David Rodeback's Blog

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


American Fork Archive

Note: Most weeks' lists of recommended readings include items of local interest but are not listed here.

January 23, 2014

Rights and Rites and Right and the Right: Part Two
If my willingness to embrace gay people as friends, colleagues, neighbors, relatives, and fellow believers incurs the wrath of the God you worship, I am unmoved. The God I worship understands that the worth of every human soul -- yours, mine, everyone's -- is far greater than the sum of its actual or human-perceived sins.

January 22, 2014

Rights and Rites and Right and the Right: Part One
I am attempting to reason my way through, first, some basic American principles and, second, their possible applications to some thorny modern questions. Eventually -- not today -- I'll get to the question of same-sex marriage itself.

December 31, 2013

Brain Food, Networked Underwear, Antarctic Adventures . . .
. . . SAMs, drones, conspiracy theories, signs of the times . . .

December 29, 2013

Next Time American Fork City Wants to Bond
How to pass a prudent bond issue sometime in the future, if we start now.

December 26, 2013

Random Thoughts on the Passing Scene
From random acts of kindness to ducks and Swallow, from global cooling to gay marriage.

December 13, 2013

Principles, Principles, and Amnesty
. . . In which I offer amnesty to two good men who are in a challenging position -- and it has nothing to do with immigration.

December 12, 2013

Adults versus Zealots
The first step is admitting we have a problem. A big problem.

December 10, 2013

Thanks Plus
Here's my two-minute statement from the public comment period at tonight's American Fork City Council meeting. Thanks to all who came to help me deliver this little thank-you note, and to everyone else who joined in for the very satisfying ending. Thanks also to those (scattered from Disneyland to the American Fork Junior High auditorium) who wanted to attend but couldn't.

December 3, 2013

What American Fork Voters Taught Us, Part I
It's time to start compiling the lessons we can learn from November's election in American Fork and considering how to promote good government in its aftermath. We'll start with lessons for future candidates.

November 22, 2013

Here's to Poll Workers
I've heard they're an endangered species, but I'd like to think they're not. I'd like to think we're better than that.

November 22, 2013

Big, Thumping Heart Redux
By request . . .

November 15, 2013

The Big, Thumping Heart of American Fork
. . . is in Indianapolis just now. It's a band. (We'll return to politics soon enough.)

November 7, 2013

Results from My Unscientific Election Day Poll
And a few thoughts, mostly related.

November 5, 2013

I Was Wrong, Wrong, Wrong . . .
In my predictions about election results, that is.

November 5, 2013

Vote First, Then Take My Quick American Fork Election Poll
American Fork voters, please take this short poll and tell me (anonymously!) how you voted and why, and what sources of information were most influential this election.

November 4, 2013

David's Handy Little Election Guide (American Fork Version)
. . . Which is the only version there will be this election, because the only matters on my ballot pertain to American Fork City.

November 2, 2013

AF Road Bond: Why Good Streets Matter
If they didn't matter much, they wouldn't be worth borrowing $20 million -- or writing eleven blog posts in twelve days.

November 1, 2013

AF Road Bond: Attention, Homework, Dots
The unpaid, the undone, and the unconnected, that is, with three illustrations from bond opponent claims.

October 31, 2013

AF Road Bond: Halloween and Elections Belong Together
Quite apart from masks and costumes and guessing who's behind them, Halloween and elections are both times for conjuring ghosts and bogeymen, and for dark, mysterious forces to run wild.

October 30, 2013

AF Road Bond: The Right Plans Are in Place
Plans for life-cycle maintenance, minimizing cuts into good streets, and acting intelligently beyond the bond funds, that is.

October 29, 2013

AF Road Bond: Praise for a Multitude, Including You
I'll also suggest a few things you can do to help, if you find yourself energized by American Fork's local election.

October 28, 2013

AF Road Bond: Two Logical Fallacies to Avoid
There's nothing new about false choices and flawed comparisons; in political rhetoric they're as abundant as mosquitoes. If you know they're coming, you can usually keep them from biting you.

October 26, 2013

AF Road Bond: Can Bonding Be "Fiscally Conservative"?
If being fiscally conservative means choosing the cheapest path (in total dollars) to where we're going, or getting the most value for our tax dollars, the answer may surprise you.

October 25, 2013

AF Road Bond: Crack Seal, the Magic Miracle Cure!
Crack seal isn't snake oil; it has a much different consistency and a legitimate application. But in some minds it seems to have similar properties.

October 24, 2013

AF Road Bond: Pressurized Irrigation -- a Cautionary Tale?
What high water bills have to do with crumbling streets, and how we've met the enemy, and they are . . . well, you know.

October 23, 2013

Meet the American Fork Candidates, Round Two: Analysis and Commentary
All the previous commentary and analysis still applies. I recap some of it and add some miscellaneous notes.

October 23, 2013

Meet the American Fork Candidates, Round Two: Summary
Here I report mostly what wasn't already said at last week's event. There were some new questions. Photos and links to audio recordings of all answers and statements are included.

October 23, 2013

AF Road Bond: Genesis
The financial story behind our crumbling streets goes back farther than the road bond's opposition is looking, to a time when we yielded to one of the most universal temptations in government.

October 22, 2013

AF Road Bond: The Basics
I'll be chiming in almost daily between now and Election Day, relatively briefly, on the proposed bond issue for road repair -- starting today.

October 19, 2013

Meet the American Fork Candidates, Round One: Analysis and Commentary, continued
The last post dealt mostly in generalities. This one focuses on details. It's Part 2 of 2, of my commentary.

October 19, 2013

Meet the American Fork Candidates, Round One: Analysis and Commentary
Having reported last time, as evenly as I can, on Thursday's meet-the-candidates event, I now turn to my own thoughts. (Part 1 of 2.)

October 18, 2013

Meet the American Fork Candidates, Round One: Summary
Here's a lengthy summary of what the candidates said last evening at Shelley Elementary. I've exiled my own analysis and commentary to the next post.

October 17, 2013

Coming Soon: The Long and Short of It
Road repairs and the current batch of candidates, that is.

October 10, 2013

The Facts Permit Divergent Opinions
But I don't have to respect your opinion if you don't base it on the facts.

August 13, 2013

Polls Are Open in American Fork
No opinions here, at least none about how you should vote. Just links to check your registration, learn your precinct, find your voting location, prepare the proper ID, etc.

August 10, 2013

David's Handy Election Guide
There's one race in American Fork's primary. You get two votes. Four of five candidates survive to compete in the November general election.

December 13, 2011

Tonight in American Fork
After a long hearing in which more than 20 people spoke, the American Fork City Council tabled its proposed Housing and Employment Non-Discrimination Ordinances. Here's the mostly-untold story of how and why, plus my statement from the hearing.

December 1, 2011

A Practical Test of American Fork's Commitment to Freedom
In December the American Fork Council has an interesting and important opportunity to weigh competing principles and vote on the depth of our city's commitment to essential American freedoms.

September 14, 2011

American Fork City Council Primary Results
Six advance. Three are eliminated.

September 13, 2011

Where to Vote in American Fork
American Fork primary election polling places

September 2, 2011

Not Much of a Report
If you weren't at Shelley Elementary Thursday evening to meet this election's crop of American Fork City Council candidates, there are still some things you can do before the primary, which is ten days away.

August 31, 2011

Links to American Fork City Council Candidate Information
This list will be updated whenever new information presents itself.

July 28, 2011

Nine Ways to Lose My Vote
Last time I described what I generally look for in candidates for local office, focusing on qualities more than issues. I also promised my readers a list of things candidates can do or say to encourage me to vote for someone else. That's today's topic.

July 25, 2011

What I Want in My Candidates
I recently held forth on the weeks or months potential candidates spend considering whether to run or not. This early phase of our electoral process is below the radar for most offices, but it's as important as anything in our politics. We must get the right kind of people on the ballot, so we can vote for them. Today's topic is how to recognize them once they're on the ballot.

July 7, 2011

A Crucial Phase
Election days are important in our democratic republic, and so are the campaigns which precede them. But one of the most crucial phases in our self-government comes much earlier. It ends with the filing period, but it begins long before.

November 3, 2010

Stream of Semi-Consciousness: Scattered Post-Election Thoughts
Winners, losers, turnout, 2010, and other thoughts, as they occur.

