Sunday, October 30, 2011

Ogden City 2011 General Election Voting Guide

Special Guest Gloating from Chester Hop-a-long

Hi folks! It’s your friend Chester Hop-a-long here, and I’ve never felt BETTER! As the president of your crony ruling class in the government business partnership (GBP), I can tell you we have worked for years to have a mayoral election where we had all the bases covered, and we finally GOT it. No matter who you vote for in the coming election, WE will OWN the next mayor. So just let me take a minute to reach my svelte arm over to grab another handful of Monkeybusinesss® brand monkey chow, and I’ll get right into the GLOATING. Hehehehehe.

There’s no point in me writing about whom you should vote for, for mayor, since it really doesn’t matter. Instead, let me tell you what you have to LOOK FORWARD TO.

For years, we’ve wanted to re-brand Ogden, by changing the outdated name of the city together with the sappy logos that you see on the water bills. After the election, we’ll finally have the power to do that. How do you like the new name and logo for our city? We feel “Cronytown, UT” conveys an upbeat tone, while the logo has a playful retro quality. And we’ve also produced 40,000 new bumper stickers that you will be placing on your cars after the election, celebrating the new mayor. We are at the zenith of our power, all under my leadership. Even the naysayers have our guy’s campaign signs in their yards. Hehehehehe!

Next, you’re probably wondering what will happen to the east bench over the next few years. Well what do you think will happen, geniuses? Hey, we condemned the whole river district – single family houses with large, tree-covered lots – so we could turn it into Ogden’s most high-density (and therefore most profitable) insta-slum! Have you seen the plans? Click here! Then, read it carefully! After you take away 57,000 square feet (a little over an acre) for “open space” in the form of parking lots and pathways, there are 200 residences plus a half acre of retail, all on five acres! That’s 40 residences per acre not counting the strip malls! Hey, don’t try to breathe! And just think of all the VACANT high density residence/retail in Ogden now! But don’t worry. A bad idea is always good for another try! Especially when my cronies are the ones getting paid to build all of it!

Well our plans for the EAST BENCH have been “in the drawer” for years waiting for the right mayor. Here is one of our computer generated models.

We call it “high density hellhole” development or “HDH”. And it’s ALL PROFIT … pure and sweet! And if you think the mayor’s appointed go-alongs on the planning commission, or the planning department, or city codes will save you from HDH , let me explain something to you. That dense, twisted thicket of bureaucracy the city lays down is not intended to protect YOU from trashy property! If it was, then how come there’s so much trashy property, huh Sherlock? No, it’s intended to protect US, the crony elite, from COMPETITION. You see, we have the manpower and connections to wade through the city’s bureucratic BS, but most small companies don’t! Less competition = more profit for US! You could have figured that out for yourself, couldn’t you, Einstein? Red tape? We love red tape!

But now that I’m through making you weep, weep dearly, for your future, what say we move on to my mayoral candidates?

Mike “No Streetcar” Caldwell

We’ve fronted Caldwell so much cash, he’s a shoo-in for mayor. In fact, he’s so sure he’s going to win that if you’ve seen any of the debates, you know he’s been dodging every question that comes his way. He’s harder to pin down than a housefly on heroin. But people have uncovered a couple of things: He’s against the Street Car, and he’s for the field house if it can be packaged right for the voters to swallow.

Now you might wonder why “No Streetcar” Caldwell is such a big fan of Mayor Godfrey, and like Godfrey, he’s against the fixed-rail streetcar. You could ask why the city has money to build that new airport terminal, complete with a row of executive hangars and two restaurants, all of which are VACANT. You might be curious why the city can afford the Salomon Center that LOSES a pile of case each year. And then you might wonder why the city has money to build the Junction Building that has been vacant from day-one except for Wells Fargo that just moved across the street (leaving another building vacant). You could question why the cronies think the field house is a good idea even thought Godfrey’s own rigged numbers showed it will cost tens of millions and lose millions of dollars a year. AND YET, in spite all of this government spending, the cronies are strangely AGAINST the Streetcar, even thought the feds will pick up 75% of the tab. Why????

Well if you’d come out of your coma for a just a minute, you might notice that all of Godfrey-Caldwell’s commercial contractor campaign contributors build all kinds of buildings, (and we even put up gondola posts), but one thing we DON’T build is RAILROADS!! So why would we want the city (we call it the “piggy bank”) to spend what little money it has left on a fixed-rail Streetcar system that will do us cronies no good, when we can think up plenty of other BUILDINGS that the city can pay us to build?! Building a Streetcar system doesn’t make US any money, honey! So now, it finally makes sense to you, huh? Well welcome to the party! Glad you could finally show up!

Brandon “Star Power” Stephenson

Starpower Stephenson thought HE was our candidate. But we’ve pretty much left him to twist in the wind. His slogan is, “Moving forward, together”, and you can see it on his larger campaign signs. Well here’s a news flash: Moving forward together is fine, but it kinda matters WHERE you’re moving TO, doesn’t it? But hey voters, go ahead. Move forward together with Caldwell or Stephenson – I don’t care which!

And as I mentioned before, Brandon looks a lot like Famous George, the loser from the TV show Seinfeld. Well, Brandon is behind in the polls by about 5 to 1. He’s looking to re-charge his campaign by emphasizing the resemblance. He’s come up with the eye-catching poster below. Hey whatever, Brandon. But for the 8 years Brandon has been on the city council, he’s done what Godfrey told him to do. And Godfrey did what we told him to do. Star Power Stephenson may look like a famous loser, but he’s OUR loser. We got NO PROBLEM with this guy. (He’s also against the Streetcar, if anybody cares.)

But hey, there’s nothing to worry about, huh naysayers? You’re finally getting RID of GODFREY, right? Hahahahahaha!

City Council

As far as city council, you got these choices:

Reliable cronies to loot you for my greater good: Planning Commission toady Richard “PC” Hyer, and write in candidate Rick “Bulldoze the Trails” Saftsen

No chance to win: Stephen Thompson

Independent minded candidates, whom I hate, who will probably win: Amy Wicks and Jennifer Neil. (These people think about issues instead of doing as I tell them to. And they are the only people who will stand up for you against me and my mayoral cronies! So don’t vote for them!)

