Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Salt Lake Tribune: Two Vacant Houses Burned at Ogden Riverfront

Godfrey denies he'd promised area residents would be notified before the burn

By Curmudgeon

Tuesday's SLTrib is running a story by Kathy McKitrick on the burning of the two Leshemville slum houses that is considerably more detailed than the story that ran Saturday in the SE:
Two vacant houses burned at Ogden Riverfront
The Trib story reports that the Godfrey administration did not inform the Council that the burn would happen, about which the Council leadership is "disappointed." McKitrick reports that no one outside the fire department and the city's risk management people were aware in advance that the burn would take place. Mayor Godfrey said he didn't know when the burn was going to happen either --- he doesn't sweat the small stuff --- and he denied that he'd promised area residents would be notified before the burn.

McKitrick reported the Ogden FD chief insisting that this was both a training burn and a burn to assess the costs of demolition by fire. And she got Chief Mathieu to concede that no water --- no water --- was applied to the two burning buildings. The Trib reporter then went further, not simply accepting the Chief's account as complete. She talked to another experienced veteran fireman, who doubted much worthwhile training happens when firemen do not even enter a burning structure, as they did not in the Ogden burn.

A very interesting story, from several angles, and an illustration of what reporting that goes beyond accepting the word of official spokespersons can do for readers.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Speaking of Mindless Obama Bashing

Presenting people with facts won't quell the cries of presidential illegitimacy, research suggests

By Ozboy

And speaking of mindless Obama bashing, there is an excellent article on the phenom on CNN entitled:
"Why Obama is not first 'imposter' president and won't be the last"
One of several great money quotes:
Presenting people with facts won't quell the cries of presidential illegitimacy, research suggests.
A series of studies conducted at the University of Michigan in 2006 showed that political partisans, when exposed to facts that corrected their assumptions, rarely changed their minds. They actually held even tighter to their assumptions.
Another wise sage (can’t quite remember who) said it this way:
People are drawn to the echo chamber, and they want to have their opinions validated more often than they want to have their opinions challenged.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Standard-Examiner: Two Ogden Homes Torched for Firefighter Training

Just like his Boss, it appears that Chief Mathieu's word is no good

If you've been hacking, coughing and wheezing since yesterday morning, this morning's Standard-Examiner story provides the likely cause:
Two Ogden homes torched for firefighter training
This brings to mind this July 7, 2010 Std-Ex story, in which Ogden Fire Chief Mike Mathieu first publicly proposed torching Gadi Leshem's 40 derelict Ogden Riverfront properties. Among Chief Mathieu's assurances set forth within his initial 7/7/10 proposal:
Mathieu said multiple homes could be burned at once. Burning would take place when smoke would dissipate properly. Area residents would be notified in advance of the fires, he said [presumably while his lips were moving].
Just like his constantly dissembling Boss, it's evident that Chief Mathieu's word is no good, either.

We received the following missive from one of our gentle readers earlier this morning, in reference to Jessica Miller's above-linked morning story (among other reader complaints):
What sort of deal if any was struck with the mayor?
What sort of notification occurred for area residents?
What pollutants were monitored and by what method?
Is risk management personnel qualified to conduct environmental testing and monitoring?
What funds are going to be used to finish the demolition?
When are other homes going to be burned?
What were the costs associated with additional fire department and risk management staffing?
When can the Council expect a copy of the press release?
Can you tell I am livid???
So many questions... so few answers.

Who will be the first to comment?

Salt Lake Tribune: Historic Downtown a Train Ride Away

Very good ink for Ogden and worth a look

By Curmudgeon

Some very good ink for Ogden in the SL Trib this morning. Long feature piece headlined Ogden: Historic Downtown a Train Ride Away. It recommends downtown Ogden as a good choice for a quick get-away weekend night from SL City via Frontrunner: "Ogden • The idea for a weekend getaway proved surprisingly simple, satisfying and inexpensive." [The story tactfully does not mention that thanks to Mayor Godfrey and the Historic 25th Street Association, UTA buses no longer carry passengers from the Ogden Frontrunner station to Historic 25th Street.The story suggests walking. It does quote UTA spokesman Gerry Carpenter happily reporting that people coming to Ogden by train "walk over to 25th Street.” Of course they do, Mr. Carpenter. Your buses don't go there anymore. Interesting business plan you have going there, Mr. Carpenter: encouraging people to walk instead of riding UTA transit.]

The story lists attractions, restaurants, hotels, the Farmers Market, clubs, museums, the Junction... all sorts of things but a train ride away from Salt Lake City. And it includes, unfortunately, the usual nonsense about Ogden people having an inferiority complex about where they live, being themselves either unaware of or surprised at what Ogden has to offer by way of weekend fun. [Note: the story does not mention "high adventure" as one of them.] This time the "inferiority complex" tripe comes from Rich Koski, director of sales for the Weber County Visitors and Convention Bureau. Another odd inclusion: the man whose job it is to boost Ogden to visitors telling a reporter people who live here don't think much of the place. Interesting marketing strategy you've got going there, Mr. Koski.

Long section on the Farmers Market, apparently Utah's second largest [after Salt Lake City]. Sadly, this year I've had to travel Frontrunner from Ogden to Salt Lake City to get to the Farmers Market there since no one at the Ogden Market this year is selling yellows sweet corn, one of the great joys of summer. So I travel down to Salt Lake City's market instead.

But I digress. The Trib article is very good ink for Ogden and worth a look. It also contains a good suggestion for UTA, I think: that it ought to institute limited Sunday service: a morning train, an afternoon train and an evening train.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Why There Are No Jobs in America

The system's completely stacked against the small-time business sector

By Local Entrepreneur

Speaking of economic development blunders, here's somethin' ya'll ought to be thinkin' about:
This is why there are no jobs in America
The system's completely stacked against the small-time business sector, those of us who've traditionally provided 80% of the jobs in America.

Friday, August 27, 2010

More Boss Godfrey Economic Development Blunders

Other Utah cities kick Godfrey and his "A" team's ass in the real world of economic development!

By Ozboy

In a comment yesterday I noted that our fabulous biz wiz Godfrey let another high tech company with a high payroll slip away to Layton while he was busy patting himself on the back over bringing another 5 man ski company headquarters to his high adventure fantasy town of Ogden. In the same article is another high tech outfit with 50 high paying jobs going to Layton. Apparently our globe trotting mayor was too busy unsuccessfully trying to entice some Mexican chichas outfit to Ogden to make a play for this serious high tech outfit that Layton scored.

Once again Layton's Administration kicks Godfrey and his "A" teams ass in the real world of economic development! Story here:
Applied Industrial Technologies moving to Layton, closer to HAFB
Ogden gets a few "high adventure" crumbs falling off other cities tables while Layton, Orem, Draper, etc get the big companies with big payrolls.

