Sunday, September 26, 2010

Standard Examiner Editorial - Free Speech

The Standard Examiner Editorial Staff has lashed out at the Brigham City's new "Free Speech Zone" ordinances.  Calling them "Orwellian" at best and a crime against civil rights.  (See Here)  They attack the idea of setting up such zones since it will require approval to use them and 24 hour notice is needed.  They make the connection to possible protests for the upcoming LDS Temple.

I often cited this idea as a potential way around the Griener Gang Bill, but I have to agree with the editorial staff on this issue. My eyes are now open to the realities of what this does. As much as I do not want to see angry protesters at the temple dedication; restricting their rights and creating more government controls over this are wrong.  

The Standard brings they craziness of this new law to light with the following:

We love the irony of this quote from Councilman Bruce Christensen, which could have come directly from George Orwell's classic novel, "1984," that portrays a world of extreme government surveillance and the erosion of a citizen's rights:

"I applaud the mayor and the staff for bringing this forward. It hasn't been a problem in the past, but it could be in the future." (Yes, and little green men armed with guns that shoot poisoned whipped cream might also be a problem in the future.)
Actually, Christensen has blundered into a primary objection to the restrictions -- there's no problem with free speech! Brigham City leaders have an unreasonable fear. These "free speech zones" are just plain stupid and sinister.

Ouch!  What a blow!  I see how this restricts freedom and doesn't really create free speech, but instead restricts speech to those who can get through the application process.  What will stop them from denying ones  application?  This is just wrong.

Feel free to share your comments.

Greg Mortenson Comes to Utah - My thoughts on his book.

The Standard Examiner had a little review of Mr. Greg Mortenson in preparation for his visit to Utah on Friday. Reporter J. Michael Call has a little phone interview with the author of the best selling book, Three Cups of Tea.  It is a very interesting book about a man who spends his time in Pakistan and Afghanistan building schools.  These schools have the noble mission of teaching young women and others to be educated.  They learn to read and understand Arabic, to grow and develop their minds so radical ideology will simply skim off the surface when they are faced with it.

However I have a number of issues with Mr. Mortenson's book.  Though I love his mission, I find him kind of a hypocrite and self serving in the end.  His book is an amazing story but he contradicts himself which causes me to often question his motives.

For example, Mr. Mortenson mentions a visit with Mouzefer Ali, his porter, and says the following:
"But what Mortenson found most impressive about Mouzafer was that he’d never mentioned his accomplishments in all the time they’d spent walking and talking."
Greg often brags about his ability to get things done and make things happen.  Many of the chapters were filled with his terrible situation, when it could have been spent on more details on how we can help bring his cause to light.

His constant challenge for his mission is--money.  Regularly he shows his frustration for the "laptop warriors" and refuses any money from the United States government.  Even when they find ways to anonymously funnel the money into his program he refuses it.  He feels his reputation would be destroyed because he associates with the government.  However he quickly defends Mother Teresa for taking money from criminals when he says the following:
"Mortenson had heard the criticism of the woman who lay on a cot before him ratchet up in the years before her death. He’d read her defense of her practice of taking donations from unsavory sources, like drug dealers, corporate criminals, and corrupt politicians hoping to purchase their own path to salvation. After his own struggle to raise funds for the children of Pakistan, he felt he understood what had driven her to famously dismiss her critics by saying, “I don’t care where the money comes from. It’s all washed clean in the service of God.”
You see! He complains about America doing nothing, refuses to take the money offered him (Millions I may add) and denies it under the guise that American Government would be evil in Afghanistan.  People wouldn't trust his program if he used our money. How does that differ from what Mother Teresa did? How does this excuse his defense of her means?

Then he turns around and acts embarrassed when the money is spent not in the way he wants it to be, even though we [the government] offered it to him first.
“But where was the aid? I’d heard so much about what America promised Afghanistan’s people while I was at home—how rebuilding the country was one of our top priorities. But being there, and seeing so little evidence of help for Afghanistan’s children, particularly from the United States, was really embarrassing and frustrating for me.”
In then end he cheers the fact he never took any money from the government out a worry for his reputation, but really did his own mission and goals a disservice. I am not claiming to be an expert in Afghan relations and understand his reasoning, but they offered solutions to his problem.

I wish him the best of luck and I think what he is doing is amazing.  But please don't come here and trash on America. Especially when we offered to help you and then go around claim you are better than our money.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet - Weber-Morgan Health Department

The Weber-Morgan Health Department held a "Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet" event today from 10 am to 2 pm.  People were invited down to drop off their expired or unwanted medications.  This is an effort to avoid medications polluting our water systems (from flushing them) and also to avoid drug abuse.  Overall they collected 285lbs of medications.  That is amazing!

I know South Ogden and many other places hold such events but I was especially impressed by the level of work that went into this event.  I saw a lot of flyers in local business but I was impressed with the amount of social media used to promote this idea.

