Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Win Win we have been looking for!

Rescue mission plans to head west

Homeless haven » Crowded facility near Pioneer Park eyes a larger campus in the warehouse area.

By Derek P. Jensen

Thanks to: The Salt Lake Tribune
Updated: 12/06/2008 07:53:01 AM MST

For 30 years, the homeless and addicted could count on a sack lunch, a shower, a shave and sometimes a bed at the Rescue Mission of Salt Lake near downtown's Pioneer Park.

The nondenominational nonprofit has served as a social-service anchor, along with the nearby Fourth Street Clinic, Catholic Community Services and The Road Home.

But despite performing mini-miracles for three decades, mission officials no longer can escape a nagging reality: Their place is too cramped, too broken down.

Quietly, the mission team has plotted an ambitious plan for the future. They recently bought five acres for a new campus -- it would quadruple the dorm space, double the recovery program and offer, for the first time, day care and
health care -- at 2945 W. 900 South. There also is an architectural effort to reconfigure 900 South for bus service in the industrial area if the Utah Transit Authority signs off.

But to pull off the move, the mission needs the city to endorse a zoning amendment that would allow residential use near the warehouses. A vote likely won't come before spring, but the city has organized a Dec. 18 open house to gather input.

"We really don't have an alternative. We put people in the chapel, in the hallways, wherever we can," says Stephen Trost, president of the mission. "The good news for the city is it relieves pressure on Pioneer Park."

Key to the move's success is expanding services beyond the ranks of the homeless to the
public at large. Trost notes talks are ongoing with third-party providers to establish a public health clinic and day-care facility. He argues the plan offers two amenities: new medical and dental services at no cost to the city, and child care for nearby manufacturers.

"There's a lot of need for people who work in those businesses for day care," Trost says.

City planner Nick Norris notes the area zoning must be changed since the West Salt Lake Master Plan does not allow residential use there. He expects the issue to go before the Planning Commission in January or February.

Fellow service providers say a move would require reliable transportation but otherwise would have a negligible impact.

"The only thing that saddens me is they're not going to be a hop, skip and jump away," says Jose Lazaro, director of emergency services for Catholic Community Services.

Monte Hanks, client services director for The Road Home, agrees. "I'd rather see them stay put because it's easier for their guys to get health care from us. But I understand the move, and it shouldn't disrupt anything."

Trost says the mission will partner with Volunteers of America to provide van service to the west-side campus. Design work also is under way to try to persuade UTA to run buses along a stretch of 900 South busy with heavy truck traffic.

"We're certainly open to hearing what they have to say," says UTA spokesman Chad Saley, adding that the decision will depend on ridership and resources. "If this met that criteria, then great."

Salt Lake City newcomer Johnny Scott, who is bunking at the mission while he looks for work, would welcome a bigger and newer building. "I don't think the distance from downtown would be that big of a deal," he says.

Besides the four new buildings -- to be built in phases -- the campus would include a swath of open space complete with basketball and volleyball courts, a track, horseshoes and a community garden.

Dormitory capacity would mushroom from 50 to 200, while room in the rehabilitation program would expand to 100, according to Chris Croswhite, a pastor and executive director at the mission.

"We are limited in how much room we have. We are limited in the age of the facility and the adequacy," Croswhite says. "We want to meet the needs of the addicted and the homeless and expand our services."

For years, Trost says, the mission has been saving money for the $20 million project -- $7.7 million of which is needed for phase one. Besides in-kind contributions, he says, cash has been pledged from private donors, law firms and a bank.

Trost says west-side community councils have seen the plan and voiced support.

Tribune photographer Steve Griffin contributed to this story.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Comments and my reaction to Prop 8 post

My post on Prop 8 REALLY ruffled some feathers and I received many ANGRY comments that I chose not to publish.
However there were two that I thought I should share so that it is clear why we disagree(I believe this is the all part of the conversation that is going on in our country currently as well)
So, the following is my response to the most tame of my reactions:

One reader wrote:
Without really getting into the Prop 8 thing, I would like to say that the LDS Church was not the only people in support of it! So they shouldn't be the only ones targeted for protest. Also blacks not holding the priesthood was not an oops thing! You know this! We as a church will not go against the Lord, and it is on His TIMING and in His PLAN that we follow! If you have a problem with His plan, you'll have to take it up with Him!

