Bigger shows • Pelli Clark Pelli Architects and HKS Architects have created a lovely design for a 2,500-seat arts center on Main Street where sophisticated shows and Broadway plays will be performed starting in 2016. In a space between the old Tribune Building at 143 S. Main and a planned office tower on the corner of 100 South Main, the Utah Performing Arts Center will have entrances both west toward Main and east toward Regent Street, where the designers envision a walkway and plaza connecting Gallivan Plaza and City Creek Center, eventually to include shops, cafes and restaurants. The architects' design plans encompass both Salt Lake City's present downtown flavor and a bit of the atmosphere of decades past, including architectural elements of the 19th century Salt Lake Theatre and the Walker Center Building, at 200 South and Main, built in 1912. The new $116 million theater also will have an upper-level loge similar to open-air loges in several Salt Lake City buildings, including the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. It promises to be an attractive addition to downtown and provide a venue for large-scale traveling shows popular with Utahns.
Better tracking • A new mandatory identification system for dairy and some beef cattle can help prevent the spread of disease but isn't yet comprehensive enough to swiftly track all animals in the event of a disease outbreak. But this first-step program does track animal movements across state borders so agriculture and health officials can more quickly trace disease outbreaks and establish quarantines. Unfortunately, many Utah cattle may not fall under the rule, which went into effect March 11, as it applies only to dairy cows and sexually intact beef cattle older than 18 months that are shipped over state lines. Utah ranchers more typically ship out younger calves and neutered steers. The federal government should expand the mandatory rules to cover those animals as well.
More sneezing • The planet is warming, and Utah and the American West are already feeling the effects. Less snowpack: check. More wildfires: check. Longer and more severe drought: check. Earlier spring: check. And with rising temperatures and warming spring months comes more sneezing, sniffling and drippy eyes as vegetation produces more pollen for a longer time. Climate and its effects on things that cause allergies are complicated, to be sure, but scientists are reporting the results of research that links warmer global temperatures to more pollen. The best advice is to accept the inevitable and stock up on allergy medication. We'll probably need it.