November 2, 2010

Breaking News: Not One, but Two Local Candidates Lead Double Lives
It's Election Day, or in other words, the eye of the storm. We're in the relative calm between the insanity of the election campaign and the insanity of the pundits' endless post mortems. This is the day when we real American bloggers exercise our God-given and constitutionally-guaranteed right to make fun of the candidates by pretending we write for The Onion -- but, conspicuously, with fewer expletives. (That's a disclaimer. Think about it.)

October 30, 2010

David's Handy, Idiosyncratic Election Guide, November 2010 Version
Here's a quick look at everything I expect to be on my ballot when I get to my polling place on Tuesday morning.

October 28, 2010

The Importance of Not Being Unified
It's hard to believe something which makes us so uncomfortable is a good thing, but it really is.

October 22, 2010

I Met the Candidates in American Fork
Here are some words I don't say every decade: I'm voting for a Democrat.

October 12, 2010

The Zebra Effect
If you're a lion, the zebra effect makes it hard to distinguish specific animals in a running herd. In politics, well, stay tuned. I'm about to invent a meaning.

October 9, 2010

Remembering an Anniversary
I'm not sure whether it was a dark cloud with a silver lining or a silver cloud with a dark lining, but it was something.

September 24, 2010

I Almost Missed National Punctuation Day, and I Need to Unload My Desk
As I write, it's still National Punctuation Day, but only just barely. And I've been campaigning again . . .

September 14, 2010

Block Walk Talk
Last time we considered my block of 200 West in American Fork, we noted some improvements at each end, on the corners. Today we'll take a quick stroll and consider what lies between the ends. Then I'll suggest some conclusions.

September 6, 2010

One Home at a Time, Over Time
Main Street in American Fork runs east and west; for several blocks it is also US 89. One block to the north, in Utah's inimitable way of reckoning streets, is 100 North. At least, that's true for a while. Then, before it reaches 200 West (or "Second West," as we sometimes say), 100 North veers wantonly away from its historic Mormon rectilinearity and becomes Pacific Drive. So our little block of 200 West is actually between Main Street and Pacific Drive. Today and tomorrow, we'll talk about the block and how it has changed in the dozen years I've been watching it from the inside.

June 23, 2010

Primary Aftermath
A quick look at selected election results from yesterday, and some analysis -- including my theory about how Tim Bridgewater narrowly lost a race he probably could have won.

June 21, 2010

I'd Like to Keep Being Spoiled
Not all of my elected representatives spoil me. Tim Osborn of the Alpine School Board does. I'd like to keep him there.

June 19, 2010

RAQ: Other Stuff (Mostly Not the Election)
Recently Asked Questions about a general, presidential succession, the federal budget, yachting and golfing, the institutional of marriage, carbonated beverages, etc.

June 1, 2010

Primary Candidates Gather in American Fork (Part 1, Everything but Senate)
Primary candidates were (mostly) present or represented from three races in the first hour: Republicans for Utah County Commission; Democrats for US House of Representatives (Utah 2nd); and three candidates in a non-partisan race for Alpine School Board.

March 19, 2010

The American Fork Weekly Gazette
The what? Read on . . .

February 13, 2010

Readers, Rewards, Attachment
Reflections about the rewards of blogging, gratitude for readers, and a newly-discovered attachment.

February 12, 2010

An Exclusive Interview with Myself
Way more than 20 questions, mostly about recently-announced developments here at LocalCommentary.com.

January 4, 2010

The Peaceful Transfer of Power, American (Fork) Style
The time it took me to write this brief post -- not very much -- is approximately equal to the length of the meeting it recounts. Sometimes important things happen quickly, even in government.

January 4, 2010

Two New Year's Resolutions (Local Government Version)
I suggest the immediate abandonment of two prejudices which are bad for good government (one prejudice per resolution).

January 2, 2010

A Look Back at Mayor Thompson's Four Years
Before we look ahead to a new administration in American Fork, we owe the outgoing mayor both our appreciation for his willing service and a decent acknowledgment of his accomplishments in office.

December 31, 2009

American Fork in 2009: A Look Back
From restaurants that came and one that went, to city politics and . . . that marching band and the community that loves it.

November 21, 2009

Excellent Musical Theater at American Fork High School
The celebrated magic of The Wizard of Oz is mostly lost on me and always has been. But the magic of American Fork High School's excellent performance of that musical last evening was not lost on me at all. This is a very enjoyable production, with much to recommend it.

November 17, 2009

Epilogue: Marching Band, Victory, and Justifying the Costs
Some hard questions are reasonable to ask, even if they seem harsh, as long as they are asked for the purpose of finding an answer. And humanity doth not live by bread alone (to borrow a phrase).

November 11, 2009

A Veteran's Day Tribute to Demo Red: "So Many Good Men and Women"
The motto of the 30th Infantry Regiment, "San Francisco's Own," seems apt: "Our Country, not Ourselves." Here, with undue brevity, for Veterans Day, is an account of a soldier I know who embodies that motto.

November 10, 2009

Wow!
A community gives back.

November 9, 2009

AFHS Marching Band: Regional Champions Raising Money in a Hurry for Nationals
If I were a betting man, I think I'd bet that they can do it, too, even if the amount is about $250,000 and the deadline is approximately tomorrow.

November 4, 2009

If Exit Polls Were Fishes
American Fork's election results are clear. The motives, concerns, and issues behind them are not clear at all.

November 3, 2009

A Quick Look at Election Results
Results of American Fork races and a few other races of interest in Utah and elsewhere.

November 3, 2009

Where to Vote and What I'm Watching
In addition to races of local interest, at least four are of national interest, in New York, Virginia, New Jersey, and Maine.

November 2, 2009

What Happened to the Last Set of Questions for Mayoral Candidates?
Thanks for asking. I'll tell you.

November 2, 2009

My View of American Fork's Mayoral Candidates
Well, most of it. There's no endorsement here, just a prediction. It comes after I list issues which I find useful or not in distinguishing between the two candidates.

October 31, 2009

My Second Vote for City Council (an Endorsement)
I get two votes. The first is utterly predictable. Here I explain the second.

October 31, 2009

I Reposted 9 and 10
Most of a recent post disappeared somehow, perhaps just before I initially posted it, and I didn't notice until yesterday. I've filled the hole.

October 30, 2009

An Invitation, a Photo, and Campaign Hanky-Panky to the North and South
The photo's about the AF rap flap. The invitation and the hanky-panky are not.

October 30, 2009

I Met the Candidates Once More
Notes and commentary on last night's event, including scattered attempts to commit wit.

October 29, 2009

One More Opportunity to Meet the Candidates: Tonight
That's at 7:00 p.m. at the American Fork Senior Center.

October 27, 2009

Things To Do If You're Just Now Catching the Bug
No, no, not the porcine pathogen. The I-feel-like-I-should-get-involved-in-local-politics bug.

October 26, 2009

American Fork's China Isle (A Brief Review)
Go there. Today. You might consider the Walnut Shrimp, but I get the impression you could throw a dart at the menu, order whatever it hits, and be just fine.

October 24, 2009

October 14 Questions and Answers with American Fork City Council Candidates
A mostly-complete account of the city council portion of the October 14 meet-the-candidates event in American Fork, emphasizing what was said and almost entirely omitting what I think.

October 23, 2009

If You Want My Vote (Part V)
Two final principles: Don't make it about good and evil, if it isn't already. And shun the October surprise.

October 22, 2009

Notes on Meet-the-Candidates in American Fork Last Week: Mayoral Candidates
A detailed but not verbatim account of statements, questions, and answers by American Fork mayoral candidates, from last week's event at Shelley Elementary.

October 20, 2009

If You Want My Vote (Part IV)
Principles seven and eight for candidates who want my vote.

October 19, 2009

Last Call for Questions
. . . for LocalCommentary.com to send to American Fork mayoral candidates, that is.

October 17, 2009

Thoughts on Passing Milepost 49
It was mere coincidence that I took a trip to Idaho this weekend to visit family.

October 15, 2009

A Non-Post Post, You Might Say
About last evening's meet-the-candidate event, sort of, but this week all rhetorical roads seem to lead to a certain marching band . . .

October 13, 2009

Pride and Grace and Courage and Some Tears
If it was the angels, one of them was named Heather.

October 12, 2009

Meet the Candidates Wednesday Evening
Details about tomorrow evening's event in American Fork.

October 11, 2009

A Bus, a Band, a Community
Late-night thoughts on this evening's events and tragedy, and larger things.

October 6, 2009

If You Want My Vote (Part III)
Principles five and six for local candidates who want me to take them seriously.

October 3, 2009

Copenhagen, Chicago, American Fork
Almost sounds like a bumper sticker, doesn't it? Two unrelated lists . . .

