The West View

The West View

by Liesa Manuel

Utah’s proposed state-sponsored inland port would comprise about 20,000 acres of mostly unused land, including wetlands, in Salt Lake City’s northwest quadrant. An inland port is a hub of commercial transportation options – train, truck, and air – with links to major seaports.  Inland ports have the infrastructure and customs operations to handle high volumes of freight.  Therefore, a variety of businesses are drawn to a concentrated area, and significantly impact that area.

The subject of the Salt Lake Valley’s air quality was not a key focus of discussion at the Utah World Trade Center’s annual Global Forum in November, but it was mentioned in a breakout session discussing the Utah Inland Port. It was not the stated topic of discussion at any other session during roughly six hours of the Utah Global Forum, although sponsors included the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development and the Salt Lake City Department of Economic Development.

The implication throughout the panel discussion of the inland port was that changing the state’s business freight model was an essential priority for Utah’s future success and that increased rail traffic was the focus of the port project.

Robert Grow, CEO of Envision Utah (a non-profit dedicated to growth planning) moderated the panel. The members included Lance Bullen, Managing Partner of Colmena group, a major property developer in the quadrant; Lara Fritts, Director of Salt Lake City’s Department of Economic Development; Inland Port Authority Board member Wade Garrett of the Utah Farm Bureau; and Darin Parker, Managing Director of Parker-Migliori, a large Utah-based meat exporter.

Bullen, whose company sponsored the forum, described Utah’s project as an “intellectual idea.” He also said, “I don’t think that we can afford not to do the inland port because of air quality,” adding later, “Trucks will come anyway...Rail beats any form of transit.”

Grow challenged the panel members to be specific about whether regional air quality would benefit from the operations of the port by asking whether they were “confident,” and “Is there a study underway?” While no panel member answered his question directly, Fritts stated that “…air quality is part of the plan,” and Bullen responded, “That process is shared,” and “We are already at non-attainment.” (“Non-attainment” refers to the fact that our region does not meet federal air quality standards.)

Panel members enthusiastically described the business and economic benefits of an inland port in detail, which prompted Grow to point out, “There are three major west-coast ports,” and ask, “Why here?”

Fritts said that Utah, and Salt Lake City in particular, already has a “global brand,” and that the purpose of the port is to support Utah’s growing participation in the “global trade economy.” In addition, she noted that Salt Lake City links two major interstate highway systems. She said Salt Lake City is part of “Team Utah’” and “has always been very committed” to the inland port project, even though “a couple of changes may still be needed.” She did not specify what those changes might be. (Fritts has been reported as objecting to the Inland Port Authority Board’s handling of tax incentives for business expansion in the port boundaries.)

Parker summed up his argument with “The question is not whether inland ports will be built, but where.” He explained the advantage of utilizing easy access to rail. “Shipping by train is eight times cheaper than by truck.”

Bullen said, “We need to make sure that shipping in and out of Utah is cheaper than LA...Today shipping from Chicago is cheaper.” He had already said “there is a 90 percent chance that something purchased this week [in Salt Lake] came by truck from California,” and elaborated that, because customs services would be offered in Salt Lake, containers could be unloaded from a West-Coast port directly onto a train headed for Salt Lake and then transported by train or truck to subsequent destinations. Then, explained Bullen, there is “utility on the backhaul” because “these containers can pay freight back to a home port.”

The efficacy of existing direct international travel routes from the Salt Lake City airport was mentioned by way of analogy. The appeal of expedited routes for business travel was compared to the demand for direct international shipping starting by rail in Salt Lake that the port would offer, but no panel member directly speculated about increased airfreight. Nor did anyone mention an issue that has concerned some environmentalists: a possible additional runway at Salt Lake International Airport – an issue likely to impact wetlands, bird migration, air quality, and anyone who may be taxed to pay for the project.

Parker and Garrett said that the port would be an advantage to existing agricultural exports to Asian markets, stating that Utah is one of the largest U.S. exporters of eggs, while Utah’s largest cash crops are either hay or fruit. These commodities can be transported efficiently by containerized rail shipping.

All examples cited suggested that the “utility on the backhaul” outlined by Bullen would be agricultural products. The relocation of Kabota tractors to Kansas after that state established an inland port was mentioned as proof that inland ports draw out-of-state businesses.

Deeda Seed of the Center for Biological Diversity, one of the environmental groups attending Utah Inland Port Authority Board meetings regularly, listened to the panel discussion and explained her concerns about potential threats to air quality posed by the port after the meeting.

The first issue was the high likelihood that the port will be used to transport natural resources, particularly coal. Seed cited the makeup of the Port Authority Board’s Technical Subcommittee. Members of that committee include representatives from the state’s Division of Oil, Gas, and Mining; the Community Impact Fund Board, which allocates state funds to communities or government entities impacted by “mineral resource development on federal lands,” according to the Five County AOG website; and SITLA, the oversight board that manages oil, gas, and mineral leasing funds from state school trust lands.

Seed’s other concern was the possibility that the drayage – transportation of containers and rail cars around the rail yard – will remain mostly diesel. Grow had mentioned that the Inland Port plans project a need for a second rail line because of an increased volume of freight. Seed thinks the drayage activity and resulting air pollution would increase, especially since the rail yard is operational around the clock.

Seed says electric switching engines are the logical choice, but expensive. Union Pacific, Salt Lake’s existing rail freight carrier, as well as BNSF, the proposed second rail carrier, would therefore need incentives to make such expenditures.

While Port Authority Board chairman Derek Miller has been quoted in the Salt Lake Tribune as saying, “We’re excited about the prospect of building a clean port,” no concrete air quality standards exist. However, the current version of state legislation creating the Inland Port Authority Board still allows the board to override municipal zoning designating types of businesses, industries, or the type of freight handled by the port.

The City Council completed zoning changes early December. While the city cannot limit the materials handled by the port, the new zoning regulations (if not overridden) address storage and transfer methods for materials that significantly affect air quality such as coal, oil or uranium. The regulations also ban industries that create significant air pollution, such as oil refineries or chemical factories, and mandate environmental mitigation plans for those not directly banned.

 

Inland Port Authority Board Members

The 11 members of the Inland Port Authority Board are listed below according to the entities that appointed them. The original appointing entities, which were first laid out in a bill that passed in the final hours of the 2017 Utah Legislative session, were modified by special session following opposition from Salt Lake City. The board and its technical subcommittee include members with backgrounds in natural resource development.

