Friday, October 30, 2015

Standard-Examiner: Ogden Mayor Candidates Debate Policing, Infrastructure

Ogden City Mayoral candidates stand for final pre-election debate

OK, Peeps!  With the Ogden City Municipal Election coming up on November 3, 2015, we're going to keep this short, but sweet.  As we announced earlier, our Ogden City Mayoral candidates stood for their final pre-election debate on October 28, 2015.

Read up, Ogden City voters! Standard-Examiner Reporter Becky Wright provides the story:
Given the heavy traffic to our Weber County Forum election module  this week, we're convinced that many Ogden City voters haven't yet cast their ballots.

Hopefully this afternoon's WCF story and SE link will be helpful in that regard.

Standard-Examiner: Ogden Mayoral Candidates Debate Policing, Infrastructure

With our Ogden Municipal Elections looming FIVE days hence, we're delighted to link this totally awesome Becky Wright article, which describes the magnificence of Tuesday's Ogden High School Mayoral debate

With a full 4 days pending until Ogden Election Day 2015, we'll be hoping that "some" procrastinator voters will be able to incorporate this latest information into their "valid" last minute votes

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Kid dead; What a bummer

So sorry about the bullet wound, Kid, welcome to America, where we lock people up for a doobie because that marijuana shit is like crazy dangerous, man!
Boy, 8, dies of gunshot wound in Las Vegas
Ban Guns? Slow down there, Hoss. Could be an accident, could be an incident, we'll have to get back to you. Hope you had health insurance, Kid.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Breaking: GOP, Democrats, Obama Reach 2-Year Budget Deal To Prevent Shutdown

LOL! This is goimg to piss off Ted Cruz and his little fat-ass buddy, Mike Lee, fer sher

Here's the lede:

Read the full story, PEEPS:
Bravo US Congressional leaders, this time, for once

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Standard-Examiner: Public Records Battle Shows Dirty Political Money, Clean Getaway

Professor Schroeder: "!t’s nice to have some closure on this."

Pursuant to The Utah Supreme Court's August 25, 2015 ruling, Petitioner/Appellant Dan Schroeder is now in possession of the documents "ordered disclosed," in the exceedingly long-running Envision Ogden GRAMA matter. Standard-Examiner reporter Cathy McKitrick provides the story, beneath this lede, "contained in this Dan Schroeder statement sent Tuesday, Oct. 20":
“Records recently released by the Utah Attorney General’s Office clearly show what local activists long suspected — that the mysterious entity Friends of Northern Utah Real Estate, which was used to hide the origin of more than $20,000 in campaign contributions during Ogden’s 2007 municipal election, was operated by Blain Johnson, the local real estate attorney who was elected to the city council in that race.”
Dr. Schroeder's entire October 10 statement, including attachments, is viewable here What an eye-opener, no?:
Read Ms. McKitrick's blockbuster followup, folks:
Don't neglect the SE reader comments section, wherein  Ogden City Watchdog Professor Schroeder provides a robust series of further detailed factual additions and clarifications.

We're grateful for Dan's herculean efforts in this matter, and we join him in his post litigation assessment:
“The statute of limitations has expired, so [no legal charges] can be brought,” Schroeder said Tuesday, Oct. 20. “But it’s nice to have some closure on this. My goal has always been to get the story out there to anyone who is interested.”
Bravo, Dan Schroeder!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Salt Lake Tribune: Mormon Apostle Oaks: Kentucky Clerk Wrong Not to Issue Same-sex Marriage Licenses

Gird up your loins, my Mormon Friends:
Write this down so you don't forget it, oh my Mo-mo friends:
Public officials "are not free to apply personal convictions — religious or other — in place of the defined responsibilities of their public offices," LDS apostle Dallin H. Oaks said in a speech in Sacramento, Calif. "A county clerk's recent invoking of religious reasons to justify refusal by her office and staff to issue marriage licenses to same-gender couples violates this principle."
Elder Oaks "nails it," don'tcha thinks?

Our take? Don't mess with "THE" CHURCH! End of Story!

Wake Up America!

Canadian baseball fan has a message for America.

Pass it along!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Standard-Examiner: Weber State Rallies to Beat North Dakota 25-24

WSU now goes 3-1 in 2015 Big Sky Conference Football!

