Monday, April 27, 2015

Standard-Examiner: New Waterfall Trail Access Warning Irks Hikers

Uh-oh. Looks like our quirky neighbor directly  east (Chris Peterson) is on the warpath again. Be sure to carry your photo IDs people, if you're planning a stroll up (and down) Ogden's Waterfall Canyon. Then again...maybe not.

Here's veteran SE report Cathy McKtrick's lede to this morning's SE story:
OGDEN — Around noon Friday, a sign appeared at the 29th Street trailhead informing people to bring ID and acquire wristbands if they intend to hike the Waterfall trail. But within a few hours, it had been removed at the request of Ogden City.
When the check station at Waterfall Creek is staffed, Photo ID and a wristband will be required to ENTER or LEAVE Waterfall Canyon,”the sign said, listing as its reference. That URL diverts people automatically to a Facebook page bearing the same name.
Read up, peeps!
Here's the kicker once again, Ogden City residents, just in case you missed it.: "But within a few hours, it had been removed at the demand request of Ogden City."

The encouraging interpretion of this?  Peterson is painfully aware of his subject property's susceptibility to public prescriptive easement rights, which were established way back in the early 1900's, or earlier.

Our take? Mr. Peterson hasn't demonstrated such a public control-freak hissy-fit since 2012, by our reckoning:
1) Here's to wishing Chris Peterson (Earl Holding heiress's hubby) sound mental health, sometime in the near future.

2) Let's encourage Mayor Mike to sic our Ogden City Attorney (Gary Williams?) onto this case, to establish, once and for all, the legal nature of the rights of the public, regarding the trails east of Ogden.

Comments, please? O Gentle Ones?

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Standard-Examiner Editorial: Our View: Make Peace in Ogden Valley Water War

In the interest of kicking off a bit of possible WCF discussion this morning, we'll highlight this morning's Standard-Examiner editorial, calling for a "truce" in a percipient "water war" which has been  brewing in Ogden Valley over the course of the past year:
For the benefit of those who haven't been following this story, we'll provide these background stories and letters to the editor, just to add some historical perspective into what's fast developing into what we'll label the "Ogden Valley Water War":
This morning's editorial advocates the following proposed solution: 
We think for the sake of the entire valley, a compromise should be reached that involves a direct transfer of water from Pineview to Powder Mountain. Yes, we are talking about a pipeline. But that doesn’t mean Summit should bear all the responsibility of paying for such a pipeline.
If Jones decides to grant the well application, it should be done on a temporary basis so that all the stakeholders could be brought together to discuss a central water distribution system that serves everyone. Forming a compact, similar to the states using Colorado River water may be the best solution, with one system in Ogden Valley to distribute the water all entities are entitled to.
The springs and streams would then be free to flow into the reservoir, or the watershed in Cache County.
We understand water distribution systems can be expensive, but we feel it is time for such a solution. Let the peace talks begin.
We'll leave it up our gentle readers (especially those who reside in Ogden Valley) to explain whether this is a good idea (or not).

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

And yes, we'll be keeping an "Eagle Eye" on this story as it develops.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Salt Lake Tribune: GOP Considering New Screening For Candidates - Updated

Wake up before its too late, my Utah GOP friends!

Oboyoboyoboy. Looks like Utah GOP Chairman James Evens has finally slipped completely "off his rocker." Here's the lede from this afternoon's hot-off-the-press Salt Lake Tribune story:
A plan to have potential Republican candidates vetted and judged based on their commitment to the party's principles before being eligible for its nomination is drawing fire from some in the GOP who say it empowers a small elite group of insiders to decide who gets to be a candidate.
Utah Republican Party Chairman James Evans said the idea of creating committees to help screen potential candidates springs from concern that, under the state's new nominating process, people who aren't even Republicans could gather signatures and get onto the primary ballot and the party would be helpless to stop them.
To combat that, Evans said candidates would have to come meet with the interview committees to become certified members of the GOP. If they refuse, they would be ineligible to be a candidate for the Republican nomination, he said, because the law says the candidates have to be a party member.
Read up, Peeps! And no! We are NOT making this up!
That's right! "$10,000 and a panel interview, just like Thomas Jefferson (and our other founding fathers) always wanted."

On the heels of last week's strong Deseret News and Salt Lake Tribune editorials, together with Sunday's Frank Pignanelli/LaVarr Webb D-News Op-ed piece, we'd hoped Chairman Evens would gather his wits, and start playing amiably by "the new rules."

