Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Medicaid4Utah Petition: Tell Governor Herbert that "The Best 'Healthy Utah Plan' Is For Utah To Take FULL Medicaid Expansion Now!"

Tough decision? Nope!

As a followup to our previous reporting on Utah Medicaid Expansion, we've stumbled upon an online petition which deserves a good hard look, wethinks. Here's Medicaid4Utah's prefacatory petition language:
There is an unimaginably important fork in the Utah road. Path One is accepting full Medicaid Expansion. Path Two is Governor Herbert's "Healthy Utah Plan". If we choose Path One, Utah gets $430 million to cover the health care costs of 123,000 low-income Utahns. If we choose Path Two, the Governor's "Healthy Utah Plan" we get less than our fair share. Perhaps, only $200 million for only 75,000 low income people. Tough decision?
And here's a link to the website, where you can cast your online "vote":
Tell Governor Herbert that "the best 'Healthy Utah Plan' is for Utah to take FULL Medicaid Expansion now! It is madness to be "negotiating" to take LESS money for Utah and have FEWER low income Utahns get healthcare coverage. TAKE FULL EXPANSION NOW--like Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and so many other states. Listen to your soul, not your TeaPeople."

You know what to do... do it on the web.  Seems like a no-brainer, to us.

We've added this petition to our WCF right sidebar, of course.

Tough decision? Nope!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Weber State University Game Day Thread: WSU vs. SUU

Is this the week Coach Hill's Wildcats will at long last taste victory?

Our Weber State Wildcats are back on the road again, to open Big Sky Conference play against the in-state rival Southern Utah Thunderbirds this evening. The Wildcats (0-4) and Thunderbirds (0-4) will both be seeking their first win of the year as they open conference play. Kickoff's set for 6 p.m. at the Eccles Coliseum in Cedar City.Here's the obligatory pre-game hype, 'Cats fans:
Purple garbed fans who can't make it to Cedar City can follow the game via these various sources:
Uh-oh. Again, our Wildcats come into tonight's game as underdogs (5-1/2 points), according to that fountain of wagering opinion, Sportsbet.Com.  Looks like the 'Cats have their work cut out for them once again, dang it.

Pop up some Orville Redenbachers® and pull up your Barcaloungers®, folks, as these two heretofore "underperfoming" teams battle it out to put their first "W" in the 2014 Win/Loss column.

And Whatever you do... don't let the 'Cats get your tongues. It's been a mite too quiet around our WSU game day threads of late.

Go, Wildcats, GO!

Update 9/27/14 9:22 p.m.

Yay! Our WSU Wildcats maintain their perfect 0-5 record, humbly falling to the SUU Thunderbirds by a score of 31-28!

Okay...Go Thunderbirds! 

Update 9/28/14 9:00:  The Standard has the post-game story:
Sample confession via Coach Hill:

“This game came down to one thing,” said Weber State head coach Jay Hill. “We turned the ball over four times and they didn’t turn it over at all."

Okay.  We're not going to say WSU totally sucked.  We'll leave that task to our beloved WSU players and coaches.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Salt Lake Tribune: Utah Third Parties to File FEC Complaints Over Debate Exclusions - Updated

Our take? If you qualify for the ballot, you should be included in the debates

Surprise of surprises? As a predictable response to their ham-handed exclusion from the currently ongoing Utah Debate Commission debates, we learn from the Salt Lake Tribune that certain "third-party candidates upset at being left out of televised debates announced their intention Wednesday to file formal complaints with the Federal Election Commission and county district attorneys, among other officials":
Our take? If you qualify for the ballot, you should be included in the debates.

We'll be keeping a close eye on this development, to see how this all shakes out, of course, even though these late-in-coming legal efforts may amount to nothing more than "shutting the barn door, after the livestock have escaped."

Update 9/26/14 8:30 a.m.: Here's more from KSL News. “We’re getting charged if we want to have a similar amount of time, up to $2,000 for a 2:00 a.m. slot on broadcast media.” "Prime time slots can be costlier," Libertarian first district congressional candidate Craig Bowden complains:
Comments... anyone? Ferris?

