Short takes on the news
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Magna spruce-up • The community of Magna may not have won a beautification award for some time. But a federal grant, building on an earlier county investment in infrastructure, is about to spruce up the community's center. Magna is an unincorporated area on the western edge of Salt Lake County whose residents are proud of their mostly blue-collar heritage. Beginning in 2005 Salt Lake County, under Mayor Peter Corroon, launched a project to reconstruct 2700 South from 8800 West to the western town limits. Now, using funds the county received as one of 83 recipients of a federal grant from among 600 applicants, Magna can do even more to beautify Main Street and the center of town. Good for Salt Lake County government and good for Magna.

Good ol' green stuff • Cash might seem gauche as a Christmas gift, but the ubiquitous gift card apparently isn't always a good alternative. A Weber State University marketing professor, who emphasizes he is no Scrooge, says that, from an economic standpoint, gift cards don't make a lot of sense. They limit where the recipient can shop and what he can buy and, according to the WSU research, even cash-like gift cards from Visa, American Express and the like, don't win recipients' approval any more than cold, hard cash. Of course, retailers love gift cards, because they win, even when the gift card is never used. Maybe especially when the gift card is never used, which happens often, according to the research. Choosing a gift card from a particular store that has some personal significance to a close friend works best. For others, cash might be a better choice. It may even one day be a collector's item.

Here, then gone • Now that Utah State University football coach Gary Andersen has jumped ship for a more lucrative and high-profile coaching job at Wisconsin, we wonder whether his sons will go with him or if loyalty is stronger in the younger generation. Chasen Andersen, a senior linebacker at Logan High School, had committed to play for his father, with the Aggies and his brother, sophomore tight end Keegan Andersen, before the coach made known his imminent departure. Aggie fans can be excused for being just a little bit bitter about Andersen's decision. After all, he signed a contract extension in October and was denying reports he might leave Logan just a few weeks before he announced he is leaving Logan. Maybe that's the biggest disappointment of all: that Andersen made such an abrupt about-face just after taking USU to its best season ever. But that's what coaching, and coaches, are all about.