Yes the LDS church and people were not the only people and church to support Prop 8, just the largest(by way of monetary as well as member support) and since Utah is kind of the mother land, and I live here and disagree, I feel like my voice is kind of drowned out(and that some who know me and know I live in Utah may assume that I agree when I don't) Just as you believe that it is a church's right to tell their members to support something in politics many also believe that if they don't agree it is their right to protest(target as you put it)As the age old saying goes: If you are going to dish it you have to be able to take it.
The other major difference between our beliefs is that I don't think that God would want us to act this way to one another. My marriage and the marriage of a gay couple in no way threaten or lesson one another. If the churches don't want to recognize them that is THEIR choice but to restrict non religious rights based on religious beliefs is, in my opinion, a step in the wrong direction.
I have already taken it up with HIM and it should be noted that god and I are ok with me being Anti Prop 8.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Prop 8 World Wide Rally":

While you might not agree with Prop 8, the majority of Californians did. If had gone the other way, I would not have tried to sue to get it over turned. The people have voted, and that's what they want, whether you agree or not.
The LDS church was not involved in the vote, other than encouraging its members to support the proposition. And isn't that what churches are for? To tell its member what is right and wrong?
The LDS church didn't donate any money.
I think you are wrong in saying that one day the church will say "oops, we were wrong about gay marriage." It is a moral issue that will not change, and a practice that has always been condemned by God.
I realize you don't agree, and that's fine. That's your right, just as it is mine to believe the way I do.

Some good points, however there are a few things that are incorrect:
1)The LDS church did in fact send money to fund the Pro Prop 8 cause(they are currently, under investigation in California and they are in fact cooperating with the investigation siting that they were within the rules of churches getting involved for their cash donation, phone bank donations, ect)
2) I really don't think that just because the majority of Californians voted on something that we should just walk away-especially when there are suspicions of wrong doing and as you stated, everyone has the right to believe what they would like: that includes NOT agreeing with the LDS church on this point.

Next point:
You and I completely disagree when it comes to churches should tell their members how to vote on anything politically and especially when it is taking rights away from fellow Americans. We are going to have to agree to disagree on this one I am afraid.

The points I brought up(polygamy, blacks holding the priesthood and one I didn't mention interracial marriage) were all once moral issues in many churches and have now been changed(the churches stance is that well I guess: that God changed his mind for a lack of a better way of putting it)

In closing I wish to echo your own sentiment because it is where you and I completely agree:

"I realize you don't agree, and that's fine. That's your right, just as it is mine to believe the way I do."

Friday, November 21, 2008

::If any of you out there wonder why SM and I live here-read on::

I stumbled across this post on my neighbor(and good friend's) blog and asked for permission to post here because it accuratly defines(and describes) why SM and I have chosen to live where and how we do.
Thanks Tom for your thoughts and expertise!

Slow Home

"There is a crisis of housing. It is a crisis borne not from scarcity but from plenty - too much, too big, and too many.
Large corporations create the majority of our domestic environments.
Our most intimate and important places are built for profit rather than people. The result is a seemingly endless sprawl of cookie cutter houses, strip malls and highway interchanges that are bad for us, our families, our cities, and the environment."
I couldn't agree more. If we are ever going to create neighborhoods and communities that matter I believe this is the way. Go to the site and see the details if you don't believe me.
Slow Home

Here are ten steps to create better homes and better neighborhoods.


Avoid homes by big developers and large production builders. They are designed for profit not people. Work with independent designers and building contractors instead.


Avoid home finishing products from big box retailers. The standardized solutions they provide cannot fit the unique conditions of your home. Use local retailers, craftspeople, and manufacturers to get a locally appropriate response and support your community.


Stop the conversion of nature into sprawl. Don’t buy in a new suburb. The environmental cost can no longer be justified. Re-invest in existing communities and use sustainable materials and technologies to reduce your environmental footprint.


Reduce your commute. Driving is a waste of time and the new roads and services required to support low density development is a big contributor to climate change. Live close to where you work and play.


