Page 2 of 13
Cindy McBride Gibbs
Great Salt Bake.
Ronette Nelson Knight
Latter-day Strains (but that's more of a brand name. It would have to have sub strains to make any sense).
Diet Coke Smoke.
The other green casserole with crunchy stuff.
Seagull Diesel, Provo Gold, Kolob Kush.
The Real Housewives of Salt Lake Hash.
Prophet's Private Stash, Temple Hemple, Holy Toke. High-n-Zion.
Bee-high State, Porter Smokewell, Modab.
Joseph Spliff, Temple Recommend, Bonneville Blunt.
Zion Curtain 3.2.
Capitol Reefer, Foot Lucid, Latter-day Dank, Jon Bluntsman Jr., Greatest Grow on Earth, Multi-level Marijuana, Doobie a Favor and Use Your Turn Signal.
As long as it's legal ... who cares?
Best Proponent of Utah Love
In 2018, the Imagine Dragons frontman expanded his LoveLoud Festival, which celebrates Utah's LGBTQ youth and raises awareness about the staggering suicide problem they face. With a new venue (University of Utah's Rice-Eccles Stadium), an attendance that more than doubled (from 17,000 to 42,000 fans) and a fundraising haul 10 times higher than in 2017 ($1,000,000 vs. $100,000), Reynolds made a huge impact on his adopted state. But the money was secondary to LoveLoud's main goal: spreading an inclusive brand of Utah love that treats everyone—gay, straight, religious and not—equal. "Growing up Mormon, you're quick to close your door if you feel like someone's attacking you," Reynolds told City Weekly in June. "If we're going to have this dialogue, it needs to come from within." (NM)
Best Hollywood First Amendment Proponent
A headline-grabbing fixture since her 1960 big-screen debut in Tall Story, two-time Oscar-winner Jane Fonda has gone through several reinventions (Spandex-clad workout, anyone?) giving ample material for a documentary based on her life, Jane Fonda in Five Acts, which premiered during the Sundance Film Festival. Apropos of Park City's Respect Rally—a gathering that commemorated one year since national Women's March—the actress took the stage and asked for attendees to support the Freedom of the Press during a passionate speech. "Let's find a way to protect and expand public media, both national and community-based," she told the crowd. We couldn't agree more. (EL)
Best Conservation Warriors
Utah Recycling Alliance
Between Fix-It Clinics, Sustainability Summits and Pop-up CHaRMs (collections of hard-to-recycle materials), the Utah Recycling Alliance is doing its part to keep Utah as green, and habitable, as possible. By encouraging a zero-waste lifestyle, these tree-hugging, earth-loving recyclers are helping people reuse their old and busted keepsakes by giving them the skills they need to make future repairs at home. Embrace your inner "Tim 'The Tool Man' Taylor" and learn how to fix broken blenders and messed up bicycle chains at a Fix-It Clinic, or recycle your old tires or DVDs at a Pop-up CHaRM; whatever URA program you do, you'll be giving the earth, and Utah's environment, a much-needed hug (KL)
Best Nature-Loving Ladies
Women Who Hike
Mom always cautioned you to never talk to strangers on the street. But talking to them on the internet and hiking into the wilderness with them is totally fine. I mean, we can't all be axe murderers, right? That's just statistics. Women Who Hike was started as a way to connect women who just want to hang out in nature with each other, and has exploded to chapters all across the U.S. The Utah Facebook group has more than 1,300 members, and state ambassadors familiar with off-the-beaten-path trails lead hikes several times per year. You don't have to be a dedicated backpacker to join—women just getting into the hobby are welcome to post questions and seek beginner hiking buddies. Hiking solo is no excuse to stay off the trail. (SA)
Best Failled Australian Import
Great Salt Lake Whales
Now for some history. Mr. James Wickham, upon first stepping foot onto the Great Salt Lake's banks must have surely—eyes squinting, scanning the watery horizon—said, "Call me Wickham." He, like Melville, had a whale to sale. The story goes, at least according to a June 24, 1890, article in the now-defunct Utah Enquirer, that in 1865 a "scientific English gentleman," Mr. Wickham, got it in his head to launch the Utah whaling industry within the Great Salt Lake's confines. He and a few like-minded men went a whale huntin' off the shores of Australia, plucked two whales from the depths, and brought them to Utah courtesy of a freightliner from Australia to San Francisco, and a train from San Fran to these parts. In a scene straight out of Whaling for Dummies, Wickham made a chicken-wire enclosure for his new pets and casually plopped them in. After about five minutes, the whales saw their chance, burst through the wire, and swam out into the depths. Needless to say, Wickham's Whaling Co. never quite took off, but if you sit along your favorite bank near dusk—eyes squinting, scanning the horizon—you might see a little geyser spout up from a whale descendant, proudly claiming the Great Salt Lake for itself. (ZS)
