Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A Good Day for All Things Wicked

[News] Do you think 5th District Judge James Shumate could have timed the unsealing of Warren Jeffs' documents any better?

The judge had sealed documents at the request of Jeffs' attorneys to ensure Jeffs got a fair trial. However, maybe it would have been more fair to let the jury in on just how pervy and schizo this Utah "prophet" is.

I doubt Shakespeare could have crafted a more swooping fall from grace. During Jeffs' fasting delirium while in the "Purgatory" jail awaiting trial, the man tells his family he'd been "immoral with a sister and a daughter" more than 30 years ago and, at one point, he renounces his prophethood, saying the Lord deemed him a "wicked man."

Deliciously creepy stuff.

Jeffs was found guilty on Sept. 25 on two felony rape charges. In the meantime, the media and other interested parties have been hounding the judge for the documents. He obliged them yesterday.

But for Shumate to unseal them to coincide with Halloween? A nice touch there, Judge. (Jerre Wroble)

Way Bummed

[Overheard] The woman came out of an office near the Scott M. Matheson Courthouse in downtown Salt Lake City today. It was lunch hour. She was dressed for Halloween in purple fishnets and t-strapped heels, an oversized faux-fur coat with padded shoulders, c. 1984. She wore a platinum blond curly wig-- like Orphan Annie curly. I think she was dressed as a hooker. Or someone from the cast of Chicago. Or Orphan Annie, but platinum.

I passed her just as she said this into her phone:

"No, I'm way bummed. Just way bummed. If you go tonight and I don't go, which I can't because I have to be at another party, you'll see Sarah there and you'll just end up sleeping with her. I'm just so bummed."

Sometimes Halloween is one big gamble. (Holly Mullen)

RIP Robert Goulet

Goulet has passed away

(Jamie Gadette)

More Fear & Loathing in Pioneer Park

[News] Ted McDonough's recent story on Pioneer Park featured several businessmen with a sanguine approach to sharing the park with the homeless. Some businesses near Pioneer Park, however, aren't so sure when it comes to such citizens appearing on their doorsteps.

"Hit the fucking street," a man shouted several weeks ago as he stormed past the open door of fashion boutique Filthy Gorgeous on West Pierpoint Ave. He was haranguing a middle-aged derelict. "No begging on this street," the young man yelled. The offender mumbled self-defensively, then wheeled round.

Filthy Gorgeous' owner, the muscular young Keith Bryce, said the man evicting the derelict was the boyfriend of a nearby shop owner. "The homeless are harassing us," Bryce says. He tries to be cordial, he explains, but when he says he doesn't have anything to give them, several homeless people who have entered his store have become angry and shouted at him how broke they are. (Stephen Dark)

Bigfoot Sighting!

[Paranormal News] Just as it happened 40 years ago in California, we have a new Bigfoot sighting! By hunters! With a photo! Just in time for Halloween! From the scene in Pennsylvania, take it away AP:

"'We couldn't figure out what they were,' [Rick] Jacobs said of the images captured on Sept. 16. "I've been hunting for years and I've never seen anything like this." He contacted the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization, which pursues reports of a legendary two-legged creature that some people believe lives in parts of the U.S. and Canada. 'It appears to be a primate-like animal. In my opinion, it appears to be a juvenile Sasquatch,' said Paul Majeta of the Bigfoot group."

If no less an authority than the Bigfoot Field Researchers are convinced, so am I! From 1967, the original Sasquatch vid:

(Bill Frost)

Gadette vs. Colbert

[Interview Wars] How does Jamie Gadette's interview with The Glass Castle author Jeannette Walls in the new City Weekly stack up against Comedy Central yakker/presidential candidate Stephen Colbert's? Read Gadette's here; watch Colbert's below; the nation awaits your verdict ...

(Bill Frost)

SLC 911

[Law & Disorder] From Tuesday's activity logs of the Salt Lake Police Department comes this report of what may be the least pleasant police call of the year.

"10:55 p.m. Disorderly/Taser deployment/Resisting: Arrested person … repeatedly exited his room at the Super 8 Motel totally naked and caused patrons and employees alike to call for his eviction from the motel. … Despite close contact Taser drive stuns, the A/P took on officers and employees in an all out fight to avoid being taken into custody.

"A call for help by the officers resulted in numerous officers responding. Despite another Taser being fired into the suspect from a distance and baton strikes it was several more minutes after officers arrived before several of them could wrestle the A/P into cuffs and leg restraints. Crack and paraphernalia were located in the room.”

In a seeming defense of officers’ need to call for backup to arrest the 44-year-old man, the report notes the arrestee “is described as very large and muscular and fought vigorously to resist arrest.”

Plus, he was naked. (Ted McDonough)

Come Clean Kirby

[Phoning It In] It's time someone said it.

Someone at
The Salt Lake Tribune needs to edit humor columnist Robert Kirby. Yes, even Kirby could benefit from an editor asking a few questions. He's beloved as the "oxymormon" columnist who writes Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.

On Saturdays, in the paper's
Faith section, he typically takes on some quirk of Mormon faith/life and pokes it with a big, sharp stick. Acerbic, but still respectful. People love him for it.

But the fact is that on too many days lately, he seems bored and burned out. The toughest part of writing any column for more than a couple of years is the temptation to recycle topics again and again. Kirby is doing so routinely. He needs to clear his head.

Nor is he immune to the kinds of conflicts of interest that a "serious" columnist would be skewered for. Today Kirby does a Halloween topic, writing about an outing to the Haunted Village at This is the Place Heritage Park at the mouth of Emigration Canyon.

He did the hike with his "friends," Katie and Ellis Ivory. No mention that Ellis Ivory, founder of Ivory Homes, is chairman of the board at This is the Place Heritage Park. Careful readers will recall that Ivory pushed for all the news coverage he could in both dailies when This is the Place landed on hard financial times in the past year or so.

