crime rather than simply manipulating the data to show a reduction. better inner city schools would also be required as well. hopefully if you are successful in your bid for city council you can have an opportunity to make a difference. understand that we have to have an attractive product if we expect anyone to buy it.

Curmudgeon said...

Ahem.

Whether Hill is hiring or not, whether defense spending it ticking up or down, whether boomers are retiring or hanging onto their jobs, fifty jobs coming to Ogden that are not here now, in an out-door sports related business that has no facilities now, is a good thing.

No need to over-analyze this. It's a good thing for Ogden. Period.

OgdenLover said...

At least it's not Ogden City's $$, but The state is providing QBP a $2.1 million incentive package over 10 years to assist its relocation to Ogden, said Brown.

As far as I can tell, this is the first time in the article that "Brown" is mentioned. Which Brown might this be?

Ogden Dem said...

I do like the way McConkie said, "The proposed site for QBP's distribution facility includes portions of adjoining parcels owned separately by the city and Ogden School District off 12th Street east of the Ogden Nature Center," when NO ONE from the city has contacted the School Board or the school district regarding this project.

Strange Days said...

Curm:

Actually, we should over-analyze it.

A $2.1 million incentive (over 10 years) to provide 50 jobs is $4200 per job per year. Maybe that's worth it, in terms of the money that comes to Ogden as a result of the plant. Maybe not. I think it's worth discussing.

Further, you know as well as I do that the Godfrey Administration has announced, with great fanfare, "plans" such as this only to have the entire "plan" vaporize several days later, right after the election.

If you go back and look at the announcements of similar projects in the S-E, you'll see an amazing similarity in the structure of the announcement.

In short, I'm happy if the jobs arrive, but I'll believe it when I see it and not a moment sooner. We've been burned before. In fact, we've been burned about every damn time Godfrey makes one of his half-baked announcements.

Fool me once, etc.

Monotreme said...

OgdenLover:

Quoting from the article:
...Kim Brown, director of distribution for QBP, said. While constructing the new facility, QBP will temporarily lease a building in Clearfield, she said.

Dan S. said...

Curm, Strange, et al.,

I agree that if this deal goes through, it's good news.

I also agree that we should thoroughly analyze it.

What especially caught my eye was this: "...anticipates signing a formal purchase agreement next month..." In other words, nobody has yet signed on the dotted line. We've seen plenty of similarly announced deals, with comparable specificity, fall through in recent years. Ashton Square and Ernest Health especially come to mind. This makes me wonder why the announcement is being made now, rather than when the deal is actually finalized. I think the answer is obvious, and the Standard-Examiner played right along rather than making the article less prominent or delaying it until Wednesday.

Ole said...

This late in the game endorsement smacks of ambush electioneering, especially as it concerns the Standard and it's history of supporting the Godfreyites. They caught the Grand Godfrey Vision early, got themselve's invested in that vision, made out real well on their new digs at the BDO and they have a lot of income from the same sources that support that Godfrey Vision. The concept sounds reasonable, but the bizarre part of this particular vision is having a penny arcade and day glow bowling alley as the anchor of a mega million dollar commercial redo of down town.

Course now it was just citizen's money that was laid on the line for this wild and crazy vision that included turning the tax payers of Ogden into high risk venture capitalist with out them ever knowing jack about the risk they were having laid on their wallets. In the beginning it was all done with tons of unkept promises, smoke & mirrors and the rubber stamp council of the time. The Standard was a big booster of the vision even though their own polls of the time showed a fairly significant majority of the citizens didn't think it was such a great idea.

The top Standard guy down there in them fancy new digs is what we home boys think of as a "Suit from Sandusky", or just "Suit" for short. He calls all the shots in all the paper, so the Standard's editorial and news pretty much reflects him and his wishes. He is strongly motivated to send as many dollars a month as he possibly can on back to Sandusky. The business of the news business is under assault and many papers are fighting for their very lives. Fortunately for the Standard, and Ogden, they seem to be holding their own and even edging up in their numbers of late, so this Suit is sort of shining these days in that regard.

