Thumbs up, thumbs down for Aug. 10
THUMBS DOWN: The air quality these past few weeks has gone from gross to terrifying. The smoke filling the air isn’t something we here on the ground can fix, but it is a good reminder to do what we can to prevent it. Don’t idle your cars (especially when picking the kiddos up from school) and practice safe fire habits to reduce the number of man-initiated wildfires.
THUMBS UP: The start of the new school year is almost upon us, which means a handful of new and rebuilt schools will be opening in the county. One of those is Provo High School, which has been under construction on Provo’s west side for about two years. A new building means lower maintenance and heating costs, boosts student and employee morale and is safer for students.
THUMBS UP: Things are different at BYU football right now. Whether they will be better or worse is yet to be determined, but the Cougars deserve credit for making changes.
THUMBS UP: The Daily Herald’s 2018 High School Football section will be published soon and it looks incredible. Be sure to look for all the details and analysis on your favorite teams.
THUMBS UP: To Brixton Capital, owners of the Provo Towne Centre mall, who worked non-stop for the past eight months to give Provo a viable option on a new home for city hall and the public safety offices and for being willing to be an engaged business member of the community, despite the option not being approved in the end.
THUMBS UP: To Mountainland Association of Governments for applying for and getting a federal grant to allow anyone to ride the new UVX route for free. The route will take folks between the Provo Towne Centre mall and Orem intermodal hub and all places in between, including two malls, two universities, and an LDS Temple and several retail shops and eateries in between.
THUMBS DOWN: To Mother Nature for not blowing the smoke out of the valley from several fires burning in Utah and the Western U.S. Some rain would be a nice replacement for the smoke.
THUMBS DOWN: Utah Valley looks like Smaug or Drogon moved next door, which would be awesome, except I have seen zero dragons and everything is still covered in smoke.
THUMBS UP: For free rides on UVX for the next three years, so I can help stop air pollution and avoid stupid drivers at the same time.
THUMBS UP: For the delectable blueberries and raspberries from Wilkerson Farm stand in Orem. Buy local foods, save local farmers!
THUMBS UP: I’m excited about riders being able to ride the new Utah Valley Express bus without paying a fare, but I would caution riders to keep their initial expectations low when the route starts Monday. They’re still working on parts of the dedicated bus lanes and the boarding platforms, so we probably won’t be seeing some of the time-saving benefits for a few months. Also, remember to pay your fare if you transfer to FrontRunner or a non-UVX bus.