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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)


Nibley sends proposed design standards back to public 'drawing board'

By Diana Maxfield

October 22, 2005 | NIBLEY -- Easements around waterways and potential encroachment on private property were the big topics of discussion at a public hearing on commercial design standards at Thursday's City Council meeting.

The council voted to send the design standards to a public workshop, where citizens can express concerns and help the Planning and Zoning Commission and council decide on specifics of the ordinance before the council votes on whether to make the ordinance a law.

The proposed new design standards would, among other things, allow the city to take a 30-foot easement on either side of a body of water on commercial property. A similar ordinance allowing the city to take easements on private property was repealed three years ago in January 2002 after citizens petitioned the city council, said Chris Daines, an attorney representing several Nibley citizens. Citizens are concerned that this new ordinance will be used by the city as an underhanded way to take easements on private property as well as commercial zones, Nibley property owner Donna Loosli said.

"Have the backbone to put it in there that property owners are not going to be touched," Loosli said. "Until you put it in black and white, it doesn't mean a darn thing."

Councilman Scott Wells said the purpose of the easements was not to take private property, but rather to provide the opportunity for the city to put walkways along waterways, like those found along waterways in San Antonio, Texas.

"Nobody intended to take your backyards away from you," Wells said.

Larry Jacobsen, chairman of the Nibley planning and zoning commission, the body that drew up the design standards, said the commission did not have private property in mind when the ordinance was written. He said the commission felt water is a resource that all citizens should have access to, and taking easements from commercial property was intended to protect these waterways.

The larger concern of the commission, Jacobsen said, is to provide standards for design of commercial buildings which are going to come into Nibley in the coming years.

"We can shape the development or we can just let it come," he said. "It's not us against you. We're all in this together."

Other citizens said they were concerned about other aspects of the ordinance. Nibley resident Todd Hansen called the ordinance "totally out of line.

"Eighty percent brick is not very smart," he said. The design ordinance would require businesses to be constructed of 80 percent brick, which would exclude most of the new businesses being built in Logan, Hansen said.

Mayor Lynn Welker agreed that the design standards might be a little tight. He said he had driven from Logan to Orem, looking at many communities along the way and found only one new building that was constructed in a way that met the proposed design standards.

The public workshop about these design standards will be held Nov. 16 at 6 p.m.

In other business the council:
-- voted to revise a flood insurance damage prevention ordinance.
-- discussed a possible tax write off for Marvin Hansen, who is selling the city 22 shares of water.
-- discussed a possible agreement with Utah State University about sewage treatment at the south animal research farm.


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