Hope for Education
Well, it looks like State School Board incumbent Leslie Castle is on her way out—that is, unless she somehow eeks enough votes to push out the second-highest vote-getter, Shelly Teuscher in a District 7 contest with odds-on favorite Carol Lear. Why is this significant? Castle is an enthusiastic supporter of a policy to dumb down teaching in Utah. The board recently voted to allow hiring college graduates without formal teaching credentials. "We're not getting enough out of university programs—this is another route," Castle said in a story in the Epoch Times. The Times is a publication with ties to the Chinese Falun Gong, and you know how the Chinese revere education. So, Utah is poised to have teachers teaching non-teachers how to teach while teaching kids in the classroom. Besides being a huge slap in the face to teachers, it's going to be interesting to see if other graduates will opt for the low pay and long hours that go with a job they didn't aspire to.
Prison and Ecosystem
Aren't we all just tickled that the Legislature chose Salt Lake City for its new prison site? It's almost daily now that you hear something that will increase the cost of the prison and the dangers to the ecosystem around it. The Salt Lake Tribune ran a story about how the iconic Salt Flats have attracted thrill seekers, outdoors enthusiasts and even filmmakers to its crusty surface. But the mercurial nature of the Flats and the Great Salt Lake make for ever-changing adjustments. That's OK if you're talking about a race, but not so good if you're building something.
Rebel Without a Cause
Most of the media talk these days surrounds how Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton fare with fairness. But right here at home, we have another conundrum. Its name is LaVoy Finicum. Finicum has become a de facto folk hero by virtue of all the press, "who by then had become famous for talking live on MSNBC about how he would rather end the standoff dead than in prison," James Pogue wrote about him. Of course, he did die. There seems to be no end to coverage of a man who ran with a rogue bunch of vigilantes who took their stand at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, where his supporters still stand watch over an illegal roadside memorial, according to Oregon Public Broadcast. The Salt Lake Tribune's expansive coverage of his family and their ranch just fueled the fires. And lucky us, there is even an unedited interview with Finicum on YouTube now. Our love of rebels, no matter how idiotic, knows no limits.