Tag Archives: salt lake city

Si se puede! — Yes we can! – More Images from the March and Rally

(click image to enlarge)

Si se puede! — Yes we can! – Images from the March and Rally

These are videos I took at the Immigration Reform March and Rally on Sunday, March 21, 2010 in Salt Lake City:

Paving Paradise

The Salt Lake City Council, sadly, unanimously voted in favor of beginning work on the multi-million dollar sports complex in Salt Lake City along the last undeveloped stretch of land on the Jordan River, despite testimony from scores of citizens against the location that will affect the riparian habitat in the parcel of land.

Here are the articles posted in papers today:

Deseret News
Salt Lake Tribune

I’m sure this isn’t over with regards to protecting the habitat.  I will be following this issue closely and posting about it’s progress.

Saving open land in Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City is planning to move forward with plans to build a huge sports complex on open land that is home to the largest unprotected block of riparian habitat along the Jordan River….that is, unless the people take a stand to stop this madness.  Read the information below and plan to come to City Hall in Salt Lake City TONIGHT to protest this move.
It comes down to this:

Either we allow our elected officials to build with our own tax dollars a  $43 million sports complex consisting of nine buildings including indoor and outdoor soccer stadiums, 21 sports fields, a forest of stadium lighting, 3 new roads, a new bridge and parking for 1,700 cars on the largest remaining block of undeveloped, unprotected and publicly owned block of riparian open space along the entire length of the Jordan River—or we refuse, once and for all, to go along with this particular ridiculously over-the-top example of Business As Usual.

This 160 acres of land on the west bank of the Jordan River at 2200 North is incidentally within the flood plain both of the Jordan River and of the Great Salt Lake, has been flooded repeatedly during the past century, and will surely be flooded again.  Each time it floods we taxpayers will be asked by to rebuild it again and again.

That is perfect MADNESS my friends.

I have to believe that many of you are as sick and tired as I am of watching this sort of B.S. happen over and over and over again right before our very eyes without  anyone saying or doing anything to oppose  it.

The decision about where to build the proposed Sports Complex will set a definitive example for the future of the entire Jordan River Corridor.   A year-long study called “Blueprint Jordan River”, financed with $300,000 of taxpayer money, recommended in December 2008 that ALL existing open space within the river corridor be protected as natural open space—specifically including this particular site.

Now the Salt Lake City mayor and city council, after unanimously endorsing the “Blueprint” report, want to develop the everloving crap out of this site anyway.  If we let our elected officials walk away from their commitment to protect open space here, what kind of example does that set for the other 14 cities and two counties through which the Jordan River flows?  If Salt Lake City categorically refuses to protect its own largest block of public land in the river corridor, how can we expect the taxpayers to approve funding of up to $350 million to purchase and preserve some 3,800 acres of privately owned riparian open space with still more taxpayer dollars?

Reminder:  at 7:00 pm today, January 5, the Salt Lake City Council will review and vote on a critical appropriation to fund and green-light the siting of the Sports Complex at 2200 North.

Your attendance & comments are important, to ask that the vote be delayed & to allow public process on alternative sites for Sports Complex.

If possible, please come to pre-meeting Rally:
of City-County Building
451 S. State St.
5:30 pm:  Q & A
6:00 pm:  Rally & informational presentation
Cards with talking points available, for those who want them.
Talking points also attached in this email.

We need people to get seating early, in the Council chambers – starting at 6:30 pm.

SL City Council meeting:
7:00 pm, Rm. 315
2-minute comments are encouraged but not required.
Fill out a card at Chamber entrance if you want to speak.

[If you can’t make it to the city council meeting, please consider signing our online petition and/or writing a letter—see petition link and email addresses and sample letter below.]

