Despite reports to the contrary, Emigration Market (1706 E. 1300 South) is not in imminent danger of closing. Owner JT Martin, who is also a Salt Lake City Councilman, says that “there is a lot of fight left in us.” Even though the market is losing money— like other small businesses in a tough economy—he plans to continue shoring it up with personal funds until things improve. Hopefully, his tough talk is not just talk, because the market anchors one of Salt Lake City’s great neighborhood business districts. Another factor in the market’s struggles, at least according to a story in The Salt Lake Tribune, is a boycott spawned by Martin’s 2007 criticism of the Blue Boutique, in which he said even one “rubber penis” makes the shop a sexually oriented business. While Martin disputes that the boycott is much of a factor, it would still be a pretty lousy boycott if it contributed to the closure of a historic neighborhood market. And it also sends the message that only fat cats should run for the city council, since they’re the only ones who can afford the political risks of expressing controversial opinions.
Federal officials are refusing to give two acres of already developed national forest land to the town of Alta, claiming Forest Service policy requires that the town pay fair-market value. Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah, is pushing the feds to give the land to Alta, as it has done in other states with similar properties. The land is already being used by Alta—for City Hall, no less—but Bennett says that fair-market value would be $250,000 an acre because of its proximity to a ski resort. That’s too expensive for the small town, especially since town officials only want to own the land so they don’t have to continually ask the feds for permission to use the property. Since federal officials are not budging, here’s an idea: Maybe Bennett should ask for $500,000 in stimulus money for Alta to buy its land.
Holiday spirits and good cheers can leave a person staggering. To help keep drunken drivers off the roads, Robert J. DeBry & Associates will reimburse the cost of a cab ride (up to $35) between Dec. 26 and Jan. 1. Simply send DeBry’s firm a copy of the cab receipt, and DeBry will send you a check. So, have one more with family and friends, and then end your night in the back of a cab—instead of in the back of a police car or, worse, wrapped around a tree. Visit RobertDeBry.com for details.