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Standard-Examiner: "Party's Over, Fallout Remains" ???

Sodden Question: Why would the Standard run a misleading story like this?

Just to kick off a little Thursday morning Weber County Forum discussion, we'll shine the spotlight on a Andreas Rivera story carried in this morning's hard-copy Standard-Examiner, under the headline, "Party's over, fallout remains," and appearing on the Standard's website in slightly altered headline form:
This one's a real doozy, inexplicably blending three separate story lines.  For reasons which we'll spell out below, we're filing it under the topic label, "Sloppy Journalism."

Here's the breakdown, folks.

1) On Saturday, downtown merchants held their thirteenth annual Harvest Moon Celebration. Ending at 10 p.m., this decidedly family friendly event was apparently successful as always, and there's no evidence that it didn't go off without a hitch.

2) At least four hours later (our sources inform us around  2:00 a.m.), "several intoxicated individuals started a brawl with an (un-named) downtown club’s security and other party-goers bar patrons. When police on foot patrol intervened, the brawlers threw beer bottles at them. Police quickly broke up the fight and arrested multiple people for intoxication and disorderly conduct".

3) It's next to impossible (stop the presses) to hail a cab on Two-Five Drive at 2:00 a.m. on a Sunday morning.

Unfortunately, Mr. Rivera's story is all over the map on this. Why Mr. Rivera chose to merge these story lines is a complete mystery to us.

Throughout Mr. Rivera's story (and within the SE's story headlines) is the innuendo that Saturday night's brawl was somehow a result of the Harvest Moon Celebration, which had ended four hours earlier, which is to say at the very least, quite a logical stretch.
Remember, "Correlation does not imply causation" folks: 
Correlation does not imply causation is a phrase in science and statistics that emphasizes that a correlation between two variables does not necessarily imply that one causes the other. [...] 
The counter assumption, that correlation proves causation, is considered a questionable cause logical fallacy in that two events occurring together are taken to have a cause-and-effect relationship. This fallacy is also known as cum hoc ergo propter hoc, Latin for "with this, therefore because of this", and "false cause". A similar fallacy, that an event that follows another was necessarily a consequence of the first event, is sometimes described as post hoc ergo propter hoc (Latin for "after this, therefore because of this").
Bungling SE reporter Mr, Rivera (and the Standard) have taken significant heat in the web-based social media over this hodge-podge of a story, and quite rightly, we think:
Sodden Question: Why would the Standard (which is usually wildly supportive of downtown Ogden events) run a misleading story like this?

Unfortunately. sensationalism still sells newspapers, we guess.

We'll also be keeping our fingers crossed that the currently impressive list of Harvest Moon Celebration sponsors  won't be sent flying the coop, due to today's glaring example of sloppy journalism.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Utah Elections 2014: Utah Debate Commission Live Broadcast Schedule - Updated

Sadly, all Utah third-party candidates have been entirely squeezed out

Attention Weber County Forum Political wonks. We're semi delighted to announce the first glimmerings of public events surrounding the upcoming 2014 Utah General Elections. Here's a nifty graphic highlighting the Utah Debate Commission debates which are coming up during the next couple of weeks:

Via the Utah Debate Commission website, here are the space-time coordinates for tommorrow's WSU campus event, which ought to be of interest to Weber County-situated political wonks who might like to personally attend:
1st Congressional District
Weber State University
6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Ballroom B, Shepherd Union Bldg.
Click here for map and parking instructions.
Please visit weber.edu/walkerinstitute for ticket information.
For your convenience, here's a handy webpage for non-attendees who'd like to submit questions in advance.

Added bonus for those who'd like to view Tuesday's debate online:
The Utah First Congressional Debate will begin at 6:01 p.m. Tuesday September 23, 2014.

