Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson huddled with his top advisers recently to determine if the city should go forward with the execution of the mayor’s scheme to install snowmaking machines on the roofs of downtown high-rises during the Winter Olympics in February.
Here at Smartbomb, the staff couldn’t confirm what took place in the meeting, but the upshot is that the mayor apparently has cancelled what he had earlier alluded to as a brilliant strategy to bring the ambience of snow to downtown Salt Lake City. Apparently, the plan hit some snags, said the mayor’s press valet Josh Ewing.
First off, snowmaking machines used by ski resorts dump huge amounts of snow in big piles that are then moved around the slopes by large, treaded grooming tractors. Some advisors feared that rather than providing a winter ambience, that special avalanche rescue dogs would have to be called downtown to sniff out Olympic visitors buried outside mall entrances.
Second, there was trouble securing funding for what some saw as an expensive and hair-brained scheme to pump large quantities of water to rooftops where the snow machines would be landed by helicopters.
Last but not least, the downtown maintenance crews—you know, the ones who drive those little ATVs with the snowblades—reportedly threw a hissy fit when they heard about the plan during last week’s blizzards. The mayor’s Olympic guru, John Sitner, apparently explained to Rocky that the ambience of winter wasn’t their biggest problem any more.
• Speaking of bad news, it’s getting hard to tell what part of the “News Specialists” coverage at KSL Channel 5 is actual news and what is the fluff of an official Olympic sponsor. An affiliate of NBC, which has the TV rights to the Games, KSL is charged with hyping the gala as well as keeping track of such nuisances as the recent bid buying scandal.
Things got a little uncomfortable-looking recently when KSL morning anchor Kim Johnson was all smiley-faced when talking up the Games on camera, while at the same time husband Dave Johnson was deriding the Salt Lake (Olympic) Organizing Committee to local newspapers. Dave had been under indictment for the past 18 months along with fall-guy pal Tom Welch. Judge David Sam recently threw out the indictments, leaving Dave seething at those who sold him down the river—yep, the same guys that wife Kim was chatting up. Well, that’s show biz.
• Don’t look now, but Britney Spears may be on her way out. According to that barometer of hip culture, The Salt Lake Trib, Britney’s heyday and midriff are passe. Quoting a survey commissioned by chain store giant Sam Goody, the Trib reported that 56 percent of those surveyed said Britney was toast. Apparently none of those interviewed were teenage girls from Utah. The news no doubt will cheer Utah parents, however, who see the blonde teen bombshell as something of a bad influence, putting her navel on public display and all.