Weber-Morgan Health Department has been expanding out into Twitter and Facebook for sometime now.  They are gaining a lot of fans and have done a lot to keep their website current and information fresh.  I hope all of you will take the time to friend them on facebook or follow them on twitter.  They give a lot of great updates and doing there best to keep us all informed. We have a great Health Department in our area!

Facebook -
Twitter -
Web Page -

Here are some photos from the event:
Bag we received when dropped off our meds

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Illegal Spice and the New Standard Examiner

A few weeks ago I had a blog post about my concerns of the Standard Examiner.  It was titled, Is the Standard Examiner Failing?

It was clear our newspaper was falling behind the rest, in more ways than one.  But yesterday we got a glimpse of a potentially new Standard.  Today's paper has a nice article on a police sting looking for illegal spice.  For those of you who do not know what spice is, (because you have missed the bi-annual KSL reports on the "Evils of Spice") it is an herb sold over the counter and gives Marijuana like affects to those who smoke it. Whether you agree with the new law or not, I would like to focus more on the reporting.

The Standard Examiner has really made attempts to ramp up it's social media usage, including more usage of twitter.  They are making a few beginner mistakes but have been really open to feedback and suggestions.  Yesterday they tweeted live as the went along with the police sting operation.  We were able to interact closely with the paper as they experienced this police sting live.  This brought a new element to news and made it very interesting.  It would have been great to have seen Ogden residents tweet in potential locations to give the paper even more info.  Overall it was a great start.

My only recommendations are these:
  • Keep going!  I think you are headed in the right direction.  More readers and social media users will follow.
  • We don't just want to talk to @standardex, we also want to talk to reporters too.  Mark Shenefelt and Scott Schwebke are really getting into it, but we want to hear more from the other reporters and staff.  UPDATE: Forgot one of my Favs @dilewis aka Di Lewis!
  • Take the Laugh a Minute Videos off of the front page, it slows down your load time a ton.  If you have an add deal for this, then sorry but it is messing with your whole page.
Great Job guys keep up the great work! I look forward to more in the future.

Feel free to comment on your thoughts and suggestions. - Governor's mistakes provide campaign opening for Corroon - Governor's mistakes provide campaign opening for Corroon

Does this not concern anyone? Gov. Herbert on two occasions has been left out of key information. What worries me is, either his advisers are incompetent and are unable to keep Mr. Herbert up to speed or people don't respect him enough to even tell him the truth. Why would UDOT keep such info from him? Maybe because they don't like or respect him? Also, why would you go on the air and quote miss-information. The first thing I tell my sales people is: if you don't know the answer, don't make things up! Make sure you are 100 percent correct. To me, both of these mistakes are marks of a poor leader.

Governor...time to rally around your staff, have a heart to heart, fix what problems exist and start working as a team. Otherwise you are going to lose my support. Are you so arrogant you don't even ask them for correct information? As much as I disliked Hunstman, he always look and said the right things on TV.

Time to work sir.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Social Media, News and the Machine Gun Fire #Herrimanfire

Last night a crazy thing happened.  Utah experienced a major news event, the Machine Gun Fire aka the Herriman Fire.  The reasons and causes of the fire can easily be read in every newspaper today.  But another story (and their are many) in this tragedy is the part Social Media played and how one news station dominated with it's coverage.

I started tuning into the coverage around 9 pm.  I caught a few minutes of Fox 13 news, a station I do not normally watch. They were discussing the Herriman fire and the fact a few hundred homes were being evacuated.  As usually I jumped on twitter to see if anything else was being discussed.  I noticed Ben Winslow (@benwinslow) was tweeting live updates about the fire and so were many concerned residents of Salt Lake City.  They were united under the hash tag #herrimanfire.  

For those who are new to twitter or do not understand how it works, here is a short explanation:  Twitter is a short messaging system.  Essentially you have a list of followers, then you post a short message (140 characters or less).  Your message is viewable to your list of followers.  Kind of like sending a short text message to 20 or 30 friends all at once, but not having to type in all of their phone numbers. In addition, non-followers can do a search and find your messages as well.  Sometimes, during major events, we end our messages with a hash tag starting with a #.  An example of this is #contest.  I could do a search just for #contest and get everyone who is tweeting about a contest of some sort in the world.  This keeps certain topics all in one place and easy to find in a search.