So what made this particular haunted house venue any better than the 47 others around the Salt Lake Valley? Could it be the Ivory connection? All Kirby needed to provide was a little disclosure statement, right?

Nothing a little closer editing couldn't take care of. (Holly Mullen)

Ghosts, Schmosts

[Halloween] Taking a page from The Stranger's fabulous Slog (and probably countless other online commentary waxing nostalgic over my least favorite cinematic genre), I bring you scenes from famous horror movies that scared the shit out of me as a kid (and continue to do so today). You see, I'm what you might call "paranoid." I check the closets for serial killers, check the backseat of my car for prisoners on the run, imagine creepy crawlies sneaking up on me in bed (usually just lint) ... and this is why I will never see Saw.

Tell me these clips are not creepy! Do it!

First, Stephen King's It. This is why I hate clowns. And Pennywise.

1980's Arachnophobia. This is why I don't shower. (Just kidding. Or am I?)

Finally, Copycat with Sigourney Weaver and Harry Connick, Jr (!). This is why I check under the stalls in public bathrooms.

I hope you enjoyed this. I'm going to have nightmares tonight. How about you?

(Jamie Gadette)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Stupid Parents

[Halloween Hijack] Tomorrow is Halloween. Most of you will be enjoying libations at some grown-up costume party.

Some of us will be sitting at home hoping to hand out candy.

Notice I say
hoping, because crazy-irrational parent fear has just about killed all fun having to do with Halloween. The Mormon ward in my neighborhood has pretty much hijacked the holiday, by sponsoring a ridiculous "trunk or treat" party, in which kids move around parked cars in the church parking lot and adults hand out candy from the trunks. This scene is apparently played out every year around Utah and elsewhere.


I live west of Foothill Village, north of Sugar House. I call it "LoFo," for lower Foothill. We do have trick or treaters from up the street. They start about 6 and the crowd peters out by about 7.

I bought four bags of mini candy bars. Bet I won't use them all up. Too many freaked parents forcing their anxieties onto their kids and sending them to Halloween in climate-controlled malls.

Question: Are you planning on any kids stopping at your house? An actual crowd? Is the kids' dream version of Halloween dead? Love to hear about it. (Holly Mullen)

Blab from Silent Bob

[Isn't It Ironic] Sometimes people ask me what qualifies a newspaper as "alternative?" How about this: The review copies we get from book publishers are always chock full of (air quotes here) irony (end air quotes).

Today in the mail I got
My Boring-Ass Life: The Uncomfortably Candid Diary of Kevin Smith, 470 pages of what really does amount to one celebrity's mundane life. It's got a little edge. Very ironic. It's hardly the stuff of Britney Spears backing over a paparazzi's foot. But Smith, better known as the hilarious Silent Bob of Clerks, etc., really does live in parenting hell like the rest of us (please god, may I never be subjected to another afternoon of watching Barney the Purple Dinosaur or fascimile).

The genesis of
Boring-Ass Life was in response to a March 2005 post on one of Smith's Web sites that asked: "What do you do all day?" Smith didn't know. So he started keeping a diary. Of. Everything. He. Did. In. The. Course. Of. A. Day. He blogged about it. Now it's a book, too.

Uh, it's funny. At least what I've skimmed through this afternoon. But then I must say I love Kevin Smith. In a cast of characters at the front of the book, he describes Jen thusly: "This is my wife. She holds my heart and dick." And Harley: "This is my daughter. She just holds my heart."

As for Smith, he tells us he is "still married, still a dad, still a filmmaker, still fat, still alive." Like I said, honest. And funny. (Holly Mullen)

Best Bar Name Ever

[Halloween] Salt Lake City isn't prone to clever nightclub names (think hard ... nothing's coming, right?), but boring ol' Phoenix suburb Tempe may have the best ever: a Halloween-themed bar called Drunkenstein's!

Key word being may: The owner—who says the joint will be a restaurant, Halloween bar, Irish coffee house and music/arts venue featuring "ear-piercing death metal solos"—told the Tempe City Council that the name of his club would be The Haunted House, and then brilliantly blogged that the council probably wouldn't approve of the real name he planned on using. They didn't ... after they read the blog.

The Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses will have the final say on the Drunkenstein's handle, at which time I'll decide whether or not to move forward with my own nightclub in SLC: The FuBar. Oh, it's already a gay bar in Los Angeles? How about Shithammer's? (Bill Frost)

House vs. Mormons

[TV] In case you missed it, everybody's favorite cranky/scruffy doctor House (Fox, Tuesdays) has welcomed a Mormon onto his staff—OK, not exactly "welcomed." Dr. House has about as much tolerance for religious types as Bill Maher, who at least keeps his tirades to himself and his relatively small HBO audience (when he's not throwing them out of his studio). House is a top-rated network series, thus the Deseret Morning News springs into action today:

"Having a Mormon around, of course, offers House plenty of opportunities to be House. Not surprisingly, he is decidedly anti-religious in general. 'Rational arguments don't usually work on religious people,' he says in one episode. 'That's why they're religious people.' House calls Cole 'Big Love,' a reference to the TV series about polygamists—polygamists who are clearly identified as not being Mormon on that HBO show."

And if that's not an obvious enough statement, try this:

"At least for local viewers, House is a reminder that to a lot of people, someone being Mormon is still seen as an oddity ..."

Mitt Romney, who's reportedly been running for president for many months now, would likely concur. (Bill Frost)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Upstairs (Hic), Downstairs

[Downtown] Rumors are swirling that The Tavernacle will be leasing the space just downstairs from City Weekly's offices--the space which, for a few weeks, has been being gutted. The rumor is that it will be a restaurant and the best thing about it is that the restaurant will have a liquor license.