October 2, 2009

If You Want My Vote (Part II)
Two more essential principles for local candidates who want me to take them seriously.

September 29, 2009

Now It's Your Turn: Send Me Your Questions
American Fork voters are invited to send me questions for the city's two mayoral candidates, Heber Thompson and James Hadfield.

September 28, 2009

If You Want My Vote (Part I)
Two essential principles for local candidates who want me to take them seriously.

September 23, 2009

Notes on the American Fork Primary Election
The results are now official, as of last evening.

September 18, 2009

Last Opportunity to Meet the Candidates in American Fork
One for your calendar.

September 15, 2009

American Fork Mayoral Primary Results
Official vote totals and percentages from the three candidates, turnout data, etc.

September 15, 2009

American Fork City Council Primary Results
Official vote counts and percentages for each candidate, a voter turnout number, and minimal analysis.

September 15, 2009

A Few Notes on Tonight's Election Results
In American Fork, that is. There's a bit of a surprise in the mayoral race, but it's an open question how much it will mean in November, with a much higher voter turnout.

September 15, 2009

Polls Are Open
You'll need some identification in order to vote. Here's anecdotal information about turnout, closing time, etc., and a link to a little tribute to candidates generally.

September 15, 2009

A Reminder, Some Predictions, Where to Go for Early Returns, and Some Much-Needed Fun
Some serious information and . . . something else entirely.

September 14, 2009

The Season's Last Concert in the Park
It's the Utah Premier Brass, so we already know it will be good.

September 14, 2009

Candidates Respond, Part 10: Police and Other Salaries
LocalCommentary.com asks American Fork's mayoral candidates about salaries in the police department and elsewhere.

September 12, 2009

Candidates Respond, Part 9: Should the City Stay in the Cemetery Business?
LocalCommentary.com asks American Fork's mayoral candidates about cemetery fees, and whether the City should stay in the cemetery business.

September 11, 2009

Candidates Respond, Part 8: American Fork City and Developers
LocalCommentary.com asks American Fork's mayoral candidates about developers and the City's relationship with them.

September 10, 2009

Candidates Respond, Part 7: What about Road Repairs? How and How Much?
LocalCommentary.com asks American Fork's mayoral candidates about long-overdue road repairs, and how much time and money will be required to remedy the situation.

September 9, 2009

Candidates Respond, Part 6: Should American Fork Have a City Administrator?
LocalCommentary.com asks American Fork's mayoral candidates about having a full-time mayor and no city administrator, instead of a part-time mayor and full-time city administrator, as ordinance provides.

September 5, 2009

Notes on Meeting the Candidates in American Fork, Part 3: City Council Candidates
Principally, what the candidates themselves said.

September 4, 2009

Notes on Meeting the Candidates in American Fork, Part 2: Mayoral Candidates
Much of what the mayoral candidates said and plenty of commentary from me along the way.

September 4, 2009

Candidates Respond, Part 5: Tax Increases
LocalCommentary asks American Fork's mayoral candidates about future tax increases.

September 3, 2009

Notes on Meeting the Candidates in American Fork, Part 1: General Observations
The first thing to be said about tonight's meet-the-candidates event at Barratt Elementary in American Fork is that the stars of the show were the audience.

September 3, 2009

Candidates Respond, Part 4: Truth-in-Taxation and Certified Tax Rates
LocalCommentary.com asks American Fork's mayoral candidates about the effects of Utah's Truth-in-Taxation law and the setting of certified tax rates

September 2, 2009

New: American Fork Mayoral Candidates Answer Questions
Three questions asked and answered; more to follow.

September 2, 2009

Candidates Respond, Part 3: Pressurized Irrigation
LocalCommentary.com asks American Fork's mayoral candidates about pressurized irrigation and its future.

September 2, 2009

Candidates Respond, Part 2: My Qualifications to Lead American Fork
LocalCommentary.com asks American Fork's mayoral candidates about their qualifications.

September 2, 2009

Expanded American Fork City Council Candidate Information
There's something about every candidate now.

September 1, 2009

American Fork Notes
An opportunity to meet American Fork's current crop of candidates, early voting, more reporting on the American Fork Cemetery, and 191 feet of cool engineering (times two). And parking.

September 1, 2009

Candidates Respond, Part 1: Why I Want to Be Mayor of American Fork
LocalCommentary asks American Fork's mayoral candidates why they want to be mayor.

August 29, 2009

American Fork City Council Candidate Information Posted
. . . And on the planned publication date, no less. Unfortunately, only three of nine candidates have responded so far.

August 29, 2009

2009 American Fork City Council Candidates
Basic information about American Fork's city council candidates.

August 25, 2009

The First Batch of Candidate Information Is Posted
(Finally.)

August 24, 2009

Sometimes Bloggers Need to Offer Corrections and Apologies, Too
It's not fun, but one does it -- as now -- because truth is a higher purpose than pride.

August 22, 2009

Good People Reporting Badly
American Fork residents own themselves a few minutes to get correctly informed about current cemetery-related discussions. Two media outlets owe their readers a correction and a retraction, and they owe six elected officials an apology.

August 22, 2009

2009 American Fork Mayoral Candidates
Basic information about American Fork's mayoral candidates.

August 20, 2009

American Fork City Council Candidate Withdraws
Now there are two incumbents and seven challengers in the race for two seats.

August 20, 2009

Another Quick American Fork Election Update
This update isn't exactly breaking news, but it answers a question you might have when you arrive at the polls on September 15 or November 3.

August 19, 2009

A Quick American Fork Election Update
One mayoral candidate has withdrawn.

August 15, 2009

Quick Notes (Really!) on What's Coming Up
Improved American Fork election coverage and a small promotion for one local politician and blogger.

August 13, 2009

More Fleeting Wisps of Blogger Glory
People write kind things about the blog, which don't find their way into comments on particular posts. Here are three. (We're light and shortish today, as penance for Tuesday's 3022-word treatise on the health care debate.)

August 3, 2009

Bravo!
My primary mission in attending the American Fork History and Heritage Pageant tonight was to see how they did with my script. They did well.

August 3, 2009

Sorry! My Bad!
A new day for recycling pickup in American Fork, and some thoughts on the program generally.

August 1, 2009

American Fork History and Heritage Pageant
You might think a cemetery is a strange place for historical pageants; it seems just about right to me. In any case, the American Fork Cemetery is, for three evenings, the city's social and artistic hub.

July 19, 2009

Ruminations on the Rush Limbaugh Quilt
Where do girly men, cigars, and air-conditioned politics meet? At the quilt show, of course. I was there. I was tricked into being there. (That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.)

July 18, 2009

On Parade (or at Least AT the Parade)
Results of this year's Steel Days Parade Political Straw Poll. My own Parade Awards, featuring everything from a world-class high school marching band (you know which one) to fake eyeballs.

July 17, 2009

Random (Mostly) Local Thoughts
Night life in downtown American Fork. Lawn chairs along tomorrow's parade route. Local candidates. Watering the lawn. Counting blog posts. Does God read blogs?

July 15, 2009

The Official List of American Fork Candidates
As I post this information, you cannot yet get it any local newspaper's Web site. I have fewer readers, but I can sometimes get to press faster -- even if I take time for some pontification, as I have done here.

July 13, 2009

The Latest List of American Fork Candidates
There's still only the incumbent running for mayor, but there are now four city council candidates. The filing period runs through Wednesday afternoon.

July 11, 2009

Excellent Readings
Climate change, Obamacare, Sarah Palin, Robert McNamara, a jobless recovery, American Fork, and more.

July 3, 2009

Miscellany
An assortment of curious tales from the national scene, a couple of local notes, and a weird Mormon moment.

July 2, 2009

So Far, Only the Incumbents Have Filed in American Fork
The filing period began yesterday and ends July 15.

June 22, 2009

Random Thoughts
Obamacare, cemeteries, the census, Facebook, Philly cheese steak, and SLAPP.

June 9, 2009

Two Concerts in the Park (More to Come)
The family and I have now attended the first two concerts in this summer's Concerts in the Park series in American Fork. They were both excellent. But if you see a guy wearing his baseball cap indoors at church or at city council sometime soon, please do me a favor: knock it off. And more to the point, confiscate his cell phone, in case he's the guy who was sitting behind me last night in the Amphitheater.

June 4, 2009

An Odd Little Tale from a City Council Work Session
How responsible should a City feel for drivers who don't heed clearly-posted parking regulations in private parking lots? And how a misguided proposed American Fork City ordinance failed, instead of succeeding -- and effectively seizing private property in the process. (This one has pictures.)