Hundreds, if not more of us were all communicating and sharing information about the fire all under the hash tag #herrimanfire.  In many occasions information was being tweeted faster than the news could report it.  Herriman City wisely created a twitter account (@bereadyherriman) and used it as way to communicate to everyone.  Quickly photosvideos and stories were passed on and shared with all.  Fox News (@fox13now) collected all of this and became the leading source of information for Herriman Residents.  Why was Fox on top! Well for a few reasons:

  1. So many people turned to the Internet, the Herriman City website was overwhelmed and practically crashed. Cell phones were jammed; so TV and the Internet is where people got their news. 
  2. People eventually turned to twitter for info and also Fox News and Ben Winslow because they were the only ones reporting (Deseret News and Salt Lake Tribune did show up later). 
  3. KSL 5, Channel 2 and 4 all decided this was a non-story.  They showed the nightly newscast at 10:00 then moved on to sports and forgot about the story all together.  Their reporters (who are now tweeting and reporting) were no where to be found.  In fact News Editor for KSL 5, Graydon Johns, even attacked one twitter user by calling him a loser (see here) when KSL was questioned on their worthless reporting of the story. (Note: He apologized later)

My contributions to the evening were limited, but my tweets and re-tweets were connected to my Facebook page.  When this happened, tons of my friends in the SLC/Herriman area began responding and giving me even more info, which I was able to pass a long.  In no way did I play a major role in this; but it was fascinating to see live news and hundreds of people come together to contribute to this news.  

Fox News really became the "beacon of light" many people were looking for last night and I was amazed at how twitter really helped. Fox took advantage of the situation and was able to do amazing things. One example is when the Herriman City's website crashed, twitter users were quick to redistribute the evacuation map and Fox was able to post it online.  The amazing use of  photosvideos and stories was in real time and mind blowing.  When Channel 2 finally asked twitter users for info at 5:45 am, they were too late. Fox had been doing this for nearly 8 hours, they stopped tweeting shortly after that.

What does this all mean.  It means news is still evolving and the way it is reported is too.  News agencies and cities can learn from this experience by what Fox News did last night. Consumers want news in real time but they also want to be part of the story.  Most people on twitter felt a kinship with Ben Winslow and felt like they were helping him and Fox report.  

The saddest part for me was when Congressman Jason Chaffetz and Rep. Carl Wimmer showed up.  They began tweeting they were going to take charge and make sure everything was under control.  I bet they were just in the way and costing us money.  Herriman City, the fireman and their teams did a fine job last night and were the real heroes of this fire.

For the rest of us, news in Utah was amazing last night and Fox 13 was at the top.  They are my new, news station of choice. And to the rest of the news agencies, all I can say is - #fail.

Comments welcome.

UPDATE: Holly on the Hill (@hollyonthehill) has a nice post on this same issue. She is a better writer than me:

More Upcoming Meet the Candidates Nights For Weber County

Please note the following Meet the Candidate Nights hosted by Weber County 9/12 Project and plan on attending:


Wednesday, 22 Sep at 7pm at Christian Heritage School in Riverdale – Candidates for Weber County political offices who have confirmed their participation are:


    John B. Bond (Republican) – County Treasurer
    Kerry W. Gibson (Republican) - County Commissioner, Seat B
    Debbie A. Hansen (Democratic) – County Recorder/Surveyor
    Ricky Hatch (Republican) – County Clerk/Auditor
    Drew Johnson (unaffiliated) – County Commissioner, Seat A
    T.R. Morgan (Democratic) - County Commissioner, Seat A
    Ernest D. Rowley (Republican) – County Recorder/Surveyor
    Terry L. Thompson (Republican) – County Sheriff
    John Ulibarri (Republican) – County Assessor   
    Teresa Yorgason (Democratic) – County Clerk/Auditor
    Jan M. Zogmaister (Republican) - County Commissioner, Seat A
    Amy L. Wicks (Democratic) - County Commissioner, Seat B.


Thursday, 14 Oct at 7pm at Christian Heritage School in Riverdale – Candidates for Utah Senate and House of Representatives offices.

State Senate

  Stuart C. Reid - Republican
  Betty Sawyer - Democratic

State Representatives

District 6
Brad J. Galvez - Republican

District 8

Gage Froerer - Republican
Alan Wheelwright - Democratic

District 9
Neil Hansen - Democratic
Jeremy Peterson - Republican

District 10
Dixon Pitcher - Republican
Randy Rounds - Democratic

District 12
Richard Greenwood - Republican

Thursday, 21 Oct at 7pm (location TBA) – Congressman Rob Bishop (Republican Party)


Friday, 22 Oct at 7pm (location TBA) – US Senate candidate Mike Lee (Republican Party)


Thursday, 28 Oct at 7pm at Christian Heritage School in Riverdale – US Senate candidate Scott Bradley (Constitution Party)


Still to come……… we will announce the Meet the Candidate Night for Governor Herbert as soon as it has been confirmed.


If you are a candidate for public office and we have not properly listed your participation at one of these events, please contact us as soon as possible. 


You can find out more details and RSVP for these events at the Meetup link at


Many of the candidates have completed the Abigail Adams Project surveys that gives you an idea on some of their positions on key political or social issues.  You can review those surveys at by clicking on the link to the various offices that you are interested in. 