Please forward this widely.
See you there & thank you for all your help

Ray Wheeler

Director, Earth Restoration Network

Jordan River Restoration Project

Jordan River Restoration Network

Home phone:  801-355-6236

Work phone:  801-355-6236

Email:  ray.wheeler@earthlink.net

Salt Lake City officials want to build, entirely at taxpayer expense, a sprawling $43 million sports complex on a 140-acre block of open space along the west bank of the Jordan River at 2200 North (see illustrations and photos in the attached “background” document.)  The proposed facility, to be built in two phases, will eventually consist of 17 sports fields, a forest of stadium-type lighting poles, 3 new roads, a new bridge over the Jordan River, parking for 1,300 or more cars, and no less than 9 new buildings including an outdoor and indoor soccer stadium, a maintenance building, a concessions building etc.

SoccerComplexArialAndConceptPlan_432x341px_20091231 copy.jpg




Panoramic view of proposed Jordan River Nature Park site at 2200 North.  The structure at left is a model airplane facility which will be moved to another location.

Given the object lesson of Hurricane Katrina it is purest madness to build any large public facility within any flood plain.  This particular site is not merely within the flood plain of the Jordan River but also within that of the Great Salt Lake, which rises and falls cyclically, its saline waters moving long distances up the Jordan River from its mouth.  The site has been inundated by flood water twice within the past 60 years, and was under water for several years during the mid-1980’s.  It will flood again.  When it does taxpayers will be asked to bail out and rebuild the facility all over again.

This is the last, relatively large block of undeveloped, unprotected, publicly owned land remaining on the Jordan River.   Blocks of open “lowlands riparian” habitat this large serve as incubators and stepping stones for a large variety of native plants, animals and birds.  In recent surveys the public has overwhelmingly supported open land & habitat preservation instead of sports facilities at this location and throughout the Jordan River corridor 

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Housing and employment protections for gays and lesbians

The Salt Lake City Council has become the first Utah City to pass ordinances that will prevent unfair housing practices based on sexual orientation.

In a rare move, the LDS church attended last night’s council meeting to support the ordinances.

THE LGBT community has been working hard to foster a relationship with church officals.  Progress has been made and this is a step in the right direction.

Read the Deseret News article here.

Read the text of the LDS church’s statement here.

Property Manager in Salt Lake City attempting to oust residents, local business

The Artspace building has long been a place where artists have been able to reside and work in Salt Lake City on meager incomes. Housed in the building is the local coffee shop A Cup of Joe, which has been open to the artist and peace communities and other progressive groups, opening its doors to events for these groups at little or no cost.

Many of the tenants of Artspace including A Cup of Joe are facing extreme, intolerant and likely illegal action by the new management company Evergreen Management Company. Some section 8 tenants are being told they owe additional money because there is a “problem with their paperwork,” but are not being told what the problem is, or how they can resolve it. Others, including A Cup of Joe, who have had trouble making their rent are not being allowed, per the terms of their leases, to make payment plans. The management company is refusing to return calls from tenants, and summarily turning accounts over for legal action.

Not only is this creating additional financial burden for the tenants, it is emptying the building of artists who form the core of the avant-garde arts community of Salt Lake City. In addition, it is threatening the existence of A Cup of Joe, the anchor of the spoken word poetry community and Salt City Slam, and an important gathering place for progressive groups. Kristy Gonzalez, the current owner, has in particular, reached out to the community and provided a performance space for music and comedy groups, avant-garde theatre, the peace sign birthday party, a memorial service for Sister Maryam Mohammed who was an active artist and musician in our community. Kristy has encouraged the collaging of the tables by community groups, is a pickup point for a Community Sustainable Agriculture farm, a member of the People’s Market and Buy Local First Utah. She has provided space for People for Peace and Justice, local artists and musicians, Guardian Angels, Queer Spirit, the Nine Muses Project. While Joe’s has been near and dear to our hearts for years, Kristy has done so much in the year and a half she has owned Joe’s to make it truly a foundation of the community. We are in danger of losing Joe’s.

