Wednesday, May 20, 2009

LDS Church, please relocate your Oquirrh Mountain temple

Opening an envelope a while back, I noted that it was an invitation to tour another new temple. I usually make time for those, so I turned to my computer to enter the date, time, and--what?! It couldn't be. It said South Jordan, but 11022 South 4000 West looks like Herriman, walks like Herriman, and quacks like Herriman, and even thinking about venturing into Herriman was enough to give me a headache.

My Herrimaphobia is entirely rational. I spent a week in Herriman one day last month. Actually, I spent three weeks there on three separate days, requiring progressively more therapy. The first time, after driving around aimlessly and calling the woman once again, I was finally told, "Oh, did I say I lived on X street? I meant Y."

On the second occasion, I talked VOU2 into joining me to see some furniture advertised on Craigslist. The conversation -- well, more like a monologue -- on that delightful trip went something like this, with certain words replaced for tender eyes:
"Where are we? . . . This place is a hole. . . . Are we still in Herriman? . . . It's not on my GPS. . . . What kind of idiot runs an ad on Craigslist for Helliman and doesn't put the coordinate? . . . Whoever laid out these streets was obviously drunk. This place is a [disappointing,] [confusing] [maze]! . . . I now hate this man, and I hate Herriman."

It is a known fact that there is something wrong with everyone who voluntarily lives or drives in Herriman. This new temple is too close. Please move it.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

An ex-Utahn cleared after 22 years on death row - that's why we don't rush it, Mr. Shurtleff

A few years ago, we read about a former Utahn, Paul Gregory House, whose death sentence for a 1985 murder in Tennessee had been upheld, even though almost half of the appeals court judges believed he was not guilty -- not just that reasonable doubt existed, but that he was in fact completely innocent.

It took a few more years, and more appeals, until finally the United States Supreme Court said that House was entitled to a new trial. The Court went even further, stating that this was a case in which no reasonable jury could have found House guilty, and that the evidence pointed to "another suspect."

Prosecutors finally acknowledged that today, dropping all charges against House and clearing him after 22 years on death row. So now, we wonder, how does Mark Shurtleff feel about cutting off death row appeals?

Thursday, May 07, 2009

McMansion opponents: You're mad at the wrong people

It must be extremely irritating to have someone move into a nice neighborhood full of conventionally sized homes, and then poke everyone in the eye with a hideous McMansion. Fortunately or unfortunately, however, we live in America. We have a right to do what we want with our property, as long as it's legal.

And that's really the problem with most of these McMansion disputes in Utah: Planning and zoning ordinances allow them. We can't regulate bad judgment. We can't make people be good or considerate neighbors. All we can do is talk to our planning commissions and city councils about setbacks and restrictions before Mr. and Ms. Moneybags move in. It's the annoying but American way.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Jerry, yes it is

Read an interesting piece last week by not-one-of-my-usual-favorites, Gordon Monson. In it, Monson disagreed with Jazz coach Jerry Sloan's pronouncement that it is not his job to motivate his players.

I think it is, too. Yeah, they're professional, yeah, they should already be motivated, but sometimes you still have to state the obvious. Many Some years ago when I was coaching Junior Jazz, our neighborhood team was undefeated, two games away from the league championship. We were behind at the half, and I was frustrated. As we trouped downstairs, I exclaimed, "Guys, where's the energy? You've got to hustle!"

My best player than said, in all sincerity, "You didn't tell us to hustle!"

True. It actually hadn't occurred to me. But instead of saying, "I shouldn't have to," I accepted the criticism and said, "Well, I need you to, okay? Do you guys promise to hustle?"

They did, and they did. I know there's an age difference and a pro-vs.-amateur difference, but pro basketball players these days are basically just big kids. They've been spoiled and handled since their early teens. So yes, Jerry, the sad reality is that it is your job. Please do it. (But first, get rid of Boozer.)

Saturday, May 02, 2009

A repost: The plight of the Enola Gay Hangar at Wendover

We don't usually do this, but this week's news that the Enola Gay hangar at Wendover has been placed on the list of endangered landmarks prompts us to reprint a post from August 2007:

This morning's Trib had a nice feature on Wendover, Utah. A couple of lines from the article struck a memory:
WENDOVER - The first atomic bomb. The world land-speed record. Wendover Will.
. . .
Toward war's end, Col. Paul Tibbets and the crew of the Enola Gay trained in Wendover to drop the first atomic bombs - dubbed Little Boy and Fat Man - on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Along with Smith, Tibbets is an icon in Wendover.
The crew didn't just train in Wendover. The Enola Gay mission actually launched from Wendover. On June 14, 1945, the newly manufactured B-29 was ferried from Nebraska to the army base there. On June 27, 1945, it took off from Wendover for the South Pacific. After stops at Guam and the Marianas Islands, the aircraft carried out its historic mission on August 6 and 9, 1945, dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Japan surrendered a month later.

The memory? Driving around on a quest for Mildred's, a restaurant on the Utah side that makes its own veggie burgers, noticing a historic marker, stopping to read it, and exclaiming, "THE Enola Gay?" The most important military mission in U. S. history was launched from Utah?

One reason it was hard to believe: This is what the hangar that housed the Enola Gay looks like now.

Granted, the Enola Gay's mission remains controversial. Co-pilot Robert Lewis himself wrote, "My God, what have we done?" Nonetheless, this mission has enormous military and historical significance. The hangar from which it was launched shouldn't look as though it has been condemned. To Utah legislators, we say: Next time you have an extra, say, $36,000 or so to spend, how about shifting some of it toward the long-envisioned restoration project out at Wendover. In the meantime, the project accepts donations via PayPal to the e-mail address support(at)

Friday, May 01, 2009

Wow - the Minuteman guy finally admits it's about brown skin

It's always interesting when the Minutemen guys say that their illegal immigration obsession isn't just anti-brown-skin racism. "Yeah, right," one thinks. "That's why your bunch lies in wait on the website praying that the next mug shot will have a slightly darker tone."

This morning, the Tribune's article about the Church's declination to become a law enforcement agency contained a remarkable admission:

Some LDS members are seriously questioning their faith as the church continues to recognize undocumented immigrants as worthy of baptism, temple entrance and missionary work while one of the faith's founding principles is to obey all laws, said Eli Cawley, chairman of the anti-illegal immigration Utah Minuteman Project.

"The risk that the church runs by supporting illegal aliens is
the risk of alienating their own white membership," Cawley said.

And there it is. It's about the skin color. It probably doesn't hurt to admit it, as we suspect most people already had formed that conclusion.

P.S. Cawley, anyone whose faith is so shallow that it can't handle one disagreement with the Church on immigration law - which has no religious or Biblical overtones -- has a bigger problem.