Monday, August 30, 2004

As an English teacher, I can relate in some way to this Borgman cartoon from yesterday's paper.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

We had a shindig over at the park on Saturdee with Diedre's sister and brother's family. We bought what we thought was way too much food, but ended up eating about all of it plus half a cake that was bestowed upon us by a neighboring baby shower party. The annual water fight between the Auntie and Uncle and all the little cousins was a complete success, with only a little water being splashed on the camera and only one collateral casualty, that being one sweet lady from the baby shower.

It's just about migrane time here in my head, it seems that Sundays for me are open-season for all manner of headache. I hope this entry made some sense and isn't all written backwards or something. I'll check on that tomorrow.

Here's a photo from Friday's trip, photos do very little justice to the scene, but I hope you get the idea, nevertheless.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Things went just fine during the first half-week of school. The changes and shufflings were dealt with and happened with nary a hitch or a whimper.

The kids this year seek to be a bit more compliant perhaps a bit more grateful for the chance to be at our little school. I've no data to back that up, but it seemed a bit more cooperative and amicable on Friday, especially.

The weather has been absolutely perfect the last few days. The temperatures have been into the seventies, and on Thursday had a hard time getting out of the sixties at all. I think that had something to do with the generally era of good feelings at the school. Who can feel anything but great with the sun peeking out from puffy white clouds and breezes to lull one into thinking this will last forever?

Friday was also a quick run to the forks of the Huntington. The temp up there was in the fifties until the sun went down and we had our first fish in the mist experience of the fall. It was astoundingly pretty, made all the more grand because I eschewed my waders for what might well be the last sandal-foot fishing run. The water was cool on my legs and feet, the air cool on my face, and the fish reluctant to taste our flies. Wonderful afternoon to cap off a nice week.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Holy carp. Starting school tomorrow and running like mad to get my Electronic High School classes rolling. Not dedicating the time I'd like to the blog, but that will come in due time.

I'm feeling guilt, so something is bound to get done pretty soon around here.

But not now. G'night!

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Haleluja! Here is a church worthy of your devotion. A link to Reverend Billy's own site. I'm only sorry for being so slow on the uptake on this one. Am I a study in contradictions, or what? (Check out last Sundee's entry to see what I mean)

Thursday, August 19, 2004

A couple of photos of Endowment Run in its late summer grandeur. (Remember you can always click to make 'em bigger.)

We're just savoring the last few days of summer before I become engulfed in the maw of teaching the youth of today.

Ay de mi.

Monday, August 16, 2004

A quasi-apology from Suzanne Dean of the Sanpete Messenger.

There's also another letter to the editor this week that addresses other points unapologized for. One is that we who are opposed to the Heritage Area are "unconventional thinkers" and are deemed less worthy of opinion broadcast in the opinon of the Messenger.

I think that there is a sort of elitism apparant in the paper's opinions, how about you?

Sunday, August 15, 2004

My good man Marcus got a pass for me to use at the Oudoor Retailer's show today, and a good time was had by all. There was so much stuff and so many interesting people there, that the five hours I spent went by like so many scared mice.

I met some very nice people and had some very enlightening conversations, all while surrounded by some of the best trappings and spoils of materialism gone to the nth degree of madness. Pretty cool.

I got over to my sister's house in the south of the valley in the late afternoon, got to play with the nieces for a while and was fortunate enough to get in on dinner and a choc-chip cookie binge.

On the way home, I realized what a great time I had getting out of Dodge.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Here's a wider view of the lake, 'tis a beauty to behold and a privilege to be on. When I was in the middle of trying to land this fish, the wind died to nothing, the water glassed, and the sun came out from a large bank of clouds. For a few moments, I could scarcely focus on the fight I had on with the brookie, the scenery was so idyllic and the colors so bright.

It was a nice trip, including a night hike with a bit of an errant shortcut and a late deer-dodging trip home.

A view of the lake earlier in the morning, looking to the east

Further to the southeast.

Here's a view of the lake just a couple of hundred yards to the west. Only about a sixth of the Deercreek's size, it is an interesting anomaly. It looks like a volcanic rift, surrounded by pyroclastic boulders and debris on all sides.


The same, looking further south.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Here is a preview of tomorrow's story and photography about yesterday's Boulder trip.

I've been at the school most of the day getting things straightened up a bit so the twentythird and twentyfourth aren't so hectic. It's a bit of a disheveled mess in my classroom.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Things seem to be heating up in my little life, the happenings and occurences seem to be coming with more aplomb and animation.

