Friday, August 14, 2009

Ogden Standard-Examiner's Puff Piece On Eden's Roy Easley In "Where To Retire" Omits Any Mention Of The Powder Mountain Incorporation Controversy


On August 14th, 2009, the Ogden Standard-Examiner published an interesting story entitled "Ogden, a prime place to retire". The primary objective of the story was to report on Ogden's inclusion in the September/October issue of Where to Retire. This magazine has been rather kind to Utah, having previously profiled Logan in June 2008 and Cedar City in January 2007 as good places to retire. Magazine spokeswoman Lindsay Lindquist said Ogden was chosen because of its climate, outdoor recreation opportunities and housing options.

Included in the profile was an account of Roy Easley and his wife. They first came to Wolf Creek in Eden 17 years ago on vacation, and fell in love with the area so much they bought a home there for their retirement. Fourteen years later, they did indeed follow through, moving to Eden after retiring from his teaching job in Los Angeles. Easley said he chose this area because of the low traffic and small-town feeling.

Yet the story includes not a single word about the one issue which will change the "low traffic" and "small-town feeling"; namely, the proposed Powder Mountain incorporation plan. Detractors fear an upsurge in vehicular traffic and the complete erosion of that "small town feeling". Eden could easily become another Park City - which might not be a problem, except the people who live there do NOT want it to become another ersatz assembly-line "apres-ski" clone, replete with close-order drill on how to paint one's house, where one can park, how high one's lawn can be cut, whether or not tree houses are allowed, etc.

It appears Where To Retire does not post its articles on line, although a summary of the article is available HERE. Apparently the sole objective of Standard-Examiner reporter Jessica Schreifels Miller was merely to report on the national story itself. Which is O.K. - unless you have a significant local controversy associated with the national story. At that point, it becomes the reporter's job to expand on the national story by adding the impact of the local controversy. It wouldn't have killed Jessica to get on the phone and ask Roy Easley two simple questions:

(1) Are you affected by the proposed Powder Mountain incorporation?
(2) How do you feel about it?

The answers could have been folded into one additional paragraph. This is the mission of a local reporter - to add local perspective.

And the Powder Mountain controversy isn't going away anytime soon. Visit the PowderMountainCitizensRights website to find out about future activism, to include a possible appeal to the Utah Supreme Court. Two prominent local bloggers leading the charge against Powder Mountain's incorporation include the Weber County Forum and the Ogden Valley Forum, which is once again floating the idea of a boycott of the Powder Mountain ski resort. That's the way to do it - hit 'em in the wallet, where it hurts.

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