BEST RADIO TIME TRAVELERS
ntttDrive-Time Imposters (KRCL 90.9 FM)
nttWhen Renee and Dawn left their post as KRCL’s Local Imposters, devoted listeners feared the worst. What meaning could life possibly have without the radio hostesses’ dry, witty banter? Turns out all the worry was for naught. The DJ-duo simply jumped timeslots, from Wednesday evening to Wednesday afternoon, a move that actually improved on perfection. As Drive-Time Imposters, they can add more on-air performances by touring acts to an already stellar set of recorded indie, punk, post-punk and classic-rock sounds. Wednesdays, 3-6 p.m.
BEST ACADEMIC RELOCATION
nttWelcome to the marketplace of ideas. Jeffrey Nielsen only wished to share his view of gay marriage'which happened to oppose the LDS Church’s official position'in a newspaper forum. What he wrote in The Salt Lake Tribune, however, got him fired from his adjunct philosophy teaching position at Brigham Young University. It’s nice to know that while some institutions restrict academic freedoms, others celebrate them. Soon after being fired, the still-faithful LDS member was hired to teach philosophy at Westminster College and Utah Valley State College.
BEST OSCAR WINNER WITH A HEART
nttWhite-Dreyfous is founder and executive director of The Salt Lake City Film Center which offers free community screenings and discussions, outreach programs, and visiting artists and professionals ' many through the Salt Lake Public Library. She brought home an Academy Award for her documentary Born Into Brothels and produced another documentary, The Day My God Died, on the child-sex-slave trade narrated by Tim Robbins. If you’re looking for films with meaningful social content and artistic excellence, you need look no further than White-Dreyfous’ Salt Lake City Film Center as it looks to “provide forums for underrepresented groups, and to develop new audiences for film.”
ntttFrank Gehry Designed Super-Project in Lehi
nttWorld-famous architect Frank Gehry, whose marvels include the Walt Disney Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles and the Guggenheim in Bibao, Spain, unveiled designs for a development in Lehi that would include Utah’s tallest building, a 12,000-seat arena, wake-boarding lakes and … wait. Lehi? “It’s subtle how culture translates into architecture,” said Gehry, “and there is a culture in Utah.” It’s unclear how “subtle” a 12,000-seat arena could possibly be'but with Gehry attached, at least it will be unique. Now, having that said, you may now resume griping about the City Creek Center.
BEST ALL-AGES REBRANDING
nttThe Children’s Museum of Utah had long been a favored destination for families and schools'but the name alone suggested that anyone who had reached puberty might not find much to entertain them. When it moved to a new location in The Gateway, a new name was also born: “Discovery Gateway.” Not only does it offer a catchy double meaning, but it welcomes the adventure-minded of all ages into its exhibits and activities (provided you’re an adult willing to bring a child along). Now just keep the little rug rats away from me while I create my comic strip … 444 W. 100 South, 456-KIDS. DiscoveryGateway.org
BEST PR BONANZA
ntttPark City Names Official Cocktail
nttAfter placing ads to declare the resort town had officially seceded from Utah, Park City’s chamber of commerce and restaurant association decided to adopt a moniker for its new “independent republic.” The groups went with an official cocktail instead of a flag to emphasize that it is possible to get a drink in Utah, at least in Park City. We’re sure that the winner of the contest to become the official drink of the 2007-08 ski season'a “blueberry mojito” created by Deer Valley bartender Bonnie Ulmer'will also catch on.
BEST ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT QUESTION
ntttSwift vs. Subway
nttWhen the migra raided the Swift plant in Hyrum, hundreds of Hispanics were rounded up and deported, while the Feds patted themselves on the back for a job well done. But walk into any fast-food place in Utah, and the only English spoken by Hispanic staffs are menu items. Question: Were the large numbers the undocumented arrested in Hyrum strictly for show?