Not only will this help enliven one of the only remaining interesting blocks on downtown Main Street, but will make our Friday afternoon tippling so much more convenient.

Perhaps we could even get Tavernacle bartenders to name cocktails after the paper. Here are some ideas to get them started:

The City Weekly
4 oz. PatrĂ³n
dash soda
Serve tequila neat; use soda to blot any resulting stains on CW's nice, clean carpet.

The Private Eye
1 bottle VO
1 bottle NyQuil
Administer NyQuil and/or VO as desired. Write column. Repeat weekly.
(Brandon Burt)

Get Me Rewrite!

[Eulogy] Today I attended Lou Bate's funeral. Bate died of complications from a stroke last week in Bountiful. He was 82.

So give me a trip down Memory Lane, wouldja?

Lou was my first "real world" newspaper editor. He put in nearly four decades at the
Deseret Morning News. He was city editor for 13 years -- from 1974 to 1987. This was the glory era for many American newspapers, even the D-News. It was the post-Watergate period, the same year Richard Nixon resigned. But locally, it was the D-News -- surprisingly to many who read the paper nowadays -- that kicked ass with investigative journalism. The paper embraced serious investigative reporting with its "Pinpoint Team," consisting of three great reporters (Bob Mullins, Joe Costanzo, Dale Van Atta). The team regularly broke stories of political corruption, consumer fraud and pretty much worked to keep Utah pols honest.

In that brief time, the then-afternoon paper made
The Salt Lake Tribune (its gray front page still running a load of wire copy) look paltry. The D-News was every bit as Mormon Church-owned as it is today. But executive editor Bill Smart and (the late) managing editor DeAnn Evans were pros who kept the news pages honest. Somehow they managed to maintain a sense of journalistic independence that really no longer exists at the paper.

They also saw to it that the news had an actual "news hole." If the story had merit, they saw there was enough space to publish it with facts and context.

Neither of Salt Lake's mainstream dailies can claim that high ground today -- even though on-line space is infinite. Mostly, the stories lack depth. Context.

Bill, DeAnn and Lou also made a point of hiring a lot of "gentiles," aka non-Mormons, in that decade and a half. It helped keep the newsroom even, honest and a lot of fun. My first job fresh out of the U. of U. was covering the suburbs with four other twenty-somethings. Lou was always exuding power from his desk at the front of the (male-dominated) newsroom. He scared the shit out of us newbies, actually.

Lou was a stickler for good reporting and editing. He was a man of few words, but when he had something to tell a young and naive reporter, he said it. Not so much loudly, but very firmly. I learned a lot from him. As role models go, Ed Asner's "Lou Grant" comes to mind. Most people won't remember that TV character from the '70s, I'm sure. Lou Grant was tough and crusty. So was Lou Bate. And yes, Lou had a soft side. Sometimes he'd slip and call a young reporter "pal." Somehow, even after making what seemed the worst mistake possible, hearing "pal" always made me feel better.

RIP Lou. (Holly Mullen)

Bill Stumps for Hill, For Rill!

[Politics] On Sunday, Nov. 4, former president/playa Bill Clinton is coming to Salt Lake City to raise money for wife Hillary's 2008 presidential campaign, if not necessarily support--all of her Utah voters will probably be at the U of U Union Ballroom rally. Seriously, all of them.

Why Bill and not Hillary herself? "Scheduling conflicts." As in, she scheduled a visit someplace else, where she's not considered the Vajayjay Antichrist (term trademark pending).

Tickets are 50 bucks; Bill will of course be taking the resulting bag of money to a state where it can do some good, 'cause Utah ain't voting Democrat, especially not this one (see: Vajayjay).

If $50 isn't enough to make you feel good about your support for Hillary, Bill's doing an additional fundraiser in Park City with a $500 price tag ($2,300 for VIP treatment).

No? You're good? Then bring that fiddy to the U on Sunday at 3 p.m. (Bill Frost)

Case of the Mondays?

[Music] Come on down to the rock show! While this public-access clip could have easily been recorded in Wayne's basement, it at least hints at Black Velvet Elvis' appeal. The Montana duo plays Burt's Tiki Lounge tonight with Victory Smokes and locals Vile Blue Shades (who've gathered quite the cult following in Missoula). Rumor has it this show will double as a pajama party. If you sleep nude, well, beware the airborne cooties.

(Jamie Gadette)

Bridge Mania Continues Unabated

[News] What does it say about Salt Lake City that, over the weekend, an anti-war protest at Washington Square had slightly more attendees than the event (?) of a new bridge being moved into place on I-215? The latter enjoyed the same amount of media coverage and reportedly even had a ... VIP area. If all the slack-jawed yokels, er, bridge aficionados were at 4500 South and I-215, who was left to stand outside KUTV 2's Main Street studio and wave like idiots, uh, TV anchor connoisseurs this weekend? Priorities, people! (Bill Frost)

Friday, October 26, 2007

Uh, Thanks?

[News-ish] The local Hannah Montana crisis has gotten so bad that KUTV 2's Bill Gephardt had to be called in to solve one West Jordan mother's dilemma: She bought tickets through Ticketmaster online using her boyfriend's credit card, but then the Ticketbastards wouldn't give them to her! One call from Bill, however, and the whole "misunderstanding" was resolved--not unlike an episode of Hannah Montana, if not the darker and more existential The Suite Life of Zack & Cody. Now she has to, er, gets to take her 12-year-old daughter to a two-hour squeal-fest in that acoustical black hole known as EnergySolutions Arena. The boyfriend, presumably, got off easier.

Now, had this been lower-profile concert that a local news outfit had no desire of grabbing a little glory from, would they be so eager to "help"?

