Saturday, November 29, 2014

Standard-Examiner: AUDIO: Hearing Gets Ugly Over Proposed Weber Recorder Cuts

A mere tempest in a teapot?  Or would Commissioners Bell and Gibson possibly benefit from a brief but intensive enrollment in charm school "boot camp?"

Thanks to a nudge from one of our gentle Weber County Forum readers, we'll cast the spotlight this morning on Wednesday's Standard-Examiner story, which memorializes Tuesday's Weber County Commission meeting, wherein "[s]parks flew as Weber County commissioners discussed the recorder/surveyor’s 2015 budget, laying bare factions that have simmered within the county for several months":
“We care, there’s no question” “The first thing I was told by your new appointed person, ‘why don’t you come over and run our office or show us how to do it.’ We’ll be happy to if that’s what you want. We’ll come over and do that, but that was a ridiculous statement,” “Figure out who’s going to run your office over there, pick a person, hopefully it’s you (Kilts), you’re the elected person,” “[I'm] really concerned about what kind of leadership we’re going to have in that office.”Sez Commissioner Matthew Bell.

“It’s a partnership, it’s a collaboration and I think that we need to get that straight right now that there is full confidence in the person that is elected, and you are equal in power,” [Commissioner] Zogmaister told Bell.
[Commissioner] Gibson, who frequently runs interference between Bell and Zogmaister, jumped in.
“You know what? I’m going to call that one garbage,” Gibson said as Bell interjected “Yes!” in the background.

Down in the lower comments seaction, one Standard-Examiner reader even suggests that "It seems these gentlemen commissioners have a problem working with women." Imagine that!

So whattaya think, folks?  A mere tempest in a teapot?  Or would Commissioners Bell and Gibson possibly benefit from a brief but intensive enrollment in charm school "boot camp?"

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Salt Lake Tribune: Utah Agrees to Pay Attorney Fees in Same-sex Marriage Benefits Case

Utah Attorney General’s Office spokeswoman Missy Larsen: "The order speaks for itself"

Heartwarming story Jessica Miller/Hessica Dobner story from the Salt Lake Tribune:
The state of Utah will pay attorney fees for the plaintiffs in the Evans v. Utah case, which sought spousal benefits for same-sex couples wed in the Beehive State during a 17-day window when their unions were temporarily legal.
The state will pay $95,000 to attorneys for the eight plaintiffs, according to an order signed by U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball on Monday.
The order also makes permanent, a temporary injunction Kimball issued last May, directing the state to recognize the marriages and officially closes the case.
Here's Ms. Miller's full writeup:
"Utah Attorney General’s Office spokeswoman Missy Larsen declined to comment, saying the order speaks for itself."


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Salt Lake Tribune: GOP to Sue Over Deal That Lets Candidates Skip Utah’s Caucus System - Updated

No doubt about it; these latest Utah GOP power-grabbing maneuvers will be a true marvel to behold

Upon the publication of yesterday's Weber County Forum story, reporting on rumors about Utah GOP "legislative and legal plans to gut the law and obstruct intent of the compromise Count My Vote law, passed overwhelmingly in the 2014 Legislative Session, empowering voters by giving candidates an alternative path to the primary election ballot," little did we realize that we'd be following up on new developments a mere 24 hours later. The staff of the Tribune have been working like dogs on this story however.  So here's the latest, via the Trib's Robert Gehrke. Now that the November elections are in the past tense, it appears that the Utah GOP party bosses are pulling out all the stops and moving full speed ahead.Here's Mr. Gehrke's introductory lede to this morning's eye-popping Trib story, for starters:
The Utah Republican Party plans to file a lawsuit Wednesday, asking a judge to declare unconstitutional a deal to let candidates compete for the party nomination while circumventing the party's convention process.
Meantime, a state senator and opponent of the deal, Sen. Scott Jenkins, R-Plain City, said he will once again sponsor legislation that would essentially obliterate the agreement, allowing parties to make their own rules when it comes to nominating candidates.
Here's the full story, Utah Sheeple:
Here's the nitty-gritty:
The GOP plans to argue in its lawsuit that attempts by the state to dictate the organization’s nominating process violates its First Amendment right to free association.
"My position has always been that the government doesn't have the authority to dictate how we select our nominees, period," said Utah Republican Party Chairman James Evans. "A court will clearly have to define those boundaries and, absent that, the only boundary we have is what was passed in the law, and that is simply not constitutionally appropriate."
The lawsuit has been a long time coming and is a strategy that has twice been endorsed by the party's governing body and once received a vote of support from delegates. Evans said he plans to file the suit on behalf of the party on Wednesday.
It will then fall to the attorney general and the lieutenant governor to defend the law, SB54, a compromise with the Count My Vote group that received broad support during the legislative session.
And here's the addition kicker:
[Weber County's own Senator Scott] Jenkins, meantime, said Monday he will once again introduce a proposed amendment to the Utah Constitution which would plainly state that parties can pick their nominees any way they want, without interference from the state.
It would, in essence, wipe out the agreement struck in SB54.
"That dings Count My Vote pretty hard," he said.
Jenkins said he also plans to sponsor a bill that allows parties to decide who is allowed on their party primary ballot, even if the state is paying for the primaries.
Mr Gehreke further reports that "'Kirk Jowers, one of the leaders of the Count My Vote movement, said he has met with representatives from both [the Governor's and Attorney General's?] state offices and they have assured him they would defend the law 'with vigor.' 'We anticipate the state defending its law forcefully,' Jowers, an attorney, said. 'I think there really is zero legal question on the heart and soul of SB54.'"