What can we do? There are legal costs to be met, and possibly a rent shortfall. Kristy and the other tenants have legal and publicity help at the moment. What Kristy needs is more customers, and community awareness of the problem of losing locally-owned, community-dedicated businesses. Here’s what we can do:

**Talk up Cup of Joe whenever you can.

**Eat and drink at Joe’s as often as you can. Highly recommended are the crepes and the ice cream.

**If you sponsor a community group that has benefited from Joe’s generosity in the past, consider a donation to help them out.

There will be a “marathon community gathering” on July 18 and 19 at Cup of Joe with poets, musicians, artists and local businesses. Details will be published here as soon as they are available.

A Cup of Joe is located at 353 West 200 South in Salt Lake City.

Salt Lake’s State of the City

Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson made his State of the City Address last night.Anderson reviewed past accomplishments and outlined future goals.

Anderson challenged leaders to take a stand on issues:
Progress is about building—and leaving for the future—a better world and better
communities. Whatever affects the people of Salt Lake City—whether it is garbage collection,federal housing policy, or the prospect of catastrophic global climate change—it is the responsibility of all leaders, whether in the business, religious, or civic communities—including municipal officials – to take a stand, and to take action. Those who do not, those who say “It’s not my job” or “It’s none of my business” are not only derelict in carrying out their responsibilities as leaders; they are derelict in fulfilling their moral duties as human beings with choices and the ability to help make a positive difference.

And on progress:

In thinking about progress, the relevant question is not simply what is possible in thegiven conditions of the present world, but, more significantly, what is desirable in a future worlddriven by our hopes and dreams. Throughout the past seven years of my administration, we haveendeavored to make these dreams—these aspirations for an inclusive, safe, healthy, interesting, rewarding community—part of the fabric of our great city. Progress in City government requires a hard-working, dedicated team. We have set a standard of excellence for our team, trying people out for the team, making some cuts, and building an exceptional team that has served the people of Salt Lake City well.
It is up to each of us to advance the common good, preserving the key spaces, resources,and institutions that make our quality of life possible, while extending the benefits they provide to every member of our community, including those who come along in the future. In the end,the measure of our lives, and of our service to others, is whether we have had some part in progress—whether we have helped move our community and our world toward real

Holly Mullen has an interesting piece in today’s Salt Lake Tribune on the newly named Delta Center in Salt Lake City (now the Energy Solutions Arena).

There is a poll on her page for folks to vote on a nickname for the arena.  People  have been having lots of fun with this.

My New Opportunity in Education

Last October an opportunity came my way that is perfect for me. I took over as Coordinator of my school’s Service-Learning Program. The program was set up at the time for juniors and seniors to go into our community at various agencies and volunteer once per week during school time, with accountability in the form of written reports and reflections. Although my predecessor did a great job of “getting the ball rolling”, there were apparent (to me) flaws with the current system. After the first semester I changed the format of this program.

Beginning with this year’s juniors, all students must have one credit in service-learning, incorporate their experiences into their evolving portfolios at the end of each year, and develop a senior project (sort of like a thesis, only with a more hands-on approach).

My job also entails attending conferences and service-learning fairs at local colleges. I designed and developed two projects as and added feature to this program whereby undergraduate students will come into our school and work with me on the service-learning opportunities for a given class they are taking. My projects were recognized and accepted by local colleges and universities for this semester.

Service-Learning is a vital component in the school. The vision is to incorporate it into the curriculuar structure of each course taught in our school. My job is to provide education and opportunities to facilitate the implementation of this concept.
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Green Building

One of the visions of my school community is to eventually build a green school. We want to make sure we do it right, so we are continuing to lease property so as to take our time to carefully plan an environmentally responsible school building.

Today’s Salt Lake Tribune reports that Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson has amended his executive order on green building.

This means that buildings such as police and fire facilities and public safety buildings will have to adhere to more strict environmental standards. New city-owned buildings larger than 10,000 square feetwill be required to meet these standards.

Anderson recognizes that it is more expensive up front to build green building, but in the long run it saves energy costs and lessens the negative impacts on our environment.

Anderson is pursuing the implementation of more environmentally responsible standards for privately owned businesses as well as for providing incentives for single-family constructed homes.