June 3, 2009

Election Season Looms in American Fork
The filing period runs from July 1 to July 15. Notes on the incumbents and the possibilities. The passive citizen goes to the polls and chooses between the lesser of two evils, complaining all the while. The adept citizen acts much earlier, in an effort to get the right names on the ballot.

May 16, 2009

Huntsman, Christensen, Cemetery, and Steyn
It almost sounds like a law firm, but it's really a state getting a new governor, a city getting a new fire chief, a minor update about cemetery expansion in American Fork, and a speech I suggest you read and re-read.

May 16, 2009

American Fork Recycling Calendar
Updated for 2010.

May 9, 2009

Three Good Things I Saw in American Fork This Week
Excellent work by a contractor on the pressurized irrigation project, a faster City response to a nuisance problem than we used to expect, and an excellent stage production.

May 1, 2009

The AFPD Wins a Four-Year-Old Fan
The weather was fine. The street was filled with construction equipment and emergency vehicles. What more could a boy want?

April 23, 2009

Alternative Theories
Of sewage, sneakers, chewing gum, and the pathologically suspicious. (And one more thing in the comments.)

April 22, 2009

Miscellaneous Thoughts
Beautiful music, ramblings about Earth Day, the national basketball championship you didn't hear about, a morsel of good news about property taxes in American Fork, and . . . have we lost our institutional mind?

February 24, 2009

Of Freedom and Sacrifice
I read today that two friends' son has been killed in Iraq, where he served in the US Army. . . .

February 23, 2009

Some FrontRunner Follow-Up
Miscellaneous notes accumulated on the FrontRunner junket.

February 21, 2009

FrontRunner: My First Ride
I'm riding FrontRunner today as a surrogate VIP, blogging occasionally along the way. There are also a couple of notes here about American Fork Mayor Heber Thompson's State of the City address, and a link to it at afcity.org, so you don't have to search for it.

February 17, 2009

Good Food, and How to Make Good Policies Look Bad
The folks at Olive Garden cared, when I went there for dinner, about the quality of my experience and the impression they made. This is the principal difference between my Grilled Shrimp Caprese and the documents American Fork City provides to residents who wish to opt out of the newly-expanded recycling program.

February 12, 2009

Reduce! Replace! Recycle! (Notes about Town)
The local weekly newspaper's disappearance, cost-cutting measures at American Fork City, the beginning of work to replace the Main Street interchange, and the new "opt-out" recycling program.

February 5, 2009

Recreation vs. Resting in Peace
This was supposed to be about proposed ordinances in American Fork involving accessory apartments and the licensing of rental properties, but the City Council didn't get that far through its agenda today. Never mind that, though. The discussion of land for cemetery expansion took an interesting and likely decisive twist.

December 30, 2008

Poison in the Water Debate
Discussion of the current skirmish over future water rates in American Fork begins with, among other things, a snake, a rowboat, and a gun; seven habits for civil, opinionated, self-governing people; a dinner table; some links to recent news articles; and a felicitous, partially self-inflicted phrase, "sanctimonious claptrap."

December 22, 2008

Recent Items about American Fork (Except the Whining)
After an blogging hiatus of biblical length, some housekeeping, mostly about American Fork.

November 12, 2008

That Diverging Diamond
This post about a clever piece of engineering coming to American Fork even has embedded YouTube video, which is a first here at the blog. (I love technology.)

November 7, 2008

A Look at the Election Results: American Fork
Five out of five bond issues went down convincingly. What it means. How it might have been different.

November 5, 2008

A Quick Thought
Despair and discouragement are inappropriate. So is disinterest.

November 4, 2008

Where to Follow Election Returns on the Web
(I can't tell you where to go on television, since I don't have cable.)

November 1, 2008

David's Handy 2008 Election Guide
My election guide this time mentions not only the races and referenda, but also suggests some things to do before you go to the polls, what to take with you, an important thing to check while you're still at the voting machine, some helpful things you could do afterwards, and a good way to track the presidential election returns, if you're into that.

November 1, 2008

Excellent Readings
Excellent readings, with excerpts in most cases. The categories and their (sizes) are: Not About the Election or Its Issues (small). The Howler of the Week (small). What We'll Get If We Get Barack Obama (large). Economics Generally (medium).

October 23, 2008

Notes on the Bond Information Meeting
Points of interest about each bond issue, the meeting itself, and the mostly intelligent, mostly well-informed residents who attended.

October 21, 2008

MFCC on the Proposed Bond Issues
My favorite city councilor offers a lot of information and some opinion about American Fork's five proposed bond issues, not to mention the City's timing and motives.

October 20, 2008

More on 1120 North and the Bonds
A few more thoughts from me, a blog from other opponents of the first bond issue, a fun blog from a resident opposed to all five proposed bond issues, and an official City informational meeting this week on the proposals.

October 17, 2008

One Group's Arguments against AF Bond Issue 1
Some are solid. Some are false and counterproductive. Some are in between.

September 29, 2008

Amateur Hour at City Hall, Part II
Bad timing. Bad PR. And how some of these bond issues are win-win situations for some City officials whether they pass or fail.

September 27, 2008

Sad News for American Fork, A Weird Photo, and Stuff to Read on the Bailout
The sad news is brief. The photo is comic relief. The readings are excellent.

September 26, 2008

Amateur Hour at City Hall
Or maybe it's amateur year. Here are notes on the upcoming American Fork bond issues.

September 1, 2008

Blackmail Photos
From the American Fork Heritage and History Pageant, that is.

August 28, 2008

American Fork Miscellany
900 West resolution, tax increase aftermath, FrontRunner, and connected libraries.

August 12, 2008

American Fork City Council Approves 17.14 Percent Property Tax Rate Increase
. . . But they'll call it 9.62 percent.

August 11, 2008

City Council Vote on Tax Increase Tomorrow
It's not too late to speak your mind.

August 8, 2008

Good News: The Increase Is Decreasing
The American Fork City Council whittled 5.9 percent off its proposed property tax increase at yesterday's work session.

August 6, 2008

I'll Be Wearing a Badge. He'll Be Wearing a Dress.
American Fork's annual History and Heritage Pageant starts Friday evening, continues Saturday evening, and ends Monday evening. It's at the American Fork Cemetery, and I'm not sure I know how to make it sound as enjoyable as it really is.

August 5, 2008

This Evening's Tax Increase Hearing
It was a typical cross-section of self-governing humanity. I especially enjoyed the self-refuting arguments. Oh, by the way, it's technically a 22 percent increase, not 14 percent.

August 4, 2008

Tomorrow's Tax Hearing in American Fork: The Essentials
Here is my brief (at least brief for me) summary of the things you'll want to know before attending tomorrow evening's hearing on the proposed property tax increase in American Fork.

August 2, 2008

The Article, The Notice, and The Explanation
Three items in Thursday's American Fork Citizen, about the proposed American Fork property tax increase. Where did that 46 come from?

July 28, 2008

What the Postal Worker Brought
About that proposed American Fork property tax increase, I mean.

July 24, 2008

Quick American Fork Tax Increase Update
Revised times for hearings and votes, with brief discussion of where I think the votes are right now.

July 22, 2008

(Another) American Fork Property Tax Increase Update
The key word was "approximate." Don't be alarmed by the number in the published notice. The dates of the votes.

July 19, 2008

Random Parade Thoughts
"Then I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a flying roll" (Zechariah 5:1). If you want to know what a line from the Old Testament has to do with a parade, read on.

July 18, 2008

American Fork Tax Increase Update
14 percent is better than 50 percent, and 34 percent is better than 100 percent. And we may all have to live without two meals at Del Taco.

July 16, 2008

Property Tax Increase Follow-up
Quick notes on how things are going, and a little bonus commentary on the Alpine School District budget.

July 15, 2008

My Letter Opposing a Large Property Tax Increase
It's not about waste. It's about economic pressure on ordinary households, and about a serious, long-term political hazard.

July 15, 2008

A Brief Explanation, Contact Information, and My Letter, and One More Reason
The subject is the possible doubling of American Fork property taxes. Now write and send your letter. Then recruit some friends and neighbors to do the same.

July 14, 2008

If You Want Those American Fork Property Taxes to Double, Don't Write.
The Mayor and City Council are discussing a possible 50 percent property tax increase and four bond issues that will increase taxes that much again if they all pass. It's time for us help them see reason. First, we deluge them with helpful constituent letters.