We dunno, folks. Somehow Mr. Jowers's reassurances sound a mite like "whistling in the dark," No? The underlying fact that the Utah Governor and Attorney General are Republicans in this circumstance doesn't exactly inspire confidence, does it?

We'll keep you all posted on what we anticipate to be fast-breaking developments, of course.

No doubt about it; these latest Utah GOP power-grabbing maneuvers will be a true marvel to behold.

Update 11/26/14 9:20 a.m.: The Tribune chimes in this morning with a strong editorial, urging that SB54 should stand. "It was a reasonable compromise that should, at the very least, get a full election cycle tryout," says the Trib editorial board:

Monday, November 24, 2014

Salt Lake Tribune Op-ed: Insiders Working to Kill ‘Count My Vote’ Reforms

Stripped of their former stranglehold over the Utah political nomination process, it seems that some GOP political insiders will stop at nothing to put themselves back in the drivers seat

Uh-oh folks. Seems that foes of Utah's March 2014 "Count My Vote" legislative compromise, which "statutorily established a sensible two-track system for Utah political nominations." remain hard at work, behind the scenes, attempting to once again re-establish plutocratic Republican Party "insider control" of the Utah political nomination process, according to one informative Saturday (11/22/14) Salt Lake Tribune op-ed.  Here's contributing author Kirk Jowers's introductory lede:
Senate Bill 54, the compromise Count My Vote law, passed overwhelmingly in the 2014 Legislative Session, empowering voters by giving candidates an alternative path to the primary election ballot. Now, I hear rumblings about legislative and legal plans to gut the law and obstruct its intent.
Check out Mr. Jowers's eye-opening full writeup, Weber County Forum political wonks, which describes possible new upcoming legislation, a possible lawsuit, along with a useful historical summary of "how we got here":
"If such an act of bad faith is attempted, it would trigger public uproar, risk a gubernatorial veto and prompt a major referendum campaign challenge," Mr. Jowers opines, quite rightly..

Back in April, we posted this:
And in a move which we'll characterize as a demonstration of exceedingly bad sportsmanship, it seems that the GOP crackpot faction ram-rodded through a convention resolution which would, if successful, reverse the landmark "Count My Vote" legislative compromise achieved during the 2014 Utah legislative session, which broke the GOP "extremist" nominations stranglehold, and statutorily established a sensible two-track system for Utah political nominations:
In the wake of the passage of this resolution, state GOP leadership remains "cagey" about precisely how this revisionary tactic would be implemented.  Nevertheless, we're sure that everybody will agree that the development of this story will be interesting to watch.
Consider yourselves "updated," folks. Stripped of their former stranglehold over the Utah political nomination process, it seems that some GOP political insiders will stop at nothing to put themselves back in the drivers seat.

This behavior is "exceedingly unsportmanlike," to say the very least.

We'll continue to carefully monitor this sleazy situation as it continues to develop, of course.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Weber State University Game Day Thread: WSU v. ISU - Updated

“This game is an absolute critical part to our future,” says Weber State head coach Jay Hill.

