Short takes on issues
Music for the masses • It's a no-brainer: You get more if you pay for it. And it's certainly the case with Salt Lake City's Twilight Concert Series. Initially, the summertime concerts in Pioneer Park were free; this year the city charged $5 per ticket. The change reduced attendance from an average of nearly 33,000 last year to between 17,000 and 25,000 this summer, but the number of shows increased from seven to nine. And there is a bonus for taxpayers since the difference between revenue and expenses has been nearly cut in half. The city this year had to pick up a deficit of just $100,000 a good investment in improving downtown by bringing more people to the area to patronize restaurants and other businesses.
Justice delayed • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints held an open house at its new temple in Brigham City for a month, during most of which the city succeeded in stifling another local denomination from exercising its free-speech rights. Brigham City officials first passed an ordinance that essentially prohibited free speech unless groups or individuals obtained a permit, which limited where and when they could exercise that 1st Amendment right. The Main Street Church of Brigham City complied with the requirements but requested permission to pass out brochures on public sidewalks on all sides of the temple grounds. That request was denied until the church and the ACLU filed suit in U.S. District Court. The city finally agreed Thursday to give the Main Street Church what it asked for and never should have been denied. But only two days of the open house remained. Justice delayed is justice denied.
Let them work out • Arguing that top-notch recreational and wellness facilities not only promote student recruitment and retention, but also academic achievement, student leaders and administrators at the University of Utah have for a decade lobbied the Board of Trustees for a new student center. The George S. and Dolores DorÃ© Eccles Foundation made that wish a reality last week when it donated $3 million to help build the 172,000-square-foot center. Student fees will be raised to pay down the bonds needed to provide the bulk of the financing. The complex will include an aquatic center, five athletic courts, cardio and weight training equipment, racquetball courts, indoor track, wellness clinic and a cafe. It will be open year-round for 16 to 18 hours every day of the week.