I've been trying to engage a bit more with the things and people araound me, and it seems to be working.

There will be time, There will be time to prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet.

T.S. Eliot

Off to the Boulder tomorrow, full report on Friday.

Monday, August 9, 2004

We seem to have a bit of a wildfire just over our west mountains. Looks to be somewhere southeast of Levan.

The thing couldn't have started any more than a couple of hours ago.

Friday, August 6, 2004

Yeah, reach for more indeed...

What does it have to do with people outside of our little valley? Well, directly, nothing. But when one looks at the tactics and perspectives of the protagonists involved in this real-life drama, it has everything to do with American politics and economics in general. Onward, gentle reader...


Sanpete Messenger, 29 July 2004

The overwhelming majority of public officials, business people and residents along U.S. 89 support designation of the region as the National Mormon Pioneer Heritage Area, even if we aren’t out waving flags for the proposal.

The effort to derail Sen. Bob Bennett’s heritage area bill is primarily a one-man campaign by Brad VanDyke of Spring City, the titular head of an organization called Rural Utahns for Local Solutions (RUFLS).

Over the past couple of years, he’s attracted a few followers, perhaps a dozen. Most are people already known for their unconventional views.

VanDyke has made time-wasting appearance before county commissions, called for public hearings and spearheaded letters-to-the-editor campaigns.

We respect his constitutional right to petition government and to purvey his opinions through the press. But people need to understand that VanDyke’s goal is to ruffle enough feathers to create the misimpression that residents along U.S. 89 are sharply divided over the heritage area.

Since broad public support is one of the Department of Interior criteria for heritage area designation, VanDyke hopes, through what we regard as a disinformation campaign, to kill the heritage area bill.

Why? His opposition seems to be grounded in some eccentric ideas about rural economics. He seems to believe that if farmers adopted a different type of livestock manage-ment and if property tax law was changed so that tax was only levied on the value of land, not on buildings or other improvements, rural Utah’s economic problems would be solved. We could live in blissful isolation from metropolitan ills, and we wouldn’t need a heritage area to bring in dollars.

Such nonsense distracts attention from the fundamental purposes of the heritage area: honoring our Mormon pioneer ancestors. The designation would simply provide $10 million in federal funds to preserve, document and facilitate visitor access to artifacts of the greatest colonization movement in American history.

VanDyke also claims that heritage designation would lead to far-reaching control of local land use.

As Monte Bona, director of the Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance, has repeatedly pointed out, the proposed bill prohibits the heritage area governing body from interfering with local zoning. It also precludes the heritage organization from buying or altering property.

So let’s identify the anti-heritage area campaign for what it is—a one-man crusade built on fallacious premises. And let’s get word to Congress that the vast majority of us wholeheartedly support preservation of our heritage through designation of the National Mormon Pioneer Heritage Area

The responses:

Sanpete Messenger, 06 Aug 04


Our family was very saddened at the tone of your "ln Our Opinion" published Thursday. July 29th in the Sanpete Messenger. An editorial opinion should he a position on one or more is sues with reasoning and facts to support your view.

Your opinion headline telegraphed what was coining, “Anti-heritage crusade is one-man show”. Your opinion was not one taking issue with Brad VanDyke’s view but was a blatant personal attack on Mr. VanDyke himself. It was totally uncalled for and unprofessional.

Since the editorial was unsigned, we do not know who wrote it but whoever it was lessened the credibility of your entire staff.

And how do you know the “vast majority of us” wholeheartedly support the Heritage Highway designation? No information was given in the editorial to back up that view. As a matter of fact you do not know our families view nor our neighbors’ views since neither we, nor they were ever asked how we felt about that issue.

Next time you publish an opinion, do your homework and back up your views with research and reasoning. Not with personal vitriol.

Arleane C. Peterson

Kent Appleberry's Response, 06 Aug 04


I appreciate the editor's fairness in printing this response to last week's editorial, "Anti-heritage crusade is one-man show," about Brad VanDyke and Rural Utahns For Local Solutions (RUFLS), who oppose Senator Bennett's proposed National Mormon Pioneer Heritage Area Act(S916).

The editorial purported to "call a spade a spade." Let's call this bill what it really is: federal pork.

The editorial failed to recognize that the bill is a type of welfare program for tourism and other private "heritage businesses and products." Unfortunately, there's no real restriction on what counts as "heritage" or what portion of the money would go to so-called "heritage businesses" rather than true heritage preservation. Monte Bona, head of the "Heritage" Alliance that would give away the money, has said establishments whose menus include "heritage food," whatever that is--maybe a pioneer favorite like ham?--could get funds.

