Monday, August 29, 2005

No Deeda of Trust

Rocky shit-cans Deeda Seed, and suddenly she starts throwing meat to his opponents. He's anti-Mormon! He hates being Mayor! He cusses! He's unhinged!

The Mayor's quoted as saying that she "has an agenda," and I don't have a clue if there's any credibility to that statement, but her behavior doesn't quell any suspicions. If she has legitimate grievances with Rocky, you'd think that the most effective way to address them is NOT to start blabbing to Heather May.

Oh, and how can I end a post without commenting on May's wonderful reporting. She describes the incident where Seed released the Mayor's emails about the Bush protest as "he 'blew up' at her over the release of public records about responses to last week's protest of President Bush." A politician's government-issued email account is technically "public record" or "public information," but that does not mean it is wholly available to the public. If a formal request is submitted for the Mayor's emails, it cannot be denied unless they contain information relating to a pending lawsuit or personnel issues. A Mayor's Staffer releasing emails without his knowledge or consent is highly unorthodox if not extremely suspect. But May knows that if she uses "public records" instead of "emails" then it will make Rocky look like he's trying to hide something. Yes, from the woman who brought us a front page story about phantom business owners swearing off relocation to SLC because of the Mayor, we get a juiced story about crazy paranoid Rocky.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Everyone knows that ravers aren't punctual!

Salt Lake City Parks close at 11pm. So, according to Utah County Prosecutor Kay Bryson, if you are in the park at 8pm you can be cited for being in the park after hours because, as experience tells us, you might stay after 11pm.

Utah County only requires a mass-gathering permit to be approved at the County Commission level if you have more than 250 attendees for more than twelve hours. So when the hours of the Diamond Fork Rave are 9pm to 7am, that puts you outside of this category as a simple reading of the ordinance would suggest. However, Bryson says that "a large number of people, which they should have anticipated, would go beyond the time mentioned in the ordinance." I apparently was unaware that Utah County employs Pre-Cogs like those in Minority Report.

Welcome to Kay Bryson's America, where you are innocent until assumed guilty.

Free Advice for Highway Projects

Back in the 1960's, when ultra-leftist President Richard Nixon signed the National Environmental Policy Act, a new way of embarking on transportation planning was established. Bascially, under NEPA, a transportation problem has to be identified along with several possible solutions which are then analyzed in an Environmental Impact Statement. Within this analysis, which requires public input, the best alternative in terms of not only environmental impact - but fiscal as well - is identified as the preferred transportation solution. It should be noted that this is meant to be an empirical process and that it cannot work backwards.

And that's exactly the problem with the Legacy Highway proposal. In the early 1990's, Gov. Leavitt held a press conference in a West Weber pasture and proclaimed that a great roadway shall strect majestically from Brigham City to Payson. This meant that the required EIS for the transportation problem in southern Davis County had to conform to an already established-conclusion. The alternatives offered in the proposal consisted only of other road alignments and was rightly rejected by the 10th Circuit Court for failing to adequately conform to the NEPA-required consideration of alternatives. Most notable was the absence of transit in these alternatives.

Rather than address the fact that they had purposely drafted a really crappy EIS, UDOT instead ommitted a provision in their contract with Flour, Ames, & Kramer that would suspend the life of the contract in the event of litigation. How could an Appellate Court rule against UDOT if so many dollars were at stake? Unfortunately for UDOT, a poorly written contract backfired as a litigation tactic and Utah politicos, always stalwart in their quest for accountability, blamed the Plaintiffs.

Now we find out that while the Plaintiffs though they were in good faith negotiations, UDOT was actually seeking to circumvent the process. The Sierra Club and Utahns for Better Transportation definitely have cooler heads than I, for if it were me leading the negotiations after all of UDOT's shenanigans, the negotiation table would be overturned and a full-throttle legal battle would begin.

So my advice to UDOT, Orrin Hatch, the Lege, and everyone else who thinks the way to get ahead is to play dirty is this: Your actions will come back to bite you in the ass, regardless of how much political will you can put behind your unabashed chutzpah. Although I am enjoying watching you guys shoot yourselves in the foot everytime you think you're being sly, I really hope you'll get a clue.