Hope to see you there to find out about the candidate who will best serve you.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Get Out of Debt Blog and $800 Giveaway.

As many of you know, I am passionate about getting and staying out of debt.  I have added to the left sidebar a list of some websites that can help you get on the path to financial freedom.  As well, I wanted to post a quick blog post about a new blog I have found.  It is called Out of Debt Again.  It is a fun blog, filled with ideas on how to save money and move yourself to a debt free lifestyle.

In celebration of their third anniversary they are currently doing a great giveaway with some amazing prizes.  In total they are giving away $800 with of prizes on their website.  Many of them are available just for visiting, tweeting or becoming their friend on facebook.

In today's economic climate all the knowledge we can get to avoid more debt is worth it.  Check out their website and contest giveaway here: Out of Debt Again Giveaway

Friday, September 17, 2010

Weber State Needs New Management

Over the past few years I have attended Weber State University convinced the “Brick and Mortar System” of college will be give me a leg up in my future endeavors. However I have constantly been shocked by the poor management and lack of communication within the Weber State Departments. Today’s experience only proved to me how disorganized Weber State really is.

This past summer my wife decided now would be a good time begin attending Weber State. She signed up for two classes and applied for financial aid. Upon receiving a few hundred dollars in a pell grants, we decided we would pay the rest in cash. However do to an unforeseen change in our lives, this was not going to be a good time to attend college and my wife withdrew from school.

We attempted to make a full withdrawal online on August 28th, the first week of school, to insure a full refund would be granted. We were informed by the website that full withdrawal online is not possible and you must do it in person or email them. Why I can email and not do it online, I will never know? This being a Saturday, my wife went up on September 1st and made a full withdrawal. After explaining her story, she was told she owed a $17 fee, which she paid.

Today, my wife received a phone call from the cashier’s office explaining how my wife owed $470+ for unpaid tuition. They told her she needed to make a payment now and wanted her credit card info. When she asked, why she was told, “This is to payback the Financial Aid that was paid for your account.” This makes no sense! Does Weber State really want us to reimburse Weber State for something we didn’t use? Due to her refusal to pay she was transferred to the Cashier Supervisor who told my wife the same story about financial aid and she could file a petition if she would like but without written proof there was no chance she would win. Her best bet was to pay the money. If we had known this we would have stayed in school, it was only $300 more.

From there, we called the Financial Aid office to find out why my wife was being charged. Within minutes they told us this was not true and nothing was owed to financial aid. They [financial aid office] got the Cashier Supervisor back on and he quickly changed his story to say we owed the money due to unpaid tuition, not for financial aid and we need to file a petition (remember that thing he told us we couldn’t win). Who hired this guy and does even know how to do his job?

We were then transferred to the Registrar’s office and they said if we withdrew online on the 28th and in person on the 1st, they could backdate the withdrawal date to avoid any fees, since it appears my wife is being charged for not withdrawing in the first week of school. But even if this was the case, why is it $400+ since 10%, at best, would have been $120.

Transferred back to cashiers and they tell us they see this problem everyday and can fix it. Apparently their computer can see when we try to withdraw online, even though it doesn’t let us. However the computer doesn’t magically fix it, you have to come and ask they check for your attempt. She found the code and backdated the withdrawal date for a full 100% refund.

Here are my questions:
  1. According to the Weber State Policy Manual (See Here): “Weber State University is committed to an orderly registration process.” Then why isn’t the procedure orderly? It is anything but to register and change classes. 
  2. Why did the cashier supervisor and employee give miss-information and belittle my wife into paying this bill.
  3. How many other students, who don’t know about this loop hole, are being charged?
  4. Why does the cashier’s office have so many problems? This is my 4th time having issues with them. Last year I had to take in a bank statement to prove I paid my tuition because they lost it. Before that they were cashing my loan payments but not applying them to the right loan. The time before that I had to let the loan department know I am attending school because they can’t communicate with the registrar’s office to find out.
  5. Why can’t the departments at Weber State communicate with each other? This is one of many stories I have heard where departments all but hate each other and refuse to work together. 
  6. Why can you not withdraw online, but you can by email? This makes no sense; I have to put a password to get in and do it online. But anyone can send an email. So it isn’t for security reasons.
  7. How is Weber State still in business, any company that worked this way would be out of business? Oh I know, they teach people how to run business but can’t run their own, big money in this racket.

Thanks to Casey Bullock and Candy “The Cashier” for finally figuring this out. Good to see Weber State now trying follow their own policy. Please feel free to share your Weber State horror stories!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Poll Workers Needed in Davis and Weber Counties

Election Poll Workers Needed!!
Davis and Weber Counties are seeking college students to help work at the election polls. Each applicant must be a registered voter and reside within Weber or Davis county lines.
Approximately 3 hours of training (flexible) and one day of work (see applications). Compensation ranges from $145 - $210 depending on position and county. Hours will be determined by the county officials and are outlined on the application. Follow the link below for your individual county application.

