Miss Underpaid; Town Hall 'Thugs'; Stick it to the UTA | Hits & Misses | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Miss Underpaid; Town Hall 'Thugs'; Stick it to the UTA 

The best and worst of this week's local news.

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Miss Underpaid
Nationwide, but mostly in Utah, women just don't amount to much. A report from National Partnership for Women and Families finds that women here are paid 71 cents for every dollar a man makes, amounting to an annual wage gap of $14,681. That's the fourth-largest in the nation. Don't forget that Utah conservatives don't believe there really is a pay gap. Just refer to an old Derek Monson article for the Sutherland Institute, in which he states that pay discrepancies are attributable entirely to behavioral differences between men and women, and discrimination accounts for a mere 5-to-7 percent of the gap. Oh, and women value "family friendly" workplace policies more than men. Still, neither The Salt Lake Tribune nor Deseret News saw it fit to interview a single man about the issue. Maybe it's just a woman's problem to solve.

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Town Hall 'Thugs'
In his letter to the editor, Steven Pappas said The Salt Lake Tribune's coverage of Rep. Chris Stewart's Town Hall was disappointing. State GOP Chairman James Evans called the audience "thugs"—you know, because they were yelling at the honorable Mr. Stewart. The coverage in general made the Town Hall sound like some kind of mob event. But it wasn't. Most of the audience was quiet. After all, it was stunning to hear Stewart come out of the box, asking how many had voted for Bernie, Hillary or @realDonaldTrump—and then to say he knows no one in the audience voted for him. Pappas wrote that the purpose was to learn constituents' concerns. And Stewart joked that he'd never know, except for all the signs. Yes, there was yelling. But Stewart was adept in veering from the questions.

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Stick it to the UTA
You have to hand it to the feds for finding something to stick to the Utah Transit Authority—or rather certain members of it—for misconduct and, you know, profiting at the expense of the taxpayer. The Salt Lake Tribune seemed OK after federal prosecutors reached a deal not to hit the agency itself if it will just hand over the incriminating evidence. The next day, former board member and developer Terry Diehl was indicted. But there are bigger fish, and Diehl seems a bit like a scapegoat. "How do you have an investigation and block out and clear the principals?" citizen advocate Claire Geddes asks. Worse yet is the Legislature's fix: require Senate confirmation of board members. Really? How about making UTA a government agency? Not in Utah, where the road to transparency is paved with clouded intentions.


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