The Governor of the State of Utah (at his discretion) appointed:

Derek Miller is the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce president and former Chief of Staff to Governor Herbert.  Miller also headed the Utah World Trade Center. The Chamber of Commerce describes the Utah World Trade Center’s mission as to “help Utah companies think, act, and succeed globally.”  The Utah Global Forum is one of their projects.  Others include coordinating trade delegations and assisting in obtaining grants for Utah business interested in export opportunities.

The Governor (drawing from the Governor’s Office of Economic Development) appointed:

Ben Hart is the Deputy Director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. His recent work projects have included business education partnerships such as the Utah Aerospace Partnership, and previously his efforts to bring major business developments to the Layton area when he worked for Layton City.

The President of the Utah State Senate appointed:

Gregg Buxton is a Republican state senator representing parts of Davis and Weber Counties. He directs management services for the City of Ogden.

The Speaker of the Utah House of Representatives appointed:

Francis Gibson is a Republican representative from Mapleton (Utah County) and Utah’s House Majority Leader. He has a background in hospital administration. Gibson replaced then House Speaker Greg Hughes, who had appointed himself to the board, but later resigned because of his property holdings within five miles of the proposed project boundaries. (Changes to eligibility rules were made later in a special session of the Utah State Legislature that have benefited other board members.)

The Salt Lake County Mayor appointed:

Michael Jensen is a Salt Lake County Council member and former chief of the Unified Fire Authority. Jensen resigned in 2018 when he was investigated, but not charged, in mishandling of $370,000 in UFA funds.

The Chair of the Permanent Community Impact Fund Board (drawing from the board) appointed:

Garth “Tooter” Ogden is a Sevier County Commissioner with a background in farming, but he also sits on the Community Impact Fund Board, which provides grants and loans to communities and other government entities impacted by mineral and fossil fuel development, particularly on public lands.

West Valley City Manager (with City Council approval) appointed:

Nicole Cottle is West Valley City’s Economic Development Director and its Assistant City Manager. She is also an attorney. 

The Chair of the Salt Lake Airport Advisory Board appointed:

Laura Fitts is Director of the Department of Economic Development of Salt Lake City. Her background includes public and private sector positions in business development, and particular expertise in negotiation of tax credits and other government incentives.

Council Member from Salt Lake City Council District 1 (required by code):

James Rogers is the Salt Lake City Council member representing District 1, which includes most of the future Inland Port site. Rogers is a local businessman, who owns property within five miles of the inland port boundaries.

Executive Director of the Utah Department of Transportation (required by code):

Carlos Braceras is the Executive Director of the Utah Department of Transportation.

Director of the Salt Lake County Office of Regional and Economic Development (required by code):

Stuart Clason is the director of the Salt Lake County Regional and Economic Development. Utah Policy.com says that during his time in Utah’s Governor’s Office of Economic Development Clason was “the state expert on oil, gas, and mining.”

by Marilyn Shelton

Dockless scooters from Lime and Bird have become a part of Salt Lake City’s street landscape, ever since they arrived in late summer.

“Whether it’s a Green Bike or a scooter, the exciting thing about these options is that they have the power to clear our air by bridging the first mile-last mile gap which keeps many people from utilizing the city’s transit network,” said Mayor Jackie Biskupski in October.

“[The mayor] wants people who live more than a quarter of a mile from the bus or TRAX stop to have more access to transit. They can ride that scooter from their apartment or home to the nearest bus stop or maybe all the way downtown or wherever they need to go,” said Matthew Rojas, Director of Communications of the Salt Lake City Mayor’s Office.

That is how the city came to partner with dockless scooter companies Bird and Lime in an October safety event called “Walk Your Wheels.” The main message of the event was to encourage individuals to use alternate means of transportation, and to follow the rules.

Lime and Bird passed out approximately 700 free helmets and flyers with scooter safety tips at the event.

To encourage scooter riders to stay off the sidewalks and in the bike lanes, Mayor Biskupski spray painted a stencil on the sidewalk near 300 South and 160 East that read, “This is the place for walking.” She also said, “We all have the responsibility to respect the rules of the road and the sidewalks. We must remember that those who choose to walk in our city are also a part of the solution and the sidewalk needs to remain a comfortable place for them.”

“I know of plenty of people who’ve been frightened or nearly hit by a person on a scooter on the sidewalk…Right now we want to use [the scooters] as a new way to get around town, but you know, eventually people could be getting tickets for it,” said Paul Murphy, Deputy Director of Communications from the Mayor’s Office.

“Salt Lake City has great bike lanes in every part of our city, and we want to encourage cyclists and scooters to utilize these lanes whenever possible. The city is continuing to partner with Lime and Bird to make scooters part of our multi-motive transit system,” said Mayor Biskupski.

The dockless scooters travel about 15 mph and apps for both companies dispense safety advice including, “No bikes blocking the public walkway please,” from Bird, and a reminder on the Lime app to use a helmet. There is also a legal disclaimer on the Bird app that says that riders ride at their own risk.

The Bird app requires a driver’s license before riding the scooters, to certify that riders are at least 18 years of age. Both companies require riders to take a photo of where you leave a scooter so that other users can easily locate them after you end your ride by scanning the barcode on the vehicles.

Daniel Franklin, Operations Manager for Lime, addressed the Walk Your Wheels press conference: “We are looking forward to working with the mayor and the city to make scooter riding as safe as possible, not only for the riders but for the pedestrians on the sidewalk as well. We’re going to work with the city to help implement these rules and guidelines.” 

Sam Reed, Bird’s Director of Partnerships for the Central Region, said, “40 percent of car rides are two miles or less. Bird is a last-mile vehicle sharing solution.” “Safety is paramount to us at Bird...It’s our top priority to support the well-being of our riders and the communities in which they ride,” he added.

Reed also spoke about the launch of the “Bird Watchers” program in Salt Lake. “Bird Watchers are a reminder to help improve safe walking on sidewalks and you’ll start seeing them out on the streets in the days ahead. They’ll provide ground support including re-parking of the Bird vehicles so that Birds do not obstruct the right-of-ways.”

At the event, Lime and Bird each pledged to donate $1 per scooter per day to the city to be used for safety outreach and for scooter infrastructure improvement, which may include the placement vehicles. Reed from Bird said, “This is money that will go to improving the already fantastic bike lane infrastructure that Salt Lake City has.”

Murphy from the mayor’s office said that 500 scooters are currently allowed daily placement by each scooter company so, “That’s potentially $1,000 a day that they could be donating toward helping build up Salt Lake City’s scooter infrastructure.”

