Salt Lake City

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Historic Trolley Square is undergoing a facelift this holiday season. When Utah businessman Khosrow Semnani bought the troubled shopping center last year, he vowed to return it to its former glory. Semnani is optimistic even though many shop spaces remain empty.

Brian Grimmett

The state’s prison relocation commission has voted to move forward with further assessment of six sites located in Salt Lake, Utah, and Tooele Counties. 

Bob Massey via Flickr

Help is on the way for aspiring homebuyers in Salt Lake City. Wells Fargo is partnering with non-profit NeighborWorks Salt Lake to provide moderate to low-income families with money for a down-payment and closing costs on a new home.

Wells Fargo’s Neighborhood Lift program is providing $15,000 grants to 224 qualified home-buyers in Salt Lake City. The grants are for legal residents who do not currently own a home.

Maj. D.J. Gibb / Utah Army National Guard

    

The UN climate change panel issued its latest status report this weekend. The group says the world must act swiftly to avert the risks in a rapidly warming planet. IN Utah, local efforts are already underway.

Brian Grimmett

Salt Lake City is offering free parking along 300 South in downtown while workers finish construction of a protected bike lane.

The free two hour parking will be available on 300 South between 200 West and 300 East until about mid-October. Robin Hutcheson is the Salt Lake City Transportation Director. She says part of the reason for offering the free parking is to help those who might be confused by the new design, which places the bike lane closest to the curb and makes cars park between the bike lane and normal traffic.

Garrett / Flickr Creative Commons

Cities are getting hotter thanks to climate change. And the heat in cities is rising faster than rural America. It’s a trend playing out in Utah.

Eric Pardyjak is a University of Utah mechanical engineering professor who studies what are called “heat islands,” which generally make summer nights hotter in cities than in rural communities.

Sarah Sammis / Flickr Creative Commons

Families all over Utah celebrated Pioneer Day with fireworks. The festivities also pumped lots of unhealthy smoke into the air that spiked air pollution. KUER’s Judy Fahys reports on the trend and Salt Lake City’s plan to deal with it.

Polluted air has become a kind of day-after tradition for Independence Day and Pioneer Day in Utah. Monitors at the state Department of Environmental Quality show those pretty pyrotechnics created enough smoke to top federal health standards in Salt Lake, Utah, Weber, Cache and Tooele counties Thursday night.

Whittney Evans

Salt Lake City has once again expanded its bike-share program to include more stations, more bikes and more options.

More than 6,000 people rode GREENbikes, 26,000 times in the program’s inaugural year. It began in April 2013 with 10 stations and 55 bikes. Now officials are hoping to get more people on two wheels by doubling the number of stations and bikes across the city. Salt Lake City Councilor Erin Mendenhall says that’s crucial. 

Lotus Head via Wikimedia Commons

A public hearing on the Salt Lake City budget Tuesday night drew a crowd of people  concerned about  the possible closure of a golf course on the city’s west side. City officials say the golf program is no longer sustainable.

Whittney Evans

Local elected officials, members of the arts community and business and civic leaders came together in downtown Salt Lake City this morning to break ground on the new Broadway-Style Theater. They also announced the new name of the facility that is linked to a major financial contribution.

Rama via Wikimedia Commons

The head of the U.S. Environmental Protection agency joined Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker at the downtown Library today to challenge local businesses and institutions to save money and reduce pollution by consuming less energy. 

Utah Division of Wildife Resources

Two of the four peregrine falcon eggs sitting atop the Joseph Smith Memorial building in downtown Salt Lake have now hatched, but the fate of the next two eggs is uncertain. Watchable wildlife program coordinator Bob Walters says there isn’t really a way to predict the outcome, but that it isn’t time to worry just yet.

Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker unveiled his $229 million budget Tuesday for the next fiscal year. It includes a 3 percent pay raise for city employees and funding for air quality initiatives. But it also proposes some cuts the city council may resist.

Whittney Evans

Ten of Salt Lake County’s 16 cities have combined forces and set aside $200,000 to increase services for the homeless in Salt Lake County. It’s a new collaboration spearheaded by Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker and Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams. 

Pkg203 via Wikimedia Commons

A Salt Lake City taxi cab company says the city should be more serious about cracking down on ride-share company Lyft instead of just warning drivers who city officials say are breaking the law.

Lyft is a smart-phone app that connects passengers to local drivers who offer rides with their own personal vehicles, identified by a pink mustache on the grill. City officials say it’s an innovative idea, but the company must first comply with local rules and regulations.

Brian Grimmett

Cyclists, business owners, and government leaders gathered for the 2014 Utah Bike Summit Friday to figure out how to make Utah a more bike friendly place.

