A Salt Lake City resident was disgruntled recently when he got a $50 ticket for not keeping the sidewalk in front of his house properly clear of snow. So he told the City Council he would personally go by their homes to see if they keep their walks shoveled.
Soon after that, three City Council members Soren Simonsen, Charlie Luke and Jill Love and most of the residents on their blocks, received either citations or warnings for failure to keep the walks clear.
The warnings left on the doorknobs of Simonsen's neighbors actually had the wrong street. They listed the addresses as being on 2300 East when they actually live on 2100 East.
Luke says he personally shoveled the walks of three elderly neighbors who got citations.
And Love said her neighbor who lives on a corner lot got a $100 citation, because it's a corner lot. That neighbor, she said, not only diligently shoveled his own walk, he shoveled Love's as well.
Because of minimal staffing, the city's enforcement is complaint-driven, the council members were told. So it appears their neighborhoods were targeted by a complaint.
When council member Carlton Christensen heard about the targeting, he not only shoveled the walks in front of his neighbors' homes, he put rock salt down to melt any remnants of ice.
Frugal Orrin? • Sen. Orrin Hatch was spotted on Delta flight 2384 from Salt Lake City to Washington, D.C., on Saturday, sitting in row 12, in coach.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who had been in Utah for the Sundance Film Festival, was on the same flight in first class.
Getting ugly in the GOP • Here's how low the Utah Republican Party has become: Drew Chamberlain, the duly elected secretary of the state party, wrote about President Barack Obama on the Utah's Clean Politics Facebook page: "Are you still mad because I called Husein (sic) a liar in chief?" Then he wrote, "The only redeeming value in the liar is that he stays with his wuff ugly wife, congratulations. Better than MLK."
What a classy guy.
Actually, Martin Luther King Jr. stayed with his wife. Funny how he didn't mention Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, Newt Gingrich or Ronald Reagan.
And not one word about hot tubs?
Selective patriotism • Hans Roelofs tells me that in his home town of Cedar City, no flags were flown at residents' curbs on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
That is the duty performed by the Boy Scouts, and Roelofs has noted other federal holidays are commemorated with the display of the flags.
Because the Boy Scout troop in Cedar City is tied to the LDS Church, Roelofs called the LDS bishop in the area for an explanation. The bishop said the Boy Scouts and their supervisor were not prepared yet for the season.
Roelofs said that is the same excuse the bishop used last year.
Legislative timing • I recently wrote about a memory I had of a debate in the Utah House years ago over subsidized school breakfasts for low-income children. Numerous House members stood and said such a giveaway would create a generation of deadbeats. They then adjourned to eat a free lunch provided by a lobbyist organization.
That prompted an old legislative source to remind me of the time the House passed a bill to impose enhanced penalties for someone who drove off from a gas station without paying. In other words, a hate-crimes bill protecting gas stations.
Earlier that day, the House had killed a hate-crimes bill that would have protected, among other classes, gays and lesbians. The logic was that the Legislature didn't want to create a special protected class.