David Rodeback's Blog

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Life Among the Mormons, and Other Stuff

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Monday, December 22, 2008
Recent Items about American Fork (Except the Whining)

After an blogging hiatus of biblical length, some housekeeping, mostly about American Fork.

Well, I'm back. Did you miss me? I think I missed you.

I didn't mean to be absent from the blogosphere for 40 days, and I hasten to assure my readers who notice such things that the Biblical length of my blogging hiatus in no way suggests that it was of Biblical import. I haven't been fasting or sailing around in an ark. Nor did I die and lie in state, embalmed, for 40 days, as Jacob did among the Egyptians. I have not been on Mount Sinai, and I have no divine commandments for you, only the usual commentary. I have not been fleeing for my life in response to a death warrant issued by my country's ruler's wife (like Elijah).

Nor have I been wallowing in depression over the results of the November election.

Truth be told, I've been working -- and working and working and working -- to the point that my routines, like blogging and going to the gym (never at the same time), and to some extent sleeping, have been swallowed up in . . . work. Moreover, some few of you may be interested to learn that my six years as a Mormon bishop also came to an end during this period, which implies 40 or 50 hours of work on the administrative transition from old bishop (me) to new bishop (not me). (If you're not interested is my pesonal ecclesiastical activities, don't read the previous sentence. Or this next one . . . ) Such writing energy as offered itself -- it wasn't much -- I turned to the writing of about two dozen thank-you letters and 15 minutes of remarks for the worship service where the leadership change was announced.

I did manage to get to Florida. That was work, too, alas, and I was on the ground a mere 33 hours, but I did manage to fulfil two personal goals: I ate a good filet of grouper (always a delight) and drank some fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice (not at the same meal). As a bonus, I found a nice Russian souvenir shop in downtown St. Petersburg, too, which somehow seems appropriate. I'm looking forward to enjoying my 2009 joke-a-day calendar in Russian, that fascinating language in which I used to be very fluent.

To the matters at hand.

The current situation is, there's a lot of housekeeping to do here at the blog. I'll begin (and end for today) with American Fork, where there has been a lot of whining lately, punctuated by the occasional, gratuitous cheap shot at public officials. That's all about water bills, but I'm leaving that topic for another day, probably tomorrow. In other matters . . .

The Five Bond Issues that Tanked: I've seen vote counts for all the precincts in American Fork now. All five bond issues failed not just cumulatively, citywide, but in each separate precinct, too. Not even specific areas of the city which would benefit from a particular proposed bond issue could produce more yeas than nays. It was a comprehensive defeat for Mayor Thompson and the City Council majority that approved all five, and, as I said before the election, a well-earned defeat, as well.

I Told You These Were Votes on Funding, not Design: One week after the election, proponents of the 1120 North completion, which was part of one defeated bond issue proposal, submitted to the American Fork City Council a petition "signed by 58 families," saying that the City must complete the project soon even after the bond issue to fund it failed.

The Diverging Diamond: My last blog post, 40 days ago, touted the merits of the "diverging diamond" interchange planned for I-15 at American Fork's Main Street, where the existing interchange is seriously overloaded. Economic troubles take their toll on governments, too; the funding for this project now on hold. This Laura Hancock story in The Deseret News describes the Pioneer Crossing, a road that will connect to the new interchange when they get around to building things again.

Sears Grand Closing in American Fork: That Sears Grand store in American Fork, which replaced an underperforming K-Mart and which I've been inside only once, is closing in February, along with 21 other underperforming stores in the chain. Anyone who didn't see this one coming, stand on your head . . .

Now, This One I Miss: In an inadvertent blast from the past, the Daily Herald's Dining Guide for December 11, 2008, lists Tony's Italian Deli on Main Street, which closed long ago. Its demise inspired far more disappointment on my part than the Sears Grand closing.

The Preschool that Almost Wasn't: Parent protests apparently have averted American Fork City's intended closing of a preschool at the American Fork Fitness Center. I was pleased to read that the parents in question are conscious of the need for the school to pay its own way. That's better sense than people often show when pet government programs are on the chopping block.

Be Glad This One Isn't about You (Unless It Is): Caleb Warnock's lengthy account of woes in Eagle Mountain, including streets that City doesn't own and cannot plow, is, perhaps, amid the aforementioned whining, a useful reminder to American Forkers that things could be worse.

This One Literally Stinks: There's a sense of deja vu about this tale of business owners complaining about a stinky sewage treatment plant.

Stay tuned.

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