Of the 1,000 daily scooters allowed in the city, 100 of the scooters are to be placed west of I-15, according to a temporary operating permit in place since July with the companies. Murphy said that the pledged $1 per scooter per day could potentially help with bike lane route expansion on the west side. 

This winter, Lime placed e-bikes in the city. According to Jon Larsen of the Salt Lake City Transportation Division, Lime has deployed about 130 e-bikes so far. Lime is required to pull a scooter for every bike deployed. As of December 6, there were only eight bikes on the west side, but some of them may have been ridden downtown.

“We know that transportation is a bigger problem on the west side. Not everyone lives next to a bus or TRAX station. People living in Rose Park and Glendale, those areas, they need some sort of transportation to get them to a bus or TRAX,” Murphy said.

Out of three people selected at random on Salt Lake City streets and interviewed by The West View about their scooter riding habits and usage, all three of them said that they preferred the riding experience of Bird to Lime. All three also said that they did not use a helmet when riding the scooters, although they all said they followed the rules when riding the scooters. All three riders said that they had a car, but were using the scooters to bridge the first mile-last mile gap and for what public transportation didn’t cover. All three said that they felt safe riding the scooters and hadn’t had any accidents, although one said, “I don’t like riding on the sidewalk. Too many people.”

“Bird has bigger tires and more stability,” said a male scooter rider who asked to remain anonymous, when asked about his preference.

“Bird is a little bit nicer,” said Emily Hauns of Downtown Salt Lake City.

“Bird. Fewer bumps,” said a man who would identify himself only as J.D., who said that he had relocated to Salt Lake City from St. George. “The scooters are so convenient; there is one on every corner. I have ridden them up to seven miles,” he said.

Two of the people polled said that they use the scooters to run errands, and one said that they use the scooters to go back and forth to work.

According to Rojas, “Walk Your Wheels” is an ongoing scooter education and safety outreach campaign with more events planned in Salt Lake in the future. Rojas said that that the rain in early October slowed completion of the sidewalk safety campaign stencils, but more safety messages will be painted throughout the city eventually.

by Justice Morath

I bike throughout the city whenever possible, but one day last fall I was running late to an important meeting and had to drive my van. Heading south down 900 West, I see the dreaded train stop on the tracks ahead. I hear that they are only legally allowed to block roadways for like 10-15 minutes, but anyone on the west side knows this is not enforced, and it will be a long sit here on the wrong side of the tracks. Instead, I swerve into the left turn lane to drive down North Temple.

Driving past the infamously problematic Gateway Inn, I spot my friend’s bike. Two gaunt, white men are just standing by it. I know the deal; my friend’s bike was stolen the week before. It’s distinctive – specifically built for bike polo (a niche sport with a strong scene here in the newly repurposed tennis courts at Jordan Park). So I whip around the block and park.

The Arctic Circle next door had recently closed down. They claimed the crime right there was the culprit, but franchises were shutting down all over the state. The police and mayor’s office had announced that they were going to turn it into a satellite police station to fix the issues on North Temple.

Boom, I think to myself. I’ll get the cops!

But I peek in through the SLCPD decals on the window and it’s just an empty fast food joint. As useful as a scarecrow, I see, as I side-eye the men with the bicycle.

I’m standing there with no time to wait for help from the police or my friend. So I go for it and dart up, spooking them with my accusatory finger and pissed off voice yelling that I’m taking the bike NOW. They feign confusion and ignorance about the origin of their new bike as I reach between the two and take the thing back muttering “You f------ know what’s going on. I’m taking this back.” By the time I turn my ignition, they are gone.

Since then, the authorities have threatened the Gateway Inn owner and the loitering, although less egregious, has moved over to the Rancho Market parking lot. I’ve come to find out the Arctic Circle never was intended to be a station – just a place for bike patrol cops to stop in and warm up or use the restroom.

One week after taking my friend’s bike back, my girlfriend and I are riding home on the Jordan River Trail late one night.

The Jordan River Trail is complete now. With the bridge over the rail yard, we can avoid the trains when we bike. But the cynical me always wonders why it was under-prioritized for so long. I hear they want to put more pedestrian bridges over the tracks, like on 300 North by the FrontRunner. They say it’s so kids can get to West High. Interesting, though, that the plan wasn’t moving until all those massive luxury apartment buildings popped up right there. Paths get better once people “matter.”

As we are cruising around the underpass by the river on 200 South, we hear screaming. We come upon a woman clutching her arm with a BMX-style bike twisted on the ground beside her. Next to her is her friend, grasping a Big Gulp and her own bike. The wine in the Big Gulp is subtle but noticeable once you know what to look for. It gives you much information to stereotype with. These ladies show all evidence of being down and out. (I must admit that we, too, had been drinking, and if you hold difference between these, you might consider checking yourself.)

Her arm looks badly broken, so we ask how we can help. We tell her a hospital visit is likely necessary. We know an ambulance is going to cost, so we offer to call her a Lyft. We soon realize the folly in asking that. The lady doesn’t want to go to the hospital. She insists instead to be sent to her boyfriend’s house. She promises us he’ll take her to the hospital.

I didn’t believe her. It’s clear her avoidance is couched in the cost of our perverted health care system. I’m all too familiar, as I’ve been in her place before. Years back, when I was jobless and living out of my old Subaru, I crashed on my bicycle. I never was able to pay the ambulance or ER bills.

A few days after helping them, I’m riding down the Jordan River Trail once again, past a group of people with Big Gulps. I double back and they stare, rightfully distrustful, until I ask, “Are you the woman we helped on the trail on Saturday?”

“Yes!”

“I didn’t know if I’d see you again!”

She was holding her arm up against a pack of ice. She claims that she did go to a clinic and it wasn’t actually broken. But she talks about how much we helped and how appreciative she is. I never caught her name.

The cynical me also wonders why we live in a society where, when faced with a serious medical emergency, we must weigh the pros and cons of seeking treatment, even if we can afford the emergency transportation.

It seems that everyone that “matters” in town is up-in-arms about what to do with the people that don’t “matter.” They are quick to denounce people in and around places like the Gateway Inn or the Jordan River, concerned about their own paths, not seeing how these paths are all of ours.

by Evan George

As a west-side resident who works at the University of Utah, I take full advantage of TRAX. TRAX is the easiest and most convenient way to get to the U. My nearest stop, the 900 South station, is about one mile away from my home. To get to my stop I ride my bike, e-scooter, or walk. As a physically-able person in my mid-20s, these are feasible and realistic modes of transportation for me. But I do acknowledge that these modes aren’t reasonable for everyone because of the physicality involved.