But I’m not worried. I’m gonna own the MAYOR either way!

And come to think of it, given my manipulative successes, what is this food I’m eating? It’s time for me to upgrade to Junglegold® brand monkey chow, and to get my cage set up with a carpeted floor instead of this lousy paper! And I want flowers around me in my cage from now on instead of these crummy leaves! And now, I give the following code words to my cronies, your community leaders in the GBP: Eeee Eeeee Eeeee! Oooo Ooooo Ooooo! Ah – Ah - Ah! All our toadies: Arise! Your ruling oligarchs have spoken! The great day of our power is almost here! And to the rest of you, I can only say: Hehehehehehe!

Standard-Examiner: Caldwell, Stephenson Both Promise to Boost Ogden's Future

Both candidates bravely vow: "We will not (repeat NOT) "reinvent the wheel'"

The Standard-Examiner devotes a generous volume of ink in its latest contribution to the discussion in re the 2011 Ogden Municipal Election Mayoral Race, with this morning's relatively protracted (5919 words) front page story, profiling the heretofore virtually indistinguishable candidates Mike "Tweedle dum" Caldwell and Brandon "Tweedle Dee" Stephenson, and further focusing on their respective experience, platforms and goals. Here's the lede:
OGDEN -- Mayoral candidates Brandon Stephenson and Mike Caldwell are both confident their government, professional and leadership experiences will enable them to lead Ogden along a trajectory as a city on the rise.

Stephenson, 42, concluding his second term on the city council, and Caldwell, 40, Weber County's public information officer and manager of the Weber County Ice Sheet, face each other in the Nov. 8 general election.
Read the full Scott Schwebke story here:
What's apparent is that at least at this late point in the game, the candidates are now trying to differentiate themselves one from the other, (slightly at least), with Caldwell's emphasis on "tourism" and "neighborhood safety," and Stephenson's continuing focus on Big-government-propelled "economic development."

Nevertheless, their platforms are still so similar that each of them promises not to "reinvent the wheel," (whatever obscure meaning that trite cliche is supposed to convey).

So what about it? Do any of our readers see even "a dime's worth of difference" between these two candidates, in view of this morning's SE story?

Have at it, O Gentle Readers.

And stay tuned, folks, a little birdy tells us that boffo WCF contributor Chester Hop-a-long will be offering a few more choice words on the subject of the 2011 Ogden City Mayoral Race here at Weber County Forum early this afternoon, for your political mirth, merriment and enlightenment.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Weber State Game Day Thread: WSU Wildcats Meet Up with the Montana Griz in Missoula

The Wildcats can take control of their destiny, but only if they escape what could be a cold, rainy contest in Missoula with a win

The Weber State Wildcats are back on the road this afternoon, as they travel to Missoula to tangle with their conference arch-rival, the Montana Griz, in a 1:00 p.m. game that's absolutely crucial for the Wildcats' dwindling conference playoff hopes. Here's the lede from this morning's Standard-Examiner story:
MISSOULA, Mont. -- The Wildcats have to be perfect the rest of the way to qualify for a playoff spot and any shot at the Big Sky title, and just like always, the Grizzlies are standing in the way.

Weber State (3-4, 3-1 Big Sky) starts the toughest stretch of its conference season today against No. 11 Montana. With No. 4 Montana State coming up next, but the Wildcats can take control of their destiny, but only if they escape what could be a cold, rainy contest in Missoula with a win.

Check out Roy Burton's morning story for the full pre-game lowdown, which sets forth in detail what's at stake in this afternoon's Wildcats/Grizzlies showdown:
And for a little cross-conference perspective, here's the savvy Griz fans' media take, via, (which bills itself as "The original Source for Montana Grizzlies sports since 1999"):
For those Wildcats fans attending the game, (and possibly "tailgating it" pregame), we hope you all packed your Purple "woolie woolies" (and Gore-tex) for the road trip, as the weather report calls for "rain showers and an 80% chance of precipitation" on the Missoula tundra this afternoon:
And for those WSU football fans who'll be following the game from the comfort of their own warm and dry homes, be sure to catch the online audio via the Wildcats' new radio station flagship, KZNS-AM 1280. (Remember kickoff is set for 1:00 p.m.):
Once again, we'll also include the WSU Athletics Twitter feed, which has been proving downright handy for those readers unable to keep their ears perpetually glued to their radio speaker:
(Sorry folks, we're once again finding NO online video feeds. Sadly, it looks to us like the "glory days," when we used to be able to embed a video player with a live WSU game broadcasts are a thing of the long-gone past)

See ya'll around here at or about 1:00 p.m.!

Go Wildcats!

Update 10/29/11 4:58 p.m. Montana kicks Weber State's butt by a final score of 45-10. OUCH!

Update 10/30/11 7:30 a.m.: The Standard has the post-game story. Coach Mac borrows our earlier description of the game outcome:
  • "It was just what you call a good (butt)-kicking. There is no way to disguise it any other way."
Read on:

Standard Examiner: Two Rookie Candidates Seek Ogden's Ward 2 Seat

Hyer comes off as just another run-of-the mill Godfreyite type, whereas candidate Jennifer Neil will obviously bring a much needed higher level of intelligence, analytical talent and personal initiative to the Council, wethinks

This morning's Standard-Examiner focuses on the 2011 Ogden City Election again this morning, with this Top of Utah Section story briefly profiling Council Ward 2 candidates Jennifer Neil and Richard Hyer:
"Both candidates in the race for the Ogden City Council Ward 2 seat would be rookies on the council, but one appears to favor the status quo more than the other," Tim Gurrister reports.

