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  • commented on Are Provo City Officials Crossing The Line?
  • commented on Does Provo Have Another "Epic Announcement" Coming Up?
  • commented on Are Provo City Officials Crossing The Line?
  • commented on Does Provo Have Another "Epic Announcement" Coming Up?
  • commented on Does Provo Have Another "Epic Announcement" Coming Up?




What's Buzzing In Provo

    • 3
    Does Provo Have Another "Epic Announcement" Coming Up?
    Yesterday I got back from lunch to my office and noticed an invite to a special luncheon with Mayor John Curtis on August 5th. Other than the basic logistics of when and where the event is, the only thing we're told is the following:

    "Be among the first to hear Mayor Curtis' exciting updates for Provo small businesses." 

    Assuming Provo is taking a page out of the Apple/Yahoo playbook, this could be an invite for a big announcement(s). Having said that, I have a gut feeling it won't be anything major, just an event discussing some highlights of the success small businesses have been having in Provo as well as some upcoming developments that may benefit small business owners. A guy can dream right?

    I wasn't sure how many of these invites were sent out so I blurred the RSVP URL so it doesn't get flooded with uninvited guests. Have any other businesses owners heard about this? Anybody have insights as to what will be discussed? 

      • 1
      Noah My guess is it will mostly be a chance for google to pitch their fiber for business options.
      • 1
      James Harrow Based on the font and color choice, it's obviously something to do with Google Fiber. I wouldn't be surprised if the Mayor gave a few highlights on the economic growth, the "success" of Google Fiber in Provo so far and then have them (Google) pitch the business owners on their gigabit internet.
      • 1
      Alex Whitt Yeah that letter has Google written all over it. I wouldn't be surprised if they made it on behalf of the city and distributed it themselves and purposely left their logo off it. Did you see who left it?
    • 7
    Are Provo City Officials Crossing The Line?
    Last night I noticed a post by Diane B. Christensen on the Facebook group "Our Provo." In my personal opinion, Diane and much of the Our Provo group can sometimes be a bit extreme, but this post definitely carried some weight. 

    To summarize, Diane spoke of recent word that Corey Norman, who has a negative reputation when it comes to dealing with local citizens, has been contacting candidates for the upcoming Provo City elections to visit city offices for interviews that will be filmed and edited to "inform" the public. Diane makes the point that if was a neutral third party like the media, something like this would be great. However it's not the business of administrative officials to be creating campaign videos for legislative candidates.

    Put simply, Corey Norman, who time is being paid for by the voters tax dollars, is independently picking questions without public input (controlling the conversation) and also oversees how the final videos are edited. 

    Am I going crazy or should city officials not be involved in campaigning for candidates?
      • 2
      Alex Whitt Very interesting. I'd be interested to see an official response from the city on how this situation is being handled. I do agree though, there seems to be a lot of room for "politics" when you have elected officials controlling the conversation.
      • 1
      James Harrow I think the overall intentions are good by the administration in this project, but I would agree that you run too many risks. While I like Mayor Curtis and many in his office, I do question some of the closed door meetings I hear about and who he chooses to include in his circle. You could argue that anybody could push an agenda such as the Herald (who's controlled by certain advertisers) but the difference is they are not publicly funded by our tax dollars. The Herald could come up and openly support a candidate and I would be 100% fine because they are using my tax dollars to do it.