Avoid the real estate game of bigger is always better. A properly designed smaller home can feel larger AND work better than a poorly designed big one. Spend your money on quality instead of quantity.


Stop living in houses filled with little rooms. They are dark, inefficient, and don’t fit the complexity of our daily lives. Live in a flexible and adaptive open plan living space with great light and a connection to outdoors.


Don’t buy a home that has space you won’t use and things you don’t need. Good design can reduce the clutter and confusion in your life. Create a home that fits the way you really want to live.


Avoid fake materials and the re-creation of false historical styles. They are like advertising images and have little real depth. Create a home in which character comes from the quality of space, natural light and the careful use of good, sustainable materials.


Avoid living in a public health concern. Houses built with cheap materials off gas noxious chemicals. Suburbs promote obesity because driving is the only option. Use natural, healthy home materials and building techniques. Live where you can walk to shop, school and work.


Stop procrastinating. The most important, and difficult, step in the slow home process is the first one that you take. Get informed and then get involved with your home. Every change, no matter how small, is important.

::Slow Home::
In response to a comment on my Slow Home post I am answering here.

How does one afford it?

That is the problem isn’t it? A simple appeal to the consumer will yield little result. The current structure of development prevents affordable alternatives to the status quo. Consumers can’t wait for big developers to change and big developers have no motivation to change. A young family needing a house will purchase the house, out of those available, that best fits their needs. However, just because a consumer buys the best product they can doesn’t mean that it’s the best product for them or the one they really want. If all the cars you can afford are Fords and Chevys and you buy a Ford it doesn’t mean that Ford makes the best car for you. We need a Honda or Toyota in house production.

Look at Daybreak where just a few of the principles of New Urbanism are used – small lots, walkable tree lined streets, detached garages placed back from the street – and you see higher property values and extraordinary demand. All of these things would have been negatives to developers just ten years ago. People buying houses ten years ago might have been happy with a Daybreak style neighborhood but developers were telling them they wanted something different and no one was offering real alternatives. Daybreak is a weak example of what is possible. But zoning codes are still stuck in the 60’s, developers are notoriously conservative and contractors are frightened of change. If it worked in the past why change?

Worse yet if you want a modern house using unique materials in a walkable dynamic neighborhood you run into contractors that are scared to vary from long established routines without charging extra and developers who don't think people want modern homes (they also have no idea how to do them right).

To answer the question of how does one afford something like the Slow Home ethic is a complicated endeavor. Right now I am still figuring it all out. One thing however is sure - it involves a lot more than just the consumer.

I hope to revisit this topic again soon.
Tom Aaron

Posted with Permission

::Paradise Palm-in the hood and fantastic!::

Paradise Palm is the neighborhood's answer to overpriced competitors. Paradise Palms, located on Broadway and 300 E will win you over the moment you step inside(esp if you have a pooch-they are dog friendly)
Friendly staff, expert advise and an amazing selection of everything from bonsai and orchids to the more standard houseplants to my new personal fav:the Airplant(aka Tillandsias)
Stop in next time you have a chance-you will be glad you did. And maybe, if you are lucky you will walk away with a new fav plant(see mine below)

Thanks for the tip Missy!

:: Paradise Palm::
Indoor Garden Store
309 e. 300 s.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

TNT's Blank Slate Filmed here in SLC

TNT's Production of Blank Slate came to SLC and I was able to be the stills photographer-it was a lot of fun and a whole new experience!

Here are some of my shots:

Eric Stoltz as Sean Sullivan

Lisa Brenner as Anne Huston

Clancy Brown as Agent Miles Mcavoy

Directed by John Harrison
He also played Thomas Hale

With SLC Talent Michelle Money as Claire Marks

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Little did I know....

but very few of my friends and family know of this little site but
I plan to buy most of my gifts(holiday and other) at Etsy

It is like a farmer's market online with great one of a kind items for
reasonable prices.

My latest find was this:

and these:

Thanks to Salt Lake City's very own MD Sparks I now have a new jewelry staple(and source!)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Highbench-Awesome Band-Utah natives!

