Main Street Skybridge
To protect views of the mountains from downtown, Salt Lake City planners years ago imposed a ban on skybridges across Main Street. But when mall developers proposed just such a bridge, the city decided it didn’t really mean it. The reversal may have something to do with the facts that one of the partners in the planned bridge-linked mall connecting either side of Main is the LDS Church and that city leaders are beside themselves with glee that anyone is willing to invest in a downtown on the brink. Mall developers have promised a raised people mover everyone will love except, of course, the poor, who will have to use the sidewalk.
BEST REASON TO CUT UTAH’S BIRTHRATE
4th Congressional Seat
It’s the idea that just refuses to die: Like we need to send yet another yahoo from the sticks to Washington, D.C., and give him or her a say in how the nation’s business should be run. Proponents of a 4th Congressional District are mainly bitter over the fact that missionaries living abroad during the 2000 census weren’t granted special status and counted as if they were living here instead. Still, a fourth seat seems inevitable after the 2010 Census, unless we drastically cut the birthrate now. Sure, it’s a high price to pay, but it could avert the national disaster that would surely result if we were, for instance, to give somebody named LeVona LeBaron a controlling vote on the Judiciary Committee.
BEST NEWSPAPER REPORTER Readers’ Choice
Heather May (Salt Lake Tribune)
Since Heather May will be switching story beats after her baby’s birth in July, it’s fitting that she caps her fifth year covering Salt Lake City with exclusives like RSL stadium going to Sandy, which she co-penned with Derek Jensen. May is the epitome of a nose-to-the-ground, well-connected journo. Whether it’s Rocky’s latest antics or the LDS Church’s ongoing bouts with City Hall, she’s kept their feet to the fire with admirable aplomb. Whoever is taking over for her has some big boots to fill.
2. Ben Winslow (Deseret Morning News)
3. Thomas Burr (Salt Lake Tribune)
BEST SELF-CONGRATULATORY PLUG OF UTAH’S SLOGAN
Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr.’s post-flight debriefing
During the dedication of a hang-gliding flight park at Point of the Mountain, Huntsman took an impromptu flight with paraglider pilot Mark Gaskill. Upon touching down, the Guv mugged for the cameras and said, “Now that’s life elevated!” That kind of smug, cornball goofiness is becoming scarcer each year, even among Utah Republicans who practically invented it. Still, not to be outdone, Natural Resources Department Director Michael Styler followed up with a Star Trek reference: “I can safely say he has gone where no other governor has gone before.”
BEST POLITICAL CAUSE Readers’ Choice
Wee almost hed to rubb our eyes in disbeleef when Guv. Jon Huntsman Jr. and the Legisleechur said they reelly reelly cared about edukation of Utah kids by writing the largest chek ever—$460 million!—for public scools and stuff. Man, it was like a wit dreem! Where we actuallee in Utah? Yep, urine in Utah, al right! It did warm the heart and mind quit good. Edukation, as every intelligant person now nows, is second only to Middal est wars against muslin terrists. But maybe there mistake wil be realized next yeer, when our decripate roads we’ll get the dollars they truly dessert.
2. Global warming
3. Animal rights
BEST PORN STAR/CONGRESSMAN
You’re probably all-too-familiar with the work of Utah 3rd District Congressman Chris Cannon, but it’s entirely possible that you didn’t know there’s a porn star named Chris Cannon. His well-endowed oeuvre of nearly 1,000 adult films includes Asswoman: The Rebirth, Cotton Panties Half Off, Fluff & Fold, Pimped by an Angel, Sodomania, Wetter the Better and many other fine selections. Far as we can tell, he’s actually accomplished a greater body of work than our Chris.
BEST POLITICAL PROTEST
Precipitated by a wave of anti-immigrant hysteria, the peaceful April 9, 2006, march (which happened only days after the publication of last year’s Best of Utah issue) filled State Street with thousands of Latinos and sympathizers—and a few indignant Minutemen. The fact that the self-described “silent majority” of anti-immigrant people were outnumbered 66 to 1 didn’t seem to faze them, but it did show that Latinos in Utah are a political force to be contended with—especially if get-out-the-vote efforts by organizers like Tony Yapias prove successful.
BEST CONSTRUCTION-WORKER HUMOR
EnergySolutions Arena sign
Like Rome, the EnergySolutions Arena sign wasn’t built in a day. While changing it over from the old Delta Center sign, workers made it halfway through the middle word before punching the clock and going home for the day, having painstakingly placed the letters S, L, U and T in the word “Solutions.” Inspiring dozens of cell-phone photographers, the gesture obviously was a loving tribute to S(alt) L(ake) C(ity), UT(ah) … or was it?
BEST POLITICAL JOKE Readers’ Choice
Sen. Chris Buttars, R-West Jordan
You pretty much know any politician, not just a minor lawmaker in Utah, has touched bottom—excuse the pun—when he starts bothering himself about what consenting adults do to each other’s, ahem, anuses. True, Sen. Chris Buttars wasn’t first to raise the topic of Utah’s sodomy law, already unconstitutional since a 2003 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court. That was raised by Sen. Scott McCoy, someone Buttars once affectionately called “the gay.” But the fact that Buttars would join other state lawmakers in blocking a public hearing of McCoy’s bill to remove sodomy laws from the books reveals his silly nature. This is, lest we forget, a man who likened evolutionary theory to cats, dogs and the “dat.”
2. Rocky Anderson
3. Chris Cannon