Anonymous Comments Will Be Removed

Anonymous posts can be confusing and hard to follow with several users posting anonymously in the same thread. Please create a User Name/ID when adding to our comments section.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Contact State Senators ASAP and Tell Them To Repeal HB477

An emergency session is scheduled Friday, but some State Senators "don't get it" and will need some persuasive encouragement from our friends.

Once again, Rudi has done such a nice job this morning that we will rely on his expertise.

Thursday Morning HB477 News Roundup

For your convenience, he has included links for the emails of the out of touch elected officials.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Green Valley Academy - still in the spotlight - Sage Quotes concerning Residential Therapeutic Treatment For Youth

Guest comments promoted to the front page   By Danna

The following have been quoted from various sources concerning "Residential Therapeutic Treatment for youth".

Glen Zaugg - NATSAP President:
"In the last two years, the economic downturn in this country has hit many of our members particularly hard. Parents have had fewer options regarding funding sources, and consequently, more than a handful of programs have closed." (i.e. Mount Bachelor Academy)

Treatment Magazine:
"CRC's Youth Therapeutic boarding school leader Aspen Education has been hit by the credit crunch as parents are unable to access second mortgages and tuition loans to finance the huge cost of helping their children. CRC has admitted it has had major difficulty filling beds."

Tom Crote - Family Light:
"recommends against referring to or enrolling in any Aspen program due to what the closing of New Leaf of North Carolina says about the value system of the company."

Dr. Rod Hoevet - Clinical Psychologist:
"Illicit substance Abuse is an enormous problem in American mental health. On a daily basis I review patient records from large well respected mental health agencies. These records often will outline a heavy substance abuse and then, in the very same record diagnosis Bipolar or any number of other disorders. This is a no brainer. The DSM is explicit: you cannot diagnose any mental illness if it is otherwise explained by drug intoxication or WITHDRAWAL. This is reckless and unethical, which leads to unnecessary and potentially harmful treatments."

Alison Barkoff - Senior staff attorney at the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law: (i.e. Mount Bachelor)
"We feel very strongly that for-profit residential facilities are completely inappropriate for special education. They have been shown to be ineffective and commonly employ practices that do harm. But because the programs are privately run, what happens within their walls is largely a mystery. No one knows whether the programs succeed or fail."

Last summer when the OVPC conducted their work meeting at Oakley School, it was noted that their enrollment was not to full capacity plus every student had to be drug free for at least 3 months. I also heard Dr. Balmer declare the students of the Green Valley Academy would be the "Forest Gumps" of the world. Subsequently, I discovered in the Syracuse City minutes, that when Island View Residential Treatment Center first started there were over 10 calls a month to law enforcement. In 2010 the Chief of Police stated in a letter that they had received NO CALLS.

In my opinion from the information presented here, there are two major questions:
1. If the kids can't call the police, who is watching out for their rights?
2. What is to be done with a large building in the middle of a residential neighborhood with its massive sewer system and water company, when the business fails?


The Latest on the evolving and ever changing HB 477 Front - To Repeal or Not Repeal

Once again, Rudi at the Weber County Forum is right on top of the latest happenings regarding HB 477 (does anyone else find it ironic that the flawed Powderville bill was HB 466?   {466 - 477}  Kind of a pattern we thinks).

Tuesday Morning HB477 News Roundup 

While at the forum, be sure to snoop around for even more tantalizing tales.

Friday, March 18, 2011

More HB 477 "Brouhaha"

There is more HB 477 "Brouhaha" as the HB 477 train seems to pick up steam each and every day.

We will toss the ball to the Weber County Forum where Rudi shares his compilation, complete with our post from yesterday with Representative Froerer's explanation.

We will also highlight an earlier comment from Ogden Council Women and activist Amy Wicks:
We need to mobilize quickly to try to preserve reasonable and affordable access to government records. If you would like to help, please sign up here:
Have at it humble Valley-ites!

Citizen's Report From Last Night's Board of Adjustments Meeting

Guest Post by Fred Smullin

I am saddened to report that after a couple of hours of private debate, the Weber County Board of Adjustment announced that they voted 4-1 to deny the appeal of the current land owners and neighbors to the proposed Green Valley Academy (GVA) site.  I have since learned that the vote was actually 3-2 and the minutes will be adjusted to reflect that.  They ruled that, as currently defined, the GVA "application language" met the requirements of the AV-3 school definition.  It's important to note the distinction that only what GVA put on their application was allowed to be considered, not what the true intent of the facility was, or what their previous contradictory application said.  They used the words necessary to get the prize, not what GVA was really about.  All for a group that doesn't apparently own the property yet.

I feel for those impacted directly and wish them luck in however they choose to continue their battle.  I would encourage everyone to offer them your support as this was a tough loss for them and everyone in the valley.

I'll let the Ogden Valley Protection Counsel (OVPC) advise us on how to best support them next.  What we citizens can do is continue to recommend changes to our zoning to limit the impact of these institutions.  I'm somewhat skeptical after watching the proceedings.  There are too many angles that can be picked apart legally.  But, I am not ready to give up.  It just shows we have a lot of work to do and rushing changes through may create more gaps than are filled.