To refresh your recollection, these are the 1st Congressional District  U.S. House of  Representative candidates who will appear on your November 4, 2014 Weber County ballots, by the way:

U.S. House of Representatives
1st Congressional District - 2 year term
Declaration of CandidacyWebsite/Contact InfoCampaign Finance DisclosuresParty
Rob BishopRob Bishop Campaign WebsitePendingRepublican
Craig BowdenCraig Bowden Campaign WebsitePendingLibertarian
Donna McAleerDonna McAleer Campaign WebsitePendingDemocratic
Dwayne A. VanceDwayne A. Vance Campaign WebsitePendingIndependent American

Notably, in their questionable "wisdom," which some are labeling as pre-election chicanery, the Utah Debate Commission will be limiting tomorrow's debate podium to GOP and Demo candidates Rob Bishop and Donna McAleer only  That's right, folks Independent American and Libertarian candidates Dwayne A. Vance and Craig Bowden have been entirely squeezed out.

It's also the same story in all other Utah Debate Commission featured debates, as to third-party candidates.

Sadly, we'll have to take what we can get however, we guess. It's the Utah Debate Commission's dog-and-pony show... not ours.

Yeah. We essentially agree with the Salt Lake Tribune:
Defective though the debate candidate screening process may be, let's get this show on the road.

We hope you'll all tune in tomorrow evening, in the event that you can't be there in person, folks.

Update 9/23/14 8:00 a.m.:  The Deseret News devotes some ink to defending the exclusion of all third-party candidates. "'You cannot be a genuine candidate unless you pay the price, The debate commission will not be the campaign for third-party candidates,' Scott Howell, commission co-chairman and a former Democratic state senator Howell said on The Doug Wright Show.":
"I am the Libertarian candidate for Attorney General. I have as good a chance to win as does the Democrat who polled 12.6% in the poll run by the Debate Commission. So, do your own research and don't let the powers that be decide for you. The debate Commission is co-chaired by long-time Republican and Democratic politicians who do not want to open it up for others to be heard. Let them know how you feel," Libertarian Attorney General candidate Andrew McCullough retorts.

Yep.  Looks like the "fix" is "in."

Update 9/24/14 6:25 a.m.: Both the Standard and  Trib provide post-debate reports:
And for those who missed it, here's a recorded video of last night's 1st Congressional District slug-fest:

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Weber State University Game Day Thread: WSU @ Stephen F. Austin - Updated

Can the Wildcats whip the Lumberjacks a second year in a row?

Our Weber State Wildcats football team is back on the road today as the home town team travels to Nacogdoches, Texas to take on the Stephen F Austin Lumberjacks in the final non-conference game of the season, the same team they played a year ago in a 50-40 victory at Stewart Stadium. The Wildcats are 0-3 on the season and coming off a 42-31 loss at Sacramento State last Saturday. The Lumberjacks, on the other hand, currently sport a 2-1 preseason record, fresh off last week's victory over mighty Texas A&M-Commerce (?). Kickoff's set for 5pm (MT), Wildcats fans, contrary to our messed-up embedded graphic.

Here's the pre-game sports media setup, folks:
Catch the game via these online sources:
This go-round, our Wildcats come into tonight's game as 9-1/2 point underdogs, according to Sportsbet.Com, (for what that's worth.)

Last week our 'Cats got killed by turnovers (3 turnover fumbles). Thankfully (a little birdy told us) Coach Hill has invested this week in a few cans of that "stickum" (You know: like Oakland Raiders receiver Lester Hayes used to use).

Can the Wildcats beat the spread and whip the Lumberjacks a second year in a row?

We'll soon find out, No?.

Go Wildcats!

Final/Final: Lumberjacks roll over the Wildcats, 35-21. Dang.

Update 9/2014 10:00 PM:  The Standard's Brandon Garside is the first to provide the post-game story:
Our Take? Just like '49's coach Jim Harbaugh, WSU Coach Hill doesn't give a fig about what happens in the pre-season. He's just playin' all his players and working out what they can do together in various combos, once the regular conference starts.When that happens, he'll be ready to go.

What say you about all this theory, O Gentle Weber County Wildcats fans?

Howbout you, Ferris?

Friday, September 19, 2014

Salt Lake Tribune Confession: I Made A Mistake Of limiting Zion Curtain To Just New Restaurants, Senator Valentine Admits

Sodden Question: Will John Valentine continue to dictate Utah liquor policy from his new State Tax Commission office?