To continue with my comment of yesterday, wherein I pointed out the complete incompetence of Mayor Godfrey in attracting and keeping high end employers in Ogden - I point out this info from this morning's Tribune Money section about California companies coming to Utah:
California businesses lured to Utah by friendly business climate
In recent months there was the following:
• Adobe systems to build $100 million facility in Orem and hire more than 1,000 new employees
• Twitter to relocate their data center to Salt Lake.
• Electronic Arts opens new plant with 100 employees
• EBay to build a $287 million dollar facility in Draper
• Oracle to resume construction of large data center which will create over 100 new jobs.
Compare that with the dismal record of the Wizard of Ogden:

Hart Ski company to move 6 employees (no new local hires) to Ogden:
Hart ski/snowboard company relocating headquarters, distribution operations to Ogden
Perhaps this is why Godfrey & gang are the laughing stock of the Economic Development World!

Standard-Examiner: 46 Acre Bike Park Suddenly Pops Up Along the East Bench

Looks like another classic Boss Godfrey "stealth maneuver"

Earlier in the month gentle reader Fireman Joe submitted a query about a new bike park which was apparently being constructed by Ogden City at the top of 9th street. The Standard-Examiner now offers more info on this heretofore mysterious 46 acre project this morning, including the revelation that Ogden City "will lease the property for a nominal fee":
Come On, Take a Freeride
Looks like another classic Boss Godfrey "stealth maneuver."

Further queries:

1) Have either the City Council or the planning commission been notified of this?
2) If not; why not?

Who will be the first to chime in?

Standard-Examiner: Discount Vouchers Mailed With Water Bills

The SE has dropped the ball on a Godfrey administration story yet again

By Curmudgeon

The Standard Examiner has dropped the ball on a Godfrey story yet again. This morning's paper runs a brief story by Scott Schwebke regarding the coupon for businesses in the Historic 25th Street Association that arrived, postage paid by Ogden City, at every home in Ogden City this month, in the City's utilities bill envelopes. Yes, that's right: advertising for private businesses delivered by the city free of charge to 24,000 Ogden homes:
Discount vouchers mailed with water bills
But only for some private businesses, of course. Asked why the City was sending ads out free for only some private businesses, postage paid by the city --- those associated with the Historic 25th Street Association --- the Mayor's mouthpiece, CAO "Pureheart" Patterson, replied that it was OK, because the Historic 25th Street Association had "co-sponsored" public events with the city. The utilities envelopes in the past had included advertising for WSU events for example, he said.

OK, fair enough. If an organization [or I presume public body, like WSU] organizes a public event or co-sponsors one with the city [like Mountain to Metro or the Ogden Art Fest], including promotional flyers for those events, naming the sponsors, can be included in the city utilities envelope. Seems reasonable to me.

Of course, the advertising that arrived this time did not promote any co-sponsored event or public event at all. It was simply an advertising piece for some, but not all, businesses on Historic 25th Street. Did Mr. Schwebke ask why advertising that related in no way to any co-sponsored event was sent out on the city's dime this time? He did not.

Marketing for the Historic 25th Association is Mr. Thaine Fischer. That name should ring a bell with WCF readers and even with SE readers. Mr. Fischer is a long-time political supporter of Mayor Godfrey and a major contributor to he re-election campaign. $2000 last time round I think.

One of the reasons newspapers assign reporters to beats is so that, over time, they become familiar with the players and the landscape and so can make connections that others might miss. Did Mr. Schwebke inquire about Mr. Fischer's long and close association with the Godfrey administration? Did he even wonder if this was a case of returning a political favor to a long time FOM [Friend of Matt]? Crony government in action? Apparently not.

Did Mr. Schwebke ask how many of the directors and key players in the Historic 25th Street Association were contributors to the Mayor's re-election campaigns? Apparently not.

So, what seems to have happened? The marketing director for the Historic 25th Merchants Association, tight with the Mayor, a major campaign supporter and contributor, arranged for his merchants, and his alone, to have their advertising distributed free of charge by Ogden City to 24,000 Ogden homes, even though the advertising was not for any co-sponsored city/merchants association event. And in covering the story, the SE does not so much as mention Mr. Fischer's close association [personal and financial] with the Godfrey administration, nor does it even ask whether other key players in the merchants association getting their ads delivered free by the city have been contributors to the mayor's campaign. Nor did it ask why, if promoting co-sponsored events free by the city is OK, this particular ad, which was unrelated to any co-sponsored event, was sent out free by the city? No.

This was not good reporting. The SE has dropped the ball on a Godfrey administration story yet again.

Not good work, guys. Not good work at all.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Standard-Examiner Editorial: OUR VIEW: Education VS. States' Rights

We're scratching our heads wondering why there are at least a few in the legislature who would draw the line at accepting federal money intended to aid Utah schoolchildren

Following up on Charlie Trentelman's 8/21/10 column, the Standard-Examiner carries a fine editorial this morning, lambasting the handful of Utah legislative ideologues who've been engaging in legal maneuverings to turn down $101 million in federal aid for the Utah public school system:
OUR VIEW: Education vs. states' rights
On August 17, 2010, the Salt Lake Tribune reported that the State of Utah has already lapped up $3 billion in federal stimulus money; so we confess we're scratching our heads wondering why there are at least a few in the legislature who would suddenly draw the line at accepting federal money intended to aid Utah schoolchildren. In view of the massive stimulus infusion that's already been accepted by the Utah legislature, it seems to us it's a little late in the game to be compaining of the taint of another $101 million in federal earmark money, which in the big picture amounts to a relatively insignificant drop in the bucket.

We sometimes have difficulty figuring out the Utah legislative wingnut mind. Perhaps a few of our WCF readers can provide us some insight into the politically correct wingnut perspective on this.

Feel free to chime in on this topic, or treat this as an open topic thread.

Update 8/27/10 9:47 a.m.: Thanks to the following comment from Gentle Reader James, we now have some insight into our legislators' seemingly odd behavior:
Federal education funds grant will lead to tax increases

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Important Council/RDA Sessions Set For This Evening - UPDATED

A full slate of important items are on the various agendas

Here's a heads up concerning this evening's RDA and city council sessions, wherein the Council/RDA has a full slate of important items on the various agendas:

The council will first meet at 5:00 p.m. for a study session, followed by a 6:00 RDA meeting and a City Council session following immediately thereafter. Among the items to be considered by the Council/RDA bodies will be these matters, which have been extensively discussed on Weber County Forum at various times in the recent past:
1) Proposed Property Conveyance by Donation to St. Anne’s Center, Inc. Proposed Resolution 2010-14, determining the adequacy of consideration to be received for City Property at 3300 South and Pacific Avenue. (Adopt/not adopt resolution.
2) East Washington Urban Renewal Project Area Plan. Proposed Ordinance 2010-30, Adopting the Urban Renewal Project Area Plan dated June 21, 2010 and entitled East Washington Urban Renewal Project Area Plan. (Adopt/not adopt ordinance.
3) Fiscal Year 2010-2011 Budget and Capital Improvement Plan Amendment. Proposed Ordinance 2010-29, amending the budget and Capital Improvement Plan for the Fiscal Year July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011 by increasing the anticipated revenues and transfers for gross increases of $3,321,379 from sources as detailed in the body of this ordinance; increasing the appropriations for a gross increase of $3,321,379 as detailed in the body of this ordinance; reallocating Capital Improvement Funds for improvements to the Union Station.
The pertinent Council/RDA packets are available for viewing here:
City Council Study Session Public Meeting Agenda Packet
Redevelopment Agency Agenda Packet
Pertinent WCF background information for Item #1 can be found here; and our discussion of item #3, which involves (among other things) allocation of $564,000 for the Leshemville demolition, can be reviewed here.

We'd also like to direct particular attention to Item #2, a subject which has also received considerable attention here on WCF. Despite dire national economic conditions, Boss Godfrey's East Washington Urban Renewal Project Area Plan seems to be nevertheless moving forward at full steam; and it appears that the council may be leaning toward taking the crucial step of approving the plan and related budget tonight. As to this latter item, we'll be hoping that the council will act with due caution and prudence. Now is NOT the time, as we've said before, to enter into another risky multi-million dollar urban renewal project. Hopefully, if the Council does take the bait, and approves the East Washington Urban Renewal Project Area Plan, our City Council will have the wisdom to inform Boss Godfrey that plan approval does not provide our eager little borrow-and-spend mayor a green light for another round of reckless bonding.

We'll keep this thread open for any readers who'd like to submit post meeting reports; and we would of course be delighted if any reader might be willing (dare we hope) to live blog.

That's it for now, gentle readers. We'll keep the lights on and wait to see how it all shakes out.

Update 8/25/10 8:15 a.m.: Ace Reporter Schwebke offers this brief post-meeting story, reporting that the RDA/ Council took the bait, and approved the East Washington Urban Renewal Project Area Plan, by a slim 4-3 vote:
City officials OK urban renewal plan for four-block downtown Ogden area
Curiously, Mr. Schwebke reports that the urban renewal plan "includes language that prevents the RDA from using eminent domain to obtain property in the Project Plan Area;" yet our own examination of enabling ordinance 2010-30 (see City Council Study Session Public Meeting Agenda Packet) reveals these explicit provisions:
Section 6. Acquistion of Property. The condemnation of real property is provided for in the Project Area Plan. The agency may acquire real property within the Project Area by the use of the power of eminent domain, in accordance with the applicable principles of law.
Thus we're left in a condition of extreme cognitive dissonance, wondering whether a) Mr. Schwebke muffed his report, or b) the Council RDA amended the proposed ordinance to remove the power of eminent domain from the final Project Area Plan.

Perhaps one of our readers who attended last night's meeting can set the record straight on this aggravating discrepancy.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that the Council also approved the donation of the five acre parcel to the St. Anne's Shelter:
Ogden accepts land for shelter
No word yet on the proposed allocation of funds toward the Leshemville demolition.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Dan's Diary: Textbook Prices

College students, parents of college students and college perfessers are encouraged to give Dan's article a good long look

Fantastic article up on Dan's Diary this morning, leapfrogging off Mark Saal's Sunday column:
Textbook Prices
College students, parents of college students and college perfessers are encouraged to give Dan's article a good long look.

Standard-Examiner: Ogden to Decide on Donation of Land for Shelter

A pattern of back room decision-making with our current council which resembles that of the infamous Gang of Six Council of 2005?

The Standard-Examiner reports this morning on the latest development in the St.Anne's Shelter standoff. Here's the story lede:

OGDEN -- The city council may decide Tuesday night whether it's in the public's best interest to donate about five acres of municipal property to St. Anne's Center for construction of a multimillion-dollar homeless shelter.
Last week Mayor Matthew Godfrey agreed to convey land at 33rd Street and Pacific Avenue to St. Anne's, contingent on the city council determination that the donation serves the public.
Read the full story here:
Ogden to decide on donation of land for shelter
Interesting case of mission creep here. Whereas St. Anne's and the Administration were talking about a "land swap" a little more than a year ago, this project has now morphed into a "land grant," whereby the five acre 33rd Street and Pacific Avenue target property would be transferred free and clear by the Ogden City taxpayers to St. Anne's via a charitable donation. Under terms of the agreement spelled out in this morning's Scott Schwebke story, St. Anne's will hold onto the old Wall Avenue property, and lease it out to provide further St. Anne's revenue.

Gotta hand it to the St. Anne's Board of Directors, who've apparently cut a sweet deal which even puts Friend of Matt Gadi Leshem to shame. Looks like its a done deal with the city council too, if we are to believe council spokesman Janene Eller-Smith:

The City council supports the donation to St. Annes's, said Janene Eller-Smith, a council analyst.
We don't know whether this arrangement is a good idea or not; but we will express our displeasure with the city council, which appears to have signed onto this plan without any public comment or deliberation. Maybe its just us, but we'd like to register our concern that we may be seeing a pattern of back room decision-making with our current council which resembles that of the infamous Gang of Six Council of 2005. That council operated with limited transparency and thus produced results that didn't work out well. We thus hope we're not seeing a true recurrence of that pattern here.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

America Won the Cold War But Now Is Turning Into the USSR, Gerald Celente Says

The "merger of state and corporate interests" (fascism) is mentioned

There's a lot of talk these days about America being an empire in decline. Gerald Celente, director of the Trends Research Institute, goes a step further, arguing America is following a similar path as the former Soviet Union:

The "merger of state and corporate interests" (fascism) is mentioned. Pay especial attention to that.

We'll have more about that here on Weber County Forum in the days to come.

Meanwhile check out the above eye-opening video.

Wake up, people!

More Shoot-Yourelf-In-The-Foot Silliness Eminating from The Halls of the Utah Legislature

Great editorial from the SL Trib editorial board this morning with a pithy and straight to the point retort

More shoot-yourelf-in-the-foot silliness eminating from the halls of the Utah Legislature, as Utah's legislative wing-nut faction consults with legal council to devise a crackpot strategy to turn down $101 million in federal education aid:
Utah may sue to keep from taking fed money
Yep, it's the same gang of legislative knuckleheads, i.e., House Speaker David Clark, Senate Majority Leader Scott Jenkins, Rep. Carl Wimmer, et al., ideologues first and foremost, demonstrating once again zero contact with economic reality.

