Saturday, November 12, 2011

Strate to the Point: A few thoughts about Utility Rates

Brent Strate, councilmember elect, has a great post on the Utility Rates that have increased in South Ogden city. My family has an average rate of $53.00 but we have seen it rise from the low $30s to $53 we are at now just over the past 5 years. My biggest concern is why has their been a push for the past two years from the city to raise taxes during a recession. When know real thought has been given to the poor fiscal management of the city nor the impact this has caused. On numerous posts I have explained that the city has had slash budgets or dip into their emergency fund to make ends meet. Last year at this time we had to cancel the Christmas Party at the Timbermine. What was the solution? Go to Texas Roadhouse instead. I know we all love a steak dinner, but why not just CANCEL THE PARTY! Do a pot luck and have fun together. It will be interesting to see this year where the city goes for the Christmas party as the rest of the city pays more just to drink water.


In a number of conversations I have had with Councilmember Strate, I have been impressed with his fiscal ideas and how he wants to bring in the spending. I have seen some other councilmembers attempt the same but not seen the affect I expect. Now with more strength on the council to help bring this in; hopefully we will see some movement.

Comments welcome.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

New Council Member is....

Congrats to Sallee Orr, Wayne Smith and to our new council member - Brent Strate!!!

The votes are in and he was the CLEAR winner in the 3rd seat.

Here are the totals:

9.7% voter turn out

  • Sallee Orr - 569 votes
  • Wayne Smith - 476
  • Brent Strate - 415
  • Kelly Zaugg - 306
  • Rick Westmoreland - 255
  • Mike Jacobazzi - 132

It is clear who the winners and I'm excited for the new council. Brent Strate ran amazing campaign and did it right. Make sure you continue to check out his blog and I expect great things!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

South Ogden City Election Results

If you are looking for results! I have the link: http://www.co.weber.ut.us/2011primary/southogden.pdf
So far nothing, but soon...very soon we shall see who wins.

Election Day! Where to Vote?

South Ogden City Council Elections are today!  So your next questions should be: Where do you vote?

It is easy!

  • Precinct 1 - 6 you will vote at City Hall. This is for everyone north of 4800/5100 South.
  • Precinct 7-12 you will vote at the South Ogden Jr High Gym (Someone has to use it)

Polls open at 7 am and will stay open until 8 pm.

Once again I welcome you to read some of my posts about the election and wish everyone good luck


Monday, November 7, 2011

Who to vote for?

As always a lot of people ask my opinion on who to vote for. Unfortunately his year I have been out of the country a lot and not been able to be involved as much as I wanted to be.

A number of candidates made attempts to reach out to me and I was not able to talk to all of them. However I have been impressed with Brent Strate and his understanding on the issues and desire to serve. Therefore I am endorsing him for city council along with Wayne Smith and Sallee Orr.

I wish all the candidates well tomorrow and I hope you all go out and vote. My blog has plenty of info regarding each of the people I am endorsing.
Thanks for reading.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

South Ogden City Council Elections

Sorry for the lack of posts!  I have been traveling all over the world lately.  But the Standard yesterday had a great article on the candidates  I thought you all should see:

But I would like to point out some things that Brent Strate had to say:

 A veteran teacher of finance and financial literacy at Bonneville High School, Strate, 45, is wary about recently implemented utility rate increases and how they've affected entrepreneurship in the city. 
"I'm concerned about the impact on just a few businesses that I thought were a little too much as far as the utility rate increases," he said. "Of course, some of that was necessary, but I think the top rates are a little too progressive."
A few area businesses that use large amounts of water have been met with drastically increased rates -- especially when compared with other cities -- a fact Strate said could discourage certain owners from coming to South Ogden.
He cites his ability to evaluate situations from a cost- benefit analysis and to ask insightful questions as his strengths when it comes to sitting on the council. 

 This is the kind of person we need on the council!  I have been saying these things for years and I am excited to see someone coming with this kind of thinking. Please read this article and also check out Brent Strate's blog at http://brentstrate.blogspot.com/

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Traffic School Loop Hole - South Ogden in trouble?

Some bad press is beginning with an issue first brought to our attention by Rick Westmoreland, city council candidate, nearly 2 years ago and mention often in this blog.

The Salt Lake Tribune has begun running a series of articles regarding the issue and we are following it close. Here is the latest about this issue: See Here

Interesting part is when Mayor Minster explains they canceled the program but at the same time there is nothing wrong with it. The article above states:

"South Ogden Mayor James F. Minster said the city stopped issuing invites to traffic school several months ago and "we’re not going to go back to it." Minster, however, defended the practice. "In reality, it really doesn’t matter," he said. "It was a way for people that wanted to keep their record clean. ... It’s no different than going down to the court and putting the charge in abeyance. It doesn’t go on your record. It’s just a different way of doing it."
That kind of sounds like a contradiction to me. Like saying, "I stopped stealing for no reason, but really I could have kept going if I wanted to do because there is no problem with it."

Interesting to see how this will play out with this and future elections.

My wife went through this, she got a traffic ticket and was told she had to pay for school or pay for the ticket. She felt pressured into taking the traffic course and it ended up being a waste of a class. The teacher showed late and he said he wasn't feeling well. He answered traffic questions for 45 minutes and then dismissed everyone.

Comments welcome.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Rick Westmoreland says "I told you so"

Ever since Rick Westmoreland ran for office he has been explaining South Ogden's abuse of a loop hole in the traffic school laws. Finally it seems people are taking notice. The Salt Lake Tribune ran a story explaining how South Ogden has been getting nearly $100,000 in fines for forcing people to go traffic school instead of paying for a citation. Big money maker for the city and shady at best.

You can read the whole article here: See Here.

Just remember Rick told us all first nearly 2 years ago...could be a win for him in this close city council race.

Also most recently they updated the traffic school policy so more people could take it, more often.  Now we know why.  It was a big MONEY MAKER!

For more info see my past blog posts from January regarding this issue here. http://www.fromwhereisitblog.com/search?q=traffic+school

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

South Ogden City Election Results

You can see the results here: http://t.co/k9UGqbX

My prediction of "Skip" being eliminated was correct.  I am surprised how close the race is between Strate and Zaugg.
Here is the breakdown:


Total Votes 1479 - 6.87% voted - Ouch!

  • Michael Jacobazzi 83 5.61%
  • Sallee Orr 383 25.90%
  • Marvin (Skip) Sexton 52 3.52%
  • Wayne M. Smith 326 22.04%
  • Brent Strate 211 14.27%
  • Rick T. Westmoreland 179 12.10%
  • Kelly R. Zaugg 245 16.57%


In a nutshell here are the rankings:


1st - Salle Orr
2nd - Wayne Smith
3rd - Kelly R. Zaugg
4th - Brent Strate
5th - Rick Westmoreland
6th - Michael Jacobazzi 


If Michael has any chance he will have to do a lot of work, honestly I am almost counting him out.  So right now it is Kelly's to lose he will need to keep his nose clean and watch out for negative attacks. Strate is close and Westmoreland is behind him; however Rick will have the most ground to make up and will need to bridge the gap between his regular constituents and branch out to new ones.  His campaigning will have to go the next level and be more than asking for donations on facebook.  Strate really hit the streets, probably did the most door to door out of anyone.  If he keeps that up he will pass Zaugg. I think some key endorsements would help, just depends on how much he is willing to spend to get out there.   Primary voters are way different than general election voters, and even worse during a municipal election.


More to come and comments welcome.

South Ogden Primary Elections Today!

Don't forget to vote today! - The South Ogden Facebook Page has a voting map: See Here

Polls are open until 8pm tonight!

