Paul Rolly: Gold seekers get creative in Utah County
Utah County, by all accounts, is abundant with liberty-loving residents who, based on their representatives in the Legislature, are mad as hell at the government telling them what to do and aren't going to take it anymore.
So some creative folks in Utah County have proposed a way to use public lands with as little government interference as possible.
Applications have been made for that unique kind of permit to allow fortune seekers down in Happy Valley to dredge for gold in the stream beds of American Fork Canyon.
The recreational dredging idea is to get around the onerous regulations accompanying a commercial dredging permit that requires, among other things, an environmental impact statement.
After all, if these energetic souls do find gold in that thar canyon, it could free them from the socialistic system of using Federal Reserve notes as currency, since Utah's protect-us-from-the-feds Legislature has ensured gold can be used as legal tender.
Utah County also is famous for the legendary Dream Mine, east of Salem, which some believers insist holds an abundance of gold buried there by Book of Mormon Nephites and is ready to be discovered by the truly righteous.
Arts and politics • Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker has invited constituents to a fundraiser May 22 to celebrate arts and culture. But while they might be celebrating arts and culture, the benefits go to Becker's campaign fund.
The event, "Backstage with Becker," will take place at the Capitol Theatre which, if Becker has its way, will be relegated to second-fiddle status after completion of the proposed Broadway-style theater in downtown Salt Lake City.
While it is touted in the invitation as "a special fundraising event celebrating the arts and culture of Salt Lake City," the levels of contributions make it clear it is a political event benefiting Becker.
An individual ticket costs $100. But you can be a Program Sponsor for $1,000, an Opening Act sponsor for $2,500 and, if you really love the arts, you can be a Headline Sponsor by contributing $5,000 to Becker's campaign fund.
Bait and switch? • At the Morris Murdock Travel show on Jan. 25, Diamond Airport Parking passed out "preferred traveler" cards offering a 20 percent discount off the posted parking rates at either of the two Diamond lots in Salt Lake City.
The discount card was an obvious draw for one patron who decided to leave his car at the Diamond North Temple lot to take advantage of the perk when he and his wife left for a quick trip this month.
When he returned and exited the lot with his "preferred traveler" discount card, he noticed on his receipt that he had been charged the posted rate of $7.20 a day. Based on the card's 20 percent discount promise, he calculated he should be charged $5.76 per day.
He brought that to the attention of the attendant and was told that, because they had given out so many discount cards, they decided to just give everybody the discounted rate, which was what was posted, even though that still was a higher rate than last year.
So if you get a discount card from Diamond Airport Parking the next time you attend a travel show, just figure that the card, along with about $2, will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks.