HNC Home Page
News Business Arts & Life Sports Opinion Calendar Archive About Us
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)


Providence OKs condo development over residents' objections

By Emil Dixon

October 27, 2005 | PROVIDENCE -- Councilwoman Stacie Gomm tearfully said the future of Providence was sitting on her shoulders before she voted to allow multi-family condominiums to be built behind the new Macey's grocery store location.

With Gomm's decision, the City Council voted 3-1 to change the zoning of nearly 4.5 acres from agricultural to multi-family medium density. The change will allow developers to build approximately 56 housing units on the property around 100 North and U.S. Highway 165.

If the council had not passed the zoning change the Macey's project would "no longer be a go," said Amsource representative John Gaskell, who is heading the development of Macey's and the housing units. He said the housing development is needed in order for Macey's to compete in the marketplace.

Council members made their decision after a room full of disgruntled citizens expressed their concerns and argued against the project. Residents stood up and overran each other's comments before Mayor Alma Leonhardt could call order back to the meeting.

"I believe the council is being manipulated and held hostage," said Providence resident Mark Thompson. "Stand up to it and make the right decision for the citizens."

David Anderson said he lives close to where the development will be located and said he thinks the housing will bring in transient residents that won't contribute to the city. "We don't want transient type housing," he said, "I'm against it."

In response, Gaskell said he thinks everyone will be very impressed by the development, and said it's not a "low-class project." He said in addition to the housing development, Macey's will include a farmers market and possibly a bank.

In the end, Gomm's vote was the deciding factor. She sat in silence, with tears running down her face for several minutes before making a final decision. She said she takes her voting very seriously and apologized to all of the citizens that opposed the development. "I really think it is the best thing for the majority of Providence residents," she said.

Councilman Vic Saunders said the housing development, along with Macey's, will be a large revenue source for the city through the taxes their respective owners will pay. He said the council considered turning the 4.5 acre lot into professional space, but decided there were already too many professional buildings sitting vacant -- not earning the city any money. "Residential always brings with it a tax base," he said.

Before approving the zoning change the council put several restrictions on the development. It must have at least 50 percent covered parking with lighting and the units must be made from stucco, brick or stone in "natural colors." The units also cannot be sold as rentals. However, once a unit is initially sold by the developer it may still be rented.

In other business the council:
-- voted Stan Checketts to fill the council seat vacated by Randy Eck. Checketts will serve on the council for the next three meetings.
-- had a public hearing to discuss moving the boundary between Providence and River Heights. The boundary move will give Providence approximately eight additional feet.


Copyright 1997-2005 Utah State University Department of Journalism & Communication, Logan UT 84322, (435) 797-1000
Best viewed 800 x 600.