This year marks the 5th year that Governor Herbert has declared August as Utah’s Pacific Island Heritage month, to celebrate the Pacific Island communities in Utah. Utah is home to almost 40,000 Pacific Islanders whose roots are Micronesian, Melanesian and or Polynesian from many countries in the South Pacific.
Utah is home to the largest per capita Tongan community and top ranked Samoan community but Samoans make up the largest number of Pacific Islanders in Utah followed very close by Tongans amongst Hawaiians, Tahitians, Rotuman’s, Maori’s, New Zealand’s indigenous people. The Melanesians are represented in Utah by the Fijian community. The Micronesian Community is the fastest growing Community in Utah with communities from the Marshall Islands, Pohnpei, Krosae, Chuuk,and Yap. The communities that live in Utah do not represent all the countries of the Pacific Islands.
Utah Pacific Island Heritage Month was the idea of Susi Feltch-Malohifo’ou, Founder and Executive Director of Pacific Island Knowledge 2 Action Resources (PIK2AR) in 2012. Her goal is multi faceted. 1) Educate the public of the difference and similarities that Pacific Islanders have 2) Engage communities around commonalities of Business, Art, Family, Education and Fun instead of focusing on differences 3) A Platform for Pacific Island and underserved Businesses, Ethnic Service Providers and Main Stream Service Providers to broaden their customer and user base 4) Break the stereotypes of Pacific Islanders and showcase the positive contributions that Pacific Islanders have made and continue to make in all areas within Utah.
This years Calendar begins July 1 and ends Labor Day, 12 events from Logan to St George, Utah
July 1 -31, PEAU Art Exhibit, West Jordan Library, 8030 S 1825 W, 6p-7p
July 6, PEAU Art Exhibit Reception, West Jordan Library, 8030 S 1825 W, 6p-
July 29, UPIHM Kick Off, Sorenson Recreation Center, 855 W California Ave (1300 S) SLC, UT, 5p-10p
July 31-Aug 25, PEAU Art Exhibit, Sorenson Unity Center, 1383 S 900 W
August 1, Groove In The Grove, Pioneer Precinct, 1040 W 700 S, SLC, UT 6p-9p
August 5, Pacific Heritage Festival, 1755 W 1100 N, SLC, Ut, 11a-10p
August 5, Utah Ukulele Festival, Willow Park, Logan, UT, 450 W 700 S
August 5, UPIHM Community Potluck & Retro Dance celebrating Mis Bev Uipi, Central Recreation Center, 615 S 300 E, SLC, 6p-10p
August 8, Pacific Island Womens Empowerment St George UPIHM Celebration, DiForie Art Center
August 18/19, Polynesian Cultural Festival, Legacy Park, 1140 W 1100 N, NSL
August 19, SLC Pacific Island Business Alliance Job & Resource Fair, Valley Fair Mall - 3620 S 2400 W, 10a-5p
August 25/26, 4th Annual National Pacific Island Violence Prevention Conference, Younique Foundation - 3400 Mayflower Ave, Lehi, Utah, 8a-5p
August 26, PEAU Annual Art Exhibit, Studio Elevn, 435 W 400 S, Suite 304, 6p-10p
August 29, Session on the Ledge, Weber State University, 12p-1p
Sept 1/2/4 – Polynezian Days, Thanksgiving Point, Electric Park
Each year the Calendar Grows, this year we have 6 Pacific Island Organizations participating with 5 PIK2AR Programs with events from Logan to St George, Utah.
Saturday July 29 is the Annual Utah Pacific Island Heritage Month Kick Off behind Sorenson Recreation Center. 5p-10p. The Kick Off is a SL County ZAP Youth Explorer Destination so pick up your passport at any local library. Visit 5 of the destinations this summer and you have earned your way into the end of summer bash at Clark Planetarium where youth can win back to school items and prizes.
Wear clothes that can get wet, bring your towel because we have jump houses and 1 has a water slide. $6.00 unlimited play. 9 Cultural Booths with activities at each to learn the similarities and the differences between the Pacific Island Countries. As you enter the Kick Off you will be given a UPIHM Passport and after visiting all the Cultural Booths 1 Passport will be drawn every hour by our Government and Faith Based Leaders and you will win a Raffle Prize by answering a generic question from the Cultural Booths.
