Champ or Chump? | Hits & Misses | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Champ or Chump? 

Police Training Matters, Falling Like Dominoes

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Champ or Chump?
Well, how cute is it to see Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, stand up for women's rights? But that is not exactly what it was. Lee was in a rant over transgender women athletes and how very unfair it is to let them play along "real" women, according to the Deseret News. "It's offensive to me and to millions of Americans that the great strides our society has taken to protect women's rights and women's sports are now at risk of being undone," he said. As you pick yourself up from the floor, focus on the phrase "great strides our society has taken to protect women's rights." Those strides have women paid 70 cents on the dollar for men's work, but that's a story for another time. The issue of transgender athletes is a complicated one that has hit the courts, too, even though athletes complaining of an uneven playing field still win against their transgender opponents, an NPR story noted. But Lee is valiantly standing up for women's rights—until he's not.


Police Training Matters
Remember what they say about women—or men or sports—that you can't live with them, and you can't live without them? So, it is with the police. As the country struggles with how to address police violence, the Deseret News and the Utah Investigative Journalism Project reviewed police manuals from 10 departments in the state. What they found was surprising if validating for District Attorney Sim Gill. Gill, who has taken the heat for justifying the shooting of Bernardo Palacios-Carbajal, has called the laws "generous" to police and called for reform. Is it necessary? Among other things, police are allowed to review videos before giving statements in a shooting. And some departments allow chokeholds like the one that killed George Floyd. So, if we're going to live with the police, we need to be sure that life is the prime directive.


Falling Like Dominoes
In Utah, where it's patriotic to hate the federal government, you might wonder at the rush to cash in on the Paycheck Protection Program. We're talking $5 billion, some of which went to what The Salt Lake Tribune calls "an unknown Utah company." And "by some" we mean between $5 million and $10 million went to Allison Baver Entertainment. Baver—who parlayed her background as an Olympic skater to create a company where she can be hired as a speaker and model—claims to have retained some 430 employees for various projects. Meanwhile, in a fight for survival, longtime bookseller Ken Sanders has taken to, hoping to raise $250,000. Just look around Salt Lake City to see the iconic restaurants falling like dominoes—Mazza on 9th & 9th, Cannella's after 42 years and maybe even Jorge Fierro's Rico Brand. Losing Rico will be painful because of Fierro's community work like the Burrito Project, which feeds the homeless. How many more historic businesses will we lose while "unknown Utah companies" lap up the gravy?

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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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