Tuesday, July 31, 2007
My Letter of outrage to the Salt Lake City Council
My name is Mickelle Weber and I live in District 4 in Salt Lake City.
I have been spearheading our neighborhood actively promoting the inclusion of our dog park in Phase 1 of the Pioneer Park renovation.
I am outraged and completely appalled by the news in the Salt Lake Tribune 7/31 that funds for the Dog Park have not been approved. We, as a neighborhood have done everything reasonable, within our power, to let the council know of our wishes for this much needed improvement to come to light. As a neighborhood of lofts, condos and apartments you may assume that we are not dog owners. This would be a mistake on your part. If fact our dog to owner ratio would most certainly compete with any suburban neighborhood in our state. The plan for a dog park to be included asap in Pioneer Park has been fought for, pleaded for and is definitely a need and not only a want. In our efforts to reclaim our park from years of illegal activity and an overall bad rap we have formed a group called Parktivites( www.slurbanite.blogspot.com) that is committed to sponsoring and planning daily, weekly, monthly activities in the park year round. At each of our functions dogs are a big part. We believe that a dog park would not only help bring more and more legal and healthy activity to the park but according to a study by The Trust for Public Land:
"...dogs in Seattle have even helped
reclaim some parks from illegal users: in 1995, when police reported a high volume of
unlawful alcohol, drug and sexual activity in three particular parks, the park department
converted them to pilot off-leash areas and criminal activity soon evaporated."
Also in the same report:
"There's no doubt that off-leash areas are good for dogs and their owners. The dogs can
run and cavort; the humans can stand or sit, talk or read, watch and provide comfort, if
necessary. It's pretty similar to a children's playground and just about as much fun, even
for non-dog owning passers-by who often stand at the fence and enjoy all the activity.
The more enterprising sites even have playground-like props and accoutrements - sprinklers,
fake fire hydrants, wading pools, bridges, tunnels and more - often in bright, primary
colors (even though dogs are largely color-blind). When dogs run off excess energy
they become less aggressive. When people socialize they often strengthen their community."
Please do not ignore our pleas, letters, emails, and petitions any longer. We have been told repeatedly that our dog park WOULD BE included in Phase 1 and to find out in a small article in the paper that we have been misled is pretty upsetting. As our neighborhood is growing exponentially(slated and sold out building projects will at least double the amount of residents living in immediate area surrounding the park) your attention to not only the dog park, but to Pioneer Park's renovation in general, will be carefully watched and will matter in the not too distant future not only to you personally in the polls, but also to the greater good for our city.
I appreciate your attention to this matter. And look forward to hearing your thoughts and also your reasoning for not including this in phase 1 budgeting. I hope that you will do the right thing and vote to include funding for our dog park in the upcoming capital-improvements budget meeting,which our neighborhood Parktivites group will most certainly be attending.
SL City Resident
Outraged by your city coucil's stance on our Park? Well...
|One||Carlton J. Christensen |
Van Turner, Chair
|Three||K. Eric Jergensen |
|Five||Jill Remington Love, Vice Chair |
David L. Buhler
Søren D. Simonsen
Only 5 days left to Vote!
Look on the L column of the home page to weigh in on the questions that my inquiring mind needs to know!
My letter to the SL Tribune
I am writing to give you another side to the story on your article today about Pioneer Park's renovation from the resident's point of view.
I must say that your story came as a shock and a disappointment to me. After 8 months of being poo-pooed by each representative I have come in contact with(with the exception of the mayor's office) being told that there is nothing else I can do, the dog park is a sure thing, and not to worry about it, I am livid that this has come out in the paper. After there was such an outcry for this very much needed resource in our park. Our neighborhood has signed petitions, attended meetings, appealed to our representatives in any way we could and yet even after the area businesses, residents, Mayor and even the local media have drawn attention to our need for a dog park-we are yet again left wondering if it is actually our best interest that they have at heart.
We will keep fighting for what we see as not only a necessity in our neighborhood, but for the good of our dogs and our city.
Since you have taken an interest in this issue I would invite you to visit our blog on the park at www.slurbanite.blogspot.com
Thank You for your time,
Salt Lake City Resident
Dog Park Out again....after all of our efforts!