July 12, 2008

American Fork's Mythical Opt-Out Recycling Program
It's mythical because it doesn't exist, at least not yet. (Please note that no actual horses were harmed in the creation of this blog post. All equine carnage herein is metaphorical.)

June 25, 2008

The Utah Election and an American Fork Vote
It's Ellis, Chaffetz, and a big NO to rezoning the Carson property in American Fork.

June 7, 2008

City and Surpha Sign Sale Agreement
Surpha now owns a municipal broadband system; American Fork City doesn't. (Does this mean it's not municipal any more?)

May 28, 2008

American Fork Sells AFCNet
The deed is almost done. The buyer is Surpha. The vote was unanimous. The price is $500,000.

May 27, 2008

What's in an Agendum? (The Carsons Are Back)
The new proposal reportedly is more reasonable, but I wonder: Have the strong-arm tactics and the abuses of ecclesiastical authority ceased?

May 22, 2008

AFCNet/Surpha Agreement on May 27 City Council Agenda
It's pretty big news for American Fork's municipal broadband system. UTOPIA is in the news, too.

May 21, 2008

American Fork Municipal Broadband Update
Negotiations continue, and an agreement may be coming soon.

May 20, 2008

Zoning, Licensing, Nuisances
A recent Deseret News story raises some important issues about certain laws and their enforcement in American Fork.

March 25, 2008

I Came, I Saw, I Caucused
Will they have square donuts and left-leaning water at the Utah County Republican Convention again this year? I'll let you know.

March 21, 2008

Alpine School District's "What Counts?" Forum
A local gathering of fellow-travelers and critics to discuss what constitutes great schools. I'll tell you what that has to do with last night's meeting of an unrelated American Fork City committee.

February 25, 2008

American Fork City's Next Two Years
There's a particular sort of progress we need to see in our City government.

February 16, 2008

Ah, the Humanity!
I could use a vacation. Show them you're the most important person in the room. And mind those foreseeable opposite consequences. (A veritable verbal mosaic of awareness ribbons, congressional deserters, cell phones, state and local legislators, defenseless wild bunnies and birdies, zealous residents, and boring neckwear.)

January 14, 2008

NIE, AF, Gitmo, AF the Movie, and More
. . . including a lawnmower analogy and the phrase, "if headlines were fishes" . . .

December 3, 2007

About Town: Music, Negotiations, Ballots, and Irrigation
Catching up . . . and some thoughts on the American Fork Symphony's latest concert.

November 6, 2007

American Fork Wins. Utah Schoolchildren Lose.
Thoughts on today's election results.

November 6, 2007

Respect vs. Political Expediency
On respecting some places too much to take our politics there.

November 5, 2007

Mr. Porter Owes Seven American Fork Officials Another Apology
If he's going to post foolish accusations personally online at the Daily Herald web site, accusing officials of dishonesty and a coverup, he's fair game for bloggers, including this one.

November 5, 2007

David's Little November 2007 Election Guide
How I voted (early), and the outcomes I predict in American Fork, Salt Lake City, and statewide in the voucher matter.

November 3, 2007

Provo's Municipal Broadband, and a Happy (Unrelated) Lawsuit Verdict
Two news stories of note.

November 1, 2007

Further Notes on the Statistics that Weren't and the Press Release that Wasn't
The latest non-avian flap in American Fork -- and then a few words about the avian one.

October 30, 2007

Dolphin-Free Oil Now Available in American Fork
World Class Auto Service on Main Street welcomes a new neighbor. Will Good Earth Natural Foods reciprocate? It might be amusing.

October 27, 2007

Electronic Voting, and a Candidate's Homework that Didn't Get Done
First, I voted early, just to see if I hated it, and because I had already chosen all my votes. Second, here is a detailed look at actual data, which contradict one city council candidate's wild claim about violent crime American Fork.

October 19, 2007

Meet Three-Fifths of the Candidates Night
Incumbent American Fork City Council candidates Rick Storrs, Sherry Kramer, and Shirl LeBaron field questions.

October 16, 2007

Meet the American Fork City Council Candidates, and Millie
The only thing these two topics have in common is that I mention them in the same blog post.

October 2, 2007

Miscellany: Wi-Fi, Econ., Signs, and Spam
That is, municipal wi-fi, economics vs. politics, campaign signs, and e-mail spam.

September 27, 2007

Politics and Punch III: Vouchers and Other School Issues
Most of this post is devoted to gaping holes in school district officials' anti-voucher arguments, but there are a few other topics, too.

September 27, 2007

Politics and Punch II: City Council Candidates and Issues
Streets. More streets. NIMBY, by gum. Water. Other stuff. First impressions of candidate Jason Porter. Three endorsements and a choice I'll have to ponder.

September 27, 2007

Politics and Punch I: Setting and Cast
Here I tell you who was there, where "there" was, what questions I submitted that didn't get asked, and so forth.

September 25, 2007

American Fork Broadband Notes
Tonight's meeting, a small dose of basic economics, AFCNet as an example of infrastructure, and a little debunking of municipal wireless broadband.

September 21, 2007

Political Facts of Life in American Fork
A quick look at some other folks' primaries, followed by a discussion of major ongoing issues in American Fork, as they relate to the election.

September 18, 2007

La Vigna da Campania
"The Vineyard of Campania," that is, if my Italian is correct. (Warning: I have never learned Italian.)

September 1, 2007

Local Miscellany
I brag a little, then I turn to broadband, Gandolfo's, 9600 North, college football, a very old skeleton, SOBs in American Fork, and a very intelligent discussion of Mormonism on the national stage.

August 31, 2007

American Fork City Council Candidate George Brown Withdraws
The candidate field for the three available full-term seats is down to four.

August 30, 2007

Utah Premier Brass
American Fork's summer concert series ends impressively.

August 29, 2007

American Fork Poll Results
Interesting poll results are now on the information side of this site, instead of at my blog, since they constitute a scientific sampling of everyone's -- well, 401 residents' -- views, instead of my own.

August 15, 2007

The Battle of 9600 West
Somehow I manage to incorporate chemical warfare, invasion, trade sanctions, and passive resistance into a discussion about widening a street in Highland. (I'm having fun. Are you?)

August 14, 2007

American Fork Notes: Music, Arts
A very good band, a positively amazing band, and a major advance behind the scenes for the local arts community.

August 7, 2007

Random Dissenting Thoughts
. . . on the war in Iraq, the local loan sharks, and yelling at the radio.

August 6, 2007

Concerts in the Park, and Bringing the Dead to Life in the Cemetery
You don't always have to pay for quality entertainment in American Fork.

August 1, 2007

Candidates for American Fork City Council
I'm not scooping anyone with this belated post, but here's a fairly early look at American Fork's 2007 City Council candidates, with one no-brainer endorsement and a few predictions thrown in.

July 9, 2007

An Early Look at American Fork's City Council Election
The two-week filing period is half gone . . .

July 6, 2007

Orson Scott Card on How We Live and How We Ought to Live
Foreign oil, domestic poverty, and no highway is ever wide enough . . .

July 2, 2007

Catching up About Town
Blogging energy, Sherry Kramer, SOBs, a tragic bear attack, a restaurant that isn't an In-and-Out clone (we promise -- wink, wink), and an update on the concrete monstrosity.

June 12, 2007

Recycling Change
In short: Tuesdays, not Fridays.

June 9, 2007

I Have a Few Questions (and Then Some)
. . . to ask of the applicants for that interim American Fork City Council appointment, that is.

June 8, 2007

Candidates for Interim American Fork City Council Appointment
Here is a list of the six candidates who submitted materials for consideration.

June 5, 2007

The Paul Burnside Band and Other Local Notes
A band, an empty seat, and a long-awaited improvement in American Fork.

May 24, 2007

American Fork's New Logo
On Tuesday the American Fork City Council adopted a new City logo. Here it is. How do you like it?

May 23, 2007

American Fork Municipal Broadband Update
The earlier engagement to PacketFront broke down; the new suitor is Surpha.

May 18, 2007

One Less Good Man in Our Politics
American Fork City Councilor Jimmie Cates passed away this morning.

May 12, 2007

Random Smokin' Thoughts
First, I have to say positive things about the Utah Jazz, because 'tis the season. Then I present my two-part plan for a kinder, gentler, less littered society. Preview: It's a pair of truces.

May 10, 2007

A Little, Concrete Test of American Fork's Commitment to the Rule of Law
The concrete is actual concrete. The law is an ordinance passed by the American Fork City Council. And in a small city that has been committed only selectively to the rule of law over the years, the rule of law seems now to have a fighting chance.

