Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Important Council Work Session Set For This Evening

We'll leave the lights on in our lower comments section for any interested readers who'd like to comment before, during or after tonight's work meeting

Although we already touched lightly on the subject in yesterday's article, we'll drop in one more reminder of tonight's Council work session, wherein Trolley District Street Streetcar advocates will make a formal presentation on the advantages of a 25th Street east-west corridor link. For those readers who might be considering tonight's meeting, here's tonight's Council Packet:
10/05 City Council Work Session (37.2 MB PDF)
It's a monster file; so we'll re-link this smaller file (16.6 MB), for those readers without a fast broadband connection:

Trolley District Community Advisory Network Presentation
And while we're sure that some of you may have given up hope for a 25th Street streetcar leg, in the wake of UTA's the Ogden Weber Transit Corridor Analysis, which eliminated this popular route from formal consideration, we'd like to assure you that Historic Trolley District advocates have NOT thrown in the towel at all, but are rather urging more citizen action, in the form of a renewed citizen lobbying campaign:
Over the 5-1/2 years we've been publishing Weber County Forum we've learned that we usually have to repeat our populist message over and over again before we finally get the attention of the Utah bureacrats who make the final decisions which control our fates and effect us all. So in that connection, we'll encourage our readers to open the above link, follow the recommended course of action and join in the effort to awaken the folks in our Utah transportation bureaucracy to the fact that the lumpencitizens of Emerald City refuse to accept a knuckleheaded 36th street corridor solution.

As for tonight's Council work session, we'll leave the lights on in our lower comments section for any interested readers who'd like to comment before, during or after tonight's city council work meeting.

Update 10/6/10 7:00 a.m.: Ya gotta know it's a s-l-o-o-o-w news day when a story like this rates as the top Emerald City news item of the day. Well... here goes..
Ogden rejects chickens ordinance


Herman said...

There's a kind of hush all over Ogden, tonight
All over Ogden you can hear the sounds of Trece hiding in basements
to keep from being served
Just Smith and Powers and no gang bangers in sight
There's nobody else and I'm feeling Trece is taking flight
So listen very carefully
Closer now but the Civil Libertarians are not happy
It isn't ACLU's dream
The only sound that you will hear
not shotgun blast echoing in your ear
thats the sound of crickets and playing children not in fear
There's a kind of hush all over Ogden tonight
All over Ogden you can hear the sounds of Trece being served.
La-la-la-la-la la-la-la-la-la

Biker Babe said...

But ... what about the urban chickens ...


althepal said...

I just cut and pasted the suggested text from Brandon Chase Bell's linked message and posted it to the UTA website about an hour ago. Took me all of one minute. Howbout you?

RudiZink said...

I think you're making a very important point about the Utah ACLU, although in a roundabout way.

The Utah ACLU has repeatedly ignored (or been proven impotent) regarding important civil rights issues in Weber County. I'll provide examples of this here and here

I guess we'll have to follow the money again sigh).

My guess is that Ogden Trece has plenty of money to spread around.

Greiner is a Nazi said...

Yer an idiot, Herman. Or should we properly identify you as Jon Greiner, Ogden's number one anti civil rights nazi?

Ozboy said...

Off subject here, but there is the best description I have ever heard of Sara Palin on a CNN video clip seen here:

Sorkin: Palin jaw droppingly incompetent

In it, the major league TeeVee and Movie writer and producer Aaron Sorkin describes the true nature of this incredibly incompetent, dishonest and mean spirited Palin who is the darling of the Tea Party Tin Hat crowd.

Danny said...

As a libertarian, limited gummint type who tends to vote Republican, I don't take any position regarding Sarah Palin other than I wish she would get off the stage.

She is Bob Dole. She is John McCain.

She is a media creation to enable the Republican party to commit electoral suicide once again. And the Republican party is falling right in line.

Sarah Palin, is at best, nothing.

If only she would go away and leave the room open for someone of substance, which she is not.

Ozboy said...

Bravo Danny

You have either bested or at least equaled the erudite Mr. Sorkin in your evaluation and description of the cretin Sara Palin!

Anonymous said...

