Sunday, August 9, 2020

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Cool Down at the Best Swimming Spots in Utah

Best Swimming Spots in Utah
Calf Creek Falls, Photo Credit UOT Images

While summer in Utah is generally a wonderful time of sunshine, mountain air and endless trails, the dog days can tend to get relentlessly hot, dry and dusty. In addition to creating volatile wildfire conditions, the weather can leave your whole body feeling a bit parched and in need of a respite. Fortunately, the Beehive state is full literal and figurative oases in the desert, with a host of alpine lakes, mountain reservoirs and waterfall-fed swimming holes. Here’s our list of the best swimming spots in Utah.  Some of these require a decent hike to get to, while others are just feet from the car, but they’re all perfect for staying cool on a summer day.

Swimming Near SLC

Salt Lake City has swelled into a major urban population center, but there are all types of unique swimming opportunities nearby.

Pineview Reservoir
Pineview Reservoir, Photo Credit: UOT Images

Mona Rope Swings: Just a 30-minute drive south of Provo, the Mona rope swings bring some excitement to the Burraston ponds. There are at least five rope swings and multiple platforms of varying sizes in the trees from which to plunge into the deep, refreshing pools of water. The rope swings have a small parking lot and are easy to find just by typing the name into Google Maps.

Pineview Reservoir: While not exactly a secret, Pineview Reservoir is one of the best spots to take a dip near SLC and Ogden. The reservoir is ringed by mountains, which provide not only incredible views, but also surprisingly good protection from the wine. Pineview Beach on the reservoir’s west end is flat and sandy and feels distinctly more like a natural lake than many of the dammed bodies of water in Utah.

East Canyon Reservoir: East Canyon is a famous, historical pioneer route for groups from Brigham Young’s Mormon pioneers to the ill-fated Donner Party. You can retrace their steps in a significantly less arduous manner by visiting East Canyon State Park for a dip in the reservoir. The snowmelt-fed water is surrounded by mountains and seems miles further from civilization than the short 25-minute drive would indicate.

Swimming in the Uinta Mountains

The Uinta Mountains are home to more than 1,000 pristine natural alpine lakes. Unlike those in the Cottonwood Canyons, they aren’t part of the watershed so they’re perfect for swimming. Access them all just east of Kamas and Park City via the Mirror Lake Highway (S.R. 150).

Mirror Lake, Photo Credit: UOT Images

Ruth Lake: Ruth Lake is only about a mile from the trailhead, which is 35 miles up S.R. 150 from Kamas. Enjoy the mellow hike through open meadows with views of the surrounding mountains like Hayden Peak before rewarding yourself with a dip.

Mirror Lake: The namesake of the famous road through the Uintas, Mirror Lake is easily accessible as it’s right off the road. Because of that proximity, it can get a little crowded from time to time, but the near perfect reflection of the surrounding mountains alone makes it worth the visit. A well-maintained path surrounds the entire lake, so you can go for a nice scenic walk while finding the perfect spot to hop in. Mirror Lake is 32 miles up S.R. 150.

Wall Lake: Start from the Crystal Lake Trailhead (26 miles up S.R. 150), and head up the Notch Mountain Trail for about a mile to reach Wall Lake. Wall Lake is flanked by cliffs of varying sizes you can jump off depending on how daring you’re feeling. The Crystal Lake Trailhead gets a little crowded, but people dissipate quickly as you head up the trail and reach Wall Lake.

Swimming in the Utah Desert

These are the literal oases we were talking about. Utah’s famous desert landscapes are dotted with refreshing, picturesque swimming holes.

Desert Waterfall, Photo Credit UOT Images

Touquerville Falls: Touquerville Falls is a wonderful spot to visit after spending a day at nearby Zion National Park. The road out there is a rough, 12-mile OHV trail. It’s passable with most relatively-capable 4×4 vehicles, but it’s not one to be attempted in your ’88 Civic or rusted out Ranger. The road can also be hiked by the hearty. Either way, once you reach the several levels of cascading waterfalls you know the effort was worth it.

Calf Creek Falls: Located in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Calf Creek Falls is named for the surrounding steep sandstone walls which served as a natural pen for calves. It’s about a three-mile hike to reach Lower Calf Creek Falls with its stunning 130-foot waterfall and a deep swimming pool. Upper Calf Creek Falls takes more effort to reach but has a 90-foot waterfall of its own and far fewer visitors. The historic rock art on the stone walls help the miles pass quickly.

Mill Creek Waterfall: Ever the popular tourist destination, Moab is teeming with people looking to cool off after a long day in the sun mountain biking or hiking through Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. The Mill Creek Waterfall Trail is less than a mile from downtown Moab. The full trail is a 7.5 mile out and back, but if you just want to make it to the waterfall for a swim it’s shy of two miles total.


The Wrath of Sim Gill. Be Careful With Red Paint


Be careful with that red paint SLC, you may get a life sentence. Our county district attorney Sim Gill is prepared to throw the book at protestors with first-degree felony charges. These are going towards seven individuals who attended the July 9, 2020 “Justice for Bernardo” rally and are being accused of vandalizing public property, including the front of SL County D.A. Sim Gill’s office with red paint.

As a recap, on May 23, 2020, Salt Lake City police officers fired 34 shots at 22-year-old Bernardo Palacios-Carbajal who was running away from them, and a body camera captured it all. In July 2019, the Salt Lake City Police Department, Sim Gill, and a Police Civilian Review Board determined and exonerated the two officers who killed Bernardo Palacios-Carbajal, claiming that they were “in policy” when they shot him.