Positions are limited, please apply by September 17th, 2010.
Weber County Residents:
Davis County Residents:
For more information contact:
Javier Chavez

Weber County Meet the Candidate Night - 9/12 Project Sponsors

The Weber County 9/12 Project has put together a Meet the Candidate night for September 22nd.  Should be a great night with lots of people in attendance.  Here is the info:

When: Wednesday, September 22, 2010 7:00 PM
Where: Christian Heritage High School,  5120 South 1050 West, Riverdale, UT 84405

This "Meet The Candidate Night" is open to the public and is the first of at least three scheduled to occur prior to the November 2nd elections.  

This first Meet the Candidate Night will give you the chance to meet those individuals running for Weber County offices.  Each Candidate will be given the opportunity to speak briefly (4 minutes each) to the audience and when everyone has finished, you can mingle and greet the candidates as you see fit.  The following candidates will be represented:

  •     John B. Bond (Republican) – County Treasurer
  •     Kerry W. Gibson (Republican) - County Commissioner, Seat B 
  •     Debbie A. Hansen (Democratic) – County Recorder/Surveyor
  •     Ricky Hatch (Republican) – County Clerk/Auditor
  •     Drew Johnson (unaffiliated) – County Commissioner, Seat A
  •     T.R. Morgan (Democratic) - County Commissioner, Seat A
  •     Ernest D. Rowley (Republican) – County Recorder/Surveyor
  •     Terry L. Thompson (Republican) – County Sheriff
  •     John Ulibarri (Republican) – County Assessor    
  •     Teresa Yorgason (Democratic) – County Clerk/Auditor
  •     Jan M. Zogmaister (Republican) - County Commissioner, Seat A
  •     Amy L. Wicks (Democratic) - County Commissioner, Seat B.
    Gary Haws (Democratic) - County Sheriff was extended the invitation to participate, but he was not able to do so.  
    Dee Smith (Democratic) - County Attorney was extended the invitation to participate, but he was not able to do so.

Thought RSVP is no required, you can RSVP here:

Also, you can check out the 9/12 Project on their website at

Monday, September 13, 2010

ACLU Files Motion Against the Sen. Grenier Gang Bill - Salt Lake Tribune

The Salt Lake Tribune reported on Saturday the ACLU has filed a motion against Senator Greiner's Gang Bill.  I have posted a number of blog posts against this piece of legislation in the past and how it is unconstitutional.  Also it has great potential to be used inappropriately to restrict the civil rights of others not just gang members.

Lindsey Whitehurst, Reporter for the Salt Lake Tribune, reports that the ACLU has all recognized the problems in this legislation. She quotes ACLU of Utah Legal Director Darcy Goddard saying:
“Once that individual is so identified, he or she can be stripped of all sorts of fundamental liberties, ranging from the freedoms of association and speech to the right to posses a legal firearm or even a felt-tip marker.”
I couldn't agree with more and I am glad to see the ACLU step in on this topic.

You can read my other posts on this topic here:

5 Year Study to Learn What Women in the Army Want.

The other day I read this great article in the Standard Examiner, it was entitled "Better Uniforms Soon for Women" and was issued from the Scripps Howard News Service. (Read Here) In the article it discussed how the Army has conducted a five year study to determine what women want in a uniform. You can't make this stuff up guys! Here is a direct quote:
After five years of research, the Army thinks it has figured out what women soldiers want: Combat uniforms that take into account the differences between their physiques and those of men.
Yes, you read that correctly.  After a five years the Army has finally figured out that women have different physiques than those of men. But it gets better, look at what the Project Executive Office Soldier said:
Project Executive Office Soldier -- the Army outfit that develops and tests new equipment -- says it has learned that women come in many different sizes and shapes and are not built as "straight" as men, the Army News Service reports.
Eureka!!!  We've solved the mystery, we've cracked the code!  We now know that women come in many different sizes and shapes!  It only took five years of research, let's now tackle cold fusion!

I wonder if at anytime during the study of there was an actual disagreement that women were not different.  I mean did none of these people attend a health class or a maturation program when they were kids.  How come it has taken a five year study to realize what the rest of us already know.  Women's bodies are different than men's.

According to the report, these new "curve friendly" uniforms will arrive in 13 sizes and will feature an elastic waistband.  600 Women are testing these uniforms but it will take another four years before they can debut these new "hip friendly" uniforms.  All in all it will take nearly 10 years for this transformation to be complete.

Where did the money come from for this study?  Well more than likely tax payer money was spent to find out women hate their clothes and want things that fit.  It took my one month of marriage to find out my wife likes clothing that fit.  How the heck did it take the Army five years?  Now they are going to test the uniforms for four more years!

