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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Huntsville To Add Toll Booth - UPDATED

Over the last couple of weeks we have been compiling some stories from Huntsville.  This is one of two Huntsville related postings today.

First, the town of Huntsville apparently has been toying with the idea of a toll road leading to Cemetery point.  Isn't it already a toll road, you ask?  Actually, it is, but here is the deal.

American Land and Leisure is the concessionaire of the Forest Service concessions at various locations around Pineview.  AL&L places their tollbooth on Huntsville's road and charges entrants some $10 per vehicle to pay their staff and add to their bottom line.  In a good year, upwards of 30,000 vehicles, many pulling heavy trailers, travel the mile or so down First street - you do the math.  AL&L collects the money and Huntsville says they get nothing except for well traveled roads and a lot of weekend riffraff.

Apparently Huntsville has tried to get assistance from AL&L and the Forest Service but now feel a second, town operated toll booth is the only answer.

Huntsville says second tollbooth only solution 

From the article:
Mayor Jim Truett said the traffic from summer recreationists is damaging the road and Huntsville doesn’t have   money to pay for repairs.    “We’re stuck between a rock and a hard spot,” he said.    The road has been a problem for years, he said, and is getting to the point where the town has to take action. 

Councilman Max Ferre said that in a good year the road sees more than 30,000 trucks and boats, which the town says are the major cause of wear   and tear on the road and a danger to residents. However, AL&L Vice Presi dent Steve Werner said the road is no worse than others in the town.    

“I can empathize with their situation. There are a lot of folks who travel there through the summer, but I don’t think First Street is any worse off than other streets, so it’s hard to fully accept responsibility for the damage to that road,” he said.     

He said the damage appears to be caused by normal freeze-and-thaw and winter plowing.
We will interject with 30,000 vehicles traveling to Cemetery Point vs. the vehicles operated by Huntsville residents.  With only about 250 homes in the town, most residents never even drive on first street.
(Mayor)Truett said the council has asked for help from the Forest Service and AL&L, and the best plan is to add $2 to the toll AL&L charges, to go to a First Street perpetual road fund.     

He said AL&L has rejected that plan, though, so the town is ready to create its own toll booth, which would charge $3, with the extra dollar going toward paying the booth operator. He said the booth would be operational when Cemetery Point opens.     

Werner said AL&L could not donate money to the city,   and is still checking to see whether the Forest Service would approve collecting $2 for Huntsville.     

While he understands why the town feels it has to make this move, Werner said it will have a detrimental effect on AL&L.     

“We feel it’s pretty unprecedented to have a city collect a fee to go over their land to go to national forest land,” he said. “We’ve never had that before.”
It sounds like an old fashioned stand off to us.  We will be eagerly watching for construction of a new booth - in the mean time, we will be launching our boat at Port Ramp come Memorial day weekend.

Who will be the first to comment?

UPDATE: 4/1/10 @ 1:45 pm

The Standard Editorial board weighed in on the issue with this:
No to extra toll booth
And don't miss this Grondahl masterpiece.

A Treasure Trove Of News From Huntsville

Here is some more red meat news from Huntsville.

School building was the heart of Huntsville

In this excellent letter to the editor, 57 year Huntsville fixture Erma Wilson unleashes on the Weber County School Board.

Mrs. Wilson states,
What has the Weber County School Board done to our town? As a citizen of Huntsville for 57 years, I feel like the heart of our town has been torn out because of the destroying of our Valley Elementary School building.

When we moved here in 1953, this town really had a lot of community spirit and a lot had to do with the school building. Besides the normal functions, there were dances sometimes in the evening when whole families would attend and participate. Also there were productions, weddings and ball games. One of our special principals, Carl DeYoung, allowed a formal dance to be held, with formal dresses and boutonnieres. Only people who live in a small town could appreciate what a big deal that was.

As for more somber news from Huntsville, one of the founders of the Monastery has passed at age 93.

Saying goodbye to Brother Felix

Be sure to read the comments, watch the video and review the history of the Monastery in the sidebar.

On a lighter note,  The Shooting Star Saloon in Huntsville made Skiing Magazines list of:

Four Iconic Ski Bars We Hope Don't Burn Down

 Comments anyone???

Friday, March 26, 2010

American Legion Needs Immediate Help To Send Local Girls To Girls State - UPDATED‏

We received this important email today for a very worthy cause:


I received a call from a good friend tonight, Cory Thompson, who is on the American Legion Son's board.  There have been some recent changes at the legion and they just became aware of a rapidly approaching deadline to send local Girls to Girls State in Cedar City this June.  Basically, they have until Friday, March 26th (today) to raise an additional $400 or so which will allow them to send 9 girls from the Valley.

I also found that Boy's state had been overlooked and I suggested that we do a last ditch effort to raise as much as possible so the Legion is able to sponsor at least one or two local boys this year for boys state (or at least a partial sponsorship).  Boys State is a little more at $375 per student.  Here is a link to Boys State.
After my junior year of High school, I was fortunate enough to attend Boys State along with 6 or 8 fellow Valley-ites.  Most of us would not have been able to attend if it weren't for the generosity of American Legion Post 129.  Of the 15-20 Weber High boys who attended that year, nearly half were from the Valley thanks to our local legion post. 