      I'm sure these videos will be very neutral and fair, but the bottom line is Provo City is stepping over the line when they start to use our money for campaigning, even if it's equally distributed.
      • 3
      Melanie McCoard Are Provo City officials crossing the line? In my opinion, yes. Last week, the mayor had an open forum on Facebook (Interestingly, it was scheduled the same day and time as the Council Policy Lunch.) I asked him if he intended to openly endorse, and financially support, any Council candidate. (He has accumulated a very healthy balance in his personal PAC called "Godd Government for Provo.) He did not answer, but made off-handed remarks instead. I repeated the question. He still didn't answer, even though his invitation to the public was : "ask me anything." (He should have included, "I may not answer.") Afterwards, he messaged me his thoughts on the question, which evidently he does not want to go public. However he did end his explanation with this: "If it's important to you to share my position on supporting candidates you may share the following: Like any resident in the city and former Provo Mayors I feel a duty and a right to seek out and support candidates that will move Provo forward in a positive direction." I believe that John Curtis is using his position, and the resources of the city, to publicize the candidacy of an otherwise unknown man. My response to him was , "Mayor, you wrote: 'I feel, like everyone else in the city, I have a right to and an obligation to lobby for candidates that will take the city in a good direction... I may jump in if I see a candidate who I feel is wrong for the City.' Does jumping in mean having Corey interview and film candidates to create educational voter videos? Does your right to lobby for candidates extend to using city equipment and personnel to create campaign material? I do not think so. You can endorse and even financially help individual candidates, but you must not use city time and resources to do it." If you agree, please message, text, or email the Mayor.
    • 4 more comments
    • 2
    Why Isn't There An Apple store in Provo?
    Recently I bought an Apple product and drove from Provo to Murray to pick it up (I'm paranoid about losing stuff that expensive in the mail sometimes), and I wondered why Provo did not have an Apple store yet. Murray's was packed with people. I counted 23 employees and every one of them was helping someone. I would assume that with the startup and tech scene taking off in Provo it would be very successful.

    Anyone know why we don't have one and if there are plans to bring one here?


      • 2
      Nate Phillips There are Apple Stores in Farmington, SLC and Murray. tbh it does seem like the population could support one in Utah County, especially with 2 large universities. if one opened it would look great in DT provo - but sadly it would probably end up at the new University Mall development.
      • 1
      Brittany Gibbs I don't ever see any major retailer going into downtown Provo within the next 10 years. 80% of those that roam downtown couples are college students and broke couples. It would do very well at University Place in Orem though. Apple would be foolish not to go their. It would be cool to see one go in provo, but I just don't see where it would make business sense for the company.
    • 2
    Provo's Skate Community Alive and Well
    Growing up, I always hung around my older brother and his friends at the local skate parks. I wasn't much of a skater myself but I may or may not have have beaten Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 a few times on the Dreamcast. Nevertheless, skating was part of daily life.

    I was curious to see if the Provo skate scene has survived through the years and I'm happy to say it has. The Provo Rec Center is home to some real talent. Check it out. 
    • 4
    How Family Dollar Killed West Provo
    Anybody who has driven through (or lives) in West Provo knows it gets neglected compared to the rest of the city. It's an area of Provo that politicians tend to neglect simply due to the fact that West Provo isn't a hot topic. You'll get more votes when talking about big plans downtown than you will trying to revitalize a section of the city.

    About a year ago a new business was being built on Center Street on the west side. Many residents in the area were hoping for some big retail to come in but were quickly disappointed when it was revealed to be a Family Dollar. Really? By allowing Family Dollar to build in an already dead area, Provo City basically signed the death of West Provo.

    Think about it. What large retailers want to build next to a Family Dollar? I have no problem with Family Dollar, and think eventually it would have been a great addition to West Provo. But starting development with a discount store like Family Dollar? Had we started with a better retail store like a Macey's, Smiths, Walmart, Target, etc. we would have already had several stores breaking ground next to it. West Provo was dying but had a chance, I now declare West Provo dead.
      • 2
      Noah Unless this was city owned land and they sold it knowing what was going to be built, you can't blame the city. It was more likely a private property deal and while you can say that building a family dollar in west Provo is a poor decision (it might well be) it's not the cities decision to make. They can only zone for retail and then try to persuade developers and businesses to follow their desired plans. They can't allow or not allow a retail business to go in to a place that is zoned for retail.
      We gotta take the bad with the good in a (semi) capitalist society. I promise though that you don't want Provo or any government making those decisions.
      Everyone needs to calm down about West Provo being "developed" and getting a grocery store. If it would work and make money someone would build one. And the second the demographic is there to support it and the land is available, someone will build a grocery store. I suppose the west side could offer an increased property tax to subsidize the city building one!?
      • 1
      Brandon Hassler I think we need to accept that West Provo will always be a quiet residential area. I don't think there is anything wrong with that. Personally I think businesses would do well over there but like [169909,Noah] said, we need to let the market work itself out. We can blame government for not taking over because it's best we let actual businesses make the decisions, not the government.
    • 3
    Fact or Fiction: Does BYU Use Church Tithing Money to Operate?
    Anybody who is friends with a Ute fan has heard at least one of them say "I have a hard time paying tithing because I know a portion of it goes to support that school down south." While I've heard many of my friends deny the truth of that statement, the fact is it's completely true.

