Salt Lake City Drinking Liberally

Promoting democracy in Utah one pint at a time.

October 24, 2009

Let’s drink a little and talk about sex

Laura has been doing a great job of getting interesting speakers for Drinking Liberally, and last nights’ speaker was a good example. Laura invited Missy Bird, the executive director of the Planned Parenthood Action Council. Missy talked about the proposed sex education bill and the discussion it’s already gotten despite not being an actual bill yet. The Salt Lake Tribune has a good article that talks about some of what’s already been going on, like Senator Chris Buttars flying out an “expert” to try and discredit groups like Planned Parenthood and comprehensive sex education.

Missy also had some interesting statistics that illustrated the need for comprehensive sex education, like:

by @ 12:13 pm. Filed under Local Issues, Soapbox

June 30, 2009

Take a Good Look Outside – Crime Riddled Streets Start at Midnight

Some you God fearing folks such as myself may not be aware that sin is soon upon our fair state. You see, effective midnight tonight, our great state of Deseret will soon be barraged by unseemly individuals who want nothing more than to take down the very fabric of our society. They claim that they are just trying to improve our image to the outside world – but I know the facts.

You see, at midnight tonight, people would be able to simply walk into a bar and get a drink! Yes, a BAR, not a Private Club for Members (an already intolerable institution); this fine state will be flooded with drunkards who want nothing more than to rob our homes and kill our children – I just know it.

Before we were at least protected thanks to the “private club” aspect of these dens of inequity. The $5 membership fee made would-be criminals think twice before picking up that first drink. Now, they can spend that $5 on what I can only assume is 5 shots of the hardest alcohol you can get, stumbling out much sooner and wandering our gated communities.

But now, now, they can just pony up to the devil and order a drink! These so called “adults” will loose all control without the fine guidance of our very reasonable laws.

What is even worse is that children (I presume) will be able to walk in with out people so much as batting an eye. Where is the control people? Where is the duty to protect our children from reality? Where does it end?

I hear these same sinners want them to put two or more ounces (what users call “shots”) or more of alcohol into their drinks – claiming that some drinks can’t be made because of a recipe. Boy, howdy, sounds like they are cooking up hard-core drugs.

by @ 2:10 pm. Filed under Humor, Local Issues

March 18, 2009

Upcoming City Council Public Hearing – Andy’s Place – March 24

DLer Alice forwarded along some information regarding the public hearing about bars in residential mixed-use zoning districts. Voice your support for neighborhood bars:

Thank you for expressing your interest and comments on a proposed amendment to the City Zoning Ordinance’s “Table of Permitted and Conditional Uses in Residential Districts to allow private clubs as a Conditional Use in Residential Mixed-Use Zoning Districts. The proposed amendment is due to a petition by Mr. Lou Corsillo, who owns Andy’s Place Tavern at 479 East 300 South (Petition No. 400-46-45).

The attached information is provided as an outline of the discussion the City Council has held regarding conditions required and being considered, in order to allow private clubs in Residential Mixed Use (RMU) Zones. Please review the attachment, or you may review the material online at www.slcgov.com/council/agendas found in the material listed for March 24.

On Tuesday, March 24, 2009, the Salt Lake City Council will address this issue during their Council meeting at the City & County Building, 451 S. State Street, as follows:

Public Hearing at 7 p.m., City Council Chambers, Room 315

A Work Session discussion will also take place regarding this topic. Please obtain a copy of the Council meeting agenda 24 hours in advance of March 24, 2009 by visiting: http://www.slcgov.com/council/agendas

If you are unable to attend a City Council meeting, other options to view or listen to the meeting:

  • visit: www.slcgov.com/council/ and under the “Audio/Video Link” column listen to Council meetings live from a computer
  • view a rebroadcast of a City Council meeting on SLCTV cable channel 17
  • visit: www.slctv.com/vd_city_council.htm to listen to a previous Council meeting or download a podcast
  • contact the City Recorder’s Office at 535-7671 and request a CD copy of a Council meeting or on this particular agenda item
by @ 8:46 am. Filed under Activism, Local Issues, Upcoming Events

February 20, 2009

Chris Buttars or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Verbal Bombs

So, I have already seen the intertubeweb blow up over the past hour after the breaking news that Senator Chris Buttars has been removed from his chairmanship in the Judiciary Committee – effectively killing his political power on the hill.