Great editorial from the SL Trib editorial board this morning with this pithy and straight to the point retort:
Shut up and take the money
Don't let the cat get your tongues, O Gentle Ones.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Standard-Examiner: KoKoMo Club Celebrates Fifty Years On Two-Five Drive

Five Giant Weber County Forum Hat Tips to Eddie and Cindy... one each for each decade of Two-Five Drive dedication

Fantastic writeup in today's Standard-Examiner, thanks to Std-Ex reporter Linda East Brady:

Here's the Go Kokomo front cover, which features KoKoMo Club owners Eddie Simone and his lovely wife Cindy Simone, friends of your blogmeister, and friends of dang near everyone else in Ogden City:
Std-Ex GO! section Front Cover
And here's the Std-Ex main story, dedicated to celebration of the KoKoMo's fifty years as a 25th Street Ogden Business Icon:
For fifty year in Ogden... There's a place called KoKoMo
Last but least, here's a fantastic human interest story, which goes a long way toward explaining what the KoKoMo Ogden historical legacy is all about:
Hotel goes up in flames; mural has a backstory
Five Giant Weber County Forum Hat Tips to Eddie and Cindy... one each for each decade of Two-Five Drive dedication.

Don't miss the KokoMo Fiftieth Anniversary Celebration on Saturday. Don't be surprised if you find your blogmeister there, wearing the usual Giant Hawaiian Shirt with the ubiquitous Pink Carnation.

Standard-Examiner: Ogden: Massive Burn Off / Cost of Asbestos Removal Nixes Idea For Removing Homes

Personally, we're against burning down Ogden

This morning's Standard-Examiner delivers the latest news regarding Boss Godfrey's Leshemville Fire Demolition Plan. The SE headline tells the story succinctly... more or less:
Ogden: Massive burn off / Cost of asbestos removal nixes idea for removing homes
There are several factors which evidently influenced the City's apparent change of plans:

1) It turns out the projected cost savings didn't shake out as expected:
It will cost about the same to demolish the homes as setting them on fire because of the increased expense from asbestos removal under the burn scenario, said Jonny Ballard, the city's community development manager.
The price tag for both methods is estimated at about $545,000, he said.
2) And reading between the lines, there's the whole public health issue, as expressed in this eloquent Councilwoman Amy Wicks quote:
"It doesn't matter if it's four or nearly 40 (vacant homes), it's simply a very bad idea from a public health and public perception standpoint, and the potential cost savings for incineration instead of demolition are negligible," Councilwoman Amy Wicks wrote in an e-mail to the Standard-Examiner.
"If Ogden City is dealing with the problem for the property owner, we should be concerned solely with completing the task in the safest and most acceptable way possible, not putting the health of our residents and positive image of our community at risk to save a property owner who did not address the issue in a timely manner."
And focusing further on the public health issue, be sure to read Dr. Brian Moench's sobering SE Guest Commentary, (from which Mr. Schwebke lifts a couple of paragraphs within his above-linked morning story), which really ought to be considered the frosting on the cake:
Don't burn Ogden houses
Taking Dr. Moench's evidence into account, we're relieved somebody finally got around to contacting an expert.

Weirdly enough, and even in light of the above evidence however, it appears the Godfrey Administration (and Council Chair Gochnour [?]) still remain dead set to torch at least two of the derelict properties, (and possibly as many as eight.)

As far as the issue of torching even a single of these properties, we'll go along with Councilwoman Van Hooser on this:
"Personally, I'm against burning down Ogden," [Van Hooser] said. "I feel it's not very good in keeping with what we are trying to do here as a healthy and sustainable green community."
So what say our gentle readers about all this?

Update 8/21/10 11:30 a.m.: Thanks to a tip from the sharp-eyed Curmudgeon, we provide a link to this morning's Salt Lake Tribune story, which reports the most recent development in the Leshemville Demolition Saga:
Ogden Riverfront demolition by fire gets pared back

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Sandstrom v. Saltas: An Invitation For WCF Debate

Another GOP neoCON tilts the Utah political landscape against politico-economic reality

In the midst of the news that neoCON wingnut State Rep. Stephen Sandstrom is "formally introducing his controversial immigration legislation Wednesday to colleagues on Capitol Hill"...
Sandstrom formally introduces immigration bill to Legislature
We're delighted to offer this savvy counter-point from one-of-a-kind Utah journalistic legend John Saltas...
Rep. Scapegoat: Stephen Sandstrom
Let's abide by the Marquess of Queensberry Rules, people, even though we believe Mr. Saltas has already delivered to Mr. Sandstrom the "knockout punch."

Have at it, O Gentle Ones.

As always, we at WCF always like to incite a good political scrap.

Update 8/19/10 7:00 p.m.: For our readers' convenience, we link the following supporting documents here:
Sandstrom Bill Summary
Bill: Illegal Immigration Enforcement Act
Have at it, O Gentle Ones.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Salt Lake Tribune: More Evidence to Confirm There Are Big Changes Coming to the DNews

Yea, yea, I know... Std-Ex local sports and garage sale info is important

By Ozboy

There are two articles in today's SLTrib (18Aug) that seem to confirm there are big changes of some sort coming to the DNews. "The times they are a changin":
What's the future of the Deseret News?
Days of ‘disruption’ coming to Deseret News
Too bad the Standard doesn't bite the dust instead. Yea, yea, I know Mr. Curmudgeon, local sports and garage sale info is important, but considering that the Standard has been a co-conspirator with Godfrey in the rape of the Ogden tax payers, and in fact has really made it possible by giving the Little Lord a free ride, earns them a shot in the head as far as I'm concerned. If it were not for Trentelman, Gibson and the cartoon guy they wouldn't be worth a tinkers dam.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Two more Northern Utah Print Media Columns Pan the Godfrey Adminstration's Plan To Torch the Derelict Leshemville Properties

A salute to the Ogden City Council for its wisdom in decling to act rashly in this matter

There are two more hard-hitting columns this morning from the Northern Utah print media, criticizing the Godfrey administration's plan to torch the forty or so derelict residential properties in Ogden's Leshemville riverfront slum:

1) Thanks to tips from two gentle readers, we'll direct our readers to yesterday's Salt Lake Tribune editorial, which highlights the strong public health objections of the Utah medical community:
Burning issue
2) Charlie Trentelman also gets into the act this morning, fine tuning the public health issue from the personal perspective of an asthma sufferer, and arguing that the fire demolition proposal doesn't save money in the long run, but rather shifts "shift[s] costs to the sick and elderly":
Ogden's idea of burning vacant houses burns my lungs and my wallet
During the last council work session go-round, the city council deferred a decision to adopt the fire demolition plan, and put the matter over for more study. Although Weber County Forum had earlier gone on record as approving the plan, we'd like to salute the Ogden City Council for its wisdom in declining to act rashly in this matter, and waiting to gather further information on the unintended public health consequences.

Don't let the cat get your tongues, O Gentle Ones.