LOL, WSU Football detractors (you know who you are, eh Ozboy!) Here's the skinny on this evening's WSU Football game, wherein our WSU Wildcats whooped the crap outta the mighty University of North Dakota in the 4th quarter.
Read up, Peeps!  Lowly WSU now goes 3-1 in 2015 Big Sky Conference Football!

Go, Wildcats!

Added Bonus: WSU's Emmett Tela named Best in the Big Sky Multiverse:
Winners! The WSU Wildcats are WINNERS, dammit! Write this down so's you don't forget it, Ozboy.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Standard-Examiner: Ogden Mayoral, Council Candidates Square Off in Thursday Debate

Just like clockwork, our prospective 2015 Ogden City Elective Candidates got together on Thursday night as planned, and engaged in typically Ogden-like gentlemanly debate.  Ms. McKitrick of the Standard kindly provides the post-event writeup. Here's the lede:
OGDEN — Candidates seeking two city council seats and Ogden’s mayoral slot faced off Thursday in a public forum sponsored by the Ogden Trolley District, a nonprofit organization that represents the densely populated 80 blocks that make up east-central Ogden.
Held in a restored mansion at 2604 Jefferson Ave., the gathering gave the audience of about 70 attendees a glimpse of how these six individuals might govern if elected. [Link Added]. 
Of the six contenders, Mayor Mike Caldwell was the only incumbent present. When asked what he would do differently if elected to a second term, Caldwell touted his track record and said he would continue in the same vein — only faster.... 
Of course you'll all be tempted to read Ms McKittrick's full yeoman-like SE contribution, Peeps, YES? Please do so here:
The world-wide blogosphere eagerly awaits your ever-savvy comments, Ogden Peeps!

Friday, October 16, 2015

LOL! Investigation Finds “Reasonable Grounds” that American Lands Council Violated Colorado Lobbying Laws

We''ll let all our Republican friends know where you can write love letters to these two dildos, once they're assigned to their respective Federal Prisons.

Future Colorado convicts,
 Ken and Ted
No. We are not making this up:
The ongoing ethics saga involving Utah State Representative Ken Ivory and the American Lands Council took another turn on Thursday, when the Colorado Secretary of State’s office found “reasonable grounds” that ALC violated Colorado lobbying and disclosure laws.
The complaint was originally filed by watchdog group Colorado Ethics Watch in April, which described how the ALC urged members of its Colorado e-mail list to contact their state representatives and support a bill that would study the impacts of giving away American public lands to the state.
As described in its full investigation, the Secretary of State believes Rep. Ivory and ALC violated three Colorado lobbying and disclosure laws:
Read up, Peeps:
We''ll let all our Republican friends know where you can write these two GOP dildos, once they're assigned to their respective Colorado and/or Federal Prisons.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Salt Lake Tribune: Utah students will limit study of Earth’s ‘relatively constant temperature’ in latest tweak to science standards

Utah's science denying GOP morons score another win

Utah's science denying GOP idiots score another win, as they "mess" with the Utah public schools curriculum... Utah's sixth graders will now learn that the greenhouse effect "maintains Earth's energy balance and a relatively constant temperature." despite the conflliciing evidence.
Any discussion of climate change in the curriculum won't take place until the eighth grade.
Sodden Question: Do you like the proposed Utah "science standards," which are now open for a 30-day public review? If not, do you still keep on voting Republican?

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Standard-Examiner: Ogden District 4 Candidates Talk Taxes, Schools, Chickens

As an added bounus, Ms. McKitrick sets forth the list of future Debates/Meet the Candidates events scheduled prior to Election Day

Unbeknownst to us, "Ogden City Council Candidates Ben Nadolski and Daniel Gladwell faced off on several hot topics Friday" in  what we deem to have been a poorly-publicized  Weber State University debate.  Happily however, Standard-Examiner reporter Cathy McKitrick provides the story after the fact. Here's the lede:
OGDEN — The issues debated by Ogden’s District 4 council candidates reflected the city’s diverse needs, running the gamut from police pay to backyard chickens, graduation rates, multiculturalism, vacant storefronts, homelessness, and roads and sidewalks in disrepair.
But candidates Daniel Gladwell and Ben Nadolski did not shy away from any question during the forum hosted Friday by the American Democracy Project at Weber State University.
Check out Ms. McKitrick's full writeup here:
As an added bounus, Ms. McKitrick sets forth the list of future Debates/Meet the Candidates events scheduled prior to Election Day (11/3/15):
While Ogden voters received their mail-in ballots last week, they still have a few more opportunities to hear from the candidates running for mayor and two council seats.
  • On Thursday, Oct. 15, at 7 p.m., the Ogden Trolley District is hosting a Meet the Candidates town hall forum at 2604 Jefferson Ave.
  • On Monday, Oct. 19, at 7 p.m., Ogden’s two mayoral candidates — incumbent Mike Caldwell and challenger Sebastian Benitez — will face off in the Garden Room of Weber State University’s Alumni Center, 1235 E. 4100 South.
  • On Oct. 28 at 10 a.m. Ogden’s mayoral and council candidates will debate at Ogden High School, 2828 Harrison Blvd.
Don't let the cat get your tongues...

