Fault the Feds 

Also: Smoke & Mirrors, There Goes Neighborhood

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Fault the Feds
How can you quantify the majesty of nature and the grandeur of the wilderness? And how can you separate a political agenda from real problem-solving? These are the questions being asked in the fight to preserve public lands in Utah Rep. Ken Ivory, R-West Jordan, ever the fed-basher, says taking over public lands is the only way to ensure adequate funding for education. You know, drill baby, drill! Some 80 people weighed in at a recent meeting, where questions revolved around the how and why. Former BLM Director Pat Shea called coming up with the cost of a takeover near impossible. And while the state plays with the possibilities, education funding suffers.

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Smoke & Mirrors
Don’t let all the fires blazing in the region make you despair about air quality. The Department of Environmental Quality says you should still be more concerned about vehicle emissions and the effect of heat than about the smoke from fires. That smoke is just going straight up into the atmosphere and dissipating—except, of course, around the burning areas. Not to worry that the state has yet to come up with any concrete solutions to pollution. Whether you believe air-quality officials or not, you should at least be consoled by the work of John Yoon, who’s beta-testing a new app called My Air. It will tell you—when no one else will—how bad the smog is. And in Utah, where outdoor activities reign, that is a good thing.

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There Goes the Neighborhood
This is Utah, where liquor is an evil word. Nonetheless, Salt Lake City is considering an ordinance to allow neighborhood bars. Good luck with that. After the recent dust-up over Bryce Jones’ plans to open the BrewHaHa Tavern at 2108 E. 1300 South, it’s pretty obvious pubs are going to have a tough go of it. “Please save my little neighborhood,” Oscar McConkie said, according to The Salt Lake Tribune, at the devastating thought of booze in the ’hood. OK, the debate over the evils of liquor is one thing; the debate over the legality of a pub is another. Neighbors cried out over the parking issue, as if that were anything new. The Dodo long ago moved from that neighborhood to avoid the acrimony. Jones will still open a restaurant with liquor, but he’s not going to have it easy with his neighbors.

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