Update 8/19/10 8:38 a.m.: The Salt Lake Tribune is falling all over itself reporting this story. Here's the latest from the SLTrib's Cathy McKitrick:
38 structures Ok’d to burn, but is it safe and cheap?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Important Council Work Session Set For Tuesday Night -UPDATED

The Ogden Transit Alternatives Analysis is on the agenda
Added Bonus: Read Dan S.'s live blogged remarks in the comments section below

For those readers closely following the Ogden Streetcar planning situation, we'd like to provide notice of tomorrow evening's council work session. Here's the full notice, straight from the Ogden City website:

Notice is hereby given that the Ogden City Council will meet for a Work Session on Tuesday, August 17, 2010 at 5:30 p.m., in the Council Work Room, located on the third floor of the Municipal Building in Ogden City, Weber County, Utah. The purpose of the work session is to discuss the Transit Alternatives Analysis, the property donation to St. Anne’s Center, Inc. and Council business.
Here's the link to the council packet:
08/17 City Council Work Session Packet
Within this lengthy lengthy (11.95 MB pdf) packet you'll find, among other things, two documents labeled "Ogden-WSU Transit Corridor AA-EIS Presentation" and "Economic Development Opportunities Analysis Presentation." In this connection we recommend that all WCF readers who are interested in this project carefully review these documents, as we have the uneasy feeling that these appear to be the sole working UTA documents upon which all interested parties will be forced to rely as the Streetcar Project moves forward.

Our initial impression upon first glance at these documents? Just as we've long suspected, the whole process has been carefully rigged to generate a finding that the 36th street east-west corridor is the "preferred alignment." Many of the so called assumptions and conclusions within these documents appear to be unsupported by reliable evidence.

Get out your magnifying glasses and green eye shades folks. Among other things revealed in the packet... A public hearing on this matter has been set at Union Station for September 28, 2010. Between now and then we'll urge all 25th Street cross-town corridor advocates to familiarize yourselves with these documents and carefully note the defects in the existing analysis, lest this project be shoved down the lumpencitizens' throats through flawed analysis.

And in the meantime we'll encourage all readers to chime in with your comments. And of course on Tuesday night we'll leave this thread open for anyone who plans to attend Tuesday's work session to provide your observations and post-meeting reports.

And in closing, we'll provide this helpful graphic, gleaned from the "Ogden-WSU Transit Corridor AA-EIS Presentation" document, just to allow our readers to see how far along we are in the Transit Corridor Alignment selection process:

(Click Image to Enlarge)

Scary ainnit?

And yes... we do confess... we photoshopped it just a little bit... just to clarify where we really are within this obviously rigged process.

Update 8/17/10 2:52 p.m.: Here's another reminder of tonight's Transit Analysis council work session, per Brandon Chase Bell, via Facebook:
UTA/Ogden City Council Meeting Tonight 8/17 5:30 p.m.
We're glad to see the word is getting out; and once again we encourage all meeting attendees to get back to WCF, to post your post-meeting comments.

Update 8/17/10 5:46 p.m.: Surprise of surprises, Dan S. is now live blogging from the City Council Chamber! Open the below comments section and refresh your browsers to read Dan's continuing real-time remarks.

Update 8/18/10 7:15 a.m.: The Standard-Examiner's Roy Burton throws in his own 2¢ this morning with his brief post-meeting writeup below:
Ogden streetcar far from happening
Special thanks to Dan S. for last evening's excellent real-time play-by-play reporting.

Standard-Examiner: Ogden using $175,400 "Experiment" to Determine Streetcar System Need

We swear we couldn't make this kinda B.S. up
Both trolley replicas would remain in operation for at least a year to collect ridership data for a proposed $160 million streetcar system extending along a busy corridor from the Intermodal Hub to Weber State University and McKay-Dee Hospital, both on Harrison Boulevard.
Introduction of the trolley replicas will help gauge whether a streetcar system would be successful, said Greg Scott, a transportation planner for the Wasatch Front Regional Council.
"It's a good realistic way to have wheels on the ground to see if it will fly."

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.

Despite a seemingly cool reception with the Weber County Council of Governments (WACOG) last March, it appears that the silver tongued Boss Godfrey is achieving his two-year obsession, latching onto a wad of "quarter-cent sales tax" cash, to fund a "loopy" downtown Ogden "faux trolley" loop:
Ogden using $175,400 experiment to determine streetcar system need
This bogus trolley/downtown bus shuttle is part of "a yearlong $175,400 experiment to determine ridership for a possible permanent streetcar system," a "transportation planner" (bureaucrat) for the Wasatch Front Regional Council tells the SE's Scott Schwebke, with a completely straight face.
We swear we couldn't make this kinda B.S. up.

Who'll be the first to knock back those post-weekend cobwebs and chime in?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Salt Lake Crawler: Bad News For The DNews

Sad news indeed if the rumor turns out to be true

By Curmudgeon

Since we discuss the press here with some frequency, thought this might be of interest. A SLTrib columnist is reporting rumor/speculation that the DNews is about to collapse, lay off large numbers of staff, and publish only three days a week:
Bad news for DNews
More from SLWeekly:
Open container: Deseret News Layoffs
I am not fan of the DNews; but this would be sad news indeed if the rumor turns out to be true. The last thing Utah needs is fewer newspapers.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Salt Lake Tribune: UEG Says Ethics Code Will Be On Ballot

Time now to fry the imperial legislative right wing socialist foot-draggers in court

Eureka folks! To the complete dismay of the right-wing socialists in the Utah legislature, it looks like massive Utah Legislative Ethics/Campaign Finance Reform will be on the ballot in 2012:
Group says ethics code will be on ballot
Of course there will be many battles ahead, as the UEG Lawyers fight on to place the matter on the ballot in 2012.

Here's just another example of the kind of crap Utah GOP legislators are placing in the path of THE PEOPLE, who are merely trying to clean up the Pay-to-Play Cesspool which currently exists in our Utah Legislature:
UEG’s Creative New Deadline
It'll be a long battle even yet to get this initiative on the ballot, with backguard B.S. like this. Nevertheless we do believe it's time for the lumpencitizens of Utah to take a short pause, at least for the moment for celebration, and then to thereafter gird our loins for the inevitable court fights which will be necessary to bend the backs of our arrogant and fascist GOP dominated legislature to the people's will.

The important thing, Utah Lumpencitizens... we've accomplished the hard part, and gathered the requisite signatures to put the matter on the ballot.

Time now to fry the imperial legislative right wing socialist foot-draggers in court.

Update 8/13/10 7:00 a.m.: Here's a video clip on the subject, courtesy of Fox 13 News:
UEG says it has met requirements for 2012 ballot
David Irvine (UEG Attorney): "They do not want this initiative to be voted on by the people."

Paul Nuenschwantzwanker (Lt. Governor's Chief of Staff): "If he's got some way to prove that, other than just some grandiose statement, I'd like to hear it."


Salt Lake Tribune: Ogden Plans to Torch Dozens of Houses

Not a word about Ogden recouping the cost of burning/demolition

By Curmudgeon

SL Trib has a story up on the planned burn of 40 houses in the Leshemville Slum with some interesting detail that bears on some of the discussion on the topic that's appeared here on Weber County Forum:
Ogden plans to torch dozens of houses
From the story:

** In mid-June, the state Division of Air Quality (DAQ) signed off on Mathieu’s proposal if asbestos removal happened first....