Monday, October 12, 2015

Ogden Meet the Candidates Night - Thursday, October 15, 2015

A Weber County Forum Tip of the Hat to The Ogden Trolley District Community Council for sponsoring this event

Attention Weber County Forum political wonks who are following 2015 Ogden City Municipal Election developments. As a followup to our earlier article,wherein we announced the scheduling of two Mayoral debates  for October 19 and 28, we're delighted to inform our readers of a soon-upcoming political event, wherein Ogden City voters will have a chance to take a pre-election look at Ogden City's 2015 council candidates.

In that connection we'll refer our readers to this afternoon's Facebook based public notice, whereby The Ogden Trolley District Community Council announces a Thursday evening "Meet the Candidates" night.

Here's the nitty-gritty folks:
Hello friends! It's election season and the Trolley District Community Council wants to make it easy for you to stay informed and get involved in your local process.
Thursday October 15th, we're hosting a 'Meet the Candidates' night. Ogden City Council candidates will be there to meet, greet, and answer your burning questions. Come meet some good people and munch on some refreshments!
• Daniel Gladwell - Municipal Ward 4
• Ben Nadolski - Municipal Ward 4
• Luis Lopez - Seat C At Large
• John Ogden - Seat C At Large
• Sebastian Benitez - Mayor
• Mike Caldwell - Mayor
We look forward to seeing you all there!
Here are a few more words about the planned event format:

"There will be a town hall-style question and answer session and an opportunity to meet and speak with the candidates directly."

Be sure to mark your calenders, Ogden City voters.

A Weber County Forum Tip of the Hat to The Ogden Trolley District Community Council for sponsoring this event.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Democratic Congressman Posts Craigslist Ad for a New GOP Speaker of House... Go Wildcats!

Here's hoping you tuned in to the Wildcats game 'Cats fans

Following up on our earlier topic, we can't resist posting this:
Chew on all this whilst you enjoy tonight's football games.

Weber State is up 21-14 over Montana as we post this.  Who knows?  Maybe some of you folks might want to tune in?
Update 10/12/15 8:00 a.m.:  Here's hoping you tuned in to the Wildcats game 'Cats fans:
SE sprorts reporter Brandon Garside is ecstatic:
Nice neck-snapping segue, yes?

Go Wildcats!

Update 10/12/15 11:55 a.m.: After Saturday's win at Montana, Weber State has two Big Sky Players of the Week:

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Chaffetz Announces Bid for Speaker of the House

Will Chaffetz become the next House Speaker? Don't hold your breath

There's big doins in national politics this week, thanx to Utah County's most crack-potted non senatorial political offering, i.e, former BYU kicker, and current congressional joke, none other than this Utah County dunce, who makes this BIG announcement:
Here's the further skinny from the Grey Lady:
Will Chaffetz become the next House Speaker? Don't hold your breath.

Update 10/7/15 2:30 p,m.:  Borin' Orrin slams Chaffetz hard:
Fun, ainnit?

The plot sickens...

Update 10/9/15 6:00 p.m.:
 The House plot sickens again:

Friday, October 02, 2015

Wildcats Host SUU Friday (Tonight) Seeking Third Straight Win

Break out your Orville Redenbacker's, 'Cats Fans

Dang! It's only the first 2015 October Friday, and even now Weber State Wildcats football fans are sitting on the edges of their seats.  The auspicious occasion? Southern Utah Unversity v. Weber State! Read up. Peeps.  Lotsa Pre-game Hype:
Tune in here around 6pm for the online video feed, 'Cats Fans:
This also looks interesting, no?
Break out your Orville Redenbacker's.  Based on comparative statistics. your blogmeister predicts WSU will be victorious this night.