Highbench is the name of Utah native Dave Western's band. I had the privilege of meeting Dave and his gorgeous wife Shelley because I photographed their wedding a few years ago.
They have since become good friends and I have been watching Highbench waiting with baited breath for them to become the next Band of Horses or Death Cab.
With amazing vocals and depth that only comes from a talented bunch Highbench is one band you will definitely see much more of in the future.

Take a listen at their website and you will see what I mean!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Back to being a Salt Lake City resident

Well life in Vancouver, Thailand and China for the past 2 months has been great but I am happy to report that I am back among the living here in the Great City of Salt.

What did I learn while I was away?

That Canada knows how to party right, that I love scuba diving and that everyone I met in other countries begged me to vote for Barack Obama(now either way you take that it is quite a statement)

More about my travels later.

Today I am just enjoying the view of the mountains and reconnecting with friends.....I've missed you Salt Lake City!

Regular blogging to commence shortly but until here is me, on an elephant in Thailand

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Days 2-14-slacker that I am

I do realize that I am quite a bit behind, but I don't mind :) I am completely into being a Vancouver resident-even if it is only for a month. This city, as I wrote in my journal this morning: "It is going to be hard to drag me(kicking and screaming) away from this place. I will always long to come back and will drive SM crazy with the various ways that it would be not only possible but inevitable really(I am lucky he is so patient with me). This is, in almost every way imaginable the perfect city for me."
Vancouver has all of the big city hustle and bustle, energy, fashion, flavor and attitude. World class food, art galleries and the green space is to die for! From my window I can see the ocean, the mountains and I can grab a cup of coffee at the local joint of choice. I could work all day in a creative field(choose one....they are all represented here) and then go for a hike to to the beach in less than 15 minutes. There are so many languages spoken here and I am lucky if I can walk 5 minutes without hearing Chinese, French, or Spanish(and quite a few that I don't know very well)
It appeals to both the fashionista and the outdoors-woman in me.
What more could you ask for(yes being in the US would be a great place to start for me....a US citizen)

My love affair with this city will not end any time soon I am afraid.

This morning

This is the view from my desk. SM on a meeting and Cleo ready for our daily run on the Seawall(I just imagine her saying in voice that doesn't sound all that unlike Marge Simpson with a Brooklyn accent "c'mon you ready to go or what?"

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

VANCOUVER! Where have you been all my life!

As many of you know(and others may have no clue) My husband(Superman-for obvious reasons SM for short) and I decided that life is too short to only see one part of the world so a few months back we decided to venture off for small stints to places we have never been but would like to visit. For our first experiment we kind of put our finger on the map and chose Vancouver.....little did we know that there would be so many things we would love about this place!
So far we have been here 3 days....since SM has to work during the week I have been on my own to explore the city and get ready for our first weekend(when SM takes a 3 day weekend to spend with me adventuring about)
So far I have walked, and walked and memorized my neighborhood.
Our building is at the corner of Richards and Robson

This Salt Lake Urbanite is salivating with all of the possibilities! So much to ingest, digest and experience, so little time!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Yoga time is the best time...........

Every Tuesday and Thursday I feel like I am truly getting far more than I am Yoga, waking up with the city and all while getting my daily exercise(again....multitasking.....can't.....stop!)

Join Me!!!
Free Yoga in the Park:
Every Tuesday and Thursday 7am-8am

Lunch Time Concerts in the park!

Every weekday from 12-1(Lunch Hour)

Today I checked it out and it is SO MUCH FUN! I brought my lunch(to eat) my computer(to work) and my dog(to socialize and get some air) AH MULTITASKING....let's just say that living by the park feeds my addiction ;)
Cleo enjoying the concert(she scared away precisely 2 men who approached us from behind) so she stole the show a few times(luckily the wonderfully talented Marcia Knorr didn't seem to mind)

Friday, August 1, 2008

My Lunch....interesting because:

Well......because I thought it was really pretty and very healthy!
and Hummis for dressing
with a glass of chocolate milk
M M Good!

I have been attempting to eat 3 square meals a day and all that jazz(yes for swimsuit season, yes I realize it is August.....additionally I do realize it is a cliche to say that I will attempt to keep the weight off)
A girl can dilute herself......ahem....... I mean dream!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Free Movies in the Park start Tommorow Night!

