Plaintiffs Challenge Alta’s Snowboarding Ban as Unconstitutional

January 15, 2014 – Wasatch Equality, a Utah nonprofit, together with four snowboarders have filed a lawsuit against Alta Ski Area and the U.S. Forest Service today, in an attempt to overturn the anti-snowboarder policy and snowboarding ban that are currently enforced by the resort. The plaintiffs claim that the prohibition violates the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The lawsuit states that Alta treats snowboarders as unequal by not granting them access to the public lands on which the resort operates.

Alta is one of only three remaining U.S. winter resorts that ban snowboarders from their slopes, the other two being Utah’s Deer Valley and Vermont’s Mad River Glen. Unlike the other two, however, Alta runs under a Forest Service Permit, which states that the public lands “shall remain open to the public for all lawful purposes.”

“Discrimination without any rational basis perpetuates inequality by creating, fostering, and encouraging skier-versus-snowboarder attitudes that are hostile and divisive in a world where skiers and snowboarders, as a general matter, share the mountains, including those on all other public land, in harmony and without issue,” states the complaint filed in the U.S. District Court.

You can read the full text of the complaint here.

Federal Government Recognizes More Than 1,300 Same-Sex Marriages in Utah

The U.S. Department of Justice announced in a video today that it will recognize the legal status of the same-sex couples whose marriages were officiated in Utah. “These families should not be asked to endure uncertainty regarding their status as the litigation unfolds,” Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said. The ruling comes despite the announcement by Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert’s office on Wednesday that the marriages that have already been licensed will not be recognized as lawful while the appeal is in process.

Brief Background

Federal District Court Judge Robert J. Shelby ruled on December 20 that the state’s constitutional amendment limiting marriage to a man and a woman was in violation with the federal constitution. As more than 1,300 same-sex couples took advantage of their long-awaited opportunity to tie the knot, Utah government started the appeal process and asked a higher court to put the marriages on hold. A federal appeals court refused to do so in the weeks following the initial ruling, but on January 6 the Supreme Court issued a stay, which officially put same-sex marriages on hold in the state. The couples that already got married remained in a legal limbo, as it wasn’t originally clear whether their unions would be recognized by the law.

State vs. Federal

“I am confirming today that, for purposes of federal law, these marriages will be recognized as lawful and considered eligible for all relevant federal benefits on the same terms as other same-sex marriages,” Holder said in the DOJ video today. In the light of the federal agency’s announcement, Herbert’s office issued a statement on its site saying that Utah agencies will comply with federal law when providing federal services, and will continue to be directed by state laws when providing state services.

What’s Up, Salt Lake!

What’s up everyone,

I hope you are staying warm, punching inversion in the face and making the most out of all the awesome outdoor activities Utah has to offer. Here are a few updates on what we’ve been up to at Hey Salt Lake.

Firstly, we wanted to thank you for all the support – the blog just went live a little over a week ago and it’s been an amazing ride for us so far thanks to your views, likes and follows. We’ll keep posting a lot more stuff on things to do, places to go, ways to save and much more. We are also planning to hold regular giveaways for our readers, so even if you think we suck in every other way, we hope you stick around just for that.

Here are some posts we have planned for you this month:
– A guide to “original” winter activities
– The W is planning to expand on his club scene article & add more places for you to check out on weekends – the man’s like a nightlife guru, he really knows his SCENE & will tell you all about it
– A guide to current local giveaways
– A listing of free museum days in Salt Lake for all of you nerds (say what? I meant classy/intelligent people!) out there
– A couple of restaurant reviews
– A brand new photo gallery
…and more

We absolutely love suggestions (lets just say it how it is – they spare us a lot of research time). So if you have any ideas, drop us a note, don’t be shy!

Among other news, we are really excited to be adding a new contributor in the next few days, so stay tuned. She’ll bring some much-needed sophistication to our blog and give you an in-depth look into Salt Lake’s cultural scene.

If you ever want to submit a story idea, photo, video or an article you want us to publish, hit us up through the contact form and we’ll get back to you asap. We are not currently paying our contributors (are you still there?), but you can include a couple of links in your articles to promote your blog or site. Our plan is to gain a little momentum here and move to a self-hosted platform, so we can add a lot more features for you to enjoy and hopefully be able to pay for stories in the future.