"Hello? Is this Gephardt? Dude, I was totally screwed out of my tickets to Slaughter! My old man is out of lockdown next weekend and we were gonna go but ... Are you there? Hello?" (Bill Frost)

Younge Love

[Truth to Power] Gary Younge started writing for The Guardian in London in 1994 and is now the liberal tabloid's U.S. correspondent, based in New York City. He's also a frequent contributor here in the U.S. to The Nation.

Younge stopped at the University of Utah today at an event sponsored by the Society of Professional Journalists. He also promoted his latest book:
Stranger in a Strange Land: Encounters in the Disunited States. Before that he wrote No Place Like Home: A Black Briton's Journey Through the Deep South.

Because he's been steeped in the beauty of alternative reporting and writing, Younge told the audience he long ago gave up on any notion of true objectivity. Bingo. Beyond that, he said, a journalist's main responsibility is to be fair, thorough and professional. You make the calls, you run the traps. You bring your own truth and experiences to the story and write it.

I was sort of entranced. I took notes. That's because I consider myself a thorough and fair journalist, right out of Younge's blueprint. But as I sat down to write this post, I suddenly could not find my notebook. Seriously. I think I left it behind, sitting on an auditorium chair.

Hope Younge won't mind then, that I paraphrase what struck me as a memorable riff of his discussion. He said he often runs into critics of the U.S. press who say reporters are too bent on "gotcha stories" that embarrass public officials for no good reason (uh, I think those critics must watch Fox News exclusively). It isn't that Younge endorses all gotcha stories, either. Far from it. Reporters, he said, shouldn't go about constantly trying to find ways to "get" people they cover -- though the practice has its place and keeps those whose salaries we pay on their toes.

However, he said, it might have been nice if more American reporters had practiced a little gotcha journalism in the run-up to the god-awful war we're now entrenched in. What we might have learned had the national press pushed harder for the truth on weapons of mass destruction and needled and nagged harder for the Bush Administration to actually find Osama bin Laden before he sent soldiers off to dig Saddam out of a spider hole.

We had the chance to do our jobs, and we fell flat. (Holly Mullen)

Reading is Cool

[Awards] Congrats to Rae Meadows, former Utah resident and author of the highly entertaining work of fiction Calling Out, a story loosely based on her experiences as a receptionist for a Salt Lake City escort agency. You can read all about Meadows here. Cheers to fellow award recipients Rob Carney (poetry), France A. Davis (non-fiction) and Rick Walton (children/young adult). Submissions are now being accepted for the 2007 Utah Book Award. Entry forms are available online. And remember, reading is cool. Just ask Run DMC:

(Jamie Gadette)

Friday Letters Round-Up

(Brandon Burt)

Fire as Art

[Blazing Glory] Photo taken earlier this week from the shores of Lake Mission Viejo, Calif. My brother, his wife and two boys live in MV, but so far the fires have skipped their city. This photo is of the Santiago/Modjeska Canyon fire in Orange County--believed to be arson-caused.

If a raging wildfire can qualify as art, this shot does it for me. (Holly Mullen)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Lick It Good

[Campaign Mouth] In journalism, we call it "the lede" -- that grabber paragraph or two that pulls you into a story.

The lede in an Oct. 24 story in the New York Daily News demonstrates why we must be careful not to get subjects confused with modifiers:

Touting his accomplishments as mayor Tuesday while on the campaign trail in New Hampshire, [Rudy] Giuliani crowed, "I took a city that was known for pornography and licked it to a large extent, so I have my own set of qualifications."

And a tip of the hat to City Weekly copy editor Brandon Burt. (Holly Mullen)

Looking for a Certain Sheriff's Home Address?

[Power Abuse] Member papers of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies (AAN), of which City Weekly is one, are providing links on their Websites that provide the home address of Arizona's Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

AAN papers are doing so to show solidarity with the Phoenix New Times, which was threatened with felony prosecution for publishing Sheriff Arpaio's address on its Website in 2005. After an adjoining jurisdiction declined to press charges, Arpaio's political ally, Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas, convened a grand jury to "investigate" charges the paper broke the law when it published Sheriff Arpaio's address.

Last week, Phoenix New Times' founders Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin were arrested and jailed after the paper published a story about the grand jury and subpoenas they had received that demanded detailed Internet records of any person who had visited the newspaper's Website since 2004, as well as all notes and records from any reporter who had written about the sheriff in the preceding three years.

After Larkin and Lacey were arrested, an outpouring of shock and anger accompanied widespread media coverage of the case. The response created a groundswell of support for New Times. The charges were dropped less than 24 hours later after Thomas admitted that his office had made "serious missteps" in the case.

Phoenix New Times has published dozens of stories critical of both Thomas and Arpaio. In fact, the paper maintains an archive on its website of its coverage of Arpaio since he was elected sheriff in 1992:

New Times published Arpaio's home address in a story arguing that he abused a state law that allows law enforcement officials to keep their addresses from being made public. New Times said Arpaio used the law to hide nearly $1 million in cash real-estate transactions.

Thomas convened a grand jury to investigate the case even though Arpaio's home address was then and continues to be easily accessible on a number of other Websites, including the Maricopa County Recorder's official Website (see first link below): (click "2004 Financial Disclosure Statement" for PDF)$ref&se=$se&doby=&city=&name_style=1;;;;arpaio;;fountain%20hills;;AZ;;;;;;;;MICHAEL;;ARPAIO;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;117102576;;&2=name&3=people&4=1&5=joseph;;;;arpaio;;fountain%20hills;;AZ;;;;;;;;&rc=1

Arpaio continues to resist New Times' request for information relating to his real estate holdings.