However, his endorsing candidates, especially late in the game when they control the medium - and the ones so un-endorsed don't have much chance for rebuttal - is pretty "chicken s____" in my opinion. I feel it throws a shadow over all the good stuff the big Suit and his troops are doing - as reflected in their improved numbers.

I think that their split endorsements - two for the Godfreyites and two for the Sanity Seekers side - was a safe way to squeak by the predicament they got themselves into with this endorsement stuff. The guys around these parts that contribute a lot of money to the Standard's bottom line in one fashion or another - the developers, bankers and real estate guys - most likely put a bit of pressure on the "Suit" to dish them up a full four sweet tasting ambush endorsements for the Godfreyite slate - Hains, Phipps, Garner and ? The same folks that donated all that big money to these Godfrey guys are the same ones most likely to be buying ad time in the Standard.

On the other hand there are the Crusaders for honest and sane city government, the "Sanity Seekers", who want the "Suit" to finally look in the mirror, ask hisself the real question, come to his senses and have the paper endorse the whole sanity ticket of VanHooser, Blair, Garcia and ?

So I see this split endorsement as a slight awakening to reality on the part of the Main Suit at the Standard. He still wants to hold on to the ever so slim possibilty that the Grand Godfrey Vision will still come true, some dreams die hard you know. But he, being obviously a damn smart man, has to see the truth marching firmly on with the ethically challenged and completely incompetent Godfreyites squarely in its sites. So I think the man hedged his bets and gave two to each side. I guess that makes the Suit guy a sort of real Solomon now. Some of us Sanity Seekers had him figured only as the foundation of the Solomon Center, but with this turn of events I guess he is actually both.

Curmudgeon said...

Sorry, Dan, but the company being named, the state willing to announce the incentive plan and its provisions, and the matter being confirmed by a company spokesman is enough to qualify this as news.

As for the timing of the announcement, not sure that was controlled by the Mayor of the state, but lats say it was the Mayor. One of the perks you get for being elected an exec [mayor, governor, president] is very often you get to time announcements of public projects. Kind of comes with the territory. I'd do it too if I were Mayor.

What doesn't have to happen, though, is for newspapers to go along with everything you put out as legitimate news. This one was [reasons above]. The previous one about the mayor announcing he was hoping to announce in a month or so that three or maybe on company, un-named, might locate on Washington Blvd. was not news.

But this one was news, because it was corroborated by the company involved and the state. I'd have printed this one too. But not the last one.

Danny said...

Companies come and go all the time.

So what?

How come when the city runs off Bubba's Trailers it's not news, but when some warehousing operation is thinking about coming here, it is news?

It seems a week ago Godfrey managed to crow about another "possible move in" that he had nothing to do with and was only a pipe dream, and which was such a non-event that I can't even remember the specifics of it.

It's election time, and Godfrey is trying to play the electorate, which he views as dumb.

People can listen to him, and the paper, or they can look at all the vacant lots and "available" signs after 10 years of Godfrey and borrow and spend crony politics.

Stephen M. Cook said...

Paying a prostitute for a night out is not scoring with a hot chick, and paying a company to move here is not bringing businesses to Ogden.

Get over yourself, Mr. Godfrey. You are just a John, not a Casanova.

Dan S. said...

Curm:

I'm not arguing that the S-E should have ignored the story. But they should have treated it differently. Rather than just printing a warmed-over press release at the top of the Sunday front page, two days before the election, they should have taken the time to dig a little deeper and made sure that there isn't more to the story--and then printed it in the Business section where it belongs.

Curmudgeon said...

Dan:

To which I imagine the SE management might reply that it would be nice in these parlous times to have the staff to permit digging into such stories just to see if maybe there might be something more to them. But I doubt that the SE [almost no paper at the moment] has the luxury of a newsroom large enough that it can assign reporters to rummage around press release stories like this one "just to see" if there's something else. And the SE, as I recall, did contact the company rep for comments.