In the SL Trib, “Gill defended the charges Wednesday, saying prosecutors weren’t the ones trying to make it political. He said they looked at the evidence in front of them: that those charged allegedly caused more than $5,000 in damage and they worked in a group to cause that damage. That’s why what is normally a second-degree felony, he says, was bumped to a first-degree.”

Sim, a conflict of interest perhaps? An SLC resident on the @sltrib IG page sums it up nicely:

“So are they seriously just going to ignore the fact that rapists and pedophiles and those who commit human trafficking commit more serious crimes that truly affect and damage people’s lives but they are worried about the people who committed these crimes??? WTF is wrong with our justice system!!!”

Yeah, Sim wtf.

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Protesters painted the street blood red. Some smashed windows at the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office. Less than a month later, prosecutors believe they know who is responsible and they’ve charged them with felonies that carry a potential life sentence.⁠ ⁠ Now, District Attorney Sim Gill faces accusations that he filed excessive charges and questions of why he filed the charges at all, since there is an apparent conflict of interest: the vandalism was carried out against his building, and protesters denounced Gill by name that night, as a police helicopter hovered overhead and police in riot gear formed a perimeter around demonstrators.⁠ ⁠ “They will feel the wrath of the f—ing community today,” organizer Sofia Alcalá told demonstrators on July 9. ⁠ ⁠ Weeks later, some of those protesters are feeling what defense attorneys have described as the wrath of Gill.⁠ ⁠ All were charged with felony rioting. Seven face first-degree felonies for allegations they helped buy, transport and/or spread the paint on the street, or broke windows. The punishment for such crimes — among the most severe in Utah, the kind of offenses normally reserved for murder, rape and aggravated robbery — is five years to life in prison.⁠ ⁠ Visit our profile link for more. (Photo by @franciscokjolseth) #sltribphotos

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Lauren McCluskey: When Officers Betray Trust

You are a young woman, a student at the University of Utah with a clean record, who is being threatened and is receiving death threats from an ex and needs protection. You hand personal and very private information as evidence, including explicit photos to police, who have sworn not only to protect you but are getting paid to do it. One of those officers ends up taking that evidence, your photos, to enjoy at their leisure, boast about how cute you are to their colleagues, and pass it along. Meanwhile, you are killed by your ex.

On October 22, 2018, 21-year old Lauren McCluskey was shot and killed outside her University of Utah campus dormitory by the accused.

Salt Lake magazine covered the heartbreaking murder of the 23-year-old University of Utah student Mackenzie Lueck last year in Lover for Sale. Mackenzie’s murder took place in the summer of 2019, while U of U student Lauren McCluskey’s was in 2018. We chose not to mention Lauren’s story in this particular article merely because we classified it in another victim category, but wish to call out her name today. Because of new reports we have learned that Lauren McCluskey was indeed victimized by more than just her ex.

In her memory, the Lauren McCluskey Foundation @LMC_Foundation honors Lauren’s legacy by supporting charitable work in her name. Let Her Light Shine. #ForLauren

When an individual is being stalked, harassed or threatened, and goes to government authorities with evidence, it should be taken seriously. The response of this particular officer (and those who didn’t speak up) brings that into serious question. And, with the BLM protests, incidents such as this, and most recently the excessive force displayed by local officers at a Cottonwood Heights protest on Monday, August 3, 2020, the need for local citizen review boards, police reform, just prosecution, de-escalation training, and yes defunding are gaining momentum.

Lauren McCluskey’s story from the Salt Lake Tribune: University of Utah police officer shows explicit photos of Lauren McCluskey to his co-workers.

“Days before student-athlete Lauren McCluskey was killed, a @universityofutah police officer showed off explicit photos that McCluskey had taken of herself to at least three of his male co-workers without a work-related reason, according to a months-long investigation from the Utah Department of Public Safety…

The state’s final report reinforces and expands on The Tribune’s reporting, concluding the images were displayed inappropriately at the end of a staff briefing in October 2018 by the same officer who was supposed to be investigating McCluskey’s concerns of exploitation by a man she had dated.⁠”

3 Places to Get Your Hair Done

things to do in sugarhouse

My hair mojo is wash and go, but then again, sometimes it’s nice to try a new look. It’s also very nice to get pampered. Like how? Like when someone hands you a mug of coffee first thing in the am, or surprises you with an icy cold beer from a river cooler after a long hike. Here’s another: To have someone take charge of styling your hair.

3 Places to Go When You Don’t Want to 

1. Blo Dry Bar (Best of the Beehive 2019)

things to do in sugarhouseOnce in a while, isn’t it nice to let someone take over and do the heavy hairstyle lifting? Take a load off your shoulders, arms, wrists and hands and let the folks at the Blo Dry Bar take on your next full blowout, classic up-do, or create a fancy fishtail braid.”

202 E. Wilmington Ave. Suite 150, SLC, 801-466-2090,

2. The Drybar—Sugar House

1133 E. Wilmington Ave., SLC, 385-429-5334,

3. STYLD’ Blow Dry Bar

602 E 500 South (Trolley Square), SLC, 801-609-7718,


With face mask, I entered the newly opened Drybar salon (formerly Jamba Juice) in Sugar House last Saturday. It no longer resembles JJ or smells like fruit smoothies, instead envision an open, bright and cheerful salon. Not meant for cuts, colors or perms, this is a place to get your hair deep washed, conditioned and styled as desired. The Drybar along with a few other local styling-only/blow-out salons have popped up to meet the demand of many, who would enjoy a professionally trained hairstylist who knows how to use the products and has the magic trick tools to make it happen.