BEST LOCAL ECCENTRIC ON THE STREET
ntttNorman Wayne “ Pink Man” Jordonsen
nttYou’ve seen him at Liberty Park. You’ve seen him at the local coffeehouse. And, unless you’re not paying attention while driving around Salt Lake City, you’ve seen him on the street. He’s “The Pink Man,” donned in various combinations of his favorite color, from shoes to socks, shorts to shirt, and dyed hair to hat. Ask Jordonsen himself why he goes to these lengths in ode to his favorite color, and he may offer an explanation like this: “It’s a repeat of answers of questions or issues of other people’s issues that brighten your day.” Whatever, all we really know is the man’s favorite color.
BEST AMBASSADOR FOR A RAINBOW SALT LAKE CITY
nttIt was a huge national news story when former NBA player'including a stint with the Utah Jazz'John Amaechi announced in his autobiography that he was gay. But it caused an even bigger stir locally when Amaechi made the even more surprising observation that Salt Lake City was the “hippest, gayest city east of San Francisco.” And all this time we were worried that businesses might not relocate here because they feared an unwelcoming environment for the differently lifestyled. The state flag might bear the motto “Industry,” but it looks like the city flag should announce “Fabulous.”
BEST RESOURCE FOR LOCAL GROCERY SHOPPING
nttSustainable living starts with staying as local as possible'shorter transport means less energy consumed, and your purchasing dollar builds the local economy. This program'run by the state of Utah'gives residents information about in-state producers of their favorite foods, allowing them to build a shopping list that stays close to home. Your next trip to your neighborhood supermarket can fill your pantry with great stuff made not so far from your neighborhood. 538-7108, UtahsOwn.utah.gov
BEST ACCORDION INNOVATOR
nttNot all accordions are created equal, no matter what the casual listener may think when watching old Lawrence Welk shows on KBYU. Salt Lake City resident and Bingham Canyon native, Paul Pasquali designed and created the Concerto, the first ever digital/acoustic accordion and sells them through Accordions International. And when he’s not making custom models for those who need them, he also serves as presenter of the Las Vegas International Accordion Convention. All hail Utah’s king of the squeezebox.
BEST LAST BLAST
nttYou thought you’d heard the last from Super Dell when he shut down his Totally Awesome Computers stores last spring? Like this dude would ever go quietly. When he was finally sentenced to probation in August for making false statements to police after a speeding incident and gun-brandishing confrontation with Draper residents, Dell went on the offensive in a radio interview. “The governor should be fired because he should have stepped in and done something,” quoth a guy who clearly needs a civics lesson in which government officials can be “fired.” “Draper City should lose its ability to be a city because they’re complete bumbling, incompetent idiots,” he continued. And, apparently for the same reason, he lost his ability to be an entrepreneur.
BEST LOCAL LETTER TO A NATIONAL PUBLICATION
ntttCharles Tripp takes Ford down a notch in Time magazine
nttWith the deaths of President Gerald Ford and soul king James Brown'plus Saddam Hussein’s hanging'the early part of 2007 was a short lesson in mortality. The lauding of Ford was especially worrisome for those who remember his regrettable pardoning of Richard Nixon following the Watergate scandal. There to remind the nation in the letters section of Time’s Feb. 5 edition was Salt Laker Charles Tripp. “The pardon blocked application of the rule of law to a President who committed criminal acts while in office and was intended to save Nixon and the Republican Party from further legal scrutiny,” Tripp reminded us. “It will forever sully Ford’s record as President.” Tripp’s letter was a history lesson we’d all be mindful never to forget.
BEST POLITICAL TRIP WORD
nttSen. Joe Biden, D-Del., caught mighty flak in January for his comments about presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., being, “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean …” One of the lesser-known gaffes by our own Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of June last year, however, was his remark that a constitutional ban on gay marriage was supported by “good, clean, decent Americans.” A reporter for The New Republic took down Hatch’s words verbatim, then noticed the subsequent deletion of the word “clean” in the official Congressional Record. So while homosexuals may not be dirty, exactly, they still don’t qualify as “good, decent Americans.” Nice.
BEST EDITORIAL BACKGROUND CHECK
ntttLDS Church’s Ensign magazine
nttEnsign had a particularly nasty surprise when it discovered that one contributor, Ukrainian convert Oleg Barabash, was sentenced last August for two class A misdemeanors of lewdness involving a child. Barabash’s editorial contribution to the October issues of Ensign and Liahona magazines, about reactivating his LDS faith, made it to the pages, but the editorial department was swift in alerting the public. Turns out they run thorough background checks on contributors but that Barabash gave in to Satan only after cashing the check. “Ensign editors regret that this story was published after the status of the author had changed,” a church statement read. Does this mean past contributors can expect more background checks before current issues of Ensign make it to microfilm?