The Tea Party Agenda of rugged individualism, states rights, and fiscal responsibility looks fine on paper, and I support many of the main points.
But to phase out something as entrenched as the nanny state, in a way that does not unduly hurt the children, the noble working poor, and cause an anarchy situation untenable to most conservative Americans, will take decades, not one election cycle - or even two.

So, sure, lets get back to bridges and roads, a small safety net, regulation of pollution in drinking water and food, and keeping the military here at home.

My problem with the Tea Party movement is its close alignment with the Conservative Christian Right (wrong) and their non-fiscally-important agenda of anti-libertarian pro-backwards nonsense.

If you want to be superstitious as regards spirits, gawds will, the pearly afterlife, hobgoblins, or even Santa Claus, fine.
Just do not try to write this idiocy into law.

Curmudgeon said...


In re the Godfrey election matter, you seem to have forgotten that the ACLU did investigate, and did determine that there were election improprieties... but not enough votes were affected to have reversed the outcome of the election, making legal proceedings unlikely to be successful. TheACLU generally does not file cases it believes it is very unlikely to win. Instead, following its press release confirming the irregularities, the ACLU began working with legislators [of both parties] to change the law so that such shenanigans as took place in Ogden could not take place again. A law tightening up the circumstances under which voters could be challenged did indeed pass about a year later. FOMs can no longer arrive at polling places with a pocketful of last minute voter challenges as a result.

On the Powder Mountain matter, as I understand it [happy to be corrected if I'm wrong on this], no challenge to the law on constitutional grounds was filed by the parties involved. People were talking about possibly filing one if the appeal to the state courts failed, or if the matter wasn't otherwise resolved. As I recall, the compromise [politely so called] agreement was brokered by the all-Republican Weber County Commission before the state court ruled. That so-called compromise [developers get nearly all of what they wanted] was signed off on by the affected landowners being dragooned into Powderville. So I'm a little hard put to see at which point the ACLU could/should have intervened in the case that actually was filed, which didn't argue the matter on constitutional grounds.

The notion that the ACLU makes a fortune off filing cases is nonsense. Popular on the rabid right, which also likes to peddle the myth that environmental groups make fortunes off filing cases, which is also nonsense. Mostly, as I understand it, the ACLU'scases are handled by volunteer attorneys who, if they win and costs are included by the court in the settlement, receive court-approved costs which as a general rule are far far lower than the attorneys normal per hour billing rate.

The suggestion that the ACLU is involved in the gang-ordinance because the gang is pouring money into its coffers is nonsense. And I think you know it.

AWM said...

I'd be interested to hear from a UTAH ACLU lawyer or representative where they were prior to the injunction being served when honest people living in these Trece invested neighborhoods had their civil liberties abridged by gang members in the form of fear for themselves, fear for their children, concern for their safety and property etc. Comparing Greiner to a Nazi is downright repugnant. I'm no fan of his but Nazi? That's a leap I can't make

Curmudgeon said...


You ask: "I'd be interested to hear from a UTAH ACLU lawyer or representative where they were prior to the injunction being served when honest people living in these Trece invested neighborhoods had their civil liberties abridged by gang members in the form of fear for themselves..."

Presuming you were serious and not just being snarky, here's the answer: The ACLU acts to prevent the violation of civil liberties by government. That's its mission. It exists to protect liberties guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, which restricts government action in violation of those rights. Its job is not to enforce criminal law.

The problem with the current ordinance is that it permits the police to decide, on the spot, if someone is a gang member or "associating" with a gang member. And it limits the freedoms [who you may associate with, what time you can be out at night, gatherings of more than three] of whoever the police decide is a gang member or gang-associated... even those people who have been convicted of no criminal conduct ever. Such people under this ordinance will have their freedom considerably restrained without having committed a crime, and without any court intervention or authorization, merely because the policy have labeled them, rightly or wrongly, gang members or gang associates. That's far too much arbitrary power to be put in the hands of a police force. And that is the substance of the legal challenge: that the ordinance is too vague and too broad and will subject people who have committed no crimes to a substantial restriction of their freedom.

As for this: "Comparing Greiner to a Nazi is downright repugnant. I'm no fan of his but Nazi? That's a leap I can't make." We agree completely. The "Nazi" or "Fascist" label gets tossed around way too often, most of the time in cases in which it plainly is a wild exaggeration.