With back-to-back wins the Weber State football squad will look to end its season on a streak as the Wildcats take on longtime rival Idaho State University this afternoon. Weber State will play the Bengals today at 2:30 p.m. in Holt Arena in Pocatello. Weber State sits at 2-9 on the season and 2-5 in Big Sky play, following last Saturday’s 34-21 win over Northern Colorado. Idaho State sits at 7-4 overall and is 5-2 in Big Sky Conference play. The Bengals still have hopes to qualify for the FCS Playoffs.

The Northern Utah media is all over the pre-game coverage:
Even the Tribune is getting in on the act:
You can follow the game online, via the usual live-streaming sources, of course:
In the wake of the 'Cats two-game winning streak, our  2-9 'Cats are pegged as (get this)  14-point favorites!

The Standard's Brandon Garside neatly sums it up, we think, concerning what's at stake for the Wildcats on the Holt Arena gridiron this afternoon:
“This game is an absolute critical part to our future,” says Weber State head coach Jay Hill. “I think it’s big for us to have all this momentum going into next season, and into recruiting. Our players know it’s big, and obviously Idaho State knows its big.”
Although the Wildcats haven’t lost to the Bengals since 2002, getting a win will be a challenging task, as the Bengals have yet to lose inside Holt Arena this season.
They’re 5-0 at home, so being able to get a win in their dome is a big deal,” said WSU defensive coordinator Justin Ena. “It also carries a lot of momentum into the offseason. Guys believe not only in the program, but in themselves. Our guys have gained a lot of confidence, and if they can just keep on being confident and just doing their job, we’ll be successful.”
GO!  Wildcats!

Update 11/22.14 5:00 pm Whatta a disastster , Wildcats fans: Wildcats fall to the Bengals,  46-28.

Update 11/23/14 8:00 a.m.: The Standard's Brandon Garside provides the post-game story:

Friday, November 21, 2014

Salt Lake Tribune: Ex-Utah AG Swallow Faces a New Felony Charge

Sodden question: What other yet-uncharged allegations does SLC D.A. Sim Gill  have still simmerin' on the back burner?

On the heels of yesterday's news that Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings filed a motion in 3rd District Court to drop a charge for racketeering against former Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, we learn from the Salt Lake Tribune this morning that Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill has now upped the prosecutorial ante, with new criminal charge filed against John Swallow, Shurtleff's A.G. successor, and former co-defendant. Here's the lede from this morning's Jennifer Bobbner story:
Embattled former Utah Attorney General John Swallow faces a new felony charge for allegedly taking a Nevada houseboat trip paid for by a campaign contributor whom he also had defended in a state consumer protection investigation.
The new charge — a second-degree felony count of accepting a gift — brings the total tally against Swallow to 14 and reflects the nature of an ongoing probe, Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said.
The charge, filed Thursday in 3rd District Court, is tied to a five-day Lake Mead houseboat trip prosecutors say Swallow took with his family in June 2010, while he was then-Attorney General Mark Shurtleff’s chief deputy, at the expense of Jared Pierce.
Read up, peeps:
"It didn’t surprise us. We knew that it would be coming along," Swallow’s attorney, Stephen McCaughey, said of the new charge, thus triggering the question:  "What other yet-uncharged allegations does SLC D.A. Sim Gill have still simmerin' on the back burner?"

Thursday, November 20, 2014

KSL News: Prosecutors Ask Judge to Drop Racketeering Charge Against Shurtleff

The downside for Shurtleff? Davis County prosecuter Troy Rawlings plainly believes the nine other remaining criminal charges will "stick."

KSL news is reporting an interesting development in the Mark Shurtleff case, wherein the former Utah Attorney General had been charged with ten criminal counts of "public corruption":
SALT LAKE CITY — State prosecutors asked a judge Wednesday to dismiss one of the 10 felony public corruption charges against former Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff.
Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings filed a motion in 3rd District Court to drop a charge for racketeering, saying the state doesn't have a "reasonable probability" of convicting Shurtleff of that charge. He asked Judge Elizabeth Hruby-Mills to dismiss the second-degree felony charge without prejudice, meaning prosecutors could bring it back.
Shurtleff [still] faces nine other felonies, including bribery, illegally accepting gifts, improper use of employee position and obstructing justice.
Check out the full video story here:
"Shurtleff said he was pleased with the decision to drop the racketeering charge," KSL's Dennis Romboy further reports.