Update 10/3/15 9:00 p.m.:  The Standard provides the post game story:
What a Horror Show. Ouch!

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Newsweek Repeats the Ogden Miracle Myth

Same old statistical blunders; same old revisionist history

By Dan Schroeder

A lie can run around the block before the truth gets its boots on, as they say.

Regular readers of Weber County Forum are well acquainted with the lie I have in mind: that Ogden was a festering hell hole until January 3, 2000, when Matthew Godfrey swept into office and set us on the road to prosperity.

The latest version of this revisionist history comes from the current cover story in Newsweek, by Leah McGrath Goodman: “As Wealth Inequality Soars, One City Shows the Way.” Yes indeed, that one city is Ogden—sortof.

The article is a typical example of a common journalistic device: A national-level reporter has a national story to tell, but needs a local example to bring the story to life. So the reporter comes to town wearing tinted glasses, seeing only what fits the pre-determined narrative.

I grew up in a town that was subjected to this treatment, in a very negative way, by CBS News in 1966. Fortunately, the recent stories featuring Ogden have been much more favorable—at least to present-day Ogden.

Before getting back to Newsweek, I should also mention High Country News, where writer Jonathan Thompson used Ogden and Godfrey to illustrate his 2012 article “Red state rising: How the Mormon GOP runs Utah with a collectivist touch.” That article told how Utah’s government officials routinely dictate development plans and funnel subsidies to businesses, even while professing to hate big government and love free markets. Thompson, an apparent liberal, portrayed this practice favorably—and Godfrey made a great example. But the ex-mayor fooled Thompson with the hell-hole-before-January-2000 myth, and Thompson gave the myth yet another run around the block.

Newsweek began with a similar narrative: Wealth inequality is one of America’s biggest problems these days, but it’s not as extreme in some places, and that must be because of what local governments are doing in those places. It so happens that Utah ranks quite low (which is good) in a particular statistical measure of financial inequality. Moreover, according to the most recent Census data, the Ogden-Clearfield Metropolitan Statistical Area ranks lowest nationwide by that measure, among metro areas with more than 300,000 people.

Armed with this statistic (which I’ll return to below), Goodman visited Ogden City to find out how our local government accomplished this admirable feat. For her source she chose Tom Christopulos, Ogden’s Community and Economic Development Director. While giving her a tour of Ogden, Christopulos fed her the usual mythology about Ogden’s dismal past, highlighting Godfrey’s role and his own in turning things around. And the author dutifully recited the version of Ogden’s history she got from Christopulos.

Here are a few of the historical howlers from Goodman’s article:
  • “By the late 1990s, the city was in dire straits, its once-resplendent downtown in a shambles and its 25th Street shopping district vacant.”
  • “The turnaround began in 2002, with the election of 29-year-old Matthew Godfrey... who spent the next decade tearing down and rebuilding the city’s downtown...”
  • “By 2007, their efforts to attract commercial tenants to Ogden’s newly renovated historic buildings started to pay off...”
Those of us who live here can easily detect the grains of truth within these distortions. Parts of 25th Street really were vacant during the 1990s (parts of it still are). The Ogden City Mall really was in dire straits by the end of the 90s, and Godfrey really did tear down and rebuild most of that property by the time he left office. Amer Sports really did move into the American Can Building in 2007. But in each of these statements, Goodman paints with far too broad a brush.

So here, for the record, are a few facts about what was actually happening in Ogden during the 1990s:
  • The Union Grill restaurant opened in Union Station in 1990.
  • By the mid-1990s, much of the 200 block of Historic 25th Street was occupied with attractive new businesses, many in recently renovated buildings. A few that I remember are/were City Club, Brewski’s, The Daily Grind, Great Harvest, Pan Handler’s, and La Ferrovia.
  • Rooster’s restaurant and brewery, which is even pictured in Goodman’s article, opened on 25th Street in 1995.
  • The renovated Egyptian Theater, Eccles Conference Center, and Lindquist Field all opened in 1997.
  • The first phase of the Ogden River Parkway was completed in 1992, and most of the developed trailheads along the east bench were in place by the end of the 1990s.
  • Other improvements were underway by the end of the 1999, even though they were completed a little later: the renovation of the Ogden Municipal Building; the new public safety building; the Intermodal Hub; and most importantly, the Colonial Court Apartments, which brought hundreds of new residents into downtown Ogden for the first time in decades.
Of course the list of improvements to Ogden since 2000 is also impressive, and I don’t mean to downplay those improvements. But to claim that the entire downtown was in a shambles before that, and that the turnaround didn’t begin until 2002, is simply wrong. The revival of downtown dates back to at least a decade earlier. Meanwhile, there are many parts of Ogden that haven’t changed noticeably in the last 25 years.