Contrary to popular opinion, one does not need a car to get around Salt Lake City. For example,commuter cycling is becoming easier with the growing number of bike lanes. The installation of a bike lane on 900 West has transformed the street, and neighborhood, into a more bike-friendly community. The busy street used to be a nightmare to ride on, but now, I find it provides ample space to commute comfortably.

That said, there are a few obstacles that make commuting difficult for me. The biggest one is the blockage of 800 and 900 South by large freight trains. It is hard to plan around the trains because they don’t have a set schedule. Sometimes the trains completely stop, blocking the tracks. When that happens, I either have to wait or walk/bike to 400 or 1300 South, which is very time-consuming. The best way to deal with is this to leave early, in case I have to wait.

 Riding the bus isn’t a realistic option in my neighborhood currently, because there isn’t a bus route that travels east from 900 South and 900 West. I prefer to ride my bicycle; it’s the easiest, quickest, and most cost-efficient transit mode, but on days where I have a flat tire, or am feeling physically exhausted, I may take a scooter. A Bird or Lime scooter is about as quick as biking, since they go about 18 mph, but there is a small fee involved. Either way, I can usually make the mile trip to the TRAX station in under 5 minutes if I don’t hit a long red light.

All I had to do the first time I used an electric scooter was to download the Lime and/or Bird apps, and I was ready to go. The scooters are scattered around the neighborhood, and are restocked at certain spots each morning. To find a scooter, I check the map on the app and then take a short walk over to it. The scooters have a small initial activation fee of of $1, plus an additional 15 cents per minute after that.

In extreme circumstances when I’m running late, I will use Lyft or Uber. I try to avoid this option as much as possible because it is the most expensive. On days where I am not in a rush, I find myself walking the mile to TRAX while listening to my favorite music or podcast. When the weather is pleasant, I thoroughly enjoy walking. Not only is it refreshing, it the best way to feel the pulse of my neighborhood. I get sights, sounds, and even smells, that I would never experience if I were driving. Seeing my daily step-count numbers go through the roof is a welcome bonus. 

There are two main reasons I try to avoid cars, and use alternative commuting methods. The first one is financially motivated. It is so much cheaper to ride a bike than it is to drive a car. I didn’t have to purchase a vehicle, and I don’t have to pay for insurance, gas, parking, or repairs.

The other reason is environmentally motivated. The air quality in Salt Lake City is poor. If I can help cut back carbon emissions by riding a bike, then that is something I want to do. If all else fails, carpooling helps, too.

Alternative commuting isn’t always easy and it does require a certain level of physical ability, but to many, it can be extremely rewarding. Whether you are walking, biking, or riding a scooter, there are realistic options for west-side residents. I encourage you to give it a try. Not only will the environment thank you, so will your wallet.

by Pam Holman

Can you imagine a holiday where you actually BUY NOTHING? In Rose Park and the surrounding neighborhood, a Facebook page invites you to do just that, and more.

From the Buy Nothing project itself these words welcome those who are curious about how it’s done:

Buy Nothing: Give Freely. Share creatively. Post anything you'd like to give away, lend, or share among neighbors. Ask for anything you'd like to receive for free or borrow. Keep it legal. Keep it civil. No buying or selling, no trades or bartering, no soliciting for cash. We're an adult-only, hyper-local gift economy. We are not a charity or community bulletin board.

There are three levels of holiday sweetness going on here at our own local Buy Nothing page:

  • Level one is free stuff. Everybody likes free stuff. So far this year we have seen many Christmas trees given and received for free, outgrown toys in good shape passed along to kids around the corner, and extra wrapping paper going to neighbors who did not see it last year. Level one is a fine place to start.
  • Level two happens for most of us after a while. The awareness creeps up that maybe ten neighbors don’t need ten snow blowers. I know who will share and show me how to use their electric drill, or help me put together the tricycle. Winter coats have been passed among kids and adults both. We know each other. NICE! So level two is shared resources: a huge benefit.
  • But level three is the sweetest target. It’s connecting with the people who are our neighbors, the feeling of community that happens when you can actually ask for something. Need a ride to the airport or shoulder to cry on, even someone to check on your sick dog when you can’t get home for lunch? You may very well get a generous response. Suddenly you walk the sidewalks and look at the houses in a different way. We are important to each other, on each other’s side, connected. And it started with free stuff. Isn’t that magic?

As far as gifts go – each gift is valued as equal, and there is no difference between wants and needs. Those who feel like they don’t have much can discover they do indeed have an abundance to give from, whether it’s that ride to the airport or teaching someone how to knit. Buy Nothing works because everyone has something valuable to contribute, and in the process you can meet the people you’ll be glad to know after the holidays have come and gone.

And for Holiday PEACE? You will find no discussions, no opinions, no advice, no referrals on Buy Nothing. Instead of asking for a referral for a plumber, ask for plumbing help.

If you live in the area, you are invited to join Buy Nothing Rose Park, Salt Lake City, UT on Facebook. Answer three questions about your approximate location (boundaries currently extend to all surrounding freeways, not just Rose Park), your age (must be over 21), and belonging to only ONE neighborhood group in order to be admitted.

To learn more about the Buy Nothing Project see: http://buynothingproject.org/

Pam Holman is a writer, a retired teacher and a grandmother. She has been a Facebook admin for the Buy Nothing Rose Park, Salt Lake City, UT page for over two years.

by Daniel Mendoza

The TRAX Air Quality Observation Project was started by the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Utah in December of 2014 and has been recording air quality measurements across Salt Lake County continuously since its inception. The Salt Lake Valley is vulnerable to high levels of pollution, including fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and ozone.

PM2.5 refers to any particle that is 2.5 microns or smaller in size. As a reference, the width of a human hair is approximately 50-70 microns and human eyes cannot see anything smaller than about 40 microns. Therefore, these are very small particles that can penetrate deep into the lungs and cause similar health impacts as cigarette smoking.

Ozone is a gas that can form highly reactive free radicals upon exposure. The effect has been likened to getting a sunburn in the lungs and is the reason why many people develop a dry feeling accompanied by cough and some chest pain when they are exposed to high levels of ozone.