The downside for Shurtleff? Davis County prosecuter Troy Rawlings plainly believes the nine other remaining criminal charges will "stick."

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Standard-Examiner: WSU VIOLATIONS: Math Teacher Completes Coursework for Football Players

Oh Dang! No sooner does the Weber State football program show signs of getting back on its feet, we receive this disturbing news, via the Standard-Examiner:
Whattabummer, eh 'Cats fans?

This is possibly worst news we Wildcats could receive, wethinks, as Coach Hill tries to rebuild the Wildcats into a Big Sky Conference "football power."

"DANG" pretty much sums it up, eh, my fellow WSU Wildcats Fans? Our WCF take? These academic fraud allegations may "fester, " just as they did many times for other colleges. Here are the most recent of many telling recent collegiate academic fraud examples however, for what it's worth,. Keep in mind that thisw is only one story of many.
Read up.WSU Football fans!
Update 11/20/14 7:20 a.m.: The Standard's sports-beat writer Jim Burton chimes in this morning with his own illuminating follow-up column:
Don't let the cat get your tongues, Wildcats fans!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Exclusive Poll: Utah's Liquor Laws Hurt Tourism and Economic Development

Peculiar" state we live in, innit?

Click to Enlarge Image
To kick off our Monday morning WCF discussion, we'll shine the spotlight on a last week's poll, which revealed, among other things, that "[a] solid majority of Utahns say the state's liquor laws hurt economic development and tourism in the state. Our poll finds 69% of Utahns feel the state's restrictive liquor laws put a damper on economic development and tourism":
Just like clockwork. the "telling" polling results concerning this Utah "hot button" issue provoked the Salt Lake Tribune to then unleash a flurry of followup stories and editorial commentary:
Governor Herbert ain't buying this new polling evidence however. Herbert "thinks Utah's liquor laws are effective and not hampering the economy, as some have argued." Herbert no doubt doesn't "give a fig" what Utah Lumpencitizens "think," we suppose :
Nevertheless, for the benefit of any WCF readers who may be concerned about our Zion's Zions's Curtain Law"silly", we invite you to check out the below-linked Salt Lake Tribune video story: featuring Utah House Representative Craig Powell, the GOP state legislator who plans to again run (for the third time) a "Zion Curtain repeal bill" during the 2015 Utah legislative session, as he and Melva Sine, ot the Utah Restaurant Association, now grapple with and "flesh out" the competing Zion's Curtain issue(s):
Alas, this 30-minute question and answer-style video presentation did not include input from the single Utah liquor law "stakeholder" whom, in the final analysis, will, in truth be "calling the shots." 

Keep your eyes on this space, O Gentle Readers, as we follow Representative Powell's courageous attempt to move his "remedial" bill forward through the 2015 "Churchislature."

"Peculiar" state we live in, innit?

Update 11/17/14 5:00 p.m.: Even the Standard Examiner editorial board is getting in on the act:

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Weber State University Game Day Thread: UNC v. WSU - Updated

Having finally tasted sweet victory on the road last week, here's hoping the Wildcats are resolved to make winning a habit!

Fresh off its first win of the season, the Weber State football squad returns home for the final home game of the year as the Wildcats host the Northern Colorado Bears this afternoon at Stewart Stadium. Today's game will begin at 1 p.m. and will be Senior Day and Jamie Martin Day.
Weber State sits at 1-9 on the season and 1-5 in Big Sky play, following Saturday’s 24-12 victory at North Dakota.
Northern Colorado is 3-6 overall and 2-4 in conference play. The Bears are coming off a bye week last week.

Check out the WSU website for the full pregame story:
After sitting it out last week, the Standard is back on the bandwagon with it own pre-game hype:
'Cats fans who can't make it to the stadium this chilly afternoon can follow the game via these live-streaming sources:
Surprise of surprises, our  1-9 'Cats are pegged as 5-point favorites!

Having finally tasted sweet victory on the road last week, here's hoping the Wildcats are resolved to make winning a habit! .

GO!  Wildcats!

Update 11/15/14 4:10 p.m.: Weber State whoops Northern Arizona by a score of  34-21.  Next WSU Wildcats victim? Idaho State U.

Update 11/15/14 5:40 p.m.:  It's victory again for our boyz in Purple and White:
And here's a little something even more uplifting, straight from the WSU website...

