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Virtually There 

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Gov. Mike Leavitt is “Virtually There,” according to a press kit, where Mike takes the place of Keanu Reeves in the heist of The Matrix by the Gentner Corp. and its public relations firm, the Intrepid Group. A noticeably buff Leavitt appears in long leather coat, tight fitting black duds and motorcycle boots. He looks like he’s ready to kick some you-know-what. Call it a whole new image for the guv.

The promo was intended to hype the hi-tech industry. According to the DVD knockoff, “Gov. Mike Leavitt to address how Utah technology is responding to the need for new ways to conduct business.”

Hopefully, the guv is connecting the dots on business technology better than he did with the Olympic bid-buying scandal. Dave Johnson is totally bummed out with Matrix Mike for setting him and sidekick Tom Welch up for the fall, while the rest of the Olympic glitterati took a powder.

As you’ll recall, the Salt Lake (Olympic) Organizing Committee set up an ethics panel and provided it with only the information that would be necessary to draw a road map directly to Dave and Tom. It worked like a charm. The feds filed a 15-count indictment against them.

Federal Judge David Sam, who had tossed bribery charges earlier, threw out the rest of the felony counts against Johnson and Welch last week. The U.S. Attorney’s Office has appealed the ruling to the 10th Circuit Court in Denver.

The fat lady has yet to sing.

And speaking of singing (notice clever segue), the International Olympic Committee will allow athletes in luge, bobsled, skeleton and ski jump to play their favorite music while competing in the upcoming Winter Games. Of course, ice skaters have always done that because their performances are choreographed to music.

But it’s hard to know if bobsled riders could even hear music as they flash down the icy course at 90 mph with the force of 3-Gs pulling at their faces. Maybe something like “Shoot, Speed, Kill, Light” by Primal Scream would fit the bill. Or perhaps “Can’t Drive 55” by Sammy Hagar.

For ski jumpers, there’s always “Jump” by Van Halen. Or maybe “Fly Away” by Lenny Kravitz. Or even the old Steve Miller standard “Fly Like an Eagle.” Certainly, they’d want to avoid tunes like “Wipe Out” by the Safaris. And anything by Sonny Bono would simply be bad karma.

Here’s a cheery note for the Yuletide season: Republicans on the Salt Lake County Council voted down a proposal to chip into the Primary Children’s Medical Center Festival of Trees, reports Amy Joi Bryson in the Deseret News. Councilman Joe Hatch, a Democrat, who refused to take a junket to a St. George convention along with 11 other county officials, said the $2,000 he would have spent could go toward the Christmas tree program.

Sorry, Joe, no sale. Republicans on the council, who all went to St. George at a cost of $2,198 each, said no money would be going to the children’s charity. Bah, humbug.

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