May 7, 2007

The Arts, the Jazz, the Debates, the Veto
Had I done any blogging at all last week, here are some things I might have blogged about.

April 27, 2007

Briefish Thoughts on Several Subjects
Relatively brief musings on a time machine, Vice President Cheney's speech, his detractors, Superintendent Henshaw and the "extremists," and what could cause me to leave the Republican Party after tomorrow.

April 13, 2007

A Mulligan
I respectfully ask the chair's permission to revise and extend my remarks . . .

April 4, 2007

Dorothy, This Ain't Panguitch Any More (Revised)
J C Penney wants to come to the Meadows in American Fork, along with some mixed-used development. This happy news prompts some more general thoughts about attitudes on the Wasatch Front.

April 3, 2007

Family Honk Evening
I knew the story of the Ugly Duckling, of course, but hadn't seen the musical. The bullfrog was standing ovation material.

March 27, 2007

American Fork City Attorney (Civil) Kevin Bennett Resigns
He's off to take a similar position in LaVerkin, Utah.

March 27, 2007

New on the Web: American Fork Recycling Calendar
You can't find it at the City web site. You can find it here.

March 19, 2007

Monday Evening at the Historic American Fork City (Recital) Hall
A pleasant Monday evening concert for the family, in American Fork's newest recital venue.

March 13, 2007

The Latest on Municipal Broadband in American Fork
The letter of intent has expired, the original RFP will be reissued . . . I don't recall anyone promising a complete broadband solution in American Fork would be easy or immediate. It's not bad news. It's just news.

February 28, 2007

Miscellaneous Political Thoughts
Recycling in American Fork. The UEA checks its manners at the Capitol door. Who really represents me? An Oscar and a Nobel. And, finally, I manage to work the phrase barking moonbat into a sentence.

February 20, 2007

The Sublime and the Quotidian
Vocal Works, the Crescent Super Band, a Maynard Ferguson tribute, and a church talent show.

February 2, 2007

More Groundhog Day Lore
Limerick contest winners, a local groundhog alternative, and more.

January 24, 2007

Traffic School
Will Traffic School Guy be coming soon to a comedy club near you? He almost could. Here is the latest chapter in the continuing saga of my life as an alleged scofflaw.

January 22, 2007

One Councilblogger's New Year's Resolution (and Other Notes on the Local Blogosphere)
Something in this post will lead you not to "purple mountains' majesty," but to "a pulsing pustule on the public posterior." I'll let you discover what. I can only say, hapless we would be, indeed, without alliteration!

January 19, 2007

Some Sample Limericks
I couldn't resist -- I didn't really try -- and I am quite unapologetic.

January 17, 2007

Two or Three Recent Encounters with Local Government
Water, water . . . well, not exactly everywhere. Hot chocolate is also mentioned. And then there's my recent life on the other side of the law in the People's Republic of Rockyland.

January 12, 2007

More Local Notes
A quick report on the newly renovated City Hall, talk of two local jazz bands, and news of a skateboard park.

January 11, 2007

Notes from American Fork
False alarms, a zoning overlay, dark fiber for ASD, a much-improved inner-block development, and, most interesting of all, American Fork leans on UDOT.

January 9, 2007

An Italian Deli, a Classic Movie, and a Little Christmas Gift from the American Fork City Council
Tony's Italian Deli on Main Street in American Fork, that is; and The Princess Bride; and . . . well, read it for yourself.

January 3, 2007

Now That's Growth
You might say it's a lot of hair dryers.

December 28, 2006

Proposed New Logo for American Fork
American Fork City is contemplating a new logo. So far, they like this one best . . .

December 21, 2006

The Other Wise Man
Contemporary American chamber opera, professional wrestling, beauty, and power meet in my review of The Other Wise Man. (The production itself has all but one of these. Guess which.)

December 18, 2006

Wasatch Winds Wow
Okay, that's too much alliteration, but they wowed me tonight at their Christmas concert.

December 8, 2006

I Don't See . . .
I've tried. I just don't.

December 4, 2006

The American Fork Symphony's Christmas Concert
Here's my brief, selective review of tonight's concert, which I definitely enjoyed. Best of all were the vocal soloists. (Hats off, gentlemen. I said hats off!)

December 1, 2006

Musings While Trying to Fly Home from Albany
Superb customer service, a unusual late-November lightning storm, and comments on upstate New York cuisine . . . Not very political at all, really.

November 20, 2006

Three Big Wins for the Heber Thompson Administration
American Fork City is three-for-three in the big battles this year. This post looks at those three and suggests some things on which the City may focus next year.

November 7, 2006

Here's How My Predictions Fared
I got all the easy ones and broke about even on the hard ones -- which is better than the Republican Party did nationally, by the way.

November 6, 2006

David's Little Election Guide
Here's a quick look at all the races and propositions on my ballot, plus a few more which might be on yours.

November 6, 2006

E-Interviews with School Board Candidates
The only contested race for a seat on the Board of the Alpine School District is between incumbent Keith Swain and challenger Tim Osborn, in the district which includes American Fork. LocalCommentary.com sent the two candidates the same questions, with an offer to publish their answers. Here they are.

November 3, 2006

Benjamin Franklin Is Alive! In American Fark!
First some water-bond related housekeeping, then some fun. At least, you'll hope I'm having fun.

November 3, 2006

The Republican Rally and My Dark Inner Thoughts
How my political career ended yesterday before it even wanted to be begin, and my dark thoughts on the occasion of a Republican political rally.

November 2, 2006

A Primer on the American Fork Water Bond, Part III
Here I address political questions related to the water bond issue proposition: What question is really on the ballot? Why are some leaders acting as if the question is something else? What happens if the proposition fails? And I offer a list of good and bad reasons to vote against the bond issue, even though I intend to vote for it. A word of warning: I have trouble being perfectly serious even when addressing serious matters, so brace yourself for a cameo post-Halloween appearance by . . . ahem . . . Satan.

November 1, 2006

A Primer on the American Fork Water Bond, Part II
Here I explain how American Fork residents' water bills will be increasingly considerably, whether or not the voters approve the bond issue to build a pressurized irrigation system.

November 1, 2006

A Primer on the American Fork Water Bond, Part I
Here we look at the situation, the range of possible approaches, and the reasons why the City Council has preferred a citywide pressurized irrigation system.

October 24, 2006

I'll Have My Longhair Music in Bright Orange, Please
I'm not a great fan of Halloween, but last evening's concert by Vocal Works, entitled "Wicked Good," was easily one of the best concerts I have attended in American Fork, besides being a lot of fun.

October 19, 2006

What's New at LocalCommentary.com
Newest is a forum, The Water Cooler, for your discussion of issues and for poll questions. Also new is our own little book list and bookstore, The Well-Read Citizen.

October 18, 2006

Notes on Last Evening's Water Meeting
Here are some of my notes from last evening's American Fork town meeting on secondary irrigation.

October 11, 2006

Last Night's City Council Meeting as Civic Education
A school teacher berated the Mayor and City Council of American Fork last night for teaching his students bad things. Here's my view of what his students might have learned at the City Council's meeting, including some lessons that very teacher should not have been teaching.

October 11, 2006

Of Nuts with Nukes, and Lesser, Local Things
I look for principles, patterns, and parallels in government and politics. Even if the scale and some essential attitudes are radically different, I think I see a similarity between US attempts to restrain North Korea's nuclear aspirations and the impotence of American Fork's boundary agreement with Pleasant Grove. I fear the explanation is somewhat lengthy.

October 10, 2006

Broadband Decision
American Fork will now enter negotiations with PacketFront for the sale of the municipal network and the lease of some of the City's fiber-optic lines.

October 5, 2006

Questions on My Mind
Here I muse on several questions of recent occurrence and dubious note, from the cosmic to the American Forkic. Watch for cameos by Oprah, Satan, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

October 4, 2006

The Times Are a-Changing in American Fork
Some want in. Some want out. Either way, landowners and developers are noticing a difference between American Fork and neighboring communities. I think it's a good difference.

September 27, 2006

Locally: Five Short Notes
Broadband, 900 West, HDTV, Paris, and a meaningless statistic. Did you know lumpenproletariat is one word?

September 26, 2006

People Will Say We're in Love . . .
Now that was a fun evening.

September 18, 2006

I Joined the Math Wars
Here's the text of a letter I sent last week to the principal and teachers at my children's elementary school.

September 15, 2006

Do They Rehearse This Stuff?
A reliable source says this actually happened.