Best LGBTQ Advocate From an Institution You Wouldn't Expect
A faithful Latter-day Saint and former bishop, Richard Ostler encourages fellow devout Mormons to embrace LGBTQ people, groups the LDS church has historically stigmatized and demonized. Ostler hosts a podcast called Listen, Learn & Love and posts respectably trafficked Facebook statuses advocating for Mormons to respect and engage with LGBTQ people. Al though not affiliated with the church in any official capacity, Ostler's advocacy is an encouraging step forward, as it represents a radical set of actions that are all too rare in 2018—ditch your preconceived notions, seek out and talk with people whose experiences are vastly different from your own and, most importantly, listen. (KL)
Best Local Duped by Sacha Baron Cohen
British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen tricked conservatives and progressives into acting out embarrassing situations while filming his Showtime series Who Is America? Among the group was Utah gun rights activist and Women Against Gun Control founder Janalee Tobias, who fell for Cohen's prank after he told her his son had been killed by a terrorist and that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wanted toddlers to be trained with firearms so they could join the war against terrorism. While singing about killing militants with guns hidden in stuffed animals, Tobias was goaded to endorse using a "Dino gun," "Puppy pistol" and "Uzicorn" to fight the good fight. (KL)
Best Boneheaded Group Standing up for Their Second Amendment Rights
Utah Gun Exchange
Shortly before the survivors of the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School came to Utah in July, The Salt Lake Tribune reported that Bryan Melchior, one of the owners of the Utah Gun Exchange, had been following the students around the country in a militaristic armored vehicle. As the school shooting survivors advocated for gun regulations, Melchior held counter-rallies, protecting his civil rights by stalking teenagers. "The hostile environment created toward gun advocates in the Northeast is not unlike the hostile environments a black man would have experienced in the South hundreds of years ago," he told the Trib. Alrighty then. (KL)
Best New Social Media Follow
Utah's liquor stores can't advertise what's on sale. That doesn't stop Park City resident Kirsten Park, though, who runs the @utahsidebar account on Facebook and Instagram. Park takes away the pain of navigating the state's inventory online by doing it for you, posting the latest wine or liquor listed at a discount. She also includes a story about each item she posts, such as a $17.99 bottle of Hell-Cat Maggie Whiskey named after a Dead Rabbits gang member in Manhattan in the 1800s. So, not only do you learn about the best deals in Utah, you also read the history and inspiration behind the product—something you won't get from the state. (RH)
Best Political Brawl
Mia Love and Ben McAdams
Arguably the most interesting election in the Utah 2018 midterms, the Mia Love/Ben McAdams race had it all—allegations of both candidates using illegal campaign donations, political operatives masquerading as reporters to spy on the opposition and, of course, the specter of President Donald Trump, who won Love's district in 2016 with a mere 40 percent of votes. Final numbers haven't been tallied at press time, so we'll go ahead and issue two predictions: If McAdams wins, the Democrats gain another seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, adding to a potential blue wave that would give the minority party a much-needed boost of political power. If Love wins, her Republican star continues to rise for two more years until she does the same dance in 2020, when both she and Trump would be up for reelection. (KL)