River Raucous 

Also: Teacher Trouble, Permanent Vacation

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River Raucous
Janalee Tobias, ever the activist, is bound and determined to save a piece of the Jordan River from development. She was thrilled to be published in a Saturday Salt Lake Tribune, even though it's not the best-read edition of the paper. But now she's peeved with South Jordan Mayor Dave Alvord, who to deleted an intemperate Facebook comment too late. The Web holds onto everything. "I haven't seen this level of misinformation since watching Baghdad bob during the Iraq war invasion," he said of Tobias, who can now relate to Jane Fonda's "Hanoi Jane" nickname. Tobias thought that since the city council agenda mentioned a presentation by LaVarr Webb, they actually meant to hear him, but Webb's consulting firm was hired to do outreach on development of Mulligans Golf & Games, sans presentation. Let's hope Webb's polling has more of a process.

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Teacher Trouble
Speaking of public process, or the lack of it, who now has faith in the state Board of Education? Not board member Terryl Warner. "I am simply stunned with the outcome of events tonight.  I just do not understand it.  I was surprised when I saw the agenda tonight and there was nothing about public comments on it," she says, referring to the appointment of Joel Coleman as interim superintendent. Coleman, by virtue of his wife, is involved in a lawsuit against the board he will supervise. Warner wondered publicly why the board didn't seek a legal opinion before Coleman's appointment. It seeks legal counsel on issues of lesser import, like changing the charter school charter, she notes. "I am also extremely concerned that the person who is now leading public education in our state has never been a public teacher or educator," she said. Well, she won't be happy with Becky Lockhart, will she?

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Permanent Vacation
With all the sanctimonious politicians in Utah, it's nice to see one who has a sense of humor. After The Onion, known for its news satire, posted a story about Salt Lake City's "Free to Leave" campaign, County Mayor Ben McAdams responded with his own version. McAdams wrote that he "has signed an emergency bill effectively blocking all exits from the Salt Lake valley," and mandated that airline tickets be one-way and set "traffic cones, barricades, tire shredders, and other obstacles that will essentially prevent visitors from leaving the valley." Best yet, he figured any loss of travel revenue would be offset by revenue from visitors who can "never, ever leave." Thanks for the laugh, Mayor.

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