You want to thump the SE for its news judgment, so called, in not following up the mysterious making-available by the City of the Junction for a political fundraiser, the money from which found its way into campaign activities for the Mayor and Mr. Johnson, I'm with you. You want to question the SE's news judgment in not jumping on the Hains campaign accepting money laundered the local branch of the realtors lobby story, count me aboard.

But I think the SE handled the bike distribution warehouse story about right. As for its placement in the paper, well, the business section of the SE is much attenuated these days --- sometimes I have to hunt to find it. And at a time when unemployment nationwide is nudging 10% and unemployment in Utah is pushing 8%, I think news that 50 jobs are on the way merits more prominent placement than the tiny business section.

I'd have put it front page TOU section. And if I'd had it in hand Saturday, I'd have run it today. Deliberately delaying the story until after the election wouldn't strike me as right.

Dan S. said...

Curm:

I would agree that the S-E shouldn't be expected to devote large amounts of staff time to every article that's based on a press release. But if they're going to run the article at the top of the front page (or even the top of the TOU section), that's different.

And they didn't contact the company rep for comments: the article says that those comments came from a prepared statement. Probably prepared by the city. Godfrey's comments were also from a prepared statement (probably the same one). Only the comments of the GOED fellow weren't attributed to a prepared statement.

Bill C. said...

Dear Curm, the gondola examiner had no choice but to endorse Susie, the other candidate offers nothing of value to the residents of Ogden. They did however show their lying little matty leanings and further promoted his make believe issue of inadequate communication at the end of their endorsement.
Their commenting on being a roadblock represents their efforts to futher disrepect the current Council and those running for re-election without endorsement as well as diminishing the body of their endorsement.
It's still the gondola examiner.

Curmudgeon said...

Bill:

You wrote: "Dear Curm, the gondola examiner had no choice but to endorse Susie, the other candidate offers nothing of value to the residents of Ogden."

Sorry, Bill, but that's nonsense. The SE editorial board could have endorsed whomever it pleased for whatever reasons pleased it, or for not reason at all. The efforts of the "It's the Gondola Examiner and it obey's Godfrey's orders" crowd to save their theory following the endorsements of Blair and Van Hooser is beginning to sound a bit like creationists' desperate attempts to save their "flood geology" theories in the face of the evidence proving it to be nonsense.

The paper leans to the Administration more often than I would like. And its news judgment leaves, too often, much to be desired. But the simplistic view that it's really "The Gondola Examiner" and reports to the 9th floor for orders every day just will not stand up on the evidence. As most simplistic theories don't.

Sid the Science Kid said...

Note: Pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate.
When competing hypotheses are equal in other respects, select the hypothesis that introduces the fewest assumptions and postulates the fewest entities while still sufficiently answering the question.

Curmudgeon said...

Bill;

Allow me to add that the SE did make the right decision in endorsing Ms. Van Hooser, and for the reasons you give. My only point was, they did not have to do that.

Remember, this is the editorial board that endorsed Hizzonah for re-election last time, when the sounder choice in my view was just as plain and obvious as it was this time. Yet then, the SE went the other way.

They did have a choice in the matter, Bill, just as they did last time. Only difference is, this time they made the right choice.

Bill C. said...

Curm, I was mostly concerned about the finish of the endorsement. I haven't outright accused the gondola examiner of taking orders from lying little matty though on occassion we sometimes wonder.
Of all their endorsements this has been the only one with cautionary verbage, one can only assume to appease the lying ticket.

Get real said...

Ogden Dem: how do you know that "NO ONE from the city has contacted the School Board or the school district regarding this project." Are you privy to all personell from both the City and the School District?

Ole: So, if I read you right the Quality Bike announcement being "electioneering," according to you, means that after reading the article, voters will now vote for the pro-Godfrey candidates?

Gee-Zust, you guys are nuts!

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