One more time here are some candidate info from the Standard Examiner:

http://www.standard.net/stories/2011/08/31/s-ogden-council-candidates-tackle-crime-business

Also here is my blog post on the candidates:

http://www.fromwhereisitblog.com/2011/09/thougths-about-south-ogden-primary.html

Monday, September 12, 2011

Thoughts about South Ogden Primary Candidates

With at least one seat up for grabs, because two will most likely land with the incumbents.  I have begun thinking about who deserves this last seat.  So lets talk about each candidate.

Sallee Orr - Personally like Sallee Orr.  She has had lots of guts to stand up for what she believes on the council.  The number of meetings I have attended I have seen her time and time again go against the grain.  Not to mention she has stood behind many great causes including a cross walk on Highway 89.

Wayne Smith - He has been a strong presence on the council as well and has brought a much needed connection to the public safety side of things.  He and I have spoken many times about the community and he will continue to do well.

As for the open seat, well I know very little about the other candidates but here is what I do know.

Rick Westmoreland - Previously endorsed by me when he ran for mayor.  This time he appears to be very busy and hasn't had much time for campaigning.  He created a facebook and twitter page to start communicating but he isn't an active user.  Rick's biggest issues will be directed toward public safety.  His profession makes him very knowledgeable in this area and could be an asset to the council.  However he hasn't really attended any council meetings since he was defeated for mayor and he is still bugged about South Ogden's traffic school policies.

Kelly Zaugg - Veteren South Ogden Police Officer.  Rumor has it, and I mean rumor, he just has a bone to pick with Chief Shupe and wants to take it out by running four council.  Who knows?

Brent Strate - Brent is a local school teacher and has been very active on the campaign circuit.  Personally I have been very impressed with Mr. Strate and his desire to run.  His number one concern is to improve efficiences, save money and potentially lower the cost of government for South Ogden.  Also he has been attending a number of council meetings, planning commission meetings and Urban Forestry commission meetings.

Mike Jacobazzi - No Clue - Feel free to post info

Marvin Sexton - No Clue - Feel free to post info

What I have found most interesting has been the main issues of this years candidates are exactly what I have been talking about on this blog for months.  Good luck to all and look for my endorsements as we get closer to the final election.

Comments welcome.

South Ogden Primary Election Tuesday

Hopefully you know this Tuesday begins the South Ogden Primary elections.  To help with your decisions I have decided to post a link to the Standard Examiner's profile of the candidates.  See Here: http://www.standard.net/stories/2011/08/31/s-ogden-council-candidates-tackle-crime-business

Essentially there are 7 candidates running for three seats.  One will be eliminated on Tuesday's election.  The candidates are:
  • Sallee Orr - Incumbent
  • Wayne Smith - Incumbent
  • Rick Westmoreland
  • Kelly Zaugg
  • Mike Jacobazzi
  • Brent Strate
  • Marvin "Skip" Sexton
Good luck to all. - Endorsements to come as we get closer.  My prediction is Marvin Sexton will be eliminated.

Comments welcome.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Urban Forestry Commission Meeting 8/11/2011

Last night was our long awaited Urban Forestry Commission meeting.  The first one we've had since April.  As frustrating as the wait has been, we have only had one item on our agenda to even have a meeting--the tree inventory.  Over and over we have discussed this and in reality it has been the top priority since 2008.  We re-emphasized the priority again with Jon Andersen and asked that all measures be made to get this finished ASAP.  We have tasked him to certain goals and we need to report back on September 9th.  Mainly it is about finding someone to do this.  Someone one with either the knowledge or experience to go out and inventory the trees.  It is 3/4 done, but we need just a little more.

It is frustrating to see this not get done.  Especially when the Urban Forestry budget for tree maintenance currently is just a good guess.  If the inventory was done we could more actively manage and plan a successful budget to maintain South Ogden's trees.

For the first time we had someone from the public attend the meeting.  Immediately I assumed it was someone running for city council.  I was correct.  I will hold the name until the 14th, when campaigning can officially begin.  But we had a great discussion afterwards about the city.  Apparently he has been a reader of my blog and had lots of great ideas.

Elections are coming soon.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Manti La Sal National Forest - Going Down Hill?

This past weekend my family took our annual camping trip up Manti La Sal National Forest.  I have been camping up there for as long as I can remember.  Coincidentally my wife also camped up there when she was a child as well.  It has been our slice of paradise our escape.  So much so, last year my wife and spent our entire anniversary up there in our favorite camping site.  I have had so many family reunions up there I can hardly count.

This year was different.  Our usually camp site is off the beaten path near a small reservoir called Gooseberry.  For years it was one of the most quite and secluded locations ever.  This year it was crawling with ATVs, fisherman, kids, dogs and criminals.  The bathroom was dirty and trashed.  Trash was everywhere.  Parties were held into the night.  It was so bad we decided to leave earlier than intended.  As we went to hook my father's trailer we realized his $600 trailer hitch had been stolen.  Seriously!  Who steals a trailer hitch!  Fortunately we were able to get a new one in Fairview, UT and pull the trailer home.  But it was so disappointing.

My childhood adventure location has now been spoiled.  Perhaps for good.  The rangers were no help either.  They promised to come and file a report, but forgot to come.  The spent most of their time writing tickers for unlicensed ATVs that drove by every 5 minutes.  Next year we will probably be looking for a new place.

What has happened to our society to care so less for nature and for those around us?

Sad.

Comments Welcome

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Dear Mr. Hatch - Please Resign.

Dear Mr. Hatch,

This week I received an email from you on why you voted "No" to the debt ceiling increase.  Your reasoning was two fold: No Balance Budget Amendment and No Improvement to Credit Rating.  It is obvious to everyone how hard you are trying to appeal to the new conservative Tea Party movement.  In reality your attempts come off as pathetic and disappointing.

In 1977 you became our senator, this was two years before I was born.  My first political campaign event I attended was walking in a Senator Orrin Hatch parade float in Nephi, Utah at age 12.  My mother wrote you a letter about issues when I was 10 and received a hand written response.  Needless to say, I have been a fan.   30 years ago you chose a path, a way of thinking, a style of leadership.  This style has served you and all of us well for many years.  You quickly rose to power and popularity, you were in your element.  Now you are trying to change who you are to stay in office.  Why change Orrin?  If you really believe in Utah, if you really believe in United States, leave with honor.  If you are defeated even half as bad as your colleague Bob Bennett your years of services will be remembered by my generation as the "guy who got kicked out," instead of the senator who served our state.

Senator, when you beat Senator Moss in 1977 your top campaign issue was that Moss had lost touch with his constituents having been in office nearly 18 years.  You are now double Moss's time in office and your constituents ideology has changed and beliefs have evolved.  You are now out of touch with your constituents.  Don't feel bad, when you are in office this long it happens.  Constituents change, realize you have been in office for more than two generations of constituents.  It was inevitable for these generations to change in thinking as each generation tends to do.  You have fallen victim to the same issues that plagued Senator Moss.  No one remembers Moss any more.   Don't let this happen to you.

Senator Hatch you should retire.  Endorse a candidate and help this person and Senator Mike Lee get the most out of their time in office.  Stop making a fool of yourself pretending to be a Tea Party originator and stick to your guns of who you are and having been in office for 30+ years, then bow out gracefully.  I don't agree with all the Tea Party ideals, but I would hate to see what happened Senator Bennett and Senator Moss happen to you.

