Franklin Park Grand Opening!

I’m excited to announce the grand opening of Franklin Park will take place Thursday, June 29 at 11:00 am. Please join us as we celebrate with a ribbon cutting and kick off the event with the park’s first soccer game. All children in attendance will be able to play on the playground and enjoy the park’s new features. The park is located at 807 W 600 S in Provo. This new park is a great addition to the neighborhood and will serve the area for years to come.

Hope to see you there!

Franklin Park Details:

  1. Physical Address: 807 West 600 South
  2. History of the park: Franklin Park was purchased from the Harmon Family in the 1960’s. It has served as a materials handling area and nursery for the Parks and Recreation Department for decades. In the 1990’s the property was considered to be put up for sale for a condo development. The need for a park in the area was identified and it was not sold. Five soccer fields were lost in SW Provo when the school district purchased some property and Franklin Park will be able to replace 2 of them. The funding for the construction of Franklin Park was from CDBG funds and Park Impact fees. No additional appropriations are needed to maintain this park.
  3. Acres: 5
  4. Park Details:
    1. Specific features (Soccer Fields)
    2. Playground – Yes
    3. Restroom – Yes
    4. Drinking fountain – Yes
    5. Water features – No
    6. Parking lot – Yes
    7. Trail – No
    8. Picnic pads – No
    9. Fire pits- None
    10. Lights throughout the park – lighting on restroom, in pavilion and in parking lot
    11. Pavilion Details
      1. Number of tables – 4
      2. Table Size – 4’x8’
      3. Outlets? – 2
      4. Water tap – No
      5. BBQ Stand? – No
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Stars & Stripes Beach Party!

Come down to the Shops at Riverwoods for the annual Freedom Festival Stars and Stripes Beach Party this weekendThe party is Saturday, June 24th from 4:00 – 8:00 pm. This will be a great kick-off to the 4th of July season. 

Youngsters can beat the heat at the splash pads or bounce off the walls in the bounce house. Face painters and balloon artists will delight and amaze. Drop by the petting zoo for a look at exotic beasts & fowl. Take some time to relax & enjoy live entertainment at the gazebo.

No party is complete w/out food, and we’ve got you covered. Be sure to try some kettle corn, fresh-squeezed lemonade, or delicious cotton candy. For a more refined dining experience, book your reservation at one of the fantastic restaurants. Stuff yourself with pizza and pasta at Malawi’s Pizza, or enjoy the signature dishes at La Jolla Grove, or sample the cuisine of the Orient at Shoots or Happy Sumo.

Activities include:

  • Games
  • Fun Beach themed Photo Ops
  • Beach Ball drop
  • Sand castles
  • Face Painting
  • Balloon Art
  • Sidewalk Sale
  • Food
  • Live Entertainment featuring Route 89
  • and MUCH MORE!! Don’t miss this delightful event!!

For more information visit: http://shopsatriverwoods.com/lifestyle/events/freedom-festival-beach-party.html

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Get your bike up and running with the Collective

Provo Bike Collective by Trevor Christensen -9380
Photo by Trevor Christensen</>
Provo Bike Collective by Trevor Christensen -9055
Photo by Trevor Christensen</>

Got a bike or two rusting away in the garage? Would you love to join the bicycle community but your tires are flat? Need some help with your chain? Maybe your handlebars don’t sit straight.

The Provo Bicycle Collective can provide help at a low cost and with the tools you’ll need. The Collective, at 397 E. 200 North, is community-owned and volunteer-run, a do-it-yourself bike shop with the largest selection of used parts and used bikes anywhere in Provo.

At the Collective, there’s no handing over your bicycle to someone else to fix it. You come in with your bike (or bikes) and they’ll teach you what to do. You learn the tricks and then one day, you can teach someone else, donate your time, parts and even buy a nice bike at a good price.

When I was a kid, I loved to bike. Now that I’m grown, I still love to ride but I doubly appreciate the many advantages of bicycle mobility. It’s fun and it’s a way to exercise and contribute to the community’s health. A bike ride is a beautiful thing and the Collective gets you out there!

Provo Bike Collective by Trevor Christensen -9110
Photo by Trevor Christensen</>
Provo Bike Collective by Trevor Christensen -9167
Photo by Trevor Christensen</>

You can see what the Provo Bicycle Collective is all about on their website bicyclecollective.org If you need a good, working bike you can buy one from the Collective for $100-$250 for an adult’s bike and $30-$50 for a child’s bike. (Inventory changes daily depending on donations.) You can buy parts at the Collective at generally half the price of what they cost new. There are also new items: tubes, grips, bar tape, cables, housing, locks and lights.

The people at the shop won’t fix your bike for you but they will teach and guide you. (And, if you prefer, they’ll recommend a good for-profit shop in the area where somebody will do it for you.)