BEST UTAH-THEMED ART EXHIBIT YOU NEVER SAW
ntttJohn Arndt’s “Empire” exhibit at Chicago’s Gallery 400
nttDon’t believe it when people tell you Wendover’s Utah side is nothing but trailer homes and one suffocating blanket of depression. True, Chicago artist John Arndt had to venture far out from his artist’s residency at the old military base and into the desert salt flats to find what he was looking for. He found them all the same, then assembled it all for his Empire exhibit, one part fascinating found objects with other parts a haunting sound-recording and photo exhibit. Yeah, maybe an old typewriter, “Preserved,” and tire, “Bonneville Flat” (get it?), encrusted in crystallized salt do more for big-city Westerners, but give the man credit all the same. We can only hope Arndt might one day take the exhibit back closer to its origins.
BEST DOWNTOWN SLC RESTORATION
ntttThe Stratford Apartments at 2nd & 2nd
nttExcept for the low-income tenants who lived there, not many people shed a tear when the old Stratford Hotel was gutted by a June 2005 fire. Now, thanks to developer Ben Logue and a partnership grant from the city’s housing and development department, the Stratford has been restored and revamped, pleasantly and surprisingly, into one of downtown Salt Lake City’s small crown jewels of old architecture. In fact, this project is so spiffy, you’d hardly guess it was restored for its old purpose of low-income housing. Solar panels on top of the roof are a nice bonus, too. In short, the Stratford is everything we could hope for in a redevelopment project: classy, “green,” and something good for the disadvantaged. Kudos all ’round. 175 E. 200 South
BEST MIDSUMMER DOWNTOWN TART-UP
ntttMain Street Planters
nttMindless consumers may have abandoned downtown’s remaining shops and businesses to the tender mercies of the LDS Church real-estate juggernaut, but those of us with taste are still mindful enough of Main Street’s (potential) charms. Therefore, we offer our thanks to the city for providing and maintaining eye-catching planters up and down the street during the warm season. One particularly attractive container featured a simple yet effective mix of asparagus fern and fibrous begonia'it bloomed the entire season. We suppose the irksome and commonplace zinnia/lobelia mix featured at The Gateway suited some people, but we’re glad to work and shop downtown.
BEST ASHTRAY SUBSTITUTE
ntttMain Street Planters
nttTrashcans are flammable and throwing your butt on the sidewalk is tacky, tacky, tacky. What’s an addict to do? Fortunately, until merchants start once again providing ashtrays for their customers instead of passive-aggressively omitting this genteel service, those lovely Main Street flower containers are available. Sure, it looks like hell, but it’s better than quitting. And, apparently, tar and nicotine aren’t as poisonous to asparagus ferns and fibrous begonias as they are to human lungs.
BEST WILD THING
nttA wildlife artist for nearly 20 years and one of the top colored-pencil artists in the country, Jan Henderson’s work captures the personality of animals like few can. Animals literally come to life for her. “You just can’t get the softness of fur with oil or acrylic that can be achieved with colored pencil,” she says. Her work has been reproduced as posters, limited edition prints, wallpaper borders, puzzles, T-shirts, needlecraft kits, and greeting cards. Pet portraits are her specialty. Draw her wild work into your life. JanHendersonArt.com
BEST MAGAZINE MAVEN ON MAIN
nttAs owner of the jam-packed Utah Book & Magazine, Marshall is one of Main Street’s most colorful characters, selling used general-interest and out-of-print books, vintage adult magazines, old comics and Mormon books. Marshall, rumored to be related to the Hollywood Marshalls (Garry and Penny), is the third generation to run the shop (his granddad founded it in 1916). After 43 years, Marshall must love what he does; he works from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Watching who shows up to browse at 6 a.m. can be a pastime in itself. Utah Book & Magazine, 327 S. Main, 359-4391