We All Pay for Underage Drinking Ads
On Nov. 27, liquor took center stage in both Salt Lake City's dailies, with a front-page article in the D-News, ["Utah liquor consumption is up, but underage drinking is down"] and a local front in the Trib ["Utah's underage drinking ads successful, but funding raises questions for some employees"]. There were striking differences: Both highlighted a ParentsEmpowered.org ad campaign—the one with the creepy bobble-headed dads. It has been a wild success in decreasing underage drinking, according to a survey the organization itself commissioned. Oh, and the funding for the ads? The D-News story never mentioned it, but the ads are paid for with restricted tax dollars earmarked for media and educational campaigns—so unfortunately, overworked and underpaid DABC employees won't see a dime. The Legislature cut funding for DABC by $500,000, but the ParentsEmpowered budget keeps growing. It's the law.
Writing a Wrong
Environmental advocates are trying to bring climate change out of the political realm. Sixty-one scientists and educators sent a letter of concern to the Utah Office of Education about revised science standards—especially the idea of an incremental approach to climate change. The writers worry that some science teachers misunderstand the science and will pass those misconceptions on to students unless the standards are explicit. The main bone of contention appears to be the greenhouse effect, although the curriculum doesn't really involve discussion of whether climate change is due to natural or human causes. The state school board still must adopt the changes before they are implemented in 2017.
Hooray for 'Other Areas'
No surprise, but Utah is still the gender gap capital of the nation. 24/7 Wall St. (247WallSt.com) conducted a study addressing various factors in order to identify the 10 worst states for women. Its findings? "Utah trails the nation as the state with the worst gender gaps, while Oregon has the smallest gender gaps overall." In a Deseret News article, Voices for Utah Children found that women fell behind in educational achievement and their ability to break into male-dominated and higher-paying jobs. It's a tough sell, because Utah women are generally taught that it's their duty to sacrifice for the home and family. Sen. Margaret Dayton, R-Orem, summed it up: "I think there needs to be caution in focusing on women in highly visible settings only, lest we discount the benefits the women generate in other areas."