Electric Cars, Orrin Hatch, Video Game Censorship & UTA Disabled Cutbacks | Hits & Misses | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Electric Cars, Orrin Hatch, Video Game Censorship & UTA Disabled Cutbacks 

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Plugged In
A Salt Lake City filled with electric cars zipping silently through the streets may sound like a pipedream from one of Mayor Ralph Becker’s “blueprints.” But city officials are thinking seriously about the idea. With the encouragement of electric car buffs, the City Council is talking about a system of public electric filling stations where electric car drivers could plug in for a fee at parking lots, parking meters and park-and-ride lots.

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Serve America
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, has his fingerprints, if not his name, on a big expansion of a government program that seems tailor-made for the times. The Serve America Act, renamed as it passed the Senate for Sen. Ted Kennedy, the bill’s other main proponent, will triple the number of AmeriCorps volunteers to 250,000 and help older Americans transition from work to nonprofit jobs. In contrast to government money ladled out to corporate CEOs, it seems like $5.7 billion well spent.

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Censorship Veto
Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. has censored a video-game censorship bill by not signing it. The law was apparently intended to keep “mature”-rated video games out of the hands of children but would have created a field day for the self-appointed morality police of Eagle Forum and been a nightmare for businesses, which could have been heavily fined for selling a labeled product to the wrong person. Huntsman pointed out that, since the game ratings are voluntary, retailers simply could have removed rating labels.

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Bus Blues
Hopefully, this is an April Fools’ prank. Fresh off of getting the Legislature to let it build a commuter rail stop on top of a 3,000-year-old Native American archaeological site, the Utah Transit Authority has announced plans to balance its budget by scaling back service to the disabled. April public hearings are scheduled on UTA’s proposal to double the price of rides that get the disabled to and from bus stops while reducing service to federally mandated minimums—meaning no service farther away than 3/4 mile from a TRAX stop.

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