Par for the Course
Do you want to mess with golfers? Salt Lake City has taken a swing at it after looking at $800,000 in golf-course operating deficits. Despite public meetings that drew multitudes of angry golf enthusiasts, the city has already closed the Jordan River Par-3 Golf Course, transferred the Wingpointe course to the airport and is "repurposing" the Glendale course. You're talking the west side. Watch out for east-sider angst over Bonneville Golf Course and the now-real specter of redesignating 42 acres as "natural habitat"—aka weeds—in the name of water conservation. A new irrigation system in the works leaves a wide swatch of unwatered grass around the course, abutting certain neighbors. They include lawyers and dentists threatening lawsuits and claiming work proceeded without sufficient public input. The city's getting plenty of input now.
The Cycle Continues
County Republicans were right about bikes—but for the wrong reasons. Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams proposed giving a $25 incentive to employees who commute via bicycle. The idea was to promote healthy living and clean air. For that to make a difference, you'd probably need all employees of Kennecott and the valley petroleum plants to ride their bikes to work, turn around and immediately return home. GOP councilmen were worried about the budget and "subsidizing" commuters. Wait for the budget to come up in a few months—when the weather gets bad, they suggested. But the real concern should not be just with bikes, but with any way to promote good health and clean air. A gym, perhaps? Carpooling? The bicycle idea, unfortunately, excludes some older or disabled employees. The idea, though, is worth pursuing.
The thing about lists is there are so many of them. One day you read about Utahns spending 50 minutes to commute each day, and Price being the No. 1 best commuter city in the state. Then you hear that many Utahns list air quality as a major concern, but that 44 percent of the U.S. population live somewhere with unhealthy air. Another list places Salt Lake City at No. 14 for telecommuting. Now The New York Times and a Harvard study tell us poor children can make more money in a lifetime if they live in Morgan or Summit counties rather than Salt Lake. That's because of crime rates, family structure, diversity and educational opportunities. Apparently, location matters. But if you're a poor kid, you may just be moving from shelter to shelter, and there aren't many in Morgan County.