Sunday, September 27, 2020

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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

Summertime Treats: Cold Comforts

summertime treats
Hand holding cone of rainbow colored ball of shaved ice

Summertime slush—soft cold slurpy sweet treats—are the classic seasonal delight. Here’s where to get the best and how to make them yourself.

Ice Cream Cereal 

What it is:

A legacy of the cereal-crazed 80’s, when every young adult comedy (think Seinfeld) had characters standing around eating cereal and Cap’n Crunch was the preferred coders’ snack, Ice cream with cereal toppings is kind of a genius combo, taking sugared cereals off the breakfast table where they belong: in a dessert, of course!

Who does it best:

Spilled Milk Ice Cream and Cereal Bar, a food truck that does what it says. Find them on Facebook, here.

How to do it yourself:

Could it be any easier? Make an ice cream cone, any flavor. Stick cereal— Fruity Pebbles are a favorite—coat your ice cream and crunch away

Hawaiian Shave Ice 

What it is:

Shaved ice—usually called shave ice— is finer than the ice used in sno-cones, softer so it melts on the tongue. It has a long history—some date its origin to 7th century Taiwan. The Japanese who came to work in Hawaiian sugar plantations brought shaved ice along with them and it became a signature island treat. Now it’s everywhere.

Who does it best:

Hokulia Shaved Ice, 1501 N. Canyon Rd., Provo, 801-602-6683. There are several Utah locations in this nationwide chain.

How to do it yourself:

Process 6 cups of ice, 2 cups at a time, until they are ne, not crunchy. Use the pulse function to do this. Place a scoop of ice cream in each serving dish, top with shaved ice and drizzle with flavored syrup (Simmer 1 pound of pitted peeled plums with 1⁄2 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon lemon juice until sugar has dissolved; cook further about 20 minutes. Strain and chill until ready to use.) or sweetened condensed milk. Sprinkle with coconut flakes.


What it is:

To be clear, there are two kinds of milkshakes—the soft-serve one served at fast food restaurants that is so thick you can’t suck it through a straw and the one made with scooped ice cream and milk. We call these “real” milkshakes, but we like both.

Who does it best:

Iceberg Drive Inn opened in 1960 and at first served “real” milkshakes, developing a reputation for innovative flavors. But customers requested a thicker shake, and owner Lamar Scrensen Developed the Famous Thick Shake, so thick it stands inches above the rim of the cup. A raspberry shake from Iceberg is a definitive Utah treat. Tonyburgers serves the best “real” milkshake in town. Made with scoops of ice cream blended with milk and flavoring, you can suck it up through a straw and drive a car at the same time!

How to do it yourself:

To make a thick shake like the ones at Iceberg Drive Inn, you really need special equipment. But to make a real milk shake, just bring out the blender. Let your ice cream soften a bit before using. Place 4 scoops in a blender with 1/4 cup of whole milk and a few drops of vanilla. Blend, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides, until it’s as thick as you like it. It’s pretty to top it with whipped cream and a cherry, but thats up to you!

Frozen Coffee

What it is:

It’s Starbuck’s fault—iced co ee got all dressed up with a lot of avorings. But you may be able to make this better at home if you follow The Chunky Chef’s Recipe Below.

Who does it best:

Red Moose Coffee Company. Most of their extensive coffee menu can be made frozen!

How to do it yourself:

Pour 2 cups brewed coffee into ice cube trays and freeze. Blend the coffee ice with 2 cups milk, 4 Tbsp. chocolate syrup and 3 Tbsp. sugar and blend until slushy. Top with whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate syrup.

Bubble Tea 

What it is:

Invented in Taiwan in the 1980s, bubble or boba tea is tea, with or without milk, with tapioca balls in it. There are lots of versions—you can use black, green or oolong tea; coconut milk, almond milk, cow’s milk (skim or whole, condensed milk.)