John C. said...

I agree about the Greiner nazi thing. I think a much more appropriate comparison would be to liken Greiner to the black coated Gestapo thugs which he so resembles in thought and actions. He has a long history around Ogden of being a bully with a badge. His appearance on television last night only supports that notion.

Danny said...

Okay, I just Googled this.

"The injunction bans the 485-plus members of Ogden Trece from associating with one another, possessing guns and being in the vicinity of illegal drugs. It also sets an 11 p.m. curfew."

I agree with this. I have no problem with it. I find the civil rights arguments against this to be absurd, and reflective of a lack of understanding.

I'm glad to see that in this case, I'm not the only one.

For those tired of the ACLU - essentially an anti-freedom, anti public group, there is an alternative.

The Institute for Justice - they really stand up to the government on behalf of the little guy. Check them out.

... very unlike the essentially anarchist ACLU.

Dan S. said...

Chicken ordinance just voted down 4-3 with Gochnour, Wicks, and Stevenson in the minority. (Unusual coalition.)

Dan S. said...

Work session starting with Trolley District presentation. Money for downtown parking also on agenda. All council members present. Mayor is in audience.

Poole said...

I was told by Chief Greiner, at Karens on 25th street, over breakfast no less, that all of the gang members righteously being served this injunction have either declared their membership to law enforcement, or were identified by other members as being a pert of the street gang.

It is not some arbitrary list. It is solid. I am a huge fan of the ACLU, even though the cases they take v. the ones they ignore are, in my opinion, some of the worst of politically motivated tripe.

But, in addition to this, they have taken a stand on some matters with which I so wholeheartedly agreed, that It brought a tear to this old liberals eye.

Cant please everyone. I am glad they are there, if for no other reason than their advocacy for unpopular causes.

Danny said...

Just so we know, the "chicken" ordnance does not refer to the latest "Godfrey" ordnance, but rather, a law to allow chickens. The planning commission recommended not approve.

I didn't know chickens were illegal, but I can't see having another 50 pages of city code allowing their use - just make work for the zoning department if you ask me.

I don't see downtown parking on the agenda either . . . maybe I missed something?

Danny said...

I read a lot of articles on Trece, and none gave the important detail that Poole did just above.

The old media are more and more useless.

Jennifer said...

I did read in the beginning (i.e. when they were announcing the injunction and interviewing the Gang Task Force that the Gang unit had members from the gang on their list legitimately, not arbitrarily -- also that they were taken off the list if they had no run-in with the law for a given period of time (maybe 2 years?) So, yeah it isn't an arbitrary listng, the Gang unit does their homework and knows what constitutes a gang member. I remember speaking with the head of the Gang unit when I was running for City Council and he explained it to me in detail, plus I did some research on my own.


p.s. ACLU didn't talk to the right people or do proper research obviously - they're just blowing smoke as usual.

caddyhack said...

Well said Poole.

"We stand on principle. The ACLU stands up for the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the rule of law—regardless of the repercussions."

The above statement comes from the ACLU website, and is the number one reason, from a list of ten, for joining the organization.

Curmudgeon said...


You wrote: "the ACLU - essentially an anti-freedom...group... the essentially anarchist ACLU.

Which naturally raises a question:

What color is the sky in your world?

Curmudgeon said...

From my own POV [speaking for no one but me], the Gang Ordinance sets a dangerous precedent because it enshrines in law prior restraint. Loss of liberties is a serious thing, and it ought to result [with rare exceptions that can be justified on sound evidence applied to a particular person] from the commission of a crime. The principle behind the gang ordinance seem to me to be something like this: "You may not have committed a crime. But we think you may or are likely to. And so we're going to limit your freedom of association and of movement and your second amendment rights as well, on the assumption that you are likely to commit a crime in the future."

Giving any government that kind of power of prior restraint over entire groups it may find it convenient to declare a "public nuisance" is, seems to me, a dangerous precedent.

Poole said...