Braiding one’s hair or taking on a radical updo is difficult if not impossible to do yourself, so if that’s the look you want, having it done is a bit of a luxury ($45-90.) My stylist earned every penny because she had to power through my extremely thick hair, using styling products to protect from heat damage, and flat iron to fully straighten. Being far from my everyday look, I did enjoy it. My hair felt soft, shiny and smooth enough that my friends/daughters had to touch it in disbelief. Yep, that gal below is me with straight hair, I got “Mandy Moored.”


With COVID-19 still going strong, the Drybar salon is taking safety measures: practicing safe distancing between clients and requiring the use of masks. Although most public events have been canceled—you can still show-off your hair on Zoom. Indulge!

Ding-dong, Water Witch is back!

water witch

How would you run a bar during a pandemic?  It’s a math problem, really, involving square footage, cost of food and drink, number of checks, number of customers. After a couple months of closure, the three owners of Water Witch (Matt Pfohl, Sean Neves, Scott Gardner) have their answer.

water witch

Water Witch, one of Salt Lake’s most beloved bars, re-opened softly this week.

Pre-COVID, the tiny place, owned by three of the best bartenders in town, used to pack people inside shoulder to shoulder and out on to the patio even in fairly foul weather.

water witch

“Now we can seat 13 people inside,” says co-owner Sean Neves, “with 10 more outside.”

It’s obviously going to be hard to turn a profit based on those numbers, but the Witch has a couple things going in its favor. Magic bartender co-owner Scott Gardner has been in his laboratory inventing incredibly creative craft cocktails, a bit of a turn for the Witch which has always prided itself on its lack of pretension.

“The Tequila Drink” (Gardner is great with ingredients but doesn’t care about titles.) features watermelon juice, verjus rouge, tequila, honey and a bit of citric acid (tart, but avoiding invasive overtones of lime or lemon), is then hand-carbonated, finished with a watermelon ice cube and served in a tajin-rimmed glass.

water witch

Another drink features a smoke-filled bubble on top of the glass—which just burst in regular Witcher Aaron Weslow’s face.

Or you can order brandy with a touch of truffle. With that, order from the touch-free menu—a variety of imported tinned fish, a waffled grilled cheese, pate. “We’re really thinking of ourselves as a cocktail restaurant,” says Gardner. “Ticket prices will be higher per person, but we have more to offer.”

During its closure, the Witch has installed a plexi glass shield, modified the HVAC system with a germicidal air scrubber and installed electrostatic airscrubbers. Returning Witch devotees—and that’s the second thing this bar has going for it: extreme loyalists—will be safe and delighted. Call ahead for reservations or crowd estimates. Call 801-462-0967 or email info@waterwitch.

For more food and drink, click here.

Trailhead Parking Issues Embroil Park City

Trailhead Parking Issues in Park City

Maybe it’s because the pandemic has shut down nearly all forms of indoor recreation. Maybe it’s because the Salt Lake Valley is at its hottest this time of year. Maybe it’s because hiking, mountain biking and running on trails is fun, and those activities are becoming increasingly popular. Whatever the reason, trailheads in Park City have been extremely popular this summer, and overflow parking has spilled into residential areas. Once again, the natives are getting restless, and county officials are pledging to do something about it.

Summit County had deemed it necessary to ramp up enforcement of parking restrictions at busy trailheads after increased signage and attempts at education have failed to curtail problems ranging from serious—illegal parking blocking emergency access routes—to less severe—neighbors complaining about mountain bikers tailgating in neighborhoods. Enforcement, which will progress from education to ticketing and towing, is scheduled to begin on July 29 after the necessary code changes were implemented.

The trailheads where overcrowding has been acutely felt are in Summit Park at the top of Parley’s Canyon and at Rob’s Trailhead near the Utah Olympic Park. These trailheads are popular with multiple user groups, and they’re easily accessible for people coming up from Salt Lake for some quick recreation after work. Many observers, as noted by a litany of editorials in local media, have pointed to trail users who live outside of Summit County as the primary culprits, and even some county officials have echoed that sentiment. One proposed solution that seems to be gaining traction is for out of county trail users—who do not pay for trail construction and maintenance through property taxes—to pay an access fee, such as for a parking permit.

To quote Jon Snow, “It’s a bad plan.” The trail system in Park City has become the centerpiece of the area’s economy during non-skiing months. Exact figures are disputed, but out-ot-town trail users bring a lot of revenue to local restaurants, shops and bars in Old Town, in Snyderville Basin and throughout the County. Local business alone never before has and is a long way from being able to sustain the economy up here. Trails are what attract people to the area. Adding an obstacle to access isn’t going to fix the problem, but it will create others.

Chaotic trailhead parking is far from a new topic, as evinced by this article in the Park Record from MORE THAN EIGHT YEARS AGO bemoaning the very same issues. Color me shocked it hasn’t been resolved and Park City residents are bemoaning the inconvenience while resisting any infrastructure that could help alleviate the problem. I’ve lived in Park City for over a decade, which makes me either a rotten local curmudgeon or an insurgent new arrival depending on who you ask. Whichever you’d like to peg me as is fine, but I’ve been around long enough to see locals engage in NIMBYism when convenient and decry it at other times.