Two light rail TRAX cars, operated by the Utah Transit Authority, have been outfitted with sensors to measure and record ozone, PM2.5, carbon dioxide, and methane at a sub-minute resolution using research-grade equipment. These trains typically travel on the Red and Green TRAX lines covering the majority of Salt Lake County and the data is available in near real-time from: http://utahaq.chpc.utah.edu/aq/cgi-bin/current_map.cgi

Some of the most important findings from this project are the large differences in pollutant concentrations measured across Salt Lake County. The highest recorded PM2.5 levels were found during winter inversion periods on the 400 South transect from the University of Utah’s Stadium to the Salt Lake City Library stations, as well as on the transect from the Courthouse to the Fashion Place West stations. These are the some of the lowest elevation areas in the Salt Lake Valley located next to large pollutant sources from traffic.

Conversely, the highest measurements of ozone were found during the summer near the Daybreak and University Hospital stations, areas of high elevation on the foothills of the Wasatch and Oquirrh Mountains. It is important to inform the public about the dangers of high levels of invisible ozone in the foothills and mountains adjoining the Salt Lake Valley, as these areas are frequented by recreational users during the summer months and, unlike PM2.5, ozone is not visible to the human eye.

This year the TRAX air quality observation project, which was in danger of being cancelled, was funded through a successful appropriation request by Sen. Luz Escamilla and Rep. Angela Romero. All new air quality sensors were installed on November 19, replacing the aging original sensors. The original sensors were donations from various research teams at the U, and Siemens provided the equipment box that house the instruments on top of the train. UTA provided invaluable in-kind support from technicians and staff.

One of the main areas of interest for the TRAX data is the verification of the impact of various air quality policies and environmental forensics, also known as the study of the evolution and transport of contaminants. A clear example of this was the finding of the Roper Railyard as a significant source of nitrogen oxide emissions. (Although the Salt Lake Valley does not generally suffer from elevated nitrogen oxide levels, this particular gas is a precursor to ozone and PM2.5 formation.) The Green TRAX line crosses I-15 as it heads west toward West Valley City and passes next to the Roper Railyard. During analysis of the recorded data, we found two spikes, or hotspots, near I-15. One of these peaks was attributed to I-15, but the other, of similar magnitude, was not immediately obvious.

After closer inspection, the team identified the source as the train railyard, and more specifically, the locomotive switchers. This led to a bill proposed by Rep. Steve Handy to upgrade these switchers during the last legislative session. Had the bill passed, we would have been able to measure the impact of these upgrades on nitrogen oxide readings and report any observed reductions.

While the TRAX observation project measures the here and now, we must be cognizant of what we expect in the not so distant future. The Wasatch Front is one of the fastest developing areas in the United States. Projections estimate a doubling of the population by 2040 or 2050 from 2010 baseline values.

Another study from the U of U Dept. of Atmospheric Sciences, has quantified the impacts of population growth and climate variability on future emissions for Salt Lake County. These estimates take into account the residential, commercial, and on-road (vehicular traffic) sectors. The growth in urban environment is derived from models developed by the Wasatch Front Regional Council which span from sprawl to compact growth. These in turn inform whether large, stand-alone single-family homes or apartment buildings will be built in specific regions of the county, and what the road network will look like to serve these communities. Furthermore, office buildings and other commercial buildings were modeled to account for increased employment.

Preliminary findings show that a projected temperature increase will cause reductions in natural gas consumption used for building heating during the winter, but will increase cooling demands in buildings and cars. Several mitigation strategies, including increases in fuel efficiency and increases in electric vehicle adoption, as well as improved heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), water heating, and lighting in buildings were considered. Furthermore, an increase in renewable energy usage to power electricity generation was included in the model, which eliminates fossil fuel combustion.

Our results show that Salt Lake County can achieve significant energy consumption and emissions reductions and reach ambitious targets proposed by several city and local leaders.

Dr. Daniel Mendoza is a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Utah, Dept. of Atmospheric Sciences, and Pulmonary Fellow at the School of Medicine at the University of Utah.

Voting can be confusing and requires some research on the part of the voter. Have you ever showed up at a vote center and asked yourself, “Who are these people on the ballot? I don’t know anything about these candidates!” West View volunteers put together this Voter’s Guide to help you educate yourself.

To preview your complete ballot before the Nov. 6 election, visit the Salt Lake County Clerk’s website at www.slco.org/clerk/elections, where you will be able to type in your address and view a full list of candidates. At the same website, you have the option to sign up for Vote by Mail to receive your ballot in the mail, giving you time to do some research on the candidates and issues. You can either mail in your ballot or drop it off on election day.

The West View has posed questions to candidates for Utah State Senate, Utah State House and state school boards in the districts within the zip codes we primarily serve, 84104 and 84116. This is partly because of our own limited resources, but also because races for countywide or statewide seats are covered by major media sources.

Please be sure to visit the County Clerk’s site because voting district boundaries are not based on zip codes.

Political Candidate Q & A

Questions for non-school board candidates:

1. The proposed inland port covers about one-third of the area of Salt Lake City. It would definitely border, and possibly include, an 800-acre site previously used as a landfill. What do you know about the potential harmful effects to human health related to this site? What legislation would you sponsor or support to address potential problems?
2. Legislation establishing management of the inland port has generated controversy related to Salt Lake City’s voice in the long-term operation of the project. Please state what changes you would like to see in that legislation.
3. How would you address problems related to homelessness on Salt Lake City’s west side?
4. What would the ideal mix of west-side housing options look like? How can we more equitably distribute affordable housing throughout the city?

State School Board candidate questions:

1. What ideas do you have about meeting the particular needs of west-side Title 1 schools (schools with a large low-income population)?
2. Are you in favor of keeping the State School Board elections non-partisan? Please explain your answer.

Utah State House of Representatives, District 23

Sandra Hollins (Dem)

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1. During the 2018 session the legislative body passed SB 234, which allows the state to proceed in the creation of a Utah Inland Port Authority. This bill lacked provisions necessary to protect our environment. The bill was amended during a special legislative session in July, which removed wetlands and environmentally sensitive areas. Despite these changes, there are many issues that still need to be addressed, such as the potential impacts of commercial trucks and trains affecting our air quality within our neighborhoods. Considering the current outcome of this bill, I will support future legislation to include zero emission development practices utilizing clean energy sources and air monitoring systems.

About the landfill area: The site that was previously used as a landfill was donated to the School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration. The State Department of Environmental Quality would administer any cleaning processes to this area and when considering the potential harmful effects, I will urge the support of an installation and operation towards ongoing monitoring systems with ground water, soil, and air for any possible effects on developing this area.