We have an amazing Children’s Area with activates with Thanksgiving Points Curiosity Children’s Museum.
Foods and Entertainment from Polynesian, Micronesian and Melanesian Countries. Join us in an educational enjoyable evening mingling with your neighbors, make new friends and enlarge our communities. There is something for everyone in the families’ enjoyment. Bring your Chairs and Blankets and be part of the Community. Community resources will be onsite with information to help strengthen each other and families.. Learn about the available resources and then share with your loved ones. You deserve all the opportunities Utah has to offer to build up each that strengthen Communities. Everyone deserves the best that Utah has to offer!
For more information please contact Susi Feltch-Malohifo’ou, 801-793-4639 or by email . Volunteer, Vendor and Sponsorship Opportunities may still be available.
Salt Lake City’s first urban cidery offers unique tasting experience
By Michael Evans
Mountain West Hard Cider’s Tasting Room is a sleek, modern place that serves a not-so-common alcoholic beverage – hard apple cider. It features a counter with four tall stools inside an attractive and pleasantly air-conditioned building. The Production Room, where the cider is made, is visible through large glass windows, and there is a small patio just outside.
Mountain West does everything by fours or fives – four friendly women take turns tending the bar, serving five varieties of hard cider in four separate five-ounce glasses for $5. Bottled water is on hand to cleanse your palate.
Each variety is gluten-free, crisp and light. Cottonwood uses dry hops, 7 Mile is made from green apples, Desolation is colored by prickly pear cactus, and Ruby is a European dry cider – all named after Utah canyons.
Once you make up your mind, there is a tall fridge full of bottles available for purchase, including Lunch Box, made from apples picked in people’s yards by Green Urban Lunchbox. Mountain West shares the profits with this non-profit organization. Ruby is relabeled “Gay” cider during June, and a percentage of proceeds is donated to the Utah Pride Festival.
Most of Mountain West’s apples come from farms in Hotchkiss, Colorado, and Santaquin, Utah. The company has sold 18,000 gallons of cider this year – totalling 135,000 bottles.
Owners Jennifer and Jeff Carleton host events such as fundraisers and parties in the building, which has a capacity of 1,500 people.
Mountain West Cider is located at 425 N. 400 West and is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays.
Reel in a Fisher
By Vegor Pedersen
When it comes to brewing beer in Salt Lake City, the A. Fisher Brewery Co. is the new kid on the block with an old name. While its current incarnation is less than six-months old, the folks at Fisher can trace their roots back to the original brewery that opened in 1884 at 200 South and about 1100 West in Poplar Grove. Tom Fisher Riemondy, the great-great-grandson of founder Albert Fisher, is one of four co-owners of the new brewery.
Tim Dwyer, another co-owner, said beer-drinkers from across the state come in to sip something they haven’t tasted in almost 50 years. “We have old-timers in here all the time that want the [original] Fisher beer,” said Dwyer. “We sell out…we are out now!”
In addition to the original recipe, Fisher features 10 to 12 original beers on tap. On a hot summer day their Citra Kolsh is a refreshing way to beat the heat.
The location’s atmosphere borrows heavily from its blue-collar past while mixing in modern brewery innovation. Patrons rub elbows with each other and the machinery that makes the beer all in the same room.
And while the Fisher Brewery doesn’t offer food, you will want to come hungry. Local food trucks supply the pub with grub so it is like a new place every time you come.
And if you want to get that beer to go, Fisher can hook you up with a refillable growler for at-home imbibing.
The new A. Fisher Brewing Co. is located at 320 W. 800 South.
Craft Beer in Glendale
By Atticus Agustin
Uinta Brewing Co. was started in 1993 inside a mechanic shop near downtown Salt Lake City by an ambitious man who wanted to create the best beer in the lowest beer-consuming state in the country.
Located at 1722 S. Fremont Drive, Uinta Brewing Co. is a good spot to enjoy an adult beverage on the west side, and it is one of the few places that makes craft beer in the area.
The environment is casual. You can play foosball, watch ESPN, or enjoy a cold drink out on the patio. They also offer a delectable range of menu items from Philly cheese steak to loaded nachos. What used to be the brewery office is now a small shop where you can purchase Uinta hats, t-shirts, glasses, and such.
