Euthanization at Animal Shelters, Health Care Lawsuit & Garn DUI 

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Gassing the Chamber

Animal-rights activists have long bemoaned shelters killing animals by carbon-monoxide poisoning as inhumane and have tried to convince shelters to use more humane options, especially lethal injection. In Wasatch County, however, Friends of Animals Utah is addressing its concerns with financial incentives that may convince shelter managers to abandon carbon-monoxide poisoning. The group raised enough money to send a veterinarian to the animal shelter to euthanize animals by sedative injection, says executive director Cathy King, and also provide volunteers to help the shelter get healthy animals adopted. “We are trying to show them they don’t need a gas chamber, just good programs like spay and neuter,” King says in an e-mail. Now, that’s a blueprint for success as a local activist.

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Frivolous Lawsuit
Health care in this country sucks, and the federal legislation passed March 21 will only improve it slightly. What won’t improve health care is for the states to sue the federal government to undo what has been passed, but that’s exactly what happened March 23 when 13 states, including Utah, filed a lawsuit in Florida. But this isn’t a legal dispute—it’s political grandstanding wrapped in the increasingly worn shroud of states’ rights that will only have one practical impact: Utah taxpayers will end up paying for yet another pointless court battle.

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Fool Us Twice
The hits keep coming from former House Majority Leader Kevin Garn, who resigned from the Legislature after admitting to hot-tubbing naked with a 15-year-old girl in 1985 and later paying her $150,000. On March 22, it was revealed that in 2006 he was arrested outside of the Red Lion Hotel in Salt Lake City after passing out, apparently drunk, in his car. He did not take a test for blood alcohol, but did conduct a field sobriety test. He later pleaded guilty to alcohol-related reckless driving, less than two months after being elected to a second stint in the Utah Legislature. Had Garn admitted this crime on the House floor, he would not have received a standing ovation. Massaging a naked underage girl, however, would still get a pass.

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