But, if you belong to a criminal organization, i.e., one that exists primarily to commit and foster crime, as shown by overwhelming documentation, you don't think it falls under "the public good" to restrict the situations that lead to murder, rape, etc?
I also am guaranteed freedom of speech, but does that allow "fire" in a theatre, "bomb" in a plane, or dancing naked out front of a pre-school in an act of performance art?

I think in the case of a long term public nuisance and criminal organization, which I doubt anyone is disputing, least of all the gang members who take pride from this very behavior, it would be in the communities best interest to abate the nuisance and enact specific sanctions to create a safe community.

But, the Higher Court may prove me wrong.

caddyhack said...

Ozboy, thanks for great link. I still can't wrap my melon around why any thinking individual could approve of Ms. Palin's rhetoric, or her actions. She couldn't finish her first term as governor and she doesn't appear to be able to formulate a coherent sentence.

My favorite line, from Mr. Sorkin, was: "The Democrats may have moved to the middle, but the Republicans have moved to the mental institution." I agree with that since Ms. Palin appears to be to be a major Rebublican player, and presidential frontrunner.

Curmudgeon said...


In re: this: I also am guaranteed freedom of speech, but does that allow "fire" in a theatre, "bomb" in a plane, or dancing naked out front of a pre-school in an act of performance art?

All true. But how any of that bears on the Ogden gang ordinance escapes me.

If members of a gang are conspiring to commit a crime, they have already broken the law and can be arrested. If they commit crimes, they can and should be arrested. But the gang ordinance simply decrees that anyone the police decide is in the gang or associated with it can have their liberties restricted, and be arrested if they violate the restriction, whether they have committed a crime or not, and whether they are conspiring to commit a crime or not. That's still dangerous prior restraint, and who it is applied to is left in the ordinance as I understand it wholly up to the police. No court or judge determines that X or Y or Z has committed a crime or is conspiring to commit one. Only the police and without judicial oversight. No matter how you slice and dice that up and try to camouflage it hoping it will pass as something else, that's prior restraint plain and simple. And it's a dangerous precedent to set.

ozboy said...

I am definitely with Mr. Curmudgeon on this "prior restraint" issue. Now if they were talking about doing this with the other dangerous gang in Ogden - the Godfreyites - I probably would have a different opinion. After all, we all know that when ever two or more of them get together they are up to no good - especially if Godfrey hisself is there.

Something certainly has to be done about both criminal gangs, but this thing they are trying with the trece punks doesn't seem constitutional and I doubt if it will hold up in court. Perhaps if the law just got more serious about cracking down and punishing those caught committing crimes it would help the situation.

By the way, the Institute for Justice doesn't deal with the same sort of issues that the ACLU does. They primarily defend people and small businesses who have been run over by over reaching politicians and bureaucrats who take property through eminent domain or screw folks over with zoning laws or ridiculous business laws.

We would all be in a lot more danger from evil politicians if it were not for the ACLU and the IJ. I am a supporter of both.

Biker Babe said...


What about number 8:

"8. We believe in an America that is both safe and free. There are always those in powerful positions who wrongly insist that we must trade away our fundamental freedoms to secure our safety. No organization challenges that idea more effectively than the ACLU."

they seem to be leaving out the safety of the citizens of Ogden, which is a larger group of the population than the MS13 (Trece) gang, which BTW has been named the most Dangerous Gang in the Nation. They also forgot about retaining the freedom of citizens of Ogden - freedom from fear of going out in their neighborhoods when the gang-members are out and about randomly shooting at wedding parties and mistaken rivals'homes, hurting and/or killing innocent people.

The most dangerous gang in the city wants safety and freedom? Safety from the law and freedom to do what they want regardless of the "rule of law" in the city of Ogden, the state of Utah, the United States?

misguided, methinks in this case.


Dan S. said...

Rudi: I think the chicken ordinance is interesting enough to merit a story. It was the main agenda item for the council's regular meeting. And the mayor's remarks, about chickens being ok for white people but not for brown people, were certainly noteworthy.

Schwebke didn't stay for the work session. The Trolley District presentation lasted nearly an hour and a half, including questions from council members. The TD folks made an emphatic case that a streetcar WILL fit on Harrison without large numbers of property takings, exposing many of the biases in the UTA analysis. They also asked the council to work on a new zoning ordinance for transit districts and other pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods. But nobody on the council seemed to be clear on where the UTA study itself now stands, or on whether there will be another stakeholders' meeting before the study concludes. I suspect that UTA would prefer to keep the final stages of the study as private as possible.

