Soap Box: April 6-12 | Letters | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Soap Box: April 6-12 

Readers respond to Magna story, nature parks, Orrin Hatch and more.

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Cover story, April 6, "Greetings from Magna"
While Magna does have its struggles, it would have been nice to have the article point out some of the things the community is doing to turn things around. Storm and Renee have been pivotal in bringing people from all over the country to Magna for their annual Halloween in Summer street fair. Our other two street fairs (History Day and Arts Festival) bring in people from all over the valley. Our Community theater (The Empress, pictured in the "M") just celebrated their 10th anniversary—on Main Street. We have a vibrant Facebook community that puts people in need with resources (many times it's a neighbor helping a neighbor). There is a spirit in this community that has been refined by the fire of our past, and we are determined that our future will be better. It's not Midvale, it's not Millcreek, but I wouldn't live anywhere else in the valley.
Cindy Whitehair
Via Facebook

Our reputation may precede us, but it doesn't define us. Our community knows how to band together and we are rising to the challenges we face. Hopefully, Salt Lake City Weekly will be doing a follow-up article that captures the growth and community spirit that thrives here.
Sara VanRoosendaal
Via Facebook

It's too bad Magna has such a negative reputation. Growing up here was great, and I never felt I was cheated out of a good education or opportunities for growth. When Kennecott downsized and many of the stores closed, it was rough on most of us. I keep hoping the little businesses that regularly start and fail will take root and succeed. Please, We Witches 3, do a good job with your prosperity spells!
Benton Clark
Via Facebook

Why would that surprise anyone, given their proximity to Kennecott and U.S. Mag Works?
ED Ferguson
Via Facebook

I really disagree with the tone of this article and its hyperbolic emphasis on problems that are actually not unique to Magna at all. I wrote your editor with more detail, but I hope readers who see my comment may understand that the situation illustrated in this piece is not an accurate portrayal, and if you'd like to see the real Magna, please message me and I can show you the great township.
Robert Yuen
Via Facebook

I was born in Magna 75 years ago. l lived there for 65 years. Served on the original redevelopment committee, town council and four years on the planning and zoning commission under Peter Corron. My wife with her volunteer friends built the Webster Pride garden. We are the original starters of the Copper Days Festival. I am in Magna at least 2-3 days per week working on my properties. Love the old town. My Greek family and my wife's family have been there for just about 100 years.
      To read your article on Magna brought sadness, then anger. The shit you wrote about can be dug up in any area, even your own neighborhood. You talk about drugs, obesity, crime; pick an area in this county or state, and I can find the same crap. A good writer would have not tried to dig up the bad in a town but would have seen how well he could elevate the community. As far as the churches in Magna, did anyone tell you most of those properties were abandoned before these wonderful people like Billy Maez bought the places and started to fix them up? Now they're show-pieces on ol' Main. ... The part [that says] some kids go to the library to get a free meal, and their only meal of the day? Bullshit! Those are the same kids who go to the museum to get free candy. And the part about the social services withdrawing from Magna, it's because there wasn't enough people using them. I went and asked.
      Why didn't you go down to the senior citizens center and talk to the old-timer? Why didn't you go to the Magna Ethnic and Mining Museum? Talk to Mr. Henline or Mr. Duckworth, people who have lived most of their lives in Magna? Take a look around; look at their wall of honor, see gold medalist in the Olympics, admirals in the navy ...
      Let's not let this article be a coup de grace to Magna and towns like her. Salt Lake County, in my years of being involved, is a big, big problem with its condition. Magna's environmental fees for commercial enterprises are much higher than West Valley. That's why they get the growth and Magna gets the shaft. We would be better off annexing to West Valley.
Lewis Panopulos
Via cityweekly.net

News, April 6, "A River Runs Through Him"
"What we proposed was take the core golf course and make a large nature park with a community fishery, and then around the perimeter do some of the things that the public has identified that they want, like a bike pump track, an urban agriculture area of 9 acres, a Frisbee golf course, a boat dock for sculling, etc.," he says. Well, Ralph Becker redux. It turns out that what the people want is a profitable golf course and not to spend $200 million to turn two golf courses into homeless encampments. Why do all of Wheeler's plans have to involve closing Glendale and Rose Park golf courses? Why can they not coexist in his world view?
Susan Willardson
Via Facebook

Opinion, April 6, "Panhandling"
Very thoughtful article on panhandling this week. No easy answers, but it's an important conversation to have.
@signaturesmith
Via Twitter

The Ocho, April 6, "Eight Utah 'state works of art' that deserve as much designation as the Spiral Jetty"
The Spiral rocks. A fave.
Roger W Knox
Via Facebook

Five Spot, April 6, Salt Lake County Democratic Party Executive Director Nick Frederick
Kaine is a nut job. How he ever got elected to anything is a mystery. If ever there was a yes-man, it's got his name all over it.
David Burns
Via Facebook

The Hatch Game
What do you call a senator who has been in Washington, D.C., for years? Home. That was the campaign slogan of a young Orrin Hatch 40 years ago. I believe now, more than ever, is the time Utah heeds this advice.
      Not that I believe he hasn't served the state well. He has served us well at times, but at this point, his partisan aspirations are getting in the way of benefiting his constituents. My concern is he has always been a weather vane type of politician. But now he seems to be stuck to the hard right, agreeing with everything the Trump Administration and the far-right of his party want him to do. As a congressman, his job is not to carry water for administrations he personally likes and agrees with, but to provide a balance to the extreme positions any administration puts out there and to pass laws that will improve our lives. He has failed to protect us from Trump so far, and it doesn't look like he will.
      The signs are clear he will collude with them to pass an alt-right agenda. That will be bad for the American people and it is up to us to stop him in 2018. He has lost touch with his constituents and the majority of the American people. We need to say enough is enough. Time to pack up the office and call it a career, Orrin.
Lee C. Thatcher,
West Jordan


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