Hits & Misses: Distillery Gets State OK 

Also: Power Play, Pachyderm Preservation

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State-Approved Drinking
Avast ye! This may not be Captain Morgan, but it's close enough for Utah. The state liquor commission just approved a new distillery, winery and beer brewer, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. Salt Lake City Distilling will be making a "modern-day" rum, and will even be able to offer tours and tastings. And in the I-can't-believe-it category, they also approved a wine and beer permit for The Granary Café in Santa Clara. That's despite LDS Church opposition and because there's nothing else around, literally. It's such a puzzler as to why this is even an issue. People do not go to restaurants to get roaring drunk. But the commission can be a hard-ass. It still won't allow wine to be served at the beloved Cinegrill which moved to a parking-friendly locale in Salt Lake City, even though the LDS facility next door gave the go-ahead.


Clean Energy?
No, no, no. Let's not get "overcommitted" to renewable energy. We get that Rocky Mountain Power is having to put out money to encourage clean energy. In the '70s, Congress required big utilities to buy "co-generated power and small generation" facilities if they were "qualified facilities" meeting certain specifications, the Trib reported. But mother company PacifiCorp is getting a whole lot of contract requests, and that means they'll have to pay out some $2.9 billion over the next decade to these facilities. Of course, RMP says this means the consumer will have to pay through the nose, because RMP passes down its costs. In fact, this is about encouraging clean-energy development in a monopolistic environment.


Elephant Rescue
With all the fear and loathing in the United States, it's sometimes hard to think of plights around the world. But in keeping with the season, John Hollenhorst found a story worth smiling about. You may know about the plight of the elephant, particularly in Africa where poaching has endangered the noble beast. But in Mumbai, India, a one-eared elephant named Suraj was rescued from a Hindu temple where it had been abused for years. Wildlife SOS has a U.S. chapter based in Salt Lake City, and Salt Laker Lavanya Raju ventured to India to rescue the elephant with police help. Wildlife SOS also partners with Hogle Zoo, which helps train elephant handlers at an Indian sanctuary. National Geographic this week also brought attention to the problem of abuse, poaching and smuggling. In India alone, the elephant population has plummeted from 1 million to about 20,000.

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