Over the years, Uinta has won many accolades for its beer, especially with the Cutthroat pale ale, and today, Uinta brews over 90,000 bottles of beer annually.
Quality is in the genes of Uinta. India Pale Ales (IPAs) are a big sell for the brewery. The technique for brewing a good IPA has deep historical roots in central Europe. The hops plant is the major stabilizing agent in beer. It gives it flavor, aroma, and acts as a preservative.
Uinta is committed to sustainable business practices. It boasts that it was Utah’s first company to go 100 percent wind-powered. At Uinta, you can fulfill your desire for craft beer and feel good about supporting a green business.
Rose Park has been known for its strong little league baseball program since 1955. That’s when “the classy new little league park” was established within Riverside Park, which has been home to little league baseball ever since. (The Salt Lake Tribune, July 23, 1955.)
Over those 60-plus years, scores of local families have participated in Rose Park Baseball. Back in the ‘60s and ‘70s, there were so many boys involved that Riverside Park housed two little leagues – Rose Park Boys League and Rose Park Country Club League. The two leagues enjoyed spirited competition.
“It seemed like everybody played baseball when we were young,” said Neil Youngberg, who joined some of his former Rose Park teammates - Wayne Murakami, Richard Schoepp, Mike Walsh, and Dean “Buzz” Kraus - as they gathered in July at Riverside Park to talk about old times.
This group of old-timers reminisced about their experiences on the 1963 Rose Park All-star team, which ended up taking 4th place in the Little League World Series. Richard Schoepp held open the score sheet for the game against Rose Park Country Club that sent their team to the State Tournament. “This was when I got my first kiss,” said Schoepp. “In the sixth inning, I hit a homerun off of Don Malin to win the game, and Candi Morelli ran out and kissed me.” “Malin, who was a really good pitcher, still gets upset about that; it was a big deal.” said Youngberg.
Little league baseball was a big deal, and it still is today. During baseball season – roughly April through August – parents and coaches volunteer so much time to run the league, they practically live at the park.
During a separate interview, Rose Park resident Lamonte Johnson, who coached for 15 years in the Rose Park Country Club league, told stories of how families used to pitch in to prepare the field. “Back in the 60s, the fields were not maintained by the city,” said Johnson. “There were a bunch of weeds in the all-dirt infields. Everyone would bring their lawn mowers, push brooms, sand and wheelbarrows, and donate their work.”
Johnson said that over the years the leagues have produced some great teams that were usually among the top three or four teams at State. He gave most of the credit to “diligent” coaches, like Clyde Hollins, Al Sedgley, Hank Vadnais, Ralph Mendenhall, Lynn Boshard and Burt Hardy.
Johnson also belongs in the diligent coach category. After his four boys graduated from the league he promised his neighbor, Andy Fleck, who was seriously ill at the time, that he would keep coaching until Fleck’s son, Mike, got through the league. He kept his promise and coached until Mike turned 12 years old.
Another former little leaguer, Tom Dickerson, reminisced about the “sterling” coaches who were involved in the league – “coaches like Ralph Erskine, and John and Ross Caputo, who were legends from their own time.” And there were some who were a little rough around the edges, like Chub Lewis, a hard man who was all about winning. “He made men out of those boys. All these coaches put their lives into baseball and into the kids,” said Dickerson.
Back in the day, league organizers got creative with their fundraising. Johnson told about the time that Terry Nish, a local stock car racer involved in attempting land speed records at the Bonneville Salt Flats, challenged a guy, who was a former Mr. America, to an arm wrestle. They sold tickets to it, and Nish won the contest!
As they do today, local businesses financially sponsored teams. Back the 60s, some of the sponsors included: Rose Park Lions Club, Mint Cafe, Continental Bank, American Oil, Neils Pro, Gibbons & Reed, and Harmony Floors.
Today, some of the same businesses are still sponsoring teams. Rose Park Lions and Neils Pro have been there from the start. Other businesses, such as Trophy Corner, Chubby’s, Red Iguana, Ron Case Roofing, M-1 Plumbing, Sports Imaging, Affordable Portables, Ace’s Disposal and Boss Graphics have stepped up to provide support.
Under the leadership of President Jerry Valdez, the league has made some changes in recent years: they pulled out of the Cal Ripken League a year ago, because they felt that Cal Ripken focused too much on capturing state and regional titles. They are now part of an organization called Little League Baseball.