What a waste of money and time, but at least in 2014 our female soldiers will be in clothes that fit.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Randy Rounds - Leg District 10 Candidate Profile

Randy Rounds is running for the our very own Legislative District 10 hoping to replace our dear Brent Wallis and regain the seat for the democrats.  He stopped by my house yesterday and we had a great chat about his desires and issues.  Essentially his reasons for running come down to these key points:

  1. Ethics.  He told me of his desire to see some real ethics reform in the legislature.  Also his concern for big corporations and banks and how they influence legislation.  It bothers him the way credit unions have been attacked by the banks and thinks ethics reform can help correct that. 
  2. Education.  (He is a former educator/principal from Uintah) You can tell he has a real passion for education and desires to find ways to bring more money into schools and to find ways to adjust the budget.  He is tired of Utah being last in education spending per child. 

Randy was great to talk with and he hit on a number of issues dear to my heart, especially his strong support for Credit Unions.  He is currently on the board of Weber Credit Union and is a former principal from Uintah Elementary. He is also a lifetime resident of South Ogden.  I was really impressed with our visit and look forward to more.  However I must disclose he did grow up in my neighborhood and his mother attends the same church as me.

He has a simple website that is laid out in blog format.  It hasn't been updated in a while but has all the info it needs at this time. You can get the basics about him, his issues and also his background through the site.  The website is in a similar format as the Weber County Democrats website, so it appears they have really jumped in and are helping him.  Check it out here:

Once again, great visit and a great man.  Look for my Dixon Pitcher profile soon.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Meet the Candidate Day -- September 11th

Looks like both the Weber County Democrats and Republicans are holding meet the candidate days tomorrow.

For the Democrats:

They are having their monthly breakfast at the Golden Corral at 8:30 am. Please RSVP on their website: HERE (by the way, these guys have a GREAT WEBSITE!)

Golden Corral, 988 Washington Blvd, Ogden UT 84404

The Republicans:

Nothing is on this website, since it hasn't been updated since July.  However here is the info:

When and Where:
 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM at  
Monroe Park 850 30th St  Ogden, Utah 84401

Sounds like both could be great events and you could meet a number of your candidates.  Rep Rob Bishop is scheduled to be at the Republican event.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Is the Standard Examiner failing?

Over the past few days I have had two experiences with the Standard Examiner that have made me incredibly worried.  These events happened right in Northern Utah and should have been shining moments for the Standard Examiner, but instead it became the "Standard Re-Examiner" because of it's failure to report the news before everyone else.

On Tuesday at 12:50 pm, teachers at Dee Elementary reported seeing a young man shooting a gun on top of his roof.  By 2:30 pm, KSL and the Salt Lake Tribune both had articles posted on their websites. News agencies were tweeting live updates and giving us links to their stories. While reading the breaking news as it unfolded, I noticed absent from the excitement was our very own Standard Examiner, who's offices are only a five minutes away.  Their website had nothing about the story and nothing on twitter.  Finally at 3:40 pm they had a story posted, a whole hour after everyone else.  After some prodding, Mark Shenefelt. Standard Examiner's Online General Manager and board member, tweeted about the incident at 4:09 pm.  By 6:15 pm KSL had a full story plus photos posted online.

A couple of us online junkies began to ask questions to the Standard as to how such an event could take place in Ogden, only blocks from your main office, and then be completely scooped by all the other news agencies.  They replied that they are in a transition period and are hoping to get things back up and running soon.

Through some research, apparently their twitter person went on maternity leave and is now working in a different area, leaving their Police Beat reporter to do some early am tweeting.  But that doesn't explain the inability to get a story filed and up on the website quickly.  This was serious breaking news and we all had to learn about from the Salt Lake papers.

The Standard assured me things were moving and were going to change.  Then last night a lady is arrested for the murder of her two children in Layton.  I found out about this breaking news from Ben Winslow, FOX 13 and the Tribune posting tweets around 10 pm.  I then checked out the KSL and the Tribune website to learn more about the story.  Unfortunately the Standard Examiner didn't have an article posted until after midnight buried under a couple of links.  Way after my bedtime. The Standard's tweets went out around 6:45 am and 7 am, well after the story had been tweeted and reported by the rest of Utah.  Once again, out worked by the competition.

Say what you may about the Standard Examiner, but they our paper!  I want them to survive and we need to have a paper in Northern Utah to balance out the news from Salt Lake.  But they will need to be more on the ball; they will need to work harder than ever to keep us.  If all of the other news agencies are willing to report LIVE news about what happens in our own backyard, the Standard will need to do the same.

