Wednesday, November 30, 2011
yank away scores of federal "civil rights datainees", especially when it will cost cost Weber County taxpayers $millons in the "long run".
Sodden query: Even assuming that the Weber County Jail is or isn't abiding by the terms of their their "ICE" contract, should the feds be warehousing these people ("civil detainees") in county jails anyway, in the first place?
Just as one scandal-plagued U.S. presidential candidate seems to be readying to drop out of the U.S. presidential race, we find in this morning's Salt Lake Tribune a story that's bound to warm the cockles of the hearts of all Utah lumpencitizens. Former Salt Lake City Mayor (and Ogden City homeboy) Rocky Anderson is reportedly gearing up to fatten up the presidential field under a soon-to-be-announced third party banner:
SLTrib reader opines in a comment beneath this morning's story, "Although he doesn't stand a fiddlers chance in hell... GOOD LUCK... He couldn't be any worse than anyone else running!!! "
It gets "interestinger and interestinger", dunnit?
Update 12/2/11 5:00 a.m.: Pat Bagley chimes in the subject with another spot-on cartoon:
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Awesome YouTube video for another betwixt and between Thanksgiving and Christmas slow-mo news day:
"doting" pet owners around these parts, but we do believe this one takes the cake.
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Thanks to Friday's timely heads up from former Ogden City Councilwoman Dorrene Jeske, we were forewarned that a Standard-Examiner Godfrey Administration "retrospective" was coming up; and lo and behold, it's right there at the top of the S-E front page, under Mr. Schwebke's byline this morning:
"Puff Pieces" or "Alternate Reality Department," folks.
Although we hardly know where to start, we'll hit a few of the low points:
1) The Gondola(s)/ Mt. Ogden Park Fiasco. Weber County Forum political wonks will well remember the five year municipal "civil war" over Boss Godfrey's gondola obsession, which split our community down the middle, over Godfrey's plan to sell our crown jewel Mt. Ogden Park to finance a couple of gondolas to serve Mr. Peterson's hopelessly ill-conceived (proposed) Malan's Basin Ski Resort. In a marvel of historical revisionism, Mr. Schwebke spruces up Ogden City history this morning and lets Godfrey get away with this throwaway quote: "When it became apparent there was not going to be a proposal from him (Peterson), we backed away." WCF readers will of course not need to be reminded of the true reasons that Godfrey at least publicly dumped his gondola obsession on the eve of the 2007 Municipal Election campaign kickoff, i.e., flagging job approval numbers and a gondola project which was politically toxic in and of itself.
2) The Junction Money Pit. In truly mind numbing disregard for the truth, Schwebke allows Mr. Godfrey to "re-frame" the downtown Junction Project, a boondoggle which required a full bond re-financing in 2009, but which even today costs the Ogden taxpayers upwards of $600 grand per year in public subsidies. This project was originally billed as one which "wouldn't cost the taxpayers a red cent," we note in retrospect. In any scenario other than the upside-down alternate Godfreyite universe, this project would be recognized for exactly what it is, a gigantic economic flop.
3) The 2007 Ogden Municipal Election. Mr. Schwebke breezes through Godfrey's 2007 re-election with this: "In 2007, running on a platform of reduced crime and increased economic development, Godfrey won a third term by defeating challenger City Councilwoman Susan Van Hooser." That's it.
And here's at least some of what Mr. Schwebke leaves out, concerning the totally messed up 2007 election:
- The Envision Ogden scandal, which exposed levels of political corruption heretofore never seen in Ogden politics, including The Ogden Salomon Center 2007 "Sneak Preview" event, which was largely instrumental in generating sufficient Godfreyite "under the table" political slush funds to bankroll a whole separate political scandal, i.e., The FNURE money laundering scandal, the acrid smoke from which still hasn't cleared yet.
- The Godfreyite 2007 voter suppression effort, conducted by Godfrey acolyte Blake Fowers, who gummed up the 2007 election works by issuing a "blanket" challenge to "140-odd" Ogden voters. This one got so bad that even the normally gutless Utah ACLU chimed in with a report stating that Godfreyite misconduct "marred" the 2007 mayoral election.
- And who among our gentle readers can forget the sheer idiocy of the 2007 Lawn Sign Wars, which ultimately resulted in Godfrey Lieutenent Bobby "Short Deck" Geiger's criminal conviction?
4) Godfrey's Secret Gondola Study. And in closing, here's another memorable Godfrey administration moment in time, (which Mr. Schwebke also forgot to mention), which nicely illustrates Boss Godfrey's mendacity and complete disregard for our City Council's role as the City's co-equal government branch. Take a little trip down memory lane folks, and recall the time Godfrey tried to hide and misappropriate a $250 thousand Federal Transportation grant from the Ogden City Council, and then got caught red-handed in a highly-incriminating GRAMA produced email paper trail, like the proverbial kid with his hand in the cookie jar.