This article, in the paper this morning, makes me angry, but I am not going to be defeated or ignored--I hope you will do the same--
After four years of planning, a Pioneer Park makeover finally could begin in October.
The renovation won't include a stage, new restrooms or a dog park - elements pushed by Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson - but it will include wide sidewalks for shoppers at the Downtown Farmers Market, 58 new trees (minus 16 old ones), two new entry plazas and a handful of benches.
Plans for this first phase need only the final approval of the Salt Lake City Historic Landmark Commission on Wednesday before the city can hire a contractor.
Dell Cook, the city's project manager, expects construction to be done before the 2008 Farmers Market opens next June.
About 8,000 people attend the popular market every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
"Right now, the Farmers Market tramples the grass to mud," Cook said. But a broad, new pathway is planned to ring the park's interior, providing space for farmers' carts - and for walkers and in-line skaters.
"That will facilitate less wear and tear on the park," Cook said. "It will help activate the park and make it a more friendly place for everybody every day."
Although a $73,000 dog park - lined by an iron fence - was supposed to be part of this first phase, Cook said money budgeted by the City Council won't stretch far enough. About $1.4 million, including a $500,000 federal grant, is currently available.
Still, the council's policy analyst, Jennifer Bruno, said more money could be added for a dog park when the council reviews its capital-improvements budget later this month.
Tony Caputo, who owns Tony Caputo's Market & Deli across the street from Pioneer Park, hopes the dog park is created.
"It puts legitimate use in the park seven days a week - not just on Saturdays. We need to get new people in that park," he said. "The crime there is not as bad as it was when we moved in [nine years ago], but it's certainly not a lot better."
Save for the Saturday Farmers Market and Friday night concerts, the problem-plagued park is frequently a hangout for hobos and drug addicts.
Bob Farrington, executive director of the Downtown Alliance, which organizes the Farmers Market, applauded the upgrades, but wished for future improvements
"We're glad to see attention placed on Pioneer Park," he said. "Our biggest things we have on our wish list are additional [electrical] power and bigger and better restrooms," which aren't included in this phase.
Salt Lake City Councilwoman Jill Remington Love expects the dog park and new restrooms to be funded - eventually. But the council probably will not endorse the more "elaborate" improvements proposed by the mayor, including a concessions building with an attached stage for outdoor concerts.
"We have some other outdoor venues in Library Square and the Gallivan Center that we're not 100 percent convinced we want to compete with ourselves on," she said. But "we all want it to be a park that is a nice amenity to our downtown."
Monday, July 30, 2007
Bocce & BBQ sponsered by Jade Market
Mary Gordon, owner of Jade Market(see previous Review-it is a fabulous little market) has provided food, plates, and a place for us to advertise in her store and in her advertising mailer-
If anyone else is interested in helping to sponsor this or any other event on our calendar we would love to hear from you!
Contact Mickelle by commenting on this page!
Sunday, July 29, 2007
Speaking of Independant Films....Sicko!
I'll admit it I was pretty naive about the health care "problem" when I went to see this film. I thought we had it bad but since we are in fact, the most powerful, rich, and supposedly most advanced society on the planet I thought we must have it better than everyone else! Sure in my short life I had fought my fair share of battles, had to pay money when I had been told it would be covered, had to battle about this or that, but I thought that maybe it was me, perhaps I was just disorganized, bad at communicating, confused etc. To add to that my parents have also had more than their fair share of difficulties through the years with them and to top it all off my grandfather was told to swich from his county firefighters insurance to Humana because it would be hands down better for him-a few months later he found out that he has Lung Cancer and his treatment is not covered. He had now stopped chemo and radiation because he doesn't want to leave his kids with the debt when he goes. Let's just say I thought it ran in the family, that we all just had to learn more and be more careful.
Now, I know what you are going to say: "Mickelle Michael Moore is bad-he lies, he uses other's pain for profit, he doesn't offer solutions-he just stirs up trouble" Even if any of this is true, and I'm not willing to say that he isn't/doesn't, I went to see the movie after hearing an interview featuring Michael on his new movie. It peaked my interest-you mean-maybe it wasn't me, my family that have this problem?
The movie was at the very least educational and at the best eye opening. My assumption that we had it better than the rest of the world was quickly replaced with: When do we move? I do realize that the movie may have been a dramatization of the worst and best possible scenarios from each side, however, ANYTHING would be better, in my opinion, for our country than companies profiting from us being sick!