September 14, 2006

My Neighbors, Gas Prices, a Correction, and . . . Somebody Needs to Read the Law
My politically active neighbors get along. Oak Norton actually lives in Highland. Some American Fork landlords are trying to get sued. And CostCo is lowering local gasoline prices. But the longer version is . . . more fun. Or at least longer.

August 29, 2006

Another Pleasant Musical Evening in American Fork
In describing the last of the season's concerts in the park -- actually, in the amphitheater in the park -- I manage to use the words expatiate, toddlerhood, and Klingon. Beat that. I dare you.

August 28, 2006

Another Broadband Update
I attended an interesting, technically public meeting on Thursday. Here I report some of what I saw and heard.

August 22, 2006

Concerts in the Park: Excellent!
A fine new community band, a renowned local brass band, and a young, local country singer shared the stage Monday in American Fork. Together, they made a fine musical evening.

August 10, 2006

The Nice Guys Finished First
All that really happened is that a proposed zoning change was denied. But there was plenty of drama along the way.

August 9, 2006

Last Night's Budget and Tax Hearing in American Fork
The difference in public demeanor was night and day between last night's tax and budget hearing and the recent town meetings on the same subjects. It was an evening to be grateful for representative government, as opposed to direct democracy, and for being governed at least for a while by intelligent adults.

August 8, 2006

And the Winners Are . . .
Here are the winners in the two primary races of national interest and the two American Fork issues I mentioned in today's earlier post.

August 8, 2006

Votes to Watch Today
Lieberman, McKinney, American Fork's tax increase, and that 900 West thing all are voted on today.

August 7, 2006

Why the Carson Properties on 900 West Should Remain Residential
As to substance, I see merit on both sides of the question. As to tactics, I think the side which has played dirty should lose on that basis alone.

August 5, 2006

Little Rants
. . . about federal agencies and a piece of silliness local to American Fork.

August 4, 2006

Is It Fair that All Taxpayers Pay for Everything?
Sometimes a good test of a principle is to attempt to follow it where it leads.

August 3, 2006

Good News for American Fork Taxpayers
35 is better than 50, and 20 is better than 35 -- at least when we're talking about tax increase percentages.

August 3, 2006

American Fork Municipal Broadband: Update
Here I fill in a few details -- nothing earth-shaking -- and ask a question I haven't heard anyone ask yet. (That might mean it's a dumb question. You decide.)

August 2, 2006

Notes from the Town Meeting on the AF City Budget
I went to one of the City's two town meetings last week on the budget and the proposed property tax increase. Here are some of my notes, along with some promises to address larger issues in the near future.

July 19, 2006

A Minor Broadband Update
Here's what little I can add to the American Fork municipal broadband picture this week. Just to prove it really is a slow news day, I also express my hope that a certain city councilman will show up at a future meeting in a kilt.

July 13, 2006

Two Deadlines for American Fork: One Real, One Proposed
One quick thought each about American Fork's broadband and preserving historic buildings.

July 3, 2006

Briefly, on Broadband: A Referral
This post is so short that it could be its own teaser.

June 28, 2006

Quickly, Those Election Results
In case you haven't heard or seen them elsewhere, here are a few election results from yesterday's primary.

June 27, 2006

I Voted -- Electronically, this Time
Here's my report on the new electronic voting machines.

June 26, 2006

Apropos Tomorrow's Primary
The only incumbent I'd vote for in tomorrow's Republican primary is in a Congressional district I don't live in.

June 22, 2006

American Fork Broadband: Unanswered Questions and Unexplored Possibilities
We can only guess how important AFCNet, properly managed and extended, could be to the long-term economic viability of American Fork and to its residents' quality of life. What if, years down the road, it turns out to have been crucial, and we find that a decision to divest was made too early, and that the picture would have looked much different if we had kept it for one more year?

June 21, 2006

Broadband: Hindsight and AFCNet's ISPs
Is the ISPs' tempest at last week's American Fork City Council meeting and a related hearing too little, too late? What could they have done sooner?

June 19, 2006

Miscellaneous Notes, Mostly Local
A local blogger, gravel roads, possibly offensive movies, and a letter that got a guy fired.

June 14, 2006

Observations on the State of American Fork City Government
Three thumbs up, one thumb down. It's good progress, if anatomically incorrect. But the thumb down is fairly serious and arguably urgent.

June 8, 2006

Grab Bag
Short notes on several topics, at home and abroad.

June 1, 2006

One Local Pol is Blogging Again
That would be Heidi Rodeback of the American Fork City Council, whose furniture I sometimes repair.

May 26, 2006

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

May 25, 2006

Who Was That Masked . . . Bus?
Last evening, from about 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., a chartered tour bus led two officers in an AFPD patrol car on a low-speed, meandering tour of American Fork's central neighborhoods . . .

May 23, 2006

American Fork and Broadband: Political Realities
In a year which will already feature a substantial tax increase and the need to pass a bond issue to pay for a water solution, American Fork officials may have only one choice in resolving the broadband problem.

May 12, 2006

Miscellaneous Thoughts
Scattered thoughts which accumulated during a busy week -- on loan sharking, municipal broadband, science prowess, professionalism, and anti-Muslim graffiti.

May 5, 2006

"Aw, Don't Think Like That! . . . Think Like a Pirate!"
Or, rather, don't think like an accountant. Think like an economist! A few more thoughts about municipal broadband.

May 3, 2006

Municipal Broadband: Questions and Answers
How big a deal is telecommuting? Is wired broadband technology obsolete? Could American Fork have had its municipal broadband free, with a little more patience?

May 2, 2006

Broadband's Impact on American Fork's Economy and Quality of Life
Here is a list of activities which broadband Internet access enhances or enables. All have economic implications; most also affect the quality of life.

April 29, 2006

Notes from the Utah County Republican Convention
Results of the convention and miscellaneous notes. Even bagpipes are mentioned favorably.

April 28, 2006

Broadband's Economic Impact: Public vs. Private
In comparisons between municipal broadband systems and private industry's broadband offerings, measuring their respective economic impacts, it turns out there is a clear winner and a sound economic reason why.

April 27, 2006

Speech to the American Fork City Council, April 23, 2006
This is the speech that received an ovation at Tuesday evening's American Fork City Council meeting.

April 26, 2006

Broadband's Economic Impact: Haves vs. Have-Nots
Today's broadband Internet question is: What is the economic impact of broadband availability and use in a community, whether publicly or privately provided?

April 25, 2006

To Have or not to Have Municipal Broadband: That Is the Real Question
This first in a series of articles about American Fork's municipal broadband system, AFCNet, sets the stage for considering a variety of related questions in more detail.

April 18, 2006

Scattered Thoughts
A bit of free association, almost, on income taxes, people who don't back up their data, a new local wetland, strong-arm tactics in South America and American Fork, and words that hurt worse than sticks and stones.

April 14, 2006

Exceeding the Bounds of Authority
The Sutherland Institute wants the Utah Legislature to assert authority that no government rightfully has. The Mayor of Kanab and a senior local church leader in American Fork seem oblivious to the bounds of their authority.

April 8, 2006

First Impressions of County Republican Candidates
Early notes on candidates for County Commission, County Attorney, County Treasurer, and County Clerk/Auditor. I'll even tell you which way I'm leaning on each -- but so far, I'm just leaning.

April 6, 2006

Notes from Utah's Dixie
Miscellaneous notes from Saint George, Utah, and the Utah League of Cities and Towns midyear event.

March 28, 2006

Notes from Upstate New York
Random observations from New York.

March 22, 2006

My Precinct's Caucus and My Party's Platform
I wasn't particularly pleased with either. The caucus was poorly attended and the platform is poorly written, whatever one may think of its political content. Do I expect too much?

March 16, 2006

Prizewinning Science and Verse Bring Glory to AF High
Granted, the Intel Science Talent Search and KUER's limerick contest are on somewhat different scales, but American Fork High School can boast of winning both this week.

March 15, 2006

Do Little Things Matter? And Avionic Flu . . .
In professional settings, how much does spelling count? How about typeface? How about good writing generally? And you'll want to read up on "avionic" flu.

March 11, 2006

Governor Huntsman, Sign HB77
Here's why I urge Governor Huntsman to sign HB77, which provides a mechanism for local governments and their voters to split school districts.

March 11, 2006

Recent Experiences with State and Local Governments
For once, American Fork City provided a happier experience than the State of Utah. I hope the good half of that is a trend.