Here are couple humble suggestions from an outside reader:

  1. Please make the website readable.  Yes, it is a huge update from your last website, but it still loads slow (I am on a T1 line) and the color choice and font size are hard to read.  Breaking News doesn't even make it to the front page and often the stories can be two or three days old (or longer) in the picture viewer.
  2. Tweet!  Say what you may about twitter and the overkill convergence ideas of Deseret News and KSL.  But Tweet!  I loved it when Carlos Mayorga worked at the paper, he would do his best to keep us up to date on stories.  Ben Winslow with Fox News does this now, he does an amazing job.
  3. Report around the clock, not just 9 to 5.  I have already given you examples of this.

The Standard Examiner is doing some great things. But if we can't even report what is going on in our own town before the other news agencies, then I am worried the Standard is on it's way out.  I hope this is not the case and I am over-exaggerating the seriousness of this.  But please, Standard Examiner do better.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Free Raffle by Weber County Sheriff Candidate, or is it?

Recently I received an email for Weber County Sheriff Candidate Terry Thompson. His email was a polite request of Weber County Republicans to forward on a flyer regarding his up and coming fundraiser—I Shot the Sheriff.
The “I Shot the Sheriff” email and the flyer state the following:

Thursday, September 16, 2010
Open House from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. or until everyone is done shooting
At the Ogden Gun Club

Come shoot some trap, have some good food, win some prizes and raise money for Terry Thompson for

With your Registration, you will receive 1 Dinner, 1 Round of Trap Shooting and 1 Raffle Ticket. Only $15 if you Pre-Register or $20 if you Register at the Shoot.

Then you can Shoot to Win!
For every 5 clays you hit, you will get 1 more Raffle Ticket. And if you are good enough to hit 25 out of 25, you will receive 5 Bonus Raffle Tickets. Want to give it another try? You can purchase additional Trap Rounds for $12 or 3 for $30. You will receive 1 Raffle ticket with each round purchased.

Had enough shooting & just want more chances to win? Purchase additional Raffle Tickets for $8 or 3 for $20.

There are going to be lots of prizes, including 2 Browning Guns. (More details to come)
We want to give everyone a chance to shoot as long as their hearts desire, so the drawing will occur the following day and the winners will be contacted by phone.

Quickly I fired off an email to Sheriff Candidate Thompson regarding Utah Code 76-10-1101 which explains the illegality of raffles:
6) "Lottery" means any scheme for the disposal or distribution of property by chance among persons who have paid or promised to pay any valuable consideration for the chance of obtaining property, or portion of it, or for any share or any interest in property, upon any agreement, understanding, or expectation that it is to be distributed or disposed of by lot or chance, whether called a lottery, raffle, or gift enterprise, or by whatever name it is known.
Terry's Response was:

Anyone may obtain a free opportunity by simply showing up, no purchase necessary.

Stating "No Purchase Necessary" is how people get around the legallity of a raffle. (Either that or they hope no one notices) However, if no purchase is necessary then why doesn’t his flyer say that? It will be interesting to see who gets a free ticket just for coming, especially when it says you need to pre-register for $15.
His, out of date, website doesn’t have much info but his facebook page confirms that you must pre-register or register at the door.
So if you want a free chance to win a gun, go up to the Ogden Gun Club on the 16th and get your free raffle ticket. You don’t need to be present to win.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Financial Literacy Course

Because of what I do for a living and my passion for living debt free. I follow a lot of people who believe in financial freedom. One of my new favorites is Kevin Foster from

Kevin Foster has a fun blog filled with info and videos to help you get on track financially. He has just introduced a cool 10 week email program to keep you on track financially. Also did mention this stuff is free.

During these tough economic times a lot of us are looking for ways to save money and get on track. I promise you...a new credit card is not the answer. Instead look for ways to save! If you are lost, like so many are and I have been in the past, I am hoping to expand my blog in the future to use my work experience and personal experience to help anyone with their financial issues as well as give local political analysis.

For now, check out Kevin's website and his free program:

Friday, September 3, 2010

College Credit Card Debit - KSL Story and Odd Comments

KSL News and reporter Cleon Wall did a short little story on some of the new credit card laws and how these laws affect college students. According to the new law, credit card companies can no longer target college students under the age of 21. This is a great thing, believe me! My own college experience put me at 19 with three credit cards. Fortunately I only rang up about $1,000 and had great parents that helped me through the learning process.

The shocking thing about the article was BYU finance professor, Ned Hill, who was claiming this law was bad because now kids can’t start building credit early and now they won’t go get a job.


“It prevents them from establishing a credit history. So, students have to be more energetic in getting a job so they could qualify to get a credit card on their own, or they could go on their parent's credit card,"

Did he really just say that? If building your credit is what you are worried about, there are plenty of ways to do this without going into credit card debt. I think credit cards are trap and should be avoided. Even rewards cards are worthless. The interest from your college credit card will be between 10 and 26 percent. Also to assume kids won't be motivated to get a job if they don't have debt to pay is stupid.

Odd comments by Mr. Hill, plus doesn’t this guy belong to a religious organization that says stay out of debt.