2. The location of the inland port will primarily be located in House District 23. When SB 234 was introduced in the 2018 General Session, my top priority was assuring that the residents of the west side of Salt Lake City had a voice, which I successfully advocated for. Reflecting on the existing bill, I would like to see the following changes:

1.Transparency, accountability, and operation of the governing board.
2.The development of an energy efficient port.

3. The challenges associated with those experiencing homelessness are complex and challenging. Homeless issues on the west side are not new and despite the efforts of Operation Rio Grande, our communities have seen an increase with the unsheltered. As I see the impacts on our west-side residents and businesses along North Temple, it is important we continue to communicate our experiences consistently so that we can strengthen our strategy to resolve these issues. I commend the city for listening to west-side residents and responding with an increase in police bike patrol with a temporary police substation.

This summer, I requested a meeting with the governor’s office to discuss the impact of how Operation Rio Grande impacted our community, which resulted in an increase of patrols by public safety. Currently, it is a short-term solution for a systemic problem, and there is a lot more to do. As a licensed clinical social worker, I believe we need to address substance abuse, providing early interventions with mental health, treatment, and family support to address this problem long-term. Many individuals who are unsheltered have a history of trauma, which may result in disconnection from resources and the community. Additional homeless outreach workers can provide that bridge to reconnect individuals. There also has to be a pathway into livable wage jobs for those who are formerly incarcerated or in recovery. Education and job training is a path out of poverty. Lastly, we need to continue to create affordable housing throughout city.

4. One of the largest issues this city faces is the limited supply of affordable housing. The ideal mix of west-side housing includes diversity for mixed incomes, introduction of middle market housing opportunities, and housing that is near public transportation. This encourages sustainable practices, which offers the possibility of less traffic and an improvement in air quality in our communities. I commend the city, county, and state efforts in allocating funds to develop an equitable and affordable housing plan that provides improved access to public transportation.

Arnold Jones (Rep)

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  1. There is the possibility of many health issues arising, such as contaminated water, high mineral levels – many more potential hazards as well. I would like to see regular ground sample tests done to ensure no potential contaminations could occur, limit the type of development opportunities for several years to ensure the potential health hazards could arise. Many other considerations need to be looked at as well.

  1.  I would like to have open board meetings, and a very high level of transparency about all current and future development plans of the board. There is a similar project that was developed in Clearfield that has not prospered. More details need to be discussed before moving forward with it.

  1.  I would recommend using the current prison site once vacated after the new prison is completed. Don't sell the property for investment. Instead tear it down and rebuild it with a complete community that offers housing, employment training, college, needed health services and more.

  1.  Ideal, what would be ideal? That is the question. As housing prices continue to increase, we need low-income housing that individuals on limited incomes can afford. There are many more facets that need to be looked at as well.

Utah State House of Representatives, District 26

Angela Romero (Dem)

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  1. The development of Salt Lake City’s Northwest Quadrant, including the ongoing construction of the new State Prison, and the Inland Port, will adversely affect the environment, primarily air quality, but also our sound, light, and water quality. It’s important to note, Salt Lake County is in non-compliance for federal air quality standards for both PM2.5 and ozone. This has led the Utah Division of Air Quality (UDAQ) to develop a State Implementation Plan (SIP) to address air quality standards.

Senator Luz Escamilla, Representative Hollins and I are working on legislation to require an “Environmental Impact Assessment and Monitoring for Inland Port and Northwest Quadrant Development.”

  1. In my ideal world I’d repeal Senate Bill 234. I know that will not happen with our current legislative body. I want to see the following changes this upcoming session:  

  • Legislate, fund and require an environmental impact assessment and monitoring system for Inland Port and Northwest Quadrant development. Senator Escamilla has already filed a bill, which I support.
  • Stop closed-door meetings. Require the Port Authority to be open, transparent and accountable to the community.
  • Ensure best practices are implemented to protect and track ecosystem health.
  • The development of an energy efficient port.
  1. Addressing homelessness does not begin or end with Operation Rio Grande, which I view as a Band-Aid approach. We cannot look at people experiencing homelessness through a narrow lens. There are many reasons why people may experience homelessness. We need to ensure all Utahns have access to a quality education, adequate healthcare and mental health services (Medicaid expansion), affordable housing, walkable communities, and a robust mass transit system. Most importantly, we need to setup institutional systems and incentives to ensure ALL people have the ability to make a living wage.

To end, we cannot arrest our way out of homelessness. This is a short-term solution. The majority of people who experience homelessness or who are on the verge of homelessness are often invisible to us. For those that we do see, our long-term strategy should focus on early interventions to address trauma/mental health, treatment and community/family support.

  1. One of the reasons I moved to the west side was because of affordability. A major concern of mine is gentrification. I want to ensure families and vulnerable populations are not priced out of the neighborhood. In the last five years, I’ve seen the value of my house increase significantly. The state has no control over equitable distribution of affordable housing throughout the city. As an elected official, I can share my thoughts regarding city housing options with Salt Lake City elected officials. One example of this is inclusionary zoning. This type of zoning provides affordable housing options, voluntary or mandated, for low to moderate-income households within new market-rate residential developments. I know affordable housing is a top priority for city officials and I applaud their efforts.

Note:  The other candidates for State House of Representatives, District 26 did not provide responses: Jonathan Greene (Lib), Man Hung (Rep), and Jeremy Twitchell (Write-in).

State Senate District 2

Derek Kitchen (Dem)

  1. The old landfill has a long history in our city with very serious environmental and health risks. The development of the Northwest Quadrant and construction of an inland port has brought the reality to the surface. While the ownership of the land has changed over the years, Salt Lake City Corp. owns the lion’s share of the liability. It needs to be cleaned up and we need partners at the county and state level to do so. I would support funding to help with cleanup and risk mitigation. 

  2. First and foremost, I believe the Inland Port Authority needs to have open and public meetings. They need to abide by the same transparency and accountability standards that exist with other public governing bodies.
    From an environmental standpoint, I’d like to see the State of Utah and DEQ conduct a comprehensive air quality and environmental assessment of the area. We need a baseline understanding of the landscape and air-shed in order to truly understand the long-term impacts of development of the Inland Port. It will also help us make informed policy decisions in the future.
    The Utah Inland Port will continue to see numerous pieces of legislation over the coming years. I will support anything that increases accountability, representation, and good planning practices.