February 23, 2006

It's Crunch Time for American Fork's Broadband System, Part II
Part Two looks at indirect revenues and economic development -- and why AFCNet doesn't necessarily need to be revenue-neutral in the long run -- and why that doesn't help in the short run.

February 23, 2006

It's Crunch Time for American Fork's Broadband System, Part I
A business plan for AFCNet, American Fork's municipal broadband system, is under construction. The bond money which has mostly funded the system is running out. Here's a look at short- and long-term issues and possibilities.

February 3, 2006

Notes on the Science Fair
Miscellaneous notes on the science fair and the scientific method, and some apt words from Thomas Edison.

January 31, 2006

Miscellaneous Short Thoughts
Quick comments on American Fork City government, the law of gravity, Mr. Justice Alito, a couple of bills before the Utah Legislature, etc.

January 31, 2006

It's Science Fair Season
It's that time of the year again. You may wonder: Have the PC police, those self-appointed gurus of unfounded self-esteem, had any success denaturing the local science fair?

January 25, 2006

Notes on Professionalism in American Fork City Government
Two quick observations about the spread of professionalism in American Fork City goverment.

January 24, 2006

How Can Part of the Constitution Be Unconstitutional?
Some propose the repeal of the 17th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which provides for the direct election of US Senators by the people of their states. At least a few of them call the amendment "unconstitutional." This doesn't seem to make sense . . . but we'll follow it where it leads.

January 16, 2006

Musings and Readings on the Quality of Teachers
More would be quite wonderful, but most children can probably get by with just several effective, motivating teachers scattered through their school years -- just enough that they learn to learn, and learn to love learning. This brief discussion includes links to some further discussion of teacher quality, which seems to suggest that in the present system a child is lucky to have those several fine teachers at all.

January 13, 2006

Real Progress Is Often Slow, and Other Thoughts
Random thoughts on nuisance abatement, the Daily Herald's new Web site, pipe organs made locally, etc.

January 12, 2006

An Unsolicited Referral
I was going to blog today on a topic of my own, but then I read this post by DaltonGirl. I suggest you read hers today, not mine, especially if your child attends Barratt Elementary in American Fork.

January 10, 2006

The Rule of Law, or 'Living' Is Libspeak for 'Dead'
Our question today is, "Is the US Constitution a living document or not?"

January 5, 2006

Things to Watch for in American Fork
I suppose that quite a number of American Fork residents who are interested in their city government, as I am, are watching the new Mayor and partly-new City Council . . .

January 4, 2006

The Daily Herald's Web Site: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back
Generally speaking, for the past few years the Provo Daily Herald's Web site has been excrucriatingly slow and difficult to use. Now there's a new look and better performance.

January 2, 2006

The Peaceful Transfer of Power
In our democratic republic, we take for granted the peaceful transfer of power to duly elected leaders, as if it were the norm in world history. It's not. . . . Today I watched it in American Fork.

January 2, 2006

Happy New (Blog) Year!
The 2005 blogging year ended for me much sooner than I intended. . . . Here are some thoughts on stuff that happened during my unexpectedly long absence from the blogosphere.

December 5, 2005

A Minor League Team, er, Symphony, Is a Good Thing

December 5, 2005

My First American Fork Symphony Concert

November 25, 2005

A Splendid Evening of Music in American Fork

November 19, 2005

The Music School and a (Crescent) Super Band

November 16, 2005

Police Chief, Fire Chief, and Another Noteworthy Bit of Progress

November 9, 2005

Notes on the Election

November 8, 2005

Election Day Miscellany and Two Related Thoughts

November 7, 2005

Endorsements

November 5, 2005

One Part Shallow Fairness, One Part Ineptitude, One Part Malice

November 5, 2005

Campaign Ads and Slogans That Didn't Make the Cut

November 3, 2005

Now It's Dirty

November 3, 2005

Blogus Interruptus, and Some Housekeeping

November 2, 2005

Miscellaneous Notes on American Fork's Campaign Season

October 28, 2005

One Last Round with American Fork Mayoral Candidates

October 27, 2005

More Good Readings

October 22, 2005

Three Bad Ideas Which Sound Good

October 22, 2005

Three Philosophical Matters about Representative Local Government

October 21, 2005

I Met the City Council Candidates (Again)

October 20, 2005

Eating Pizza in the Public Library with Candidates

October 19, 2005

Some Overdue Housekeeping: Commander in Chief, Open Meeting Statutes, a Flyer, and Selecting a New Police Chief (Not Necessarily in That Order)

October 18, 2005

Meet the Remaining Candidates, PTA Style, Part II

October 17, 2005

Meet the Remaining Candidates, PTA Style, Part I

October 15, 2005

A Spectrum of Political Courage

October 14, 2005

Questions I'd Like to Hear Tonight

October 13, 2005

In Praise of Local Candidates Who Blog

October 12, 2005

Big Personnel Decisions at American Fork City

October 4, 2005

Small and Large Surprises in American Fork Primary Election Results

October 4, 2005

I Voted. So Should You.

October 3, 2005

Party Affiliations of Local Candidates

September 30, 2005

A Puzzling LeBaron Campaign Strategy

September 29, 2005

I Met Even More Candidates, Part II (Or Is It V?)

September 29, 2005

I Met Even More Candidates, Part I (Or Is It IV?)

September 27, 2005

Silly Symbols (and Good Stuff to Read)

September 26, 2005

American Fork's Broadband Internet Revisited

September 23, 2005

I Met the Candidates, Part III: Contenders

September 23, 2005

I Met the Candidates, Part II: Harold Smith, a Special Case

September 23, 2005

I Met the Candidates, Part I: General Impressions and the Also-Rans

September 21, 2005

American Fork's Campaign Finance Rules More Rational than USA's

September 20, 2005

Math, Meyer, Manager, and I Can't Find a Word for UN that Starts with "M"

September 19, 2005

Miscellaneous Thoughts, Local and Larger

September 17, 2005

Counting Voters Brought a Pleasant Surprise

September 16, 2005

A Local Note, and Readings on John Roberts, Crisis Management and Katrina, Poverty, the Constitution, and China

September 10, 2005

Scrambled Eggs and Boiled Spinach (or Why Primary Elections Matter)

September 9, 2005

Post-Katrina Notes, Some Local

August 24, 2005

Internet Access at Home and Abroad (Mostly at Home)

August 22, 2005

Flooded Basements in Mountain Meadows Are a Bigger Problem for the City than for Homeowners

August 18, 2005

Yes, I Would Vote for a Druid

August 17, 2005

Good News for American Fork: A Strong Field of Mayoral Candidates

August 15, 2005

American Fork Candidates

August 9, 2005

How's That Again?

July 21, 2005

No, We're Not Trading Park Land (This Time)

July 19, 2005

54th with an Asterisk

July 1, 2005

A Busy Day at the Blog, Part III: The Unnatural Spring in Downtown American Fork

June 30, 2005

Maybe They're not Completely Tone-Deaf, and Two Brief Notes on the War in Iraq

June 30, 2005

American Fork Police Chief Terry Fox Resigns

June 24, 2005

Recycling Really Is Coming to American Fork

June 18, 2005

The Great American Fork Chili Cook-off, and Dick Durbin and John McCain Cook Off, Too

June 3, 2005

Language Matters in Politics, and Fact-Checking Matters in Journalism

May 24, 2005

As I Was Saying . . .

May 19, 2005

That Billboard on Main Street, American Fork

May 2, 2005

My Ideal Candidate for Mayor of American Fork - Part IV

April 30, 2005

My Ideal Candidate for Mayor of American Fork - Part III

April 28, 2005

My Ideal Candidate for Mayor of American Fork - Part II

April 26, 2005

My Ideal Candidate for Mayor of American Fork, Part I

April 22, 2005

Earth Day and Recycling in American Fork

March 29, 2005

An Uncertain, Potentially Ominous Signal

March 22, 2005

The Weird Arts in American Fork, Revisited

February 23, 2005

Tom Hunter Goes, Jimmie Cates Comes

February 17, 2005

Another Lawsuit (Now It's Solicitors)

February 15, 2005

Developer Sues American Fork City

January 31, 2005

It's Time to Save the Harrington School

September 24, 2004

A Polite Young Pedestrian

September 21, 2004

A New Psychic in American Fork

September 14, 2004

Thinly-Veiled Mayoral Contempt for the People

August 23, 2004

Whatever Happened to the Greenwood Neighbors Initiative?

August 20, 2004

Nuisance Abatement in American Fork

July 31, 2004

Contrast: A Public School Ponzi Scheme and the Emperor's New Math

July 27, 2004

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