Beef Recall, Closing Weber County, Attorneys' Raises & Japanese Internment Museum 

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Diarrhea-inducing Food
Did you hear about King Soopers grocery chain’s beef recall effecting nearly half a million pounds of salmonella-tainted beef sold in Utah and six other states? Or how about the Salt Lake City-based recall of 3,871 units of Plentiful Pantry almond pound cake with cinnamon sauce and salmonella? No? Maybe that’s because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has published 47 recalls in July alone. Recall fatigue has (almost) eliminated the last remaining disincentive for companies to produce deadly food: negative media attention.

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Disorganize and Divide
The Weber County Public Defenders Association had planned to ask for a $300,000 budget increase for next year, but how does zero sound? Hoping to save about $100,000, Weber County plans to shutter the office. Currently employing 12 attorneys and five support staff, the county will kick them off the public payroll then hire the attorneys back on a contract basis—if they want it. The already busy public defenders will have to arrange and pay out-of-pocket for their office space and support staff.

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Organize and Specialize
Meanwhile, the Utah County Public Defenders Association will get a $400,000 boost from their county to provide four full-time attorneys to juvenile court. Prosecutors got a $200,000 boost, also for juvenile court. Previously, the defense attorneys were scattered between private practice matters and public defense of juveniles but now can specialize in one area. Ditto for the prosecutors, who can now devote attorneys full-time to juvenile matters.

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Never Forget
The National Park Service will provide $48,000 to build a museum near Delta at Utah’s Topaz internment camp where Japanese-Americans were forcibly relocated during World War II. The Japanese-American Confinement Site Grant is a part of a $960,000 pool of money that will be used for similar projects nationwide. The museum will feature photographs, artifacts and displays that depict the Topaz internment experience. Democracy needs places for patriots to wallow in their nation’s sins. Justice today requires constant reminders of injustices past.

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Jesse Fruhwirth

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