Autism Causes, Open Space Preservation & Chaffetz Reluctant on Tucson | Hits & Misses | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Autism Causes, Open Space Preservation & Chaffetz Reluctant on Tucson 

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Autism on the Rise

One thing is sure: Everything from siblings being born too close together to babies ingesting cadmium-tainted breast milk causes autism these days. There is no scarcity of theories as to the cause of autism despite the recently debunked 1998 study that linked autism to vaccinations—specifically the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that an average of 1 in 110 children in the United States have an autism-spectrum disorder, and more are being diagnosed, for whatever reasons—maybe even broadening the definition. A 57 percent increase for the period 2002-2006 has been recorded. Answers about the cause need to be found. But the vaccination debate has put treatment on the backburner; meanwhile, autism is more prevalent than childhood cancer.

Open Space Still a Scenario
There may yet be an opportunity to discuss open-space preservation in the Northwest Quadrant. In October 2010, the council received a recommendation to start evaluating the master plan that proposes to develop the mosquito-infested area west of the airport and bordering Great Salt Lake wetlands. It’s now January, and nothing has happened. Nonetheless, one of the scenarios to be considered is “a complete land preservation (and acquisition) scenario (i.e., lands are rezoned and/or acquired to largely prohibit development).” There is still angst among wildlife and preservation groups that the council will approve a sprawling mini-city. But they now have another option to consider.

Reluctant Chaffetz
KUTV Channel 2 missed when it noted that Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, “reluctantly” agreed to speak about the Tucson shootings that wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., and left six dead. Context, please. What was the reluctance all about? Was it that Chaffetz, a Republican, didn’t want to gush about Giffords, a Democrat? No. According to staff, Chaffetz had been giving an interview at his home on pension reform. When the interview wrapped up, news of the shooting was ramping up. Chaffetz said he thought he could make a statement, but then had to “compose” himself first. And he was still emotional during a later interview. However, he’d obviously composed himself a day later when he was talking about carrying his gun around his Utah district—no reluctance there.

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About The Author

Katharine Biele

Katharine Biele

A City Weekly contributor since 1992, Biele is the informed voice behind our Hits & Misses and Citizen Revolt columns. When not writing, you can catch her working to empower voters and defend democracy alongside the League of Women Voters.

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