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WINTER Wear: An avocet wades in the Bear River to look for a tasty snack. The bird's black-and-white winter plumage heralds the onset of cold weather. / Photo by Mike Sweeney

Today's word on journalism

Friday, November 11, 2005

On journalists during wartime (for Veterans Day):

"[I]n the news media that covered the war both overseas and domestically, journalists also were willing to cooperate and do their
part. The public did not see journalists (and journalists did not see themselves) as being against the team. Journalists were part of the team. Some, such as roving correspondent Ernie Pyle, repeatedly visited combat zones even though they did not have to do so, and they paid with their lives."

--Michael S. Sweeney, press historian, 2001 (from "Secrets of Victory," about censorship during WWII)


Green- and red-burn days model a solution for Logan's winter parking problems

By Brock Anderson

October 11, 2005 | Orange envelope on windshield.

Is it a birthday card, or a thank you note from a friend? Unfortunately for the ill-fated car owner, inside the orange envelope is a $30 parking ticket. As part of Logan City code, beginning Nov. 15 and ending the last day of February, cars aren't allowed to park on the street for snow removal purposes from 1 a.m. to 6 a.m.

But wait. What if there's no snow to be removed?

Yes, it is Cache Valley where the temperatures dip to blood-chilling levels and the snow tends to pile up to the rooftops; however, it does not snow every night. Therefore, city officials should review and revise the existing overnight parking code.

In a college town like Logan there are thousands of students which equals thousands of cars. A lot of times there aren't adequate parking spaces in apartment housing for the number of students living there, forcing many to park on the street. To be in compliance with city code students cannot park in the street, but wedge their cars in an overcrowded parking lot even when it's not snowing.

Not only does the ordinance affect college students, but it can also cause problems for the average resident. During times like Thanksgiving or Christmas it's not uncommon to have many family members gathered at one house, and sometimes the driveways at these houses are not large enough to accommodate every car. In such situations city code does allow residents to apply to the city in advance for a permit to park in the street, but what a nuisance. Why should a resident waste his time getting a permit when it's possible it won't even be snowing when his guests are in town?

Although Logan isn't the most dangerous city in the country, crimes are committed. Rather than looking for parking violators during the middle of the night, the Logan City Police Department should be spending their time looking for real criminals.

In a perfect society there wouldn't be overnight parking codes. People would use their common sense and move their cars off the street when there was an imminent threat of snowfall. It's not difficult to turn on the TV or radio to find out the weather forecast. Those ignorant people who did not heed the weather report on a snowy night would suffer the natural consequences of having to unbury their cars the next morning.

During the frozen, frigid winter months it's not uncommon for people to cuddle up in their homes around a burning fire, sipping hot chocolate and roasting marshmallows. Let's suppose the city passed an ordinance that banned fires in fireplaces during the entire winter season because the air might become too polluted. Some would find this to be ridiculous and unnecessary, just as we believe not being allowed to park on the street every night for roughly four months is.

Considering Logan's current stand on overnight parking, an abolishment of the code is probably out of the question; however, we do believe a compromise can be made.

Because there is a probability of the air quality becoming unhealthy during the winter season, a system has been established to fairly regulate days when people may use their fireplaces and days when it's not allowed. During times of good air quality a green burn is issued, and people may use their wood burning stoves or fireplaces as desired. When a yellow burn advisory is issued people are asked to voluntarily stop using their fireplaces. Then, when the air becomes too polluted a red burn is announced and fires are banned unless it is the sole source of heat in a house.

The snow removal code should be set up in much the same way. The weather forecast could be monitored daily, and when there is a good chance for snowfall a red parking night would be declared. On all other nights when the chance for snowfall is very small or obsolete it would be a green parking night. This information could be updated on Logan City's website requiring minimal effort. For those without access to the Internet, local radio stations could include the information in their weather updates.

Such an overnight parking code will allow the streets to be properly cleared and also allow residents to park on the street when the snow isn't flying. The current code is too restrictive and unnecessary. The council needs to review and revise the existing code.

No more orange envelopes on windshields.


Copyright 1997-2005 Utah State University Department of Journalism & Communication, Logan UT 84322, (435) 797-1000
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