Name Game | Urban Living

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Name Game

Posted By on May 18, 2016, 4:00 AM

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Remember that song, "The Name Game"? You pick a person's name and sing it in different variations according to the rules in the song, like "Babs, Babs, Bo-abs, banana-fana fo-fabs! Fee-fy mo-mabs, Babs!" It's been an American classic since Shirley Ellis wrote and recorded it in 1964.

The capital city and Salt Lake County are both playing the game now with streets and parks. First, let's talk about the city. Our city council has just voted unanimously to name 900 South (from 900 West up to 1100 East) Harvey Milk Boulevard. You may know that Mr. Milk is as close to being a saint as you can get in the LGBT world, as having died a martyr, murdered by a crazy person in San Francisco while he was serving as a city supervisor in 1978. He was the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in California.

The proposal originated from Stan Penfold, our own gay City Council member and director of the Utah AIDS Foundation. Frankly, I think the street should be named after Penfold himself, given his leadership in the LGBT community. I always believe streets should be named after local heroes. Many LGBT individuals think of the 900 South area as the main "gayborhood" in the city due to the number of LGBT-owned and LGBT-friendly businesses there, and the numbers of LGBT folk who live in the area. Don't worry, the street will still be known as 900 South and the new signs that go up will be paid for by a GoFundMe campaign initiated by Equality Utah.

The county is also singing the name game. For years, they've had names for parks in the valley that no one used or even knew about. For example: Where is "South Cottonwood Regional Park"? It's Wheeler Farm, silly! The County Council met last week and has approved recommendations from their park peeps to rename the following green spaces:

1. Valley Center Park (4013 S. 700 West) will now be Sunnyvale Park.

2. Little Cottonwood Regional Park (7485 S. 1700 East) will now be known as Crestwood Park.

3. Southwest Regional Park (14000 S. and 2700 West), though it's not open yet, will be known as Wardle Fields, after the family who owned the land for generations.

I don't think there are any local groups willing to pay for the name changes with the Salt Lake County Parks. These are just logical moves to call places by their commonly used names. Whaaaa? Logic with the county? Yes, it can happen!

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