Here is the list of AAN papers that have agreed to post these links this week on their Websites:

Artvoice (Buffalo, NY)
Arkansas Times
Birmingham Weekly
Boston Phoenix
Boston's Weekly Dig
Cincinnati CityBeat
City Pages (Minneapolis)
Dallas Observer
Houston Press
Independent Weekly (Durham, NC)
Independent Weekly (Lafayette, La.)
L.A. Weekly
Metro (San Jose, Calif.)
Metro (Santa Cruz, Calif.)
Metroland (Albany, NY)
Miami New Times
Nashville Scene
New Times Broward-Palm Beach
North Bay Bohemian
OC Weekly
Philadelphia Weekly
The Pitch (Kansas City)
Portland Mercury
The Pulse (Chattanooga, Tenn.)
The Reader (Omaha, Neb.)
Riverfront Times (St. Louis)
Salt Lake City Weekly
San Francisco Bay Guardian
Santa Barbara Independent
Santa Fe Reporter
Scene (Cleveland)
Seattle Weekly
Seven Days (Burlington, Vt.)
SF Weekly
Shepherd Express (Milwaukee)
The Source Weekly (Bend, Ore.)
The Stranger (Seattle)
Syracuse New Times
Tucson Weekly
Urban Tulsa Weekly
The Village Voice
Westword (Denver)
Willamette Week (Portland, Ore.)

(AAN Press Release)

Out of Sight, Out of Her Mind

[News] Utah liquor control commissioner Bobbie Coray put forth the idea yesterday at the monthly (Hell, why not daily? Evil never rests!) booze meeting that alcohol bottles be obscured from the view of restaurant patrons so as not to offend Mormon diners. Yes, seriously.

"We have a dual responsibility," said nondrinker Coray. "We are to make alcohol available for those who want to consume it and at the same time not make anyone uncomfortable." She even has a name for such a partition that restaurants would have to shill out for: "a Zion curtain."

Swell. Here's another thought fraught with unoriginality: A certain towering white building downtown might offend drunks. Can we get a task force on that? (Bill Frost)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

News, Flash

[Media] The Salt Lake Tribune may soon have an anorexic twin. According to, the paper is looking for help to launch a free weekday commuter tabloid called Flash early next year, in its ongoing exertions to lure someone … anyone … under 30 to pick up a daily. The Trib wants an “energetic staff” who can “understand the importance of tight, bright copy and appreciate a lighter tone and personality in news, features and sports.” Editors will be expected to “hunt down” and rewrite the news to be “commuter-friendly.” The tabloid then will be handed off to Salt Lakers as they commute to work.

Wow, this can only mean we’re gonna have newsies hawking papers at TRAX stations.

We’re gonna be a big city now, just like Washington, D.C.; Boston and Dallas. Their dailies (The Washington Post, the Boston Globe and the Dallas Morning News) also begot commuter tabloids. However, a 2005 survey by the Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ) looked at their tabs and found little in the way of local news and original reporting. Indeed, 72 percent of the stories were wire copy. The most prominent subject matter: sports, business and celebrity news … the stuff of a good commute.

How “lite” can MediaNews go? (Jerre Wroble)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Cut In Line: Concert Picks

[Music] Due to space restrictions, time restrictions and basic aw-shucks oversights, there always seems to be at least one great band that doesn't make the cut for our weekly concert picks. Looking at the weeks ahead I can already tell which ones will be sidelined to make room for others. It's not always about how much better one group is than another. Sometimes I choose to highlight an unknown over the current Big Thing, or a hip-hop act to round out the indie rockers at Urban. From now on, I'm going to try and post the overflow right here. Starting ... now!

Stop! Collaborate and listen. Vanilla Ice is back with, well, probably not a brand new invention but a break from the norm nonetheless. If you want to relive middle-school dances, are in the mood for a good laugh or genuinely like the Ice, come to Teazers (336 36th Street, Ogden) on Saturday, Oct. 27. Here's Ice defending his white-boy skillz against the steely-eyed Arsenio Hall:

And on Halloween (actual Halloween), myriad options await the brave ghouls and goblins who either don't have to work early on Thursday or love the holiday soooo much they're willing to brave potential hangovers and sleep deprivation to wear that slutty nurse/cowboy/cop/mustard costume one more time! Key picks:

* Salt City Derby Girls host the Rocky Horror Show at Club Vegas.
* Vile Blue Shades and The Wolfs play the Urban Lounge ... again.
* Little Brother and Evidence from the once-underground hip-hop group Dilated Peoples take the stage at The Hotel. This is perhaps the scariest option for unwitting music fans who've never made it past the Socko van perpetually parked out front.

And finally, we've written about them to death so all-female AC/DC tribute band Hell's Belles probably won't be appearing in the Nov. 1 Music Picks but that doesn't mean you shouldn't hitch up your kilt and salute those about to rock at Bar Deluxe Nov. 2-3.

Ditto for psychobilly Danes the Horrorpops appearing at Great Saltair with the great Danzig (watch for a forthcoming interview it leader Glenn Danzig in CW's Nov. 1 issue). Here's some HP:

Stay tuned for more cut choices.

(Jamie Gadette)

Calling Norman Rockwell

[Nostalgia Factor] I love it when people -- especially public servants -- look back wistfully on the good old days. That was back when people never locked their doors, the Fuller Brush man stopped by the house and women weren't all caught up in their own needs. Real women stayed home and baked (and hid Smirnoff bottles in the clothes hamper).

Sandy City Police Sgt. Victor Quezada hearkened back to those halcyon days last night on the 10 p.m. KSL news. Responding to a reporter's questions about a rash of attempted middle-school student abductions around the Salt Lake Valley, Quezada reminded parents to stay alert and aware of their kids' whereabouts.

Always good advice.

Because, as he underscored, it's dangerous out there: "Today's world is not the way it used to be 30 years ago."