Resign.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Debt Ceiling and Is Mike Lee Really a Tea Party Member

Just recently Congress approved the plan to raise the debt ceiling.  What does this mean?  Well essentially the U.S. Government, by constitutional law, is allowed to borrow money.  Article I, Section 8 empowers Congress to tax and borrow money and the use of this section has put us in a crazy situation today.  Essentially over many years (at least going back 12 years) the U.S. Government reduced the amount of revenue it collects or cut taxes and in return borrowed money to pay for things like, national defense, infrastructure projects to the tune of 14 trillion dollars.  To break it down in more simple terms we quit a good paying job and then borrowed money to buy a house and a car. Don't get me wrong, I don't agree with either decision.

President Obama found himself in a difficult situation being pinned to the wall by angry Republicans that wanted to cut spending on government. Never mind the fact they voted for most of these tax cuts and spending increases over the past 12 years, but now it is suddenly a big issue.

In the end, no one has really won.  GOP Republicans settled, but alienated tea party voters for failure to cut, cap and balance.  President Obama lost political capital that if he had better advisers, he should have seen this coming 7 months ago when they renewed the tax cuts.  (Then again this seems to be a trend for him)

The only people who really won in this fight is the factioned tea party.  They now have a new cause to re-unify themselves.  For awhile tea party activists have been finding themselves divided and lost.  The idea of cut. cap and balance has focused them again on a single cause. But you need to look closer into the So-Called Tea Party Members.  Some are playing the fence very closely.  Senator Orrin Hatch is clearly one of those.  He voted for the last five debt ceiling raises but now all of the sudden he cares about balanced budgets.  But I want to also point my attention to Senator Mike Lee.

Senator Mike Lee's new book, The Freedom Agenda: Why a Balanced Budget Amendment is Necessary to Restore Constitutional Government, talks about the debt ceiling and how it should be raised.  Essentially making the argument the debt ceiling must be raised but only if congress is willing to make spending changes, which they have done, for example:
"Congress has been far too willing to increase the debt ceiling, a maneuver that presidents and legislative leaders regularly secure through their jeremiads that failing to do so will lead to catastrophe. These claims, in fact, have an element of truth, in that uncertainty and disorder would likely ensue if Congress refused to raise the debt ceiling without first changing the way it spends money."
Lee, Mike (2011-07-18). The Freedom Agenda: Why a Balanced Budget Amendment is Necessary to Restore Constitutional Government (pp. 70-71). Regnery Publishing.  
However the main stream Tea Party philosophy has evolved to this cut, cap and balance idea.  Meaning Cut the spending, Cap the deficit and Balance the budget.  Many Tea Party legislators voted against the new debt plan including Senator Mike Lee.  However later in his book he says the following regarding such a vote:
"Thus, it would be risky and even irresponsible for Congress to refuse to raise the debt ceiling as a means of “forcing” a balanced budget overnight. In addition to causing countless practical problems affecting hundreds of millions of Americans..."
Lee, Mike (2011-07-18). The Freedom Agenda: Why a Balanced Budget Amendment is Necessary to Restore Constitutional Government (p. 71). Regnery Publishing.
In addition to this he said:
"The most risky aspect of not raising the debt ceiling is this: at a time when 43 percent of our annual budget relies on borrowed money, no one knows exactly what would happen if the government suddenly had to stop borrowing. This helps to explain why Congress routinely votes to raise the debt ceiling: though irresponsible, the decision is perceived as less irresponsible than refusing to raise the debt ceiling and potentially plunging the entire federal government into chaos."
Lee, Mike (2011-07-18). The Freedom Agenda: Why a Balanced Budget Amendment is Necessary to Restore Constitutional Government (p. 71-72). Regnery Publishing. 
To his fairness he goes on to explain that we would be irresponsible to borrow because it would make us look bad, even though he has also said to not borrow would make us look bad.

Confused?

I will break it down.  On one side of his mouth he says, It would be bad because it could hurt millions of Americans, on the other side he says it would be bad because it will hurt our credit.

You choose which one to follow?

Either way, his final vote was no, because spending cuts are not good enough, he said. This was his way of playing the fence but not 100 percent agreeing with his Tea Party folks.  Remember, he said forcing a balance budget amendment with the debt ceiling is the wrong way to go and voting against would be bad for millions of Americans.  Yet he voted against it, because his New Reunified Tea Party told him so. In reality he got nearly $3 trillion in cuts but it wasn't enough.  Why?  Because the tea party told him so.  Watch him closely, he is bending with the wind as the tea party movement continues to shape itself.

Comments always welcome.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Dean Larson for Mayor - Endorsement for a Neighboring City

Nearly 14 years I met a man name Dean Larson.  We were in college together and became involved in student government.  During the years I have known him, I have seen home develop amazing skills of management, leadership and love for those around him.  He has recently announced his running for Mayor of Uintah.  I couldn't be more excited for this.  Though I do not live in Uintah, it is a neighbor to South Ogden and partner of our city.

I highly recommend you check out his blog and website if you live there or around Uintah.  He is your best choice for mayor and encourage you to vote for him.

http://deanlarsen4mayor.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

What we can learn from Brazil and their Credit Bubble

Sunday's Salt Lake Tribune had an interesting associated press article by Bradley Brooks about Brazil's credit bubble. (See Here) Constantly we talk about the need to boost the economy with more spending.  Brazil took this to heart.  According to the article, credit cards were a hard thing to come by.  Only the rich and elite were allowed to have such items.  Brazil wanted to increase spending so they made credit more easily available to anyone who wants it. With a taste for North American quality of life and goods, spending has gone through the rough.  Good for the economy yeah?  Not quite! You see the average interest rate in Brazil is 238 percent.  That is like going to payday lender here in the U.S (well almost, we are much higher).   With the average Brazilian having $3,000 in credit card debt at 238 percent Brazil is headed for trouble.  Big Trouble!  Their so called "Good Economy" is teetering on bursting if this debt is not controlled.  Here some other interesting facts:

  • 22 percent of Brazilians are already in default with their debt.  This is expected to increase to 28 percent by the end of 2011
  • Inflation is now 6.71 percent above the 6.5 percent inflation ceiling.  Not good for the poorer people of Brazil.
  • Spending is going down, now people can't afford anything.  The economy grew 7.5 percent last year but will slow to 4 percent this year.  

What does all this spell?  T-R-O-U-B-L-E

What can we learn from this?  Two things, borrowing to grow the economy is not the answer.  Making credit and loans easier for people to get is not the answer.  Granted Brazil does have insane interest rates; yet it is still the issue of people buying things they really don't have the money for. Again, debt is not the answer.

I welcome your comments, is more debt really the answer?  With the current economic questions in the United States about the debt ceiling and taking on more debt, we have to wonder are we headed the wrong direction?

Monday, July 18, 2011

South Ogden Soldier Dies in Afghanistan

The Salt Lake Tribune is reporting a South Ogden man has died while serving his country in Afghanistan. (See Here)

According to the article, Raphael Arruda had joined the Army in 2008 and was serving in Afghanistan.  An explosive device went off and Raphael Arruda died from the blunt-force trauma that the blast caused.

I want to say thank you to Raphael for protecting this great country.  Though I have never met you, you lived not far from my house.  To the parents, I promise your loss is felt and you are in our prayers.

God Bless

Friday, July 15, 2011

Michael Ames and The Raymond Attack - What Really Happened.

Two days ago Michael Ames was sentenced to 6 years to life.  His sentence is the beginning of closure to one of the most horrific things that has happened on the relatively normal and quiet street of Raymond Avenue.  Ames changed the way many people live and think on this street.   On March 25th, or as the Groves refer to as 3/25, Michael Ames broke into their home while running from police after a bank robbery.
                