That's it for now, O Gentle Ones, although we do realize we haven't even scratched the surface in our own Boss Godfrey Retrospective.
Time's a ticking however, WCF readers, so we'll hit the "publish" button now, and rely upon our Gentle WCF Readers to fill in the other parts that we left out.
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Now that WSU football is off calender, and after considerable googling, here's our latest, which revives our Science Saturday thread:
1) Are You the Next Carl Sagan? Come Find Out at FameLab Astrobiology!
previous Thanksgiving day story, but here's more on the topic from that non-peer reviewed, although often scientifically underestimated bastion of scientific "lay" knowledge, the venerable Popular Science online magazine:
the Onion's inimitable Joad Cressbecker, which skillfully reveals the latest NASA boondoggle(s)... or whatever:
WCF this week, folks.
Science is great, ainnit?
Friday, November 25, 2011
Are you football fans in Emerald City looking for a football squad to follow, now that the Weber State Wildcats have been eliminated from the Big Sky Conference race? Would you like to see at least one Utah college football team emerge as the team to follow in an important BCS conference race?
Here's a highly-informative story from our home town newspaper which we lodge here for all frustrated Utah college football fans:
WCF peeples! The now-not-so-lowly University of Utah (7-4, 4-4), which started out its inaugural conference season with four (count-em, 4) PAC-12 conference losses... will be playing for the Pac-12 Championship upon the happening of these contingencies:
- Utah beats Colorado (highly likely)
- USC beats UCLA (dang near a sure thing)
- California beats Arizona State (the unknown factor)
Keep your fingers (and toes) crossed, Utah football fans.
Update 11/26/11 4:53 p.m.: Utah gets its ass whooped in its own RES Home Stadium by the worst team in the Pac-12 (Colorado) in close game, wheerin field goal kickerColeman Peterson muffed not one, not two but three field goals.
Ironically, last week's Pac-12 Special Teams Player of the Week now becomes this week's "goat."
Better luck next year O my Utah Utes.
Update 11/26/11 6:30 a.m.: The Salt Lake Tribune is all over the post-game story:
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Okay, folks, we know that America's possibly the 2d most under-rated U.S. Federal Holiday is nevertheless coming right up any minute; so in light of the inevitable political red meat news lull which always comes along with U.S. holidays, we'll gear up to identifythe most important U.S. media stories, which diligent effort tells us... well... that here's something serious that none of the traditional news media slackers are covering at all:.
Here's the most important pre-Thanksgiving story of all. as we see it:
Safety First: Turkeys can be outright dangerous, even dead ones, or so we learn from former StarTrek Captain Kirk:
Just an important Turkey Day safety tip from yer old pal, Rudi, merely to help you avoid any possible disasters, and to help you all get THE BIG DAY off to a good start (and finish*):
If in doubt, situate your turkey fryer in a large fire-resistent place, like an island on a nearby pond (say Bues's Pond, for instance), well away from you, the seemingly non-inflammable (my good pal) Bill Shatner, your other possibly flammable loved ones, friends and family members etc. all of whom will be hopefully and distantly removed from you pyromiac fryer cooking pot ... and with a decent fire extinguisher located nearby.
You wouldn't want to catch yourself or your friends and family in a turkey-fat explosion like Bill Shatner did, would you?
No, we didn't think so.
Happy Thanksgiving Day, folks!
Just another helpful holiday hint and associated holiday greeting from yer old pal Rudi, along with my old pal, the retired Captain Kirk!
*Good finish: You Didn't actually set your house on fire, whilst frying a turkey!
Unlike the normal situation during most pre-holiday run-ups, we find plenty of chewy of material for Weber County Forum discussion this morning, as we stand on the cusp of Tomorrow's Thanksgiving Day holiday. We'll thus reel a few of them out in no particular order of importance:
1) Our wing-nut legislature asked for it, and now we "got" it. This morning's Standard-Examiner reports that "The U.S. Justice Department filed a lawsuit Tuesday challenging Utah's immigration enforcement law":
Although this morning's story doesn't discuss the underlying legal issues in detail, you can be sure that Attorney General Eric Holder's Justice Department is relying heavily on the broad federal powers contained in the U.S. Constitution's Supremacy clause (Article VI, Clause 2). Under well established principles of U.S. Constitutional jurisprudence, it's been long recognized that the power to regulate immigration is exclusively a federal power under this Constitutional provision, and that any attempt by a state entity such as Utah to meddle in the field of immigration regulation will likely be ultimately ruled to be preempted and invalidated by Salt Lake City's U.S. District Court, which has jurisdiction in this matter.
Here's another fine (and expensive) mess our "wacked out" legislature's gotten us into, folks. (Something to remember when these "fiscally conservative" (so-called) legislative fruit-cakes again ask for our votes next November.)