Indeed Hyer comes off as just another run-of-the mill Godfreyite-style clone, mouthing the same worn-out, crony capitalist, Big Government market interventionist platitudes that we've heard mindlessly spouted from the current Ward 2 incumbent for eight years, whereas candidate Jennifer Neil demonstrates that she will plainly bring a much needed higher level of intelligence, analytical talent and personal initiative to the Council, wethinks.

You'll also notice a Jennifer Neil lawn sign facsimile proudly planted in our right sidebar by the way, which you can consider to be WCF's highly-enthusiastic and prominent 2011 Ward 2 candidate endorsement.

When you vote for your Ogden City Council representatives on November 8, O Gentle Ward 2 voters, be sure to vote for the "smarter of the two" candidates.

Ironically, voting for the "brainier" candidate is a real "no brainer," No?

So what's your own take on the Ward 2 race, folks?

Update 10/29/11 3:52 p.m.: One of our gentle readers wrote in to complain a few minutes ago that Mr. Gurrister's above article "hopelessly understates" Ms. Neil's platform broad platform positions, and sent us scanned copies of Ms. Neil's essential platform, as stated in a mailer that arrived in his mailbox today. We agree, and we'll therefore embed the front and back sides of the "mailer" that he just now received, scanned, and sent us just a few minutes back:

Yep! This is much more accurate and complete, wethinks.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Standard-Examiner: Trio Squares Off For Ogden City Council Seat

To our considerable aggravation, the Standard gives the opportunistic Johnny-come-lately write-in candidate equal billing with the two legitimate Council At-large "C" candidates who've been slugging it out on the campaign trail in good faith since mid-summer

For those readers diligently following 2011 Ogden City Municipal Election news, the Standard-Examiner hard copy edition carries a brief Nancy Van Valkenburg story this morning, "focus[ing] on the goals" of the Council At-large "C" candidates "... and how they hope to get things done":
To our considerable aggravation however, the Standard gives the Johnny-come-lately write-in candidate equal billing with the two legitimate candidates, Amy Wicks and Stephen D. Thompson, who've acted in good faith and have been slugging it out on the campaign trail since all the way back in mid-summer. Somehow that doesn't seem quite fair, does it? We suppose though that the Standard believes that the political opportunist who draws his main campaign donation support from people who are itching to bulldoze Mt. Ogden Park (and indeed Ogden's entire East Bench) somehow deserves at least some public attention too.

Have at it, O Gentle Ones.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Salt Lake Tribune: Longtime Utah Incumbents Leaving Office

We predict all 82,825 residents of Ogden will be dancing in the streets when Boss Godfrey "exits stage left" this coming January

Interesting Christopher Smart story in this morning's Salt Lake Tribune, which includes some introspective quotes from our lame-duck Mayor Boss Godfrey...

... as he prepares to let the City Hall exit door slap him in the backside:
Here comes the money quote:
Godfrey muses that he’ll be the happiest person in Ogden come January, when the new mayor is sworn it.
Sodden contrarian observation from your blogmeister...

Nope, wethinks the 82,825 residents of Ogden will be competing for that honor. We predict they'll all be dancing in the streets well into the night, when Boss Godfrey "exits stage left" this coming January:

Boss Godfrey's soon-to-be 2012 Retirement Par-tay


Standard Examiner Council Ward 2 Questionnaires

The full slate of SE Council candidate questionnaires is now complete

Following up on yesterday's Council At-large "C" data, the Standard-Examiner has now uploaded and linked from its website its 2011 Ogden Municipal Election Council Ward 2 questionnaires. Here are the responses of candidates Jennifer Niel and Richard Hyer, thus completing the questionnaire process for the full slate of contested Ogden City Council seats:
The floor's open for your ever-savvy comments.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

10/21/11 Ogden Mayoral Candidate Poll #3 Results

Query: Based on the latest WCF polling results, can we now conclude that former Suzie Van Hooser supporters have now moved en masse into the Mike Caldwell camp?

The final tallies are in from our latest 10/21/11 Ogden Mayoral Candidate Poll #3, which was up in our WCF sidebar for the last five days; and here are the final results for our WCF readers' information:

Granted, this is merely an unscientific poll of those who read Weber County Forum. Nevertheless, comparing these results to our previous polling data, we believe that this latest information may reasonably reveal that the largest block of WCF readers, those who might have been heretofore disposed to vote for former mayoral candidate Susie Van Hooser, have now shifted their voter loyalties to Mayoral Candidate Mike Caldwell.

We'll also make note of the fact that the mere 62 participants in this latest poll don't even come close to the 135 or more who avidly responded to our two previous polls, which each garnered tallies in excess of 135 votes.

So we feel compelled to ask: Do these flagging polling numbers signal a similar ebbing interest in the upcoming November election?

Alternatively, based on the latest WCF polling results, can we conclude that former Suzie Van Hooser supporters have now moved en masse into the Mike Caldwell camp?

We guess we'll find out on November 8th, no?

Take it for what it's worth, O Gentle Readers.

Who will be the first to offer their own 2¢?

So who'll be the first to chime in with their own interpretations concerning these latest data?

Standard Examiner Council At-large Seat "C" Questionnaires

Who'll be the first to toss in their own 2¢?

The Standard-Examiner has now uploaded its 2011 Ogden Municipal Election Council At-large Seat "C" questionnaires to the SE website. Here are the responses of candidates Amy Wicks and Steven D. Thompson, the two candidates who have legitimately participated in the race from the very start, and will appear on the November ballots only after surviving the September 13, Ogden Primary Election:
For reasons unknown, the Standard website is also carrying the responses of the late-starting usurper, right wing socialist Comrade Safsten, who willfully ignored the formal process, intentionally dodged any pre-primary campaigning and instead sneaked into the race as a write-in candidate, without the slightest Ogden voter validation, after the Primary Election smoke had cleared:
Regarding the "legitimacy" of Mr. Safsten's candidacy, we believe SE reader Bob Becker sums it up well, in this reader comment lodged below Mr. Safsten's SE response:
If Mr. Safsten wanted his seat on the council back he should have stood for election in the primary and allowed the people to send him through to the run off if they so chose. He did not earn a spot in this run off and should not be rewarded for his attempt to sneak in at the finish line. The other two candidates earned their places in this runoff. That matters.
That's it for now, Weber County Forum readers.