Pot-Stirer of the Trivial

I've always admired the utter uselessness of Heather May and her Pavlovian ability to sell papers. "Anti-Mormon!" "Rocky hate church!" "Rocky, gays!" This is the sub-heading of the top story on the Trib's site:

"Bad for business? A firm's co-owner says the outspoken mayor made them shy away from SLC."
Then in the body of the article, we find out that no one's heard of this dewd, his firm, or its plans to expand in Utah. Then another business owner - whose apparent shrewdness is manifested by his decision to move a whole company based on what the Mayor said - is quoted. Problem is, this business cannot be found anywhere as the article sheepishly mentions. But we can always count on May to come up with a juicy front-pager even if she has to make the issue up.

REO Hearts Kooky

What's all this I hear about Mayor Anderson playing with REO Speedwagon? Gawd, doesn't he have anything better to do (like a run a city) than preen with a bunch of known dope-smokers? It's time he concentrate less on being seen with famous people and more on dealing with the issues that face the city.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The Passion of the Rock

Alot has been said about Rocky's involvement in not only yesterday's war protests, but the Mayor's high-profile advocacy on issues like global warming, the drug war, and frank comments about the role of the LDS Church has netted his fair share of critics. However, something I think is lost on alot of these folks is that Rocky isn't the only person in the State of Utah that feels this way about these particular issues. In fact, I think that a majority of Salt Lakers are, at the very least, in silent agreement with what the Mayor says and does. I may be blinded by the insulation that my progressive Sugarhouse neighborhood provides against the conservative chill, but I have seen very few outspoken critics of the mayor that actually live within the city limits (besides some rantings in the Public Forum section of the Trib).

A couple of years ago, my good friend's elderly mother called SLC Public Works to complain about a broken storm drain cover in the street in front of her house. No help came from the bowels of the City-County building, so she then contacted the Mayor's office. To her surpise, the Mayor himself came on the line and had the drain replaced the next day. I felt that this was the rule rather than the exception for Rocky, because I spotted him in the grocery store late one night and indulged in a 20-minute rant about the atrocious design of the new Walgreen's on 400 South. He listened, offered a gentle explanation of the shortcomings of the planning process and land entitlements and then profusely thanked me for bringing my concerns to his attention. This guy is known to work 18-hour days on end and much to the chagrin of some over-powdered advisors, expects the same from his staff. What's baffling then is to hear that the Mayor in only interested in his own publicity and that he should be attending to the needs of the city.

Equally confusing is how some folks complain about how Rocky is an embarrassment to this state and how, in particular with the VFW convention, he is going to scare away economic development. I do not know how this jibes with the fact that the two largest economic events in this state are the Outdoor Retailers Convention and the Sundance Film Festival. I was in Colorado Springs over the weekend and spoke to a couple of folks in the community about the Christian Right's attempt to make their fair city the world capital of Evangelical Jesus-screeching. "That will never happen," my wise Springs-mover-and-shaker acquaintance said, "because the business community will never let it happen. We do not want the same image problem that Salt Lake City has." After enduring the obligatory digs about how many wives I had and if the first drink I'd ever had was the one I was holding right there and then in Colorado, I explained that SLC had a strong liberal base and that it was starting to spill over in the rest of the valley, and will probably start chipping away on the State' monolithic power structure. It seems that everyone agrees that SLC is a beautiful place with ridiculously great skiing, but the "Mormon thing" will always stifle any substantial investment here.

So to those who seethe at a politician who is not afraid to do and say things that aren't in keeping with traditional Utah "pleasantness," you may find that a lively civic dialogue will do more to make us a stronger community than keeping in lockstep with the presiding brethren. After all, anything else would be......communism.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Eric Jergensen, the best SLC Councilman Davis County ever had.

And apparently on his way out, much to the delight of his constituents I'm sure. Back when Jergensen was running against Polly Hart, she had the audacity to point out that her views were more in line with those living in the Aves and Cap Hill than her LDS counterpart. Jergensen than built the rest of his campaign on "Polly Hart is an anti-Mormon bigot." We were told that religion did not matter when representing the district, as the will of the people would surely be the driving force of Jergensen's decisions, not his personal beliefs.

With the Main St. Plaza and other issues involving the interests of the LDS Church, Jergensen has shown that he is a company man. He lashed out against swear words in the City's book club selection. Swears! Horrors! All-night dancing? Horrors! More than two bars on a city block? Horrors! Benefits for the partners of gay employees! Horrors! Fighting the bishops and their Davis County Highway? Horrors! Now, to all those reading this, think of your friends and/or neighbors that live in the Avenues and Capitol Hill. Do they think this way?

