Oh, to be David Gardner. That is, if you fancy living your life like a train wreck. The ex-Utah County Commissioner has been fighting bizarre legal battles for nearly 10 years, beginning with a DUI case in 1999 when Gardner claimed a hitchhiker tricked him into drinking vodka-laced coffee. He’s been on probation and has done community service for convictions in a disorderly conduct case and two more DUIs. Now the latest: For groping and fondling a 26-year-old woman riding in his car in 2007, Gardner got yet another break—no jail time, provided he behaves. The 4th District Court judge in the case ordered Gardner to pay a fine and submit to rehab. And you thought only cats had nine lives.
War in Iraq? U.S. economy going down the crapper? Surcharge to check a second bag on Delta Airlines? All of it sucks, but here’s something to really worry about: A same-sex marriage announcement published July 27 in the Herald Journal in Logan. Reader Narayne Rougeau objected to the use of the term “marriage” for the lesbian couple, since Utah does not recognize the same-sex arrangement as a legal union. Rougeau wrote an incensed letter to the editor. Hundreds of online comments and several letters have flowed into the newspaper. Thankfully, HJ publisher Bruce Smith is standing firm. “These are paid announcements,” he told KSL 1160 AM radio, “and we didn’t feel we could deny anybody access to that announcement just because they were gay.”
What with recent DABC movement in eliminating the private club membership law, the tide may be turning one itsy bit toward drinkers in Utah. (Operative word is “itsy.”) But not if lobby group Mothers Against Drunk Driving succeeds in butting in. As City Weekly’s Stephen Dark revealed in his July 24 cover story “Bar Battles,” and The Salt Lake Tribune reported eight days later, MADD is quietly pushing a double-standard law to allow tourists free admission to Utah clubs while residents would still have to buy memberships. The 2007 Legislature would have to decide, but MADD has great clout on the Hill. And there’s one more sleeping giant here. The LDS Church has yet to officially weigh in on the club membership matter. tttt