Randy Boothe for Utah State School Board District 13

Randy Boothe for Utah State School Board District 13

I want to express my deep support for Randy Boothe for Utah State School Board District 13. Randy has been an exemplary member of the School Board, consistently prioritizing education and the well-being of our students. On the other hand, I have significant concerns about Cari Bartholomew. While I don’t doubt that Cari genuinely cares about Utah kids, her focus on culture war issues like Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) and Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is problematic. Her discourse often seems to blame teachers and the public education system for children’s mental health issues and overlooks the various ways schools support our children, including mental health.

Additionally, Cari lacks credentials in education. She does not have a teaching degree and appears distrustful of those who do. While I agree that parents should have a say in education and that a degree is not a prerequisite for input, Cari fails to understand the importance of teacher credentials. These standards ensure teachers have the necessary expertise and deep understanding required for effective education. Cari’s approach suggests a bypassing of these essential requirements, which is concerning for the future of our education system.

Cari is suspect of public education. While I have no animosity towards those who homeschool their children, I have legitimate concerns about those who opt out of public education but seek to influence it. It is unquestionable that we face many challenges in our institutions today. Our institutions are vital to our society, providing strength and legitimacy. Yes, they need reform, and individuals like Randy Boothe take a measured and methodical approach to this. I fear that someone like Cari would instead seek to completely tear down these institutions rather than reform them, potentially leaving our children without the support of a robust education system.

Cari talks about not lowering the bar for educational standards, but she is also suspect of the well-developed history we have of producing quality educators through our colleges and universities. Why wouldn’t we want a well-educated educational workforce?

Furthermore, Cari supports school choice, stating, “I am a proponent of School Choice as long as the steps are taken to prevent government regulation.” My concern with this stance is that taxpayer money used for school choice needs accountability to the taxpayers. Government oversight is essential to ensure this accountability, and Cari’s position seems to endorse giving a free pass to anyone claiming to be an educator without proper oversight.

Cari also seems overly focused on DEI and SEL, treating them as pervasive problems in our schools when they are not. It often feels like all roads lead to DEI and SEL with Cari Bartholomew, which distracts from addressing more pressing educational issues.

Randy Boothe, with his extensive experience and dedication, remains the best choice to ensure quality education for all students in District 13. Let’s support Randy Boothe for another term on the Utah State School Board. Please vote for Randy Boothe before June 25 in the Republican Primary Election.

Posted by Paul in Payson, utah
Spanish Fork Pedestrian Crossing Improvements

Spanish Fork Pedestrian Crossing Improvements

I believe Spanish Fork, in partnership with UDOT, should finish pedestrian corridors around Canyon Road, Spanish Fork Parkway, and Highway 6. Development around these areas has been in place for years and residents expect that this infrastructure should be built to support safe pedestrian transit between key destinations like parks and schools.

In this post I will give examples of where the build out of pedestrian walkways is incomplete. We should not consider a road to be complete unless there is a safe, accompanying pedestrian route.

Here are some high level guidelines I would suggest:

  • Require completion pedestrian infrastructure between major destinations
  • Add more stoplights / roundabouts to Canyon Road to slow down traffic
  • Mark all crosswalks clearly, consider adding flashing beacons
  • Find additional ways to fund pedestrian and road improvements in addition to developers and MAG
  • Prioritize a walkable city
On Canyon Road and 2300 East the sidewalk comes to an abrupt end on the North West corner. This locks pedestrians and cyclists into an area where the road is unimproved and the sidewalks inconsistent. It should also be noted that the cross walks are only painted in one direction. This is the site of this accident.
The North side of Canyon Road West of 2300 E has no sidewalks. As there are already existing homes on a portion of this right away we can not expect that new development will pay for the sidewalk or trail improvements. This needs to be addressed as this is no longer a rural road.
Sidewalk and trails are sporadic along the North side of Canyon Road. The South side is consistently paved. With the recent build out of the All Abilities Park we can expect more people will travel by foot on both sides of Canyon Road.
The growth of town homes and condos brings more young families with children who need walking paths as a safe option. Retail close to residential areas increases the attractiveness of walkable cities.
Another point of frustration is the crossing of Spanish Fork Parkway and Highway 6. There is a pedestrian crosswalk that leads to nowhere. The property across from Walmart is in front of a new townhome development. Given the new development why were sidewalks and trails not included on this side of the road?
Traveling North on Spanish Fork Parkway from Highway 6 leads to the Holiday gas station, however the crossing to the North leads to a dead end.
On the other side of the round about the side walk comes to an abrupt and bumpy end. This requires pedestrians to trudge through the field or just walk on the road which is narrow with a very small shoulder.
Further north between this church and Maple Mountain High School there is no pedestrian walkways on either side of Spanish Fork Parkway. Maple Mountain High opened in 2009 and students regularly walk this path that as manually worn.
During the school year Cross County track regularly runs along Spanish Fork Parkway. Pedestrians also walk between the school and neighborhoods south of here.
North of 400 N a trail was added in front of an undeveloped piece of land. This shows that it is possible to add pedestrian infrastructure before development. Can this model be extended across all of Spanish Fork Parkway?
Posted by Paul in Spanish Fork

