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Today's word on journalism

Monday, March 6, 2006

"Neutrality in journalism means refusal to take sides. Many newspapers are neutral with regard to certain issues. Hardly a newspaper exists which is completely neutral upon all issues. Such a newspaper would be regarded as spineless. Just as the individual cannot escape taking sides against evils in life, so the newspaper necessarily has convictions against crime, corruption, and other evils in public affairs."

--George Fox Mott, journalism professor, in "An Outline Survey of Journalism," 1940

Wellsville signs on to regional council idea

By Liz Lawyer

March 5, 2006 | WELLSVILLE -- The City Council voted unanimously Wednesday to accept a resolution to create a Cache Valley Regional Council to address issues affecting Cache Valley residents.

The resolution was presented by H. Craig Petersen of the Cache County Council. He presented a proposal for the project, called Cache Vision 2020+. The regional council would "identify important issues affecting Cache Valley and promote cooperation between citizens and elected officials in resolving those issues," according to the resolution. Issues the regional council could address would include air pollution, open space, transportation and developing an an "inclusive society" for the growing elderly and Hispanic populations, Petersen said.

The regional council would consist of 15 elected officials from Cache and Franklin counties, including mayors, city council members, state legislators and President Stan Albrecht of Utah State University, as well as some non-voting members as deemed necessary by the council, Petersen said.

"The voting members would all be accountable to the people because they are elected," with the exception of the president of USU, he said.

However, the council would not have the authority to take action on any issue. "We're not asking for the Council to have power to act," Petersen said. "It's only a forum for ideas to be heard."

The regional council would be a reorganization of the Countywide Planning and Development office governing board, according to the resolution. The council would be responsible for promoting cooperation between local, state and federal officials regarding issues affecting Cache Valley.

"I feel we've never had a mechanism in Cache Valley to bring the town councils together to talk about issues in a collaborative way," Petersen said.

Wendell Morse, director of development services in the county planner's office, said the council would not be limited to the topics mentioned in the presentation. It could address water or any issue that affects residents of the valley.

Though Petersen asked city council members if any of them would like to participate in any of the committees included in the project, none committed themselves to participate.

Petersen said the resolution has already been adopted by Dayton, Franklin, Weston and Preston cities, as well as the Franklin County Commission and Cache County Council.

"It has been met with considerable enthusiasm," he said of those who have already voted in favor of the resolution. "It was adopted unanimously on the same day we were there."

The Wellsville City Council followed suit and unanimously adopted the measure before moving on to other topics.

The last time Cache Valley residents cooperated was in 1902, Petersen said, when they faced problems due to overgrazing by more than 1,000 sheep in the valley.

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