It was an incredible experience that delved into the inner workings of our government and helped to prepare many of us with a foundation to go out into the real world.

Would you consider sending this on to your email list in hopes of soliciting financial support.


Richard Sorensen
Former Utah Boy's State Attendee (1982)

PS  For more information or to donate, please contact

Cory Thompson @ 801-458-2674


Tracy Wixon @ 801-645-8082

The legion opens at 4 PM Friday so donations may be delivered directly to the Legion in Huntsville as well.  It is located directly south of the Chevron station.

Donations are Tax deductible and checks should be made out to the American Legion Axillary.

The Kind folks of the Valley are always willing to pony up to help their neighbors, and this is an excellent opportunity to provide the leaders of tomorrow with a strong foundation.

UPDATE:  3-31-10

Thanks to the generosity of Ogden Valley supporters, we heard today that the American Legion was able to raise the money to send 9 girls to Girls State in Cedar City.  More money poured in and the Legion will be able to at least partially sponsor a small handful of Boys for Boys State as well. 

We applaud the Legion's desire to renew the tradition of sending Valley students to Boys and Girls State and thanks to all who stepped up for the cause.  We understand one local business owner/elected state representative generously  forked over enough to cover the girls costs.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Amy Wicks Highlighted in Today's Standard

Weber County Commission candidate Amy Wicks was profiled in todays Standard Examiner.
From the article:
She said it took a long time to decide whether to run.

"I had people trying to talk me into running for a while," she said. "I lost a lot of sleep over it and finally decided to file."

She believes people asked her to run because of the fiscal responsibility and transparency in decision-making she would like to add to the commission.
Many right here in Ogden Valley have been encouraging Amy to run and we at the Forum feel she is the right choice for not only Ogden Valley residents, but the entire county.
Bischoff has done a good job, she said, but has served for quite a while, so she thinks a change would do the commission some good.

Although Wicks has filed as a Democrat, she said she is not used to partisan politics.

"Most of the time, I've voted for the issue or the person, not the party, so this is a whole new ballgame for me," she said. "Hopefully it can bring some common sense and transparency to the commission."
That is precisely what we need, Amy.  Thanks for stepping up to the challenge!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Breaking News! Ogden Council Member Amy Wicks Running For Weber County Commission

You will hear much more in coming months, but Amy Wicks has filed as a candidate for the position of Weber County Commissioner.  Amy is a very strong supporter of Ogden Valley and our issues and has an impressive resume' which includes a stint as Chair of the Ogden City Council.

Quite simply, Amy will bring some common sense, fiscal responsibility, accountability and transparency into the Weber County Commission.

Be sure to visit the Weber County Forum today for more and don't miss the readers comments section.

Here are two posts you cannot miss:

Standard-Examiner: Candidates File; Caucuses Up Next 

Breaking: Councilwoman Wicks files to run for a County Commission seat

Wow a Legal Lottery In Utah!!!

A quick lesson on how the Utah Association of Realtors maintains power and influence

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Utah Legislative Reform Needed - Sign the petition now!

Now that the 2010 Legislative session has come and gone with HB 218 once again dying on the vine without an up or down vote, it has become more and more obvious that Ethics in our legislature is severely lacking.   Not to mention the latest events with Rep. Garn and Senator Kilpack.

Rudi summarizes the problem best here:

Weber County Forum readers got a pretty harsh dose of reality regarding the depth of ethical problems in the Utah Legislature just last week, of course, when Rep. Gage Froerer candidly informed us that elements within the Utah Senate were putting the arm on the Ogden Valley citizens for a cool 25 Grand... you know ... to hire a lobbyist to grease the skids for his HB 218 [wink-wink]. It's in that context that we thought UEG's new TeeVee commercial might strike a lumpencitizen nerve, and spur on any readers who haven't yet signed the petition to get to it right now:

Here's the link to the UEG electronic petition; and here are the links to the other two petitions (including Fair Boundaries) which are still in circulation and in need of your signatures.

Be sure to watch the 60 second video, sign the petition, then distribute this to friends, neighbors and spouses throughout the land of Zion.

The petitions have also been added to our Petition Center in the Upper right sidebar.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Rabies and Dog Licensing Clinic TODAY in Huntsville

We received this reminder last night and felt it important to pass on to our rabid readers:
Don't forget the Dog Rabies and Licensing clinic...
When: Saturday, March 6, 2010 from 2:30 PM to 4 PM
Where: Huntsville Weber District Fire Station (7925 East 500 South, Huntsville, UT
  • Rabies Shot - $13
  • Licenses:
    • Spayed or neutered - $10
    • Non-spayed or neutered - $25
    • Seniors price - $5
NOTE: Normally a mandatory $20 late fee applies if license is more than 30 days past due, but Weber Animal Services has agreed to waive the late fee on a one time basis this year since they are transitioning to annual on-line renewal.
Huntsville and Weber County ordinances require ALL dogs to be licensed annually and the dog must be tagged and collared.

