The Missing Piece | Hits & Misses | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

The Missing Piece 

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The Missing Piece
Well, it's nice that someone is finally talking about the monster building boom in Salt Lake City. The Salt Lake Tribune asked readers if it's "difficult to find an affordable place to rent in Salt Lake County?" Great question—but it totally missed the low-income people who maybe don't get the paper or read Facebook much. A related story makes it clear that there's a whole lot of building going on and that people are being priced out of the market. But it lacks a voice from the housing community, which has long been asking for more moderate- and low-income units. A read through the story's comments gives the bigger picture. There, readers debated placing blame on greedy management companies and landlords or on the robust economy of the state. "The fastest growing segment of the population are those who qualify for housing assistance through section 8 and section 42," one said.

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Priorities
E-coli. There's a yuck factor that obviously moved Salt Lake City forward on a less-than-thoughtful route to totally rebuild Liberty Park's Seven Canyons Fountain. By totally rebuild, I mean "tear out all of the existing water features, concrete, walkways, landscaping rocks, boulders and features," Sam Goldsmith told KSL. Goldsmith is the son of artist Stephen Goldsmith, who painstakingly studied the canyons and took stones from each of them to create the fountain. Oh, yeah, and while the city said they'd be making upgrades, they neglected to say anything about demolishing the fountain. It also appears that they took a bid from only one company—and that was for $2 million. If this is all about making it baby-proof, the city might need to get its priorities straight.

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An Opportunity
We can only hope that the state will delay—and delay—the unfortunate .05 percent blood alcohol limit passed by the Legislature. It's not that people want to drive around drunk. It's that, well, people do like to have a drink with dinner and not be considered drunk. Given that most of the Legislature probably doesn't drink, it makes sense to listen to the tourism and hospitality industry. Gov. Gary Herbert apparently is willing to delay the law, according to his monthly news conference. But we can hope, can't we, that the Legislature will reconsider and perhaps make texting while driving an offense instead. That increases your chances of an accident by 23 percent, according to Phillips Law Group. Almost 82 percent of DUI arrests were involved .08 BAC or greater, according to a report to the Legislature. A .05 limit is unnecessary.

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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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