Point A to Point B
Thank you Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, for saying the Utah Transit Authority is worth a criminal investigation. This is not something to continually sweep under the rug. UTA has a long and storied history of bad decisions that favor business—and themselves—and hurt the public. But wait, the legislature should be looking at more than just UTA. There's a pernicious attitude in Utah that says the best way to run a government is to give the public's money to a private organization and, voila, you've got the best of both worlds. This is why the voucher issue is still alive, why the Fair Board isn't profitable, why the Fund of Funds is ineffective, and why you don't hear about the Utah Technical Finance Corp. anymore. Quasi-public organizations are simply a way of abdicating responsibility. Periodic legislative audits just confirm the folly.
You may have heard about Salt Lake Mayor Ralph Becker's priorities: bikes. Much to the chagrin of businesses along 300 South, the city has constructed protected bike lanes that preclude street parking. Businesses are not happy despite the assertion that there's evidence biking and shopping local go together, according to a Salt Lake Tribune story, along with urban living—meaning 20-somethings living in high-rises. This spurs nightlife in the city, but not everyone rides a bike and lives in a high-rise. Parking has been made all but impossible with the high-priced kiosks. So take a train. The city is looking to expand the Ghost Train in Sugar House, another area where they have all but ignored public input. Let's not stop progress, but let's collaborate when we create it.
There's so much to be said about the Salt Lake City Main Library beyond its awesome architecture. Who knew there were beehives atop the library? Slow Food Utah donated the hives, which produce about 100 pounds of honey a year, and a Boy Scout troop is helping maintain them. Salt Lake's official beekeeper is hoping to pump up beekeeping in the urban area. The overriding reason is the crisis facing bee populations around the nation. In fact, Aug. 16 was National Honey Bee Day, and awareness campaigns have sprung up around the country. A third of the human diet comes from insect-pollinated plants, and honeybees are responsible for most of that, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. So it's important to keep up the buzz.