2) There's another fine editorial on the hard-copy S-E editorial page this morning, approving, in no uncertain terms, the good Dr. Palumbo's action in stopping WSU's 11/13/11 concert "in order to have removed a disabled girl who was disturbing the concert with noises," and going on to add that "criticism of conductor Michael A. Palumbo is not fair":
SE Editorial Board for coming out publicly and saying what needed to be said.
3) Possible good news for political wonks like us, who stand absolutely appalled at the horrifying prospect of finding the names of the likes of Herman Cain, Rick Perry or Michelle Bachman (or even Incumbent President Barrack Obama) on our 2012 Presidential Election ballots. Check out this morning's tantalizing Los Angeles Times "national commentary," wherein Time columnist Dyle McManus sets forth a clever and high-tech "alternate" presidential nomination approach:
"improve our presidential gene pool?" Yesiree, we do believe so.
4) Last but not least, we learn from another alert reader that Ogden City's conducting an online survey, to collect your input on a new "Recreation Master Plan" which Boss Godfrey's Gnomes seem to be cooking up in some City Hall back room. Godfrey asks for citizen input so infrequently that we'll label it a complete novelty. Who knows, however? after 47 months at the helm, has Godfrey turned over a new leaf?
Our WCF reader tipster informs us that she filled out the questionnaire and even offered this suggestion to the Little Lord, by the way:
I specifically asked that we purchase the west facing Weber Wasatch mountainside to preserve as a green space and - possibly - a city, county or state parkNow there's one helluva good idea, says us.
It isn't often that Godfrey wants to find out what the lumpencitizens think, so we'll be hoping you won't let the little guy down.
That's it for now, O Gentle Ones...
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
After all, when your party has all the power, there’s no reason to clutter the process with comments from ordinary citizens, or to give boards that safeguard the people’s interests any authority to question your decisions.
November 22, 2011
In the hope of kick-starting a little bit of Tuesday morning discussion, we'll draw our readers' attention to this strong and sensible editorial, which just popped up on the Salt Lake Tribune website this morning, criticising Utah County GOP Wacko Utah Sen. Margaret Dayton, R-Orem, who is "sponsoring a (2012) bill to shrink and dilute the authority of five citizen boards in Utah." "The boards’ mission is to watch out for the environmental health of Utahns, which may sometimes be at odds with the bottom-line health of polluting industries," says the SLTrib Editorial board:
Tribune goes on of course, to decry "the negative impacts of Utah single-party rule."
While we take it as a given that Senator Dayton's chief loyalties may indeed lie with her special interest corporate campaign donors, there is one aspect of Sen. Dayton's pending bill which we can't quite fathom.
Senator Dayton (and her bought and paid for GOP cohorts) breathe the same air and drink the same water as all the other lumpencitizens who reside in Utah, no?
Well then again... maybe not. They all reside in the rarified air of the Utah legislature, we guess.
That's it for now.
Take it away, O Gentle Ones, cough, cough, cough...
Monday, November 21, 2011
Okay folks! Although your blogmeister will reiterate as a blanket statement that he loathes Facebook, here, nevertheless, are a few "Facebook wall pics" all of which came from separate Facebook sources, each of which is definitely and fully worthy of note in it's own right:
1) NYCPD riot cop pepper sprays "Central Park" agitators:
2) And is nothing sacred? Looks like the same NYPD guy "pepper spraying" "Yoda," before frog-marching the little guy to the hoose-gow, no?:
3) And then weirdly, the same or similar NYCPD Riot Cop is suddenly in Florence, Italy, touching up Michelangelo's scribblings on the ceiling of the holy Sistine Chapel with a pepper spray can:
4) And last but not least, there's of course this sacrilege directed against the U.S. Founders, solumnlycaptured in 18th century artist's paint, we suppose, whilst these guys in white powdered wigs were "founding" the U.S.A, (which painting unfortunately isn't conducive to a "firm" time/date stamp):
Is "nothing sacred in modern American culture (except Lady Gaga and Madonna)," we ask AGAIN???
This cut/paste NYPD Riot Cop nevertheless (certainly) "gets around" quite a bit today, yes?
It's a sign of the times, we guess, or so we say with a little "loss of liberty" "tear in our eye."
Update 11/21/11 8:58 p.m.: One of our gentle readers informs us that we missed one... and he's right:
"worked its way through art history" and entered the realm of "gone viral":
Update 11/22/11 5:49 a.m.: Via the New York Times: "On Amazon... the page of a pepper spray can that is similar to the one used by Lieutenant Pike now has “product images” of the spray being used on students. There are also several product reviews that poke fun at the police department."
