Way to encourage budding journalists, Deseret News! A front-page “letter to our readers” about a mistaken insert? Did we mention that the insert was a special Rivalry Guide edition of University of Utah student paper The Daily Utah Chronicle, headlined “The New Holy War”? Yes, it was about the BYU-Utah game, the first with Utah in the Pac-12. Maybe that chapped the D-News, which, by all religious rights, wears blue for these games. But did the insert (which has run in The Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News since 2007) really require such a scathing retort? “The content of the Chronicle insert fell far below Deseret News editorial standards. We deeply apologize to our many readers who, like us, found this insert uncivil and sophomoric.” It must have been all the chat about what Mormons will miss—by not viewing R-rated movies, for instance. Or whether your morality is compromised by being a “Mormon Ute.”
Thank you—we think. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, via its real-estate group, has traded 3,100 acres of land west of the Salt Lake International Airport to Kennecott Utah Copper for some land in southwestern Salt Lake County and, of course, some money. The western land—the Northwest Quadrant—has been the subject of controversy for a plan to develop a mini-city around the wetlands. And environmental groups are cautiously happy. Cautious, because Kennecott wants to expand and will likely build out the railroad there to move tailings. Still, the trade opens the possibility to explore open-space options and even a solar-panel field.
Every time the wind blows in Salt Lake County, plastic bags float through the air. Hand it to the Deseret News for drawing attention to the environmental problem in a state that doesn’t regulate the usage. Is it scary enough to know that the United States uses 100 billion plastic bags a year, but less than 3 percent are recycled? Sure, there are good-neighbor groceries that encourage personal bags, but the incentives are few. Worldwide bans and fines seem to have worked, despite grumbling. But the tradeoff is 1,000 years for the bags to degrade, and even then, they remain toxic—and often floating in the oceans. Ireland has all but eliminated the problem, largely by recasting the use of plastic bags as unethical and irresponsible. But Utah seems to reserve that for social issues—like alcohol use.