Hey Salt Lake is now on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, so if you like us here (or just want to know about those giveaways), consider following us there too. Also a big shout out to 24 Salt Lake for adding us to their Utah Bloggers Pinterest board.

If you are reading us, don’t be a stranger.  Hey Salt Lake is still super new and could use some friends. Say hi sometime!

20 Salt Lake City Blogs Worth Checking Out (+1 in Ogden)

As many of you writers know, blogging is not just about sharing whatever it is that you have to say, it also involves being part of a great community. With this post I wanted to do a bit of research into what the local SLC blogging community is all about. If you live in the area, you might already be reading some of these, or you might know about other good blogs that should be included in this article. Please post your suggestions in the comments section and I’ll be happy to add them to the list. Here are just a few I was able to find that seemed like they were active and packed with a lot of useful or fun things.

PERSONAL

blogging joke 1

Dooce.com

This is an extremely popular personal blog (and now also a community) ran by Heather B. Armstrong, who writes under her pseudonym, Dooce. Armstrong has been using her blog to chronicle her life since 2001, including being single and married, working for others, being unemployed and working for herself, becoming a parent, going through a postpartum depression and more. Blogging got her fired from her job, but eventually became a job in itself. Since then Armstrong has published several books and won numerous awards. She received a lifetime achievement award from The Weblog Awards (Bloggies) in 2008 and was named one of “The Most Influential Women In Media” in 2009 by Forbes magazine. Her writing is smart, confident and hysterically funny.

Petit Elefant

In her blog, Allison Czarnecki writes about family, travel and style on a budget. The posts cover a variety of topics from beauty tutorials to international travel adventures to home remodeling projects. Czarnecki was featured in multiple local publications, as well as NBC Chicago and the New York Times.

The Saltwater Journal

This is an online journal by Marian, who writes a lot of witty, humorous stories about her personal adventures as a “crazy mid-twenties non-Mormon married party girl.”

Cristy Dorrity

Christy Dorrity is a blogger, champion Irish dancer and author. Her self-titled blog has reviews of her favorite books, articles on writing, and giveaways for readers.

FOOD & DRINK

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Two Peas & Their Pod

This is a blog by Josh and Maria, husband and wife from Salt Lake City who love to cook and share their simple, healthy recipes with others. The blog has great-quality photos that will make you drool, and very clean design that’s easy on the eye. The couple publishes recipes practically every day, so there is always plenty of great dishes to choose from.

Gastronomic Salt Lake City

A blog by a group of food critics, Gastronomic Salt Lake City publishes reviews of restaurants, top-three lists in various dining categories, hot deals and food-related events. The site puts a strong emphasis on everything local, refusing to review any chain businesses. Besides restaurant reviews, it covers such topics as wine, produce, cooking and more.

SLC Food Radar

This blog features reviews of local restaurants by Hyrum Romrell, concentrating on local places and hidden gems. SLC Food Radar is a No. 1 ranked blog on Urbanspoon, the local directory of food blogs. You can find a new review by Romrell about once a week.

Eating Salt Lake City

In his blog, Marco Brown reviews restaurants, coffee shops, bistros and other dining spots in SLC. Besides reviewing them, he also rates the restaurants on a scale of 1 to 10.

Utah Beer

The blog’s author, Mikey, says he started Utah Beer as a way to challenge the perception that “Utah & beer don’t jive.” In his blog, Mikey publishes beer reviews and suggestions, provides info on local breweries and tasting events, and advocates for “some of the most misunderstood beers in the world.”

I’m Topsy Turvy

This is a blog by Ashlee Prisbrey, who posts cake decorating projects, recipes, and ideas for DIY and crafts. You’ll find a lot of baking recipes here, as well as themed party ideas and other creative things.

Gluten Free in SLC

This blog provides reviews of local gluten-free restaurants or places that have gluten-free options on their menus. It also has a good selection of recipes and a directory of gluten-free stores.

NICHE

blogging joke 3

Bootz, Inc.

