[Legislator Disconnect] I'm still a bit agog at the way state Senate President Michael Waddoups summed up Utah's so-called life in opening remarks this week at the Legislature:
"I prefer to look on the bright side. Things aren't as gloomy as some would have us believe. Revenues are down a little, but we can still eat, we can have homes, we have health care, we have color TV ... and most still have jobs."
A letter writer to today's Salt Lake Tribune got the same uneasy feeling, and put it in words.
Waddoups, owner of a successful property management company, has no fear of how he'll find his next meal. I wish he could stroll down our little stretch of Main Street, between 200 and 300 South sometime. Bunches of people on the sidewalk outside my City Weekly office window have no health care, color TV or jobs.
Two nights ago, I called the SLPD to intervene when two street people got into a loud scuffle near the TRAX Gallivan Plaza stop. The man and woman were both seriously impaired--weaving around, her screaming at him, him ignoring her. He had taken her black handbag. She was screaming for him to give it back. He kept on walking, crossing into traffic, with her about 20 feet behind. Commuters on the train platform stood and stared. Did anyone pull out a cell phone and call the cops? Nah.
Ten minutes later, Reese the police dispatcher called me back at my desk. Officers had found the man, with the handbag, walking through Gallivan Plaza. But they couldn't find the woman. I couldn't give a great description of her--I had seen her from my second-floor window, but only from behind. She wore a red parka, was about 5-foot-3. She had black hair.
In spite of our Republican lawmakers' glass-half-full world view, there is plenty of pessimism to go around on this little city block. Perhaps Waddoups, as the most powerful man in the state Senate, could help all his cheery prosperity trickle down to these parts. (Holly Mullen)