No kidding. It's hardly as safe as 1974, when serial murderer Ted Bundy snatched my high school classmate, Nancy Wilcox and killed her--and dozens of other women in the West and at least three in Florida.

It was a whole lot safer in Utah from 1979 to 1983, too, when super-pervo Arthur Gary Bishop kidnapped and killed five little boys, ranging in age from three to 12. In between victims, he tortured small animals.

It was much simpler 30 years ago. Gee, I miss those days. Holly Mullen)

The Doer vs. the Drinkers

[Political Pimping] The invitation that landed in my mailbox today reads: "Come have a drink with Dave after work ... He'll have a root beer, you have whatever you want."

Well there's that Dave Buhler again, getting all down with his darker side and reaching out to the wild-ass drinkers in Salt Lake. It's a fundraiser. October 25. At the Oyster Bar. Suggested contribution is $100.

It's been amusing, all right, watching devout Mormon and Republican Buhler bend a bit to appeal to the city's non-Mormon majority. He hasn't given up his ... principles. While he struggles uphill to beat Democrat Ralph Becker (ahead in most polls by 18 points), Republican Buhler often notes that he's the only one of the two candidates who voted in the state Legislature to loosen the government/LDS Church's grip on liquor laws. Buhler sponsored a successful bill that allowed people to buy booze at liquor store with
checks and credit cards.

(What the hell? How about cold beer and chilled wine on site? Now that would be progress.)

Anyway, judging from the members of the host committee for Buhler's blow-out, it should be a regular toga party. The group is a Who's Who of priesthood holders and Chamber of Commerce powerhouses (interchangeable parts): former Sen. Jake Garn; Zion's Bank founder Harris Simmons; Questar CEO Keith Rattie; Repub Salt Lake City Councilmen Van Turner and Carlton Christensen. To name a few.

In fairness, I can't exactly see fusty old Becker sucking down Jell-O shots at a fundraiser, either. Such is our choice of exciting mayors-in-waiting.

Party on. (Holly Mullen)

Monday, October 22, 2007

Bad Boys, Whatcha Gonna Do?

[Public Safety] Those of us who have been coping with hordes of scary people on a daily basis are grateful for the increased police presence on Main Street. Really, we are.

But we must take the bitter with the sweet. There's a downside to everything--even cops, if you can imagine. Our happy days of walking straight from the TRAX platform to the City Weekly office entrance are over. Today, police have been ticketing people left and right for jaywalking.

I respect our men in uniform and I support Prop. 1 (to fund an up-to-date public-safety building). But I also like jaywa--er, well, thinking about jaywalking. (I would never actually break the law, of course--and certainly I would never admit to it in writing on this blog--but it just takes so damned long to walk to the crosswalk, and wait for the light to change, and then trudge the extra 40 feet back down the street. It's such a pleasant thing to step off the train and right into the office.)

Of course, it's not a very pleasant thing to be pinned under a TRAX train. The jaywalking law is meant to prevent those kinds of accidents--accidents to which people who run out in front of trains are prone.

So just be careful out there, folks. (Brandon Burt)

Rocktober vs. Trucktober

[Radio] What happens when Rocktober and Trucktober collide? Find out today when DJ Frosty guest-hosts Monday Drive Time on KRCL 90.9 FM, 3-6 p.m. No important issues will be discussed, no community problems will be solved, no greater understandings will be achieved. Just three hours of Pure Rock Fury. Is it a misuse of public radio, or the greatest use of all? Tune in, rave and/or complain at will ... (Bill Frost)

Friday, October 19, 2007

Drugs! In Pioneer Park!

[News] An update on City Weekly's Pioneer Park story. There are drugs and crime in the park. In fact, according to statistics compiled for the paper by the Salt Lake City Police Department, drug crime and violence appear on the upswing.

In 2006, there were a total of 288 drug crimes reported either in Pioneer Park or on the streets surrounding the park. With three months to go in 2007, there have already been 400 drug crimes reported to police.

Park drug crime numbers shot up in 2006 when police began weekly drug operations, including undercover stings. The year before those stings began, 2005, just 89 drug incidents were reported in or near the park.

Violent crime in the park hasn't seen the same explosion: 24 incidents were reported in 2005, 33 in 2006 and 35 in 2007.

Even if much of the increase in drug arrests can be attributed to increased police presence, the statistics still suggest the police aren’t winning. The number of people arrested for drug offenses in or near the park jumped more than one-third between this year and last.

In 2006, 246 people were arrested for drug crimes. Through the first nine months of 2007, police have arrested 374 on drug charges. (Ted McDonough)

Friday Letters Round-Up

  • Choo vill bake schnickerdoodles, und choo vill like it!

  • I don't drive on state roads because that would be immoral. Who am I to demand my neighbor pay for a road I'm driving on? I'm building my own freeway, and then I'm going to guard it with a shotgun. It's the moral thing to do.

  • Politicians don’t always tell the truth. Also, they seem to have a lot of money.

(Brandon Burt)

Let's Go Dutch

[Ethnic Lapse] AJ's Kwik Mart is a cherished City Weekly neighbor and a fine little convenience store at 270 S. Main St.

It's also a purveyor of most things Middle Eastern and/or Muslim: prayer rugs; Turkish coffee urns; copies of the Quran and pistachio- and honey-laced pastries. News stories about the latest atrocities from Afghanistan are often taped to the cash register; the current piece details the astounding number of Afghan war widows struggling to survive in the country.

In short, AJ's is pretty much Middle East-oriented.

This morning, as I stood in line buying orange juice, the woman behind me picked up what looked like a giant ginger snap, wrapped in cellophane--an Afghan cookie.

Woman to AJ: "Is this Dutch? Do you have anything Dutch?"

AJ (respectfully): "No ma'am. We have things from Turkey."