Boots, Inc. is a fashion blog by Beatriz Flores, a fashion student and an aspiring runway stylist coordinator. Florez believes that the only time you should leave your house in sweats is if you are heading to the gym. She created her blog to aspire other women to “make everyday a fashionable day.” Bootz, Inc. features a lot of great style tips, makeup and accessory ideas, celebrity styles, and lots of other useful info for any fashionista.

Salt Lake City Falcons

Based on reader activity, this blog proves that Salt Lake City has a lot of bird lovers. The site chronicles the whereabouts, well-being and adventures of the city’s peregrine falcons, telling stories of their injuries and recoveries, supplemented with images and Web cams. Liz Schubert, a member of the SLC Peregrine Falcon Watchpost Team, writes posts about the birds, mentioning them by nicknames and talking about their relation to each other (i.e. Mom, Dad, Solo, Bob). The posts sometimes read like a complex saga of a bird clan, with lots of dramatic as well as positive moments.

Salt Lake City Style

This blog features fashion, style and decor ideas, as well as party planning tips, insight into local nightlife and food scenes, and a shopping guide.

SLCgreen Blog

Just as its name suggests, the blog provides news and tips on green living in Salt Lake City. You can find recycling ideas here, as well as articles on sustainable foods, water conservation, air quality and more.

NEWS & EVENTS

blogging joke 4

City Weekly

This online version of the popular print publication provides info on local news, events, nightclubs, restaurants and more. The site also publishes reviews of recent movies and music, opinion pieces and city guides. It describes its target audience as “young, affluent and highly educated.”

Salt Lake Magazine

Another blog by a local print publication, Salt Lake Magazine features profiles of community leaders, Utah tourism guides and recipes from local chefs. It also has photo and video sections, contests and deals. The publication describes its audience as “sophisticated, educated readers.”

SPORTS

blogging joke 5

Ski Utah Blog

Ski Utah’s goal is to promote the skiing and snowboarding industry in the state. The blog features posts about new trail and terrain park openings, ski schools and weather conditions on the slopes, among other topics.

Block U

A blog for Utes fans, Block U features sports news, videos, fanshots and event tickets. Its Fanposts section lets the actual fans do the talking, turning the site into a community as much as a blog.

SLC Dunk

SLC Dunk is a blog for fans and by fans of Utah Jazz, providing the latest news, game previews and recaps, videos and event tickets.

+1

Indie Ogden Utah

While this is not an SLC blog, I had to add it to the list because it’s nicely designed and constantly updated with lots of fresh info on things to do in Ogden, making it a great resource for those living in the area or visiting. The blog is run by local volunteers and features a calendar of events, as well as sections like Local Music, Reviews and Outdoors.

This list is by no means all-inclusive, and I’d love to expand it in the future. I tried to find as many active blogs as I could, but I’m sure I missed a lot of good ones. Please help me make this article more complete by providing your suggestions in the comments below 🙂

Female Ski Jumpers Will Finally Compete in Winter Olympics

Photo: Jessica Jerome competes in the Olympic trials in Park City Sunday. Credit: Jim Urquhart/AP

Jessica Jerome made history Sunday by becoming the first winner of the U.S. Olympic Trials for the women’s ski jumping team. The event took place at Utah Olympic Park in her home town of Park City, with 5,000 fans lined up at the finish area. Lindsey Van finished second and Alissa Johnson was third. Besides Jerome, three more women will join the U.S. team to compete in the Winter Olympics in Sochi this February.

But Jerome’s two winning jumps are a small victory in the grand scheme of things. They signified the culmination of a much bigger eight-year-long battle for the International Olympic Committee to finally let women compete in ski jumping at the Olympic level. Fighting numerous court battles, the athletes were told over and over again that there weren’t enough high-level women to justify an Olympic-level competition. Even after Van set a world record for both women and men on the 90-meter jump in 2008, she still wasn’t allowed to compete in the Vancouver Olympics two years later.

Ski jumping was the last Olympic door that was closed for women. All other initially exclusively male Olympic sports became open to female athletes over the years, including bobsleigh, wrestling, boxing and luge.

Your fun guide to Salt Lake City's latest happenings, news, nightlife, events and more