** However, some physicians are raising serious concerns about what the fires could do to the environment and public health.... Ogden Family Practitioner Peter Clemens... disputed the idea that every bit of asbestos could be removed from the older structures, many built in an era when the cancer-causing material was part of faucets, plumbing and heating ducts.

** Said Brian Moench, president of Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment: “If their intent is to save money by lighting these things on fire, it doesn’t make sense.”

Note: the story contains not a word about Ogden recouping the cost of burning/demolition from the property owners though the SE earlier reported the Administration expected Ogden to recoup the full demolition costs --- eventually --- from them.

Update 8/12/10 5:00 p.m.: The Deseret News is all over this story too, this afternoon:
Ogden burn plan has some residents, air quality advocates hot under the collar

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

UEG Press Conference Tomorrow @ 12:00 p.m.

Tantalizing news from the the Utahns for Ethical Government facebook wall:
Join UEG at a press conference at noon, Thursday, August 12th, in the rotunda of the state capitol for the encouraging results of our year-long signature gathering effort. Please show up at this important event and share your enthusiasm!
Whoa! Do you think UEG is calling a press conference tomorrow to annoumce they didn't collect the requisite signatures by the August 12, 2010 deadline?

Do you think they're calling a press conference so they can kiss Lt. Governor Bell's right wing socialist butt?

We don't think so!

And what about you?

Update 8/12/10 7:00 a.m.: Here's the latest good news from UEG's Facebook wall:
Our goal was to get 95,000 signatures from registered voters in 26/29 Utah Senate districts, to be able to get the Ethics Initiative on the ballot in 2012. As of midnight last night, we have carried 26 of the 29 counties with a 20% buffer. We may make it in another district (St George) by tomorrow. This has been an amazing effort by a small dedicated group of volunteers. Utahns overwhelmingly want ethics reform!
Next up... the noon press conference in the state capitol rotunda, where we presume UEG organizers will be running a very well deserved victory lap.

Salt Lake Tribune: State Agency Pulls Crime Report Over Bad Data

So many mistakes in the crime report, that the crime rate and the trend reported [down] had to be hastily withdrawn by the issuing agency

By Curmudgeon

The SL Trib is running a very interesting story this morning. Here's the headline in the print edition, which is also a link to the full story:
"You just thought crime was down."
The headline on the on-line story reads State Agency Pulls Crime Report Over Bad Data."

And the lede:

The Department of Public Safety recently reported that violent crime, car thefts and juvenile arrests all dropped dramatically in 2009 from the previous year.

The problem is, that may not be true.

The department has pulled its preliminary report on 2009 crime statistics after realizing it published incorrect data for the previous year’s statistics, creating incorrect crime-trend comparisons.

Now please note the next paragraph. I'll bold face it for emphasis:

A Salt Lake Tribune analysis of the report released by the Bureau of Criminal Identification revealed dozens of discrepancies between the numbers in the final 2008 Crime in Utah report and the numbers in the newly released 2009 preliminary report used to generate the trend analysis.

Got that? "A Salt Lake Tribune analysis" of the numbers turned up so many mistakes in the crime report, that the crime rate and the trend reported [down] had to be hastily withdrawn by the issuing agency.

That's what good newspapers do when they get press releases from public officials. They fact check them. They analyze them. The dig into them to see if they stand up to scrutiny.

And that's what the Standard Examiner did not do with the crime stats so cavalierly tossed around by the Mayor to serve his re-election campaign in Ogden.

How long before we can expect to read, the next time Hizzonah attempts to dazzle the SE with a shower of dubious numbers a story leading "A Standard Examiner analysis of the numbers revealed that..."

Not holding my breath.

How can you operate a mid-sized urban daily in this statistics-driven age and not have on staff or on call someone with the necessary expertise to crunch numbers, to analyze statistics to see if they in fact say what a candidate or office holder claims they say?

Standard-Examiner: Mt. Ogden Golf Course Has Much to Offer

A Weber County Forum Tip O' the Hat to two Emerald City locals who are doing Boss Godfrey's job for him

Upbeat Jim Burton story in this morning's Standard-Examiner sports section, reporting on recent improvements at our often-maligned Mount Ogden Golf Course (MOGC):
Mt. Ogden golf course now more forgiving
The above story follows closely on the heels of this SE 7/26/10 Letter to the Editor, written by MOGC employee Deanna Aquilar, who also strongly touts the course and its associated amenities:
Mt. Ogden Golf Course has much to offer
We'll note in passing that its great to see individuals from our community praising our "crown jewel" golf course, in which connection we'd like to challenge our Emerald City Administration to follow suit, and launch its own public information campaign promoting the Mt. Ogden Golf Course. An administration-authorized Standard-Examiner guest editorial from golf pro Todd Brenkman would be nice, as would be something upbeat from Boss Godfrey himself. Promoting city attractions is supposed to be Boss Godfrey's job, isn't it?

Do we expect the Godfrey Administration to affirmatively act on this? Taking Godfrey's recent history into account, we won't hold our breath.

So in the meantime we'll express our appreciation to Mr. Burton and Ms. Aguilar for doing Boss Godfrey's job for him.

A Weber County Forum Tip O' the Hat to each of them.

Utah Drivers License Renewal: There Must be a Better Way to Do It

Recent legislation borders on the ridiculous and makes one question whether it’s worth it to live in Utah

By Dorrene Jeske

Usually I quite enjoy Charlie Trentelman’s columns, but today he "missed the boat” and jumped on the wrong bandwagon because of a co-worker’s outrage over the very bad driver’s license legislation passed by Utah legislators this year. In his article, “More fallout from ‘The List,’,” he blames those who mailed the infamous “illegal aliens list":
More fallout from 'The List' and how to help bored troops
Being a very astute person, I’m sure that Mr. Trentelman is aware that hundreds of thousands of people have had their I.D. compromised due to banking and credit card companies errors where that information was made available to unknown eyes. But because it is the popular thing to do in Utah at the moment, he jumped on Utah’s “Beat-up on the State employees” who unwisely distributed personal information and forget that many on that list are also guilty of breaking laws bandwagon.

