Drunk Not Disorderly
One of the comments on the Deseret News story regarding neighborhood bars noted that there are plenty of bars along State Street. Talk about stereotyping! It seems that “drinkers” in Utah are generally lumped together as dangerous and besotted revelers. The fears are palpable—parking, noise, congestion and safety. These are the same concerns that surface when coffee houses and restaurants move into the neighborhoods. Salt Lake City is, after all, an urban environment whose charm is enhanced by pocket businesses. Maybe the thinking has been done, but the city at least is giving residents a chance to weigh in. Take a moment to comment on Open City Hall at www.ci.slc.ut.us. Only 73 comments have been logged at press time. Someone might be listening.
Even if you don’t have children, you’ve probably been touched in some way by bullies—insecure types who pick on geeks, gays and girls. Now, the national spotlight is on this odious practice as the film Bully opens. Director Lee Hirsch made a stop in Salt Lake City as Utah schools and the attorney general joined in the effort Stand4Change Against Bullying. Attorney General Mark Shurtleff says that the Internet age has only worsened the problem lurking in the shadows. Growing up around intolerance, some children resort to suicide in an effort to stop the pain. According to the Anti-Bullying Handbook for Teachers and Administrators, 60 percent of middle-schoolers say they’ve been bullied, and 160,000 students stay home every day to avoid it.
Foxes in the Henhouse
On the health and safety front, Utah may have won the MX Missile fight and still rallies for Downwinders, but lately the state’s appetite for business “opportunities” seems to have opened doors to nuclear waste and a toxic future. Forget the efforts to bring nuclear plants online—the latest curiosity is the emasculating of the Radiation Control Board. Just as the board was discussing the wisdom of allowing Energy Solutions to import “blended waste,” a new law will disband the board and reconstitute it as a smaller group with fewer health professionals. Thanks to bill sponsor Sen. Margaret Dayton, R-Orem, the board was downsized and stacked with members from mining, fuels, manufacturing and government. Meanwhile, blended wastes will make their way to Utah because the old board lacked time to consider the issue.