  1. Housing and wages. We desperately need access to more affordable housing units, but we also need to prevent homelessness with good wages and stable work environments. It’s also important for the state to expand medicaid which will immediately increase access to affordable healthcare. Many people need mental health support and treatment for substance use disorders. We need funding for wrap around services that provide stability and support for people.

  1. I believe we need more housing of all types. From deeply affordable housing that keeps people in the community, to workforce housing and market rate development. I’d also like to see an increase in home ownership, and infill that takes advantage of the unique post-war neighborhood design. Large lots present an opportunity for missing-middle development, condos, and ADU’s.

Note: The other candidates for State Senate District 2 did not provide responses:  Vance Hansen (Write-in) and Chase Winder (Rep)

Utah State School Board, District 3

Linda Hansen

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1) At the State Board level, our responsibility is to make sure that Title 1 schools receive their funding. Right now, there is a movement among some board members to give up $120 million in Title I money in order to preserve parents' ability to “opt-out” of testing. This would be a disaster for west side Title 1 schools. I am working hard to make sure schools do not lose this money. I am the person on the board who consistently speaks up for low-income students and students with disabilities – and as long as I am on the board, I will fight with everything I have not to lose this funding.

2) Yes, I am in favor of keeping State School Board elections non-partisan. The Utah State Board of Education is made up of people with very diverse views and adding partisanship to the mix would add another layer of divisiveness for us to work through. Currently, when I work with legislators on education issues, I can work with those on both sides of the aisle. If school board elections became partisan, I am afraid it would polarize the board of education, and our work with the legislature as well. Having a board of education that is non-partisan allows us to be laser-focused on what is best for our students, instead of worrying about party platforms.

Thomas Nedreberg

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1) Utah State School Board District 3 contains both the second largest and second smallest school districts in the state with 68,000 and 250 students respectively. I believe all students should have equal access to high quality educational programs, instruction, and teachers. The state board of education works with local school boards who provide for the actual Title 1 program. As a state board member, I would want to make sure that funds are appropriately distributed to districts and that within districts, schools are funded equitably and adequately. I would want to monitor the use of funding and make sure that it is used appropriately. I would also advocate for no reduction in funding but the maintenance of funding or even an increase in funding from the federal government. Finally as a state school board member, I would work to have a positive working relationship with the local school boards and superintendents within my district and to be a resource for them at the state level for their local needs. I believe the best way to solve problems is at the local level and I want to make it possible for school districts to accomplish this.

2) Yes. Under the Utah Constitution the State School Board is to be a non-partisan position and I feel it should remain that way. Education should be a right for all students and students should not be subject to their education being a product of the whims of partisan politics. Students should be taught the ability to reason and make up their own minds about many subjects. Schools should be places for students to research, learn, and test their different ideas in a safe environment, not a place where the propaganda of partisan politics determines standards, curriculum, or instruction.

By keeping the Utah State School Board and local school boards non-partisan, a board member or candidate for the board will be judged by their own positions on education and not on a party platform. Also, having them oversee education at the state level in a non-partisan way, making sure that our schools produce the best education possible for all students will benefit our society by graduating students with skills to make their own decisions relative to partisan politics.

Utah State Board of Education, District 5

Laura Collier Belnap

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  1. As a veteran state school board member, I have been working to provide additional funding for teachers who work with our most at-risk students and especially in our Title I schools. I have also added a stipend for teachers who stay and teach in our Title I schools for more than three years. I continue to advocate for education to have increased state funding. Federal funds do not stretch far enough to support our Title I school children and staff. I will continue to work for funding that would provide opportunities for schools to remain open more hours, which could provide additional education for parents and tutoring opportunities for children.

  1. The Utah State School Board should not be part of partisan elections. The state school board members should make decisions and votes determined by the needs of the children, parents and schools, not by political parties. The voice of the all the people should be considered concerning the education of our children.

Patrick D. Riley

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  1. While there are many things that the state board can do to support Title 1 schools, the most important is to work with state and federal lawmakers to ensure that funding for Title 1 schools continues. In addition, the funding should stay with the schools and not become portable following the child. School-wide programs dealing with the whole school population must be continued and enhanced.

  1. I strongly support non-partisan elections for school board members at the state and local level. If there is any public concern that should be above partisan bickering, it is the education of our children.

By Marcie Goodman

Water is one of our most precious natural resources on earth, and necessary for survival. In Utah, we may take water for granted.  We do not typically worry about walking over to the sink and accessing all the clean water we want. In emergency situations, however, access to clean water would become critical very quickly.

The rule of thumb for water in emergencies is one gallon per person per day. In other words, if your standard clean water source is disrupted for some reason, you would need to find a gallon per day of trustworthy water to survive (this includes water for drinking, cooking and hygiene). The U.S. government emergency management website (www.ready.gov/water) notes the importance of each household storing sufficient water or water purifying/filtering systems for emergencies. If a major earthquake (7.0 or above) were to occur, grocery store shelves would soon be emptied of all available bottled water and filters. In order to prevent personal or family devastation during such an emergency, storing some water for disasters is highly recommended. 

Tips on storing water

 In general, avoid storing water in any containers that have been used for products such as milk. If possible, purchase gallon jugs of water when on sale or buy larger new containers made specifically to hold liquid of 5 gallons or more (keep in mind, a five-gallon jug of water weighs about 40 pounds, so adjust size based on ability to manage the weight).  Large containers with spouts (50 gallons or more) are also available and can be easily stored in a garage or out on a porch. 

If budgeting, one could use well-cleaned commercial drink 2-liter bottles (such as for orange soda or root beer), but be certain each bottle is completely free of any contaminates or drink residue. If household space is an issue, look for unused areas where stackable water storage units could be housed (see information on “Waterbricks” or rigid stackable containers for ideas). Additionally, owning a highly efficient water filter capable of cleaning any type of standing water is a very sound notion.

Remember that water should be first and foremost on your emergency preparedness checklist. Before you do anything else, make absolutely certain you have enough clean water set aside for at least one week for all family members (one gallon per person per day), or at minimum buy a reliable filter which can produce necessary amounts of water each day. One can live three weeks without food, but only three days without water. In an emergency situation, you do not want to be wondering where your next drink of water will come from.

Dr. Marcie Goodman is a professor of sociology who has taught at the U of U for several decades. She oversees emergency preparedness through her church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Rose Park Stake.

By Nigel Swaby

Affordable housing is a term that gets thrown around a lot these days, especially with record-high home prices and rising rents in the Salt Lake valley. Everyone has a different idea of what affordable housing is. Some people think it’s simply what one can afford as a monthly housing expense. Others think of low-income housing for the most economically at risk in our communities like single mothers and “Section 8” government paid housing.