“We felt that was the best decision for our community, especially with the demographics here, “ said Valdez. “Only 10 percent of kids in the league become All-stars. I care just as much about the other 90 percent of kids who need something positive to keep them out of trouble, off the streets. I was one of those kids that benefitted from sports,” he said.
The Rose Park Baseball board expanded to add a T-ball division for kids ages 3 to 6. And next year they plan to add a 13 to 16-year-old division that would feed directly into the West High Baseball program. They are also now participating in RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities), a program under the Major League Baseball Urban Youth Foundation that helps small leagues in lower-income urban neighborhoods.
Valdez and his wife, Andrea, have been involved with the league for five years. Valdez took over as president three years ago. It has been a huge undertaking, as it is for every president. But this year has been particularly difficult due to a lack of support from parents and conflicts between parents and coaches, said Valdez.
It is an age-old problem. Lamonte Johnson described an incident during the early 70s where a mother tried to hit a coach over the head with a chair after he took her kid out of the game.
Despite the tempers that sometimes flare and the conflicts that inevitably arise, the group of old-timers who played back in the 60s all agreed that the best part of their Rose Park baseball days involve the friendships they made and the example of coaches and parents who dedicated countless hours on the field, in the snack stand and in the score booth.
“Those were good years to be a kid in Rose Park,” said Buzz Kraus, as his former teammates nodded their heads in agreement.
The West View wants to thank all those who have volunteered with Rose Park baseball leagues over the years. You have helped youth enjoy their childhood and learn about life, while experiencing the great sport of baseball.
Every street in Salt Lake City has its own personality, and city planners hope that new vibe for 900 South will be “connectivity.” Key to their efforts is the 9 Line, a shared use pathway that follows the abandoned 900 S rail corridor that the city purchased from Union Pacific in 2007. While the completed section of the trail currently spans 1.5 miles between Redwood Road and 700 W, city officials and many residents hope the 9 Line will become a major pedestrian/bicycle link connecting Salt Lake City’s westside and eastside neighborhoods like Glendale and Poplar Grove (900 West), Central Ninth (200 W) and 9th and 9th (900 East).
“Connectedness is probably one of the most important things we do,” explains Jeff Gulden, a transportation engineer for Salt Lake City. “We take that for granted when we talk about streets and cars, but often we don’t realize the importance of connectedness when it comes to bike and pedestrian facilities.”
So far most of the planning and development has occurred on the city’s west side, including this year’s expansion of the off-road bike park and community garden at 700 W. After building the 10-foot wide asphalt path several years ago, the city recently quadrupled the size of the bike park to 1.3 acres with the help of Salt Lake Valley Trails Society, while also adding shade structures, water fountains, benches, and opening a new community garden.
Designed for mountain and BMX-style bikes, the bike park now includes contoured dirt tracks and jumps rated beginner, intermediate, and expert. “Kids can learn to ride on the small rolling hills and advance to harder terrain as they get better, “says Tyler Murdock, a project coordinator at Salt Lake City Parks & Public Lands. “We want it to be a fun place for kids to be on bikes.
To help walkers and cyclists access the new amenities, the city also installed a safer crosswalk on 700 W. “One of the big reasons we loved this project was its ability to activate recreation along the 9 Line trail by attracting people to these new amenities,” says Murdock. Next steps for the 9 Line include new designs for the trailhead, landscaping, and public art between the Jordan River and Redwood Road. SLC Parks and Public Lands anticipates completing the designs for these improvements later this year and building them by the spring of 2018.
The eventual goal of the 9 Line is a continuous trail—with some on-street sections—connecting Redwood Road on the city’s west side to the mouth of Emigration canyon—a total distance of 7 miles.
The community will have a chance to experience these new improvements to the 9 Line trail on Saturday, August 12 at the WestSide Forward: It Starts with Us celebration to be held at the new bike park at 905 South 700 West. Everyone is invited to get connected!