This being said I would love to encourage any of you that have not seen it to go and form your own opinion-prove me wrong and convince me to stay in America, I don't care just HAVE AN OPINION!
Ah the Broadway Theatre-I can walk there can you?
111 East 300 South Salt Lake City, UT (801) 321-0310
Yet another amazing part of my neighborhood! One of the only places I can think of(besides my couch) where I can drink a cup of coffee and watch a movie! Movie tickets for cheap and screenings for the little ones make this a great family activity and gives you a break from the "big box" movies
No but seriously, this is a truly wonderful part of our city! You can view all of the best from the independent film world year round! Wanna see what's playing? click here
and the independent film world will be open to you :) Now you can be cooler than your friends!
Utopia-cheap, fast internet......why not here??
It showed the areas in which Utopia would be installed and there was a big gaping hole in the center-to my dismay and surprise it was my city that was being left out! Read the article and tell me what you think!
UTOPIA, an effort of 14 Utah cities, was formed more than five years ago for some of the cities to create a larger, faster, broadband fiber-optic network to help current businesses expand and attract others to the area. Some cities didn't have Internet cable access and welcomed the network.
Croquet, Starting Tomorrow!!!!
Croquet set provided just bring yourself and a friend(and as always dog's always invited)
Also, even if you aren't into croquet there are many other ways you can use the park and be part of our fight to reclaim our park.
Even if you would just like to come and talk with your neighbors, lounge, play basketball, volleyball, frisby, read, bring your labtop and surf! It's up to you!
We need your support and activism to keep the momentum we have going!
Monday, July 16, 2007
First Ever Parktivites 7pm Dog Walk: Let's hear it for the first participants:
Oh well....better luck in coming days!
Remember-every day noon and 7pm! At the NE Corner of the park.
Studies have shown that healthy community's also have a healthy relationship with their dogs(cats too) Dogs need exercise for their mind and bodies! Take this opportunity to get them out of the house and enjoy a little stroll with some friends! Well socialized dogs are very important to our society and in a condo sometimes that is hard to do!
We had a lovely walk even though it was just us...it took us about 10 minutes to go around the whole park. Every time I walk through I realize how beautiful it is! Truly a gem in our neighborhood!
See you tomorrow noon and 7 pm!
Weekly Schedule for parktivites
These events start immediately unless otherwise noted
- Dog walks at 12:00 (noon) and 7:00 pm. We will meet at the NE corner and walk and talk (doggie bags also provided). If you don't have a dog you can either come as you are or offer to walk a neighbors dog for them!
- Croquet 7 pm (starting July 23rd)
- 7am Tai Chi(this will begin as soon as we get an instructor!)
- Noon and 7 dog walks
- Noon and 7pm dog walks
- Chess at Lunch (noon) (BYO set)
- 7pm Ultimate Frisbee (we need an ultimate Frisbee set or just a few Frisbees) and basketball
- Tai Chi 7am (still need an instructor)
- Noon and 7pm dog walks
- 7pm Chess Tournament (BYO set)
- Noon and 7pm dog walks
- Friday night concerts 6-8:30
- Farmers Market
- Bocce & BBQ!
Successful Bocce and BBQ!
Check in often for pics and updates on activities!
Saturday, July 14, 2007
2nd Bocce Ball BBQ This Sunday!
Don't forget to come play bocce ball again this Sunday (and every Sunday!) at 7 pm. Bring whatever you'd like to grill along with corresponding buns. We'll bring the grills and the bocce sets. Game on!
Of course, we'd like to issue a friendly reminder that no alcohol is allowed in the park. We encourage you to leave it at home.
Monday, July 9, 2007
Bocce & BBCUE-What a Success!
Bocce and BBCUE
BYO meat and buns!
Saturday, July 7, 2007
Parktivites Kick off event!
Where: Pioneer Park
What to bring: yourself and meat to grill(and appropriate bun if applicable)
We will be having Bocce every sunday night throughout the summer!
C'mon get off your couch and try something new!
Friday, July 6, 2007
So you need Groceries??