When the Legislature in their role of playing God, dreamed up that nightmarish bill, they opened a can of worms that hasn’t yet revealed the potential havoc and disruption of citizens’ lives that is sure to surface. We have already experienced a piece of that nightmare. In June, my husband and I went to the Social Security Office to apply for new social security cards because after 50 years of marriage and several moves, I have no idea where our original SS cards are. I had no problem obtaining my card because I had my birth certificate, but it was a different story for my husband. He was born in Germany just before Hitler declared war on the world. All family records were destroyed in a fire during the war and all he has are some church documents and his passport issued when he and his family migrated to the U.S. legally in June of 1954. He also has his U.S. naturalization document when he became a citizen of the U.S. March 11, 1964 (our 4th wedding anniversary). He took this document to the Social Security Office because it also has his date of birth. In the meantime, INS has changed its naturalization certificate, and the young lady at the Social Security Office had never seen a certificate like his. She said that she would have to send it to be reviewed and determine its authenticity. A few weeks later, (I had received my new card) my husband received a letter from the SSA stating that they were researching the naturalization certificate and if they did not find it to be authentic, then he would need to resign from any job he had, and work with the Federal government to prove that he was in the U.S. legally. They did not say that he would be deported, but he would not be able to have a regular driver license, and could not enjoy many of the privileges that he has earned as a legal citizen of the U.S.

Of course, with my active imagination and luck, I could just see INS raising all kinds of problems for us and making us prove that he had entered the U.S. legally. I’m glad to say that he just received his social security card this week.

The Legislature needs to revisit this very bad piece of legislation. I understand their intent in passing it, but instead of stopping illegal immigrants from obtaining driver licenses (there are always forgers to give them the fake papers that they need), they are harassing citizens and making our lives miserable in order to obtain a driver’s license. People who live out of state cannot believe that we are required to prove our address with a utility bill, show our Social Security card, birth certificate and marriage certificate.

I’ve always been grateful that I live in Utah and wouldn’t consider living any place else, but this legislation borders on the ridiculous and makes one question whether it’s worth it to live in Utah.

So, Charlie, ask your co-worker if it isn’t this new requirement that has her upset. We all know that our personal information can be compromised at any time because there are corrupt and evil people who will find ways to get around the security used by financial and government agencies. And I hope the Legislature comes to their senses and can come up with a better way to control the illegals living in our State without harassing the citizens.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Big Ogden City RDA Meeting Tonight

Boss Godfrey is pining to get moving on East Washington Urban Renewal Project, which represents the biggest Ogden City boondoggle since The Junction Money Pit

For those readers following the pending East Washington Urban Renewal boondoggle, we'd like to provide a heads up regarding tonight's Ogden City RDA meeting, set for 6:00 p.m. in the City Council chambers, wherein the RDA Board will hold a public hearing "on The Draft 'East Washington Urban Renewal Project Area Plan' dated June 21, 2010 and on the related Draft East Washington Urban Renewal Project Area Budget." Check out the full council packet below:
City Council-RDA Regular Session Packet
Boss Godfrey is pining to get moving on this project, which represents the biggest Ogden City boondoggle since The Junction Money Pit. Despite continuing evidence of a horribly languishing economy, there's no doubt that the Godfrey "A" Team will be putting on the full-court press tonight, to put the Emerald City taxpayers into even deeper debt. Our one-trick-pony Mayor has borrowing and spending in his blood; and the only hanging question is whether our hopefully financially prudent Council/RDA Board can be lured to go along with him.

We're getting a strong sense of deja vu on this; and we're hoping that we're not witnessing the rebirth of something similar to the notorious Gang of Six Council of 2005, which recklessly approved the Junction Boondoggle, even on the eve of being unceremoniously ushered out of office by the angry Ogden voters.

We'll devote this article thread toward a discussion of tonight's RDA meeting event; and we accordingly invite any readers who plan to attend tonight's meeting to chime in with their post-meeting observations and comments.

Update 8/11/10 7:37 a.m.: Scott Schwebke provides the lowdown on last might's RDA meeting, in which the RDA Board continued the matter to August 24, pending input from the Ogden City Redevelopment Agency Taxing Entity Committee (TEC):
Decision on area in Ogden delayed
Yes, Gentle Readers; that's the same Taxing Entity Committee which, in the summer of 2009, allowed itself to be persuaded to forego for another 11 years their rightful share of Junction Money Pit tax increment revenue, in order to keep the Junction Project financially afloat. It'll certainly be enlightening to find out on August 24 whether this hapless TEC Committee will be prepared to meekly bend over for Boss Godfrey once again,

Monday, August 09, 2010

A Message to All Members of "Corroon Country"

Ogden meetup with Peter Corroon on 8/14/10

By: BAT-girl

The Corroon for Governor Campaign is open for business in Weber County! And our business is restoring the values of our great state and getting government back to the basics on which this state was founded – honest, ethical, reasonable and accountable government.

The Ogden office will be hosting an office opening party this Saturday, August 14th at 10:00 a.m. Mayor Peter Corroon will be in attendance to open the office and discuss issues important to Utah residents. Please feel free to stop by and meet with Mayor Corroon and other candidates in Weber County.

For those of you in the area, or interested in this event, we hope to see you Saturday!
The office address is: 2444 Washington Blvd, Ogden, UT 84401 (directly across the street from the Egyptian Theater). For more information contact : Joel Freston, Regional Field Director at: 801.452.5730

Visit Corroon Country here: Welcome to Corroon County

Editor's Note: All candidates for 2010 General Election offices (party partisan or unaffiliated) are invited to post details of their campaign events here.

Open Topic Thread

A few suggested story lines to spark a Monday morning discussion

In the midst of yet another slow news day week, we guess its time to fire up another open topic thread. Before we turn over the floor to our gentle readers however, here are a few suggested story lines, which we've uncovered after some fairly extensive morning Googling:

1) Big Bong Brouhaha in the Sunshine State:
Smoke Shops Strike Back at Bong Bill
"Shop owners like Jay Work, of Grateful J's in Margate, say the law is one toke over the line"

2) KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A man is behind bars for committing "lewd acts" with a mannequin in a public park Sunday morning:
Man Caught with Pants Down and an Armless Mannequin in Public Park
The Kanawha County Sheriff's Office says they "have yet to interview the mannequin..."

3) An argument between two women had a messy (and stinky) ending when one pulled a dirty diaper out of her car:
Woman Uses Dirty Diaper in Road Rage Fit
MOTHER OF THE YEAR!!!... sez one gentle reader.

Yep, this is the best we could come up with to kickstart our Monday morning discussion... after several hours of Googling... sigh.

We're certain however that today's red meat news drought won't slow our ever-loquacious readers down, even a little bit.

Have at it, O Gentle Ones.

What's on your minds this Monday morning?

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Standard-Examiner Letter: Paper Looks the Other Way Regarding Scandals

While the SE did in fact decline to publish Dan's longer version, we're pleased to observe that the SE had the guts to publish a shortened one

In the aftermath of our 7/29/10 WCF screed, we're delighted to call our readers' attention to this Dan Schroeder letter to the editor, which appears in this morning's Standard-Examiner hard copy edition letters column:
Paper looks the other way regarding scandals
While the SE did in fact decline to publish Dan's longer version, we're pleased to observe that the SE had the guts to publish a shortened one.

Amidst the public perception that our home town newspaper actively shields our Emerald City mayor from legitimate public criticism, we applaud the SE for carrying this morning's Dan Schroeder letter.