WestSide Forward: It Starts with Us
Celebrate our Westside 9 Line! Saturday, August 12 905 South 700 West 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Bike Jump Track Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
Visit City, local nonprofit and small business booths
Ride, Bounce, Play, Eat, Converse, Connect
Raffle, Prizes, and much more…
For more information, call SLC Transportation at 801-535-790
New stadium just the beginning of venue improvements
By Jade Sarver and Nigel Swaby
It was only a year ago a new arena for the Fairpark was announced in a public meeting. Now, it’s ready to open to the public. A soft opening for local residents and Okland Construction and partners, who built the stadium, took place on June 30. A few lead up events like the Bubble Run and BMW motorcycle rally have taken place since, but the grand opening happens on July 19 with the start of the Days of ‘47 Rodeo.
While the arena is the centerpiece right now, other changes offer a glimpse of what might come of the venue. For instance, Pat’s BBQ is opening a full-time restaurant in the center food court area that may usher in additional restaurant tenants. Pat Barber, the owner, is thrilled about this new space. He is looking forward to getting to know his new neighbors, incorporating what this incredible community has to offer, and taking advantage of the opportunities available at the Fairpark. He hopes to create a lively and thriving gathering place for the neighborhood and the state by offering frequent live music and many special planned events (and possible expansion!)
The Jordan River marina west of the Fairpark is ripe for recreational activity including hiking, biking and canoeing. In a few years, City Creek will empty into the river at the southern part of the marina, providing additional recreational opportunities. UTA will no longer be using a lot on the premises for parking. These are all steps being taken to open up the Fairgrounds for year-round use, which may, in effect, provide additional entertainment, employment and economic opportunity for the surrounding neighborhoods.
This all leads back to the stadium. While proposed as a rodeo venue, it’s easy enough to add flooring to make it a musical venue, a sports venue or any myriad of other purposes. The Fairgrounds Coliseum served a purpose for mid-sized concerts for many years, but was demolished in 1997. Musical acts like Smashing Pumpkins, New Order, They Might be Giants and U2 have all played at the Coliseum. The new 10,000 seat arena could revive Salt Lake’s concert scene.
Ironically, it was DeLoy Hansen’s proposal to construct a minor league soccer stadium that brought a renewed focus to the venue. The failure of that bid caused the legislature to modernize the legal operations of the property, creating the environment we enjoy today. Larry Mullenax, Executive Director of the Utah State Fairpark Corporation (the non-profit that manages the state fair and all state Fairpark facilities), hopes to stimulate development and growth at the Fairpark that hasn’t been seen for years.
As more businesses and restaurants look to the Fairpark and surrounding areas to call home, residents of the neighborhoods could see a vibrant entertainment district evolve. Soon fair season won’t be the only time the Fairpark becomes a destination.
Uncovering City Creek could improve connection from downtown to the Fairgrounds
By Nigel Swaby
The most memorable features of some of the world's greatest cities are the rivers and waterways flowing through them. London's Thames, the Seine of Paris and the canals of Venice serve not only as sources of beauty and animal habitat, but as economic drivers for transportation, tourism and development.
Salt Lake City is named for the great lake in the western desert. The lake is refilled each year from water coming from the mountains. In the canyons, water flows unfettered and uncovered, but as it hits the city, it moves underground. That hasn't always been the case. Until about a hundred years ago, creeks and rivers flowed openly through the “City of Salt” and into the Jordan River.
To reduce flooding, waste contamination, and drowning deaths, the open creeks of Salt Lake City were buried underground. A plan that made sense then is no longer the best use for our waterways, according to Brian Tonetti of Seven Canyons Trust. The goal of this nonprofit is to uncover the city's rivers and creeks, a process called "daylighting."
Besides beautification, daylighting creeks has an important ecological effect. The nutrients in the water change when underground. Daylighting the water going into the Jordan River will help clean it, modify the species of birds and fish living in it and make the river more desirable for recreation. Recent algae blooms in Utah’s lakes and rivers are caused by nutrient imbalances.
Though the nonprofit has a very long timeline for reaching their goals, they've already made progress. A project known as the Three Creeks Confluence, first proposed only three years ago, will daylight about 200 linear feet of water where Red Butte, Parleys and Emigration creeks enter the Jordan River. The surrounding area at 1300 South and 900 West will be landscaped and transformed. An art installation was put in place in June. Construction begins this fall on the daylighting portion.
The Folsom Corridor project is the group’s most ambitious project to date. When complete, the group hopes to daylight about two miles of City Creek. This project will link Salt Lake’s downtown to the Fairpark neighborhood with a route essentially following South Temple west to the Jordan River directly across from the Fairgrounds.