But, then, what about those economic statistics that make Ogden look so good? The truth is that those statistics have virtually nothing to do with the recent changes in downtown Ogden.

First of all, Goodman’s article says nothing at all about what Ogden’s inequality index was in the past. For all we know it was even better in 1995, and the wonderful improvements that Goodman describes have made it worse. After all, Mayor Godfrey’s stated goal was to make Ogden into a trendy tech hub or resort town, like Boulder or Telluride, where the inequality indices are quite high.

But more importantly, Goodman repeatedly conflates Ogden City, population 85,000, with the Ogden-Clearfield Metropolitan Statistical Area, population 600,000. Virtually all of the economic statistics that she quotes are not for the city but for the metro area, which extends north into Box Elder County and south to the Salt Lake City limits.

Think about that for a minute: Even North Salt Lake and Woods Cross and Bountiful are considered part of the Ogden metro area, for the purpose of a whole variety of U.S. Government statistical information. Our “metro” area consists almost entirely of middle-class suburbs, so of course it will get a low rating in any statistical measure of inequality. The same would be true if you looked only at the suburbs of most other American cities, because both the wealthiest and the poorest people tend to live in big cities. But for whatever reason, the government has seen fit to amputate all of Salt Lake City’s northern suburbs and graft them onto Ogden for statistical purposes.

This unusual delineation of metro area boundaries also makes Ogden look good for another reason. Most of Utah’s rapid population growth is happening in the suburbs, and many economic statistics—especially job growth—are strongly enhanced by rapid population growth. Goodman’s article talks a lot about jobs, especially in the technology sector, without ever mentioning that those “Ogden” technology jobs are centered around Hill Air Force Base, in Davis County. Other parts of Davis County are growing rapidly because of their proximity to Salt Lake County, where there are even more jobs. According to Census Bureau data, more than 40% of Davis County workers commute to jobs in Salt Lake County; fewer than 15% commute to jobs in Weber County.

Goodman isn’t the first writer to give Ogden City credit for growth that’s occurring in Davis County. Three years ago I wrote about a couple of superlative job growth ratings that “Ogden” had recently received, and that city officials were taking credit for. To sort out where the jobs were actually being added, I dug into job statistics on finer geographical scales. Nearly all the new jobs turned out to be in Davis County.

Now seems as good a time as any to update those statistics from my 2012 article. So here, first of all, is a graph of the numbers of jobs in Weber and Davis counties since 1990:

As before, these numbers come from the county-level data at the Bureau of Labor Statistics web site, under Quarterly Census of Employment & Wages. Focusing on just the last several years, we see that both counties are now steadily adding jobs, but Davis County recovered from the Great Recession much faster than Weber.

At a more local level, the Census Bureau’s OnTheMap database now includes data through 2013. This data must be used with care, because before 2010 it did not include federal employees—and Ogden’s biggest employer is the IRS. Making matters worse, there’s no good way to subtract out the federal employees from 2010-2013, to make a fair comparison to earlier years. To make that comparison I’ve therefore subtracted out all “public administration” jobs, which also includes some state and local public administrators. On the following graph, the darker lines include all the jobs in the database (and therefore can’t be compared across 2009-2010), while the lighter lines exclude public administration jobs:

Three years ago, when the data stopped at 2010, I concluded (from the light purple line) that Ogden had suffered a net loss of about 2000 jobs between 2002 and 2010.  The good news is that Ogden has regained those jobs, plus about a thousand more, as of 2013. Ogden City isn’t gaining jobs nearly as fast as the rest of Weber County, let alone Davis County, but at least we’re finally back in positive territory, relative to 2002. Let’s hope this trend continues.

In summary, whether you look at official government statistics or specific on-the-ground improvements, there’s plenty of good news about Ogden’s economy. It’s too bad that the actual good news isn’t good enough for journalists or politicians, who find it necessary to exaggerate and to make misleading (and petty) comparisons to Ogden’s past and to other great communities around Utah and the rest of the country.

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