Who'll be the first to toss in their own 2¢?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Standard-Examiner: Two Events Set to Meet Ogden Mayoral Candidates

2012 Ogden City Mayoral Debate, October 25, 2011, 7:00 pm Weber County Main Branch Library

For those readers keeping track of the continuing flurry of 2011 Ogden Municipal Election events, this morning's Standard-Examiner provides a heads up concerning another mayoral candidate event, this one occurring this evening at 7:00 p.m. at the Weber County Library Main Branch, under the co-sponsorship of the Weber County League of Women Voters and the Standard-Examiner:
We've previously provided an announcement of Wednesday's Rotary Club-sponsored Mayoral Candidate Meet-up, but this week's conjunction of events certainly sounds like an ideal situation for procrastinators, no?

We'll keep the lower comments section open, of course, for any WCF readers who'd like to offer their remarks before, during or after tonight's event.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Standard-Examiner: Next Stop for (Faux) Trolley Report -- Analysis

Does this morning's story provide yet more evidence that Little Lord Godfrey has finally lost his marbles (to adopt highly-technical psychiatric terminology)?

The Standard-Examiner reports this morning that "[Ogden] city has compiled a ridership report that shows about 26,000 passengers have used two trolley-style buses that have looped around the downtown area for 10 months," and that the report "has been submitted to the Wasatch Front Regional Council and the Utah Transit Authority for analysis." This analysis would ostensibly determine whether a permanant "streetcar cirulater" (which would "loop" through two [easily walkable] blocks within the downtown area, and would soak the Ogden taxpayers with a cool 5 million bucks in "upfront money," plus $1 million per year in operating costs), might (in some wacky alternate universe) qualify for a grant of $25 million in federal funds:
Three questions:

1) Who will be paying for this percipient UTA analysis? (not the beleaguered Ogden taxpayers, we hope).
2) Does this "loopy" Godfrey project belong right up there near the top of the "short list" of other boneheaded Godfrey projects, right along with "crackpot flatland gondola" and "the loonybird ice tower"?
3) Does this morning's story provide yet more evidence that Little Lord Godfrey has finally lost his marbles (to adopt a highly-technical psychiatric term)?
Have at it, O Gentle Ones...

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Salt Lake Tribune: Two "Kinetic" Candidates Vie for Mayor’s Seat in Ogden

An invitation to all WCF readers to lodge their remarks and observations about how well The Salt Lake Trib's new "Ogden political beat" reporter has performed on his reportorial "maiden cruise."

We'll put the spotlight a Weber County Forum-topical story this morning, wherein Salt Lake Tribune reporter Christopher Smart provides a 700-word writeup, adding grist to the 2011 Ogden City Municipal Election discussion mill, with profiles of the Ogden mayoral candidates, Caldwell and Stephenson:
For those WCF readers who were unaware, by the way, Mr. Smart has been recently assigned by the Tribune editors to the "Ogden political beat," inasmuch as ever-savvy veteran SLTrib reporter Cathy McKitrick has been moved over to the "business beat."

This is Mr. Smart's first contribution under his new assignment, so we'll invite all WCF readers to lodge their remarks and observations about how well he's performed on his reportorial "maiden cruise."

The floor's open for your comments. Who'll be the first to offer their compliments or critiques?

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

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Standard-Examiner: Rotary Invites Public to Meet Candidates

An opportunity to listen to the Ogden City mayoral candidates, whilst gulping down a delicious rubber chicken dinner, with the political elites of Ogden's Rotary Club

For those Ogden City voters who still haven't had a chance to watch our 2011 Ogden City mayoral candidates, Caldwell and Stephenson, strut their stuff, we're delighted to announce yet another Ogden City Mayoral Candidate Event, this time an opportunity to gulp down a delicious rubber chicken dinner with Ogden's Rotary Club, which has scheduled the eleventh consecutive such event for next Wednesday (10/26/11), over at the ritzy Marriott Hotel in Ogden. The Standard has the story, which is mercifully brief, so we'll incorporate the text in full:

OGDEN -- The Rotary Club of Ogden is holding a "Meet the Ogden Mayoral Candidates Luncheon" at noon Wednesday at the Marriott in Ogden.

Cost of the luncheon is $16 per person; RSVP must be made by Monday. Rotary Club RSVPs can be directed to Maresha Bosgieter at 801-510-0596, and Chamber RSVPs can be taken by Kat Shane-Marble at 801-621-8300 or by sending an email to

Candidates Mike Caldwell and Brandon Stephenson will present their vision for Ogden and answer questions. The event is open to all Chamber of Commerce members, business and civic leaders and other service organizations

Yeah. We know that attending this event, (unlike the eleven other similar previous events), will cost you sixteen bucks. But we're sure you'll get your money's worth this go-round, especially since you'll be chowing down and rubbing elbows with Ogden's elite "Chamber of Commerce members, business and civic leaders and other service organizations," right?

We'll leave the lights on in our lower comments section as usual, of course, for any readers who'd like to comment before, during or after this event.

Weber State Game Day Thread: WSU Wildcats at Home v. SUU Thunderbirds

Hopefully the Wildcats' stingy defense will be ready for the T-birds' hot young SUU junior quarterback BYU transfer

The Weber State Wildcats are back at home this afternoon for the second straight week, in what Big Sky Conference muckey-mucks are hoping to be the beginning of a big cross-state conference rivalry. Here's the lede:

OGDEN -- This rivalry is about to get rebooted.

Weber State and Southern Utah have met 17 times over the years, the last time in 2006, but today marks the final time the Wildcats and Thunderbirds will meet as non-conference opponents.

SUU officially joins the Big Sky Conference on July 1, 2012, making today's 4 p.m. contest at Stewart Stadium the first of what will become an annual showdown for in-state FCS supremacy. Once in the expanded 14-team Big Sky, the Cedar City-based T-Birds will be one of two league-designated rivals (with Idaho State) to appear on the Wildcats' schedule every year.