    Even when I tell my friends that what their Ute friend saying is true, they still seem hesitant to believe me. It's as if by accepting that BYU is using church tithing money for their salaries and operating costs, the church no longer can be true. 

    We must understand that BYU is a church-owned school. Consider it their "educational" arm and a very expensive way to share the gospel. When you understand this, it's hard to argue against many of their "odd" practices such as praying before sporting events and pretty much the entire Honor Code. This is in fact why Mormons pay less than non-Mormons. It's not some sort of discriminating act, it's quite simple: If you are Mormon, you are paying for those new buildings and high salaries, so naturally you should get a discount.

    Still don't believe me? Check out the official BYU website for yourself. On their site BYU makes the following statement:

    "A significant portion of the cost of operating the university is paid from the tithes of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Therefore, students and families of students who are tithe-paying members of the Church have already made a contribution to the operation of the university. Because others will not have made this contribution, they are charged a higher tuition, a practice similar in principle to that of state universities charging higher tuition to nonresidents."
      • 3
      Judy I work at BYU, and I'd like to clarify a couple of points. Yes, a significant portion of the costs of running the university does come from tithing funds. However, the cost of new buildings does not (although housing may be an exception). Buildings are funded through donations and must be fully funded before groundbreaking and fully paid off before they are dedicated. Also, salaries at BYU are lower than those of other schools or of those in industry, especially considering the level of education of the employees.
      • 4
      Alex Whitt I'm disgusted by all universities, not just BYU. It's amazing how society has painted them as these standup institutions that legitimately care about education. They may have started out that way, but Universities today are just big businesses with overpaid employees. Matt Holland makes around $250,000 at UVU. Not a bad gig when all you have to do is charge customers $20,000+, take four years of their life, and send them out into the real world no more prepared than they were when they started.
      • 0
      Jared I have been told that the reason tuition is so cheap compared to other universities is because of tithing. Tuition is more for non-LDS students so I guess they don't reap the benefits of tithing on their tuition, but people always tell me to not complain about tuition because I'm "basically already receiving a scholarship" through tithe donations. So the university is probably not functioning off tuition, it would have to be tithing or some other type of large revenue.

      What does not make sense to me then is why BYU keeps some of their departments open. Universities are businesses. They do whatever it takes to put butts in the seats, even if they know those seats will not lead the butts to promising careers. There are so many dead departments with no futures, but they still convince the students to major in dead-end majors. Why would they do that if they don't really need the student's money?
    • 5 more comments
    • 3
    Is This Provo Kid the Greatest Weather Man Ever?
    I thought I'd seen it all till I watched this kid sing Provo's weather report to the tune of We Are the Champions by Queen. He's got a few of these gems under his belt.

    Could this kid be the greatest weather man in Provo? Are you not entertained?!



      • 1
      Mike Romero Ugh, the lighting on that video made me want to puke.
      • 1
      Jared Yeah for a second I wanted to punch the screen it was so bad. But the kid gets a pat on the back for effort.
      • 1
      Noah I'm a fan.
    • 3
    FAIL: Provo City Website Not 100% Compatible With Google Chrome
    Earlier today Mark Wright posted about his inability to renew his business license on Provo City's website. Why? Because the system they use for renewals doesn't support Google Chrome. Not only is Google Chrome the most used browser in the U.S. but Provo City is a city that "runs on Google Fiber." It's ironic that a tech city with it's hands deep in Google's pockets doesn't have system in place to work with that very company's web browser. Is this the end of the world for Provo? Of course not. But it gave me a pretty good laugh.
    • 5
    The Old Theatre
    Has anyone else noticed the old (I think it was a Carmike or a Cinemark) theatre down town? It appears to be vacant. It sits behind the Convention Center on 100 N and Freedom. At least I'm pretty sure that's the location.