That isn't heritage preservation. That's pork.

The non-elected Alliance's only legal accountability would be to the federal Department of the Interior. Oversight provisions are weak.

Bona sees the bill as a way to help us move from agriculture to a service economy. That would be great for tourists and the influx of new summer residents, but it would only increase pressures on agriculture, a true heritage business. Emphasis on tourism generally does more harm than good to genuine heritage. It also tends to drive up property tax bills.

The editorial said the bill prohibits the Alliance from interfering with zoning. The bill doesn't prohibit them from requiring "voluntary" changes in zoning to get federal funds, which has already happened. The editorial claimed most of those working against the bill are "known for their unconventional views." Is it really unconventional to oppose a pork program that seeks to alter the character of the region without asking us what we want?

The editorial complained that RUFLS is small. The same is true of the Alliance, even though it's supported by public funds it can give away, while opponents have only the appeal to principles of good government. It's easy to build support for pork programs, and hard to fight them. The editorial said VanDyke is trying to create a false impression about the level of opposition. I've known Brad a few years. He's an honest man who says what he believes. If there's been any misleading, it's in wishfully claiming without evidence, as the editorial did, that there's overwhelming support for a bill that goes contrary to basic conservative Utah principles and that, in my experience, only a minority of locals know much, if anything, about.

Given the low level of awareness and high level of misinformation, I'd say the work of VanDyke and RUFLS is much needed, and that more discussion, not less, is called for. Express your views and ask questions at the public hearing, 6 pm August 24th at the County Commission chambers.

If you have concerns about this bill, please write your government representatives.

Kent Appleberry

Sanpete County

And yet another, Sanpete Messenger 06 Aug 04:


The Sanpete Messenger editorial of July 29, 2004, entitled “Anti-heritage crusade is one- man show,” has prompted me to respond with this letter.

Unlike the editorial’s assessment, I found Mr. VanDyke’s views refreshing and certainly consistent with the genuine story of those who pioneered these valleys. Those early people did not depend on big government to accomplish their desired goals. They rolled up their sleeves and went to work. They had great faith that with God’s help they could succeed.

Many of our early residents were descendants of stalwarts who had fought valiantly in the war for independence and/or had participated in other ways with the birth of this nation. Like their forebears, our pioneers championed George Washington and others associated with him. One evidence of their esteem can be commonly found in the names of pioneers. I myself have two George Washington grandpas.

Like the founders, our pioneers treasured liberty. They, too, understood from careful examination of the history of fallen nations and civilizations that if liberty is to be maintained governments must have a proper and principal role to play in the affairs of man. This role was wisely outlined as “protection from foreign and internal enemies.” It did not include the popular political mode of our day—often termed the redistribution of wealth.

Interestingly, on the same day that the editorial was printed, a column on socialism by Mr. Walter E. Williams appeared in the Desert News. He stated, “The essence of socialism is the attenuation and ultimate abolition of private property rights.

Attacks on private property include, but are not limited to, confiscating the rightful property of one person and giving it to another to whom it doesn’t belong. When this is done privately, we call it theft. When it’s done collectively, we use euphemisms:

income transfers or redistribution.”

Perhaps Emerson said it best: “In times of crisis man will turn either to God or government.”

Jane Anderson Braithwaite, Manti

Hm. Interesting groundswell from a 'one-man' show.

Thursday, August 5, 2004

Today's menu included a trip up to Jesse's eye Doctor. It served again this year as a peach pick-up trip for some sweet red havens and early roses. Man, I love good peaches. It always seems to be that August is one of the leanest months of the year, with no extra-curricular teaching close thereto and July's summer teaching money coming generally at the very last day of the danged month. Thank goodness for the little fiddy tucked into the pocket of my wallet. It makes for some great cases of peaches, our family will confirm.

We also did a little hiking, fishing and wandering on the way home. Here're some photos to prove it.

Wednesday, August 4, 2004

The kids and I went out yestereve at sunset to take photos and enjoy the beauty. It was a stunning evening, with rainbows, lightning, rain, colors and a beautiful sunset. The temperature was perfect, and the only thing that was missing were the fireflys.

We used to have a patch down west of town with fireflies, but haven't seen them in years. I'll keep looking, but who knows, perhaps they are a casualty of pesticides in the ajacent fields, but we will hold out hope.

I'm on my two and a half weeks of summer vacation. It remains to be seen how posting proceeds in this odd time.