If you really are worried about establishing credit, do it this way. Deposit $100-$500 into Certificate of Deposit [CD] with your local financial institution. Then take a loan against the CD for the full amount, no credit check needed. The rate at most credit unions will be 2% (Far better than the 10-26% you will get with your college credit card). Make your payments on time and at the end of 6 months, you will have your original $500 back, no credit check by the credit union and 6 months worth of loan payments recorded on your credit report. Magically your credit report now shows—established credit! You can do this a number of times with much success and now very little risk. Granted your credit report will not be perfect (yet), but at least you’re not in credit card debt.

See the full report here:

As always your comments are welcome.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Lunch with Congressman Chaffetz - My Notes

A couple of days ago I had the pleasure of having lunch with Congressman Chaffetz.The room was filled with many of the local leaders and politicos of the county to all meet him and discuss issues facing our country. I was kind of taken back by the invite, but I was very glad to be there. I have had a love/hate relationship with Jason Chaffetz; having known him back when we both worked on the campaign trail together and found each other on opposite sides of the same party. However I have been impressed with how fast he has risen to the level he is at.

Mr. Chaffetz opened his speech by hinting to his Tea Party support and his religious foundation by sharing his Glenn Beck Rally experience and how glad he was to have attended. He then turned his time to statistics to prove how the economic recovery is really an attempt by the Obama Administration to expand government. He backed up his claims with a story about a White House liaison that came to his office and told him if there was any legislation to cut federal spending that would relate in cutting a federal worker, the White House would fight it.

One of the big items was the amazing levels of spending. In one of his committees, which he is a ranking member, Chaffetz found we are spending $10 Million dollars on archiving grants to help people archive their own records. This includes: Stanford, ACLU, and more. The chairman wants to raise this funding to $20 million a year for 5 years, spending over $100 Million for helping other people archive stuff. He also found a number of programs that do not exist anymore but are still getting funding. The money is being spent but no one is really using it for what it was originally used for. Like mohair subsidies for military uniforms. A few million is paid out each year to subsidize mohair for U.S. military uniforms. The only problem is, we stopped using mohair for uniforms after the Korean War. So who is getting the money

Questions and Answers:

What should we do with Iraq and Afghanistan?

“They are two different issues. First, knowing what we know now, we should not have gone to Iraq. However if I had been there, I would have voted for going knowing what we knew then. “As for Afghanistan, we need to let the military do their job. They [US Military] are a killing machine. If you have intelligence, go forward and kill them. Let them do what they need to do. Give them all the supplies, support and troops they need to finish this and come home. Go with everything you got and get rid of the political correctness.”

“It is very disingenuous to say we will come out this summer and all will be solved. I want the President to articulate what success looks like."

How can we keep our money? The government wants to tax us and take our money. How can we stop this and the health care changes (He didn’t really have a good answer for this one, just kind of rambled)

“We need to get more involved in the process. We need to keep coming out and fight. We can use facebook, email and other social media to unite us on these causes and get people out to fight.”

What do you think of the Fair Tax Consumption?

“If I could have a clean slate, I would support it.” “We would much rather tax that way, but how do you make that kind of transition. It is a good start for an idea, but how do you make it work. This could hurt people who make charitable donations, which a lot of people make in this state. If we could wipe the slate clean and then it would make sense "

Can we make the choice to stop taking stimulus money?

"Whether you want the money or not, you have to pay for it; so we might was well
take it. But you need to look at the true cost.”

“For example, I want to repeal No Child Left Behind, everyone in congress does. But everyone loves the money that comes with it."

“We need to make critical calculation when money comes in and decide what the true costs are. We can't just unilaterally refuse the money. Instead we need to look at why we should get the money.”

“A Supreme Court Justice told me that we could get out of the control of the Federal Government if we stopped taking the money, but that would be a tough thing to do. Who can survive and the taxes are so intertwined with our everyday services?”

Chaffetz ended with this statement

“My greatest concern is that we will gain back the house, senate and the white house and we will blow it. We have to be ready to fix the problems. We deserved to be kicked out when we did and now we need to elect strong new people who are willing to make the tough decisions.”

There were a few more questions asked but these were the ones that jumped out at me.In the end I felt the meeting went well Congressman Chaffetz has matured a lot and seems very confident about a number of issues A few of his answers were still just half answers and very political in nature and few solutions were really presented here but is there ever answers presented at these things Overall I left impressed with him

The room of people was very interesting. The majority of the room asked very appropriate questions and was very well informed. But a few people used this time more as soap box to raise their voices and shake their arms in displeasure of the current administration.Congressman Chaffetz handled these well and rallied their support; however these outbursts really turn me off from politics.

I remember going to these types of meetings when Clinton was in office and people would scream and yell. I don't think losing our temper gets things done and doesn't show your real passion just your ignorance

Great meeting and thanks for to Roger and Christie Moore for the invite.