Utah Politics

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

Impeached Ad Rejected

I requested review from blip billboards on the impeached ad I mentioned earlier.  It was fairly quickly flagged and not approved, however I requested an actual detail.  

Here is what I got.

What I find interesting is that I’m not saying anything inflammatory, other than stating a single word: Impeached – which is a factual statement of the reality of Trump’s presidency. If anything is inflammatory it might be the picture.

I’ve re-submitted a new ad.  Let’s see if it gets approved.

Posted by Paul in Politics, US Politics, Utah Politics
Bills and Bagels – Legislative update for Southern Utah County

Bills and Bagels – Legislative update for Southern Utah County

 This morning I attended  the Bills & Bagels event at the Nebo School District office. The following legislators were in attendance:

  • Norm Thurston
  • Francis Gibson
  • Marc Roberts
  • Dedrie Henderson

The meeting felt almost routine in that it was more of a legislative update than anything that was too interactive. They discussed some of their bills, stated their positions on questions that were offered from the audience (via pink notecards), and briefly answered questions afterwards.

My question was the first addressed. I asked if the legislators would finally do something about teacher salaries, instead of punting to next year. Francis Gibson addressed my question and noted that they were working on a 3 percent increase, he noted how much that meant, which was tens of millions, and then he noted that the legislature also funded college education. It was an answer that said: “Yes we will increase funding.” But it didn’t really address if such funding was adequate.

There was a young individual in the audience who participated in drafting a bill that would install cameras on school buses and then ticket the individuals. Gibson again noted that while it is nice that people are getting involved, he wouldn’t support that bill, a cop would be better equipped to issue tickets.

There was some discussion from Marc Roberts on a bill he was working on to address issues with minors being labeled as sex offenders.

Norm Thurston noted some stats saying that 40 percent of Utahans had their health care paid for in part by the state, and he even made some comment that implied that some think teachers should be responsible for all of their health care costs.. which came across as weird given that we live in a country where employers foot the cost of health care.

Dedrie Henderson trumpeted her food truck bill, as well as a proposal to include the total cost of a bond at the top of all local bond proposals. She casted her bond proposal as a sort of government ethics reform, I thought of it as something more akin to posting calories at fast food restaurants. If you want that hamburger do you really care that it has 800 calories? If you want that bond does the cost scare you to voting no – for me probably not.

I was glad I attended, and will continue to do so.  While not as exciting at the Chaffetz smack down earlier this month, it was a worthwhile event.

Posted by Paul in Politics, Utah Politics

Nebo School District Response

Here is the response.  I am not surprised by the lack of procedure for such a decision, and I am unhappy about the outcome.

Hi Paul,

Thanks for your question. There is not a “set” criterion for an event such
as this.
A School Board is clearly within their authority to make decisions which
they believe are in the best interest of the district.

We have had such an outcry from literally hundreds of patrons concerned
about the showing of the welcome back to school talk that we were taken by
Had there been time to functionally inform parents of their choice to let
their kids view this or not, I believe that would have been done.
The choice to opt out would have been a valid option that would have met the
desires of parents on either side of the issue by allowing those who wanted
to see it to do so, and those who didn’t, to opt out. Logistically it would
have been a nightmare to do this adequately.

We truthfully didn’t receive an official announcement of this until last
night. The Board made the only decision they felt would be responsive to
both groups, with the understanding that anyone will be still able to view
the speech at home in various forms after the speech is given.

I would also tell you that independent of the decision, I personally would
have not blinked if my own kids watched the speech. But viewing it on my own
is a fair alternative.   But for good or bad, and many times for both,  A
Board must make a decision that they feel is responsible and fair. I believe
given the parameters of this situation they have done their best to do just

I certainly understand that there will not be much you will not agree with
concerning this reply, and I truly respect that.

I am adding a copy of the memo that we sent out to our schools.


Chris Sorensen


DATE:        September 3, 2009

TO:        Principals

FROM:    Supt. Sorensen

RE:        Video feed of President Obama speaking to school children.