The Groves were kind enough to sit down with me for a few hours and tell me their story regarding 3/25, what they saw, felt and how they are healing now.  With the Ames now being sentenced to jail, I feel it appropriate to share this story now.

A Normal Day:

3/25 started like any normal day.  Tyler had gone to a training class for work and Laura had attended a school field trip with her oldest child.  Tyler's class finished early so they were home enjoying a lazy and relaxed day.  It snowed on 3/25, normal for a March in Utah, but not what Raymond likes to see on a Friday.  On a normal warm Friday, the families would find themselves on the porches playing and waiting for their spouses to return from work.  Not today, the cold fortuitously kept everyone inside.  

Things Change:

A former member of the neighborhood, April Maw, was coming to visit and called the Groves in a panic.  “There are cops outside with guns; I am at a neighbor’s house.”  This immediately drew the Groves to the front door.  Tyler, now on the porch, counted close to 10 cops coming from 40th headed his direction up Raymond. 

“Cops were flying down the street,” he said.  At this time Michael Ames had just ditched his getaway vehicle nearby and the police were closing in on him.

At this time Tyler decided to bring his family and children back into the house.  He could see a police perimeter being formed in the neighborhood.  Other neighbors had also been out watching the events began to take refuge in their homes and watch from the windows.  April, on suggestion from the Groves, decided take shelter in their home and avoid the police confusion.

Just as April pulled into the drive way; Tyler, who was still on the porch with his wife, noticed someone to his left.  Ames was sneaking around the south side cautiously looking for the police.  Tyler immediately recognized him as the reason police were there and began pushing his wife into the home.  Laura would ask later, “How did you know he was the bad guy?”  Tyler explained, “I just knew, something inside told me.”  Tyler was right, this grungy and scruffy many was the Michael Ames, a fugitive on the run.

The Fugitive Approaches:

“As soon as I got the storm door shut and the glass up all the way, he [Michael Ames] was punching at the door,” Tyler explained, “I am sure he could see the cops and he wanted to get in.”  
The kids were crying at this point, the energy was intense.  Laura and Tyler both pushed the main steal door shut cutting off their view of Ames.

“I looked up through the top window of the door; I could see he was standing on the edge of the porch.  A thought goes through my brain.  Open the door and kick at him.  Kick him so he will fall off the porch.” Tyler continues, “I opened the door and tried to kick him.  The moment I kicked at Ames he moved from the porch and headed towards April, who was now taking the kids out of her car.”

Missing Ames by only a few inches Tyler pulls back into the house.  Later he would learn Ames was distracted by this move and it was enough time to give April time to react and leave.  Ames turned and ran back towards the Groves front door.  At this time Tyler sees Ames’s gun and has it pointed towards a cop. 

“POP”

The first gun shot of the day.  “I thought for sure he [Ames] had just shot,” Tyler said.  “We learned later it was one of the cops shooting from the hip and the bullet hit the house 3 feet above Ames’s head.  It sounded like a pop, not like you hear in the movies.  I then told Laura, he’s got a gun!” 

Laura described the feeling of the shot, “When the bullet hit the house, it reverberated through the home. It sounded like three shots had gone off because of this.  I knew I needed to get to safety, I ran to the hall with my youngest and began calling to Tyler, for our oldest child.  My oldest was in her room and she quickly came to me and I held my children tightly as I waited for this to be over.”

The Bat:

Tyler realizing they were in eminent danger decided to get a gun.  He keeps a number of guns locked in the basement.  Tyler locked the front door and crossed the living room, into the kitchen.  “Once I got the kitchen I felt something tell me—go get your bat,” Tyler said.  A number of years ago Tyler took an old aluminum soft ball bat from his parent’s house.  He kept it under his bed for safety reasons, in case he couldn’t get to his guns.  Whenever Laura would hear a noise in the night, Tyler would joke, “Don’t worry dear, I have my bat under the bed.”

When Tyler returned with the bat, stepping over Laura in the hallway, Michael Ames was already in the kitchen.  He was sneaking through the house searching for shelter from the onslaught of police outside.  Ames approached the hallway, Tyler and Michael came face to face. Ames had his gun in hand pointed straight at Tyler.  Tyler reacted.

“My first swing was up, which hit his hand and the gun.  It knocked the gun to the threshold (near the back door),” Tyler said.

“I was yelling at Tyler to stop,” Laura said because she was afraid for his wellbeing.

Tyler continued, “My second swing hit the bag of money, money flew all over the room like in a movie, my third swing hit him in the head splitting his head open.” 

You can see the dent left in the fridge from the bat
When you look around the Groves house you can see softball bat dents in the ceiling, walls and even the fridge.  Ames now bleeding from his head leaned forward and grabbed Tyler by the shoulders in an attempt to stop Tyler from attacking.  The pushing match led into the living room and caused Tyler to stumble on the kids toys.

“At first I was yelling at Ames to leave, but then I started yelling to Laura to get out as we pushed towards the living room. Once in the living room I considered punching him in the face but then tripped on the kids toys. As I fell, the bat landed perfectly on the sofa table then we fell to ground.”

Getting Help:

“When they fell, I ran out of the house.  I knew I needed to get help,” Laura explained, “as I ran out of the house I only could see two cops.  I had to jump over the gun to get out of the door and so I began screaming I needed help and there is a guy in my house and a gun by the back door.  Later I learned there were lots of cops around but I could only see two.” 

Some of the cops later told the Groves the vision of seeing her running out of the house with her children and screaming for help has haunted them.  The fear of seeing her and not knowing what has happened inside still sticks with them today.   As Laura left she was directed to the neighbor’s house. As she sat down the final vision of her husband wrestling on the ground began to sink in, Laura began to breakdown. 

“I looked down at the kids and they were crying, I was crying hysterically then something snapped.  I need to pull myself together.  These kids are watching me.  I needed to say a prayer, which is really hard to do in a situation like this.  I prayed: Heavenly Father, please just bless us.  Instantly everything began to be better.  I stopped crying and we got the kids playing with some toys and things began to calm down.”

Tyler continued wrestling in the house with Ames, he realized this was going nowhere.  He pulled himself and Ames up.  Ames then said, “I want my piece [gun] and want to get out of here.”  Tyler then noticed the perfectly placed bat; he grabbed it and let him go. 

“I grabbed the bat and started swinging.  My first swing hit him in the ribs.  He started running for the door and I swung again hitting him in the hip.  Then I chased Ames out the door.” Ames picked up his gun as he ran through the door.  He took two steps, onto the patio and driveway and came face to face with a cop.  Tyler sees the cop scream at Ames and then fire his gun. Most of this has been blocked from Tyler’s memory but he remembers the cops yelling at him to get back into the house.

“I dropped the bat, the dinging sound of it bouncing on the cement still sticks with me today.  I quickly go into shock and began having an asthma attack.  So I laid down in the kitchen and wait for the police to come in.”

Aftermath:

The aftermath was intense.  Cops stormed the home; the Groves couldn’t see each other until the scene had been processed.  But the police department did an amazing job of calming the family down and in the end reuniting them together.  Ames' gun turned out to be a fake but the fear of danger had been real.

Tyler came out of the house to see Laura for the first time, the entire neighborhood erupted into applause for our new hero.  As they hugged we heard Tyler say, “I had time to react.”  Laura lovingly said, “Do we get to keep any of the money?”

