Sign of the Times 

Also: Tim DeChristopher, Terry Diehl

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Sign of the Times
Some code words from yesteryear are just hard to get rid of. Take “multiethnic,” for instance. Tacked up somewhere near 200 West and 100 South, near Salt Lake City’s Buddhist Temple, is a sign professing “Multiethnic Senior Housing.” Facebook discussions are trying to figure out whether it’s an advertisement or a warning. The “multiethnic” designation is more often than not used to describe low-income housing, mostly Section 8. How insulting is that? And really, shouldn’t all housing be multiethnic now? Landlords and Realtors get some of the blame for segregating neighborhoods, according to the 2008 study “Evaluating Evidence of Discrimination in Multiethnic Housing Markets.” But advertising shouldn’t perpetuate it.

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A Little Help From His Friends
Climate activist Tim DeChristopher is back in minimum security after a brief stint in “isolated confinement” brought on by an e-mail sent to his lawyer, Pat Shea. DeChristopher was asking if he should return $25,000 donated by a company that was sending jobs overseas. But he also suggested waging a campaign against the company if it didn’t change direction. Nevermind that the action would be “peaceful,” it was nonetheless perceived as a threat. Enter DeChristopher’s supporters—not just from Utah, but significantly from Rolling Stone’s Jeff Goodall, ThinkProgress.org and others, including friends from the First Unitarian Church of Salt Lake City. When word got out that an unidentified senator complained about DeChristopher’s e-mail, followers of his Peaceful Uprising group really did rise up.

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Shady Developments
It seems like there’s no end to an appetite for developers who have lots of connections but whose backgrounds are questionable, at best. Terry Diehl is one of them. On March 30, Diehl filed for bankruptcy—again—setting the stage to rid himself of $43 million in debts. The action comes right after his controversial Tavachi project was bounced from Cottonwood Heights into the waiting arms of Salt Lake County. The county, theoretically, would create zoning restrictions that were better for Diehl. Cottonwood Heights wanted him to scale down his grandiose development at the base of Big Cottonwood Canyon. Now, we find that the former Utah Transit Authority board member owed on a stable of cars, spousal support and to a number of banks and casinos. Not to mention that he’s still being sued by some other developers for diverting funds to a personal account. What happened to credit checks?

Twitter: @KathyBiele

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