Interesting Bob Bernick Utah Pulse online morning column. Among other items, Bernick focuses on a recently published report from The Utah Foundation, a non-partisan public policy research organization, which "found that Utah stands alone among the 50 states in that a sitting officeholder can be removed from office by being denied his/her party’s nomination in a state or county party convention."
"In my long years as a political reporter in this state I had heard this before. But this is the first time I’ve seen the scholarly research that proves it," Bernick adds.
There is a group which labels themselves “mainstream conservatives” that are considering trying to provide an alternative route to the political party primary ballots.Yeah, we know that enacting legislation through Utah's constitutionally guaranteed (yet legislatively emasculated) citizens initiative process is no easy chore. Nevertheless, opponents of school vouchers used the initiative process to enact one important piece of anti-crony-capitalist citizen legislation in 2007; and Utahns for Ethical Government 1n 2010 successfully gathered the requisite number of signatures to place their own grass roots legislation on the ballot in time for the 2012 election. Daunting though the task may be, there does seem to be an avenue for bringing a more populist form of "democracy" to the Utah political nomination process.
The group, which includes UtahPolicy owner/publisher LaVarr Webb, former Gov. Mike Leavitt, and Hinckley Institute of Politics director Kirk Jowers, among others, is thinking of running a citizen initiative petition in 2012 which would allow a party member who gathers 2 percent of the voter signatures from the last general election to put his name on the primary ballot.
That petition route is used by other convention/primary states, as found in the Utah Foundation report.
We'll be standing by. This one will be fun to watch.
So who wants to throw in their own 2¢?
Sunday, November 20, 2011
In last Tuesday's (11/15/11) Weber County Forum article we discussed the City Council's action in rejecting Boss Godfrey's "half baked proposal" to summarily amend Ogden water rates, and the Council's alternative decision and resolution to enter into a "comprehensive water rate study," with a rate adjustment to made, if at all, in the mid-spring of 2012, after suitable study and public input.
In a subsequent Standard-Examiner story Mr. Schwebke reported that Mayor Matthew Godfrey had "expressed extreme disappointment Tuesday night that the city council refused to approve his proposal to immediately lower water rates;" and one of our gentle readers remarked, "Do let us know if there was a Godfrey tirade. Seeing an adult (the mayor no less) acting like a child is the best show in town. "
We're now pleased to discover that the video recording of Tuesday's regular Council Session is now online, and we've accordingly embedded that video below, for our readers' enlightenment (and possible amusement). For our readers' convenience here are the important "waypoints" in Tuesday's Council discussion:
Main discussion - 12:00 minutesAnd here's the full Council video:
Council Chair Gochnours reading of the Council's "alternate" resolution - 29:08
The Council's voice vote - 34:45
Mayor Godfrey's comments - 39:01
So what about it, O Gentle Ones? Does Boss Godfrey's behavior descend to the levels of childishness and rudeness we've witnessed in the past? Or did Godfrey show some slight improvement and somehow manage to keep Tuesday night's "extreme disappointment" tolerably in check?
Saturday, November 19, 2011
The Weber State Wildcats are back on the road today in Portland, Oregon, where they'll be facing playoffs-hopeful Portland State U. at 2:00 p.m., for their final conference game of the 2011 season. FCS No. 25-rated Portland State (7-3, 5-2 Big Sky) is coming off a 4-game win streak, and is harboring hopes that a big win in their Jeld-Wen Field home stadium will fortify their case for advancement to a Big Sky Conference playoff berth, while the Wildcats (4-6, 4-3 Big Sky), who are mathematically eliminated from contention for post-season play, will have to be content this afternoon to play a possible "spoiler role."
Adding to our WSU squad's motivation however is the percipient retirement of our much beloved Coach Ronnie Mac; so there's nothing the guys in purple and white would love more than to knock off a Top 25 opponent with playoff aspirations, just to send Coach Mac into retirement on a completely positive note. The S-E's Roy Burton provides the pre-game lowdown, wherein Coach Mac muses about how this season's relatively disappointing final outcome boils down to about four "blown" plays:
"fair weather fans" O Fans of WSU football.
The Wildcats are our home town football team, by the way; and we'll continue to support them, come hell or high water!
Update 11/19/11 5:12 p.m.: Wildcats win another one for Mac. Final 48-33!
Update 11/20/11 8:25 a.m.: The Standard's Roy Burton provides the post-game story. Weber State (5-6, 5-3) finishes tied for third in the Big Sky Conference with Eastern Washington and Portland State:
Friday, November 18, 2011
This morning's Standard-Examiner carries a story this morning reporting on the current status of the still-moribund Ogden River Project, which according to our calculations has been on the City's "drawing board" for over eight years. The project's "still alive," announces this morning's SE headline; and this morning's lead paragraphs provide what we'll characterise as "classic" Godfrey Administration optimism:
OGDEN -- The city is continuing to negotiate with a Holladay company for the construction of housing and retail businesses within the long awaited mixed-use Riverbend development formerly known as the Ogden River Project.Lower down in Mr. Schwebke's story however, Mr. Ballard hedges more than a little bit, or so it seems to us:
Millrock Development LLC is working with Gadi Leshem -- whose firm, Ogden Riverfront Development, is the main owner of Riverbend property -- to be the major partner in the project, said Jonny Ballard, the city's community development manager.