Ah the Jade Market.....located on 200 S between 2nd & 3rd W this little market is amazing! Open 10 am-10 pm they have everything from fresh cut flowers to milk. Fresh produce, olive oil, ice cream and toilet paper are on the list of things I buy there regularly. The staff is amazing and if you requeset something it is very likely they will have it in the next time you return!
Thursday, July 5, 2007
Who are you voting for? (Debate/fact finding)
If the election were today who would I vote for (for president too but here we will comment on candidates specific to SLC)
So the two biggies in our neighborhood(District 4) are Mayor of SLC and the City Council seat.
The front runners for the Mayor it seems to me are:
(not to discredit the others that are running....but for discussion sake)
To learn a little more about them and the race go here:
Also we have three candidates for the District 4 City council seat:
What do you think? I would love to hear!
Calendar of Mostly Free Events!
See you there!
Wednesday, July 4, 2007
6/27/07 meeting agenda
Pioneer Park Neighborhood Meeting
We are a group of residents that are meeting to discuss and carry out plans to utilize the beautiful park that has been preserved in our neighborhood, as well as ensure the continued support of city and state officials in our goal. We are non partisan in nature, and do not wish to limit the use of the park to any law abiding citizen.
Rules of the game for meetings:
Everyone who wants to comment or contribute an idea will be allowed 1 at a time. No complaining allowed-just ideas of how to make it better and improve our space and move forward!
Review current plans for Stage 1, 2, 3 and discuss
What can we, as a community do to ensure that the improvements do happen....what is our role and responsibility?
What is our vision for the park? What changes do we see as necessary for the park's success?
Suggestions for weekly/monthly/yearly activities for our neighborhood utilizing the park
Illegal actives....what can we do? How can we feel safe? What is currently being done?
Committee to keep residents and businesses up to date on progress/activities as well as making our voices heard to the city and state leaders.
Committee to plan and carry out activities
Plan our first activity!
Physical walk through our park.
SLC Police: 799-3000 or 911 for emergencies
Nancy Saxton District 4 representative-801-535-7600
Boccie Rules....for the overprepared :)
We will have the rules and will be giving lessons the night of our Bocee and BBCue but in case you are feeling a little competitive you can study up on the rules of bocce here:
Did you know section: facts about your park
Did you know?
-There is free Wi-Fi Internet access in the park?
Starting July 13th every Friday during the summer there will be weekly concerts in the park?
That the farmers market at Pioneer Park has been going strong for 25 years?
The park is approx 10 acres of green space...right in the middle of the city!
The park was once proposed to be the baseball stadium that is now on 13th south?
We have a current interest from the Museum of Permanent Change to design a project using pioneer park as their inspiration? Check them out at www.museumofchange.org
There are at least 3 new condo complexes SOLD OUT within a block of the park.
There is a monthly meeting about issues specific to our neighborhood(with city officials) the third wed of every month(at the Greek orthodox church on the corner of 300 S 300 W) at 6pm(hopefully changing to 7 pm)
There are bloggers talking about the park right now:
check them out at:
This one is specifically about our neighborhood
This one has many insightful news pertinent to our neighborhood, but is not exclusively about our neighborhood.
List of activities you can do in the park RIGHT NOW:
-walk your dog(“doggie”bags located at the NE corner)
-walk your neighbor's dog for them if you do not own a dog
-have a weekend picnic with friends
-play frisby, soccer, or bocce!
-have a BBQ
-play in the sprinklers
Boccie and BBcue July 8th 7pm in the park!
This our first official event and you are invited!
Please bring your own meat to bbcue, buns and condiments and chairs(or just sit on the grass)
We will provide:
Grills to cook
boccie equipment and rules
Please help us make this event a success! Come and meet the neighbors, eat great food and experience the beauty of our park!
Meeting to follow directly after to discuss progress on city council's bidding process for phase 1 and also a chance for you to give your opinion on future activities.
Taking back our park...one activity, and resident, at a time
So the second part of our meeting was to discuss activites for use of the park.
Here is what we came up with(activies large and small):
having a picnic
play tennis, bocce, volleyball, soccer, ultimite frisby, kickball, basketball
have a picnic
Thai Chi class
The possibilites are endless!
Pipedreams and realities
So what do we love and hate about the plans? We discussed what we, as a neighborhood, liked and hate, what was useful and what was useless:
Here it is Phase by Phase:
We love....keep the same and don't forget the Dog Park!