And that's not merely humdrum pre-game hype, as Coach Mac expands a little more on the WSU/SUU rivalry concept:

Weber State coach Ron McBride has a grand vision for what 'Cats-'Birds rivalry could become.

"I could see in the next couple of years that this thing with Southern Utah will be a huge game in the state," McBride said. "I could see them possibly moving the game to a central site where both sides of the ball, the fans could get there and make it convenient for both sides. I could see it becoming a real windfall for both programs as far as financially and every other way because they have a very good team and I think they're going to continue to have a good team. It should be a positive for the conference and it should be a positive outcome for both schools."

Read the full SE story here, just to get your pre-game juices going:
Don't neglect to check out this SLTrib story, by the way, which hypes up the significance of today's grid battle a little bit, at least:
Hopefully the Wildcats' stingy defense will be ready for the T-birds' talented young "SUU junior quarterback Brad Sorensen, a BYU transfer who has the T-Birds ranked 10th in the country in passing offense."

For those Wildcats fans attending the game, don't forget that it's WSU's annual "blackout game," (which is NOT a reference to the lack of a video broadcast, but rather a reminder that WSU is asking fans to wear black attire today, rather than the usual purple and white).

For those fans who are stuck at home, work or anywhere but Stewart Stadium, be sure to catch the online audio via the Wildcats' new radio station flagship, KZNS-AM 1280:
And here's the WSU Athletics Twitter feed, for what it's worth (somebody's been asleep at the switch so far this afternoon, wethinks):
See ya'll around here at or about 4:00 p.m.!

Go Wildcats!

Update 10/22/11 7:12 p.m.: WSU delivers the SUU T-birds a very gracious reception at Stewart Stadium, in a game littered by ten dumb WSU penalties, among many other blunders, resulting in a final score of SUU 35, WSU 28!

What a bummer, eh?

Update 10/21/11 10:00 a.m.: The Standard provides the game post-mortem:
Close...but no cigar.

Friday, October 21, 2011

New Ogden City Mayoral Candidate Poll

Wow! Taking yesterday's WCF article into account, it looks like it's time for another 2011 Ogden City Mayoral candidate preference poll! How's this, people?

Vote in our latest poll:
Remember the olde American tradition... vote early and often, heheheh (but no cheating, please).

And yeah! The poll's also up in the right sidebar, where you can continue to vote on it for the next 4-5 days.

And while you're in the process of casting your votes, howbout lodging your thoughtful remarks in our lower comments section, justifying your candidate selections? Blogs are supposed to be reader-interactive media of course; and we're sure that everyone can benefit from your political wisdom.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Standard-Examiner Mayoral Candidate Interview Videos

A challenge to the loyal followers of the Caldwell and Stephenson camps, respectively (and a possible public service to the heretofore otherwise mystified voters of Ogden)

Good news for Ogden City political wonks. The Standard's 2011 Ogden City Municipal Election mayoral candidate interview videos have just now been uploaded to the SE site, and are now available for your critical analysis:
We'll keep the lower comments section open for anyone who like to offer their comparisons or contrasts between these two "lackluster" (shall we say) candidates and their platforms. Extra credit will go to any WCF reader who can point out a dime's worth of difference between these two mayoral candidates' views... Let's call it a challenge to the loyal followers of the Caldwell and Stephenson camps, respectively (and a possible public service to the heretofore otherwise mystified voters of Ogden City).

Thanks in advance.

Have at it, O Gentle Ones.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Standard-Examiner: Godfrey Bashes Streetcar Proposal to City Council

Mick Crandall: "If every transportation project that didn't have enough funding at this stage were to be abandoned, we would have no transportation projects at all and we'd be getting around on foot."

The Standard is reporting this morning about Boss Godfrey's reaction to a new UTA streetcar proposal, which was apparently discussed at last night's City Council meeting as a non agenda,"new business" item. Here's the lede:

OGDEN -- Mayor Matthew Godfrey is questioning what he describes as a radically different proposal from Utah Transit Authority to build a streetcar system from downtown to Weber State University and McKay-Dee Hospital for $35 million less than originally projected.
Read the full story here:
With a mere 2-1/2 months remaining until the lame duck Boss Godfrey's ushered out of office, you'd think he'd give his feverish opposition to a cross-town streetcar system a rest. But no, the streetcar proposal wasn't his idea and he'll therefore rage against it forever, we suppose.

Kudos to the city Council for keeping the concept alive, by the way. So long as the project isn't deep-sixed, we can expect clever designers, engineers and numbers-crunchers to continue to tweak the design and financing parameters, just as the UTA people seem to have now done. If the project had been put to rest as Boss Godfrey had earlier demanded of course, the issue of further prospective cost savings would be a dead letter.

Remember, as the UTA's Mick Crandall said at a Streetcar Stakeholders meeting in early July of this year, "If every transportation project that didn't have enough funding at this stage were to be abandoned, we would have no transportation projects at all and we'd be getting around on foot."

That's it for now.

Who'll be the first to chime in?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Carl Wimmer. Utah's New Mr. Big?

The picture kind of says it all

Via Mike Ridgway:

This picture kind of says it all, when it comes to how redistricting is done in Utah, (via the Salt Lake Tribune):

Carl Wimmer: Utah's New Mr. Big?

Big guy with finger on map, Carl Wimmer. Smaller guy being read the riot act, Chris Herrod.

Any questions?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Standard-Examiner: Two Companies Expand in N. Utah

Good news for the Ogden economy and something to cheer about... or something else?