    2 Questions: 
    Does anyone know if there are plans to do anything with that property/location?
    How bomb would it be to have a NICE theatre down town instead of at one of the malls?

    EDIT: It is in fact an old Carmike Cinemas
      • 2
      Noah http://utahtheaters.info/Album.asp?AlbumID=332
      http://utahtheaters.info/theaters/CentralSquare4/Photos/040904/040904-DSCN4042-c-188.JPG

      Yep, it was Carmike. "The Central Square", it had four screens and the theaters were noticeably shorter (from screen to back row) and wider than a standard theater. It didn't feel that much different from a standard theater though. The Carillon Theaters in Orem definitely had the most unique setup of any multi-screen theater I've been to. http://utahtheaters.info/TheaterMain.asp?ID=203

      Carillon in Orem was Carmike, and closed in 97' when Carmike went bankrupt. Wynsong is a Carmike theater, so I don't see a second Carmike going into Provo. Cinemark has the Provo Towne Center a few miles away and the new(ish) University Mall theaters, So Cinemark isn't going there for sure. That leaves Larry H. Miller Megaplex as an option. I think it's safe to say that isn't going to happen, but who knows!? My money is on that block being either multiple hotels or a large hotel with some small retail mixed in.
      • 2
      Zach Collier Thanks for getting me that information! Yeah, I hope the space gets used well. I feel like Center street and the first few blocks of University make Provo feel like a city. But the surrounding areas are too space inefficient. Huge lots with very little building on them. Whoever takes over Central Square could do wonders for Downtown Provo.
      • 2
      Brandon Hassler Having a theatre downtown would be very bomb, especially for the surrounding retail. However I never see a major chain going in downtown simply because of the parking. I would love to see somebody build out a cool theatre room and make it unique. Going to the big chain theaters can get repetitive and it would be nice to have a small, packed theater downtown to switch it up.
    • 3 more comments
    • 4
    VIDEO: Video Captures Shooting of BYU's Charles West
    WARNING: Video has strong language and could be disturbing to some.

    You may have already seen this, but high school graduate Charles West from Coppell, Texas was shot at six times but fortunately was only hit once in the arm as he ran for his life. No life threatening injuries. 

    Charles, 18, has committed to play football for Brigham Young University and may be the programs new problem child. According to D Magazine, "In January he was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and possession of marijuana during an incident in which he also allegedly solicited sex from a prostitute specializing in foot fetishism and S&M."
      • 2
      Zach Collier Yikes. Well, hopefully BYU can provide a good environment that can help him turn his life around. But that might be too idealistic. Here's to hoping.
      • 2
      Brandon Hassler Man is that kid lucky. Yeah I could see this kid being a PR nightmare for BYU if he doesn't make some changes.
    • 6
    Bronco vs LaVell: Who Is The Better Coach?
    Bronco Mendenhall has had some big shoes to fill since his first day of taking over the head coaching position at BYU. It's safe to say it is unfair to compare Bronco's 10 seasons to Lavell Edwards 28 seasons. Now that Bronco is getting ready to kickoff his 11th season, I thought it would be a great time to look back and compare Bronco Mendenhall's first 10 years as head coach to LaVell Edwards's first 10 years. Even the biggest critic of Bronco Mendenhall has to admit that he isn't far off from Lavell Edwards. In some cases Bronco has done a better job than LaVell, such as appearing in more bowl games, producing more All-Americans and creating tougher schedules for BYU.

    What do you think of the comparison? On paper who do you think started out as the better coach? Assuming Bronco keeps his pace with LaVell, will his next 10 years continue to improve? I'd love to hear your comments below!
      • 0
      Nate Phillips The only stat that looks better for Bronco is the bowl appearances and record. Of course, remember that in 1970 there were 11 bowl games. In 2010 there were 35 - and the caliber of opponents is therefore potentially lower (it is). So the bar isn't equal.
      • 1
      Jared Lavell only played 7 top 25 games compared to Bronco's 19. I don't care if Bronco only won four. It takes guts to have a schedule like that.
      • 1
      Alex Whitt Poor Bronco, only 3 wins against Utah.
    • 11 more comments