Who does it best:

Tea Bar, 1201 Wilmington Ave., SLC, 385-322-2120.

How to do it yourself:

To brew your tea, measure 2 tablespoons e of black tea in 2 1⁄2 cups of water. Let steep 5 minutes, then strain. Mix together 1⁄4 cup hot water and 1⁄4 cup dark brown sugar; stir until dissolved over low heat. Boil 4 cups of water, add tapioca balls. In a few minutes, they’ll float to the top. Then cover and cook about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Basically tapioca is like a pasta made from cassava root and different brands have different instructions. Do what the box tells you to! Strain the boba and pour the brown sugar syrup over it. Let steep for a few minutes and cool. Put the boba in a glass. Top with tea and finish with a dollop of lightly whipped, unsweetened cream!

Frozen Margarita

What it is:

The classic tequila and lime cocktail transformed into slush. The frozen margarita was invented by Mariano Martinez a Mexican American inventor, entrepreneur, and restaurateur in Dallas, Texas, in 1971, he adapted a soft serve ice cream machine to making margaritas and college has never been the same since. Purists may prefer the original drink, shaken and strained into a coupe, but on hot summer days there’s a lot to be said for a frozen ‘rita.

Who does it best:

Chile-Tepin, 307 W. 200 South, SLC, 801-883-9255.

How to do it yourself:

You really need a heavy duty high-speed blender like a Vitamix to get the right consistency for a frozen margarita or there’s no point in making one—this is a party drink. Put 3⁄4 cup tequila, 1.2 cup Triple Sec, 2 Tablespoons agave nectar (blends better than sugar) and 3⁄4 cup fresh lime juice in the blender with about 4 cups of ice and let’er rip. Salt the rims of your glasses by dipping the rim into a saucer of lime juice, then a saucer of salt, pour in the drink carefully and garnish with a lime wheel.

For more food and drink, click here.

Mountain Lions & Black Bears, Oh My!

Any sunny afternoon, the main drive at Salt Lake City’s Memory Grove is filled with pedestrians—dogs running blissfully free, nervous girls in poofy wedding gowns posing for their bridal photos in front of monuments, proud new parents with strollers—it looks as idyllic as a latter-day version of Seurat’s famous pointillist painting, La Grande Jatte.

The path continues to cross Bonneville Blvd. and for many, the day’s outing ends there. Because once you cross the street, although you’re in the same canyon, you’re not in the same place. The end of the parking lot marks the entrance to Uintah-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, a place managed but not groomed. A wild place in the middle of the city, just a few blocks from the state capitol building.

Here, it’s common to see tarantulas scuttling across the road and rattlesnakes sunning themselves on the warm pavement. In the fall, hunters in full camo with guns or bows over their shoulders hunt for wild turkey and mule deer. On the cliffs over City Creek, eagles and other raptors scan the valley for small prey.

It’s a sweet walk or bike ride for many nature-lovers, who hike the trail or walk the asphalt road up past the Water Treatment Plant to the Bonneville Trail. It’s all pleasant forest bathing. Until you see the bears.

black bear

“I was on my way home from my usual walk,” says artist Todd Powelson, who routinely walks his dog, and sometimes his parrot, up the canyon. “I was right near the gate when I saw a female black bear and two cubs foraging nearby.”

So what do you do when you see a bear?

“I backed up slowly about 30 yards,” says Powelson. “Until I thought the bear couldn’t see me. And I just waited about 15 minutes.”

Bears have good close-up vision but their long distance vision is not so good.

Granted, it’s a kind of thrill to see a bear—one of the quintessential wild creatures still among us in a world that often seems too tamed by humans. But wild is the word here. By spring 2019, the Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) received more than 25 reports of bears getting too close to humans, breaking into coolers, rummaging in trash cans or dumpsters, rampaging through campsites. Twenty of those incidents occurred in Central Utah or along the Wasatch Front. That’s a big jump in comparison to 2018, where during the entire year there was a total of 25 bear encounters.

