Tag Archives: local business

It’s that time of year again….

I am being inundated with donation solicitations from organizations as a last minute reminder to get those 2010 tax write-offs taken care of.


While most of the solicitations I receive are from worthy organizations, here are my top picks, by all means not inclusive of all the great organizations out there doing wonderful things for our communities and our world, along with links to their websites:




Dee’s top pick for political organization support (NOTE:  Not tax deductible) 

The Sugarhouse Debacle

It’s been well over a year since Sugarhouse merchants were forced to move from their locations so that a rich developer could level the building and erect a newer high rise structure. Well, the building was leveled (nearly a year ago), but nothing else has happened.

Today’s Deseret news reports that developer Craig Mecham has been issued the directive by Salt Lake City to fill the “crater” that sits in the middle of the Sugarhouse buisness district.

Of course Mr. Mecham has complained to the city about the cost of leveling the old structure and blames the city’s plannign commission for not helping him move his project along more quickly and claims that he is not in a financial position to obtain financing and feels he is being singled out.

Give me a break.

Mecham should have put all his ducks in a row before he ever evicted the tenants that made Sugarhouse what is was. As it is now, the tenants are gone, many of them not yet able to open their businesses elsewhere and the heart of Sugarhouse is ruined, inlcuding the economical impact of Mecham’s irresponsible, greedy actions.

Artspace Resident Locked Out; Lawyer is medically incapacitated

Recently I have posted pieces on A Cup of Joe Coffee Shop and tenants in the Artspace Building in Salt Lake City being ousted from their space. Even more recently the Salt Lake City Weekly had a feature article on the issue.

Here is the latest news, as written to me from a person who has been involved in this from the beginning.

John Fitzen, an outspoken member of the Artspace Tenants Association
had a court date this morning. His attorney Kent Fillmore, who has
been representing the residents pretty much for free, suffered a
seizure last week and was hospitalized. He was in the hospital again
on Monday. On Monday he filed a request with the court to postpone
the hearing today because of his incapacity. He spoke with the court
recorder directly. This morning, he called the attorney for the
prosecution, Kirk Cullimore, told him he was going back into the
hospital today, and asked to postpone the hearing. Mr. Cullimore said
no. Mr Fitzen, his wife and 7 year old daughter have been locked out
of their apartment without so much as a change of clothes.

Mr Fitzen had been in touch with the ACLU on Monday, knowing of Mr.
Fillmore’s incapacity, but they have not yet been able to work on the
case. We have called Luke Garrott, the City Council member for the area.

Readers, please contact Luke Garrott:

801.535.7651 (FAX)
801.535.7654 (Comment Line – 24 hour voice mail)

Cup of Joe Will Open – Temporary New Home

This report is offered by A Cup of Joe Events Coordinator, Eileen McCabe:

Rosemary Winters of the Salt Lake Tribune called both Kristy and I yesterday and posted the following article:


The Office Manager for Evergreene saw the article yesterday when a shorter version was posted, saw the quote “I?ve got food rotting in there,” and called Kristy to arrange a time for her to move everything out.  So Kristy will be spared the hassle of waiting for a court motion to go through its channels, taking perhaps 2 weeks. Kristy is trying to work out the logistics and it will probably be in the next couple of days. 

The second piece of good news is that Bob Evans of Rimini Coffee, Sugarhouse Coffee and Café Marmalade, who has been enormously supportive of Kristy, has offered for her to set up shop in Baxter’s Café at 1615 S. State, for either a short or long-term arrangement.  For starters, she will have full weekends starting 6PM on Friday, since Baxter’s currently is not open on weekends. She may take over the entire lease from Baxter’s. I visited Baxter’s last night, and am very optimistic.  The space is only slightly smaller that the Artspace space, it has wonderful lighting and acoustics and a friendly aura. It also has a patio out front, and lots of lawn (anyone care to run through the sprinklers?)

Poetry is back on for Saturday night!!! Same time (8:30), new place, 1615 S. State St, on the east side of the road between the high school and the community college.  There is a huge billboard on the south side of the front parking lot that has an enormous motorcycle and 100 MPH in huge letters.  The front parking lot is very small, so park in the community college parking lot.