Sadly, these "gentle nudgings" seem to have had just just the opposite effect.

First order of "new business" for the upcoming  8/15/15 Utah GOP State convention?

Oust this idiot, before he irretrievably turns the Utah GOP into a dead-ender laughing stock!

Wake up before its too late, my Utah GOP friends!

Update 4/22/15 7:51 a.m.: Utah Policy chimes in this morning with a story of its own.  Don't miss the embedded audio of Monday's KVNU radio program, wherein "state Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Bountiful, was a guest, talking about possible changes to party vetting of candidates, when Chairman Evans called in – and the two had an interesting debate":
Update 4/22/15 2:15 p.m.:  The Trib's Pat Bagley "NAILS IT, once again (as per usual):

Update 4/23/15 10:30 a.m.: The Tribune keeps the pressure on with this morning's scathing house editorial:
And the Deseret News reports this morning on yesterday's Utah GOP Executive Committee "train-wreck":
Update 4/23/15 7:51 a.m.: More from ABC4 Utah, focusing on the tactical split which is now occurring within in the "fractured"  Utah GOP:
Update 4/25/15 8:00 a.m.: More blowback from the Tribune's Paul Rolley:
It gets "interestinger and interestinger,"dunnit?

Monday, April 20, 2015

UtahPolicy.Com Poll: How Much Influence Does the LDS Church Have on the Legislature? Depends on Who You Ask - Updated

Sodden Query: "Does the LDS Church have too much, just about right or too little influence on the state legislature?"

As a followup to our previous pontifications on this topic, we'll incorporate the following Facebook query, via ABC4 Utah reporter Glen Mills:
Does the LDS Church have too much, just about right or too little influence on the state legislature? Hey friends, Glen Mills here. A new poll suggests 51% of Utahns say about right, 34% say too much, 10% say too little and 5% don't know. Broken down by religion is a different story. The vast majority of Catholics, Protestants and other religions say the LDS Church has too much influence. I'd like to know what you think? I may use your comment for my story tonight.
Read up, folks:
So what do you think, O Gentle Onces?

Feel free to chime in within our own WCF comments section, and/or post you comments to Mr. Mills' facebook page, which we've linked above

Whatever you do...don't let the cat get your tongues....

Update 4/21/15 9:00 a.m.: ABC4 Utah carries the followup story, and KUTV2 follows suit (story and video):

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Science Saturday: Stephen Hawking -- Monty Python "Galaxy Song"

Stephen Hawking nails it, wethinks...Howbout you?

Hey! You can now listen to Stephen Hawking’s electronic pipes belt out a rendition of Monty Python’s ‘Galaxy Song.’

The tune was written by Eric Idle and John Du Prez, and appeared in the movie “The Meaning of Life.” The comedy troupe performed live shows featuring the song last year in London, according to Rolling Stone. They would then cut to Professor Brian Cox railing against the inaccuracies of the ‘Galaxy Song,’ whereby Stephen Hawking would knock him down, saying: “I think you're being pedantic.”

He then serenades us his with computerized vocals:
"Just remember that you're standing on a planet that's evolving
And revolving at 900 miles an hour
That's orbiting at 19 miles a second, so it's reckoned
A sun that is the source of all our power”
Here's Professor Hawking's new YouTube video folks, without any further ado:

And here's the (obviously inferior) original Monty Python Version from the 1983 movie, in the event you've been living off-planet these past 35 years or so, and haven't yet viewed it (just for the sake of comparison):
Stephen Hawking nails it, raises the level of performance, (and hams it up a wee bit) wethinks.

So what say you?

Friday, April 17, 2015

Wonkette: Christian Texas Lady Thinks Religious Freedom Protects Her Right To Feed The Homeless, AS IF

Top-notch cranky morning writeup from one of our all-time online favorites, The Wonkette.  Here's the gist, folks:
Pffft. Everybody knows that the proper way to exercise your religion is in a church — or by denying health care to lady employees or refusing to provide floral arrangements and pizzas to gay couples gettin’ gay-married to each other. Ms. Cheever, however, does not understand how the rules work and foolishly told the ticketing officer, “This is how I pray, when I cook this food and deliver it to the people who are less fortunate.”
Sorry, Ms. Cheever, but according to the city of San Antonio, if you want to do your do-gooding, you’ll have to take it to the city’s designated homeless shelter downtown. And pay a $2000 fine for illegally feeding the homeless from your unlicensed food truck in a No Feeding The Homeless Zone, as you’ve been doing for the last decade but all of a sudden, it is A Issue.
Read up, peeps:
Sodden editorial-style overview, posed by one of our most cherished WCF readers, semi-privately:
"I guess to be a Christian you have to talk like one but don't go acting like one, that will get you in trouble in bible thumping country."
Comments, please anyone? Ferris?

