David Rodeback's Blog

Local Politics and Culture, National Politics,
Life Among the Mormons, and Other Stuff

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Friday, May 26, 2006
Scattered Thoughts

American Fork broadband in the DTM, another local alpha geek, and elected officials who are too busy to blog.

In no particular order . . .

The Local Dead Tree Media (DTM)

The broadband story's sensationalistic visual treatment on the front page of yesterday's American Fork Citizen won't endear the paper to City officials. (Unfortunately, you can't see the design in the Web version.) It's not so much the details as the spin and hype that will vex them. Front page, above the fold, fine. But what's up with the pull quote in huge type? That's the sort of effect I'd expect for a much bigger story, such as a national Intel Science Talent Search winner from American Fork High or breaking news of American Fork's (hitherto) secret plan to annex Highland and Cedar Hills by force of arms. (I leave it to you to guess which of those stories is real. There's a hint somewhere below.)

True geeks also noted some other things about that front page. For some reason the graphic showed USB cables, not the appropriate network or fiber-optic cables. And the headline, "Dialing In," was a little bizarre for a broadband system, the chief virtue of which is that you don't have to dial in or endure conventional modem speeds. In today's Daily Herald, the headline is slightly better: "Dialing Out? A.F. considers selling its broadband network."

More on Scientific Prowess

Speaking of science, when I noted American Fork High School student Shannon Babb's recent awards in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, I neglected to mention that fellow student Jeff K. Bean won a Third Award in Chemistry at the same event for his study of grass as fuel. You can find him on this long list from Intel. The Daily Herald caught this. See this list of all Utah winners; there were several. AF High was the school best represented among the Utah winners.

Local Pols (Temporarily) Too Busy to Blog

The list of local elected officials who in principle are bloggers, but who haven't had time to blog in weeks or months, includes my state representative, John Dougall (last blogged January 31), and American Fork City Councilors Shirl LeBaron (April 26) and Heidi Rodeback (not since being sworn in January 2). Candidate Heidi's blog is still fun and useful to read -- I still particularly like "Deep, Dark, Dirty Dish" and "Victory at the Senior Center" -- but the candidate blog doesn't tell us what's going on now that she's been elected, and the DTM can't do it all, either. I'm not trying to call them out; they're hard at work as it is. But I hope they'll have time to reenter the online political conversation soon. It's good for government.

If you know of other local officials who blog (not just candidates, and in Utah County or particularly American Fork), please advise. In the meantime, for state stuff I like state Representative Steve Urquhart's blog, even though he's from far to the south.

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