Phase II: good stuff...keep it all
Make the heritage gardens instead community gardens(that can be rented and used by residents for veggies)These gardens would be named and dedicated to important historical figures and families to the park's historic legacy. This would replace any signage for historical purposes in phase III.
Add more tables for picnics
Make the grass area in the middle smaller(cut down less trees)
If we have to have a stage can we make it round instead? and can it be significantly smaller?(and have it double as a Bowary for large family events)
Add a water feature somewhere in the park(suggested location: dog park....feel free to comment on this as we did not come to a consensus at the meeting)
As in the earlier post we are unsure if Phase I is going to be funded. It will take some vigilance on the part of the community to hold our elected officals to their word of making some improvements to our park.
First off we discussed the plans that are currently in place for park rennovations which can be viewed here:
I will try to upload the pdf of the actual plans.
As far as I know this is the summery of why no improvements have been made thus far:
It goes something like this(simplified since I am just getting you up to speed)
-25 years ago farmer's market started as a few vendors
-During Dee Dee Coridenee set plans in motion to build Franklin Covey field on top of Pioneer Park-efforts were made through the residents and members of artspace to preserve the 10 acres of greenspace for the communities future use.
2004 ish-Salt Lake City, residents and businesses unite to revitalize and restore the park, plans are discussed, forums are held, the city council approves all three phases proposed. Bids are collected. Construction is slated to begin and phase 1 is expected to be completed fall 2006.
Bids come in too high, issue dissapears from public eye.....
Rebidding process has begun, and as city officials put it in a recent update:
"By way of update, construction bids for Stage 1 improvements closed on June 20th. The bids are being evaluated now. If the bids come in at the budget for the project then construction will start in late October, once the Farmers Market season ends. All improvements will be completed before the start of the 2008 Market in June, 2008.
Stage 1 has a budget of $1.4 million. The project scope was constrained to fit the budget. Three development stages are planned for the park. The City Administration and many in the community support the entire 3 stage scope of work which will dramatically change the character of the park. The change needs to be dramatic in order to change the current user behavior and to change the perception that the park can't be "fixed" and made safe. An incremental approach for change, which the City Council is taking, delay's the park renovation, costs more money and may not allow for the use transformation to occur.
The Council has not committed to funding any future stages of work, so the park may be done after just one round of funding. Instead, the Council has chosen to spend some money revising the 3 Stage plan into one additional stage that would include only those design elements that the Council feels need to be included. This approach will end with something left undone. It will fix the park up a bit, but it will probably fail to create the real change that is needed.
We continue to work with a small group of citizens and property owners who believe in the park, but the group's capacity to raise private funds is limited. Bonding for the improvements was not supported and the CIP is loaded with competing projects. Even with the challenges we are not giving up hope, nor are we allowing the small fire of support to burn out."
SO........what do we do now??
Parktivities is born!!!
Tonight we met for the first time to discuss our neighborhood's relationship to our wonderful park. We had a great turnout and came up with some ideas for the future.
Thanks and Kudos to all that attended! Wonderful things happen when communities unite! I have a feeling this will be no exception!
Stay tuned for meeting details, upcoming activites, and weekly happenings.
Feel free to leave comments, ideas and feedback.
Parktivites is born!
New Developments in my neighborhood!
I thought I would share this list of some of the new developments in my little neighborhood!http://www.patrickdrygoods.com/
near the salt palace- These aren't finished yet but they are the closest of all the new constructions
new construction on the west side of pioneer park
new construction on the N side of Pioneer park-next door to my building
new construction: near the gateway mall on 200 S
What is going on this weekend?5/18/07
Looking for a night out on the town? Get dressed up and either ride trax or drive and park once(in the gateway(and validate) or any of the paid lots a pleanty around town and walk everywhere tonight!
It is dino-o-round's final night so make a reservation NOW and partake of salt lake's best palate pleasers.
Gallery Stroll! On Pierpont Ave(near the gateway mall) A chance to see what is going on in the local art scene. Free food, great art and people. A must do for anyone who is interested in the arts. Goes from 6-9 and features photography, graphic artists, painters and clothing/jewelry designers.