Me (unable to mind my business): "This is a Middle Eastern kind of store."

Woman: "Well yeah, but you know sometimes you find marzipan in a store that isn't German."

Had to give her that much.

For those days when only Dutch will do. (Thanks, Brandon Burt)

(Holly Mullen)

Attention! NoBrow Anniversary Show Tonight!

[Music] Not sure how I managed to completely botch the info about NoBrow's 1st Anniversary celebration but that was then and tonight (not yesterday) is the night to give props to Joe Evans and his wife Emily for giving the community not only a place to get great coffee but also a venue for emerging artists, local bands and the occasional touring act. Don't miss the show starting at 4:30 p.m. with Ben Kilbourne, Terrell Brady, Glade Sowards, Dead Horse Point, Jay Hendersen from BOA, Brady Gunnel of Calico and The Soundtrack Scene. Art by Trent Call, Sri Whipple, and Cein Watson. NoBrow is located on 315 E 300 South. The event coincides with Salt Lake City's October gallery stroll. (Jamie Gadette)

God Hates Fags ... NOT!

[Film] We know that the typical City Weekly reader is all about the biblical literalism, but for those few of you willing to open your thinking, take heed. The Sundance 2007 documentary For the Bible Tells Me So -- which allows theologians to explore traditionally anti-gay Scripture verses with a less homophobe-y slant--opens locally today (Friday) at the Tower Theatre. And following the 7 p.m. screening, panelists including First Unitarian Church minister Tom Goldsmith and Holladay United Church pastor Erin Gilmore will explore the issues raised. The Rev. Fred Phelps of Westboro Baptist Church will not be participating, as he is very busy somewhere waving picket signs in the faces of slain soldiers' grieving parents. (Scott Renshaw)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Go, James, Go!

[Media Rant] Judge James Shumate has ordered KUTV's Katie Baker to produce, as punishment for contempt, a segment on an issue--any issue--that needs some attention. Presumably this will require more effort than producing the usual TV news blather about the weather, some security-camera footage from Minnesota or the hazards of common household objects: ("It looks like an ordinary vegetable peeler. But what you don't know could kill you! Details at 10.")

Nothing against Baker personally; she didn't invent the TV-news ratings game. It's just that, as the line between news and entertainment has become ever more obliterated, the electorate has become ever more susceptible to the worst kinds of demagoguery: Now, for many voters, the best choice is the one that provides the most
doubleplusbellyfeel. (Disclosure: City Weekly has A&E and humor features. But they're clearly labeled.)

We could used to more of this kind of "judicial activism," though. The days when you could tune in every evening and get solid news and analysis from people who paid more attention in journalism school than in charm school seem so long ago.
(Brandon Burt)

All Sexed Up

[Pill Poppers] Let's see. Where does a KSL radio reporter go when he wants a ree-ly, ree-ly objective and educated local reaction to a spicy national story? A story about how a Maine school board has decided (11-2 vote) to let middle schools provide contraceptives on-site to students without parental permission?

Why, to Utah County, natch! It's the kind of place where parents think they know what their kids are up to 24/7, but like most of us parents, they just don't. (Believe me, I know. I've got two little darlings of my own with ricocheting hormones).

It's the kind of place where parents say it's their job and not the government's, by god, to teach their kids about sex--if only they could spit out that word...s-e-x...without melting into a puddle on the kitchen floor.

Anyway, it probably goes without saying, but if your kid's school offers birth control (and Hillary Clinton will win Utah's electoral votes before that happens here) and you don't want him or her to partake, go hand-in-hand with your wee one to a clinic of your choosing. Or chain the kid to a bike rack in the back yard for 11 years.

Honestly. It's not like the principal will be handing out a pill and water to everyone after the morning announcements. Or, oh-my-god, will she?!!!

(Holly Mullen)

This Makes My Head Hurt

[Su Casa] I get a mountain of press releases every day. Urgent stuff, really earth-shattering stuff.

This one came just hours after The Salt Lake Tribune published a huge, front-page story on the dire picture for new home construction along the Wasatch Front. In short, don't even think of building a new home, people. Don't even think of selling what you're already living in, people. We're in a big, nasty hole for residential real estate. The whole country is. It won't turn around until at least the end of next year. Be happy in your current
casa, people.

This is no reason for pessimism, however, for the flack who represents J Ballard Homes in Utah County. Because J Ballard is skating free of this whole slump! J Ballard is happily building in Utah County, which apparently isn't even part of the Wasatch Front! (Or part of the rest of the world, for that matter.)

Here's the crux of the chirpy J Ballard news release:

J Ballard Homes Capitalizes on Housing Boom, not Bust

Recent news tells us we’re experiencing a new home construction bust along the Wasatch Front, but here’s why that’s good news for J Ballard Homes. They are the largest home builder company in Utah County. Utah County just happens to have one of the strongest markets in the state and Utah has the strongest market in the country. Experts also project a further explosion in population growth in the next coming years, especially in Utah County. Governor Jon Huntsman himself confirms Utah County, “could be ground zero of a boom that will change the valley forever”. ... And the Utah County Association of Realtors says, “Homes are still selling and we appear to be in a stable market at this point. The fundamentals for the future are still very strong”. So while it may not make sense to build new homes in the rest of the nation right now, or maybe even along the Wasatch Front, there is no shortage of people wanting a home in Utah County.

