City Weekly’s old pal Rocky Anderson called the other day to wish us a happy Fourth of July, complete with fireworks. Wasn’t that special? The mayor likes to keep track of old friends around holiday time.
He also mentioned that he wasn’t 100 percent thrilled with an editorial penned recently by this reporter. Of course, he was quite civilized about it, and didn’t use many four-letter words. Call it diplomacy.
Anyway, this reporter had the temerity in a recent editorial to urge Rocky to bring amusements downtown. “Instead of spending more money on the convention center, let’s come up with a plan that will make downtown exciting,” I wrote. “Mayor Rocky Anderson says he wants an exciting downtown. But so far, all he’s done is talk about it.”
Fireworks aside, Rocky has a point—he’s worked pretty hard for downtown. The new mayor kept Nordstrom on Main Street; he’s fighting the sprawl mall, which will pull business from downtown; he helped revise the planned library block to include a plaza; and he saved the light rail spur from the University of Utah to Main Street, among other things.
A job well-done, indeed. But what I referred to in the editorial was an attraction, something like the old-fashioned hand-carved carousel that was recently built in Missoula, Mont., by residents there. It might sound funny, but the carousel draws people young and old, visitors and residents alike. It’s fun!
Downtown aches for something beyond a convention hall to sustain life. It need not be a carousel, but you get the point. Concerts at Gallivan Center are a good beginning. But why can’t taxpayers pour their money into attractions downtown that would interest residents as well as tourists?
By the way, Rocky is a good tipper, according to the Deseret News. Columnist Cathy Free interviewed a waitress at the Village Inn pancake place who said the mayor always leaves a 20 percent tip. The man is generous to a fault—and apparently loves pancakes, too.
The waitress also said Jazz center Greg Ostertag wasn’t much of a tipper, despite his obscenely high salary. Can’t jump, can’t tip—what can you say?
Here’s something from our “What’s-a-Mother-To-Do” file: White rapper Eminem is being sued by his estranged mother. Deborah Mathers-Briggs has filed suit against her superstar son because the lyrics of his songs damage her reputation, she claims. Lines like, “I just found out my mother smokes more dope than I do,” are upsetting, she says.
Speaking of mothers, the Associated Press reports that Joseph Pileggi, 69, was shocked recently to find that three years ago he did not wed 83-year-old Ducile Palermo. Instead, he got hitched to her 61-year-old daughter, Carli Buchanan.
Pileggi is suing for annulment, but Buchanan says her husband got exactly what he bargained for—the wedding was consummated the day of the marriage, she says. Like mother, like daughter.