Red meat political news is again in desperately short supply this morning, so we'll turn to the trusty WCF back burner to scrape up a SE story/puff piece which didn't quite make the cut over the weekend:

Friday's Standard-Examiner breathlessly announced that the Utah Governor's Office of Economic Development (GOED) has successfully "greased the skids" with sufficient taxpayer payoffs incentives to motivate the imminent arrival of two new businesses to Northern Utah, one of which will be an 80,000-square-foot HomeDepot.Com "online customer service center in Business Depot Ogden that will employ 691 workers":
We dunno about the rest of ya's, but Boss Godfrey's certainly crowing about landing the Home Depot phone bank gig:
Mayor Matthew Godfrey said the recruitment of The Home Depot is a major economic development accomplishment for Ogden.
"We couldn't have been more impressed with The Home Depot team and are thrilled they selected Ogden," Godfrey said in a prepared statement. "We are confident our work force will exceed their expectations and help them achieve the success for which they are renowned. It's been a pleasure working with them, and we look forward to a very long-term relationship."
So what about it O Gentle Ones? Good news for the Ogden economy and something to cheer about? Or just more crappy, Godfrey-style, lo-pay call center jobs?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Standard-Examiner: Re-examining Ogden’s ‘Treasures’ - Updated

This highly competent researcher has assembled an impressive array of facts relating to Ogden history, and Ogden's Historic 25th Street, in particular

We'd like to open the discussion this morning by shining the Weber County Forum spotlight on an upcoming WSU on campus special event (or pair of events) which ought to be of interest to Ogden City history buffs. The Standard carries the Becky Wright story in this morning's SE "Life" Section; and here's the lede:
Many stories about Ogden’s Historic 25th Street have been forgotten. “The early history, from the coming of the railroad in 1869 through World War II — for most of it, there’s no one alive who remembers it,” said ‍Val ‍Holley, who’s working on a book called “25th Street Confidential: Drama, Decadence, and Dissipation Along Ogden’s Rowdiest Road.”

Some stories and pictures have been saved in Special Collections at Weber State University’s Stewart Library.

“I’ve been there many times over the last three years,” he said.

Holley presents some of his research at 7 p.m. Tuesday [October 18, 2011] in the library’s Hetzel-Hoellein Room. His lecture is part of the 6 p.m. opening reception for “Treasures Brought to Light,” an exhibit celebrating the 40th anniversary of WSU Special Collections. Admission is free.
Read the full SE Digital Edition story here:
Your blogmeister had occasion to hook up with Mr. Holley a couple of months ago, while he was in town researching his book; and we can assure you that this highly competent researcher has assembled an impressive array of newly-revealed facts relating to Ogden history, and Ogden's Historic 25th Street, in particular.

If you're an Ogden history buff who'd like to have a sneak peak preview of some of the information contained in Mr. Holley's soon to be published book, we encourage you all to mark your calenders and plan to sit in on his Tuesday lecture.

Update 10/20/11 4:53 p.m. (Via Ron Atencio): Val Holley gave an awesome presentation at Weber State University Tues eve to a full house in the library's special collections dept presenting a talk and insights from his upcoming new book about our Historic 25th Street. Full house to capacity and so many great and interesting tidbits. Thanks Val!!! Looking forward to that book!!!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

WSU Game Day Thread: Weber State v. Idaho State

It's homecoming week on the Weber State campus; and the Standard-Examiner has the story about this afternoon's gridiron battle. Here's the lede:

OGDEN -- It's homecoming for Weber State fans and alumni, but for defensive line coach John Zamberlin, it's a chance to welcome some old friends to his new home -- and hopefully send them away with a loss.

Zamberlin, who last year was the head coach at Idaho State, will be in purple today as a host of Bengals he recruited to Pocatello come to Stewart Stadium for a Big Sky battle with the Wildcats. Kickoff is at 4 p.m.

Read the full SE story here:
And how are they viewing today's big game up in Bengals Country? Read this morning's Idaho State Journal stories to find out:
Fascinating contrast in offensive styles. WSU will mainly run the ball, while ISU will almost exclusively air it out, it appears.

Of course the very best way for Wildcat fans to catch the game is to buy a ticket and join the throngs of of loyal WSU fans in Stewart Stadium. But if you're laid-up in the hospital or stuck for the day in a cubicle at work, be sure to catch the online audio via the Wildcats' new radio station flagship, KZNS-AM 1280:
And here's a the WSU Twitter feed (which we're finding to be quite useful when trying to simultaneously keep up with more college games than one):
There'll be no live video broadcast today; sorry, folks.

We'll leave the lights on for your thoughtful comments, as per usual, Wildcat fans.

Go Wildcats!

Update 10/15/11 6:59 p.m.: Final, final... WSU over ISU... 39-12! Wildcats move to 3-1 in Big Sky action in front of 11,297 fans!

Update 10/16/11 8:00 a.m.: The Standard and the Idaho State Journal are carrying these post-game stories this morning:
Gotta say that winning's a heckuva lot more fun than losing, innit?

Friday, October 14, 2011

10/12/11 Council Candidate Debate Now Available For On-demand Viewing Via YouTube

We've also added this video to our right sidebar election module (Videos)

For those WCF readers who've been sitting on the edges of their seats in eager anticipation, we're delighted to report that Ogden Channel 17's video recording of last Wednesday's (10/12/11) Ogden City Council Candidate Debate is now available for viewing via Youtube:

We've also added this video to our right sidebar election module (Videos).

Don't let the cat get your tongues.

Standard-Examiner: Friday Open House Celebrates Physics at Weber State

A little birdy tells us that WCF Contributor Dan S. will be delivering a talk on photographing the night sky is at 7:30 in room LL 130

Here's another Friday (10/14/11) event you're surely not going to want to miss, per this morning's Standard-Examiner GO! Section Announcement:
OGDEN — Weber State University’s physics department will have an open house on Oct. 14.

The open house will be from 5:30 to 9 p.m. in the Lind Lecture Hall, on campus at 3848 Harrison Blvd.

Activities and demonstrations include “Circus of Physics,” involving things like levitating billiard balls and glowing pickles. Hospitable planets in other parts of the universe will be explored, and professor Ron Galli will answer what everyone has always wondered: Why do cats always land on their feet?

Admission to the open house is free, though there is a canned food drive being conducted for the Utah Food Bank.

For more information, call 801-626-7030.

