Not-So-Free Fare | Hits & Misses | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Not-So-Free Fare 

Also: Help 'Em Young, Convention Circus

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Not-So-Free Fare
Oh, please tell us how this works. The Utah Transit Authority is so financially wrecked that it has to cut back bus routes and wants to raise fares or eliminate free-fare zones. But wait. In the past year and a half, it has spent more than $600,000 on travel for board members and other really important people. It just had to be done, the defenders say. Right. Cuba—that shining example of mass transit where they can’t even afford spare parts for their buses. But they just want to get educated, to learn how to change Utah from a car-centric state into a, uh, what? In this, the age of virtual learning and technological solutions, UTA focuses on junkets. Hey, you’ve got to lobby, right? It might have been cheaper to just bribe people.

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Help ’Em Young
Conservative Sen. Stuart Reid, R-Ogden, may just have something helpful in his just-passed Senate Bill 37, Intergenerational Poverty Provisions. This bill tells Workforce Services to track at-risk kids and other groups, and “identify trends, and to assist case workers, social scientists and government officials in the study and development of plans and programs to help individuals and families break the cycle of poverty.” In other words, he recognizes that poverty is a complicated issue and children are a key. Reid worked with progressive groups in hopes that data will provide solutions, possibly not the kind that simply punish single mothers and, ultimately, the kids who need care. All this from the man who wants to transfer public lands to the state and make it illegal to photograph farm animals.

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Convention Circus
You may have noticed that the GOP held its national convention recently. NPR did, and offered the world a look at Mormons and how the LDS Church navigates the political waters. They wanted to hear from Mormons, some of whom mentioned peer pressure to vote for Mitt Romney. OK, that was mildly interesting, but the Deseret News felt it was really important to highlight “the Mormon Dilemma”—whether Mormons chose to watch Mitt’s speech or BYU beat the be-Jesus out of Washington State. The D-News printed all manner of Tweets about it. “A very Mormony night,” one said. Now that’s it’s over, most probably wished they’d watched the convention, if only to witness that special surprise guest speaker, Clint Eastwood, playing the part of a senile old man.
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About The Author

Katharine Biele

Katharine Biele

Bio:
A City Weekly contributor since 1992, Biele is the informed voice behind our Hits & Misses and Citizen Revolt columns. When not writing, you can catch her working to empower voters and defend democracy alongside the League of Women Voters.

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