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Street to be named for Marine
A fallen Salt Lake City Marine will join the ranks of basketball stars and civil rights heroes. Adam Galvez's name will be added to 300 South between Interstate 15 and Redwood Road. The 21-year-old was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq in August and is the first known Salt Lake City resident to have died in the Iraq war.
The Salt Lake City Council will officially vote for "Adam Galvez Street" Dec. 5. Most council members said Tuesday night they would vote "yes."
"It will mean a lot," said Junior Cruz, a 15-year-old Boy Scout who wants to join the National Guard and proposed the name change to earn his Eagle. "It was someone that lived in the area, that actually went and fought for our country."
Galvez actually lived farther north in Rose Park. But 300 South runs near Sherwood Park, where he played baseball as a child.
Galvez's father, Tony Galvez, attended the Tuesday council meeting, along with members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Afterward, Tony Galvez praised Cruz. "He's done quite a wonderful job organizing this. He's gotten the community united on a topic that's often difficult to discuss. He used my son, a patriot and a hero, to unite the community.
"It's a tremendous honor to see my son's name on a street," he added.
In lobbying for the name change, Cruz had said the city has named streets for former Utah Jazz basketball star Karl Malone and should do the same for soldiers. John Stockton was awarded the same honor as Malone.
The city also has recently added Rosa Parks and Cesar Chavez to 200 East and 500 South, respectively.
Such "name changes" are honorary. They don't affect mailing addresses.
Mayor Rocky Anderson, who didn't attend the council meeting, had wanted the council to hold off on a decision until the city comes up with a clear-cut policy on name changes.
The current rules are apparently unclear and confusing. The council agreed the city needs a new policy but didn't want to delay Cruz's request. It will also move forward with adding "Japantown" to 100 South between 200 West and 300 West.
Michael Clara, Cruz's Boy Scout leader who has sparred with Anderson before, believes the mayor had other motives. "It was a cheap shot on his part. It was his veiled way to impose his liberal views, his concept about the war."
Anderson's spokesman, Patrick Thronson, denied the mayor's opposition to the Iraq war affected his position.
"The mayor would like to wait until a policy is set because there are many Salt Lake City residents who have died in wars - in all likelihood, more than the number of streets that can be renamed," Thronson wrote in an e-mail. "The mayor deeply respects the sacrifices of those in our armed forces, and believes decisions on renaming streets after fallen soldiers should be made in accordance with a clear policy formulated with public input."
How to help:
It will cost an estimated $2,000 to make new signs for Adam Galvez Street. Boy Scout Junior Cruz has raised $600. To donate, go to http://www.healingfield.org/staticpages/index.php/donate