Monday, April 28, 2008


In my last post I mentioned getting my digital version of the South Ogden Newsletter late each month. I also called the City Office's and made mention that I seem to be getting the newsletter very late.

The next day I got this email - "You have been unsubscribed from the SouthOgdenNews mailing list"

Interesting, either some one got fired or they don't want me to have it.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Today I got my digital version of the South Ogden Newsletter. Why I got this so late, I will never know? I am sure they could have sent the digital version when they printed the first one, but I am sure they forgot.

The opening message is a message from the Urban Forestry Commission about trees. The opening paragraph reads, "Why should South Ogden residents be concerned about whether there are trees on your street, or on the streets nearby?"

WHAT! Is this article really about how we need to have trees on our streets! Do they not remember that they came through and tore up all the trees on Raymond Ave? Granted they did replace them with new, smaller ones. But don't they remember how they didn't even want us to have new trees?

Here are the reasons we are supposed to keep our trees:

  1. Cars drive slower on streets with trees. Trees have a calming effect and drivers become more aware that there are often pedestrians and children playing on tree lined streets. Without street trees it feels more like a transportation corridor, not a place where people live.
  2. Street trees cut down traffic noise. Street trees reduce the amount of engine noise created in the first place, because drivers go more slowly. But a line of large leafy trees can also absorb a great deal of noise. Even a line of smaller trees can be enough of a buffer to block traffic noise from reaching private yards and homes.
  3. Residents walk more on streets with trees. When cars drive more slowly, pedestrians feel safer. Trees also provide an environment in which it is more pleasant to walk.
  4. Trees improve air quality. Trees consume carbon dioxide and emit oxygen. In general, the more trees we plant, the better air we breathe.
  5. Street trees increase property value. Streets with trees look more stable and prosperous. Families with children are more attracted to a neighborhood where they can picture themselves going for walks and letting kids play on the sidewalk. Improvements in curb appeal due to street trees can increase real estate values by 5-20%.
This last one makes me the most upset! The Raymond Avenue citizens called our council woman - Vicki Mattson and specifically told her were were concerned about our resell value of our homes and what would happen if the trees were removed. On the phone she told us we should never buy a home because of trees. At the next City Council meeting on May 8th 2007. She explained she had talked to people in the housing industry and that our values would not drop. She gave housing value comparisons (that contradicted our own research) of homes that sold on Nordin and Evelyn before and after their trees were removed. Did she lie to us? According to their own Urban and Forestry Commission values will increase(or drop) 5-20% and that we should buy homes that have trees because they are safer, cleaner, and increase our value.

The second best part of this article is the end, backed up by City Manager Scott Darrington's blog about Arbor Day, it says: "South Ogden City has received the Tree City USA award for the past several years, but in order to continue this recognition we need the residents support in planting trees."

Well I do have to give the council and commission credit, they did replant our trees two fold after some our citizen's caused an uproar. But Vicki's contradicting remarks against their own commission and our citizens own research is disturbing. I am wondering now if she even researched or just went online and pulled housing values, then told us what we needed to hear to shut us up. Maybe she truly did get accurate information and the Urban Forestry Commission got it wrong. You be the judge.

All in all, I kept my tree.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Weber County Republican Convention

This years Weber County Republican Convention started out it in it's usually way. A few simple booths from the candidates that want your vote. Candidates and their families are racing for sign location. The ones who show up late end up scrambling. This year it was The Attorney General - Mark Shurtleff's advance team appeared to be about an hour late in setting up and were scrambling with their disorganized van of signs and ladders. A few served ice cream, cookies, pop corn, and displayed their free shirts. It reminded me of my brief time spent in politics as an advance team director and how crazy those times could be.

I saw our councilmen Wayne M. Smith at the convention, he was having a healthy conversation about fishing. You see this was a time for many people to catch up. Many old time Republicans took the time to swap stories or talk about Obama vs. Clinton and the Iraq war.

The chairmen kept things moving fairly quickly, he instigated a one clap rule for all applause, which tended to fade away from time to time. But we were moving very quickly. I was disappointed that our potential republican candidate, Brent Wallis, from Leg District 10 did nothing to campaign. Since the reason we keep losing on the republican side is that republicans are voting for the democrat (which I may do, D. Edger "Ed" Allen I hear is a good man). I will need to gather more information on each candidate before I make a decision on anything.

The exciting race of the day (for me to watch) was that of Ryan Wilcox. He is running against incumbent Glenn Donnelson in House District 7. Ryan campaigned excellently. His booth was very visible, he had water, popcorn and cotton candy for everyone. Every booth had food from his booth on their table, displaying his logo. He had girls walking through the bleachers passing out more food, some from other campaigns. A group of women stood in the door way getting everyone to put on a Ryan Wilcox sticker. At one point all I could see were Ryan Wilcox stickers and District 7 didn't have 100 delegates, but that is how many stickers it seemed like! The campus of Orion Junior High School was covered with Ryan Wilcox signs. I almost forgot who Glenn Donnelson was. As Uncle Lewie said in Lost in Yonkers, "This kid has moxy." Well it was no surprise for me to learn he beat Glenn by one vote, forcing the race to a primary. This will be one to watch.

Though it indirectly affects South Ogden, it is Weber County and we need to watch and support our Weber county representatives. In the end it was well worth the visit.