Friday, March 05, 2010

HB 218 - The Meeting at the Capital - UPDATED with Audio Files of the meeting

The Standard offers a brief rundown of the events surrounding yesterday's meeting at the capital.
From the article:
Rep. Gage Froerer, R-Huntsville, brought the proposal back this year, and the bill again is waiting for possible action in the remaining days of the session.
But Froerer told about 15 residents and others at a Thursday meeting in the Capitol that this year was even more of an uphill battle.
To start with, the legislation never left committee after a tie vote.
 With one week to go in the legislative session, the prospects of HB 218 becoming law in the next week looks extremely grim as Senate leadership has indicated the bill will not make it to the floor for a vote.  Instead, the President of the Senate, Michael Waddoups, has apparently told all parties they need to negotiate in good faith to reach a settlement.  If at some point a party walks away or fails to negotiate in good faith, then that party will be "punished" in the form of legislation or the lack thereof.

The problem as we see it is that there is no definition of "good faith."  Additionally, this puts nearly the entire weight of the issue on the backs of the Weber County Commissioners (more specifically Commissioner Craig Dearden) who are negotiating on behalf of the County and the Citizens.

Again from the Standard,
A memorandum of understanding between the parties is being negotiated, but Greg Curtis, an attorney for the developers, described the talks as "stalled."
Weber County Commissioner Craig Dearden was more optimistic and said more meetings are planned.
But a March 16 county-sponsored public gathering during which some of the issues would be discussed has been canceled.
"I canceled the meeting because there is nothing to present," Dearden said.
Yesterday's meeting was nearly 1.5 hours long and we are working diligently this morning to secure a recording of the meeting.  Once received, you can bet you will hear it first hear at the Ogden Valley Forum.  (scroll down to hear)

UPDATE: 3-4-2010 @ 10:30 am

We were forwarded this observation of the meeting from an attendee:
Powder Mountain team, I found the meeting yesterday worthwhile.  I hope everyone who attended feels the same.  I’m going to attempt a summary note while expecting other attendees will be able to add their insights.  The bottom line is that HB218 is in a state right now that positions it for revival in a special session if it is needed while it continues to provide some leverage on negotiations and the negotiations proper will continue to be done privately by Craig Dearden with the support of his staff and whatever email suggestions he gets from interested parties.

The gut wrenching, faith destroying detail of the infighting in the Senate is really not material at this point.  The facts are:
1.       Senate Leadership wants a settlement, while keeping HB218 in the wings.
2.       To successfully move HB218 to law we would need to change the mind of President Waddoups and 8 to 10 other senators in less than 1 week.
3.       The assessment of those closest to the situation is that the benefit of doing nothing with HB218 at this point outweighs the risk of failure in trying to accomplish item 2 (above).
The negotiations (as I read the situation) continue.  At least dialogue continues.  Craig Dearden is playing Solomon at this point.  He is open to suggestions and well reasoned arguments from all parties (including each of us).  We need to realize that our input probably won’t be responded to definitively by Craig, but he will receive it.  We all acknowledge the difficulty of the position he is in and the fact that the Senate is holding him “hostage”, even though he doesn’t like that term.  I’m confident he recognizes the voices of the “town” residents, of the other Valley residents, of his staff, and of the petitioners.
We also will link you to this morning's Weber County Forum where Rudi reveals details of a phone conversation with Representative Froerer.

UPDATE: March 6. 2010 @ 11:00 AM

Thanks to Rudi at the Weber County Forum and his tech savvyness and dedication to the Ogden Valley 'lumpencitizens', we were able to attach the audio recordings of Thursday's meeting at the capital.

The recording is not the greatest and there is some fuzziness, but if you turn up the volume you can certainly enjoy the free entertainment.

Because it was a large file, the recording has been broken down in to separate sections.

Audio Part 1

Audio Part 2

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Bigfoot Spotted At Huntsville Cemetary

We will lighten things up this evening with a link to a photo of the Huntsville Cemetery which was taken last May. From the story, we also read a written account of a supposed sighting in 2005.


UPDATE on Public Meeting Thursday At The State Capital To Discuss Status Of Powderville Negotiations - Don't Miss It! (Room changed to accomodate more people)

UPDATE: There will be a public meeting to address the status of negotiations regarding the Powder Mountain Issue and HB 218:

What: A public information briefing and question & answer session on the subject of HB 218 and related matters.

When: Thursday, March 4, 2010, 12:00 (noon)

Where: Senate (East) Building, Utah State Capitol Salt, Room #215

Formal Agenda: AGENDA - HB 218 – Disincorporation of Powder Mt. Town

UPDATE  3/2/10 @8:00 PM :  We now know the room number and have listed it above.  Also, be sure to read Rudi's latest missive at the Weber County Forum along with all of the most excellent comments.