This project will beautify and develop an open area currently home to I-15, railroad tracks, and older homes and businesses and was conceived in partnership with Salt Lake City, the Redevelopment Agency and Utah Transit Authority. Funding for a pedestrian and bicycle trail is already in place. Construction of that portion will occur within the next five years. At question is whether the daylighting portion of the Folsom Corridor will take place at the same time or in the future.
Transportation planner Colin Quinn-Hurst explained that while the trail and daylighting portions of the Folsom project have always been envisioned together, funding and construction have to be executed separately so the more complex daylighting portion doesn’t delay the trail. A route for the trail has been proposed, and the city won’t need to purchase more land or create easements to complete this part. Daylighting is much more complex as a final design, and costs are yet to be determined.
James Rogers, who represents Rose Park on the Salt Lake City Council, is one of the political champions of the daylighting portion. He is in favor of allocating $50,000 from the trail project budget to go toward a daylighting feasibility study in the fall. This study will determine the scope of the daylighting project.
As this project develops, some debate will take place over the cost and scope of daylighting City Creek. Precedent suggests there could be measurable economic benefits. Consider the case of Providence, Rhode Island. In the early 1990s, that city’s downtown area was in a similar situation. A river covered by a freeway, and old railroad tracks made that neighborhood undesirable to be around after dark. A daylighting project removed a bridge and railroad tracks and installed a landscaped, pedestrian-friendly pathway, which spurred private development of restaurants, bars and hotels. The city spent money developing an arts attraction, WaterFire, which attracts visitors from late spring to fall. The project resulted in the economic revitalization of downtown Providence.
Folsom supporters think development of the trail could accomplish a similar feat for the North Temple corridor. Considerable investment and improvements are taking place at the Fairgrounds and they believe it makes sense to further develop a connection between downtown and the Utah State Fairpark.
The Jordan River Pedestrian Bridge, now under construction, is the last connection on the Jordan River Parkway; it will cross the railroad tracks above Rocky Mountain Power property and become a channel for pedestrians and bicycles over that long-time industrial barrier.
“When finished, the bridge will mark the completion of this 45-mile trail, whose planning started in the 1970s,” said Matthew Rojas of the Salt Lake City Mayor’s office. The bridge will span an active freight railroad corridor and create a new north-south connection between 200 South and North Temple. The trail follows the Jordan River for most of its course from Utah Lake to the Great Salt Lake marshes.
Six organizations have all contributed to the project, Rojas said: Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, the Utah Legislature, Union Pacific Railroad, Jordan River Commission, and the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands. The bridge is being constructed by Gerber Construction, under contract with Salt Lake City.
Mr. Rojas continued: “In addition to completing the Jordan River Parkway Trail, this bridge will link together a 100-plus-mile continuous trail system running from Provo to Ogden. After many years of studying alternatives and working with the state, Union Pacific Railroad, Salt Lake Garfield & Western Railway, and Rocky Mountain Power, the city decided on a design to span the three freight rail tracks and to curve past two large electrical transmission poles.”
“This segment of the Jordan River Trail is a real feat of engineering and coordination, and it’s exciting to see this impressive bridge cap this long-term project,” said Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski. “This project supports many of our city’s key goals – connecting communities, supporting open space and recreation, and promoting human-powered transportation to help clean our air.”
After bipartisan approval by the 2016 Legislature, funding for the Jordan River Pedestrian Bridge was appropriated, and the project is on schedule, according to Paul Dowler, project manager at the Salt Lake City Engineering Department. “The foundations are in, the concrete columns have been poured, the steel girders are in fabrication, next we’ll be making the concrete decks,” says Mr. Dowler.
The bridge will ramp up to 24 feet, in order to get over the tracks, and there will be 250 feet of “clear span,” one piece of metal trussing, before ramping down the other side. The steel arch supports itself, and it will be lifted into place towards the end of the project. The end points are slotted to allow expansion and contraction, plus provide drainage by gravity, and defy ice, slush and snow. The scheduled completion date is Thanksgiving 2017.
“We will work in the snow,” Dowler said. “We have allowances for weather delays.”
The Jordan River Pedestrian Bridge will connect two historical sites along the Jordan River Parkway. The Fisher mansion on Second Sound anchors the south end, and the Salt Lake, Garfield, and Western Railway Depot is at the north end.