Whittney Evans

Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker visited a group of 8th graders at Hillside Middle School Monday to answer questions about climate change in advance of the 44th annual Earth Day.

Students at Hillside Middle School spoke at length about climate issues like melting ice caps; migratory bird habitats and droughts. Becker was a senior in high school the year Earth Day became a national holiday. It was a time he says he knew very little about his own impact on the environment.  

uber.com

A taxicab alternative e-travelers hail with a smartphone app will be available in Salt Lake City starting at seven o’clock tonight. Two companies called Uber and Lyft have announced plans to expand here, but city officials say the companies must first comply with safety and fair business rules.

The Salt Lake City Police Department has hundreds of unprocessed rape kits collecting dust on a shelf. Now the Salt Lake City council is looking into how to best manage the backlog of evidence.

Data from the Salt Lake City Police Department show 625 kits that contain physical evidence of a sexual assault are still in custody and have not been sent to the state lab for DNA testing.

Utah State University

  The world’s leading climate scientists and policymakers met in Japan over the weekend and released their latest assessment of global warming. They agree the climate is heating up because people burn so much fossil fuel.

Here in Utah, leaders are brainstorming about how to deal with the changing climate.

Transit Ridership Jumps

Mar 10, 2014
Utah Transit Authority

Americans are using public transit more than ever. And Utahns are part of that trend.

A new report says Americans took a record 10.7 billion trips last year on public transportation. The Utah Transit Agency has seen a similar trend. Its trains, buses and trolleys logged 44 million trips last year -- more than ever before.

  American Fork resident Greg Davidson rides the new FrontRunner line from where he lives in Utah County into Salt Lake City a few times a month. Today he’s headed to the airport on the new TRAX line.

Brian Grimmett

The Salt Lake Bees Triple-A baseball team isn’t getting a new stadium, but it will have a different name starting this year.

The state legislature needs to act or step aside and empower cities to act to improve air quality. That’s the message in Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker’s annual State of the City Address, which he presented today at the University of Utah. 

Four Salt Lake City Council members were sworn in today. Three are new and one is beginning a second term. The newcomer’s ambitions range from air quality and economic development to civility.

District 1 Councilman-elect James Rogers says as a new member of the Salt Lake City Council, he’s focused on rehabilitating neglected residential, community and commercial areas in his district, pointing to his work overseeing the renovation of a commercial office space just west of Capitol Hill. 

Whittney Evans

Salt Lake City’s three-day New Year’s Celebration will be chock-full of fan favorite activities this year as organizers celebrate the festival’s 5th year anniversary. It will also cost families more to attend.

Brian Grimmett

Transit officials and local government leaders praised the hard work went into the creation of the new Sugar House streetcar at a grand opening ceremony Thursday afternoon.

After more than six years of planning and $37 million dollars in construction costs the Sugar House streetcar, or S-Line, will open to the public on Sunday. Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker says the streetcar ushers in an exciting time of growth and development that will benefit the community for years to come.

Salt Lake City Mayor's Office

Salt Lake City community members gathered together Wednesday to showcase the efforts of the Homeless Outreach Service Team or HOST program that began two years ago.

The HOST program’s ultimate goal is to make contact with those in need and deliver the appropriate services for each individual situation. While the program’s two year milestone was locally celebrated, Mayor Ralph Becker says national colleagues he met with recently noticed the city’s efforts on a larger scale.

http://www.carriageforhire.net/

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals filed a complaint with Salt Lake County Animal Services on Tuesday calling for an investigation into embattled horse-drawn carriage company Carriage for Hire. PETA says Salt Lake City should revoke the company’s license for failing to report a number of accidents involving horse carriages. But, improper reporting may not be enough to force horse carriages off the streets. Jeremy Beckham is a research project manager at PETA who lives in Salt Lake City.

Downtown farmer’s market enthusiasts won’t have to fret when the summer market ends this later this month. The winter market will open for business November 9th.

At the winter market patrons can grab a bite to eat from a food truck and do a little shopping for things like produce, meat and breads from more than 50 local vendors from across the state.

The market will be open every other Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm at the Rio Grande Depot.

Julie Clifford of Clifford Family Farm says it will make her life a little easier.

erinforcouncil.com & Bill Davis 4 District 5

On November 5th Salt Lake City residents in districts 1, 5, and 7 will choose new people to represent them on the city council. In District 5, Jill Remington Love, the only woman on the council is vacating her seat, and two very different candidates are vying to fill it: small business man Bill Davis and clean air advocate Erin Mendenhall.

The Coffee Garden in the 9th and 9th neighborhood is in the heart of District 5. Darryl High says places like this that make his neighborhood truly great. He’s a member of the East Liberty Park community council.

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