COLUMN: The Logan Scene

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. 

There are so many stories going on nationally. Many are developing rapidly. This just feels like a good week to share some random thoughts about issues pertinent and germane to Cache Valley whilst waiting for other stories to be fleshed out.

— Like a hoard of hungry zombies, the library issue in Logan marches on aimlessly and seemingly without end.

Now that Logan has a new mayor and two new council members, clarity on this issue should come to all very soon. But will the final proposals for a new library be an albatross around Logan’s elected officials in future elections?

Consider that two of the major players in this library fiasco both decided to retire after this story broke.

Former Logan Mayor Craig Petersen caused jaws to drop when he announced a new library would go into the building still known as The Emporium, which Logan had agreed to buy. For two years he pushed this as a done deal, despite protestations from Logan’s city council and the residents who overwhelmingly disapproved the idea. One member of the city council told me the mayor had “gone off the reservation” with his non-binding proclamation.

A steering committee was formed to choose a possible site for the new library. Two of the three sites chosen are owned by the Needham family, which raises eyebrows when one Needham was on the city council at the time, and his son was on the steering committee.

And the recommended site, at the corner of 100 West and 100 South, is small, cramped and wildly unpopular.

Another factoid to consider is the new hotel currently rising on the corner of 200 North and Main Street. Few people thought we needed a new hotel. Pretty much no one wants to see those parking spaces removed for that parking lot to build a new hotel. This new project is a head-scratcher.

But, what really makes this interesting is that this new hotel is being constructed right next to the current library. I suppose if a new library, that few asked for, is built then the old library could be a new parking lot.

This whole story has stunk from the first day it broke. I would call on Mayor Holly Daines and the five members of the city council to explain where they stand on this issue. I will send them a copy of this column after it is published and ask them for a comment, on or off the record.

And I have good word that cachevalleydaily.com’s editor will grant space to any of Logan’s elected officials who would be inclined to scribe an opinion column laying out their vision for the new library, as well as answering the vox populi which seems to be ardently opposed to the project and the proposed location.

It is time for the those who will make this decision to inform the citizenry where they stand.

— I often, and justifiably, lament and criticize Logan as being boring. There are some things to do socially, but not nearly as much when compared to other regions the size of Cache Valley.

There is one thing that Cache Valley has that makes this place entertaining: Cache Valley has a vibrant music scene. And all one has to do to enjoy all the great music this area has to offer is head down to a downtown Logan eatery.

Local businesses like Even Stevens, Caffe Ibis and Lucky Slice offer live music. That is a short list. WhySound recently reopened. And The Cache, located in the former Gia’s Restaurant, is starting to put together music shows worth your time.

I love listening to live music. And with so many venues offering music for free, or for a reasonable cover charge, I always have a good option for entertainment.

Everyone should spend time downtown. Go to a local establishment, listen to good music and spend a buck or two on food. That is the first step in bringing a dead downtown area to life. And in return you will hear some exceptionally-talented musicians.

Everybody wins.

— Of course, it would be easier to keep money in Cache Valley if Idaho wasn’t so close.

Recently, both the Powerball and MegaMIllions lotteries reached jackpots in the hundreds of millions. Many in Utah drove north to give the Gem State money that the Beehive State deems beneath it to take. And for us in Cache Valley, it is just a short drive to the border.

I went. I bought tickets. And since I was there, I helped myself to some good beer. One of the days I was up there, I also ate lunch. I have been known to keep driving up to Lava Hot Springs or Pocatello.

Might as well make a day of it.

Idaho loves that Utah politicians inflict the Mormon religion on all of its’ residents. Treating Utahns like irresponsible children that are unable to make their own life choices makes Idaho money.

But, hey! If Utah needs money, they will just raise everyone’s property taxes; or, they will just offer less services. So long as Utah is run like a theocracy, all of you are OK with that, right?

— Finally, a word about hockey, specifically about Utah State University’s hockey team. Given how many Aggie teams are losing, it should be refreshing for Cache Valley residents to see a winner. That is what USU’s hockey team does with regularity.

The team plays at the Eccles Ice Center in North Logan. Tickets are cheap. The Aggies play BYU this Friday. We usually spank BYU in hockey. Beating the Zoobs in anything is worth your time to watch.

Next week there are home games on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Puck drops for all home games at 7:15.

Hockey is a great sport to watch in person. And the Aggies win, a lot! Consider coming out and giving hockey a try if you never have been to a game. You might get hooked. (PUN ALERT!)

That is all for this week. I see more Trump bashing in this space in the very near future.

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