So we're not quite sure what to make of Mr. Ballard's "soft" end-of-year deadline. Does Mr. Ballard mean to imply that our newly-elected Mayor, Mr. Caldwell, can be expected by the Godfrey administration to "drop the ball" on this project after he's sworn into office on January 3? If the City Council fails to ratify a Millrock Development LLC development agreement, will Godfrey's "A" Team consider the River Project Game to be over? Does this language foreshadow an upcoming last-ditch Godfrey crony development agreement proposal which will truly sell the River Project (and the beleguered Ogden City taxpayers figuratively "down the river?"
Ballard is hopeful the city can obtain a memorandum of understanding by the end of the year with Millrock to begin work on the project.
"If something doesn't happen by the end of the year, it could be on the table for a while," he said.
Nor are we clear about the Standard's rationale for running this "no news" story at all, unless it clumsily dovetails with yesterday's WCF topic, i.e., the apparent ongoing attempts of Boss Godfrey and his lemming-like followers to put a "positive" spin on Godfrey's accomplishments and to assist our lame-duck mayor in exiting the public stage in a contrived and revisionist "blaze of glory."
Here's the full SE story for our readers' inspection:
"Riverbend Project Timeline," which is embedded in the article page within the Standard's hard-copy and digital editions:
This is helpful information, we think, for those folks who might need to refresh their memories about just how very long the Ogden River Project has actually been left simmering (mostly unattended) on Boss Godfrey's back burner.
It's even more helpful, wethinks, for those mis-guided souls who might be tempted to embellish our outgoing mayor's "achievements," as the little "Wizard" behind the "Emerald City Curtain" prepares for his final curtain call.
The floor's open for our savvy readers' comments.
So many questions... so few answers...
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Ever-savvy Weber County Forum reader Blackrulon predicted it:
What Godfrey is trying to accomplish is simple. He and his cronies are making a last minute push to implement changes that he thinks are positive. He is trying to make his time as mayor seem all positive. I am certain that with the help of Scott Schwebke, friendly editors at the S-E and friends writing letters of praise he believes he can leave office in a blaze of glory. Look for many more positive and gushing news stories, guest commentaries and letters to the editor to obscure the real results of his years as mayor.And now it's coming to pass. Accumulating now on the Standard-Examiner website are the first of what we expect to be many fawning letters of praise for The Little Lord, who'll be departing the Ogden Mayoral Office in January.
In that connection we'll first link to the below 11/15/11 letter from Bill Glasmann III, the former Ogden City Councilman who was elected to Council office in 2005, on a platform of limited and frugal government, with the promise to serve as a citizen watchdog and to "bring the people back into" the process of city government, which Glasmann characterised at the time as being dominated by "an arrogant, self-serving City Council and Administration."
Ogden City political wonks will of course remember ironically, how Glasmann then promptly turned his back on the constituents who voted him into office (with a remarkable neck-snapping 180º flip-flop) and resigned from his Council Seat a short nine months later, to take a high five-figure salaried position, working in a back room within the very same "arrogant and self-serving" Boss Godfrey's Big Spending/Big Government Economic Development Department. Check out Mr. Glasmann's sappy letter where he heaps it on about as thick as anybody could ever heap it on:
"feather-bed job" which he "milked" for a number of years; so it's now time for a little fawning revisionist payback, we guess.
In a similar connection we'll also put the spotlight on the below-linked 11/16/11 Kevin Irons "lame-brain" Boss Godfrey tout letter:
WCF readers will at least remember Mr. Irons of course, as a reliable Boss Godfrey acolyte, and a 2007 city council candidate "place filler" for a short duration, before abandoning has council candidacy and throwing his support to the "Envision Ogden Scandal"-notorious Godfreyite Royal Eccles. WCF contributor Donnie Dolittle had him accurately pegged in his Ogden City Election 2007 Voting Guide as one of "a bunch of nobodies the mayor has in the (city council) race to Hoover up votes from all the people who can’t stomach voting for the likes of Royal (Eccles) and Kent ("the Skipper") Peterson, (and of course Mr. Dolittle was quite right).