For even more information, click these links:
A little birdy also tells us that WCF Contributor Dan S. will be delivering a talk on photographing the night sky at 7:30 in room LL 130. That alone is more than enough reason, wethinks, to make it a point to sit in on this event.

Standard-Examiner: Mayoral Debate Today at Ogden High School

This afternoon's event presents a doubly useful opportunity

Good news from The Standard this morning for political procrastinators... Still another(the eleventh) mayoral candidate debate is on today at Ogden High School:
OGDEN — The Advanced Placement government class at Ogden High School is sponsoring a mayoral debate between candidates Mike Caldwell and Brandon Stephenson from noon to 1 p.m. today in the school auditorium.

The school is at 2828 Harrison Blvd.

The public is welcome and encouraged to attend.

Questions for the candidates were compiled from suggestions made by students.
We swear the Ogden City citizenry can never get enough of these interesting guys.

This afternoon's event presents a doubly useful opportunity we think, to check out the mayoral candidates in the flesh, and to take a gander at the results of $9 million in renovations, if you haven't already done so already.

We'll leave the lower comments section open, as per usual, for any WCF readers who'd like to offer their comments before, during or after this event.

Update 10/15/11 7:16 a.m.: The Standard-Examiner carries the post-event story this morning:
Miraculously however, Mr. Schwebke manages to deliver a story which is entirely devoid of any substantive information about specific student questions or candidate responses.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Big City Council Candidate Forum Set For Tonight

A must-see event for Ogden City political wonks

We're delighted to issue a reminder of tonight's Council Candidate Forum, which will be "will be held at 7:00 pm. [this evening, 10/12/11] in the Ogden City Council Chambers at 2549 Washington Boulevard ." Check out this 10/5/11 Council News Advisory for the full particulars:
Tonight's event is most significant inasmuch as it's the first (and perhaps the last) General Municipal Election council candidate showcase event for the very important contested races for At-Large Seat "C" and Municipal Ward 2. Thus, this is a must-see event for true Ogden City political wonks, we believe.

We'll leave the lower comments section open, of course, for any WCF readers who'd like to offer their comments before, during or after this event. A little live blogging would be "to kill for," of course ... (hint, hint, hint).

Update 10/13/11 4:00 a.m.: Finding no takers upon our readership request to report on last night's City Council Candidate event, we'll dutifully link and rely upon this morning's all too brief Scott Schwebke story instead:
We'd still love to hear from any WCF readers who attended last night's council candidate forum, however.

Update 10/13/11 4:15 a.m.: Oops! Looks like we were a mite hasty in our observation that none of our WCF readers have offered their own reports on last night's event, inasmuch as we've just now stumbled upon this Facebook link, taking us to this partial report by none other than frequent WCF contributor and Ward 2 Council Candidate Jennifer Neil herself:
Pretty good stuff, indeed!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Provo Herald: Lawmaker Looking at Taxing Carbonated Drinks to Fund Education

Welcome to the expanded "nanny state," people

In local Emerald City news, The Provo Herald is reporting that Ogden GOP Leg. 10 State House Representative Dixon Pitcher is working his fingers to the bone to run a bill which would create a new Utah "Sin Tax."

Here's the lede:
A Utah lawmaker is once again looking at creating a tax on carbonated beverages to help fund Utah's education programs. Rep. Dixon Pitcher, R-Ogden, is in the early stages of drafting a bill that would levy a tax on soda pop, energy drinks and sports drinks. Pitcher introduced the bill during the 2011 legislative session but the bill was never given consideration. Pitcher now is working to bring it back in the 2012 session.

"I've had a really good response to the idea," Pitcher said. "A lot of people say to me, 'I really shouldn't be drinking the poison.'"

Pitcher said he is working to line up a coalition of medical professionals who will give support to his plan to put a tax on soda. Local medical experts say if the tax can truly deter people from drinking the sugar-based drinks, it could mean an increase in healthy Utahns.
Read the full story here:
It won't be long before Utah "soda pop junkies" will be making weekend runs to Evanston, West Wendover, Mesquite and other Utah border towns to stock up on "poisonous" and evil brews like Mountain Dew, Diet Coke and Seven-up, along with the usual booze, cigarettes, fireworks and lottery tickets, we suppose.

Welcome to the expanded "nanny state," people, brought to you courtesy of another wacked out Utah GOP legislator.

Surely at least a few of our gentle readers will be motivated to comment about this. Don't let the cat get your tongues. (We know you're out there; we can hear you breathing.)

"These people must be stopped," according to GOP Rep. Pitcher:

Evil "Coke-Heads"

Tuesday RDA Work Session: Progress Report on Pending RDA Projects

Check out this week's council packet to find out more

Not much is happening with the City Council/Redevelopment Agency this week. As a matter of fact, this week's regular RDA meeting has been cancelled. On the other hand, there is something on calender which we found to be quite interesting, namely Tuesday's RDA work session agenda, which includes a September RDA project report highlighting "new activity on notable projects or other activities undertaken by the RDA."

Curious about the progress of the heavily taxpayer-subsidized SouthRiver LLC River Project, the status of the similarly taxpayer funds-dependent Kevin Garn "Hot Tub Hotel" or some of the other projects simmering on the Ogden RDA front burner? Check out this week's council packet to find out more:
Kudos the the City Council/RDA for placing this project status report conspicuously within public view and scheduling these matters for formal work session discussion. Hopefully these project status reports will be issued on a regular basis in the future, as a concession to those political wonks (like us) who savor the most open and transparent government possible.

Comments, anyone?

Sunday, October 09, 2011

2011 Ogden Municipal Election Update

Last Thursday's mayoral debate video in now available for viewing via YouTube; and The Womens' Legislative Council announces yet another upcoming mayoral candidate showcase event

Here are couple of notable 2011 Municipal Election developments for Ogden City political wonks, both concerning the Mayoral Race, as our right sidebar Election Countdown Clock mercilessly ticks down to within 29 days of the November 8 Election:

1) Channel 17's video recording of Last Thursday's (10/6/11) Ogden Mayoral Debate is now available for viewing via Youtube:

We've also added the link to our right sidebar election module for your convenient future reference, of course.