Yeah, Wildcats!

Added bounus 11/15/15 9:21 p.m: Actually, it's been a pretty good weekend for Utah College Football, all-in-all:
GO Utah Football Programs!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Standard-Examiner: Our View: Politics and Religion

Back to the Deacon's Quorum for the twisted Bishop Paredes, we say
No one is de­ny­ing Pare­des, or any­one else, the right to crit­i­cize pols or take po­lit­i­cal stances. What’s be­ing crit­i­cized is the id­i­ocy of claim­ing that Sena­tor Reid is not a wor­thy Mor­mon be­cause he is a Dem­o­crat. That is an ob­nox­ious, back­wards sen­ti­ment that should be shunned by any sen­si­ble mem­ber of the Mor­mon faith, re­gard­less of party. One hopes that the ig­no­rance of us­ing party af­fil­i­a­tion to de­ter­mine some­one’s “rig­teous­ness” is an idea that will wither away.
Be­ing in­volved in the po­lit­i­cal pro­cess, whether as a Re­pub­li­can, Dem­o­crat, in­de­pen­dent, or with a third party, is most of­ten an ex­pres­sion of pa­tri­o­tism as well as al­tru­ism. It’s an ef­fort to im­prove our na­tion. When one falls into the ma­li­cious trap of in­ter­pret­ing di­verse opin­ions and stances as un­righ­teous, it is an un­healthy, ar­ro­gant abuse of both po­lit­i­cal and re­li­gious tol­er­ance and de­cency.
Standard-Examiner Editorial Board
Our View: Politics and religion
Thursday, November 13, 2014

Top-shelf editorial from this morning's SE hard-copy edition:
Our Weber County Forum view? This nitwit John Parades should be stripped by "The 'true' Church" of all his heretofore LDS church  "vestments."

Back to the Deacon's Quorum for Bishop Paredes, we say.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Standard-Examiner: Lack of Diversity in Ogden Police Draws Criticism

So what about it Weber County folk? Who's willing to advance their own solutions to further promote ethnic/racial diversity in our local police agencies?

To kickstart our Thursday Weber County Forum discussion, we'll highlight a couple of  Standard-Examiner items appearing during the past week, addressing the ethnic/racial makeup of the our local police agencies, particularly our Ogden Police department.

"Ogden City Police released demographics of their police force to the Standard-Examiner that revealed there are only two Hispanic officers in the department versus 130 Caucasian officers. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Ogden City’s population is 30 percent Hispanic/Latino.
The Weber County Sheriff’s Office also released stats indicating that they had four Hispanic employees in law enforcement out of 83, and 13 in the corrections department out of 286 people," SE reporter Andreas Rivera reports:
Although local law enforcement top brass say they are "always interested in hiring individuals with varying ethnic backgrounds to provide us an improved ability to communicate with many different folks as we serve the public," Ogden Police Deputy Director of Administration John Harvey says that "the department hires anyone with the right skills and interest in a law enforcement career, but that there just haven't been a lot of applicants from the Latino community."

Ogden Officer Jamie Garcia, a 22-year (OPD) veteran, names one possible factor accounting for the apparent lack of minority applicants. ”A lot of it depends on their own background, if you've had someone whose had poor experiences with law enforcement, whether it was in Salt Lake or in Mexico, then you can have (recruiting) difficulties,“ Garcia said.

And here's an more coherent and expanded version of Officer Garcia's outtake, via another online source: “If you were taught from the time that you could speak, from the time that you could understand speech, that police are to be feared and that they’re part of an occupying force that is there to circumvent the democratic processes and to strip you of your rights, then it’s very difficult for that department to come into your neighborhood and tell you that they respect you and that you should join their team,” says Phillip Atiba Goff, co-founder and president of The Center for Policing Equity at the University of California, Los Angeles. Achieving diversity in police ranks no easy task

Local advocate and former member of the Ogden Civil Service Commission, Christina Morales demurs however; and opines that a lack of applicants and interest is no excuse for such a disparity.
“They need unique recruiting ideas. Look at the cities with lots of Hispanic police officers and see how they do it,” Morales said. “If you have more ethnic officers, then you can recruit even more once they see more of their own in their local police department.”