(Holly Mullen)

Jesus & Joe

[Boobs in the News] Not that anyone who's interested in flashing tits will be watching Fox News' On the Record With Greta Van Susteren (if you are, keep it to yourself), but tonight you can catch part 2 (!) of her exclusive jailhouse interview with Girls Gone Wild founder Joe Francis, the man with the divine power to coax women out of their tops on film. How does he do it? Why, he's just like Jesus, as per this life-in-the-big-house quote:

"They would walk me ... this is walking me to the shower, down the hall, and the inmates were mocking me on both sides, you know, and scream at me and ... they weren't in these conditions. And you know, I'd just be crying. I fell again, and they came and they picked me up. And it was the chaplain. He had been walking in the hallway. And he looks at me, the chaplain of the thing, and he says, Son, have you thought about Jesus Christ? And I'm crying, and I look at him and I go, Every day! Because this is what they did to him."

All you dudes who thought Francis was a god, looks like you were right! (Bill Frost)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Kill Your Television? Already done

[News] The erroneously-named Best Buy chain of electronics stores announced today that they will no longer sell old-fashioned analog televisions, in anticipation of the February 2009 switch to all-digital broadcasts and, really, just to fuck with grandparents who hate "those danged skinny" flat-screen TVs that the cat can't curl up on.

It's as simple as this: If your ancient TV isn't receiving its signal through a cable or satellite converter box (some of which are older than most current analog TVs, speaking from experience as a Comcast victim, uh, customer) come February 2009, it ain't going to work. Straight-cable and rabbit-ears folks, upgrade or miss out on future programming like America's Next Top Religion and Are You Smarter Than a Best Buy Employee? (both big hits in 2009, I'm predicting).

"We are committed to helping people understand the digital television transition, and exiting the analog video business is one way we can help avoid confusion," Best Buy's Mike Vitelli said. Meaning, he'll either sell you a new TV or sell you a converter box. What, you don't want to go back to reading, do you? (Bill Frost)

Not Voting for a Preacher, Man

[Mitt Watch] Talk about a ringing endorsement for presidential hopeless, er, hopeful Mitt Romney from noted psycho-evangelist Bob Jones: "As a Christian I am completely opposed to the doctrines of Mormonism. But I'm not voting for a preacher. I'm voting for a president. It boils down to who can best represent conservative American beliefs, not religious beliefs." See how Hillary Clinton brings people together?

And, while it's a week old now, this Daily Show clip of a "smackdown" between Romney and Rudy Guiliani is quite timeless:

(Bill Frost)

One Man's Trash...

[Lost & Found] When my car was totaled last winter, I soon realized that I was part of pedestrian society. Despite having the occasional insult shouted at me or being stranded on the street on a rainy day, I eventually embraced it. I was getting some much-needed exercise and I came to the conclusion that you see, by far, the most interesting stuff when you slow down a bit.

One day, while walking downtown, I came across an object that made me smile to the car-less heavens: a dead fake-moustache. I did a double-take and, indeed, someone had deemed it necessary to dispose of a fake moustace in the most careless way possible. Had the moustache been cursed because of the blatent disregard? Or did the owner simply move on to a new style? These are the sort of questions that flooded my mind.

Davy Rothbart, co-creator of
Found Magazine has made a living out of these sort of hidden treasures. The magazine is comprised of items people have found (discarded love notes, unusual receipts, pictures, etc.) and sent to Rothbart, who pastes them together for the publication.

Last night, Rothbart was at the Downtown Library in support of Found's "There Goes the Neighborhood Tour," where he read some of his favorite found-items to a nearly-packed theater. The items ranged from hilarious (a reciept that listed: gun, gun, face-mask, and a pack of the candy, Nerds) to heartbreaking (a letter found tied to the end of a balloon that had been caught in a tree growing in the cemetery; a letter to someone's dead mother).

The level of intimacy of each of these was so intense that it was almost hard to take (like reading a diary), but on a social, humanitarian level. It seems like now that anyoone can put themselves out there (YouTubes, blogs), "private" life is becoming more rehearsed than ever. What Rothbart does may be the ultimate look into humans at their most vulnerable--when they think no one is watching/reading.

That said, Rothbart's brother Peter, a singer/songwriter, then performed "The Booty Don't Stop," a cover of a found, homemade demo tape (one of their favorite finds).

What's the best thing you ever found? (Ryan Bradford)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Nice. How About Maybe Winning a Game Now?

[Utah Hunks] Bachelor action from the "Hot Guys" section of

Name: Jack Stewart
Age: 24
Hometown: South Jordan
Occupation: Pro soccer player, Real Salt Lake

Personality profile: “I’m witty, a good conversationalist, and I’m always smiling.”

Girlfriend must-have: “Someone who is self-assured. It’s totally sexy.”

Pick-him-up pointer: “Make me chase you a little.”
Favorite female body parts: “Legs and eyes. I always notice them first.”

Turn-him-on tactic: "Kiss me on the lips, then pull away and leave me wanting more.”
Why do women: “Often beat around the bush instead of saying what they really feel?”

Help a Real Salt Lake player experience victory for once by voting for Jack at

(Bill Frost)

Take My Breath Away-ay-ay-ay

[Hypnotic] From Logan, Utah: An endearing account of group hysteria.

Hard to find a dumber species anywhere than Homo sapiens. (Holly Mullen)

Oh, Boys of Summer-Autumn

[Big Leagues] My top reasons for loving major league baseball more than any other pro sport:

1. No time clock.
2. No cheerleaders.
3. Good close-ups of players spitting that gawd-awful tobacco-bubble gum mixture.
4. No view-the-video challenges, manager's protests, do-overs or similar lame vestiges from other pansy-ass sports.
5. Good uniforms (Bo-Sox)
6. Bad uniforms (D-backs)
7. You can doze off on the couch during an inning, snooze a while, wake up and it's still the same inning.
8. Manny Ramirez, loping around the bases, dreads flying.
9. Players can scratch, wiggle and rearrange their man junk freely, and on national TV.
10. Colorado Rockies vs. Arizona Diamondbacks. Sweep. 'Nuff said.
(Holly Mullen)