With that in mind, as Kristy’s event’s coordinator, I’d like to invite everyone to bless the new space and participate in the grand opening of “A Cup of Joe 2.0.”  Kristy has already booked music for Friday night, a group she had booked for the old space for the same date.

Cup of Joes goes on because of the hearts and souls of those who have shared its energy.  As I said in the article, we go on because of our community, regardless of the physical space we occupy.

Please forward this noticel far and wide, call or text folks who do not have email, or who access it infrequently.  We will also post a sign on the doors at Artspace.

Milk: It Does a Body Good – but not if the media tells you it doesn’t.

Last Wednesday, KSL Channel 5 posted an Associated Press piece that reported Utah County Issues Health Warning After Severe Food-borne Illness Outbreak.

Here is the article, followed by what happened next:

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah County health officials issued a warning against raw milk consumption after seven cases of a severe food-borne illness were linked to products from the same dairy.
Continue reading

(Heel of Hand to Head)It’ Not Community, Stupid – It’s All About the Money! (Sugarhouse, cont’d)

Owner/Developer Craig Meachum is evicting local merchant tenants from their building in a matter of months.  Meachum owns the building outright, yet claims it’s “his turn” since he supposedly has given these businesses “a break” (see article below).  His “turn” for what?  He not only owns that block, he also owns high rise buildings east of that block.  This seems to me like the same old story – the rich getting richer at the expense of those who strive to build small, local-based community.    So…….


Patronize the businesses that are being forced to move from historic Sugarhouse!

Beginning the first Saturday in April, the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of each month there will be a merchant festival until July when the businesses have to leave.

“We are going to make this a Wake instead of a Funeral” – Andy Fletcher of Orion’s Music

Here are links to recent articles and interviews:


Bottomline Rewind: Master Plan and Zoning at Odds in Sugar House

Mar 12, 2007 by Lara Jones

Successful Small Biz Fall Victim to Redevelopment

(KCPW News) Today’s Bottomline panel talked about changes in the Sugar House business district. Concentrated on the southwest corner of 2100 S. and 1100 E., a new round of redevelopment may see neighborhood favorites like Orion’s Music, Luna’s Italian Ice and the Free Speech Zone close as property owners demolish and rebuild a mixed-use project featuring ground-floor retail with offices and residential condominiums in their place. While the old merchants are welcome in the new project, the higher rents owners will be able to charge will most likely prevent them from staying. Salt Lake City Councilman Soren Simonsen, whose district includes Sugar House, says the area suffers from a disconnect between master plan goals and current zoning — with small businesses paying the price:


Sugar House Developer Says ‘It’s My Turn’

Mar 13, 2007 by Lara Jones

Media Unfairly Painting Him Unsympathetic to Small Biz

(KCPW News) The Sugar House business district is experiencing another wave of redevelopment, which means small locally-owned businesses clustered at the intersection of 2100 South and 1100 East face expulsion as property owners and real estate investors take advantage of a hot economy. In the process, developer Craig Meacham says he’s been unfairly portrayed by the media as someone out to make a buck at the expense of small businesses:

“I’ve tried to be very fair and equitable with these tenants; many of these tenants have been there for an extended period of time at a reduced rate,” says Meacham. “I think that I’ve been more than fair with these tenants and if their business plan is going to work, they know by now. So I kind of feel that it’s my turn, frankly.”

Meacham has owned a stretch of buildings on the west side of 1100 East, south of 2100 South, for the last 15 years. He says he’s seen business go through several up and down cycles, and now is the right time to redevelop his property:

“We anticipate taking down this property – which is very old, very dilapidated and frankly needs to come down – and we want to replace it with something much nicer. It would be an office complex and some condominiums, and retail on the ground floor.”

Rents will be much higher, Meacham admits, meaning many current tenants won’t be able to afford it. He still needs to finalize construction plans and go through the city permitting process, but Meacham says he hopes to begin demolishing property by summer or fall of this year. As a result, many merchants are getting eviction notices.