There are numerous factors that create power on Capitol Hill: how well you are able to talk to people to get what you want, your position within your own party, your ability to rally troops for a particular issue, and what committees you sit on. The first three are somewhat obvious – but committees are a tricky thing – some are more powerful than others, and all have the potential to make you new friends or enemies.

Committees act as a sort of halfway house for bills and are generally the only place that most bills will ever see proper debate – furthermore this is the only time that the public can provide direct input on any particular bill. Committees are specialized into various fields such as rules (the most powerful) to ethics (the least used); this specialization allows the hundreds of bills to be heard at any given time. What makes committees so important is that anywhere from 5-15 legislators sit on a panel and decide if the bill should even be heard by the full legislature – if it does not make it out of committee, the bill is dead.

Within committees, certain positions are more important than others. The most important position in any committee is the chairperson; they control the agenda and what bills will be discussed in the first place – if the chair does not like a bill, guess what, it ain’t going anywhere.

by @ 11:09 am. Filed under Local Issues

February 19, 2009

Utah rivers and HB 187

The bad bill just keep stacking up whenever the legislature is in session, don’t they? The most comprehensive commentary on this years’ bills are over on Curtis’ Blue in Red Zion.

I’ve been hearing quite a bit about HB 187, which is of interest to the Utah Rivers Council and users of Utah’s rivers. This bill could mean 1000’s of miles of Utah rivers could be open to development. This bill is going to hearing and Utah Rivers Council could use your support by showing up Friday, February 20 at 2:00 pm in Room 445 of the Utah Legislature. See more about this on the Utah Rivers Council website.

by @ 9:56 pm. Filed under Activism, Local Issues, Upcoming Events

February 15, 2009

Full page hate

A group calling themselves “America Forever” pulled a full-page ad in the Sunday Salt Lake papers warning Utahns of the “homosexual movement”. In the Tribune it’s on page D12, and I’m sure that it’s in the Deseret News too. The ad is full of lies and fear tactics and it’s scary that there are people that believe this. My first instinct was to laugh because it seems like it should be bad satire, but this group seems legit.

In case you don’t get the paper and you need a laugh you can see the ad by clicking the photos below:

A full page of hate in the Salt Lake Tribune

A full page of hate in the Salt Lake Tribune

 

A full page of hate in the Salt Lake Tribune

A full page of hate in the Salt Lake Tribune

by @ 11:26 am. Filed under Local Issues, Soapbox

February 13, 2009

The Boxcar Children

So we have reached that time in the legislative cycle where lawmakers frantically try to get their bills heard during this legislative session. You see, last Thursday was the last day to submit bills without the House or Senate considering it beforehand.

In an effort to get things in order, lawmakers will – in legislative speak – have the “bill numbered by title without any substance.” These bills are known as “boxcars” in political jargon, and act as a way for lawmakers to hold their place in line when they are finally ready to put a bill froward. Now these bills have nothing in them and literally consist of just the bills name, number, and sponsor – no change of legal code, not radical ideas that would plunge the state into chaos, no…just the bills name, number, and sponsor.

But, man, some of them are sooooo tantalizing; here are a few I would love to write about if they just had some meat to them:

H.B. 171 – Children’s Health Insurance Program Amendments – K. Holdaway
H.B. 335 – Health Insurance Transparency – J. Biskupski
H.B. 336 – Concealed Firearms Amendments – C. Wimmer
H.B. 339 – Legislator – Benefit Plans – E. Hutchings
H.B. 347 – Alcoholic Beverage Control Act Modifications – G. Hughes
H.B. 349 – Heavy Beer Amendments – C. Oda
H.B. 376 – Revisions to Alcoholic Beverage Control Act – G. Hughes
H.B. 384 – Public Lewdness Amendments – D. Ipson
H.B. 400 – Pete Suazo Utah Athletic Commission amendments – C. Oda
H.B. 405 – Geothermal Pool Amendments – K. Sumsion
H.B. 414 – Eminent Domain Modifications – C. Frank
H.B. 417 – Revision to Local Government – M. Noel
H.B. 426 – Tobacco Monies – M. Newbold
H.B. 428 – Unemployment Insurance Amendments – S. Mascaro
H.B. 440 – Nuclear Power Generation and Distribution – J. Seegmiller
S.B. 72 – Taxes on Motor Fuels – J. Valentine
S.B. 190 – Acquisition of a Billboard by Eminent Domain – W. Niederhauser
S.B. 203 – Revisions to Transportation – S. Jenkins
S.B. 205 – Redevelopment Agency Amendments – C. Bramble
S.B. 215 – License Plates Amendments – G. Bell
S.B. 218 – License Plates Modifications – P. Knudson
S.B. 223 – City and County Carbon Credits for Sequestration of Waste Stream Materials – R. Romero
S.B. 224 – Highway Construction Material Amendments – C. Bramble
S.B. 239 – Transportation Revisions – S. Killpack

