Salt Lake businesses fed up with homelessness take the service providers to court | Hits & Misses | Salt Lake City Weekly
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Salt Lake businesses fed up with homelessness take the service providers to court

Hits & Misses



See You in Court
Homelessness is still a huge problem in the state, and it's not getting any better. Enter disgruntled businesses, who are blaming Shelter the Homeless Inc. and The Road Home for problems related to fights, vandalism and defecation around the area. They are so upset with these "unlawful acts" that they are suing the two nonprofits because they can't stop the drug use of the burgeoning homeless population. "Some may also question the motives of the business owners, who maintained they have 'no issue with the unsheltered,' or with 'responsible' facilities for the homeless," a KUTV 2News report said. No doubt, the situation is bad. There's not enough state funding for homeless intervention, and no matter how groups try to help, no good deed goes unpunished. The balance between enforcement and aid is precarious at best while politicians battle over how to handle this humanitarian problem.


Don't Tread on Me
Federal overreach wins again, and Utah isn't happy. Gov. Spencer Cox and a gaggle of off-roaders filed legal challenges to a new Bureau of Land Management rule closing large swaths around Labyrinth Canyon to motorized use. That's about a quarter of the area in the Gemini Bridges and Labyrinth Canyon area near Moab. Cox called it unacceptable because the area has been open for generations. Of course, off-roading has changed a lot over the years. The BLM took 10,000 public comments before restricting the area and left 96% of the Jeep Safari routes open. The Southern Utah Wilderness Association noted problems from powerful off-road vehicles, whose noise and dust disproportionately impacted most public land users. "This brings balance to the outdoors the way Anakin Skywalker brought balance to the force by killing all the good guys," sniped Off-Road Trail Defenders member Patrick McKay. Apparently, the general public are not "good guys."


Apples and Oranges
Despite the pretzel-twisting, these two things are not the same: Esteemed right-wingnut and #anticommunist Rep. Trevor Lee compared a Massachusetts law on co-ed sports to Utah's ban on trans athletes in a triggering post. Lee has been thanking Morgan Republican Rep. Kera Birkeland for saving Utah children from trans athletes, as he reposted an X-tweet from swimmer Riley Gaines about how a female high school athlete was injured by a male field hockey player. First, the Massachusetts incident was not about trans athletes, although the repost came from Gaines, a famed anti-trans swimmer—who is not from Massachusetts. "Student safety has not been a successful defense to excluding students of one gender from participating on teams of the opposite gender. The arguments generally fail due to the lack of correlation between injuries and mixed-gender teams," wrote the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association. And finally, the injury was during field hockey. Argue about whether that game is safe.