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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

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

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 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

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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Upcoming Concerts: Bullets and Octane, Natalie MacMaster, Virgin College Mega Tour, Soular

Bullets and Octane, DaMone, Valient Thorr Bullets and Octane singer Gene Louis had an unlikely musical upbringing for a punk rocker, growing up sitting in on his father’s drum kit in jazz gigs. Moving to SoCal with friend Brent Clawson changing his musical orientation, however, and when the lead singer quit shortly after they founded B&O in 1999, Louis stepped behind the mike. After touring with Avenged Sevenfold in 2004, they moved up to a major label with this year’s In the Mouth of the Young on RCA. There are far worse ways to start a punk band than naming it after a character from Fast Times at Ridgement High, as Boston band Damone did shortly after the turn of the millennium. They are more of the long hair/black spandex wearing wing than the leatherclad Mohawk tribe, mixing skatepunk sensibilities with heavy metal crunch. They had a contract with RCA, from which they were released, to hook up with Island/Def Jam for this year’s Out Here All Night, not in stores for another month but available on I Tunes. With the "Ultimate Shredder" contest on their website, you know I get tired of these bands that are just too political. Let loose and just have some fun, Damone dammit! Valient Thorr is a cartoon metal band from, they claim, Venus, just here to play some tunes and go on ‘tourr.’ April 20, Avalon Theatre

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Sales Representative Wanted: New West SLC

New West is seeking an advertising sales representative for the Salt Lake City node. Candidates should have prior sales experience, be familiar with online publications, and reside in Salt Lake City. If you'd like to become part of a fast-growing, award-winning publication, please contact Mark Phillips at mark@newwest.net.

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Dog Ordinances, While Arbitrary, Are the Law

It’s no secret that urban living takes some compromises. And most of the time we all agree to do the little things that help make our cities livable for all kinds of people—we keep our trash in bins that we put out once a week for collection, refrain from parking dilapidated cars on our front lawns, and so on. For the most part, city ordinances are things we never even think about, rules of conduct that are so commonsensical for most city dwellers that we barely give them a second thought. However, when those rules concern our pets—the creatures we often love and cherish nearly as much as children, and sometimes in place of children—we might want to pay a little more attention.

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