Salt Lake Mayor Ralph Becker likes the rep the city has for trying to clean the air. Now comes a letter from the mayor asking “friends and colleagues” to join him as the city celebrates “a trio of landmark solar projects.” Realtor and activist Babs De Lay had sent out an invitation for the celebration of a solar project in the Marmalade district two weeks before, and she was not impressed by Becker’s invitation: “So not one person from the City (out of 50+ invitees) could show up one afternoon to see the city’s first solar home project that the city endorsed. So now I get this e-mail from the mayor’s office about the three ‘landmark’ solar projects. Um, Mayor Ralphie and Co ... there are four projects. Who’s giving you money to get their projects noticed?” The mayor’s letter didn’t even include a time or place to meet.
Speaking of letters, the city might want to reconsider some of its online verbiage. In its SLC Green section, the city touts its Project Skyline and Sustainable City Dashboard. Project Skyline is supposed to encourage energy efficiency in buildings, although the first thing you read is how “business leaders, clean-air advocates, and health-care professionals joined Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker and U.S. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to announce the launch of Project Skyline.” Then there’s the Sustainable City Dashboard, which apparently seeks input for the city’s effort (“apparently” because the city says it “features over 100 different metrics from 12 core areas of livability,” whatever that means). There were only five comments on the energy blog, and the city discouraged the one who suggested getting rid of plastic bags.
Cops & Dogs
People really don’t like animals being shot and killed. That was the message from the hundreds who rallied to protest the death of Geist, the dog killed by a police officer who says the 2-year-old Weimaraner was aggressive when the officer entered a backyard in search of a missing child. Police Chief Chris Burbank was righteously indignant in a press conference to defend the officer. No, people should not be writing hate letters and sending death threats to the officer—or anyone. That was something to be indignant about. But the Humane Society of Utah is right in asking whether the department has proper training to deal with such situations. It has also offered help in training with non-lethal alternatives.