2) The Weber County Women's Legislative Council announces yet another upcoming mayoral candidate showcase event, the particulars of which we'll incorporate from this morning's Standard-Examiner sidebar snippet:
OGDEN — Mayoral candidates Brandon Stephenson and Mike Caldwell will speak to the Women’s Legislative Council of Weber County at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

The two will make presentations and answer questions from the audience.

The meeting will be held at the South Ogden Senior Center, 580 39th St.
This will be the tenth mayoral event this election cycle, by our count folks. Lest some of you might argue that this year's weird abundance of mayoral candidate events is an indulgence in overkill, we'll make the observation that this very well might be the last chance for Caldwell and Stephenson, candidates who've heretofore failed to demonstrate a dime's worth of difference between their respective platforms during their first nine attempts, to clearly and finally differentiate themselves, one from the other.

"The tenth time's the charm," according to the old ax... no? [wink] Well who knows? Maybe this time these bumbling candidates will finally get it right, this tenth (count 'em, 10th) go-round.

The floor's open for your ever-savvy remarks.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Two Chewy Ogden Municipal Election Stories Which We'll Gleefully Reel Off For Your Morning Consumption

Nobody likes a whiner, Mr. Safsten -- Write that down so you don't forget it

This morning's Standard-Examiner carries two chewy Ogden Municipal Election stories which we'll gleefully reel off for your morning consumption:

1) Who's that scowling fellow whose sad mug is plastered right up there on the SE front page this morning? Why it's Comrade Rick Safsten, of course, the Rosie Ruiz of the 2011 Ogden Council At-Large "C" race, whining that his intentionally late-filed write-in candidacy's exclusion from the October 12, 2011 City Council Candidate Forum "isn't fair":
Here's what's unfair, Mr. Rick "Drama Queen" Safsten: What's unfair is your intentionally and willfully cooling your heels for the first 3-1/2 months of the 2011 municipal election cycle, sitting on the sidelines waiting until half of the other well-qualifed At-large "C" candidates had already gotten bumped off by the voters in the primary, and then suddenly jumping into the race with a weird, psuedo-messianic Godfreyite deliverence message, expecting at that point to be treated on an equal footing with the last two surviving General Election candidates who'd played by the rules, prevailed in the primary and had been slugging it out on the campaign trail since mid-July, unlike you.

If you'd wanted to benefit from the perquisites and exposure of a real registered candidate, you should have entered the race at the outset, just like all the other city council candidates did. Instead, you acted in bad faith and chose to adopt the "lazy" approach.

That's our take; and we're stickin' to it. So what say our WCF readers about all this?

2) SE Davis County Bureau reporter Bryan Saxton reports on yesterday's command performance event, where the politically muscular Northern Wasatch Association of Realtors (NWAR) hosted an Ogden mayoral debate, featuring Mike Caldwell and Brandon "Sockpuppet" Stephenson over what we imagine to have been a yummy Davis Conference Center rubber chicken lunch:
Between candidates Caldwell and Stephenson, these NWAR folks have a serious $10 grand ($5 thousand per candidate) invested in the the Ogden City Mayoral Race, so it makes perfect sense that they'd host these guys for an old-fashoned NWAR barbecue grilling, no? These NWAR folks need to know they're getting their money's worth, right... and to check out condition of the horse-flesh that they bought?

Oh and one other thing. We'll make the observation that mayoral write-in candidate Patrick C. Conlin wasn't invited to yesterday's above-mentioned NWAR pig-out either; yet we don't find him plastered all over the SE front page this morning, whining about the snub. Nobody likes a whiner, Mr. Safsten. Write that down so you don't forget it, please.

That's it for now.

So who'll be the first to chime in?

Friday, October 07, 2011

Standard-Examiner: Dedication Set for 1.1-mile Stretch of Ogden River Project - Updated

If you have a little free time in your afternoon calenders, why not get on down to this afternoon's ribbon cutting ceremony and give the Little Lame Duck Lord a nice pat on the back?

Here's something special which our WCF readers might want to consider adding to their Friday calenders. The Standard-Examiner provides the story; and here's the lede:

OGDEN -- The city is sponsoring a dedication ceremony Friday commemorating completion of the first phase of a $6.3 million effort to clean up a polluted downtown section of the Ogden River.

The aim of the daylong celebration is to highlight the transformation taking place along a 1.1-mile stretch of the river between Washington Boulevard and Gibson Avenue.

The public is invited throughout the day to wander along paths, visit exhibit booths and participate in kayaking and fishing demonstrations on the river.

Volunteers will work on various service projects along the waterway, and Mayor Matthew Godfrey will conduct a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 2 p.m. on the river's banks at Childs Avenue.

Read the full Scott Schwebke story here:
City Engineer Justin Anderson aptly describes the Ogden River Restoration Project as having "... gone from a nuisance and eyesore to a treasure right in the middle of town;" and Boss Godfrey (in a rare instance of non-hyperbolic understatement) sez that Friday's ceremony will mark "a significant accomplishment." It's in this connection that we'll speculate, of course, that the Ogden River restoration could very well prove in time to be the most significant achievement of Godfrey's entire 12-year reign of terror mayoral administration.

So if you have a little free time in your afternoon calenders, why not get on down to the ribbon cutting ceremony and give the Little Lame Duck Lord a nice pat on the back?

Update 10/7/11 7:42 a.m. (per Dan S.): The Trib also has a nice writeup, complete with a tally of how the project was funded and some historic, archival photos of Robert Kennedy and Gadi Leshem, four years ago. Check out the captions on the Leshem photos!
Update 10/8/11 8:00 a.m.: The Standard carries this Scott Schwebke post-event story this morning, which describes yesterday's deliriously joyful ribbon cutting event:
Check out the happy campers, folks:

Prominent Godfreyite "High Muck-a-mucks" frolic beside the Ogden River

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