The Salt Lake, Garfield, and Western Railway, established in 1891, once took passengers back and forth to Saltair Resort on the shores of a much deeper Great Salt Lake, where people floated in the briny water and enjoyed big bands in the Saltair Pavilion during the Swing Era of the 1930s and 40s, or rode Saltair’s wooden roller coaster, known as the “Giant Racer,” until it collapsed during a windstorm in 1957. Some of the passenger cars were wide-open to the elements, while others were conventional closed cars. The SLG&W Depot is still being used for various purposes, and has escaped the longtime neglect of the Fisher Mansion.
There were baseball diamonds adjacent to the SLG&W Depot, collectively known as White Ball Park when this area of Salt Lake City was known as White City. At the moment, though, this land consists of almost two city blocks of gravel-coated overflow parking for the Fairpark. Several plans have been proposed for the parcel of land, but none have come to fruition, so it remains a field of memories and dreams.
Speeding and inattentive driving are deadly problems that ramp up during the summertime throughout Utah. Two new projects on the west side aim to calm traffic and help make the roads safer for everyone.
Perhaps most controversial is the lane reconfiguration on 900 West between North Temple and 1700 South that began construction in late June. Similar to a recent restructuring on California Avenue, the street will be reduced to one vehicle lane in each direction with a turning lane in the middle and bike lanes on either side. Other safety features include upgrading some curb ramps and adding flashing lights to alert drivers to pedestrians at 700 South and Genesee Avenue.
As someone who has spent several years walking, biking, and driving on this street, I can see pros and cons to the proposed changes. I think many people have felt the frustration of being stuck behind a slow-moving vehicle and wishing there was a passing lane available. My first thought when I heard about the plan was that it seems silly to reduce the street from two lanes to one, and others agreed.
One resident created a petition on Change.org that currently has 189 supporters. Some of the reasons given for signing include perceived increased congestion on California Avenue and speculation that the changes won’t result in increased bicycle safety and use.
Keith Jensen points out in the comments section for the Change.org petition that 900 West and Redwood Road are the only contiguous streets that run north-south through Glendale.
“There is significant commercial traffic that already causes congestion...This change will encourage more traffic on the minor residential streets,” he said. “There are already times when I have to wait multiple cycles to make a left-hand turn from 900 West to 1700 South.”
Residents are also frustrated that there wasn’t enough of a public process to take into account the opinions of those to be most affected by the change.
According to Matthew Rojas, Director of Communications for the Office of the Mayor, community outreach for the project began in Fall 2016 and included six community council meetings, divided between Glendale and Poplar Grove, where staff presented details of the project and answered questions from the public. Mailings were also sent to all residents and business owners along 900 West from North Temple to 1700 South to inform them of the project.
According to Salt Lake City’s Department of Transportation, similar changes on California Ave between Redwood Road and 700 West resulted in a 24 percent reduction in crashes while the percentage of injuries on that stretch of road decreased by 29 percent.
Many cyclists also use 900 West. The way the road is currently configured, a cyclist either has to ride in the road with the cars, endangering themselves, or ride on the sidewalk, which endangers pedestrians. Adding bike lanes will help keep everyone safe.
It’s interesting to note that a similar road reconfiguration was proposed on 2100 South between 1700 East and 2300 East, but was abandoned due to public outcry. Residents were given a chance to fill out an online city survey, an option not given for the 900 West project.
The total cost for all of the pedestrian, auto, and bike components for the eighteen-block stretch of road is approximately $2.3 million.
The other traffic calming feature new to the west side is smaller, cheaper, and more grass-roots.
Paint the Pavement was first suggested by a Rose Park resident who wondered if painting a mural on the street would encourage drivers to slow down and pay more attention to their surroundings.
This idea, while approved by the City Council in 2012, had never been done before in Utah. But similar projects have been done in Seattle; Portland, Oregon; and Boulder, Colorado. What makes the Rose Park project different is that the University of Utah’s department of City and Metropolitan Planning is working with the Rose Park Community Council to study whether or not the painted pavement is actually reducing vehicle speeds and resulting in fewer accidents. The results from an initial study conducted a few weeks after the installation are still being analyzed and another study will likely take place in the fall.