It is clear that a divine power was looking over the Groves this day.  On more than one occasion an impression or spirit guided them to safety.  Whether it was for Laura to run when she did or say the prayer she did, even Tyler grabbing his bat, truly the Groves were meant to survive this ordeal.  In the end they are pleased with the outcome.  Michael Ames is now going to jail.  The Groves have grown closer as a family and in the end their faith is stronger than ever.

Afterwards many special things have happened to the Groves.  From people cleaning their house, the fire department washing their driveway of blood, to the finding the perfect size of siding to replace the bullet hole in their house. Most of all, they are safe.

Things like this don’t happen on our quiet street.  But when they do it is good to know we are being watched out for.  

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Urban Forestry Commission Fails To Function

For the third month in a row we have canceled the Urban Forestry Commission. Why even have this commission?  The reasons, people are out of town and lack of agenda items.

People, it is the same time EACH MONTH!  We would have more agenda items if we could meet and set new goals.  We can meet and set new goals because the dang tree inventory hasn't been done for 5 years!

People of South Ogden, this is a major fail!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

South Ogden Days

Tonight was another great night from South Ogden Days.  The family went to the nature park for the 5K and movie night.  Once again I was happy to be in the city that has events like this, but also disappointed in the organization of it all.  The races started late, as usual, and the finish line wasn't set up very well.  This caused people to run through the park and trample little kids.  I noticed the attendance was about half as previous years.    I assumed it was because of the monstrous hills that exist in this race.  I over heard the Mayor say that it was because of the bad economy.  I had to point out that this years economy is better than last years and most of this stuff was free.

Overall, after my rant, we still had fun.  My parents placed in their categories and Delena won the grand prize.  A Free 6 month's family membership to the club.

More events to come!  This Saturday is the parade which always is exciting.  Honestly South Ogden does a good job, I am just OCD when it comes to events starting on time.

I haven't posted as often lately....why, well I am starting a new job.  There will be more to post about this later.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

South Ogden Drug Dealer Changes Plea to Guilty

Looks like our local drug dealer has changed his "not guilty" plea to "guilty." In exchange for admission to transportation of 65 Kilos of cocaine his firearm charges have been dropped and he will get a reduced sentence.

Looks like he could possibly get 10 years to life, but we will need to wait until September for that.

See more here: http://www.pe.com/ap_news/California/RI_Drug_Bust_569816C.shtml

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Suspected Drug Dealer from South Ogden Pleads Not Guilty

For those keeping up on this story, you can see KSL has some new info on their website.  Adilson Antonio Reyes, who is accused of transporting nearly $6.6 Million worth of Cocaine has plead not guilty to drug trafficking.

 

It will be interesting to see how they prove this one.  See more from KSL.com http://www.ksl.com/index.php?nid=148&sid=15297915

 

 

Friday, April 22, 2011

South Ogden Robbery/Shooting Suspect Booked via @BenWinslow

Just received word that Michael Ames, the suspect who broke into my neighbors home and the suspect in the key bank robber, has been booked into the Weber County Jail.

Here is the mug shot: http://twitpic.com/4o3yaa

This is Ben Winslow's tweet:

Michael Ames booked on robbery, burglary, assault, kidnapping and evading. Here's his mugshot: @fox13now #Utah

Good to hear, Thanks Ben.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Noall Knighton Weber County GOP Vice-Chair

This Saturday is the Weber County GOP Convention.  Being a Delegate I have received the call to attend. I have mixed feels about attending since it is Easter Weekend and I have a lot of family events planned. However I am excited for someone who is running for Vice-Chair.

Noall Knighton is running and I know he would be perfect for the job.  I have served under his leadership in the Leg District and I have been very impressed with his dedication to the party and leadership skills.

Here is his resume:

Party Experience:
State Delegate
County Delegate
Member of the Central Committee of WC Republican
Party
Chair of Leg 10
Vice Chair of Leg 10

Precinct ChairCo-Chair for state party golf tournament
Held fund raisers for local candidates

Hosted a campaign  kick-off  fund raiser for Rep. Wallis to unset a 6 term democrat

Volunteered at the WCR Party Booth at the County Fair

Walked neighborhoods to support GOP candidates

Community Experience
President of Breakfast Exchange Club
President of Utah Opticians Association
President of Ogden Golf and Country Club
Party contact to Weber 9/12 group

Professional Experience
President of Knighton Optical
Development Director at Ogden/Weber Applied Tech College
Business Broker at United Business Brokers
Fledgling career as a billboard model 
Personal
 Married to Julie Knighton ( Thanks to her high tolorance and low expectation, that has lasted over 30 years)
Two sons, Eric and Alex
Mother is Ellen, who we are blessed to have live in our home
Hobbies include golf, photography, and reading
Favorite book read of all time:  Atlas Shrugged (The Movie is great!)
Photographer for the Ogden Raptors
Host family for Ogden Raptors

Politics
 I believe the US Constitution outlines the role of the federal government.  I have a strong belief that we should follow those principals.

I am a strong supporter of the free enterprise system and support efforts to eliminate government from competition with the private sector.
Favorite quote:  The government that governs best is the government that governs least

Political decisions are best when made closest to the people.

You can contact him at noall@comcast.net or (801) 726-9944

I hope to see you support Noall this weekend. Even it is just to vote and then go to an Easter Egg hunt.

Comments welcome

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Where did Arbor Day come from?

Once again, this Friday is the South Ogden Arbor Day.  This is an exciting day with real unifying affects for a city and those who participate.  To help my readers understand the importance of the day and why we should all participate I thought I would give you all some info about Arbor Day and where it came from.

In 1855, a man named Julius Sterling Morton moved to Nebraska City, Nebraska with his new bride Caroline.  Quickly his new family began to miss the lush forests of the east coast, and along with other settlers, began planting trees.  By 1858 he had planted an apple orchard and many other trees and shrubs on his 150 acre property.  He quickly realized the Nebraska soil was very suitable for tree planting and began pushing for more. As more and more settlers moved to the area, there was more need for trees for homes, shade and fuel.  Mortan began publishing articles in his newspaper calling for all settlers to plant trees on their property.

Mr. Mortan had worked in the Grover Cleveland administration as the 3rd Secretary of Agriculture and was well respected as an agriculturalists.   He spent much of his time teaching farmers the most modern techniques in farming and forestry.  By 1872 he was now a member of the Nebraska Board of Agriculture and began pushing for a special day to plant trees in the state.  Mortan offered $100 ($1800 in 2010) to the county which could plant the most trees and $25 ($450 in 2010) and a complete farm library to the person who could do the same.  With this reward available, the first Arbor Day on April 10th 1972 was a huge success.   Nearly 1 Million trees were planted in the state.  Other states and countries began to follow the example making Arbor Day a world wide event.

Since the first Arbor Day, the event has expanded to 36 countries and has promoted environmental awareness and unity.  Upon Mr. Mortan's death in 1902, President Cleveland dedicated his home as Arbor Lodge.  The national marker has one of Mr. Mortan's quotes, "Other holidays repose upon the past - Arbor Day proposes for the future."

We look forward to seeing you all this year at the South Ogden Arbor Day events. Remember you can help plant trees on Friday at 10 am at the Club Heights Park or 4 pm at the Glasmann Park. Also you can take the Arbor Day Quiz and have a chance to win a $25 Costco Gift Card. See Here: http://goo.gl/C0Adm

Comments welcome.

Monday, April 18, 2011

South Ogden Arbor Day - This Friday - $25 Costco Giveaway

This Friday is South Ogden's Arbor Day.   The Urban Forestry Commission has prepared a few things to celebrate.  All are invited! Here are the events coming up:

Quiz: First, there will be an informal survey/quiz to test the Arbor Day knowledge of the local residents. Two lucky participants will have a chance to win a $25 Costco Gift Card to buy things for their garden.  No need to get all the correct answers, just take the quiz and email when you are done.  Email can be found in the quiz.

