For those who thought the Utah pioneers were teetotaling prudes, well, you must be thinking of the present day. Kudos to KUED for a fascinating look at the history of liquor in Utah, Beehive Spirits, airing Nov. 9 and Dec. 21. Learn about how barley was one of the first crops grown in the state—for beer, and maybe bread—and how the Word of Wisdom was first just a principle until Prohibition, when it became a requirement. And in 1873, Brigham Young made himself the sole distributor of alcohol in Utah. There was money to be had in those 100,000 barrels of beer each year. Haven’t heard about the program? Maybe you take the Deseret News, which refused to run the station’s ad. It won’t run anything concerning alcohol, you know.
In Utah, it’s still OK to badger and embarrass young women in rape cases. Eric Ray, a former Illinois law student, was convicted of forcible sexual abuse, but skated on a charge of object rape of a 15-year-old Springville girl. “Ray never testified during the trial, so much of the focus fell on his accuser, who struggled to recount the story,” The Daily Herald reported. What they didn’t report was a letter from Rep. Wayne Harper, R-Taylorsville, for whom Ray interned a few years ago, and who said that he believes Ray will “right his errors” and will use his knowledge and experience to help others. Harper expects “great things from him in the future.” Indeed, Ray could be out in a year. The teenager, however, has a lifetime of therapy ahead.
The verdict will be in by the time this appears, but which was it: that Salt Lake County mayoral candidate Ben McAdams was slightly ahead in the polls or way behind Mark Crockett? It all depended on whether you read The Salt Lake Tribune or the Deseret News, whose polls differed by 13 points. The Trib, with much egg on its face, reported on the discrepancy, and corrected its poll (as though it was some minor oversight). Crockett, due to an oversampling of Republicans, was up by 10 in the Trib, but down by three in the D-News. The polls also showed variances between congressional opponents Mia Love and Jim Matheson. The Trib had her up by 12 points, and the D-News by only four. You’re thinking, “Who cares?” but as BYU’s Quin Monson says, polls can affect momentum and last-minute fundraising ability. And Monson argues for greater transparency in how polls are done. Too late now.