Marmalade District Hole, Utah Nuclear Downwinders & Silent News 

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Marmalade Hole
Salt Lake City has another development hole, this time in the Marmalade district. Rick Howa has backed out of the redevelopment project along 300 West between 500 and 600 North after he couldn’t secure funding for condominiums and could not convince city officials to accept other proposals, such as a grocery store. Now, the city has yet another empty dirt lot to proudly anchor one of its burgeoning urban areas. So far, city council members—who also make up the city’s Redevelopment Association—are bursting with great new ideas for the land, such as a community garden or a new library branch—which seem like perfect fits for a square block in the middle of a commercial district next to a freeway exit.

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Nuclear Waste
People throughout the West who were exposed to radiation during the 1950s nuclear bomb tests may get their just recompense. A group of U.S. senators announced a bi-partisan proposal to expand the Downwinder compensation to seven states, broaden the types of cancer that qualify, and triple the payment to the victim or the victim’s family to $150,000. Rep. Jim Matheson is going to sponsor a similar bill in the House. But Sen. Orrin Hatch, the sponsor of the original Downwinder bill two decades ago, is opposing this bill because it would cost too much and help too many people (or, as he said, is “overly broad”). Sorry, senator, but cancer caused by radiation does not respect political boundaries. Thousands of people have suffered because of the nuclear testing, and it’s imperative that the government acknowledge that fact with more than words.

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Silent News
A combination of budget cuts and new technology has silenced the daily newspaper—at least for blind Utahns who have been able to listen to an audio recording of the printed newspapers through a service provided by the Utah State Library. Those recordings included front-page news, obituaries, comics and even ads. The service will be replaced by a phone-based service, with news read by computer-generated voices, and will not include much of the non-news content that still helps people feel a part of and participate in their local community.

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Josh Loftin

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