At the Collective, use the shop benches and tools for $10 an hour. (Or work off the cost.)

So bring in that bike that’s been collecting dust in the shed. Even if it can’t be fixed, the scrap metal is valuable. You can mend your own, volunteer to help others, or organize an Eagle Scout project.

As always, in Provo, your bike needs a license. The fee is $1. Register at: provo.org and let’s go biking!

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Prep & Outdoor Fest

Screen Shot 2017-06-15 at 3.19.15 PM

Utah’s Prep & Outdoor Fest is coming to Provo on Saturday, June 17th. Get ready for a family-friendly event where you can learn about helpful products, services and information focused on empowering citizens to better prepare themselves and their families. We can always be a little more prepared whether it’s food or water storage, energy independence, emergency shelters or general information. At the end of the day, it’s up to each of us to take care of our individual family’s needs no matter the situation. Come browse the exhibitor booths, talk to educators and check out all the vendors who will be showcasing Utah’s abundant outdoor life and the amazing resources the state has to offer regarding recreation, homesteading, and survival. 

BOOK for your FREE tickets and bring the printed ticket to be entered into our drawings throughout the day. RSVP at the event link to stay updated on event schedule and announcements. Ticket link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/provo-preparedness-outdoor-fest-tickets-33584776972

Please help us spread the word by sharing this event with friends, family and neighbors. Thank you!

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Provo’s Easter Cross is Restored!

cross-is-up

It’s been a year since I blogged about Provo’s Easter Cross. The cross served as symbol that brought different sects of Christianity together in the 1940s and was torn down and left in shambles during the 1970s. Hoping to restore the cross, Provo resident Niki Thornock worked with the Provo Community Congregational United Church of Christ to find a stone mason to rebuild it, give it a new location, and raise funding to make this project happen. After two and a half years of working on the project, I’m excited to announce the Easter Cross is restored!

On November 7, 2016 a man with a posi trac and a trailer moved the pieces of the Cross from their longtime home on Y Mountain to their new home in EastLawn Cemetery on Squaw Peak. The cemetery provided a small terrace where we could rebuild it. In March, a neighbor designed a landscape for the terrace, since it looked like a patch of mountain. The terrace was raked and smoothed and on April 15, a local Eagle candidate and his helpers laid 150 feet of sprinkler pipe and two pallets of sod, giving the terrace an entirely new look.

In early May, after some difficulty, we found a stonemason who knew how to build a cross. (Most stonemasons are great with walls and patios, but a cross is quite out of their experience. It’s even harder with natural stone.) The cemetery owner requested that the cross be completed by Memorial Day, so that was the deadline.

The stonemasons built a cinder-block core, filled it with concrete, and wrapped it with chicken wire. Then they wired the stones into place until the mortar set. They had day jobs, so they worked on the Cross evenings and weekends. True to their word, they were done by Memorial Day, so the Cross was up in time to be seen by the many visitors to the cemetery.

A bronze plaque is in the works. We still need several thousand dollars to recover the cost of the stonemasons, so donations are greatly appreciated.

Please visit crowdrise.com/restoretheeastercross and donate to this cause. 

Alternatively, checks can be made out to PCCUCC. For: Easter Cross.

Mail to:
Easter Cross Project
c/o Provo Community Congregational United Church of Christ
PO Box 132
Provo, UT 84603

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Free Summer Art Classes for Kids!

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ARTcetera is a new student art gallery at Provo Towne Centre. This summer they are offering free walk-in art classes for children ages 5-10 years old! The classes are every Saturday from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm, June 17 – July 29. The lessons will be taught by Marcus Harding and will cover all sorts of mediums and techniques ranging from collage to watercolor to portrait drawing. Check out the summer schedule below:

June 17: Collage about Summer – We will learn how to create awesome art using just magazines and a glue stick!
June 24: Watercolor Flowers – Want to learn how to watercolor? Come learn how to paint the prettiest summer flowers!
July 1: Non Objective Painting – Ever wanted to just throw paint around? Come and create art in the process!
July 8: Creative Constraints – Ever made a turkey out of a tracing of your hand? What if it could be a space ship or a dinosaur? Come and find out!
July 15: Acrylic Still Life – Come learn how to capture the beauty of life through paint!
July 22: Portrait Drawing – Come learn how to draw an awesome portrait, of yourself or your friends!
July 29: Collaborative Mural – We will make a big mural that commemorates all we did this summer! This mural will be up at ArtCetera over the course of the school year!

For more information about ARTcetera visit their Facebook page here.

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Learn more about Solar!

If you’re interested in solar or would like to learn more about net metering – come check out Provo City Power’s Info Meeting at 6:30 pm, Wednesday night in the Provo Power Building located at 251 West 800 North. You’ll meet with staff, discuss the benefits of solar panels and learn about the whole process!