You can find the quiz link here: http://goo.gl/C0Adm

Tree Planting:  There are two tree plantings scheduled for that day.  First they will be planting trees at 10 am at the Club Heights Park.  Second trees will be planted at Glasmann Park at 4 pm.  All residents of South Ogden are invited to come and help plant the trees.  There will be some local scout troops there as well.

Through out this week I hope to post some facts and info about Arbor Day.  They may help you get a better score on the quiz.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

More Photos from the SPJ9

A good friend of mine and member of the SPJ9 was at our panel discussion last Saturday.  See Here

He sent me along these photos.  If you get a chance, check out his photography business and some of his amazing photos:  www.lightingbryan.com.  Thank Bryan for the photos.

Courtesy of Lighting Bryan Photography

Courtesy of Lighting Bryan Photography

Courtesy of Lighting Bryan Photography

South Ogden Photos Needed

South Ogden City Council is preparing for the 75th Anniversary of the city.  In commemoration of 75 years the city is publishing a book about South Ogden and it's history.  What they missing is photos!  Do you or someone you know have photos?  They are looking for the 40s, 50s and 60s especially.

Contact Councilmember Russ Porter at rporter@southogdencity.com or 801-479-7216

See the Standard Examiner's blurb on the topic as well:

http://www.standard.net/topics/books/2011/04/11/south-ogden-chooses-publisher-annniversary-book

Monday, April 11, 2011

Is South Ogden budget crisis over.

The Standard Examiner's Gentry Reinhart, South Ogden City Reporter, filed an article regarding the on going South Ogden budget crisis this weekend. (See Here) Finally this one had some good news attached to it. Due to the hard work of the council, department heads and City Manager Matt Dixon, South Ogden now currently has a projected surplus of $5,000.

According to the article, Matt Dixon said:

"Again I want to emphasize that this is preliminary and we're still going to be working on this as we go," City Manager Matt Dixon said. "Right now based on the numbers we put in, we have a balanced budget with a very small $5,000 surplus."

This is great news, the budget is finally balanced.  However according to Mr. Reinhart, Dixon and the council are already asking for people to submit budget requests for capital and one-time money projects.  No, we are not bringing back the all expenses paid Christmas dinner to the Timbermine just yet. However we are asking for people's wish list. This is like opening the flood gates during a tsunami.

With only a projected surplus of $5,000, if revenues actually materialize, I think we are jumping the gun in asking for projects.  Not to mention this was the same team that budget for a 2% sales tax increase in the middle of a recession because CNN said it was over. (See Here)  I wouldn't start looking at projects yet, you can hold surplus for awhile longer until we know we are out of the clear.  

Comments welcome.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Is Blogging Journalism?

This weekend I had the opportunity to speak on a panel of bloggers and journalists to debate the topic "Is blogging journalism". The discussion was at the Society of Professional Journalists Region 9 Conference on the University of Utah Campus.  It was a heated discussion moderated by Ben Winslow from Fox 13 News and featured: Eric Ethington from Prideinutah.com and myself vs. Jim Fisher, associate professor of journalism at the University of Utah and Don Meyers, reporter for the Salt Lake Tribune.

Right out of the gate, the journalists went on the offense to call out bloggers for not being real journalists.  The reasons, according to Don, were simple:  We do not have ethics nor standards.  But when Eric and I explained the ethics and standards we had imposed on ourselves, the journalists began to twist their own words to explain because we do not have editors we are not real journalists.   When we offered to have editors edit our work, they began to twist their words again.  Finally they said some bloggers could be journalists; however when the crowd jumped on this new revelation the quickly returned to the fact we didn't have ethics and we are lacking a publisher.

In the end it appeared because we had not journalists because we have not paid our dues as starving reporters with mean editors throwing ashtrays at our head.  The audience was clearly on our side and it was fun to be involved in such a healthy debate.  But the journalists will need to realize that blogging and traditional reporting will continue to merge until a hybrid model exists.  The old ways of becoming a journalists are changing and blogs have helped make that happen.  In my opinion, true blogging can be and is journalism.

I am reminded of this famous quote from an internal Western Union memo from 1876:
"This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us." 
Traditional Journalists need to remember these words as blogging continues to advance. Western Union could have been the phone company but refused to adapt or move with the future.

In reality about half of what I do is journalism.  A lot of it is distribution of information and editorial writing.  But many times this blog has broken news or reported information for the people of South Ogden.  Either way I enjoy what I do and have appreciated all of your support.

Thanks to Ben Winslow for the invite, I had lots of fun.

See more from the USU blog and SPJ 9 blog (photos).

Comments welcome.

Photo from the UtahSPJ.com Website
Left to Right - Eric Ethington, Me, Don Meyers, Jim Fisher

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Police release name of Raymond Shooting suspect. - Salt Lake Tribune

The Salt Lake Tribune, (See Here), has reported the name of the bank robber suspect and shooting victim on Raymond Avenue.  His name is Michael Ames and is apparently in critical condition.  He underwent surgery last night from his injuries.  Not sure if they were the bullets or the bat.  (I saw the bat today, it was a large Easton aluminium softball bat, OUCH!)

The report says he has a long criminal history of drugs, alcohol, disorderly conduct, and assault charges.  More than likely we will be adding more.

Just another day on Crazy Raymond Avenue.

Fox 13 also has released their report: See Here

Friday, March 25, 2011

Raymond Avenue in Shock - But Recovering

Fox 13 has the early news show and has already posted their report.  You can see a photo my wife took of the incident on their site.  Read it Here

 
More and more info is coming out about my amazing neighbor and his heroics to save his family.  I am so amazed how he was able to react.  From what I am hearing, the suspect got into his house but my neighbor wasn't going to have it.  After he wrestled with him and beat him out the door, the suspect was shot. One cop, referring to the beating, I overheard say, "You did some serious damage!"

 
I saw when he got to see his wife for the first time.  The sat hugged each other and cried.  I said very clearly, "I had time to react." You know what he did!  His wife has an amazing man.

 
I hope I can be half as brave as he was.

 
One thing is for certain, don't mess with people on Raymond.

 
Other News Reports:

More On Shooting On Raymond

Here are few more photos of what has happened.

I am glad everyone on the street is safe.

Potential Bullet Hole!

Here you can see the suspects footprints in the snow as he ran through the yard



Shooting on Raymond Avenue

A few minutes ago, the unbelievable took place.  A suspected criminal was being chased through the neighborhood of South Ogden. As the police chased him, he ran through neighborhoods in coming from Evelyn to Raymond Avenue.

According to witness reports on my street, as he ran into Raymond Avenue he decide it would be better to duck into a nearby home.  He made the attempt to push through the front door, the owner of the home pulled the door shut.  So the suspect ran around the back to enter the back door.  At this point the owner of the home used a bat to defend himself and keep the suspect occupied until police arrived.  At that time, the suspect apparently pulled a gun and was shot by police.

Aftermath
More to come.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Flip Flop or True Change on HB 477

Today in the Salt Lake Tribune there is an article on Rep. Carl Wimmer’s desire to repeal the dreaded HB 477. (See Here) For once Rep. Wimmer and I agree on something, but what I find interesting is the enormous amount of political back-tracking that is happening with this thing, especially with Mr. Wimmer.


Have a number of our legislators really learned this is a horrible bill or are they worried about the political fallout this will cause them?

