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Tag Archives: salt lake

Some Elected Officials Singing the Broke-Ass Blues

Maybe ex-mobster Mario Facione can help ol' Orry out with a loan.

Congressional financial disclosures, set to be released to the public in full this June, seem to suggest that it never really hurts to have a second job--even when you’re an elected official. Senator and "songwriter" Orrin Hatch is so far Utah’s only elected official who seems to be bringing home the bacon. Hatch reported earning nearly $40,000 in royalties this year from his (gag) music career. Our other congressmen are seriously in the red (financially).

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The Mystery of Cheesies

Great moments in childhood: you're outside playing with your friends and the Transformers, Matchbox cars, plastic dinosaurs and rolls of caps have all lost their magic. Old enough to know better, yet still possessing of a childlike sense of wonder, you turn to the lawn for stimulation. Past the dandelions, the piles of poo, the dandelions, the cool rocks--and trumping even spare change and the four-leaf clover in terms of value (edibility edges out elfin luck and Pac-Man credits), were the little pink buttons hiding among patches of weeds at the edge of the lawn, the base of the tree. Cheesies. "You can eat these," said cheesy vets to neophytes, playing Eve to Adam, plucking it from its place on the plant and offering a taste. Tentatively (in most cases--some of us would pop a potato bug like it was a Milk Dud), we took a bite. Though called cheesies, they didn't taste like cheese. But they were good, slightly crisp, not at all bitter (like grass). In fact, it may even have been flavorless. The best part, though, was for the first time, aside from when we learned to sneak from the cookie jar or spent allowance on Slurpees or Sixlets, we found our own food. No parent or grandparent or corporate clown provided this nourishment; we found it ourselves. And since it fits the loose definition of vegetable, we could also brag on the fact that it was (assuming a stomach ache wasn't forthcoming) good for us. Organic. Funny, though, that those of us who remember cheesies--at least those whom I've encountered--have no idea what they really are. I recall them fondly and, upon encountering some in my buddy's backyard, still ate them without hesitation. However, as an adult--and a father--I'm suddenly dying to know exactly what I ate. An extensive WebFerret search also revealed nothing. Now I appeal to you, New West readers: does anyone know what exactly is a cheesy?

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The Making of Brigham Young

By Clint Wardlow, UtahGothic.com One of the more interesting aspects of the of 20th Century Fox's DVD release of Brigham Young, more interesting than the movie itself, is the commentary provided by BYU film historian, James D'Arc. Unlike most DVD commentary, D'Arc provides a lot of enlightening facts about the trials and tribulation the filmmakers went through in bringing Brigham Young to the screen. In 1939, when 20th Century Fox announced it was making a big budget movie about Brigham Young, Mormon Church president Heber J. Grant and his officials were worried. After all, movie portrayals of the Mormon experience in the past cast a less than stellar view of the Church. During the silent era, Hollywood ground out over 30 exposes such as Trapped By The Mormons which depicted young innocent girls lured into polygamous weddings with lecherous Mormon patriarchs. As entertaining as these ventures might be, church officials felt they were a less than fair representation. I mean, the orthodox Mormons hadn't been practicing polygamy for damn near 50 years. To make sure the Church had some input in the story of its second greatest icon, Grant assigned Elder John A. Widtsoe to influence the outcome of the film. Good flack that he was, Widtsoe began by inviting the screenwriter to Utah to see Mormons first hand. He got the deluxe treatment, a four-day tour of Utah including Temple Square. As a result, church officials proudly said the filmmakers incorporated a lot of their suggestions.

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Weigh In On Nuke Waste Storage

Wanna give your two cents on storing high-level nuclear waste in Utah? Today is the last day to bend the ear of the Bureau of Land Management. You can email comments to Pam Schuller (pam_schuller@blm.gov) or fax them to 801-977-4397. For more information, or to view a sample letter, visit www.saltlakechamber.org.

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Upcoming Concerts: Switchfoot, Chris Botti, Hit the Lights, Maria Taylor

Lovedrug

Switchfoot, Lovedrug San Diego band Switchfoot has been one of the most popular of the ‘Christian Contemporary Music’ post-grunge bands, garnering a Dove Award for their song New Way to Be Human from the album of the same name, barely out of the shoots in 1999. I can never figure out what these Christian bands’ names mean. Maybe Jesus up on the cross switched his weight from one foot to the other to ease the pain a little. It would’ve been a good idea. In the ensuing years they have toned down the grungey-ness to the point where last year’s release Nothing Is Sound could have been titled ‘Nothing Is Loud.’ So it’s a little bit of a surprise to see them touring with Canton, Ohio’s Lovedrug, a band who also writes songs about angels, but the type in Wim Wenders’ film Wings of Desire, a little bit more complicated and caustic vision of metaphysics, if only slightly thus. Michael Shepard, the lyrical mind as well as vocalist and guitarist, fashions his verses on narratives that feature demons and desolate loners. “Lovedrug will tear you apart,” he quips in reference to a Joy Division song. If only every band that was influenced by Ian Curtis & Co. really did tear you apart, at least just a little. At least Lovedrug make the effort. April 26: Dee Events Center, Ogden