I didn't stay for the second work session agenda item: "budget opening for parking at the northeast corner of 23rd Street and Washington Boulevard". But the mayor and Richard McConkie were there, ready to make their pitch. Can anyone give us a summary of that proposal?

Dan S. said...

Rudi: And if none of that city council stuff is newsworthy enough for you, there's this great news from the WSU Physics Department:

Student predicted planet's location

Biker Babe said...

Dan S.

Did the mayor really say the color of a family's skin was a factor in determining whether or not they could keep chickens?

sign me,
aghast and not surprised


Dan S. said...

BB: All I know is what it says in the S-E article. Although I was there for the end of the debate over the ordinance, I had apparently already missed the mayor's comments.

Curmudgeon said...

Here is what the Mayor said according to the SE story:

Mayor Matthew Godfrey urged the city council Tuesday night to reject the ordinance because it would be difficult to enforce licensing. The ordinance could also cause the chicken population to become unmanageable because of the city's burgeoning Hispanic population, Godfrey said.

"The Hispanic culture is used to having chickens," he said. Godfrey believes if people see their neighbors with chickens, they'll want to raise them, too.

You've got to do some serious twisting and wrenching of the prose, I think, to turn that into "the mayor's remarks, about chickens being ok for white people but not for brown people. "

Anonymous said...

I lived in West Los Angeles, Melrose and Crescent Heights for the LA adept, for a number of years...
And, my dad kept fowl in the back yard. Yep, right in the middle of the Melrose District.
One of each it seemed, with the birds arriving in little boxes from all over the world.
Roosters, crowing. Exotic pidgins, doves, the works.
Evidently, this hobby was something he had wanted to pursue from the times of his early days in a early 20th century company town in the mountains outside Helper, Utah.

Neighbors? Well, suffice it to say they considered it to be odd, perhaps a nuisance, and rather quaint, in a oh hell, what is the Cook family up to now?
Remember this was the late 60's early 70's.

He figured if everyone had to listen to traffic, everyone could listen to his Rooster, "Brigham", crow at 6 am.

Now, surely in the same location that would be considered a nuisance. Not Trece13 nuisance, but wellll...
They may be murderous thugs who hate a fair fight, bring guns to a fist fight, paint crap all over our back fence, steal cars, live 25 people in an apartment meant for 3...
But they sure aint crowing fowl in a tony neighborhood.

Love you Dad.

Biker Babe said...


"You've got to do some serious twisting and wrenching of the prose, I think, to turn that into "the mayor's remarks, about chickens being ok for white people but not for brown people.""

really? C'mon -- for as long as we've known the mayor and the shite that slithers out between his lips -- you can say that with conviction?


caddyhack said...


I believe the curmudgeonly one may have answered your valid concerns with his 11:13pm post.

I'd like to see the police bust up the gang ASAP, but they need legal, enforceable methods to do so. Although the ACLU does appear misguided sometimes, I trust the them to look at the "big picture" and keep their focus on defending the Constitution.

I wonder how the ACLU feels about chicken laws?

Curmudgeon said...


In re: can I say that with conviction. Fraid so.

As you know, I hold no brief for Hizzonah, who dissembles with depressing frequency. But he did not say raising chickens in Ogden is or should be OK for white folks but not for brown ones. Nor does what he said add up to that or anything close.

Look at it this way, BB: Hizzonah dissembles often enough that we shouldn't have to make up stuff about what he says or stretch what he says beyond saving to find things to complain about or object to.

Hizzonah argued on the chicken ordinance that the rule in place now --- no chickens --- ought to stay in place, and apply to all, and that means to whites, browns, blacks and/or any admixture of those or any other colors you'd care to name. That's a long long way from "ok for whites, not for browns."

Anonymous said...

As of right now, the Ordinance against Trece is legal, enforceable, and useful.

It will only become otherwise if our legislative branch overturns the decision of a lower judge.

Right now: it is legal, and is in use in Ogden and other communities with similar nuisance problems.