Just to be reminded, this is who voted for the ORIGINAL BILL in the House:

Original HB 477 Vote


When the Senate recalled (not repealed) the law to amend it to start in July, all of the sudden people were voting against it. Were House Members voting against because they knew they had made a mistake or did they just not like the July 1st date? Where they feeling the heat or did they really think this was a bad bill?

Any representative that tells me they voted against the final passing is not being truthful if the voted for the original bill. The only reason they even got another vote was because the Senate recalled the bill. Without the recall, they House would have moved on.

I remember well when Senator Kerry said, “I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it.”


Here is how the vote went for the "recalled amended" version in the House:

Amended HB 477 Vote


Not much of a change, was there? 19 votes in total switched to NAYS. Are these political flip floppers or people who really have changed their mind?

In Rep. Wimmer’s case, I think it is a Flip Flop. Why? Because I have been personally been attacked by Mr. Wimmer for voicing my opinion to him. Mr. Wimmer only has political ambition in mind and in reality could care less about anything else. Why else would he constantly tweet, text and push to be in the papers about being an advocate for repeal. When he VOTED for it in the first place.

As for the rest, only time will tell. Personally I am disappointed in all of them. What a waste of a 2011 legislature. Cats, Guns, and Text Messages. What highlights!

Comments welcome.

Monday, March 14, 2011

South Ogden Recreation Scholarship Created

A program that was created by our City Council has flown under the radar for the past few weeks.  Report Gentry Reinhart, Standard Examiner, has done a nice job explaining this new program and what it means to South Ogden.   Last year the recreation administration officials proposed a 50 percent increase in fees when parents use Medicare or Medicaid to register a child.  So to help offset the cost a scholarship fund has been created to help those who need it. 

How does the scholarship fund get its funds?

Simple.  When you register your child there is now an option to donate a little extra to go towards the fund. Also as business contact the city about donating money, business will also be able to donate directly to the fund.

How do you get a scholarship?

You must fill out an application with South Ogden Rec. and provide a valid Medicare or Medicaid card.

When will this start?

Starting with baseball season, you will be able to begin donating.  I assume you will be able to register for the scholarship around this same time.

 

This is a great program that brings communities together, great job South Ogden.

Read Gentry’s full article here: http://www.standard.net/topics/featured-recreation-scholarship/2011/03/13/recreation-scholarship-created

 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Urban Forestry Commission - Arbor Day Plans

Tonights meeting was great, it was wonderful to see the commission move forward with some really plans. We were once again missing a few members but had a enough for a quorum (barely).  On our agenda we discussed the tree inventory and are finally moving forward.  We are hopeful to have it completed by this year.

Arbor Day is coming up on April 22nd and our Urban Forestry Commission is gearing up with plans to celebrate.  We are not ready to announce our final plans but I promise it will be great and will include, prizes, contests, and tree planting.  Should be a great event and I am excited to be apart of it.

Mark your calendars on April 22nd to help us plant trees.  We are tentatively planning for 10 am and 5 pm.  More to come.  Also look out for some future posts on what Arbor Day is and why we celebrate it.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

HB 477 Will be the Law.

Last night, Governor Herbert ignored our calls.  He signed HB 477 into law.  The Senate earlier this week recalled and delayed the law so it now will not go into effect until July 1st.  With the promise of a special session to fix the bill.  I promise you nothing will change.  Either way this is a lose/lose for Utah.  We are now the less democratic state in America.  We might as well succeed from the Union, put the M1911 on the flag and call it a day.  We are laughing stock across the nation.

 

Read more here:

 

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/home/51388385-76/access-bill-government-legislature.html.csp

 

 

Monday, March 7, 2011

HB 477 - A real disappointment

As you may or may not know, the Utah State Legislature has recently passed HB 477.  This fantastic peace of legislation restricts the famed GRAMA law.  For those of you unfamiliar with GRAMA, it works like this.  If you want to know what your government official is doing, you can submit a GRAMA request.  In return you will receive all of their communications regarding a certain topic, more or less.  For example:  Maybe you want to know if Rep. Carl Wimmer is attempting to get someone fired because he doesn't like that they are investigating his ponzi scheming friend.  But you need to see what he is saying to those in charge to prove it.  A GRAMA request will get you access to his emails, text messages, etc.  And you would find out that indeed he is.  (This really happened by the way).

But our amazing legislature has now restricted this access to GRAMA by passing HB 477 (via Big Brother Rep John Dougall, R-Highland) .  This would restrict the access of Utah Taxpayers to our legislators text messages, voice mails, instant messages, and video chats.  It is waiting on Governor Herbert's desk to sign.

Their argument is GRAMA requests take up time and money.  Though I agree they do, it sounds like we need to create a more efficient system in making GRAMA requests and gathering the info, not eliminate the idea all together.  If we claim we want a transparent government that is accountable, then why are we now restricting it and making it secret.

So who voted for it in our area: (Yea that is about everyone)


What a real disappointment.  Instead of working on ways to improve education, create jobs or even help Utah be amazing, we can now shoot cats in front of schools with an M1911 and as long as I only tell people via Text Message know one will ever find out.

FAIL!

Comments Welcome.

See More Here: 




Friday, February 18, 2011

South Ogden City Youth Council Position Open

South Ogden city is accepting applications for Youth City Council.

If you or child has an interest in city government and would like the opportunity to learn more, this may be the place to start. Applications will be available at the South Ogden Police Department and will need to be returned to the Police Department, 3950 S. Adams Ave., no later than 5 p.m. Feb. 28th.

There is a $10 refundable filing fee. Space is very limited.

Youths must be in 9th-12th grade at the beginning of the upcoming school year and a resident of South Ogden. For more information, contact Cindee Paulsen, 801-622-2804.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Secondary Water Meter - Weber Basin - City Council Meeting 2-15-2011

During the last city council meeting Jon Andersen, public works director, explained Weber Basin Water has recently received a grant to install water meters on all of it's lines for secondary water.  This grant was given to them to help them monitor and conserve secondary water.

However, I think we can all read between the lines on this one and see what the real purpose is.  Once the meters are in place, they will quickly be able to determine how much they could charge the individual user and make bigger profit than they are now.  Currently we pay for secondary water through our taxes, but we could be moving to a consumption based system very soon.

Realize not everyone one is on Weber Basin Water.  I personally am on Pine View Water.  But I promise Pine View will not be far behind when they realize what is happening.

So the real question is this, how do you want to pay for your water?  Do you want a consumption tax or a flat fee?  Consumption is coming...just watch.  I am sure we will be discussing this again.

Comments always welcome.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wasatch Constables are coming to South Ogden - City Council Meeting 2-15-2011

Last night's city council meeting was one of the fastest meetings I have attended in a long time.  At the same time it was full of interesting nuggets.  I have decided to break last nights meeting into a few posts.  This first one will be regarding a new contract signed by South Ogden City with Wasatch Constables.

When South Ogden City Police issues a citation in our city and you fail to pay it, no one comes to your door asking for the money.  Often this money goes down as potentially lost revenue to the city.  In 2010 alone the city has missed out on potentially $500,000 in warrants that have gone unpaid.  This is where Wasatch Constables comes in.

Wasatch Constables is a fully empowered peace officer who has been given "Special Functions" as an officer.  They are not tasked with everyday police work but instead provides services such as process serving, bailiff duties, transport prisoners, seize property, enforce writs and effects service of arrest warrants.  South Ogden has entered into a contract with them to help enforce these warrants and help collect the more than $500,000 in uncollected revenue.  They will either collect the money or take the offender to jail.