Well... it's official. After after 36 years of running the Utah legislature with an iron fist as his own personal religious fiefdom, Government Nanny Senator John Valentine is finally retiring from the State Senate:
And as career legislators are always prone to do upon their departures, Valentine candidly reflects upon his greatest legislative blunder:

Here's the gist:
As Sen. John Valentine, R-Orem, leaves the Legislature to head the Utah State Tax Commission, he expressed one alcohol policy regret: not making all Utah restaurants have a Zion Curtain.
"I made a mistake," Valentine, the major force over the past decade in shaping Utah liquor laws, said Thursday. During the 2009 liquor law debates, "I should have bitten the bullet and given existing restaurants a certain amount of time to comply with the law."
Read the full story, folks:
More proof  of the old adage that "you can't teach old dogs new tricks," we suppose.

Sodden Question:
Will John Valentine continue to dictate Utah liquor policy from his new State Tax Commission office?

We'll soon find out, we guess.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Weber State 9/18/14 Event: Constitution Address: Debating Same Sex Marriage and the Constitution - Updated

Something tells us that this is an Ogden City-situated event which you won't want to miss

Here's a quick heads-up concerning an interesting happening on the Weber State campus, which U.S. Constitution buffs and regular WCF political wonks might want to attend tomorrow, in conjunction with WSU's celebration of what the Olene Walker Institute of Politics and Public Service is labeling "Constitution Week (Sept 15-18)".

Specifically, here's the gist, via the WSU website:
As part of the week’s activities...[t]he event, “Debating Same-Sex Marriage and the Constitution,” will be held Sept. 18 at 1:45 p.m. in Elizabeth Hall Room 229. The debate will feature William Duncan, the director of the Center for Family and Society at the Sutherland Institute, and Clifford J. Rosky, professor of law at the University of Utah. Doug Gibson, the opinion editor for the Standard-Examiner, will moderate.
The discussion is intended to inform students and the public about the constitutional issues the Supreme Court will likely address if they agree to hear Utah’s appeal of the 10th Circuit Court decision upholding same-sex marriage.
Once again, here are the time/space coordinates and other pertinent information, as set forth in this nifty graphic:

Click to enlarge image

Thankfully, debate moderator Doug Gibson regularly trains in the pugilistic arts at Ogden's Foley's Mixed Martial Arts Training Center, a fortuitous circumstance which might come in handy in the event that this debate might become a little overly rambunctious.

Here's our irreverent "constitutional" take on the subject, for what it's worth [grin]:

Please be sure to mark your calenders and plan to be in attendance, folks.

Something tells us that this is an Ogden City-situated event which you won't want to miss.

Update 9/19/14 11:15 a.m.:  The Standard's Cathy McKitrick provides a top-notch recap of the same sex marriage debate at WSU yesterday:
That dude from the Sutherland Institute got his butt royally kicked, or so it appears to us.  But what say you, O Gentle Ones?

And here's a great wrap-up from the Signpost:

Monday, September 15, 2014

Jim Dabakis: Salt Lake Tribune, Other Digital First Media Newspapers, Officially On The Market

How about the citizens of Utah getting together to buy the Tribune at its current bargain basement value?

Via State Senator Jim Dabakis:

"Want to buy Pat Bagley and the Whole Dang Trib," Senator Dabakis asks? Read up, peeps, According to the Denver Post story linked below, the Trib has been recently put on the "auction block," so to speak:
Apparently, the Tribune is for sale. It WOULD have been an attractive money maker without all the shenanigans over the last year. Now, potential buyers tell me the Tribune is worth very, very little. Much of the value has been sucked out Utah's proud independant voice! But, there is a way to save an independent Trib and assure two papers in Utah for a long, long time.
The historic revenue split between the Tribune and the Deseret News was 70%-30% (based on circulation and revenues). But that has changed. Dramatically. With Clark Gilbert's Deseret News' payoff to the NY Hedge Fund that owns the Trib, it leaves the Trib as a very junior partner with an unsustainable financial split of just 30%.
Plus, instead of the long standing 50-50 split of control of the joint operating company, with the new agreement, the smaller Deseret News gains control. Having lost 50% of its profit to the D News, and lost say over distribution, promotion and printing of the papers, serious potential buyers have told me that only a shill would buy the Tribune now, UNLESS the DOJ or the Courts step in. The ugly new agreement that gave the Hedge Fund millions from the Deseret News must be reversed.
Was the fact that the Trib was stripped of its sale value before it was put on sale to possible independent buyers (like the McCarthey Family for instance) just a coincidence? 
Here is a link to the Denver Post story:
Everything Digital First Media has touched has been run into the ground, but the fatcat ownership of the Alden Capital Hedge Fund still manage to always collect fat paychecks, partially at the Trib readership's expense.