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Deseret News Editorial: State GOP Leaders Need to Follow the Spirit of Compromise and Let SB54 Do Its Work - Updated

 Isn't it high time for the Utah GOP to quit kicking, screaming and dragging its feet? 

In the wake of Federal Judge Nuffer's Friday decision, denying the appellant Utah GOP's application for a preliminary injuction in the SB54 "Bait and Switch" matter, we'll direct our readers attention to this morning's strong Deseret News editorial, capably making the sound argument that Utah's exceedingly petulant Utah GOP leadership ought to just "throw in the towel," and "play ball".

"With time, the changes in SB54 will lead to more representative and inclusive government, which will increase participation. It’s time for GOP leaders to respect the good-faith compromise that resulted in the law and stop trying to fight it," urges the Deseret News:
No. "The law isn’t perfect. It could lead to primary ballots with multiple names, or to candidates advancing with the support of less than a majority. But these are issues future Legislatures can tweak with amendments. The important thing for now is to shake loose the nominating process," the D-News editorial board adds.

Our take?  The Utah's GOP's continuing stubborn opposition to the SB54 compromise, which "was passed by a Republican-dominated Legislature and signed by a Republican governor," after all represents an accurate and precise reflection of the politically out of touch attitude of  the Utah GOP "leadership" apparatus, which prompted the Coint My Vote petition drive in the very first place.

What say you, O Gentle Ones?  Isn't it high time for the Utah GOP leaders (so called) to quit kicking, screaming and dragging their feet, and start behaving like grownups?

Just a thought.

Update 4/15/15 9:25 a.m.: The Salt Lake Tribune also chimes in on this topic, with a like-minded editorial of it's own:

Friday, April 10, 2015

Salt Lake Tribune: Is Count My Vote Deal Unconstitutional? Judge Says He (Still) Wants to Know Why - Updated

We'll applaud Federal District Court Judge Nuffer's generousity in providing the appellants "one last chance"

As a followup to our previous coverage of the Count My Vote lawsuit, in which the Utah Republican Party seeks to overturn last year's SB54 compromise, which establshed a dual-track political nominations systen in the State of Utah, we're delighted to report that this pending litigation seems to have reached a crucial tipping point, during Thusday's status conference, according to this morning's Salt Lake Tribune story as the Utah GOP requests a preliminary injunction this morning:
A federal judge said Thursday he wants the Utah Republican Party to offer a concrete case for why a deal cut last year to change how candidates for political office are chosen violates the U.S. Constitution and should be stopped from being implemented.
U.S. District Judge David Nuffer said he wants attorneys for the party to be able to point directly to the Constitution or legal precedent to show why specific lines and provisions of the deal legislators cut with Count My Vote — a group formed to push a ballot measure to change the nominating process — violate the law.
Read the full story, folks:
"I have not read anything yet that supports the generalized impingement of association argument you're making," Nuffer told the GOP appellants. The judge said he wants to see cases cited that would support the claim that, by dictating how candidates can be nominated, the state overstepped its bounds and denied the party its First Amendment rights.

Sounds as if the appellant Utah GOP's pleadings so far have been so far insufficient to make its case, dunnit?

Fox News 13 also provides a couple of timely and informative stories on this topic too, shedding further light upon the status of the pending litigation at this crucial juncture:
We'll applaud Federal District Court Judge Nuffer's generousity in providing the appellants "one last chance," before he "rules from the bench,"  which is what he indicates he'll do as early as today.

Stay tuned, folks, as we'll continue to follow and update this now fast breaking story.