AUG 1 approx 9 pm Pioneer Park
Preceded by award winning short I MET A WALRUS

Director Julie Taymor 133 min. PG-13
Gritty, whimsical and highly theatrical, Across the Universe is a fanciful
trip back to the 60’s with Beatle’s music and the generation of love.
Presented by Salt Lake Solutions and Office of the Mayor

A Great time will be had by all! I will be attending this FREE Event in the park. Every Friday in August same time, different movie each week! Bring a lawnchair or blanket to enjoy this neighborhood event!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Local and not so local providers that are travel friendly

As many of you already know I will be traveling for a few months.
On my big list of to dos I have a list of services that I wish to suspend and not cancel.
These three add up to about $480.00 of unused service that would go to waste while I am away.
They are:
Verizon Wireless
Planet Fitness Gym
Comcast Cable and Internet

Here is the review and what I am planning to do with each:

Verizon Wireless: I am surprised and delighted to announce that Verizon Wireless is mucho easy to suspend. They allow you to suspend your service for up to 90 days for vacation and then if you haven't turned your service back on they do it for you. This experience alone is making me think twice about ever switching to any other carrier

Planet Fitness 300 S Main in Downtown SLC: Let me start off by saying that this gym membership is the LEAST of my money. I have had SUCH a great experience with these guys in the past that I am sad to report that they are NOT AT ALL HELPFUL and actually ruined their rep with me over this one deal. I called, explained my situation to the receptionist: she was RUDE then I spoke with the manager who was also rude(did not listen, just kept repeating over and over : "we only suspend for military service or medical reasons") Keep in mind I would let them reactivate my account after 8 weeks without asking me(again I just didn;t want to pay for something that it would be impossible for me to use), and all because I didn't want to cancel my sadly I am canceling my membership and because I travel a lot and because frankly they were assholes I will not be renewing it....ever: bad service put a horrible taste in my mouth and treating your customers this way is def. poor service.

Comcast Cable: have to pay fees to connect and reconnect both times......but that is par for the soon as they are no longer the only provider in my area I will switch

August In the Park-WOW!

Ok y'all in August the Park is the place to be
Check it out!

EVERY week day stop by at lunch for free concerts!(don't forget your laptop-free wifi provided by xmission)
Tuesday and Thursday through September 7 AM Free Yoga
Every Friday night Free Movies(starting at 9 pm local booths starting at 8)
*SLUrbanite recommends bringing a lawnchair or blanket to sit on*
Every Saturday Farmer's Market 8am-1pm
Every Sunday 7 pm Free Bocce and BBQ(bring your own meat and buns to grill)

farmer's market find

This is my latest find at the Farmer's Market....awesome necklace $12

Monday, July 14, 2008

SLC's Own all Growed up!

Just got the news! My dear friend and uber talented owner of SLC's OWN Filthy Gorgeous Keith Bryce is going to be competing on the last season of Project Runway on the show's last season in the big apple!

Go Keith! We'll be watching and rooting for you!
Keep it Filthy, keep it Gorgeous WE LOVE YOU!!

Free Yoga-in the park!

Come one come all!
It's free who can resist that!

Thanks to Christian for making such a beautiful flier!

Monday, June 23, 2008

You say you want the park to change.....

but do you really mean it? Can you feel the burning in your bosom, the motivation to go out of your way to help the cause, the overwhelming urge to fight for what you say you wish most for your neighborhood?

If you haven't visited the park in the past week, two weeks or month(farmer's market doesn't technically count) I don't believe you.

That's right! I am calling you out! Those of you who want the park to change, but instead of USING it and being part of the SOLUTION you instead find yourself sitting on your couch and watching endless tv, going to bed early and wishing, hoping and counting on someone else to change your neighborhood for you.

Let me give you a hint:
If you want something to change(and this goes for just about everything in life) wait for it.......bit life truth about to come your way: YOU HAVE TO CHANGE SOMETHING!!!

Sitting around, doing the same thing you have always done and waiting for a different result is going to get us nowhere with the park....well and that goes for just about anything else you want to change in or around your life.

