Cities can grow up, grow out, or grow expensive

It’s been getting harder than ever to get affordable housing in Utah. Or, in some cases, housing at all. Utah’s strong economic performance and historically low cost of living have lead to large influxes of people from other states. This is no longer isolated to the Wasatch Front as St George, Cedar City, and even Logan have all see strong growth in housing prices over the last several years. Not so coincidentally, we’re also seeing an increasing number of fights about zoning and housing density in almost every growing city…

The caucus has an image problem. Can we fix it?

After the Republican state convention, it’s become fairly obvious why a lot of people think ill of the caucus system. It took five hours of arguing about rules and agendas before anyone could get to the primary purpose, nominating candidates. Not only does this alienate new participants (my father-in-law was a first time state delegate and less than impressed), it makes the caucus and convention process look like a complete clown show. On top of that, we’re doing little to build faith that the convention process actually sends the best…

My endorsements in Iron County Republican primaries: Bleak and Hendricks for Commission, Dotson for Attorney, Anderson for Sheriff

In the month leading up to the Iron County Republican Convention, I’ve had the pleasure and duty to meet the various candidates for county offices in the capacity of a county delegate. With the convention completed on Saturday, now comes the time for all registered Republicans to determine who is both best suited to the job and will best represent the party. In this heavily Republican area, the party nominee is all but guaranteed to win in the general election making this decision all the more important. To that end,…

The caucus is dead and the delegates killed it

I’ve long been a very strong supporter of the caucus system for choosing party nominees and a vocal critic of the Count My Vote effort to circumvent it. But I’m also a political realist, someone who sees what the playing field is like and knows when you have to adjust your tactics. Sadly, the most ardent supporters of the caucus system seem to be pretty clueless in this regard. In fact, I’d argue that it’s already dead, they don’t know it, and they did most of the work to kill…

What would real tax reform look like?

Watching the GOP self-immolate on their so-called “tax reform” bill is both painful and sickening. Like so many other efforts, it’s really just a reshuffling of the deck chairs, moving around various deductions and exemptions while barely fiddling with the rates. It’s rapidly turning into a PR disaster with unpopular items such as an exemption on private jets, eliminating deductibility for graduate school, and cuts to Medicare that holy crap will you anger AARP members who actually show up to vote. It’s almost like the GOP got a list of…

The time John Curtis threw me under the bus

John Curtis has successfully made the jump from well-known and well-liked mayor to Utah’s latest Congresscritter. Once a firebrand (to use polite terms) like Chris Herrod passed through convention, it was a foregone conclusion in the primary. I don’t know what kind of Representative we should expect Curtis to be, but I do know that I don’t trust him based on my own experience. I’ve been blogging about broadband since August 2006. That includes closely following UTOPIA, SFCN, the now-mostly-defunct AFCNet, and iProvo. Of these, iProvo provided some of the…

The solar fight is about more than Rocky Mountain Power

I’m a solar household. A little over two years ago, I put panels up on my house to take advantage of the high solar potential in Cedar City. They’ve been producing very well and I have no regrets at purchasing them. Net metering has made it possible to mostly break even on power use over the course of a year. A lot of people make the decision for ideological reasons, but for me it was purely economics, fixing my power costs at 2015 rates for the next three decades. Rocky…

Sim Gill, you need some wins

I’m starting to wonder what it is that Sim Gill does all day. As the district attorney for Salt Lake County, his job is to investigate crimes and, if sufficient evidence is found, prosecute perpetrators of those crimes. In the last few years it seems like he’s not very successful when it’s a high-profile case. Let’s take a look at a few examples. The first is the now completely botched investigation and prosecution of former Attorneys General Mark Shurtleff and John Swallow. The report compiled by the legislature was extremely…

If GOED is serious about rural business, they need a broadband plan

Originally posted at FreeUTOPIA.org and cross-posted with permission. Reading about how bad rural broadband can be is one thing. Experiencing it is another. Living in Cedar City for three years and spending a lot of it exploring Southern Utah from here to Delta to Moab to Mexican Hat has made it painfully obvious how awful the situation is across large swaths of the state. Unfortunately, almost all of the attention for improving broadband has been focused on the Wasatch Front with the occasional bone thrown to St George. While a…