Monday, June 20, 2011

Richfield's Health Fair

by Richard Swann
licensed by ImageProviders
all rights reserved

Richfield, UT -

Virtually every year, Richfield and Sevier County qualify as a study area because of the collective adult median "body mass index," or BMI. Generally accepted in the medical community as a "red flag" indicator of a host of other health and wellness challenges, the community's BMI numbers are said to be in serious need of improvement.

On a recent Saturday, several vendors and other healthy lifestyle advocates assembled at Impact Fitness on Main Street to offer goods, services, opinions and presentations as well as testimonials which might eventually lead the way to greater longevity and lessen morbidity caused by diabetes, high blood pressure and related problems.

FLASH VIDEO: Healthy Richfield RoughCut 5:00 no narr vo
copyright 2011

Next Post: The Green Smoothie Lady AND Healthy Chocolate

Monday, June 13, 2011

Governor's Flood Briefing

Photo and video ©2011 ImageProviders - All Rights Reserved

by Michael Orton
for ImageProviders
updated June 14, 2011

Sevier County, Utah -

Governor Herbert was in Sevier County last week to survey flooding preparedness and damage during what may prove to be one of the worst floods since 1983. Sheriff Nate Curtis began the briefing in the county administration building on Main Street after the governor had enjoyed lunch at the Ideal Dairy. Commissioners Topham and Mason were on hand as were other public officials and at least one canal company operator.

After receiving a photo presentation, the governor went to view, first-hand, the areas including Seegmiller Lane, 3900 West and Sevier River Road. The Sevier River drainage has been compromising riverbanks and canals for the past few weeks, and there's still snowpack left in the higher elevations. Mount Ogden's Snow Basin is extending their ski season at the upper elevations of Weber County where more overflows and damage are yet to come down below.

Utah Governor Herbert in Sevier County
Footage copyright 2011 ImageProviders - Used by permission

Before Governor Herbert finished his survey of flooding along the Sevier River Road, he was asked if he thought having a ten-year water plan would be a good idea. His response was that reclamation funding is hard to come by, given that the "federal government is getting out of the dam building business." Further implications for the Narrows Project of the Sanpete Water Conservancy District were left to speculation. More information.


June 14, 2011

From the NWS hydrologist, Brian McInerney who said that now we're in a race. "Will we have hot, summer temps first, or will we run out of snow?"

Heaven knows.

Friday, June 10, 2011

A Different Kind of Branding

by Michael Orton
@2011 ImageProviders – All Rights Reserved

Richfield, UT -

Jackie Lalor is a very nice lady who works for both Qwest and CenturyLink. That's because the telephone company and broadband service provider was acquired during the second quarter of this year and they're rolling out the communications strategies to make sure the public isn't too confused. Billing will soon bear the combined logostyles, and later will become the "CenturyLink" brand. Okay, but since the 1984 breakup of ATT and the subsequent creation of the "Baby Bells" by Judge Green, the gravitational pull of corporate profit, market share and broadband competition is reversing the trend to be small. Will that be better, or will it eventually lead to more anti-trust regulation?

Jackie Lalor for Qwest – CenturyLink
Footage and edit by

ATT spinoff companies began to be reconsitituted under other names like Southwestern Bell, Pacific Telesis, Ameritech, SBC, and other consolidations going on and on, including the one on your bill more than ten years ago which may have said "US West," remember? That one became Qwest in 2000. All of this is likely at least a little confusing to Mr. and Mrs. MiddleClassAmerica. Nonetheless, these little telco operating companies are becoming bigger again, by means of ongoing mergers and acquisitions, also known as "arbitrage." Gordon Gekko did that (via popular culture, in the Fox motion pictures called "Wall Street").
Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko in "Wall Street"
photo © NewsCorp – CBSFox

So preceding another speaker at June's Chamber of Commerce luncheon, Jackie Lalor told a room full of central Utah's business people about regional marketing for the Qwest-to-CenturyLink rebranding, corporate identity changes and corporate culture restructuring. (see accompanying video) She came to rural Utah to make sure that the public was aware of the changes to follow. She didn't happen to say anything about new jobs for Sevier County, or if billing would be cheaper, or if customer service would be intelligible and handled somewhere in America by someone with a pulse, or if the gateway town of Hanksville, Utah could finally get broadband and cellular service.

A few years ago, an emerging markets representative for Qwest stated that broadband and cellular service in rural areas was tough, because they (Qwest) couldn't be "chasing pennies with our dollars."

All this prompts some to wonder if the rebranding will be ¢enturyLink? Someone will likely have to update Wikipedia.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Snow College President Does Some Splainin'

by Michael Orton ©2011 ImageProviders
All Rights Reserved

first posted June 8, 2011
latest rev.: June 9, 2011 for vid resolution

Richfield, Utah –

In an age of American austerity, Snow College has been under some serious budgetary and organizational revisions, and Scott Wyatt, attorney and president of the college, was addressing the community about his job. Several in the audience at the Greater Richfield Chamber of Commerce luncheon had recently lost their own jobs at the college, and many of those sat at the rear of the room and wondered what would happen next.

Where funding and programs have been undergoing revision for a number of years even prior to the crash of 2008, and with the relationship with local high schools changing by statute, Wyatt had much to say. In attendance with Wyatt was Marvin Dodge, CFO of Snow College, a two year institution which operates two, pristine and publicly-funded campuses in Ephraim, Sanpete County, and Richfield, Sevier County. Many consider the lower division coursework at the two-year school as a low-cost gateway to upper level degrees at Brigham Young University, a private institution owned and operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Provo. Students also further their studies at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, and Southern Utah University in nearby Cedar City.

Scott Wyatt, president of the Snow Colleges in central Utah
Hi-resolution version available from

The Snow College Richfield campus has existed largely as a technical training institution, with facilities and classes for blue-collar trades. Starting in late 2010, Wyatt began restructuring and many instructors, along with their programs, came under the "reduction-in-force" axe.

Citing an example of the personal nature of his job as an agent of change, Wyatt described the emotional toll this way: "The first year of budget cuts that we took, I'm serving as a counselor in my local bishopric and at the same time, end up laying off seven people in my ward." (Utah's pervasive Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has a lay ministry, of which Wyatt is a participant). "It's not unique to the college, it's happening all over the country, and in public and private sectors," he continued.

Wyatt described an "unfunded mandate" handed to the trustees of Snow College, when the Utah legislature combined and reduced the budgets of the two Snow campuses. As state legislators compete to allocate scant resources to their largely republican districts, the pain is both personal and serious when there is no appetite to increase taxes. "I had one [Utah] legislator specifically tell me... my job is to take money away from Snow College, and send it down to the school I care about," said Wyatt. (see video at 05:00 mark)

Yesterday in San Antonio, Texas, the Alamo Colleges announced that they would be originating programs and curricula wholly underwritten and partnered with local industry. When asked about this same model for Snow College, Wyatt responded positively. He equated governmental organization to academic organization, saying "...we [educators] are government, and anytime private industry can do something instead, that relieves a tax burden." From those who provide instruction, as well as from those who consume it, his analogy may meet some critics. Representatives from the Utah Education Association could not be reached for comment before this story was filed.

And... as usual, Pat Bagley hits it on the head:

©2011 Salt Lake Tribune

Post-secondary instruction in the nation is indeed changing, just like the other industries which surround it. Some wonder if educators and their institutions should regard themselves more as an industry, providing a valued service rather than as an arm of government. As a partnership with industry and commerce, the new post-secondary educational model remains to be experienced, as do the implications for learners and their employment prospects.

Hi resolution video available from