Be Part of the Solution! If you use the park, really go for it-maybe come to one of the MANY and varied events there, take your dog for a walk, ride your bike, take a jog -our neighborhood will never be the same-we can't do it without you!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

so you wanna spend a little more....look no further

At $299,000 this unit is in the westgate center(200 S 350 W)
And is just around the corner from the Gateway mall.
See the full listing here


Join US!
Free Drawing and Free Dinner(first 100 people WITH TICKET)
Come eat, listen to some great music, and win some very Luxurious Prizes!
Pick up your free ticket at the farmer's market that morning!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Bestie on the Market

At $217,000 this unit offers:
2 beds
balcony(north facing and private)
just off the park(can you say roll out of bed and voila! farmer's market regular)
let's not forget the amazing deli, bakery, coffee shop and YES: shopping for as far as the eye can see!
See the full listing here

Tired puppy and me, the hat I swore I would never wear again but did

Dog Parkin' it never looked so good!
The hat....yes I'm going to go there, is today's SLC daily style for the day(dog park style)not to be confused with Doggie Style(so subtle, so classy...I can feel you blushing from here)

Dog Parking it....

Seriously it doesn't get any better than this:

I was, at the same time:
Answering emails(thank you free wireless in the park)
Making phone calls
excersising my dog
meeting new people
getting some much needed sun(let's face it...I'm pasty white)

I'm going to say it, it has to be done:
Nah Nah NahNah NAH!!!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Take the Plunge!

Par for the Course(I have a real estate problem) I will let you know about great properties in the hood!

This one is S179,000, located on Pierpont(buying this place= walking out your front door right to the gallery stroll)
550sq feet of architectural coolness....this is one of the cheapest ways to get into the 84101 zipcode
see the full listing here

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Bums and the drug dealers get it....

what is wrong with all of you hard working, roof over your head city dwellers?

I think the joke may be on those that stay away from the beautiful 10 acres of green open space that lies smack in the middle of our beautiful, charming and let's face it overpriced neighborhood citing that they would, in fact, use it if all those "other people" weren't there.

Let me tell you a secret:
"They" those other people of whom you so frequently name as the reason for your absenteeism from your own damn park-get it and you are missing out

(where else do we have to talk people into using a park....I mean c'mon guys!)

I go into the park everyday(no lie) and not once have I been:
approached for drugs
solicited for prostitution
found a needle
been kidnapped
threatened in any way....

so there you have it-joke is ON YOU!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Who's afraid of Pioneer Park?

Really, I am so very sick of two things:

First and foremost
People(ie media, my extended family and public officials) referring to my park as an unsafe place to be. If these people would take the time to actually visit the park they would find that their perception is not reality. Yea there are drug deals, yea there are homeless people, but in all reality there are both of these things everywhere-GET OVER IT!!! If you don't want to be around drug dealers or those that use drugs you had better stay locked in your room....because they are everywhere(I'm talking to you Sandy and Riverton, Lehi and Provo).....not just in Pioneer park.

Lack of follow just about everyone.....
c'mon if you want something you have to work for it. Do we really think that wonderful neighborhoods and parks just are built and then they are? have to work hard to make a house a home and a building a community....if we want a safer park the people who live near NEED TO WORK FOR IT! You wouldn't expect someone else to clean your house or mow your lawn....this is YOUR space-take some ownership.

Having said that: We need the support of both the Mayor's office and the City council to help in the effort. Talk needs to translate into action. NOW!!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

In Tandem

Funny how just one moment can make you realize that summer is here!

There I was minding my own business and then...

this cute little number walked in the door....I can't say that the owner acted surprised when I asked to photograph it........i think I could've taken her...but I was with my least I got a pic

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Spring Dine-o-Round!

Twice a year downtown some of Salt Lake City's finest restaurants open their doors to the general dining pubic! This year it all starts May 2 and boy am I excited!
Usually we go one place every day but this year we might do lunch and is well worth the investment!

Check out the participating restaurants here

Saturday, April 26, 2008 open!

I can't believe the day has finally come! You can now get from SLC to Ogden sans car!
More for more info and maps click here