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Concerning The Utah Commemorative Quarter

Plan_10

Have you voted for the new Utah Commemorative Quarter? It's the usual lameness. Winter sports (recreation), beehive (industry), golden spike (uh...unity? Thoroughfare? Phallus?). Do these things really sum up our state? The winter sports coin depicts what appears to be trapper (or a hippie with a coonskin cap--although it could be a mullet. WVC represent!) on a snowboard getting grand air over the Rocky Mountains. It says "The World Is Welcome." Even the gays and the liberals, provided they bring their tourist ducats. Ostensibly the message is that the "world" should join Davey Mullet for extreme good times* in Utah. (*Extreme good times may be against our religion). Oh, the Beehive. Symbol of industry? Sure. Utah and Utahns are industrious. The beehive, however, is also unavoidably redolent of analogies to single-minded collectives--the Morg. Golden Spike. You know how many porn sites come up with you search "golden spike?" None. The Golden Spike, in case you forgot your Utah history (hey Mr. Willard, remember that time I hit you in the ass with a rubber band? Pow!), is the symbolic, final, not-quite pure gold nail that completed the world's first transcontinental railroad (incidentally, it was also called the First Transcontinental Railroad) at Promontory, Utah on May 10, 1869. Two weeks from tomorrow, that'll be 137 years ago. Old news, man. Seriously, though: juxtaposing a symbol of unity with Utah doesn't work when we're still bitterly divided between Mormons and non-Mormons and, on a national political level, severely out of skew with the nation. But in that division there is a brilliant, interesting, fun duality.

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Salt Lake City Puts Grocery Clause Into Land Deal

Downtown Salt Lake City has become a hot spot for housing with developers pitching projects that meld retail space with housing and offers commuters a trip downstairs to their office, rather than a lengthy trip on the freeway. But with the influx of residents comes the need for services, such as grocery stores. The Salt Lake Tribune reports today that Salt Lake City officials are getting serious about providing their new urban dwellers access to the ingredients for home cooking.

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Upcoming Concerts: Vengince, Deathray Davies, The M’s, She Wants Revenge

vengince_fairfax_show

Vengince Vengince is a real old school metal band, misspelling their name, appearing in a Jagermeister music video, and hailing from Northern California (the part where they grow all the weed). Their stage names are even cool: Relentless, Dank, Flatline and Father. Dunno about the last one. I’m guessing it’s more Ozzy Osbourne than Ozzie Nelson they were thinking of as a parental role model. And they released their self-titled 2003 album on their own, selling it online, and offering last year’s EP for free download. What a way to take it back to the people! Also appearing at Utah’s hottest new venue, Fillmore’s the Pod. Will there be a pod cast? April 23, Club Vegas

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Utah’s Ghoul, Part III: Baptiste Banished or Vanished?

By Clint Wardlow, UtahGothic.com Baptiste Banished? Baptiste's background is as ill-documented as his prosecution. Depending on the source, he was either born in Ireland, Vienna—or worse still, "a Frenchman." Wilford Woodruff, later Church president, wrote in his diary that when the stolen clothing was laid out in the courthouse, "There lay the grave clothes of fifty person or more ...clothing of all ages, male and female which that man had stripped from the bodies of Saints and Sinners." Woodruff raged in his dairy, that Baptiste had performed "Damniable, diabolical, satanical, hellish sacrileges." Brigham Young, speaking at the Salt Lake Tabernacle a week after the discovery, voiced the opinion that shooting or hanging Baptiste would not satisfy the depth of the Prophet's indignation. “I would make him a fugitive and a vagabond on the Earth." Baptiste would have been "torn to pieces" by a mob if it weren't for the fact he was cooling his heels in the Salt Lake City jail, according to the diary of Elias Smith, a probate judge. Smith wrote that Baptiste confessed to him about the logistics of his grave robbing avocation, but would not fess up to how many graves he had ransacked in his two years as a practicing ghoul. Some tallies place the number as high as three hundred. What happened to Baptiste after he left his jail cell is a mystery that has become part of Utah folklore.

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Utah Group Calls for Faster Rail Plan, Lighter Wallets

Photo from The University of Utah

A Utah group is pushing for more funding to bump up the completion date of the light-rail system planned for the Salt Lake area. The Salt Lake Tribunereports today that Utah Transit Authority officials were delightedly surprised when members of the Salt Lake Chamber approached them about a proposal to raise $900 million to speed up the completion of four light-rail spurs that are currently scheduled for completion by 2030. The 2015 Transportation Alliance, a business-led coalition, says the extension of the light-rail system is imperative to the economic survival of the Salt Lake area. Lane Beattie, the CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber and a driving force in the 2015 Transportation Alliance, said Denver and Phoenix, two of Salt Lake’s main competitors for businesses and conventions, have already approved tax increases to complete their light rail systems, and are already using their 2016 completion date as a marketing tool.

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