Update 4/10/15 5:59 p.m.: Hot off the press from the Salt Lake Tribune:
A federal judge on Friday refused to block a new Utah law that will change the way candidates are nominated in next year's election.
U.S. District Judge David Nuffer ruled from the bench at the conclusion of a more than five-hour hearing on the Utah Republican Party's quest for a preliminary injunction against SB54.
Nuffer said the GOP had failed to show that the law placed unconstitutional burdens on the party.
Here's the full post-hearing story, peeps:
The prevailing appellees' next anticipated step, we suppose? A Motion to Dismiss, we guess, inasmuch as the Utah GOP appears incapable of either pleading or proving that SB54 "places unconstitutional burdens on the Utah GOP."

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Standard-Examiner: Ogden City Cites Children's Box Fort As Junk Violation - Updated

The quirkiest local story since 2012, when "Goat Man" was spotted roaming the hillsides above North Ogden

In the interest of provoking a wee bit of  ever-friendly Weber County Forum discussion, we'll shine the spotlight on a Sunday Standard-Examiner story which is developing a whole robust online life of it's own.

Here's the lead, folks:
OGDEN — Jeremy Trentelman wasn’t thinking about violating any municipal codes when he helped his 3-year-old build a major box fort in their front yard last weekend, but apparently someone else did.
When Trentelman got home from work Wednesday he had a notification on his door that he was in violation of Ogden City’s code 12-4-2: Waste Materials or Junk; prohibited on premises. The prohibition covers junk or salvage material, litter and/or any abandoned or inoperable vehicle. In the notification Trentelman was told he had 15 days to get the boxes off his lawn or he could be charged $125 with the first violation (after the 15 days) with fees and legal actions proceeding from there.Code enforcement officer Gordon Sant issued the notification. “I’m going to send him a letter, but I haven’t been able to get myself calmed down enough about it to do it,” Trentelman said.
Read Rachel Trotter's full SE writeup, peeps:
Since the original SE story appeared, Utah media have jumped on it (with both feet):
And just like so many other stories emphasising abject Utah "silliness," the story's drawn it's fair share of national attention too:
Here's the specific language of the above-cited ordinance:
A. Prohibition: It is unlawful for any owner, occupant, agent or lessee of real property within the city, to allow, cause or permit the following material or objects to be in or upon any yard, garden, lawn, or outdoor premises of such property:
1. Junk or salvage material;
2. Litter;
3. Any abandoned vehicle or inoperable vehicle.
Our take? What we're dealing with here is cleverly and lovingly  crafted "folk-art," at the very least; and this above-pictured "kids' play fort" thus does not reasonably fit any of the conditions prohibited by this particular Ogden City ordinance. These distinctions are merely academic, of course, inasmuch as Mr. Trentelman indicates he'll be compliantly removing this clever edifice "within fourteen days."

So what do you think, folks?  Tempest in a teapot; or yet another obnoxious example of perfunctory regulatory overreach by a cold-hearted Ogden City government?

One thing's for sure:  This has to be the quirkiest local story since 2012, when "Goat Man" was spotted roaming the hillsides above North Ogden, yes?

Update 4/8/15 8:30 a.m.:  Strong editorial from the Standard-Examiner keeps this story rollin':
Jeremy Trentelman chimes in with his own 2¢:
Update 4/8/15 8:35 a.m.: There's more grist for the discusion mill with this morning's hot-off-the-press SE story:
Mayor Mike Caldwell: “I remember building forts with my friends as a kid. It’s healthy for a child’s imagination to get away from their electronic devices for a while and use their imagination to create something. I’m glad to see that kids still want to play with the cardboard box.” 
Greg Scothern, Building Manager for Ogden City: “I don’t think our code enforcement officer would have issued the warning if the box fort was complete. At the time he visited the property it looked like a bunch of boxes.”
Read up:
High time to formally rescind the City's heavy-handed demand letter, wethinks...

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Envision Ogden Lawsuit: Utah High Court Hears Ogden Campaign Corruption Case

It's high time people, that our Utah courts allow the identification of the people who so sorely corrupted the Ogden political process in 2011

For those WCF readers still following the "Envision Ogden Political Corruption Case," which we last updated on Weber County Forum right here, we now provide the latest in this too-long prolonged litigation story: Yes.  Ogden political watchdog Dan Schroeder and his  top-notch legal counsel argued their case before the Utah Supreme Court on April 1. Click the link below, for the full Cathy McKitrick story:
We've learned semi-privately that Dr. Schroeder and his legal team are optimistic, following Monday's Utah Supreme Court hearing, and that they anticipate that Utah's high court will ultimately remand this case again to to the original trial court, with explicit instructions to the trial court, to "follow the friggin law," of all things.