Also last summer, a family of mountain lions were caught on camera as they prowled around the water treatment plant further up the same trail in City Creek Canyon where Powelson saw the bears. Bobcats roam around the Huntsman Center and the Mt. Olivet Cemetery. Cougar prints were seen in the snow outside a cabin in Brighton.

In fact, it seems that Utah’s large predators are daring to get closer than ever before.

black bear

The American Black Bear (Ursus Americanus) is native to Utah—biologists estimate there are around 4,000 black bears in Utah currently, though the population uctuates. (The last Grizzly in the state, Old Ephraim, an 1,100-pound behemoth who still lives on in camp story tales, was killed in 1923.) They are called black bears, but actually their coloring varies from brown to beige to cinnamon. Like their scarier and larger cousin the Grizzly Bear (Ursus horribilis) black bears are omnivores, but black bears eat less meat than Grizzlies, subsisting mostly on berries, mast, acorns nuts, roots and pinons. And of course, human food.

“Injuries to humans by black bears almost always involve food,” says Darren DeBloois, Game Mammals Coordinator with DWR. “Last year, a bear squashed a camper’s tent and the person inside was scratched.” (Note: A black bear’s claws are about 1 1⁄4 inches long—they’re the only bear that easily climbs trees—so a bear ‘scratch’ is not as mild as it sounds.) “In Moab, a bear took a chunk out of an open-air camper’s head.”

“Make no mistake: If a bear attacks you, its intent is to eat you and a bear typically weights 150-200 pounds.”

So why are we seeing more bears among us?

“There are more bears and several things going on all at once that explain why there’s been an increase in the number of bears in the last few years,” explains DeBloois. “Bears’ ranges change; we’ve seen them in new places in Northern Utah. I mean, Bear Lake is named that for a reason—historically, there were Grizzlies there.” Now black bears come and go. Their core regions are the Wasatch Front from Salt Lake City south, the Book Cliffs, The LaSal Mountains and Boulder Mountains. A dry summer sent them into hibernation earlier and the wet spring encouraged an increase in the number of bears—they hibernated longer and woke up hungrier.

About 30 bears wear GPS collars, but, ironically, bear population is primarily estimated by the number of dead bears the hunters bring in. “We judge by how old the bears are that the hunters get,” says DeBloois. “We want to see older animals.”

DeBloois says scarce resources make them move; the last few years of drought have caused more nuisance incidents. “It was a heavy winter, so they came out of their dens late in the year,” says DeBloois. “They generally hibernate early, around October. Then at some point, they’ll come out like Punxsutawney Phil, take a look around and either stay or go back to bed.” Bears mate in June, but implantation is delayed—if food is scarce, the female can reabsorb the fetal cells. The DWR visits dens of collared bears at the end of January and February to see how many cubs there are. “Once the females are awake, they tend to come down into the valley to find food,” says DeBloois. Those are the bears Powelson met on his city hike.

black bear

“We’ve also seen an increase in the number of mountain lions—more encounters with humans and a bigger population,” DeBloois says. “An increase in the number of mule deer always means an increase in the mountain lion population.”

The mountain lion, also known as cougar, puma, catamount, screamer or panther and properly called Puma concolor, live all over Utah, from the High Uintas mountains to the dry rocky deserts of southern Utah. They like pinyon-juniper and rocky areas where they can and good cover—their tawny color blends in easily and its long tail provides balance for clambering among rocky cliffs.

Unlike bears, cougars have to kill to eat. Their main prey is mule deer, so when you see a herd of deer, there are likely to be cougars in the area. In 2018, a cougar was sighted at Oakridge Elementary school grounds and another was captured in a yard in Tooele County.