Yesiree, folks; Gentle Reader Blackrulon's post-election prognostications are proving to be uncannily correct, as Boss Godfrey mobilizes his lame lemming followers to "sanitize" his heavily-tarnished public image, and begins mendaciously distributing his resume to unwary possible employers in the private sector.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Well... Thanksgiving's coming up quickly, and we know you'll all wanna be properly attired for that seminal American (sometimes half-hearted Canadian) holiday, so here's some must-order costumery which you still have time to order (and have shipped)... you know... so you'll have that "just right look" for that great American holiday, which was originally conceived to celebrate the "mere" survival of the first "successful" English Colony in America, although this holiday has now been sorely "twisted" instead to celebrate modern American "gluttony." [sigh]:
Gentle WCF Readers: What better way to honor the Thanksgiving Holiday than to show up at the family dinner with a genuine "Plush Turkey Hat" on your noggin?
Order yours now, before supplies run out!
Update 11/17/11 4:00 p.m.: We now learn from one of our alert readers that the "Turkey Hat" also comes in an upgraded and little more "pricy" "Men's Model," with additional, deluxe & life-like "wing" appendages:
No doubt about it, we're conjuring up a psychic mental image of ya'll beatin'feet over the the above linked costumes.com website with an online order, so's you'll all be dressed in the Highest Thanksgiving Fashion a mere seven days from today.
Order your "Plush Turkey Hat" today.
Wednesday Morning Emerald City News Roundup: An Invitation to Munch on a Few Relatively "Lo-Calorie Snacks"
Although there's not much in the way of nutritious "red meat political news" in the morning papers to whet our readers' ever-voracious news appetites, we have, (after considerable Googling), nevertheless stumbled upon several interesting lo-calorie "snacks." We'll accordingly reel off the following news items in no particular order, if only to assure our WCF readers that we haven't been completely goofing off this morning:
Following up on this thought-provocative Charles Trentelman "Wasatch Rambler" column, published earlier in the week, The SE editorial board this morning says,"[we] agree with Dennis Howland, state commander of the Veterans for Foreign Wars, that there is a much better way for these monuments to service to be handled. If a thrift shop, such as Deseret or Savers, etc., receives a flag and medals, send the military symbols to the local VFW post. As Howland mentions, there is an archive where these historical symbols of service will be treated with respect and put on display":
"Such things deserve far better shelf space than across the aisle from used paperbacks or size 36 men's pants, circa 1972," the SE editorial board adds.
We say: "Amen to that."
Within Saturday's Weber State University Game Day Thread article we linked a half-dozen Standard-Examiner stories noting WSU Football Coach Ron McBride's imminent retirement and paying him well-deserved tribute for his 50-year career as a college football coach. Here's another top-notch tribute to add to that article list:
WCF spotlight on a "tempest in a teapot" which clicked up a couple of notches to a "major kefluffle" after Weber State University music professor Michael A. Palumbo, serving as the conductor for the WSU (Student) Symphony Orchestra, interrupted the performance of Ludvig von B's' 9th Symphony in the middle of the fourth movement, and asked a disruptive audience member to depart the packed house. One concert attendee, feathers duly ruffled, started the "whining" ball rolling with this irate SE Letter to the Editor, to which professor Palumbo responds in this morning's SE hard-copy edition front-page story:
That's it for now, Gentle Readers.
Time to let 'er rip...
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
A Couple of Weber County Forum-topical Matters Set for Tonight's Ogden City Council Regular Meeting Agenda
Here's a brief heads-up concerning a couple of Weber County Forum-topical matters which appear on the agenda for tonight's Ogden City Council Regular Meeting:
1) The City Council is ready to calender the certification of the November 8 Ogden Municipal Election results in what appears to be record time, by our book:
*** 6. Common Consent:Hopefully the Council will be able to have the process all wrapped up by November 22d.
*** c. Board of Canvass for the 2011 Municipal General Election. Consideration of the certification of the results of the 2011 Municipal General Election. (Set Board of Canvass for November 22, 2011 – voice vote)
2) We've had some earlier WCF discussion regarding lame-duck Mayor Godfrey's last-minute effort to convince the Council "to address his proposal to lower Ogden's water rates." Whereas Godfrey had earlier announced his intention to "employ a rarely used executive privilege to call the city council into a special session, forcing them to address his proposal to lower Ogden's water rates," it seems that he's now hustled the matter onto tonight's Regular Council Meeting calender instead:
7. New Business:In essence, Godfrey's proposed adjusted rate structure would "charge all users the same rate for the first 10,000 gallons of water, the amount the average home needs for indoor household use. It then proposes a tiered structure that provides for those without secondary water to pay less than those with secondary water."
a. Revision to Water Utility Service Fees. Proposed Ordinance 2011-55 amending the Ogden Municipal Code by amending Subsection 9-1-6.A to revise water utility service fees; and by providing that this ordinance shall become effective September 1, 2011.