I also happen to live in one of the “afflicted” areas in Summit Park. There are real problems; certainly blocked emergency access isn’t good. But as far as revelry near the trailheads are concerned, I consider that a collateral issue that comes with the privilege of living within shouting distance from a desirable trailhead. Sorry. Things are even trickier during a pandemic. Everyone is driving solo to the trailheads, and public transit use is way down. That’s going to be an issue for a while longer, but it won’t last forever. I hope.

Increased enforcement is inevitable and probably a good thing, but elitist attitudes and access fees to use public land that are the primary draw to a resort town aren’t going to solve anything. It’s no different than us Summit County residents driving over to ski powder in the Cottonwood Canyons. We can’t have it both ways, so let’s all take a deep breath.

Read more of our community coverage here.

Liberty Park: The Lady of Liberty

liberty park

At the heart of the Liberty Wells community is Liberty Park and at the heart of Liberty Park is Valerie Vaughn. Ask a Liberty Wells resident— they describe Vaughn using words like “tireless” and “supportive.” She’s first to come and last to leave in her volunteer efforts, serving on the council, managing several community gardens, attending park events. Plus, she founded the Liberty Park Farmers’ Market.

About Valerie’s vibrant community spirit and wish to serve others, Zachary Bartholomew, organizer of Liberty Park’s annual British Field Day says, “This strong woman deserves some credit, which she’d never ask for.” On market days, with great enthusiasm, volunteers and vendors run to greet her with open arms, and heck, we don’t blame them one bit. Fridays June-October, 4 pm. until dusk

What is the Liberty Park Farmers Market?

This market helps support local farms and businesses by bringing fresh local produce directly to the Liberty Wells community. A smaller, more intimate market experience than the big Downtown Farmers Market, offering a handful of fresh produce, eggs and honey vendors, as well as arts and craft vendors. Accepts DUFB.

The History

It’s a stretch to think about the city of Salt Lake some 140 years ago. But if you could—you would see the beginnings of a new centralized city park. Back in 1881, 80 acres were purchased by the city, and even before that, Brigham Young had trees planted there.

The purpose of a park is to allow the community access to a safe, beautiful, open green area to recreate. As a park, over the years many things have been added, and Liberty is unique because of its pure underground stream, and if you haven’t stopped to drink at one of its water fountains, we advise you to take a sip.

For more information about the L.P. Famers Market, click here.

For more food and drink, click here.

5 Ways to Reduce Waste: Sustainable Kitchen Swaps

Reduce Waste

We all know the classic “waste hierarchy” saying, reduce, reuse and recycle! But how many of us are actually reducing, reusing and recycling? Are you keeping track of your waste? Do you stay mindful of your carbon footprint? If you’ve answered both of those questions with a no, don’t feel exposed! Becoming aware of how your lifestyle impacts the environment takes time. A great place to start reducing your waste is in the kitchen. Check out 5 tips on how to swap out some everyday kitchen items for more sustainable options:

1. KICK THE COFFEE FILTERS! To reduce your paper waste, replace those paper coffee filters with a reusable coffee filter. Not only does this reduce waste, but it saves you money in the long run. Bonus: reuse those old coffee grounds by making a hand scrub or use them to scrub pots and pans! (Buy locally at Animalia SLC!)

2. REPLACE PLASTIC WRAPS/ PLASTIC BAGGIES with reusable food wraps, like ones made with beeswax. Say a much-needed goodbye to plastic and wrap your sandwiches, snacks and leftovers in an eco-friendly material.

3. TRY BULK REFILLS. There’s no need to continue buying multiple plastic containers filled with cleaning products every other week at the grocery store. Reuse those bottles and refill them with sustainable cleaning products at a local bulk refill spot like Animalia SLC or Hello Bulk Markets.

4. RECYCLE! THE RIGHT WAY! Glass, styrofoam, plastic bags, food wrappers and napkins/tissues are all things that CANNOT be recycled in your recycling bin. Be sure to swap the plastic bags for reusable ones and take glass to the many glass recycling locations around the city and/or sign up for curbside glass recycling. Visit or to learn more about recycling.

5. AMERICA LOVES THEIR PAPER TOWELS… But it’s a toxic relationship, according to the EPA paper and paperboard products made up the largest percentage of all the materials in municipal solid waste. So replace paper towels with darker colored towelettes. Reserve a towelette for each form of cleaning, one for glass, one for dishes, one for the usual kitchen wipe down. After a day or two of use, wash and reuse them! It’s that simple.

Want to find out what your carbon footprint is? Take a quiz here to find out!

For more health and wellness, click here.

No more Rico Brand? Salt Lake City is selling its soul.

Panorama of downtown Salt Lake City in the winter with low clouds and mountains in the background, Utah, USA


Kathy Stephenson reported it well in today’s Salt Lake Tribune: Rico Brand may be the latest loss to Salt Lake culture which is being slowly assassinated by merciless landlords and greed.

Stephenson’s a good newspaper reporter. She reports the facts, ma’am, as objectively as possible. That means although she can list the ravaging of our city, she can’t express outrage because reporters can’t show feelings.

But I’m a columnist so I can. And you should.