And just like clockwork, the Standard-Examiner chimes in with its strong editorial opinion yesterday morning, "Critics are correct that the Ogden Police Department should recruit more Hispanics to its force. Junction City’s population is 30 percent Hispanic, yet there are only two Hispanic officers in the department compared to 130 Caucasian officers. An increase in Hispanic police officers would draw benefits in community policing, as well as many other advantages.
We’re not calling for a type of affirmative action, or preferences. Rather, we’re optimistic that there are enough qualified, talented law enforcement personnel who are Hispanic to choose from. But it requires diligence in recruiting. To be honest, most businesses, including the Standard-Examiner, need to increase efforts and work harder to attract qualified persons of color" the SE Editorial Board intones:
So assuming that achieving an ethnic/racial balance within our local police agencies, which mirrors, to some extent at least, the demographic makeup of our local communities is a worthy goal (and we believe it is,) how do we go about recruiting and hiring more minority police officers?  In that connection, we'll go along with Ms. Morales, and take a quick  "[l]ook at the cities with lots of Hispanic police officers and see how they do it,”

1) The Austin Police Department (TX) has formed a Hispanic Advisory Committee, to pass out fliers, produce radio commercials and ad campaigns and set up tables at campuses and community events in an effort to bring more diversity to the department:
2) Elgin City's (IL) police brass are approaching the problem by casting a "(much) wider" recruitment net:
3) Pittsburg (PA) is re-examining "onerous" residency requirements:
OK folks,  these are a few ideas, among many.  So what about it Weber County folk?  Who's willing to advance their own solutions to further promote etrhnic/racial diversity in our local police agencies?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Ogden City Elected Officials Seek a 10% Pay Hike, Whilst The Standard-Examiner Dissents

Sodden query to the Ogden City Council:"What's the matter? Are you suffering from a self-esteem problem?"

Here's an interesting Ogden City-centered Standard-Examiner story, which we've kept on the back-burner for a week or so, as we awaited further story developments. "Ogden City thinks it’s time for their elected officials to get a raise," SE news sleuth Mitch Shaw reported last Friday.
Specifically "[t]he city is proposing a 10 percent cost of living and merit increase for its mayor position and seven council seats. If instituted, the pay increases would go into effect January 2016, just after the November 2015 election where the mayor’s position and three council seats are up for grabs, according to Mr. Shaw's above-linked 10/31/12 report.

Cutting to the chase, "If the proposed 10 percent pay raises are approved, the mayor’s salary would increase to $119,742. The council chair would make $15,272, the vice chair would make $14,176, with remaining council members making $13,068"

Surely as the night follows the day, the Standard-Examiner editorial board yesterday followed up on this brewing story with yesterday's editorial, assuming the role of the tight-fisted Ogden City watchdog. "Ogden should not increase the salaries of its mayor and city council members by 10 percent. That is simply too high a raise in today’s economic environment," says the Standard-Examiner.
For those finicky readers among us, we provide the link to the Ogden City Council's October 28 packet, where the details of this salary-hike proposal are laid out in full.  It's an interesting read, demonstrating that city officials and staff have definitely done their homework:  
By way of background we ran through this whole rigmarole in 2010, the last time Ogden elected officials' salary increases were on the table, with our article series treating the subject:
Our take? As we unequivocally said in 2010, we believe "(Ogden) Council salaries... remain at rock bottom among all Utah cities which which are governed under the Utah mayor-council form."  In this respect, therefore, we differ with at least part of the SE's cautious assessment of this measure. Current Council salaries still remain "way" too low, in our opinion, and will still remain out of kilter, compared to Council salaries in other comparable Utah cities, even with the proposed new pay increases enacted in full. Thus once again, we'll ask our Ogden City Council, just as we did in 2010: "What's the matter?  Are you suffering from a self-esteem problem?"

As for Mayor Mike's current $108,856 salary (plus benefits), we think our Ogden City Mayor is doing just fine, compensation-wise.  And thus, and in that respect, we agree with the tight-fisted Standard-Examiner, in arguing that a 10% pay increase is WAY "too much, in this economy.".

So what are your own takes on this, O Gentle Ones?

The world-wide web eagerly awaits your ever-savvy comments.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veterans Day 2014 Special

A coupla things to think about, wethinks

In honor of Veterans Day 2014, we'll offer a sobering war-themed video, to the accompaniment of one of the greatest anti-war songs of the last century. Something to think about, folks, amidst the current clamoring, to again "put U.S. boots on the ground" in the Middle East:

We'll also offer an additional salute to war veterans across the nation, courageous men and women who've given so much.

