Loan Roller Coaster 

Also: Hair-braiding, SLC library

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Loan Roller Coaster
Unless you’re the conservative Congress, who doesn’t love public radio? The Salt Lake City Council certainly does, and saw no problem with putting up a loan to save the station, which needs $250,000 by the end of October. On Oct. 25, Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker said he would not support the loan, so KCPW withdrew its application. Then, an anonymous donor stepped in to offer a loan, potentially saving the day. KCPW has had a troubled history, starting with the revelation in 2008 that Community Wireless president Blair Feulner was getting a $150,000 salary, followed by his fall from grace. Wasatch Public Media and Ed Sweeney, who’ve valiantly tried to turn the tide in a bad economy. It hasn’t worked so far, and more time may not help.

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A Hairy Proposition

We live in Utah, where you’re not required to wear a helmet on a motorcycle and teenagers can tan all they want if they have a permission slip. But we do regulate hair-braiding because, well, it’s dangerous. Rep. Holly Richardson, R-Pleasant Grove, like a good, free-will Republican, sponsored legislation to allow hair-braiding without a cosmetologist’s license. And the cosmetologists aren’t happy. After all, this is risky business. Tightly braided hair can result in hair loss, and there may be sanitary concerns. But is this something we need to legislate? It’s not like insurance premiums will rise without regulation. Still, it has to be expected that people protect their own turf. Cosmetologists pay that fee to give them standing in the community. Just don’t tell Mom she shouldn’t braid your hair.

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Thank you, Friends of the Library, for finally stepping up and saying enough is enough. The nonprofit organization, which has raised $1 million for the library over the last 10 years, is threatening to pull its funding if the noise around library director Beth Elder doesn’t subside—soon. Elder took the position amid vows of change, but instead reportedly fostered an atmosphere of secrecy and distrust, most recently instituting a policy forbidding staff from circulating any e-mails critical of library operations or executive staff, according to a recent article in The Salt Lake Tribune. Many employees have left, willingly or not, but things haven’t settled down. In a staff survey, employees expressed a lack of confidence in their director, still. She’s been here since 2008. You’d think the dissent would have waned, but it hasn’t—and Elder’s kibosh on insubordinate e-mails isn’t going to make it go away.

Twitter: @KathyBiele

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