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Sheehan's prolly a French name!

There's a few posts around the Utah blogosphere that are fulfilling their patriotic duty by intsensely scrutinizing the mother of a dead Iraq war soldier. My question is have you or anyone you know lost anyone in their lives? Has anyone, when they've lost someone, every fallen into an irrational frame of mind when grieving, especially when making sense of their loss?

Chris Hitchens and the rest of the detached, drunk (especially in Hitchen's case), and over-powdered punditocracy are a truly decadent bunch tossing out weasely criticisms of a private citizen who has experienced a very real loss for the benefit of her countrymen. Does Cindy Sheehan have a political agenda? I don't have a clue. But anyone who feels that it's a appropriate to slime a parent who had to bury her child while the cause of his death goes unnaccounted for has a serious moral lapse.

Friday, August 12, 2005

A lurk over at Urq's

Steve Urquhart has a really lame post about "shrinking the federal government." When I hear Republicans mention "smaller government" or "fiscal responsibility" I always put on my hypocri-goggles. That's because the way you reign in government spending, according to Urquhart, you know, is to eliminate the Dept. of Education. Big, Bad, DOE. See, in order to be a Republican, you have to believe - or pretend to believe, I don't know which is worse - that a relatively miniscule department like DOE is the culprit of big and bad government while allowing the Dept. of Defense to waste trillions on crappy defense contracts that go nowhere and do nothing except line pol's pockets. You also have to ignore the fact that the Coalition Provisional Authority cannot account for 8 billion dollars. And say nothing about the pork-packed energy and highway bills.

There is another pol that has really honed his skills with such silly duplicity in the last few decades. That's why I am from now on going to refer to Urqy as "Orrin II."

Friday, August 05, 2005

Pete Ass-Clown

K, wingnuts, there it is. I came up with it first. No one else gets to use it or I'll sue your ass-clown.

Numbers of our Lives.

If you haven't already emailed Sen. John Valentine, now would be a good time to thank him for slowing the Task Reform's stampede toward regressive tax reform. Increasing the tax burden for lower income brackets while giving breaks to the rich and corporations is unconscionable. The only way you can do this in a representative democracy is to keep the public in the dark. Sure, a big part of the public's unawareness is due to the seemingly complex nature of tax law, but you don't see this task force bending over backwards to open up people's business to the people. With tax reform impacting everyone in this state, there should be a massive information campaign to get everyone in the know about what's going on with tax reform. Then we'll see if the Jones-Mascaro plan is as easy to bury.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Guess the Quote

Below are two quotes. One is from Senator Chris Buttars and the other is from British Biologist J.S.S. Haldane. Guess who said what.

"I will give up my belief in evolution if someone finds a fossil rabbit in the Precambrian."

"I believe the president believes exactly as I do. I believe he believes in God, and the story found in the scriptures: We are children of God and created in his image. We didn't wait for some ape to evolve."

After you match the quote to the person, decide then who has more authority on what should be taught in biology class.

Well, I just took a tour of UFIRE's website and the first thing I noticed was this:

See that lady above? She was the first one to welcome the millions of (white) immigrants to this land. That was back when we allowed immigration into this country.

But the main thing I took away from this site is that this group should probably call itself UFIE. There's no talk of reform anywhere. Lots of talk about "those people" and terrorists trying to obtain voter registration cards, but no proposed solution other than to kick the brown people out.

I would love to be convinced that anti-immigration folks aren't all racist crazies, but this group just reinforces the fact that they are.

Fat guy snubs crazy guy

It's nice to see Chris Cannon directing some of that good ole Cannon family arrogance at someone who probably deserves it:

"On behalf of UFIRE, Bluffdale City Councilwoman Martha Speed invited Cannon to debate [Colorado Congressman Tom] Tancredo at an event in Provo on Aug. 24, but Cannon said he will be indisposed. "Congressman Cannon plans to spend the 24th at home working on his irrigation system...”
Tancredo is a true nutcase. Why do people in SW Denver keep electing this guy?

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

The Forbidden Mountains

It looks like the Uintahs have swallowed up another boy scout.