Although Godfrey's stated object in seeking these rate revisions is to "create parity between those with and without secondary water," we're scratching our head wondering why Boss Godfrey believes it's fair to gouge those property owners who had the foresight to purchase properties with secondary water, and thereby in effect force them to subsidise those property owners without that amenity. Perhaps one of our Gentle Readers can enlighten us about that. It makes no sense to us.
You can review the full details concerning the above two Council agenda items by clicking on the Ogden City Council packet link below:
Council agenda, and will of course cordially invite anyone who attends tonight's meeting to report back with their post-meeting remarks after tonight's Council Session adjourns.
That's it for now, WCF Readers.
The floor's open for your ever-enlightening comments.
Update 11/16/11 5:10 a.m.: The Standard partially reports on the results of last night's Council Meeting. To Boss Godfrey's "extreme disappointment," "[i]nstead of adopting Godfrey's [half-baked] proposal, the city council [wisely] approved a resolution to begin a comprehensive effort starting next month to establish new water rates":
A WCF Hat Tip to City Council Grownup Chairwoman Caitlin K. Gochnour who said, "the council is committed to embarking on a thorough public process to ensure the new water rates are in the best interest of residents and the municipality."
Update 11/19/11 8:57 a.m.: The video recording of Tuesday's regular Council Session is now online. Discussion of proposed water rate ordinance revisions begin at 12:00 minutes; the Council's voice vote rejecting Godfrey's knee-jerk proposal and instead approving a new comprehensive water rate study starts at 34:45; Mayor Godfrey's comments (wherein he expresses his "extreme disappointment," can be found at 39:01:
We'd like to call our gentle readers' attention to a top-notch Standard-Examiner story appearing in the S-E online edition this morning, wherein the multi-journalistically-talented and seemingly tireless Doug Gibson provides yet another fantastic "special feature" piece which goes far beyond his "editorial page editor" job description. We've railed consistently over the years about the tradition and current practice of "socialism" around these parts. Well, in that connection, Mr. Gibson has done some serious research and just plain ole diggin', and provides this morning a wonderful historical essay about the history of socialism in Ogden City, and other Utah places hereabout. Nosiree folks, Comrades Godfrey, Stephenson and Safsten, et al. are not the first Utah politicians to advocate and practice the use of the coercive power of government to promote central government-planned social engineering objectives.
Read up, folks:
"one ancestor of today's Standard-Examiner newspaper, the Ogden Standard, ran a weekly socialist column for several years, and for a couple of years ran dueling weekly columns from the Socialist Party and the more radical Socialist Labor Party." This interesting information tidbit was also discussed in some detail, along with the socialist activist Kate Hilliard, (whom Mr. Gibson also mentions), in the below-linked Standard-Examiner online video, which originally appeared embedded within a June 29, 2008 online SE story:
SE video, (the video describes Glasmann's Standard as a Republican-partisan newspaper, and the Examiner as Ogden's socialist-leaning newspaper - [fast forward to 3:23]), Mr. Gibson also does refer to what appears to be at least one of his primary sources, for those readers who may seek to clear up any factual discrepancies regarding this fascinating topic:
all-in-all; and if you'd like to further extract the historical details of the history of socialism in Utah yourself from at least one other scholarly viewpoint, you can also order the book from Amazon.com, via the above link.
Nosiree folks. Socialism is nothing new to Utah, nor to Ogden City, for that matter. The only difference these days, it seems, is that local politicians now seem to practice the right wing version, rather than the "lefty" Marxist style of the late 19th and early-to-mid 20th centuries.
Interesting side note, also from the above-linked video: It seems the Standard-Examiner survived possible economic extinction in February of 1893, by engaging in some good old fashioned Republican-style "union busting" and "'scab' hiring practices." Imagine that.
And we'll add that while we don't know what The Standard is paying Doug Gibson for the huge volume of consistently excellent quality material that he produces, both in print and online, we're quite certain that it can't be enough in this modern age of struggling print journalism.
That's it for now, O Gentle Readers.
Who'll be the first to dive in with their own savvy comments?
Update 11/15/11 9:25 a.m.: John S. McCormick and John R. Sillito will discuss their book A History of Radicalism: Startling, Socialists, and Decidedly Revolutionary at 1:30 p.m. Thursday in the Hetzel-Hoellein Room of the Stewart Library, WSU, 3848 Harrison Blvd., Ogden. This is a free event.
Sunday, November 13, 2011
In the interest of provokoing a little WCF discussion, We'll direct our readers' attention this morning to an eye-opening editorial in yesterday's Salt Lake Tribune, lambasting West Valley City Mayor Mike Winder, for his perhaps ill-considered recent foray into "anonymous" citizen journalism. SLTrib editor Terry Orme's lead paragraphs provide the gist:
Mike Winder, mayor of West Valley City, didn’t like what he read about his city in the Deseret News. So he did something about it.Read the full blistering editorial here:
Winder became Richard Burwash, citizen journalist. Under the Burwash byline, Winder submitted news stories he thought would balance the way West Valley is perceived by that newspaper’s readers. He felt the Deseret News’ coverage was too focused on crime in the city.