The past few years have seen big increases in the number of mule deer,” says DeBloois. “That means more mountain lions.” Cougar tracks can be deceiving— because their nails are retractable like domestic house cats, the cougar tracks lack nail prints so the three-inch track may look tame when they’re seen in the snow, like they were often this spring around Brighton. The lions (no relation to the African lion, by the way) follow the deer to lower elevations during the winter and tend to be seen more by humans then. They hunt at dawn and dusk.

Adult cougars can weigh anywhere from 90 to 200 pounds; males weighing more. That’s plenty big enough to take down an elk if they get a chance, often caching the kill to return to later. And there are no cougar predators, just themselves (males fight for territory and occasionally eat cubs) and us. And, of course, the environment. There are about 2,700 cougars in Utah; last year the DWR increased the number of hunting permits to 678, alarming conservationists who argue that killing the young inexperienced lions will destabilize the cougar population. They point to studies proving that getting rid of the cats upsets the balance between predator and prey. They say there is less livestock depredation when mountain lions are left alone and other deterrents are used.

Although the black bear is mighty, humans are still the apex predator in Utah.

For more outdoors and adventure, click here.

Schools in SLC Unable to Open Due to Orange Risk Level

Salt Lake City is classified as an orange (moderate risk) zone for COVID-19. And by moderate we mean over 14,000 cases and 132 deaths, with numbers continuing to climb on a daily basis. With that said, schools here in the city are unable to reopen until we’re at least within the yellow (low risk) phase. Instead, schools and students will have to adjust to online learning this fall. This plan has caused outrage amongst some parents.

In a report from KSL, parents voiced their frustrations. “We have schools that are 2.7 miles away that are in a different district that have the opportunity to go to school five days a week,” said Glenna Lotulelei. “We are not even given the chance to make a choice and as a parent, I feel like we should make a choice if our child should go to school and play sports.”

According to two surveys given to parents and teachers in the spring, most families and staff agree with the school restart plan for the 2020-2021 school year. “My husband and I are definitely doing the distance learning option, there’s no way we’re going to send our kids into the fire.” Jen Brown, a local mother, said in a statement.

While teachers and families continue to discuss the logic and practicability of reopening school doors in Salt Lake City, every school across the United States has been met with pressure from the White House. A recent tweet from President Trump shows a seemingly politicized view on the health and wellness of our children and school workers.

In spite of this, as NPR reported last week, the reopening of schools is based on the recommendations of local and state health officials and leaders of school districts, all of whom take the thoughts and concerns of families very seriously.

Governor Herbert will be deciding this month whether or not to move Salt Lake City from orange to yellow. If Salt Lake City is moved to the yellow phase, The Salt Lake City School District has laid out a plan. “In the Yellow (Low Risk) phase, our schools will be able to operate on a Modified Schedule, where students will spend time each week learning in class and time learning remotely.” Larry Madden, Interim Superintendent for the Salt Lake City School District, wrote in a statement (click here to read full statement).

For more city life, click here.

Last night’s vigil for Breonna Taylor. ...

Deep breath in. Deep breath out.
Have a peaceful Tuesday evening ☮️

Everyone could use a breath of fresh air! 🌞⁠

Be sure to follow social distancing rules on the tails. 🌲 Check the link in bio to read our convo with the Executive director of the @mtntrailspc foundation, Charlie Sturgis, about being part of the covid-19 solution. ⁠

Be gentle with one another, Salt Lake ❤️

Our September-October issue is on stands now! ⁠

Salt Lake magazine has traditionally devoted its September-October issue to travel, describing trips to destinations all over the world. This year, confined by COVID, we’re looking closer to home. ❤️⁠

Stay well and be sure to pick up our latest issue or subscribe to our magazine through the link in bio!


Happy Monday 🏞
Who else is dreaming of the weekend? 😴

“The power of the people is always stronger than the people in power." - Angela Johnson⁠

Check the link in bio to read our Q & A with protest organizers. ⁠

Photo credit: Max Smith @phhhhhhhhhhhotos⁠

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