Anonymous said...

Whoops, did I say Legislative?

Judicial; ahem.

ozboy said...

Wellllll Mr. Curmudgeon,

While you are technically correct about the "whites can have chickens and the browns can have chicken shit" not being what the mayor sayeth, ya gotta consider his real quote as overtly indicative of his long time and often demonstrated racist nature?:

"The ordinance could also cause the chicken population to become unmanageable because of the city's burgeoning Hispanic population, Godfrey said: The Hispanic culture is used to having chickens, he said. Godfrey believes if people see their neighbors with chickens, they'll want to raise them, too."

It seems to me that the mayor is turning his lily white, holier than thou nose in the air toward the legitimate cultural proclivities of a significant number of his constituents, que no?

The truth is that these brownish folks are just as worthy of his considerations on this, or any other matter, as the lily white Mo's on the east bench; and that keeping a few chickens is a relatively chicken shit deal for a big shot like him to be squandering his valuable and high priced time or precious bodily fluids over - unless of course he delights in the feeling of importance and Imperial glory he feels when he can look down with arrogance over the humble hoi polloi - mainly the browner and poorer ones.

Some guys are just like that ya know...

Curmudgeon said...


I wasn't doubting that the mayor brought ethnic/cultural considerations into his opposition to the ordinance. Clearly he did. But he did not propose that urban bird ranching was OK for whites, not for browns. That particular charge --- that he was employing a racial double standard --- wasn't supported by what the SE reported.

Now as for the rest, that as you put it: "The truth is that these brownish folks are just as worthy of his considerations on this, or any other matter, as the lily white Mo's on the east bench," we agree. Of course they are, Oz, but that does not mean they're necessarily because they are Hispanics entitled to have a disputed matter of public policy decided their way, any more than white East Benchers are entitled, because they are white to have a disputed matter of city policy go their way.

This matter is, or should be, a straight question of "which policy would be best for the citizens and city of Ogden, all things considered?" That's the question that came before the Council. Four of them thought leaving things as they are would be best, three thought otherwise. I can see reasonable arguments on both sides: permitting urban dwellers to become a little more economically independent on the one hand, and not having Farmer John's [or Juan's] rooster greeting the dawn at 5:30 AM of a summer morning ten yards outside my -- or anyone elses --- bedroom window. [Some cities permit urban barnyard livestock, but only on lots of at least a minimum designated size.]

I'm sorry the Mayor injected ethnicity into the equation at all, and if you want to take a swing at him for that, I'm with you. It was a needless injection of race into what is and should be a simple disagreement about public policy, with perfectly reasonable people reaching different but defensible conclusions on each side.

But it wasn't a case of Hizzonah suggesting one rule for whites [raising chickens in town ok for them] and another for Hispanics [raising chickens in town not ok for them] which is I think what Dan's post implied.

Dan S. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dan S. said...

Curm: I concede half of your point: The mayor never said anything about white people.

But I think his remarks made it clear that he doesn't believe brown people should be allowed to keep chickens.

Stanley said...

Hey, the little prick is bigot, so what's new about that?

caddyhack said...

A chicken and an egg are lying in bed.

The chicken is leaning against the headboard smoking a cigarette, with a satisfied smile on its face.

The egg, clearly angry, grabs the sheet, rolls over, and says,

"Well, I guess we finally answered THAT question."

Darwin said...

Science answered that definitively last year. The chicken came first.

Dan S. said...

Comment bumped to front page

Viktor said...

Speakin of Chickens and the Mayor, what came first - the Chicken shit or the Chicken salad?

Hindman said...

Truly glad about the chicken vote. If you want to raise barnyard or farm critters then move to the county where it is allowable.

Ogden Trece - well I live in central Ogden so anything the city and police do to rid our city of these critters makes me happy.

Andrea said...


I would glady trade my neighbors dog that barks at 2 am and the other neighbors cat that sleeps on my car and regularly clears its bowels in my flower beds for a few quiet and productive backyard hens. I would also trade the rowdy unsupervised kids who tried to light ny back fence on fire and throw their Popsicle and candybar wrappers all over the neighborhood for said chickens.

Get a clue,
It's all about personal responsibility.

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