COLUMN: Bike races, bowl games and meat peddlers

Harry Caines contributes a weekly column to CacheValleyDaily.com. Harry is a resident of Logan and an alumnus of Utah State University. He can be reached via email at hacaines@gmail.com. His column is a work of opinion, and does not reflect the views of Cache Valley Daily, the Cache Valley Media Group, or its employees. 

<em>“It would be extremely interesting to write the history of laughter.”</em>

—Alexander Herzen

So much goes on nationally in the news that sometimes I ignore the goings-on right in my backyard. This week, I offer a few targeted thoughts on issues that have been in the news right here in good ol’ Cache Valley.

— On Election Day, I voted for Holly Daines to be the new mayor of Logan. I also voted for Amy Anderson and Paul Rogers to be the new members of the Logan City Council. Daines and Anderson won. To quote Meatloaf, “Two out of three ain’t bad”.

Rogers loss out to Jess Bradfield. I would tout or excoriate Mr. Bradfield’s positions, but I do not know what they are. Bradfield talked a big game regarding development of the downtown Logan area, but he was short on details.

There was one thing I noticed Bradfield did in the latter days of the campaign. He identified himself as a conservative. OK, that is fair game. A majority of Loganites are politically conservative. The object of campaigns is to win them. That tactic worked. Well played, sir.

But how much of that social conservatism will affect Bradfield’s decisions as a city council member? Will Bradfield continue the legacy of retiring council member Gene Needham? Will restaurateurs and other businesspersons interested in opening eateries or pubs that wish to serve alcohol in Logan be met with a blanket no vote by Bradfield? How does that invigorate downtown Logan?

Logan has a huge problem with stagnant wages and a dormant nightlife. Money that should stay in town is going other places. I hope soon-to-be Councilman Bradfield proves to be an innovative public servant that is truly committed to helping Logan improve its’ reputation as a dead town that offers little opportunity outside of being a retail worker.

— This week, a story circulated on the internet that suspicious men were stalking houses in Young Ward, Utah. They purportedly peered into houses and tried to engage women into conversation and induce them to open their front doors.

On Tuesday, the Cache County Sheriff’s Office released a statement that the men and the white van they were travelling in were door-to-door meat salesmen.

That’s a thing? Never heard of that before.

<em>“Lady, open your door so I can show you my meat.”</em>

But the CCSD may have glossed over these incidents. Comments left on social media—as well as a conversation I had Tuesday night with a close friend who knows one of the women that was bothered by these men—suggests to me that the conduct of these meat peddlers was unethical and borderline illegal.

Add to this, local Cache Valley media seemed to rely more on the CCSD Facebook explanation instead of doing the leg work of going out to Young Ward and asking questions. Perhaps those stories are forthcoming. If so, disregard this paragraph.

Last on this subject, the statement released by the CCSD struck me as irresponsible. Referring to people knocking on doors, they suggest the following:

“If you do not feel safe, it is best not to open the door or interact with them.”

Duh.

But is that really all you should do? I know many Utahns spent the two best years of their life knocking on doors without an invitation to do so, but I am not sure putting the onus on people sitting quietly in their homes over the unwanted intrusion of people selling things.

And if the intruders have a malicious mission, they may feel emboldened by not having their advances answered. They may open the front door, or look in the window, or take things left outside on the front porch.

I do not think there is any more to this story than what we know now. But if there is, the CCSD is responsible for trying to quell fears that should have heightened. And the local news media should not depend solely on the official story. They should doubt what they are told.

— <a href=”http://www.cachevalleydaily.com/news/local/article_9180b85c-cff2-11e7-b458-0fced2e2101c.html” target=”_blank”>The Tour of Utah will not come back to Cache Valley in 2018</a>. The reason? The dates for the 2018 event coincided with the Small Satellite Conference. We do not have enough hotel rooms to house both events. I think Logan made the wrong choice. We should move the SSC.

The Tour of Utah is a huge moneymaker. I was downtown during the bike race and it was a joy to see so much activity. Businesses made money. Bike race enthusiasts tend to be better off financially. They spend money. More money than I believe is spent by the Small Satellite Conference. If I am wrong about this, I welcome someone with hard numbers to correct me.

The rule is simple: whoever/whatever makes more money moves to the head of the line. And given the prestige the Tour of Utah has gained in recent years, we look dumb not making this an annual event.

— Finally, a word about Utah State Aggie football. When the season started, I predicted the Aggies would finish 4-8. I thought I was being kind to my alma mater. The Aggies finished 6-6. In this era, that is good enough to be eligible for a bowl game. Remarkable.

Odds are good that the Aggies will receive an invitation. And they might luck out and be placed in a bowl against a PAC-12 team, which would provide the Aggies with a challenge they rarely meet; that being, beating a team from a tougher conference.

The Aggies are a perennial loser. The small flare of success the Aggies have earned recently seems like a mirage in an oasis of ineptitude. And so, despite the many problems that exist with USU’s athletic department, I will give a hearty fist pump if we are invited to a game. And I will be in front of my TV to watch whatever game we are lucky enough to play in.

This is your life when you root for Utah State. You are thankful for whatever scraps are thrown on the floor and you never expect seconds.

Merry Christmas, Cache Valley. Make sure if you decide to bankrupt yourself to honor the birth of Jesus that you spend that money at locally-owned businesses.

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