The story of Jorge Fierro, owner of Rico, his move to the U.S. from his native Chihuahua, his humble beginnings here as a sheepherder, then a factory worker, then selling refried beans at Salt Lake’s Downtown Farmers Market, eventually building a business from that single food stand to a business stocking handmade Mexican food in more than 90 stores, is a quintessential version of the American self-made myth. A myth developers and property owners seem determined to quash.

Rico Brand’s factory in the then-unnamed and never-visited Granary District was a risk when Fierro leased it. So many Salt Lake residents only went to the west side of town to eat at Red Iguana. Otherwise, it was all too “scary.” Fierro’s business was a pioneer and helped make the warehouse district appealing. Too appealing for his own good.

Then, as Stephenson recounts, “In late 2019, the building he had leased for 18 years was bought by Woodbine Industries LLC of Sandy. After taking possession, the new owners told Fierro he needed to look for another home to make way for as-yet-unspecified plans for the property.”

Fierro’s been looking, but hasn’t been able to find a suitable space. Woodbine has yet to “specify its plans,” yet Fierro has to vacate, along with his 30 employees by August 31. It’s becoming, as Stephenson points out, a familiar story here.

Jian Wu, with his wife and family, ran one of Salt Lake City’s best Chinese restaurants, Cafe Anh Hong on State Street. He had to close because of rising rents—the cost of his space doubled.

Ken Sanders Rare Books, a nationally recognized bookstore unique in the country, is having to move because Ivory Homes is developing that space. It’s doubtful that Sanders can find an affordable space. In the collegiate design competition held to come up with possible plans, not one student was smart enough to see Sanders’ store as an asset to incorporate into a new design rather than something to demolish.

Back to Rico Brand—after becoming a success, Jorge Fierro gave back to the city that had supported him. Besides helping other small businesses, he is also on the board of the Lowell Bennion Community Center for the University of Utah, the Utah Microenterprise Note Fund, and American Heart Association Go Red Por Tu Corazón. He feeds the homeless through his Burrito Project. The factory he’s about to lose was the site of an annual party to benefit Utah Food Bank.

Read the comments on Stephenson’s Tribune article—they devolve pretty quickly into a socialist vs. capitalism debate like we’re hearing a lot of during this highly partisan time. But supposedly, the good American life isn’t just an economic argument. It’s about creating quality of life, contributing to the place we live, joining together to help neighbors and encouraging others to contribute as well.

I moved to Utah almost 20 years ago and was so delighted to find a city with the feel of a small and neighborly town, filled with smallish, locally owned businesses. That’s the culture that has made this an attractive place to live and move to. It didn’t look generic, like Dallas or Denver. It was truly a unique place. That’s the place being destroyed by landowners and developers who can’t seem to see they’re killing the goose that laid the golden egg.

How about a little more compromise? A little more love for the place you live and the people who live here with you? How about a lot more imagination? Tax breaks for small businesses? Leadership? Understanding of how Salt Lake City can be a great city?

The Covid pandemic will see this city lose a lot more home-grown businesses unless citizens speak up.

Hideout Annexation Land Grab Irks Summit County and Park City Officials

Hideout Annexation
Credit: Utah Office of Tourism

Something fishy is happening on the eastern edge of the Jordanelle Reservoir. The town council of Hideout—a town in Wasatch County of roughly 1,000 residents—unanimously voted on measures allowing them to annex land in neighboring Summit County near Quinn’s Junction and Richardson Flat. With some observers characterizing the surprise move as brazen heist of undeveloped land, officials in Summit County and Park City are seeking recourse.

Just to clarify, a municipality is attempting to annex unincorporated land across a county line without that county’s approval. If this sounds like madness, that’s because it is. However, it seems the move is legal, at least for the time being. During the Utah Legislature’s recent special session, Sen. Kirk Cullimore introduced a substitute bill to H.B. 359 that contained what he characterized as technical changes. In reality, the substitutions appear to have been custom tailored to allow Hideout to annex and develop a tract of land in Summit County that had been set aside for open space and recreation.

The appearance of impropriety is enhanced once you learn the developers behind the move are Nate Brockbank and Josh Romney, the son of current U.S. Sen., former Republican Presidential Candidate, and recent resistance participant Mitt Romney. Brockbank and Romney had previously requested a zoning change to allow for mixed-use development on the land, which Park City opposed. Thanks to the legislative changes snuck through during a special session, that opposition may be rendered moot. It would be charitably described as naïve to overlook how political connections could help guide the direction of backroom dealings.

Hideout’s annexation and development plan are part of the town’s new General Plan, which passed in February 2019. The General Plan’s goals couldn’t be met in the town’s existing limits or under the approved Annexation Area, so they went back to the drawing board with developers to rewrite Utah state law to suit their needs. They succeeded. Conveniently for Hideout, the sprawling Superfund site with contaminated soil from the area’s mining past that is adjacent to the proposed annexation was carved out of the plans and will remain in Summit County’s hands.

The area’s two representatives in the statehouse, Rep. Tim Quinn, R-Heber and Sen. Ron Winterton, R-Roosevelt both voted against H.B. 359. Sen. Cullimore, who introduced the changes to the bill is a republican representing Sandy. Perhaps recognizing his role in a growing controversy, Sen. Cullimore said in an interview he was looking into whether the broad consensus of support behind the bill’s changes had been misrepresented to him. If other senators feel the same as Cullimore suggests he may, the Utah Legislature could repeal the law. Discussions about the possibility of repealing H.B. 359 during a special session in August have already begun.