How about the citizens of Utah getting together to buy the Tribune at its current bargain basement value and create a trust that would create autonomy in the newsroom and guarantee that we have professional journalism in this state now and for decades to come?

As Mr. Dabakis notes, the new anti-trust-violative DNews-Trib joint operating agreement would possibly have to be somehow voided, of course., hopefully by mutual agreement, if the price is right, of course..

Just a thought.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

WSU Game Day Thread: Weber State Visits Sacramento State

We expect former Coach Sears and his Hornets team to finish tonight's game with their tails tucked between their legs

Keep your eyes on this page, Weber State football fans, as our Weber State Wildcats  travel to Sacramento, California where they'll face Big Sky Conference rival, the Sacramento State Hornets at Hornets Stadium this evening.  Kickoff for this technically non-conference, pre-season game is set for 7:00 pm. (MT) folks.

The Weber State Wildcat Club provides the pre-game setup:
After a home loss to the top team in the nation, the Weber State football team returns to action Saturday night to face a familiar team and a former head coach. The Wildcats will hit the road to play at fellow Big Sky Conference member Sacramento State Saturday night in Sacramento in a non-conference game. The Hornets are coached by former WSU head coach Jody Sears.
Read on:
The local Sacramento sports media offer a few pre-game words on this topic, too:
Information overload? Not for true Wildcat fans, wethink...

Once again our Wildcats come into tonight's game as underdogs, according to  Sportsbet.Com, although the predicted 6-point spread is laughably slight:

Click to enlarge image
The 'Cats have handily beaten the point spread for two weeks running.  Why not again tonight?

Tonight's game will be broadcast live via the usual online sources, of course:
Pull up your Barcaloungers® and pop up your Orville Redenbachers®, Wildcats fans. We expect former Coach Sears and his Hornets team to skulk into the Hornets locker room after tonight's game with their tails tucked between their legs.  Write that down, so you don't forget it, by the way.

Go Wildcats!

Update 9/13/14 10: 42 pm: WSU Wildcats get their ass kicked 42-31:
At this juncture, we're seriously considering indefinitely suspending our six-year weekly pre-game WSU story series, folks.  Like many Wildcats fans, we're growing ever more fed up with our constant string of sadsack, mistake-prone losers.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Standard-Examiner: Free Wi-Fi In Downtown Ogden, Will It Work This Time?

Nice work, Mayor Mike!
In our request for proposals, we stated that we wanted to partner with a company that could provide wireless service to downtown, free to citizens, and with no cost to the city,”
Ogden City IT Operations Manager Andy Lefgren
Free Wi-Fi in downtown Ogden, will it work this time?
September 11, 2014

If people know that can get free Internet service downtown, they’re going to come. It’s all part of making the downtown area more vibrant.
Ogden City IT Operations Manager Andy Lefgren
Free Wi-Fi in downtown Ogden, will it work this time?
September 11, 2014

Pretty clever concept, wethink. Here Mitch Shaw's tantalizing lede:
OGDEN — Turns out FlowRider isn’t the only place where you can surf in downtown Ogden.

For those looking for less “wet” and more “net,” Ogden City is now providing free WiFi Internet access downtown, allowing anyone in the area to surf the Internet to their heart’s content. The city announced earlier this week that it has partnered with WebNX, an Internet infrastructure provider with new facilities in Ogden, to offer the free wireless internet access.