The roads are awful in Pleasant Grove

This morning I went on a run in Pleasant Grove Utah and the roads sucked. I live in Spanish Fork and I run regularly on the roads in my home town. In Spanish Fork the roads are great. Not so much in Pleasant Grove.

Here is a photo tour of my misadventures on the rough roads of the P Grove.

Patches like this are very common. Wear and uneven weathering are all over.

In this location it appears as it it has been so long since any thought of repair that the road is degrading back to soil.

Here we have decent erosion from storm water.

So what I see here isn’t a bad road as much as a bad design. The sidewalk entering the park just comes to an end requiring you to use an automobile automobile to enter the park. The whole point of a park is having a place for people to be outside as individuals walking. Why not extend the sidewalk to allow for pedestrian access?

Another poor design, the storm drain is elevated above the road.

Irrigation ditch randomly between the road and the sidewalk. Further down the road the roadway properly extends to the sidewalk.

For some reason this newer house doesn’t extend its pavement of the driveway to the road.

Here is a concrete curve and gutter in terrible state. Just eroding away.

A fire hydrant behind a telephone pole, no red paint marking the restrictions on parking. Strangely enough the City that allows for this poor design also runs the fire department that likely would find this design dangerous.

There is a manhole for sewer access in the grass. Also all over town you can see evidence for where the road was dug up to put in pressurized irrigation. On this road they dug on both sides of the road leaving two tracks embedded in the road.

What do you want to bet that they only cover this trench instead of repaving this section of road?

Pleasant Grove Utah is a beautiful city, but the road infrastructure is in poor shape.

Posted by Paul in Utah Politics

Redistricting in Utah 2021

This week I attended a Legislative Redistricting Committee meeting in Orem, Utah.  I presented my idea for a simple map for Utah’s Congressional districts, as noted below:

 I drew the boundaries such as it aligns with historical communities of interest, and also accounts for growth. Utah county plus the South Salt Lake County cities of Riverton and Draper are included as a single congressional district.  Salt Lake County has too much population to be in a single district so I kept the City of Salt Lake, along with the East Side in tact.  The entire second congressional district is in Salt Lake County.

Posted by Paul

Covid in Utah

I really am tired of Covid 19. Isn’t it about time we just all get vaxed and be done with this pandemic. Does it really impede our personal liberties to do what is necessary for the good of public health. We have an obligation to the good and health of others. We do not live in a bubble, what we do has a direct effect on others.

Posted by Paul

Q Anon

I could barely believe it when I saw someone proudly sporting a Q anon flag in Spanish Fork this morning.  For the uninitiated: Q anon is a conspiracy theory of a grand global cabal where left-wing politicians and elites are attempting to harvest the blood of children to feed their hunger and sick schemes of managing the world.  This is crazy stuff, and it is linked to a belief that Trump will triumphantly return to power to kill the conspiracy.

What is unfortunate is that a lot of Republicans buy into this Q stuff, and they are increasingly able to move Republican politics. A party that pays attention to this make-believe narrative and elects nominees who believe in such will have a difficult time governing and actually appealing to those in the mainstream. A Republican party that can not compete in the marketplace of ideas is bad for the Democratic party as well in that it doesn’t check the excesses of the Democrats.

What do we do to solve this problem? Facts and arguments based in reality don’t tend to convince those who believe in conspiracies. It is like a religion, a deeply held belief that is not easily argued around. I’m not sure what a good solution is here, other than those who are leaders should marginalize these fringe beliefs instead of add fuel to the fire.

There will always be fringe among us. We should treat those with love, but not indulge their beliefs, and at the very least we should not allow their fringe beliefs to become mainstream in one of our two major political parties.

Posted by Paul in Global Politics, Politics, Trump, US Politics

Deseret News Half Marathon

Last Friday I ran the Deseret News Half Marathon.  It wasn’t my fastest run, but I did record it with a GoPro.  Enjoy

Posted by Paul