by @ 11:18 am. Filed under Local Issues, Other Meet-ups

February 5, 2009

My Day on the Hill

Today I had the opportunity to run up to the hill and take part in the Young Democrats of Utah’s annual Caucus Lunch. I must admit that, even though I have worked on the hill and know many of the legislators on first name basis (though I did not do so because it violates my first rule), it still strikes me with awe to be standing at the place where decisions and policies are shaped that affect our state for years to come.

What was truly odd was that I was speaking to legislators, not as an intern or staff, but as a sort of freshman reporter. I sat down and talked to as many as I could find to ask them what bills were important to them, how they felt about some of the goings-on on the hill, what they think will happen with the budget, and other various questions that I never would have thought to bring up had I not been writing for this silly little blog.

And so, I have a few more tips and leads, was fascinated by the insights legislators gave to various bills, and I have even more of a sense of wonder about the whole process.

I will be reporting on what the various legislators had to say soon, but for right now I am just going to take it in…I think I know why I do this crazy thing called politics.

by @ 3:31 pm. Filed under Group News, Local Issues

February 3, 2009

Big Brother Waddoups

When Governor Huntsman suggested the state should do away with the antiquated private club law, I figured it would get some resistance from the legislature. I’ve been watching the debate play out, cheering for Dave Morris – one of the most vocal leaders in opposition to the current law and the owner of the Piper Down where Drinking Liberally meets – and the Utah Hospitality Association.

What I didn’t expect was for the new clown of a Senate President Michael Waddoups to try to make our laws even more regressive. Despite his previous waffling on the issue, Waddoups has recently stated that he wants to start collecting information about drinkers in the state, recording where they go (and in his dream world how much they drink, no doubt) into a central database of sinners. And not just for bar patrons – he also wants to record everyone who has a glass of wine with their dinner in a restaurant. Privacy? Who needs privacy? What’s next, a Ministry of Information?

The Republican party claims to be the party of limited government, don’t they? How is creating a large database of your citizen’s social habits not an intrusion of government? And is this something the state should be spending money on?

To create a database of drinkers is to presume guilt before innocence; assumes the majority of drinkers are reckless and irresponsible. In my experience this is the opposite of reality. Don’t treat us all as potential criminals, Sen. Waddoups.

by @ 9:59 am. Filed under Local Issues, Soapbox

January 29, 2009

How a bill becomes a law – College Edition

With the legislative session fully upon us, you will begin to hear terms such as “the bill was circled” or “the law passed committee” in the paper.  This kind of stuff is far beyond the School House Rock episode that explains the basics of lawmaking – no there is no cynical lines about a lobbyist paying a representative at step three – just the simple (though expanded) process.

We begin at the beginning. A legislator (either a Senator or Representative) must propose a law, no one else can. They can either have a bill fully written, have a bill that is written but does not have any way of paying for it, or they could have a bill title alone (this third type is called a “boxcar” as in an empty train boxcar).

Once a bill is written it is read for the first time on the floor of either the House or the Senate, depending on who actually wrote the bill – this consists of saying the bill number and title. This is considered the bills “first reading.” From there the Speaker of the House (for bills written by Representatives) or the President of the Senate (for bills written by Senators) sends every bill to a committee – usually (but not always) to a committee related to a bill. These committees focus on things such has transportation or health care, just to name a few.

The committee is the first place a bill is tested. The bill is heard by anywhere from eight to 18 legislators and they decide if the bill should continue to be heard. As you can imagine this is one of the most critical moments for a bill as four to nine legislators can kill a bill at this moment. These committees are generally stacked in the favor of the ruling party as the leaders of the chambers choose who sits on what committee.

by @ 10:43 am. Filed under Local Issues

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