Ogden City IT Operations Manager Andy Lefgren said the service has no use limitations and will provide a dedicated 10 gigabit per second bandwidth feed. Currently, the wireless network is available from 21st Street to 22nd Street between Washington Boulevard and Grant Avenue. Lefrgren said the municipal network provides speeds up to four times faster than the average home user is able to purchase.

Lefgren said eventually the entire downtown area will be a wireless access zone. The overall implementation strategy will happen in four separate phases and is expected to be fully complete by December 2016.
Read the full story here, folks:
Nice work, Mayor Mike!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Daily Kos: Utah A Step Closer To Medicaid Expansion - Updated

Sodden Query: Will our crackpot legislature to "choose the right" for "health care challenged"  Utah lumpencitizens?

Encouraging local (Utah) story from (of all places) the national political blog, Daily Kos. Here's the lede:
Utah's Republican Gov. Gary Herbert appears to have inched closer to securing a waiver from the Obama administration for Medicaid expansion this week, though details—and sign-off from the heavily Republican legislature—still need to be ironed out. The basic issue is a proposed work requirement the Republican lawmakers demand and which the administration would not approve. Herbert says that the administration has agreed to the concept that Medicaid recipients should work with the state to find work (ignoring the fact that many if not most of the newly eligible people are actually working their asses off in low-paying jobs) :
Read up folks. "The governor said after a meeting with Sylvia Burwell, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, that a final agreement is two or three weeks away":
"So one more red state is at least lurching toward that evil, evil Obamacare, just as long as they can appropriately stigmatize the 111,000 people who need access as lazy bums that the state has to force into employment. The good news, though, is that one more red state is lurching toward doing the right thing by its people," DK contributorJoan McCarter wryly quips.

With a potential $719 million in Utah federal funding projected to be jeopardised over the next 8 years in the absence of Utah Medicaid expansion, we'll tentatively applaud Governor Herbert's diligent and dogged efforts to negotiate an acceptable deal with the Department of Health and Human Services, and additionally "strongly urge" our crackpot legislature to "choose the right [wink]" for "health care challenged" Utah lumpencitizens.

"Never look a gift horse in the mouth," as the old saying goes, right?

Update 5/12/14 8:00 a.m.:  The Salt Lake Tribune follows up yesterday's story with this morning's strong editorial:

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Salt Lake Tribune: Judge Won’t Dismiss Lawsuit Against Tribune-Deseret News Deal

Although we'd earlier predicted that this lawsuit "would be 'dumped' before the end of the month," we couldn't be more delighted to have been wrong about this

There's great news for Salt Lake Tribune readers this morning, with this encouraging Trib story, reporting that the plainiffs in the Federal court lawsuit seeking "to dismantle changes to a 62-year-old business partnership between The Tribune and the LDS Church-owned Deseret News" have survived their first legal hurdle, Here's Tony Semerad's tantalizing lede:
A federal lawsuit seeking to undo recent business dealings between Utah’s two largest newspapers will continue after a judge Monday rejected attempts to have it thrown out.
After nearly two hours of arguments from both sides, U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups refused to dismiss the suit brought by a grass-roots group called Citizens for Two Voices.
And here's the full story, folks:
Although we'd earlier predicted that this lawsuit "would be 'dumped' before the end of the month," we couldn't be more delighted to have been proven wrong about this.

As this case now progresses toward a resolution "on the merits"  we'll of course keep you all posted as to significant case developments.

Comments, anyone?