Enjoy a safe and sane Veterans Day holiday, people!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Dueling Editorials: Two Wildly Differing Op-Ed Pieces Concerning Brad Smith's Recent Utah School Chief Appointment

Our take? Utah's new State Superintendent of Public Instruction (Brad Smith) must be NOT be "blindly followed," but rather "closely watched"

To kick off our Monday morning discussion, we'll shine the spotlight on a couple of hot-off-the-press Salt Lake Tribune op-ed pieces, offering wildly differing opinions, revolving around the "wisdom" of the appointment of former Ogden School District Superintendent Brad Smith as or new Utah State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

First, on 11/2/14, the Trib published the below-linked Kaye C. Chatterton guest editorial, which takes fawning flattery to a whole new level. Our new Utah State Schools Superintendent "is smarter than most of us. He is a whirling dervish in his learning curve," according to the obseqious Mr. Chatterton. "He is a spiritual man who appears to have congruent values on all seven days of the week," adds Mr. Chatterton, with a particularly Utah-esque church-speak flourish. as he urges Utah Lumpencitizens to lend him their blind and  "total support," [which] "he needs to do his new job." "Suck up much, Kaye C. Chatterton," one astute Trib reader asks?
Happily, veteran Ogden schoolteacher and former Ogden Education Association executive officer Lisa Vipperman offers a more level-headed approach, with her 11/9/14 Trib op-ed retort. "It isn’t up to us to give Mr. Smith a chance. We were not given a choice. Now all Utahns will have to deal with what happened in Ogden," opines the ever-rational and outspoken Ms. Vipperman:
Having observed Mr. Smith's bull-in-a-china-shop approach during his Ogden School District Superintendent tenure,  we're inclined to go along with Ms. Vipperman's analysis, and to adopt a posture of making sure that Mr. Smith will be closely watched, as he prepares to take a meat ax to the Utah public school system, which will most surely be the inevitable result of his new appointment.

But what say you, Utah public education wonks?

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Weber State University Game Day Thread: WSU v. UND

We're doing our best to not get too worked up over this, but we''re keeping our fingers crossed

The Weber State football team hits the road seeking its first win of the season today as the Wildcats travel to Grand Forks, N.D., to take on the University of North Dakota for the first time ever. This morning’s game will begin at noon Central time (11 a.m. MT) at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks.
  • Weber State sits at 0-9 on the season and 0-5 in Big Sky play, following Saturday’s 29-22 loss to Northern Arizona.
  • North Dakota sits at 3-6 overall and 1-4 in Big Sky play and is coming off a 54-3 loss at Eastern Washington last week.
  • UND has lost four of its last five games.
  • The Wildcats have trailed by 11 or fewer points entering the fourth quarter in each of the last seven games.
  • This will be the first meeting ever between Weber State and North Dakota. UND joined the Big Sky in 2012 but the two teams did not meet the last two seasons.
Check out the WSU website for the full skinny:
As per usual, rabid 'Cats fans can follow the game via these online sources, of course:
Surprise of surprises, our  0-9 "Cats are pegged as mere 3-1/2 point underdogs!

Lets just say we're doing our best to not get too worked up over this good news. But, on the otthe hand, let's also  just say we''re keeping our fingers crossed.

GO!  Wildcats!

Update 11/8.14 2;00 pm: Whoa again! Our WSU Wildcats kick the derriere of UND, by a score of 24-10!
Heartfelt congrats to Coach Hill, and the whole WSU team and coaching staff!!!!

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Utah 2014 General Election: WCF Election Day Special - Updated

That's right folks. we'll go along with the Standard-Examiner, concerning possibly the most important set of candidate choices of the 2014 election season