The Deseret News took the Burwash copy. After all, it fits into the newspaper’s year-old strategy of using citizen-submitted news stories to replace content once produced by a large, and now much smaller, staff of reporters. Last week, Winder came clean about his alias, admitting it wasn’t the best idea he’s ever had, but defending his motive for improving the image of his city.
So much is troubling about all this that it is hard to know where to begin.
SLTrib reader offers this:
The Deseret News is not a newspaper. It is a stenography service run by idiot MBAs hired by crazy old cultists.This jagged remark is of course a reference to last year's Deseret News staff "housecleaning," wherein Deseret News CEO and president Clark Gilbert decimated the DNews professional staff, "reduced the DNews' print work force by 57 full-time and 28 part-time employees, which reflects just over 43 percent of [their] work force," abandoned all recognized standards of professional journalism and adopted a bone-headed "strategy of using citizen-submitted news stories to replace content once produced by a large, and now much smaller, staff of [professional] reporters."
This isn't the first time the DNews has landed in journalistic hot water as a result of Mr. Gilbert's new cheapskate, "bean-counter driven" business model either. Deseret news readers will of course remember the unfortunate incident back in mid-summer of this year, when the "DNews amateur act" fell for a ludicrous (and what should have been a facially-obvious) "hoax" press release, and published a too-good-to-be-true story "erroneously report(ing) that a Southern Baptist leadership group ha(d) recommended that the Southern Baptist Convention approve gay marriage."
Whether this most recent blunder descends to the level of that earlier world-class foul-up we don't know. What we will ask our readers this morning however is this:
Does this all simply boil down to a "no harm no foul" circumstance as Mayor Winder contends, in that these DNews "puff pieces" were merely a relatively innocent and innocuous (although admittedly clumsy) attempt to to "balance the way West Valley is perceived by that newspaper’s readers?" Or is the SLTrib right in arguing that Mayor Winder's DNews contributions exhibited a reprehensible lack of "honesty, integrity, accountability — and transparency" on Mayor Winder's part?
And aside from generally obvious defects in the the DNews's questionable new cost-slashing business model, is there more that the DNews editors should have done to "pierce the veil" of Winder's bogus "Richard Burwash nom-de-plume" in this circumstance?
Of course we probably ought to at least restate SLTrib reader FUtah2011's original statement in the form of a question: "Is the Deseret News actually not a real newspaper at all, but rather a stenography service run by idiot MBAs hired by crazy old cultists?"
And what other important issues, ethical or otherwise, can our sharp-eyed WCF readers spot in this curious set of facts?
That's it for now, O Gentle Ones.
Who will be the first to toss in their own 2¢?
Update 11/14/11 8:22 a.m.: Here's some additional background material for our WCF readers' consumption, as they consider the queries posed above, gleaned via an impressively broad variety of media sources:
- West Valley mayor admits writing articles using false name
- Utah Mayor Used Alias To Write Upbeat News Stories
- Mayor Used Alias to Promote Town
- Utah Mayor Admits He Used Fake Name To Write News Stories About Himself
Special thanks to the good professor Dan S. for originally assembling this array of stories on his Facebook wall.
Update 11/14/11 11:40 a.m.: Yesiree, this story's now "goin" viral. Here's the latest from Salt Lake City Weekly:
Ironically, as this story is now going viral, Winder has achieved his goal of garnering astonishing publicity for West Valley City, only it's the kind that makes most people cringe.We're still waitin' around for a few more WCF readers to comment about this highly-embarrasing DNews credibility dilemma, by the way.
Please don't let the cat get yer tongues.
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Good news for fans of one of the greatest collections of Beatles memorabilia on the planet. The Standard-Examiner reports this morning that Ogden's City Club owner/proprietor, sharp-eyed and alertTwo-five Drive businessman Bill Parker, engaged in a little law enforcement self-help, performed an apparent "citizen's arrest," and successfully apprehended the
open and shut case to us, inasmuch as "The (suspected) Perp" is reported to be clearly identifiable on surveillance video, and actually still had some of the burglary loot in his possession when the "Ogden's Finest" quickly arrived on the arrest scene and tightly "clamped on the cuffs."
In addition to a suitably lengthy stretch in "the joint", we're hoping the sentencing judge will also impose some additional community service work as an eventual condition of parole, in the event that the Parole Board at some point might decide to put this obvious "Ogden Criminal Mastermind" back on the street:
30 days' additional "24-7 community service" out in the Ogden public square in the dead of winter would seem about right to us (see above).
There's no word, by the way, on whether the Boss Godfrey's "Crime Blimp" will play any role in the further investigation or prosecution of this matter.