Monday, September 08, 2014

Deseret News: Judge Rules State School Board Selection Process Unconstitutional

Judge Waddoups definitely has his work cut out for him as he tackles fixing the Utah State School Board nomination system... on an exceedingly short timeline

Uh-oh. There's blockbuster 2014 General Election news this morning, folks, as Deseret News reporter Benjamin Wood informs his readers that a federal judge has thrown a wrench into the gears of the pending State School Board elections. Specifically "[o]n Friday, U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups ruled that the state's selection of school board candidates — a multi-tiered process that includes vetting by a committee and final selection by the governor — violates constitutional guarantees of free speech," according to the story linked below:
"Waddoups did not order remedies related to the case, which was brought against the governor, lieutenant governor and members of the governor's nomination committee by former candidates for State School Board. An additional hearing was set for Thursday, during which Waddoups is expected to receive additional testimony and recommendations from the involved parties and issue a final order," Mr. Wood further reports

With a mere 57 days remaining until the 2014 Utah General Election, don't consider our current Weber County ballot roster to be indelibly etched in granite:

State School Board
District #1 - 4 year term
Declaration of CandidacyWebsite/Contact InfoCampaign Finance Disclosures
David L. ClarkNone FoundDavid L. Clark 2014
Terryl WarnerState School Board Member BioTerryl Warner 2014

State School Board
District #2 - 4 year term
Declaration of CandidacyWebsite/Contact InfoCampaign Finance Disclosures
Willard Z. MaughanNone FoundWillard Z. Maughan 2014
Spencer F. StokesNone FoundSpencer F. Stokes 2014

Judge Waddoups definitely has his work cut out for him as he tackles fixing the wacky Utah State School Board nomination system, wherein "Utah [now] runs their [State School Board} elections the same way as Iran, with the mullahs approving which candidates can appear on the ballot."

Hopefully, he'll come up with something suitably Solomonesque, as time's running exceedingly short.

Update 9/12/14 9:00 a.m.: The Trib reports this morning that Judge Waddoups has issued a ruling in re the State School Board candidate selection matter.  Happily, Weber County Election ballots won't be effected:

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Weber State Home Opener: Weber State University Hosts North Dakota State - Updated

As for us, folks, we smell an upset coming up... Go Wildcats!

There will be "big doin's" at Weber State University's Stewart Stadium this evening, as the "first season of the Jay Hill era at WSU begins." Specifically, our Weber State University Wildcats host Missouri Valley Football Conference  heavyweight North Dakota State Bison for a planned 6 p.m. kickoff tonight, for the first home game of the 2014 Wildcats season.

The Bison arrive with one non-conference victory tucked under their belt, with last week's defeat of perennial Big 12 conference also-ran Iowa State,  while the 'Cats are looking for their first season win, after last week's not-so-embarrasing beatdown at the hands of USA Today poll #16 rated Arizona State, of the PAC-12 Conference.

There's lots of pregame hype, as the the Standard and the Trib "go ape" over the prospects of today;s Stewart Stadium home opener:
Even KSL News is getting in on the act:
As an added bonus, here's one most-excellent pre-game writeup from the WSU website:
And here's the pregame story from the NDSU local North Dakota perspective:
Yep.Despite our otherwise high hopes, here are the betting odds, Wildcats fans, via Sportsbet.Com, as our Wildcats enter the game as 34-point underdogs (Ouch):

Click to enlarge image

"Cats fans who can't make it to the stadium can catch the game via the usual online source, of course:
For cable subscribers, the game will be live broadcast on Altitude Sports.

As for us, folks, we smell an upset coming up.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Standard-Examiner: UTA Says Weber Transit Service Would Have Many Riders

We'll be keeping our eyes peeled, and fingers crossed, of course, as the UTA plods forward within the bureaucratic constraints of  this this ridiculously tedious Ogden Transit Study process

There's encouraging news for Ogden City streetcar fanciers this morning, as the Standard-Examiner's Mitch Shaw reports on the results of Tuesday's Ogden City Council Joint Work Session, wherein the Council received a a Transit Study update from Utah Transit Authority officials. Here's Mr. Shaw's lede:
OGDEN — If a public transit service between downtown Ogden, Weber State University and McKay-Dee Hospital ever becomes a reality, the Utah Transit Authority says it won’t be hurting for riders.
UTA officials met with the Ogden City Council Tuesday night to discuss progress on a nearly $900,000 transit study that is measuring the merits of a new transit system that would connect downtown Ogden to the campuses of WSU and McKay-Dee.
Here's the full story, folks:
And here's the "kicker":
Jim McNulty, a strategic planner with UTA, told council members that by the year 2040, ridership numbers on the system could ultimately reach 8,000 per day. Ridership estimates for when the service initially begins aren’t available yet.
“We’re finding that we would have the ridership there when we open it up,” McNulty said. “We’ll have more precise information (on early ridership numbers) in about a month, but it’s looking good so far.”
McNulty said UTA’s new Sugar House streetcar system, which opened in December, is seeing about 1,000 riders each day.
“So obviously, seven to eight thousand (daily riders on the Ogden line) is a great number,” he said.
“We keep hearing streetcar, streetcar, streetcar.” “Weber State has indicated that that’s what they want, and we’ve heard that from (the public) as well,” Mr. McNulty adds.