Come and check it out and then jet off to your dinner reservation(most dino-round restarants are walking distance from the event)
You can even meet friends after dinner for a drink at the red door(approx 200 S 200E) or the Hotel(dance club nearby)
The summer has begun in Salt Lake City!
I make it a point to go to at least one restaurnant during the dino-o-round each year and this year I made it a point to hit one of the most popular and hip places downtown to dine. Bambara is known for it's menu in which you "can't go wrong" it's excellent service and great ambiance.
At first glance on my visit the decor is ecclectic and playful. We were meeting friends and were escorted to them immedietly(we had made a reservation on their website http://www.bambara-slc.com/ -so handy)
We asked for the dine-o-round menu which included both a beef and chicken selection complete with a house salad and dessert(pinnapple upside down cake)
The waiter gave us some excellent recommendations from their extensive wine list and brought us bread with some amazing cheese sauce.
We all ordered off of the dino menu(boys had beef, girls: chicken) I must say that I preferred the beef but both were excellent!
When it was time for dessert we were informed that they were out of the pinnapple upside down cake but they would replace it with something equally decedant-which they did.
All in all a wonderful evening filled with great food, great friends, and great service!
I wll return and would recommend!
Have you been? Do you even know what it is?
The dino-O-Round is a wonderful opportunity to really experience all of the rich and diverse restaurants downtown. It is truely the best in town opening to the masses.
You can view a list of the restaurants for this year here:
Most of them take reservations and in this year's first spring dino-o-round you have no excuse not to partake!
Since I have lived here I have taken an interest in the park across the street(which has a pretty bad reputation for drugs)
The City of Salt Lake had plans and the funds to make some big cosmetic changes to the park(which was great!) but then recently they came up with some funding issues. After a month of stalling we are back on track and moving forward with the infrastructure upgrades, dog park and running path!
Hopefully the people in this neighboorhood will take ownership of the park and make it our own!
scooter friendly city--interesting article
Read on! Some of the clubs are a little out of date but the article is still pretty interesting!
Don't get me wrong, I love all of the attention that it brings and I applaud any type of artistic movement that happens here...however....I went and it was not quite what I was expecting.
Where were the stars and the parties?? In our beloved film festivals defense it was monday night(i suppose everyone was recovering from the weekend) but c'mon the streets were empty!I plan to go again later in the week....I'll let you know if I was too quick to judge.
THE fish market
One of my very favorite features about living here has got to be the fresh fish market. I don't even know the name of it....everyone just calls it THE fish market and I can see why. It is located near Tony Caputos and the Italian market. At the very end of the building, if you didn't know it was there you would miss it........anyway, geography aside, c'mon where else can you get fresh fish in UTAH?? They fly it in every day! The staff(Cody....the only guy that I ever see in there) has a truely craftsman approach to his work(fish). If you ask him to educate you about which fish would work best on the sushi you are attempting he will spend as long as it takes until you get what you want.....if you ask him the best way to cook the fish you have just purchased, he will walk you through it-step by step until he is sure you understand. And finally my new favorite: today he told me how much I should buy a gift certificate for in order to assure my dad will be able to buy a great seafood meal for two. ($20 btw....he could have lied and made more, but he is honest!--love it!) The fish market is definitly a unmistakeable asset to our little neighborhood! I will go there often!
An Intro into my move into one of the coolest cities in america
Not many people are aware of this but there is little known gem in this great country of ours. People who live here want to keep it a secret, those who visit often miss it, and those who have never been will forever be missing out.
The secret? Salt Lake City.
I'm not talking about the greatest snow on earth or the sundance film festival, or even the highly sought after Sugerhouse. I'm talking Downtown Salt Lake City -84101- pierpont ave, the metropolitain, big city soup, the ballet, the Utah Jazz and yes, temple square.
Me, the author of this blog, grew up in the burbs and compleatly missed that Utah is not only a great place to live, but that Salt Lake City is a vibrant, culturally rich(ok but it is working on it), and very progressive place to live.
I missed this until my mid twenties when I escaped suburbian hell(living in a 3 bedroom 2.5 bath house desparatly searching for substance in what I find to be a mundane place) and moved to the heart of it all: the gateway district into a compact, yet very hip loft space(i'll include pics later)
I'll post about my experiences big and smalll for your entertainment and education about my little neighborhood and the ever changing city of Salt Lake.