State Superintendent Larry Shumway sent official word on September 2, 2009,
announcing “President Obama’s back-to-school message to school children.”
Supt. Shumway’s message says “the decision to watch (or not to watch) the
President’s speech should be made by each [district] LEA.  There is no
requirement from the USOE, the U.S. Department of Education, or from the
President that any student watch.”

Given the late timing of the announcement, Nebo District has decided that
district students will not participate in watching this speech at school.
The tight timeline presented two main concerns:
1)    With respect to parental responsibility, Nebo District would have
given parents the right to opt out of having their student watch this
speech.  This would have been difficult to appropriately accomplish in such
a short time.
2)    Adjusting for established school and class schedules, technology
availability, and previously planned activities on such short notice would
have created administrative and curriculum challenges for schools.

Parents who wish to watch the speech live next Tuesday can find it on C-SPAN
and on the internet at www.whitehouse.gov.  We would encourage parents who
desire to have their student watch the speech outside of school time on the

Posted by Paul in Politics, US Politics, Utah Politics

I am sick and tired of homophobic Mormons

Chris Buttars is at it again, comparing homosexuals to radical muslims.  Why do the people of West Valley and South Jordan elect this type of person.  Could it be that they support such crazy ideas too?

Last year Chris Buttars refered to a bill in the legislature as a black baby, an “ugly black baby.”  What the hell is up with this?  I thought the church was over institutional racism.  This guy used to be a Bishop in the LDS church?

Now I am sure there are those who would say that an individual member of the LDS Church do not speak for the Church, and in fairness Buttars does not represent an offical position in the LDS Church.  However, I remember this little concept they used to teach me in sunday school: “Every member a Missionary.”  By virtue of Buttars political position, and his known history for offensive statements, he should be much more cognisant of what he says.  If Buttars is a missionary, he is a piss poor one.

Posted by Paul in Christianity, Mormonism, Politics, Utah Politics

Obama raises more money in Utah than McCain

What is going on, this is awesome.  Even though folks in Utah will not support Obama in the election, it is awesome to see that more presidential political donations, in terms of dollars, are going towards Obama.  Utah is making me proud in its own way.

The Salt Lake Tribune has an interesting application that allows you to search for donations to the Presidential candidates here.

Posted by Paul in Politics, US Politics, Utah Politics

Mormon Repellent

While I have not seen any scientific studies I am going to assume that Barack Obama is not very popular in my hometown of Spanish Fork.  As such, I must post the question, am I turning people away from myself by posting my support of the Senator from Illinois in front of my house?

What about if I put the an Obama sticker on my vehicle?  Do you think the Spanish Fork folk will give me at least a couple cudos if the sticker is on a truck?

The Barack Obama sign in front of my Spanish Fork Utah house.
The Barack Obama sign in front of my Spanish Fork Utah house.
Trucks are essential to the Spanish Fork way of life.

Trucks are essential to the Spanish Fork way of life.

Posted by Paul in Politics, US Politics, Utah Politics

In Denver

Well I made it. First stop is union station. The Union Pacific Railroad has some cool trains here. MSNBC has setup shop here as well.

Posted by Paul in Utah Politics

The Mullet in Spanish Fork

Mandy and I play a game specific to our new home town. The game goes like this: Spot someone in touch with their redneck sense. Ever since we moved to Spanish Fork we have noticed an unusually high number of redneck / country folk. Today’s sighting includes a well molded mullet procuring beer at Albertsons.


Posted by Paul in Utah Politics

Utah does not like to vote

I have hear this story a couple times over the past week. Utah has the worst voter participation in the country.  For this we should be ashamed.  Even though we vote like communists in this state, where most of us just assume that the Republican is the way to vote, at least we could turn out in greater numbers.

Part of the problem has to be the single party dominance in this state. People just think that one party is the way is has to be.  AAAHHHH.  Makes Paul mad!

Posted by Paul in Politics, Utah Politics