We'll therefore be keeping our eyes peeled, and fingers crossed, of course, as the UTA plods forward within the bureaucratic constraints of  this ridiculously tedious Ogden Transit Study process.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Buzzfeed: How Conservative, Tough-On-Crime Utah Reined In Police Militarization

We'll be sitting on the edge of our seat, waiting to find out how the ACLU and Libertas civil liberties coalition will roll up their sleeves for the 2015 Utah legislative session.

A Marriage Made in Heaven?
In the interest of  kicking off another Monday discussion, we'll highlight an uplifting story from Evan McMorris-Santoronternet of the internet news media company, Buzzfeed.  Here's the lede:
WASHINGTON — Here’s how you convince a legislature full of law-and-order Republicans to back efforts to rein in militarized police tactics:
Take a law passed by the Democratic legislature of Maryland, get the local chapter of the ACLU (and a group of libertarians) to rework it slightly, put it on the floor, watch it pass basically unanimously.
That was the unlikely recipe used — successfully — by activists in Utah [in 2014].
Inasmuch as the article's a mite fuzzy about exactly what the aforementioned ACLU and Libertarian "players" (namely the ACLU Utah Chapter and the Libertas Institute of Utah) accomplished through their joint collaboration during the 2014 Utah legislative session, we'll incorporate a brief and helpful summary, via the Salt Lake Tribune:
Moving back to the Buzzfeed story, Mr.McMorris-Santoronternet provides more tantalizing information, concerning ACLU Utah's and Libertas' plans for the 2015 legislative session, as they pick up where they successfully left off in March of this year:
And after the startling images of police deployments in Ferguson, Missouri, the same group of Utah activists is pretty confident it’ll be able to achieve even greater success in the next legislative session. This time, the activists are setting out to make Utah one of the first states to voluntarily limit the way its local police forces can accept and use surplus military equipment distributed by the Department of Defense. 
“It’s definitely another catalytic event,” said Connor Boyack, president of Libertas, the libertarian group that lead the effort with the Utah ACLU. “Some lawmakers who have been shocked at the images coming out of Ferguson … [and] have expressed skepticism that those scenes could ever be on the streets of Utah are nevertheless interested in looking at this because of the images coming out of Ferguson.”
“It just feels very timely for us,” agreed Marina Lowe, legislative and policy counsel for the ACLU in Utah. “Having a real national incident helped make this very real for everyone.”
Here'as the full Buzzfeed story, for those who'd like to read up:
Our take?  We'll be sitting on the edge of our seat, waiting to find out how the ACLU and Libertas civil liberties coalition, (a marriage made in heaven,we think) will roll up their their sleeves for the 2015 Utah legislative session.

So what say our Gentle Readers about all this, eh?

Monday, September 01, 2014

Huffington Post: The Bloody Origin Of Labor Day

Sadly, too many Americans will be grilling hot dogs on Labor Day rather than honoring the history of the holiday

"Most people know Labor Day as an extra day off of work. Fewer know the holiday comes from a time when the government was "offing" workers." Here's the background story, peeps, via the Huffington Post:
Sadly, too many many Americans will be grilling hot dogs, rather than honoring the history of this important American holiday

Added bonus: A few classic ditties to put you in the proper Labor Day mood:
As you "safely and sanely" celebrate today's national holiday, folks, we hope you'll heed this reminder and devote at least a little time to reflect on the "working man," on "labor," and on the important historical contributions of the too-often-maligned "American labor movement."

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