Keep your fingers crossed, people. It's high time people that our Utah courts allow the identification of the people who so sorely corrupted the Ogden political process in 2011.

Stay tuned for something awesome, folks.

Update 4/8/15 3:00 p.m.: Via Dan Schroeder: "The audio recording of Schroeder v Utah AG is now posted. It's worth listening just to hear the tone of the questions from our Utah Supreme Court justices":

Friday, April 03, 2015

Big Story of the Year: President Obama Arrives in Utah For a Friendly Visit

Keep your eyes on this space, as we intend to publish timely updates theoughout the day

We're going to label this the Big Story of The Year, Folks.  What could be Bigger than the arrival of Our Democratic Party President in the Reddest of All Red States, after all?

President Barack Obama arrived in Utah yesterday for a visit. The president's first order of business? A meetup with LDS Church leaders.  Interestingly, wethink, President Monson was a "no-show":
Obama's a savvy politican, who's well aware of who "runs the show" in Utah, of course.

Although the president's itinery demonstrates he won't be rubbing elbows with Utah politicos of the Republican party persuasion (for the most part,) the President did devote a few minutes yesterday to schmoozing with local leaders of his own political party:
Obama arrives in Utah
Mr. Obama is expected to highlight clean energy initiatives during his address at Hill Air Force Base later today, in realtion to which he'll also hold a roundtable discussion at Hill with people who are working to train Utahns in the clean-energy sector. Sen. Orrin Hatch, Rep. Rob Bishop and Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker are expected to join that discussion (taking careful notes, we hope):
Those readers who are keen to follow develpments pertaining to the President's ongoing visit should keep your eyes on this space, as we intend to publish timely updates theoughout the day.

An additional Hat-tip to the fine folks at UtahPolicy.Com, for helping us round this stuff up.

Updates 4/3/15: As promised, we'll just keep adding updates as subsequent stories roll in:

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

The Quiet Plan to Sell Off America’s National Forests: Episode 2

It's time to let your U.S. Senators know what you think,Weber County Forum readers, even while your U.S. congresscritters continue to believe this nefarious land grab scheme yet remains under the radar, wethink

Following up on our 3/18/15 story, wherein we reported a "quiet" U.S. Congessional plan to seize and sell off America’s national forests and other public lands, we've stumbled upon two more online stories reporting that the implementation of this scheme is well underway in the U.S. Congress:

First, the TRCP Blog blows the whistle on a series of senate budget resolutions which "put members of the Senate on record on several issues important to sportsmen."

Not the least important of these resolutions is this, the TRCP story notes:
Besides the basic funding levels, the giant alarm bell coming from the budget resolution was the amendment offered by Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) that essentially encourages Congress to “sell, or transfer to, or exchange with, a state or local government any Federal land that is not within the boundaries of a National Park, National Preserve, or National Monument…” The amendment passed 51-49. Here is a roll call of the vote.
Read the full story here, folks, which includes a link to an online petition designed to nip this scheme in the bud:
Secondly, we'll refer to yesterday's Daily Kos story, which reports that "One of the 43 amendments passed by Senate Republicans in Thursday's vote-a-rama was a sop to extremist state legislatures in the west who have been pushing states' rights bills that would allow the states to sell off the federal public lands within their borders." "That's right, congressional Republicans—federal representatives—want to allow states to seize and sell off the nation's heritage," Daily Kos remarks:
For those Weber County Forum readers who might be keen on taking direct political action, here's a link to the above-referenced sportmen's access petition, folks:
Alternatively or additionally, call your Senator’s office at (202) 224-3121 and thank them if they voted ‘No’ or voice your concern if they voted ‘Yes’ See how they voted here.  (That's right, gentle readers; Utah Senators Hatch and Lee both voted  ‘Yes’)

It's time to let your U.S. Senators know what you think,Weber County Forum readers, even while these sneaky congresscritters continue to believe this nefarious land grab scheme yet remains under the radar, wethink.

Update 4/1/15 9:31 a.m.: Surprize of surprises.   The Deseret News reports this morning that Congressman Rob Bishop will be "running interference" for this congressional land giveaway scheme at the local Utah state level:
Rep. Bishop's Billionaire Puppetmasters must certainly be proud.

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