Another obstacle to annexation and development coming to fruition is the negotiated agreement between Park City and the land’s previous owner Talisker Development to not build on the property. Talisker has since gone bankrupt and the land is in pending foreclosure, which means the courts will likely decide whether the previous agreement would apply to the new owners as well.

The developers are planning a Kimball Junction-size development on the annexed land. With large-scale development projects underway or in the pipeline at Mayflower Mountain Resort and the bases of Park City Resort and Deer Valley, the City and County opposed further significant development that would exacerbate traffic issues and add to creeping sprawl in the area. Thus far officials from other jurisdictions including Park City, Summit County and Wasatch County have expressed opposition to the annexation plan and to the rushed and secretive processes under which it was passed.

Whatever the ultimate outcome for the Hideout annexation, it would behoove lawmakers to implement a more transparent process for this and future annexation efforts. Handcuffing local governments while politically connected developers scoop up land stinks of favoritism corruption. I’d like to think Utah is better than this. Let’s see if we are.

Read more of our community coverage here.

Masks Seem to be Working in SLC

Let me level with you. I am in favor of and in full support of wearing masks as a preventative measure against the spread of the coronavirus. The flagrant display of rebellion (and jeers from the crowd) against wearing masks at the Utah County meeting last week made national news and was painful to watch.

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On Wednesday, the state saw two separate rallies around education, with Utahns protesting mask mandates and demanding in-person classes.⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ During an afternoon Utah County commission meeting, one mom grabbed a face mask and spit her gum out into it. “It’s garbage,” she shrugged, wadding it up. “It doesn’t work anyway. Not for me and not for my kids.”⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ Parent after parent followed, objecting for more than two hours to having their kids in masks even as counts of the #coronavirus continue to climb across the state.⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ The group packed into the small boardroom, pulling tape off the seats meant to maintain social distancing and crowding in against the walls. Almost no one wore a mask; those who did had them pulled under their chins.⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ Later in the state’s capital, parents and students called on the Salt Lake City School District to get kids back in the classroom instead of continuing online, even as the area — the only location in the state — remains in the “orange,” or moderate, risk phase for the virus. ⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ These parents, however, are willing to send their kids back to school in masks. Those rallying in Salt Lake City largely supported teachers and said that’s why they want their kids to return to the classroom in person — to be there and learn from educators.⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ Visit our profile link to read more about yesterday's rallies and what Utah parents had to say. (Photos by @netmoser and Leah Hogsten) #sltribphotos

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We could go into a long debate trying to convince, and while namecalling is fun, realize that shaming often fuels the fire more than to extinguish it. And, given the nature of the virus of late, that most of us are eager to get our kiddos back into school or at least back to some degree next year, we need solutions more than conflagrations. Having two high school students, one an entering freshman and the other a senior at Highland High, I can’t help but hurt inside for the common yet wonderful things they will be missing out on this year.

Charts sometimes seem to be helpful in visually supporting data. I appreciated this particular chart that shows a significant gap between the climb of those testing for COVID-19 in SL County as compared to the rest of the state. The chart (below) shows the rolling average of new cases in Salt Lake County (red line) and the rest of the state (gray line), pointing out that the mandate to wear a mask went into effect on June 25. 

Posted on Twitter, Sunday, July 19, 2020, Robert Gehrke, columnist at “I updated my graph showing the trends for Salt Lake County and the rest of the state. Today was a bad day for SLCo, 347 new cases bringing the 7-day rolling average to 265, still down from the peak. The rest of the state still surging. 7-day avg now at 371.”

The chart seems to be indicating that a mandate (and compliance) in wearing a mask in public seems to be working, in spite of SL’s higher and denser population, and is mildly encouraging news. For those who are wearing masks, thank you. Please continue to keep it up, make those amazingly clever and cool signs to display in your yards, and stay healthy SLC.

To read more about City Life in SLC, go here.

First Bite: Arlo Restaurant

Food writers have faves, just like every other diner. In this awful time, as favorite restaurants are struggling and many closing, I feel like I’m losing old friends. I worry about the post-Covid time, when only the big chain restaurants with deep pockets will be left. I worry about a big step backwards in the Salt Lake dining scene which had just earned national prominence. I worry about the little places with big creativity—when money gets tight, creativity takes a back seat to sellability and everyone ends up serving burgers.

So the announcement about a couple of new restaurants opening was, actually, thrilling. That one of them is an expansion of a place, The Day Room, I already loved was icing. That the place was opening in the middle of the worst (so far) part of the Covid pandemic seemed crazy.

Chef-owner Milo Carrier agrees. His restaurant, Arlo, is in the space formerly occupied by Em’s, which closed in December.


“We figured on six months to get everything done, met that goal and here we are, opening at the worst possible time,” he says. “Making the numbers work is a trick. We’re just barely on the right side of viable.

Fortunately, the little house on Center Street has a big, vine-covered patio with a nice sunset view. Right now, that’s the only part of Arlo that’s open and it’s perfect for the moment.

So is the food. Readers always want a two or three word description of a restaurant’s food—that’s how we end up with vague descriptors like Cal-Ital, or Pacific Rim. Arlo’s food, like the best restaurants’, is chef-driven, meaning it’s too personal to sum up that way. It stems directly from Carrier’s life experience: Growing up in Salt Lake (he went to West High); attending the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York; working in San Francisco restaurants, living in New Zealand, then returning home.