Over the next few months, Provo Power will be hosting a monthly informational meeting to share and discuss all things solar. This would be a great meeting for all existing net metering customers, customers who are interested in net metering and any solar companies that want to receive the most recent information about how solar panels work, how they connect to the electric utility and what rates net metering customers should expect to be paying.

The meetings are open to the general public and will be held on the second Wednesday of each month beginning at 6:30pm in the Provo Power Building located at 251 West 800 North on:

  • June 14th
  • July 12th
  • August 9th

Topics of discussion will include:

  • Net Metering and the Electrical Grid
  • Net Metering Rates
  • When Solar Panels Work for you

If you have questions about the event please contact the office by calling 801-852-6886 or by email at info@provopower.org.

What is Net Metering?

Net Metering, also known as “Solar Power Generation”, is a system in which solar panels are connected to a public-utility power grid and surplus power is transferred onto the grid and the customers are then credited for the power generated at a rate approved by the municipal council. For example, you can view Provo’s current net metering rates here.

Provo Power is an advocate for renewable energy resources, and is even using a solar array at their administration office. Provo Power and UMPA (Utah Municipal Power Agency) are working to create programs of awareness and offer community solar options where customers can participate without the up-front capital costs. It is the goal of Provo Power to promote and use renewable resources where appropriate, but to also inform our customers of the latest trends and demands in the electric industry.

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Dinner and a show in Downtown Provo

Two of our local downtown businesses have collaborated to bring us dinner from Broke Eatery and a show down in the The Mercury Theater and Event Center. Go check it out!

Broke Eatery is the new home of Freestyle Cooking. Chef Kitamba puts his decades of various learned cuisine to work coming up with a new fresh dish every single day. The concept has been a hit downtown. With no decisions and quick service you can be in and out for a lunch break or relax and soak up the sun on the patio. Open for Breakfast 8-10am, Lunch 12-2pm, and now Dinner and a show at the Mercury Theater and Events Center.
Mercury Theater’s original play, Accident, West Virginia, brings characters from all walks of life together for an unpredictable stay at The Happy Accident Weekend Inn, “A place where country living ain’t no accident”. Written and Directed by Studio C writer, Jeff Lee Blake and an eclectic cast of lovable character.
$22 Dinner/Show
$12 Show
$14 At the Door (no catered food included)

June 8-24 Monday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday Dinner at 6pm, show at 7pm.
Plus Saturday matinee with dinner at 1pm and show at 2pm.
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Meet the Candidates

Melissa Hernandez - Center Street

The filing period is now closed and the election season is upon us! Listed below are the candidates for the 2017 municipal elections. There will not be a primary election for District 5. District 2, City-wide I and Mayor will have a primary election on Tuesday, August 15.

Provo Mayor

Mayoral candidates include: Michelle Kaufusi, Kevin Wing, Eric Speckhard, Sherrie Hall Everett, Howard Stone, John Fenley, Larry Walters, Elliot G Craig, Odell Miner and Stephen Cope.

City Council District 2

District 2 has three candidates: George Handley, David Clark, and Leo Lines. Councilwoman Kim Santiago, who holds the seat, is not seeking re-election.

City Council District 5

District 5, has two candidates with incumbent David Harding and Tinesha Zandamela seeking the seat.

City Council City-wide I

City-wide candidates include incumbent David Sewell, Hunter Phillips, Mike Roan and Wesley Marriott.

I’m looking forward to a robust election season and hope we’ll all take the time to study the candidates and their messages and cast an informed vote. Please visit voteprovo.com or contact the Provo City Recorder’s Office at 801-852-6524 for candidate information, council district maps, vote-by-mail details, and election announcements.

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Provo #3 Fastest Growing City!

Beau Sorensen - Downtown

I don’t know how this ranking slipped past the blog but back in February, Forbes ranked Provo as the #3 fastest growing city in America! Forbes’ annual list of America’s fastest-growing cities is to give a holistic picture of places on the upswing. That means looking not just at job, population or output growth individually, but considering how these important measures and others come together. It means looking back to see which cities grew the most in 2016 and forward to project which cities will make strides in 2017. They looked at growth of population, employment, wages, economic output and use home price growth as a proxy for wealth.

So what did they find when they looked at Provo? The Provo, Utah, metro area had the strongest wage growth in the country in 2016 at 7.5% thanks in large part to an expanding and competitive tech sector. Residents are expected to get an even bigger raise next year: Moody’s is projecting 9.45% wage growth in the area in 2017. Provo is one of just six cities with 2016 wage growth above 7%. The others are: Stockton, Calif.; Portland, Ore.; Seattle, Wash.; Spokane, Wash. and Cape Coral.

National wage growth 2016: 4.19% 2017: 5.43%

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