Tony Alarid, Chief Deputy for Wasatch Constables, spoke with me about the services they provide and what this meant for the city.
"The numbers are there, this will be a success for South Ogden,"  Mr. Alarid said, "We serve Riverdale and Ogden and have seen lots of success.  Most people thought we weren't serious when we started.  They didn't think we would really knock on doors.  But once we started, people started coming in voluntarily to pay their fines.  People's parents even started coming for them to pay.  They didn't want their kids to get arrested. You are going to see these same results in South Ogden."
As you can see this is a WIN-WIN for South Ogden.  Wasatch Constables only gets paid when they collect a fine or make an arrest.  Their goal is to prioritize our list of offenders and go after of them, hitting repeat offenders first.  They can take payment on the spot or take you to jail.  Heck they can even take credit cards.  If you can't be found they can even do Skip Traces for those who have tried to hide.

Since these constables go through all the same training and certifications as the police, and fully insured and bonded, I don't see how we can lose with this.

All I can say is beware to criminals and those who have an unpaid warrants.  Wasatch Constables are coming for you.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

City Council Meeting Tonight

Finally got a hold of an agenda for tonights meeting.  Family has been sick, so not sure if I will be attending.

But here is the agenda: http://goo.gl/ZWGnD

Down with KUED!

The other day my son was counting to 10 and I freaked! Where did you learn this liberal thinking? He told me KUED! How can this kind of programing exist! Just look at what they show in the morning on KUED: The Cat in the Hat, Curious George and Sesame Street.

I guess these shows are just too politically slanted for Rep Herrod, R-Provo too. Not to mention those late night showings of Celtic Women and British Comedies. They are warping the minds of Utahns! Thank you Big Brother Herrod for keeping us all safe and helping us from straying to far to the left because of NOVA's educational programing. If only we could all have home grown values as you do. To battle this horrible programing, he has introduced a bill that would give budgetary control over to the legislature and wants to audit their spending and programing. I hope he will come to my house and pick up my Dr. Seuss collection next.

Here we have another example of Utah County Republican legislators wanting to control everything in Utah. KUED gets around $2 million in funding but the rest (nearly $7 million) comes from donations.  Mr. Herrod hates this idea and wants to control it all.

Channel 4 has a nice little piece on HB 307 and how dumb it is! SEE HERE: EXCLUSIVE: Will Utah legislators censor KUED programming?

FAIL!


New South Ogden City Website

For those of you who have yet to see the new city website.  Take a moment and check it out.  It looks amazing. http://www.southogdencity.com/

I was able to get an advance look last week but was sworn to secrecy.  So I have been eagerly waiting for it this week.  The new website is much more visually appealing and has faster links.  Some of the content is still being worked on, but apparently we have moved the website development in-house to make it easier to customize.  As I have played around with the website I have found a number of broken links, but I am sure they are still working on it.

It is great to see South Ogden move it's website into 2010 and I know the citizens of this city will love the new resources that are available.  The website needs some work and fine tuning.  The opening images load and move too fast.  But it is a great start.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Savings Saturday - Using Video for your Business - Guest Blogger Mike Brice

Using video online to educate is a natural evolution considering how much we use television and movies to entertain.Video is one of the fastest growing forms of communication with thousands of hours uploaded daily.

You don't have to be a Hollywood director or have a Sundance film quality submission to post video on your website.

In fact, you want your video to be authentic, which means it should have all the polish of the blockbuster movies.

The tools are simple. A pocket video camera such as the Flip or Kodak Playtouch, basic video editing such as iMovie or Windows Movie Maker (or even the software that came with camera), and a YouTube account and website.

You can always improve your video with better sound, better lighting, and using a script to reduce the awkward pauses, but the key is to get started.

See perfection isn't the measure of success. Doing is the measure of success. If you want until you have everything in place, you will never accomplish anything. And to that means, I am offering Ogden-area businesses a free video, and a free instructional course as part of that video making process. The video can be placed on your website to showcase something about your business, and you will have the skills to do future videos.

This is a limited time offer - based on my schedule - but I hope to get several businesses up and running. Of course, because I am not completely altruistic, I imagine that at some point in the future I may sell these same services to businesses, but for right now I am offering them for free.

You can see a couple of quick examples here:




Other community videos:


If you are interested in using video to tell your story, please contact me through my website at http://mikebrice.com.

Mike Brice is a local Ogden Blogger, Videographer, Social Media Guru and PR Specialist.  His expertise can help any business be successful.  I recommend you take him up on this free offer.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

No Show For Urban Forestry Commission

Well,  only three members of the commission showed up tonight.  Therefore we did not have a quorum.  This is pretty disappointing, especially since this is an appointed position by the mayor of South Ogden.  In fact no one even knew those not attending would not be there except for me.  I only knew because I spoke to one of the members randomly this week.

This is pretty disappointing and I am sure the residents of South Ogden do not appreciate spending tax payer money on this commission only to have people not show up.

Those who attended discussed the tree inventory and what we need to do to move forward.  Also Arbor Day was discussed and I think we have some good ideas to get things moving.  I welcome your ideas on how to get people involved with Arbor Day.

More info to come.

Urban Forestry Commission Meeting Tonight

Tonight will be my second Urban Forestry Commission Meeting. The big items on our agenda are the tree inventory, website and Arbor Day.

I am very concerned about the tree inventory. According to the previous minutes, this item has been the commission's #1 benchmark since 2008. Yet it is not even completed yet. Why? Well we have some information from our chairman regarding contractor issues and money. But in the end it still doesn't make sense why it isn't done. I am hoping to get some information on that tonight.

A solid tree inventory would allow our city to more properly budget their money for tree replacement, pruning, watering, etc. We would know exactly what trees we have and why. In the end this could be a great budgetary tool. Yet deadlines have passed and been moved nearly every year for over 3 years.

More to come.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Bills that shouldn't pass

House Bill 220 – by Rep Michael Morley, R-Spanish Fork. – Civics Education Amendment.  Plenty of talk about this one.  See my blog post from yesterday. See Blog Post Here

House Bill 332 – by Rep. Carl Wimmer, R-Herriman – Utility Payment Assistance.  He wants to eliminate the program utility companies have setup to help low income people pay for their gas and power.  Essentially they are charging us $.10 a bill to help our neighbor.  Mr. Wimmer hates this idea.  Everyone should send a check to Mr. Wimmer for $1.20 to cover his share of the program. See Blog Post Here

House Bill 219 – by Rep. Carl Wimmer, R-Herriman – State Firearm Designation.  WASTE! MESSAGE BILL! WASTE!  Need I say more. See Blog Post Here

House Bill..Pretty much anything Rep. Wimmer.  So far I am seeing nothing he is proposing will help education or job creation in the state of Utah.  Okay he does have HB 191.  It is kind of cool .  It makes it so non-residents who go to high school in Utah for a certain number of years are able to get instate tuition. See Everything Here

Senate Bill 44 – by Sen. Margaret Dayton, R-Orem.  She no longer likes people telling her what to do, so she will now tell them.  See Blog Post Here

House Bill 258 – by Rep Chris Herrod, R-Provo.  This is his second pathetic attempt and making booster seats optional for kids age 5-7.  Failed in Committee! Why it shouldn’t pass, because this is stupid!  According the Utah Dept. of Public Safety nearly half (41%) of unrestrained children in crashes were injured or killed compared to 13% of children in booster seats.  I am going with the seat.  That was an easy one, it didn’t pass. 

These are just a few!  I would love to hear your list or what you think about this.  If you disagree, give me your opinion.  I can be swayed if you can prove to me why these are good.

Enjoy