It's Utah General Election Day 2014, folks.  You know what to do... do it at your neighborhood polling places.  Utah polls are open from 7am to 8pm, by the way. Unsure of your polling place location? Click this handy link, provide by the ever-helpful folks at Vote.Utah.Com:
Still undecided about the candidates who are worthy of your votes? Check out the our robust Election module in our right sidebar, which also includes information on these two individual 2014 candidates whom we've endorsed:
As an added bonus, we'll embed the text of this morning's strong Standard-Examiner editorial,which provides additional information concerning the three Ogden school board candidates whom we also endorsed.  This is an important editorial folks; so we've incorporated it in full:
Collectively we hope to give voice to the teachers in Ogden School District who are too afraid to speak. We were teachers in Ogden School District and left because of the working environment created there. Some of us have children in the OSD. Many of us have even won teaching awards from Ogden School District but felt that we were undermined to the point where our students’ learning was suffering. While there may be teachers in the district who support the changes, we want to let the public know why over 100 teachers leave the district each year.
For the past few years, we have painfully watched as the Ogden City School Board has blindly approved every policy the Ogden superintendent has proffered. Even as the librarians were let go due to “budget issues” the superintendent was given cash bonuses, and the board acquiesced. When the public outcry reached the boiling point and letters were written, protests staged, and board meetings packed with angry citizens, the Ogden School Board turned a deaf ear ignoring the public’s pleas. When parents and citizens were alarmed at the mass exodus of veteran teachers, and the classroom sizes that topped forty, the board, again refused to act. Grass roots movements consisting of angry parents, citizens, and teachers demanded answers publicly, but the Ogden School Board remained silent and unanimously voted to renew the superintendent’s contract, replete with his cash bonuses.
We, the public, were promised that the “new direction” that the superintendent was taking the district would not lose any programs, teachers, or raise taxes. Each one of these promises was broken, and each decision was made with the unanimous support of the Ogden School Board. Now with the specter of SAGE results discrediting all of the grandiose promises of huge increases in test scores, we would like to urge the voters of Ogden to seriously consider voting in the three challengers. It is time to make a change for the sake of our students and teachers. Please vote for Douglas Barker-2, Dori Mosher-4, and Aaron Garza-7. Our students deserve the credibility and expertise they bring.
-Shane Pearson
-Jan Hollist
-Kristen Baddley-Blunck
-Lisa Vipperman
-Kim Irvine
-Charla Dean
-Lisa Arango
That's right folks. we'll go along with the Standard-Examiner, concerning the possibly most important set of candidate choices of the 2014 election season:
Update 11/4/2014 4:30 p.m.: Check back later this evening for election state-wide tallies after the polls close folks. In that connection, here's a link to tonight's real-time election results, via the Utah.Gov/Elections online utility:
For our Weber County readers' convenience, we're also providing a link for those races which are specific to Weber County ballots only:
Alternatively, Weber County will also be posting tonight's Weber County election results via this page:
For those interested in following tonight's national mid-term election results, check out the NBC News Decision 2014 Website:
And whatever happens tonight, don't let the cat get your tongues.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Weber State University Game Day Thread: WSU Hosts NAU - Updated

Needless to say,our Wildcats again have their work cut out for them, no?

The Weber State Wildcats football squad  (0-8, 0-4) remains at home this afternoon, to host the Northern Arizona Lumberacks (5-3, 3-1) for another Big Sky matchup, with kickoff set for at 1:00 p.m. at Stewart Stadium.

Despite our home town team's "disappointing" 2014 season, hope nevertheless springs eternal. Rattle your prayer beads and say a  little prayer to Saint Jude), yes? (What the heck; we'll try dang near anything in a tight spot like this.)
As per usual, rabid 'Cats fans can follow the game via these online sources, of course:
For the 8th time this season our Wildcats are pegged as underdogs (6-1/2 points) according to Sportsbet.Com, so needless to say, they again have their work cut out for them, no?

As a sidebar note, we'll remark that the Lumberjacks have by far the best "fight song," for what it's worth, LOL:
We'll be standing by for your eager comments, folks, of course.

In the meantime... Go Wildcats!

Update 11/1/14 1;39 pm:  According top radio commentator Carl Arky, the Wildcats are now up over the Lumberjacks by a score of  22-Zip, as the game goes into the halftime break!  Shades of things to come?  Or will our beloved Wildcate get ultimately "creamed" again?

Update 11/1/2014 3:56 p.m.:  Surprise of surprises!  WSU blows a half-time 22-0 early lead, and then "snatches defeat from the jaws of victory" and then inexplicably follows up by stumbling into an ignominious 29-22 loss.

What a bummer, yes?

Update 11/1/14 5;53 p.m. Here's the SE post-game story:
And here's  coach Hill's limp-wristed video response to today's NSU come from behind WSU ass-kicking:
Tough luck, Coach Hill. At this stage of the game, We doubt that many other WSU boosters are buying your obvious BS.

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