Slash & Burn 

Also: Another Brick in the Wall, Food With Thought

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Slash & Burn
It’s pretty obvious that newspapers didn’t think this thing through—you know, the loss of readers and how to remain relevant in a recessionary digital age. So, last week, The Salt Lake Tribune went for the easy money—cut staff, watch your upper management bail. Personnel is, after all, the largest expense a company has. It’s also what holds a company together. In 2010, the Deseret News hacked 85 people, more than 50 full-timers, from its payroll. That’s harsh. But at least they had a plan. Whether you like it or not, the D-News went mostly digital and faith-based for news content. No such plan for the Trib. Just cut. Still, layoffs are more than numbers. The 2013 losses: Peggy Boss Barney, Paul Beebe, Kimball Bennion, David Burger, Dorothy Chioda, Keira Dirmeyer, Jennifer Dobner, Judy Fahys, Paul Fraughton, Dawn House, Michael Limon, Nick Mathews, Heather May, Peg McEntee, Cathy McKitrick, Don Meyers, Lindsay Nemelka, Steve Oberbeck, Ray Parker, Elbert Peck, Kim Raff, Marty Renzhofer. And on the highest level: Nancy Conway, Vern Anderson. OBTW, on this list is the Trib’s human-resources staffer. When you don’t have humans, you don’t need HR.

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Another Brick in the Wall
You have to wonder about John Valentine’s childhood. Did his parents take him to a restaurant where alcohol was being served, and did he want to bound over the counter to grab a bottle of Jack? What other explanation is there for the Zion Curtain? Valentine is the Orem senator you can thank for forcing restaurants—like the, ahem, Cheesecake Factory—to hide their bartenders from the imbibing public. Now, some of these restaurants are trying to convert to bars, saving them the embarrassing pain of erecting 8-foot-tall barriers. No one wants underage drinkers in their establishment, nor do they want people to drive drunk. But there are no facts to back up that erecting a liquor barrier keeps patrons from drinking.

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Food With Thought
Utah’s not New York City, where they tried to ban super-size soft drinks. But we’re trying to be persuasive. Federal rules will be limiting vending-machine and fundraiser options, and Utah schools can see that students still go for fast—and maybe fat—foods. So, according to a Salt Lake Tribune report, schools are pushing options on social media, going for restaurant-style meals and pushing back breakfast time. Baking foods, offering salads—these are the trending school meals. Let’s hope the healthy trend continues.

Twitter: @KathyBiele

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