If GVA is built, we as citizens can be watchful.  The community can be the watch dog and if enough incidents and complaints are documented publicly, licenses can be revoked and facilities closed.  It takes a paper trail to reach that decision.

Likewise, parents research the internet leading up to the decision to contract GVA to modify the behavior of their child.  If public records exist online citing factual issues with GVA, it will have an influence on their recruiting efforts.  The greatest factor to their success is keeping hidden what parents don't want to hear.  So, it's up to the community to be diligent, hold them accountable, and report, report, report.

Please use the Valley Forum to voice your opinion and support for the residents that are impacted.

Board of Adjustments Upheld Staff decision

Comment Promoted to the Front Page
By Greg Anderson

The Board of Adjustments upheld the staff decision that the Green Valley Academy is a school. They spent over two hours in closed-to-the-public deliberations before reaching their decision.

Any more reports from those in attendance?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Rest of The Story on Last Night's Flooding - Raw Sewage Floods Lakeside Condos

This is one of several important posts today - be sure to scroll down to review all

If anyone in Ogden Valley has wondered why there is a strange odor around the Ski Lake area the word on the street is that it is coming from raw sewage dumps and overflows from the Mountain Sewer Corp. owned by Mr. Ron Catanzaro.

The facts appear to be that some of the sewage pumping equipment has not been working properly at the Lakeside Village Town homes for several years and Mountain Sewer has decided rather than to fix the pumps, they would instead pump the excess sewage from the town homes into tanker trucks, then move it to a private community in the same area and dump it in to their sewer manholes. When some of the neighbors in the private community witnessed this they questioned Mr. Catanzaro’s reasoning since the sewage could be dumped directly into his company’s sewer ponds along Old Snow Basin Road and not into sewers within the private community.

While Mountain Sewer does not seem to see anything wrong with trespassing on private property and dumping raw sewage in a private community, think how any of us would react if a company dumped raw sewage from other locations into the sewers on your street.

All of this resulted in a Ski Lake Special Service District meeting on Tuesday, January 25th with the County Commissioners to allow for public input about Mountain Sewer Corp. problems and other related items on the District’s agenda for the day.

Following the January, 2011 meeting of the Ski Lake Special Service District many of the Mountain Sewer users wrote a letter to the Weber County Commissioners to again outline these problems and ask the Commissioners to resolve these problems by bringing Mountain Sewer into operational compliance. It was revealed that Mountain Sewer never has had a operator’s permit as required by the State. There has been no reply from the County Commissioners on this letter.

The Weber County Commission as the body politic has oversight responsibility for the Ski Lake Special Service District and Mountain Sewer. They are responsible for oversight of Mountain Sewer Corp.’s operation. It appears that Weber County has been seriously remiss in their oversight responsibility.

Last night, March 16th, the sewage pumps at the Lakeside Village complex were not able to handle the sewage flow once again and numerous Town homes were flooded with sewage waste. It is a deplorable situation that requires immediate action from our County Commissioners.

For years, some operators of sewage systems have gamed the system by intentionally interconnecting storm and sanitary sewer systems, resulting in sanitary sewage being diverted to storm sewers and, untreated, into public waters. The less sewage you treat, the cheaper it is. We don’t know for sure that such a condition exists with Mountain Sewer, but we do know that massive amounts of storm water wound up in the Mountain Sewer sanitary system. Could it have been through an intentional interconnection?

The other possibilities, of course, are bad design or malfunction, or a combination of the two. In any case, storm water and sewage are not supposed to intermix, and they sure did, here, and fifteen condo owners and renters are up to their ankles in raw sewage as a result.

In addition to the dumping of raw sewage and an ineffective pumping system, Mountain Sewer appears to have bookkeeping problems. It is well know among the residents served by Mountain Sewer that Mr. Catanzaro has failed to collect from several property owners sewer connection fees regulated by the State. It is rumored that he himself has failed to pay these same fees on properties that he owned. What is ironic about all this is that Mr. Catanzaro pleads that he has no money to make the necessary repairs to his pumping equipment and needs a rate increase to cover his operation costs while he is not collecting the basic fees and payments from everyone on his system.

In addition, it has come to light that Mr. Catanzaro offered cut rate hookup fees for water and sewer to prospective lot buyers in order to boost his lot sales. The problem with this offer is that it is not legal to reduce the price of water and sewer hookups for anyone when these fees are regulated by the State of Utah. Anyone that has received this “deal” from Mr. Catanzaro should verify that he made up the difference on the “cut rates” and deposited the full amount in the Mountain Sewer accounts. If this has not been done, those lot owners may have to pay the difference to Mountain Sewer at a later date. The State Of Utah has contacted Mr. Catanzaro on this issue.

While the media was on site last night, they seemingly missed the real story of Raw Sewage and the faulty pumps.

