It’s sad to say that progress sometimes gets in the way of history. There may be no stopping the march as a majestic building at 125 S. Main awaits its fate. When XMission founder Pete Ashdown used social media to bemoan the building’s impending demise, he was met with dozens of comments from a perplexed public. Utah Heritage Foundation director Kirk Huffaker identified it as the Farmers & Stock Growers Bank, later used by Prudential Federal Savings & Loan, the visitor center for Utah Public Lands, the Museum of Utah Art & History, and a gallery for Utah Arts Alliance. The city plans to conserve the painted mural and the stained glass ellipse and may salvage some of the decorative plaster work, but the building itself will be replaced by a $100 million Utah Performing Arts Center. Salt Lake has lost a building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and almost lost the City & County Building. They’re only bricks and mortar, right?
Where there’s smoke, well, there may not be smoke. Legislators are looking at increasing the legal smoking age from 19 to 21 and, in Davis County, the Board of Health may be banning the advertising and amount of nicotine allowed in those newly popular e-cigarettes. It’s all about health—unless you talk to youths with a libertarian bent, who note they can go to war and vote before they’re 21. Estimates are that tobacco use costs Utahns $345 million in annual health-care costs—no, it’s not good to smoke. It’s lethal. But if a nationwide education campaign hasn’t worked, will a law? Or will we have a vibrant black market?
The Boy Scouts must be making a concerted effort to polish their reputation after the now-infamous YouTube video of two Scout leaders toppling a 170-million-year-old rock formation in Goblin Valley. The dumb deed has even sparked talk of legislation to prevent such folly in the future. Now the Scouts are delicately working to erase graffiti from Vernal’s Moonshine Arch, which was vandalized at its base with charcoal names. The Scouts contacted the Bureau of Land Management and tapped the expertise of its archaeologist before working on the sandstone. Utah’s landscape is just too fragile to bolt in without official approval and a working knowledge of the best methods.