The GOP geniuses in the Legislature are quite possibly the most obtuse pack of money-grubbing miscreants on the planet. For these moral dwarves to look upon Utah's incomparable natural beauty and see only dollar signs and drilling rigs is a sure sign of insufficient character development. To attempt a "take back" of something that never belonged to them only proves how cognitively dysfunctional they really are. After all, these are America's lands.
I spent President's Day weekend in the San Rafael Swell with friends. We hiked a slot canyon and absorbed its tranquility. We satiated our need for nature, cured our premature spring fever, and savored the pristine beauty that surrounded us in this one-of-a-kind wonderland. Our "conservative" legislators see these lands only as an energy mecca to be plundered for personal and corporate gain, and, in the process, inexorably altering public access to myriad places we now take for granted.
As we hiked, we joked about the best places to put oil rigs in this desert paradise (country that Edward Abbey affectionately referred to as "God's navel"), but the Koch disciples in the Legislature aren't joking. In an attempted subterfuge of our natural heritage, they have spent millions of taxpayer dollars in their quest for a transfer of federal lands to state ownership—a plan with nasty and numerous consequences—that will more than likely backfire, both fiscally and environmentally.
In order to fulfill an anti-nature, dirty-energy, climate-denying, capitalist, Tea Party agenda, the state would lease the timber, mineral and energy rights in the Swell and Greater Canyonlands (and any other lands under their control) to extractive industries for pennies on the dollar as a way to subsidize and incentivize more extraction.
Then they'd sell the more desirable lands to developers and the very wealthy. And don't believe for a moment that any profits will fund education. The only people benefiting will be mega-corporations (they're people too, remember), a few fortunate insiders, politicians on the take, and the guy printing all the "Private Property: No Trespassing" signs to keep you and me out.
If you missed the Great Public Lands Gamble Rally March 2 at the State Capitol, your voice can still be heard. Please call or write your representative. Tell him or her to keep lawmakers' greedy hands off your public lands.
David E. Jensen
Hope for Utah?
I come from Washington (sigh, the state, not the district). As you know, marijuana is not only legal for medicinal purposes but now also for recreational use. Upon visiting Salt Lake City for the first time in 22 years and reading City Weekly's Feb. 26 article ["Pot for Pain"] about the Republican senator who wants to push for medical marijuana in Utah, I was blown away.
You mean it's not even legal for pain here? What else isn't legal—interracial marriage? Liquor in grocery stores? (That was finally legalized in Washington a year or two ago).
I may be just a blue lefty, but, wow! This city seems so beautiful and diverse, and the people are so friendly. I can't believe it is not at least a little bit more progressive.
I have hope for you though, and for this wonderful city and state. Stay beautiful, Utah!
Correction: The Salt Lake City Arts Council has long hosted the Twilight Concert Series. The 2015 City Guide article "How to Be a Local" incorrectly identified the host of the concert series.