One benefit from the project has already emerged: community building. Nearly two dozen residents showed up at the intersection of 800 North and American Beauty Drive on May 6th to create a work of art together.
The Rose Park Community Council spent nearly a year looking at the feasibility and demand for the project. Council members conducted two community workshops where they collected feedback from neighbors. They also knocked on hundreds of doors seeking support. Then, two local artists sorted through the community design ideas to get inspiration for the final design. According to Brandon Dayton, one of the artists and a member of the council, “After much input and thought, it was decided that the mural should be of a multicolored rose that speaks of Rose Park as a vibrant and multicultural community.”
The entire project cost less than $800 to install and was largely supported by a grant from the Salt Lake City Arts Council and donated paint and tools. But there are some concerns about maintenance and the mural looking shabby in a year or two. There is hope that if the study shows real impact, then the council will be able to find funds for upkeep.
“We were out here yesterday prepping the area and people were blowing through the stop sign. They weren't even doing a rolling stop,” said Blake Perez, chair of the Rose Park Community Council, on the day the mural was painted. “Hopefully, this project might open people’s eyes a little bit, so they actually stop for second and look at what's going on.”
Sunday service is finishing up, and Lin, the religious leader, steps outside towards the Buddhist nuns’ quarters. She is easy to spot, as she is the only one wearing traditional bright yellow robes. Lin has been a Buddhist nun for as long as she can remember.
Everyone else hangs around the traditional-style Buddhist Temple called Chua Tam Bao; many of them lighting incense, praying, and kneeling in front of a 15-foot-tall statue of Buddha.
This religious organization reflects part of the religious diversity on 700 West in this west-side, Jackson neighborhood; a mosque, Buddhist temple, and a Catholic parish are all on the same street.
The temple, in addition to another temple located near the Day-Riverside Library on 1000 North, serves the Vietnamese Buddhist community as part of the Vietnamese Buddhist Association of Utah. Many of the regulars live in Poplar Grove, Glendale, Rose Park, West Jordan, West Valley, and Ogden.
Western religions oftentimes differ fundamentally from Eastern ones, but the Vietnamese Buddhists point out the commonalities on their website, www.chuatambao.com: “Buddhism shares numerous features with all other religions. All religions encourage human beings to do good deeds, avoid evil deeds, cultivate a good life of morality and compassion, and develop human dignity for both oneself and others, as well as for family and society.”
Chua Tam Bao’s mission, as translated from its social media page, is: “to facilitate Buddhist followers who take refuge in Buddhist, Dharma, and Sangha teachings, to help followers find peace of mind as they pray for living family members and ancestors who are deceased.”
Back in June, I toured the temple. Van Nguyen, one of the temple members, was my guide. Just like in the Bosniak mosque a few feet away, I was instructed to take off my shoes before walking fully inside. You won’t find any chairs in here; just book rests neatly laid all over the ground. There is a large altar on the west side of the gathering room. A statue of Buddha sits in the middle, with two smaller statues on both of his sides. The rest of the altar is embellished with carefully placed daffodils, bamboo, and oranges. To finish off, a backdrop of trees and Chinese characters sits behind.
On this particular day, people start leaving at about 1 p.m., but there is still a lot of noise in the temple. People in the backyard are putting metal bars together and a large canopy. Others are carrying tools and buckets in and out of the monks’ residence. This was all done in preparation for the vegetarian food bazaar and fundraising event that occurred on June 24.
Van explained what Chua Tam Bao means: “Temple of Three Jewels” in Vietnamese. The three jewels represent: Buddha, a drummer, and a singer.
According to Van, three female nuns live in a house next to the temple. “They sing, chant, meditate, and analyze one-thousand-year-old scriptures to be able to convey the message to modern day members.”
The temple had its early beginnings in 1975 when the first Vietnamese came to the United States. It was established in 1984 in a house that now serves as the nuns’ quarters, but over the years expanded when it added the traditional style pagoda, which was dedicated in 1990.
The temple is easy to spot. It is big, bright, and surrounded by several life-size statues of Buddhas and other important people around well-manicured lawn and gardens. Although the service is all in Vietnamese, Van says that anyone is welcome to attend.
Services are conducted Sundays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Tam Bao Pagoda, which is located at 469 N. 700 West. Vegetarian food is available for purchase on weekends, on the full moon and the new moon, based on the lunar calendar.