Looking at the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s definition, affordable housing is 30 percent of one’s gross monthly income. Based on Salt Lake County’s median income of $64,601, anyone paying more than $1,615 per month would be considered cost-burdened. Zooming in to the zip codes of 84104 and 84116, those incomes are $43,476 and $47,002 respectively. Of course, family size will play into housing cost and other monthly expenses.

HUD doesn’t differentiate between rental or ownership housing. In Salt Lake County, the median housing price hit $315,000 in June. Just the principal and interest payment with three percent down is $1,642 a month. The property taxes and insurance guarantee a family making the median income and buying the median priced house is cost burdened. The math on two-bedroom rentals is similarly discouraging.

There are many types of people who need affordable housing. Young people, college students, people just starting their careers and retired people are all feeling the weight of high housing costs. On top of this, residents are facing high fuel costs, higher costs for automobiles, high healthcare costs and monthly child care costs that nearly amount to a house payment on their own. And, after many years of interest rates being at record lows, both mortgage rates and short-term rates for autos and credit cards are on the rise.

Salt Lake City leaders are aware of the problem. A 2016 report from the city’s Division of Housing and Neighborhood Development noted a shortage of 7,500 affordable units. This deficit has worsened in the last two years. Statewide shortages number about 40,000 units according to State Rep. Joel Briscoe, who’s introduced legislation to help address it.

There are many reasons for this developing housing crisis. The first is an ever-increasing demand for housing. Utah has a booming economy, consistently rated in the top five nationally. Businesses are moving in and bringing their employees. Unemployment is virtually non-existent — hovering several tenths of a point lower than the national rate, which is also very low.

Until recently, low interest rates are a lagging holdover from the financial crisis of 10 years ago making homeownership cheaper than renting in many cases. Both of these factors have pushed up home values to outpace incomes four times for owners and two times for renters.

Another factor is the low supply of available homes. Growth has expanded to virtually the edge of every border in the valley and we’re looking at increasing density to supply necessary housing. This is a massive culture shock for people used to wide-open spaces and a large quantity of single family homes on fairly large lots. In Salt Lake City, where higher density projects are slightly more tolerable, all the multi-story developments are rentals. Most don’t qualify as being affordable.

Two issues are driving the construction of market rate rentals. The first is rising construction costs coupled with a shortage of labor. Builders want to be able to keep what they build after future construction opportunities become scarcer. The second issue is the rise of class action lawsuits against condominium projects after the housing crash. This has severely dampened the construction of new condo projects nationally and decreased financing opportunities for builders.

With the challenges in the marketplace, many homeowners are opting to stay put rather than face searching for a new home in less than ideal circumstances. The shortage of move-up buyers has left the entry level home market with few options which has also fueled demand. Rising mortgage rates will further place these homes out of reach for those on the cusp of qualifying.

While Salt Lake City does have home ownership programs for lower income buyers, the bulk of the city’s efforts have been focused on new construction that are mostly rentals. These affordable projects also tend to be clustered on the west side of Salt Lake City, furthering a negative reputation these neighborhoods have carried for many years. The transit zoning of the North Temple corridor allows for greater density and greater height allowances than the city has ever seen. A proposed affordable project at the former Overniter Motel on North Temple with rents based off of 60 percent of the area median income (AMI) was altered in part because two other similar projects were being constructed and residents felt these affordable projects were being clustered in one location. Higher density projects in Holladay and Herriman have faced strong resistance from area homeowners.

Another attempt to address housing last year was to allow more accessory dwelling units (mother-in-law apartments) on existing properties. This also faced resistance from owners on the east side of the city and the City Council briefly considered different rules for different parts of town. Ultimately conditional use allowances for accessory dwelling units were adopted and we’ll have to wait and see if they add to the housing stock.

As a city, we are going to have to accept we’ve run out of space to build traditional single family homes with yards. We’ve undergone a significant economic shift creating a misallocation of real estate like retail stores that don’t get used in the way they once were. Many cities, nationwide, are looking at increasing the development of mixed-use buildings combining housing with retail/entertainment or work/live communities. In Salt Lake, we need a culture change to embrace opportunities for thoughtful high-density building, including taller buildings.

We also need to find a way to increase ownership opportunities for lower-income earners. Condominium development is an important part of the real estate ecosystem and current higher density zoning favors multi-story condominiums over townhouses, yet none are being built.

October 07, 2018

From the Editor

By Charlotte Fife-Jepperson

In the Community Newsroom meetings leading up to this issue, contributors discussed important story topics related to our theme of Housing & Development.

The most pressing topic that came up was affordable housing – the lack of it in Salt Lake City and Salt Lake County, the consequences that happen when too much truly affordable housing is concentrated in one area, and the issue of gentrification pushing people out when they can no longer afford to own or rent in their neighborhood.

The topic of homelessness came up, because it is ever present in our city and our neighborhoods. There are chronically homeless people and those who are temporarily homeless living among us. We decided to talk to some of these individuals to find out their stories.

In this issue we also highlight some fascinating, old west-side homes that are being fixed up and restored by new owners. All of these homes are over 100 years old and add to the historic charm of the Poplar Grove and Fair Park neighborhoods.

Come to our River District Homes Tour on Saturday, Oct. 6 to tour and learn about these homes in person. Get tickets online at www.westviewmedia.org. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door and benefit West View Media (the nonprofit organization that produces The West View newspaper and website). Tickets are limited, so be sure to get yours now!

To kick-off the tour, registrants will enjoy a light breakfast and an intriguing “Past & Present” display of the featured homes and neighborhoods at the 100-year-old Chapman Library between 9 and 11 a.m. Participants will then receive a map of the houses on the self-paced tour.

The final destination on the tour is the historic Fisher Mansion – the extravagant home that was built for the family of German beer brewer, Albert Fisher, in 1893. The A. Fisher Brewing Co. was located near the mansion, on the banks of the Jordan River, from 1884 to 1960. Utah Preservation will be giving tours of the mansion from 1 – 3 p.m. during an Octoberfest event put on by the recently re-established A. Fisher Brewing Co. This outdoor beer garden will feature food trucks, live music, outdoor games and booths and, of course, beer.

We hope to see you at the River District Homes Tour on Oct. 6! And if you can’t make it, please consider supporting local journalism and the good things happening in our community by donating online on our website or on our West View Media Facebook page.

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