Storm causing flooding in Weber, Morgan counties -

And from this morning's Standard Examiner:

Rain Causes Flooding in Weber, Morgan

HB 477 Update along with an explanation from Representative Gage Froerer

The aftermath of HB477 is a hot topic on area blogs and on the front page of local papers.  The Weber County Forum has done a masterful job of keeping readers updated, but we will add an explanation from our local representative Gage Froerer.  This appeared in the March 15, 2011 issue of the Ogden Valley News.

Representative Gage Froerer Responds to Questions on Vote in Favor of HB 477

This article was apparently written during the short period of time between the bill being recalled and subsequently signed by Governor Herbert.

Representative Froerer states,
"This bill was passed in an attempt to bring news media and other stakeholders to the table to address an outdated statue that needs to be addressed in terms of our current forms of communication and the devices we use to communicate."
It doesn't seem like the parties spent a lot of time at the table.  What do you think?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Board of Adjustment Meeting Reminder - updated

Don't miss the update at the bottom of this post

The Appeal to the Weber County Board of Adjustments Thursday - neighbors vs Green Valley Academy "School"

The appeal to the Board of Adjustment hearing is this

The meeting will be held in the Weber County Commission Chambers,
Weber Center (2380 Washington Blvd).
The meeting will begin at 4:30 pm

The agenda is short so we will include it below (click here to visit the county web site):
  1. Minutes Approval of the January 27, 2011 meeting minutes
  2. BOA 2011-01: Consideration and action on an appeal of an administrative decision by the Weber County Planning Division in determining that Green Valley Academy meets the definition of “School” in the Weber County Zoning Ordinance, and is, therefore, considered a permitted use in the AV-3 Zone as a “private education institution having a curriculum similar to that ordinarily given in public schools.” (red emphasis and underline added by us)
  3. Other Business:
  4. Adjournment:

Download a full copy of the Board of Adjustment March 17, 2011 packet, in Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF), here. Packets are available only for the current agenda and approximately thirty days after that date.

UPDATE:  3-17-2011 @ 10:20 AM

We will open this post up for live blog updates of today's meeting.  If you have a smart and fancy phone, please attend today's meeting and give us play by play updates by posting in the comments section.  We will be anxiously standing by.

Friday, March 11, 2011

HB 477 Legislative Roundup

This evening we will direct you to Rudi's riveting Forum where he offers this doozy about our 'work under the cover of darkness' legislators:

Friday Morning HB477 News Roundup

The 2011 legislative session ended on a very disappointing note with our extreme right wing governor selling out his constituents by signing yet another severely flawed bill.

We find it perplexing that the Utah lawmakers passed SB 165 which prohibits any electronic signatures on ballot propositions while also passing HB 477, which makes most electronic government communications (email, text messages, voice mail, etc.) off limits to Utah citizens.

A sad day for transparency and open government.  What are they trying to hide?

We will end with some footage of a 'peaceful' demonstration inside the hallowed walls of the State Capital.

Pay particular attention to Ogden's All-Star Council women Amy Wicks who proudly holds a couple of signs that are visible in the middle of the stairway at 2:15.  One side said "Only COWARDS and CROOKS hide from the PEOPLE they represent" and the other, which you can see, says "I'm an elected official that supports open and transparent government. What are you?"   Congrats Amy and thanks for representing the people.

Weber County Board of Adjustments to Hear Green Valley Academy Appeal

The Weber County Board of Adjustments will hear the Appeal of the Green Valley Academy's Design Approval on March 17, 2011.  The residents near the proposed site have filed the appeal.

As is typically the case, the Weber County Web site makes no mention of the meeting, but our intel has provided us these details:

March 17, 2011
4:30 PM

Weber County Commission Chambers

Mark your calendars and arrive early to get a seat as Ogden Valley residents will likely pack the house.

On another hot topic, the heliport petitioners have scheduled an appeal to the Weber County Commissioners on March 29.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Ogden Valley Protection Counsel Meeting Tonight

Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Huntsville Library 7PM.  
Please do what you can to get the word out make a few phone calls, tell your neighbors, send emails to your friends.
Discussion will include updates on the Green Valley Academy Appeal and updates on the recent merger with the Valley Citizen's For Responsible Development.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Merger of Two Ogden Valley Advocacy Groups

Merger of Two Ogden Valley Advocacy Groups

As of March 1, 2011, two separate advocacy groups in Ogden Valley have united under a single name. The former Ogden Valley Protection Council (OVPC) has merged and become part of the existing VCRD ( Valley Citizens for Responsible Development ) under the VCRD title.

The VCRD Board of Trustees has been expanded from 7 members to 11 effective immediately to include representation from the Ogden Valley Protection Council.

There will be a meeting of the former Ogden Valley Protection Council members on Tuesday, March 8th at 7PM at the Huntsville Library to discuss the merger. We encourage all Valley residents to add their name to our expanded organization.


There will be additional information on this merger forthcoming. If you have any questions about the expanded VCRD, go to If you wish to join the VCRD, send just $10 per year per person to:

PO Box 115
Huntsville, Utah 84317