“I view cooking as the easiest way for me to communicate,” says Carrier. So what does this say? Toasted farro, grilled asparagus and chili, sesame-almond aioli. Agnolotti stuffed with potato and aged cheddar with charred peas, potato crisps with fresh horseradish and lemon.

Roasted chicken with broccolini and a sauce of roasted garlic and caramelized buttermilk.


To me, these items say American summer—the bitter smoke of the grill, the crumb-crusted chicken with the crunch of fried but no grease, a little chile heat and the country tang of buttermilk condensed to sweetness. Nothing here is quite classic American, but the flavors echo Americana and proclaim a farm-to-table ethos without shouting about it.

Carrier is moving into his culinary future at a measured pace. “Eventually we want to use whole animals, but we need to wait. I think a lot about the sustainability of restaurants, balancing the input and output. Right now, I’m thinking a lot about my responsibility for risk. People are lingering on the patio—they’re clearly ready to go out again, but we need to be careful.”

As with every restaurant right now, the key word at Arlo is pivot. And Carrier knows that’s not a one-time turn—restaurants are going to keep pivoting according to new circumstances in this strange new world. It’s going to be a twirly world, running a restaurant for the next year or so.

“But right now, I’m concentrating on the now,” Carrier says.

And so far, the now is looking and tasting terrific, in my opinion.

About the name? Of course, if you’re of a certain age or listened to your parents of that age, you think of “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree” when you hear Arlo, and it turns out that the Carrier’s had a dog named Arlo and a sister named Alice, so it all hangs together, recalling the spirit of Arlo Guthrie, an American icon, and one that implies a kind of American irreverence.

Which might be that two-word summary of this restaurant we were looking for.

Of course, you can order to go.

271 Center Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84103



For more food and drink, click here.

South Salt Lake Park Dedicated to Hser Ner Moo

Promise Park is at 2230 South 500 East, and was dedicated in the memory of Hser Ner Moo. In the picture stands, Mayor Cherie Wood (left) with Hser Ner Moo’s mother (center).

In 2008 and only at the age of 7, Hser Ner Moo was found brutally murdered in a South Salt Lake apartment. This only happened shortly after her family had landed in SLC as refugees from Thailand, but originally from Burma (Myanmar) Karen. Today, July 16, 2020, the Mayor of South Salt Lake Cherie Wood dedicated a new public park next to the S-Line at 2230 South 500 East as Promise Park, in memory of Hser Ner Moo.

July 16, 2020, also marks Hser Ner Moo’s 20th birthday. The park dedication was small, brief and heartbreaking, but still meaningful as it gives us a chance to pause and note the positive changes that have come since her death and the ones that still need to happen. Her murder was a catalyst of sorts in bringing about the Promise South Salt Lake initiative (learn about here) and the Hser Ner Moo Community and Welcome Center.

In Mayor Wood’s words: “Promise Park marks a milestone in SSL history. The work of Promise South Salt Lake and getting to today has been a herculean effort by all employees. For putting our youth first, ensuring they have a safe neighborhood to thrive in, for meeting the needs of everyone in our community.

Our work is far from over, today I recommit and hope you will join me as we work for a community that continues to welcome all. We will keep our promise that every kid has the opportunity to thrive, gain a great education, and live in a safe clean home and neighborhood.”

In attendance, was her family, leaders of South Salt Lake, Promise South Salt Lake, and community members.

See all of our city life coverage here.

Catch a Lift: Utah Resorts Open for Summer Operations

The time is here to take heed of the sage advice we received as kids. Go play outside. Even as COVID-19 case numbers are growing at a worrying rate in Utah and evidence shows novel coronavirus is readily transmitted indoors, the outdoors is relatively safe. Instead of bemoaning the dearth of movie premiers, indoor table service and watered-down drinks at a dimly-lit watering hole, get out and explore the mountains. After delay, debate and considerable preparation, the lifts are spinning at many Utah resorts for summer operations for mountain biking, hiking, scenic lift rides and more.

Yes “the outdoors” never technically closed, and some people have been out in the hills during the time of COVID-19. But the quarantine 15 we’ve all been working on—I was learning to cook, and it turns out butter and booze pairings make everything taste better—makes the uphills looking a bit more daunting. I, for one, am more than happy to save some energy and ride the lift to the top.

Who knows that the upcoming winter season will hold, but the possibility of resort closures makes it all the more important to enjoy the mountains while the weather’s nice and being outside isn’t a chore in and of itself. From the adrenaline rush of downhill mountain biking at Deer Valley to the serenity of mountain-top at Snowbasin, here’s an updated list of summer operations now open at Utah resorts. Plan ahead and buy in advance if possible as some resorts have set capacity limits due to coronavirus. The lifts are turning and are ready to whisk you the adventure of your choice. Just remember to bring your mask along for the ride.

Park City Mountain

Summer operations are all taking place from Park City Mountain Village and are open Thursday through Sunday beginning at 10:00 a.m. Chairlift rides are available for the following activities. Pricing is available on the Park City Mountain website.

  • Scenic Lift Rides and Hiking
  • Bike Haul for Mountain Biking
  • Mountain Coaster
  • Alpine Slide

Deer Valley

Summer operations are open daily at 10:00 a.m. with all lift activities beginning from Snow Park Lodge. Chairlift rides are available for the following activities. Pricing is available on the Deer Valley website.

