Seeing Green | Hits & Misses | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Seeing Green 

The Northwest Quadrant and its battle between city and state; a voting irony in San Juan County and pay attention to the numbers on crime.

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Seeing Green
The best outcome for the Northwest Quadrant would be if no one developed it at all. You know, with its fragile ecosystem and rapidly shrinking wetlands. But that's not the view of House Speaker Greg Hughes, who is just righteously indignant about anyone—especially Salt Lake City—questioning his intentions and making what he sees as false statements, according to the Deseret News. The Inland Port Authority is supposed to be Hughes' lasting legacy, one with lots of zeros and dollar signs—all for the state to manage. The city quickly moved in to create deals with developers. "Since the area was going to be developed, the thought was that the city would be more conscience of environmental factors than if the state were in charge, so we tried to get in front of it," Councilman Charlie Luke told City Weekly via email. But under the new law, the state can veto any city decisions.


Monolithic Irony
You've got to love the irony of white people crying discrimination among the Native American population. When The Salt Lake Tribune ran the headline that included, "We've been disenfranchised," there was a perceptible din of disbelief. "Isn't it enough that that we've taken away Native Americans' land? Do we have to take away their votes as well?" Paul Simmons wrote in retort. Another writer called it Jim Crow thinking. But white Republican whining is exactly what's happening in San Juan County ever since a federal judge redrew voting boundaries to give Navajos a majority. "He stabbed the citizens of San Juan County in the heart," one white voter said. Now that the statewide redistricting ballot is being certified, we'll see what happens to the rest of this otherwise monolithic state.


True News
While there is no dearth of #fakenews in our political environment, the #truenews department gets some props for crunching the numbers on Operation Rio Grande. "Statistics show that aggregate crime has been falling steadily in Salt Lake City as a whole since 2015, and the total analyzed crimes committed are at the lowest point since 2013," a Pioneer Park Coalition study notes. There was a downside, however. Rapes have been increasing. Whether due to better reporting, the #metoo movement or more instances, it's a concern that should be addressed. The coalition had hoped to parse numbers from cities like West Valley City, Taylorsville, South Salt Lake and Murray, but the up-to-date data were not made available. If cities are concerned that crime is moving in, they should focus on the data to prove it.

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About The Author

Katharine Biele

Katharine Biele

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.

More by Katharine Biele

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