New Mountain Bike Park at The Top of 9th Street?

By Fireman Joe

Does anybody know anything about a new mountain bike park at the top of 9th street? I've been reading how the land has already been leased and insured by the city:
Teton Gravity Research - Ogden UT freeride park info
Who will be the first to comment?

Friday, August 06, 2010

SL Weekly: Desperately Seeking Sam Granato

Never heard of Sam Granato? Read all about him here

Salt Lake City Weekly provides a highly informative in depth profile of Sam Granato in this week's edition:
Desperately Seeking Sam Granato
Never heard of Sam Granato? He's the Democratic Party stealth candidate running for Bob Bennett's soon to be vacated U.S. Senate seat against GOP candidate Mike Lee:
2010 Weber County General Election Candidate Roster
With the 2010 general election approaching in under 90 days, we thought an introduction would be in order.

Angst-filled Utah Democrats and GOP moderates are crossing their fingers he'll be coming out of hiding any day now, yes?

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Salt Lake Tribune: Judge Overturns Ban on Same-sex Marriage

You can always tell when it is a WCF Slow News Day, when you guys deign to discuss.......SERIOUSLY......... who on the SE staff will win a PULITZER for Journalism

By BAT_girl

I can always tell when it is a WCF Slow News Day, when you guys feign to discuss....... SERIOUSLY......... who on the SE staff will win a PULITZER for Journalism.

SO... back to breaking news, just in:
Judge overturns ban on same-sex marriage
Here's more:
Equality California PACs

After compelling testimony from California couples who are denied the freedom to marry, Federal District Judge Vaughn Walker ruled today that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional. The case will now move to the Court of Appeals.

We owe Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown a great deal of gratitude for their unprecedented decision not to defend this discriminatory measure, leaving only Andrew Pugno’s anti-LGBT extremist group to defend the case.

Celebrate this incredible victory by "defending it."
Be sure to toss in your own two bits -Ed.

Update 8/5/10 8:02 a.m.: Read Judge Walker's full written decision here (pdf):
Perry v. Schwarzenegger.

Standard-Examiner: Ethics Drive Scrambling to Meet Ballot Signature Requirements

Meet and greet your blogmeister this weekend, down on lower 25th

It's now down to the wire with the UEG Ethics Petition , as both the Standard-Examiner and the Deseret News now report that UEG ethics petition sponsors are now resigned to "put up or shuddup," with one week left to qualify the citizens' ethics petition for the 2012 ballot.

Here's the latest from the Standard-Examiner:
Ethics drive scrambling to meet ballot signature requirements
And here's a similar story from the Deseret News:
Utahns for Ethical Government pushes for place on 2012 ballot
Despite the signup problems in other counties, like right-wing wingnut Utah County, Weber County has proudly gathered the minimum requisite signatures to help qualify the citizen initiative measure for the ballot.

Fortunately, UEG sponsors have now mustered an army of volunteers in the lagging districts within the state. In that connection we wish them well over the next week.

As far as Weber County goes however, Weber County UEG volunteers will still be working hard in Weber County during the next week, just to provide a "buffer" for the signatures we've already gathered. Look for UEG petition gatherers throughout Weber County this week at grocery stores and other public gathering places. And if you haven't yet signed the petition, please do so at your most convenient opportunity.

And here's another Ogden UEG petition signature opportunity:

Meet your blogmeister down on lower 25th street this weekend, where in conjunction with the Ogden Farmers' Market event, your blogmeister will be manning a UEG petition signature booth at 201 25th (in front of Bruce Edward's old El Borracho) between 8 am and 1 pm.

Your blogmeister would be delighted to meet you all... especially those of you who haven't signed the UEG petition yet.

I'll be the bulky powerlifter-type guy wearin' a giant and flamboyant Hawaiian shirt... and a pink carnation.

Be sure to step up and say "hello," my WCF friends.

Standard-Examiner: World Cup Archery Event Drawing Attention to Sport, Dollars to Ogden Area

Amidst all the World Cup Archery hoopla, we just wanted to help the Emerald City Lumpencitizens connect the dots

There's substantial Standard-Examiner front page ink this morning for "this week's Archery World Cup event as Ogden becomes the first American host site in the five-year history of the competition":
World Cup Archery event drawing attention to sport, dollars to Ogden area
Illuminating quote from one of the big honchos involved with this event:
Greg Easton, president of the Ogden World Cup Organizing Committee, said a multitude of factors went into the decision to bring the event here. Those include the right facilities, a pro-sports city focus, summer weather, the support of Ogden city officials and the local business community, and the size of the city.
Here's the part Mr. Easton left out, gentle readers. This event is obviously a warm-up for the Godfrey Administration's next full court press for the construction of a downtown velodrome.

After a little Googling, we've discovered that Mr. Easton is also a board member of the Easton Sports Development Foundation, the same foundation which was mentioned in connection with last year's rejected RAMP application as a proposed $2 million donor for Boss Godfrey's pie-in-the-sky $15 million velodrome project.

Amidst all the World Cup Archery hoopla, we just wanted to help the Emerald City Lumpencitizens connect the dots.

In the "sales" racket, the "try it before you buy it" approach is what's sometimes known as "the puppy dog close".

Who will be the first to comment?

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Important Ogden City Council Work Session Scheduled for This Evening

A funding request for demolition in the Ogden River Redevelopment Project Area (Leshemville) is on the agenda

As a followup to our earlier articles on the topic, we'll provide a heads up regarding this evening's Ogden City Council/RDA Joint Work Session, wherein, among other things, the council will discuss the funding request for demolition in the Ogden River Redevelopment Project Area (Leshemville). We accordingly incorporate the notice from the city website :

Notice is hereby given that the Ogden City Council and Redevelopment Agency Board will meet for a Joint Work Session on Tuesday, August 3, 2010 immediately following the Regular City Council meeting that begins at 6:00 p.m., in the Council Work Room, located on the third floor of the Municipal Building in Ogden City, Weber County, Utah. The purpose of the work session is to discuss the Funding Request for demolition in the Ogden River Redevelopment Project Area; Notice of Proposed Ordinance – East Central Neighborhood; RDA Board business and Council business.
Check out tonight's full council packet here, which includes relevant details concerning the Leshemville demolition matter:
08/03 City Council Work Session Packet
We'll note in passing that we're delighted to observe that the Council/RDA is following up on our earlier advice and moving forward on this important matter. Any readers who will be in attendance at tonight's meeting are of course invited to chime in with their own comments and observations about tonight's council discussion; and we'll leave our lower comments section open for that purpose. As a matter of fact, we'll be happy to entertain any relevant comments which our readers may see fit to lodge even prior to this event.

Update 8/4/10 7:30 a.m.: The Standard-Examiner provides a story this morning, reporting on last evening's council work session discussion:
Burning 45 vacant homes still an option

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