  • Downhill Mountain Biking
  • Scenic Chairlift Rides
  • Guided and Unguided Hiking


Summer operations are open at Snowbasin on Saturdays and Sundays beginning at 9:00 a.m from the Grizzly Center. Rides on the Needles Gondola are available for the following activities. Pricing is available on the Snowbasin website.

  • Mountain Top Yoga on Needles Lodge Patio (Saturdays at 9:00 a.m.)
  • Scenic Gondola Rides
  • Hiking
  • Mountain Biking
  • Mountain Top Outdoor Dining (Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.)

Sundance Resort

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Who's hitting the trails today?

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Sundance is open to the public for summer operations from Monday through Thursday. Friday through Sunday, a season pass or reservations are required. Lift service is provided for the following activities with updated pricing available on the Sundance website.

  • Sundance Zip Tour
  • Scenic Lift Rides
  • Hiking
  • Mountain Biking
  • Mountain Top Yoga


Snowbird is open daily for summer operations beginning at 11:00 a.m. The Aerial Tram and Peruvian Chairlift are open, though for this year mountain bikes are not permitted on lifts due to limited capacity. Updated Pricing available on Snowbird’s website.

  • Scenic Tram Rides
  • Hiking
  • Alpine Slide
  • Mountain Coaster

Woodward Park City

Woodward is the newest addition to lift-served summer operations in Utah. Lifts are open daily at 10:00 a.m. Monthly membership or day passes are available. More information on the Woodward Website.

  • Downhill Mountain Biking

Brian Head

Summer operations are Brian Head are open Friday through Sunday beginning at 9:30 a.m. from the Giant Steps Lodge. Tickets are available online for the following activities with updated pricing. The resort recommends buying in advance due to high demand and limited capacity.

  • Scenic Chairlift Rides
  • Avalanche Summer Tubing
  • Downhill Mountain Biking

It's getting HOT in here! 🌞 Check out our list of the best swimming spots in Utah to cool down at! Link in bio. ⁠

Have a safe and responsible weekend, Utah! Oh and P.S. Wear a mask ❤️⁠

📸: Photo courtesy of Utah Office of Tourism⁠

Something fishy is happening on the eastern edge of the Jordanelle Reservoir... ⁠

A municipality is attempting to annex unincorporated land across a county line without that county’s approval. If this sounds like madness, that’s because it is. Read the full story though the link in bio. ⁠

📸 Photo courtesy of: Utah Office of Tourism

Summertime slush! Soft cold slurpy sweet treats- the classic seasonal delight. 🍧⁠

Here’s where to get the best and how to make them yourself, check the link in bio! 🍭

We're a little red rock crazy this weekend if you couldn't tell. (But how could we not be!)⁠

🏜️ Check out 3 pup friendly hikes in our beautiful Moab 🐶 Link in bio! Happy Hiking! ⁠

📸: Utah Office of Tourism

We ❤️ Red Rocks! 🏜️⁠

Thinking about getting into car camping this summer? 🚘 We've got some tips on how to find the right rig for you! Check the link in bio. ⛺ And keep exploring!

Wondering how to navigate COVID-19 norms while enjoying the outdoors? ⁠

We had a Q & A with Charlie Sturgis, Executive Director of the @mtntrailspc, about being part of the solution. Check it out through the link in bio!

A lot has changed in Ogden, but fortunately, maybe accidentally-on-purpose, a lot hasn’t changed.⁠

Check the link in bio to learn how this rowdy old railroad town is reinventing itself as a city of the future without leaving its past behind ❤️⁠

📸 Photo courtesy of: @visitogden

The Sundance Film Festival is going to look a little different in 2021... ⁠

Check out what changes are up in the air through the link in bio. 📽️⁠

"As part of our privilege, we have a voice. We have customers, we have followers. It is our responsibility to use our voice – on social media, as employers, as food industry professionals – to reach people and create the pressure needed for society to shift transformatively – not just incrementally." - @caputosmarket⁠

Use your voice, speak out ❤️ Read full statement through the link in bio.⁠

⁠📸 Photo credit: Jared Stranger

Happy July, everyone! 🧡 Our Best of the Beehive issue is on stands now! Bee 🐝 sure to check it out! 😉 ⁠

Link in bio for digital edition!

🏔 Happy Monday! 💚
Since we’d much rather be outside hiking, we thought we’d share the top ten hiking spots in SLC! (Link in bio)

What are your favorite hikes in SLC?

"I used the power I gained by owning a business to talk to my staff and customers when the opportunities arose."⁠

The co-owner of @raclettemachine shared their insights, experience and advice on today's society. Thank you, Zara. ❤️ Read Zara's full statement through the link in bio. ⁠

We want to hear from you, Salt Lake. At Salt Lake magazine we want to share our platform with local voices. Speak out. Send us your opinions and thoughts and and we may publish it to our website. ⁠

📸 Photo by: Kerri Fukui & @cityhomecollective⁠


To celebrate the end of slavery, Juneteenth is commemorated every June 19th. But this year, with protests continuing throughout the country against racial injustice and police brutality, Juneteenth has become a celebration in many places it’s been overlooked before.⁠

Find out what Juneteenth events are happening in our city and beyond through the link in bio. ⁠

📸: Arianna Jimenez⁠