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Health Issue 

'Utah values'—what does it mean?

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The Health Issue
Utah values. That's the mantra, but no one seems to be able to define the term—unless they venture into the church-state issue, the anti-vaccination movement or even the return of the Red Scare. Envision Utah tried, but came up with a matrix not for the faint of heart. Now we have the State Board of Education arguing—again—about sex education and whether it draws a straight line to socialism. We are not making this up, and it should underline the wisdom of getting to know who your state board members are and what they stand for. Apparently, Lisa Cummins thinks Utah school children are at risk of "severe mental health issues of anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder," The Salt Lake Tribune reports. And, yeah, she's worried about "expanding socialism." She and Alisa Ellis were the two no-votes for reviewing health standards, and apparently against sex ed.


Not Up for Debate
The hapless Democrat in the 3rd Congressional District race missed a monumental chance to show us what she's made of. Maybe Kathie Allen opted out of the July 11 debate because she thought the audience, hosted by the conservative group Americans for Prosperity, would not be receptive to her views. But if reports from The Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News are correct, there were basically no views for the audience to receive. Provo's Daily Herald tried like a champ to come up with some differences among the GOP candidates, focusing on health care, and all they came up with was a whole lot of contempt for government. Surprise, surprise. Candidates and media, this was not a debate. It should be someone's job to eke out substantive comments on real issues from the candidates. The moderator, conservative talk show host Rod Arquette, didn't. Neither did the media.


Your Turn
It was a week of wins for transparency. Now residents just need to rise to the occasion. First, a 3rd District Court judge ruled that the Mountain Accord was subject to open meetings laws. The Deseret News noted that the Accord has morphed into the Central Wasatch Commission, which wants to figure out how to manage the Wasatch Mountain area. The County Council, meanwhile, called for an audit of the Accord's finances. In a separate action, Rep. Jefferson Moss, R-Saratoga Springs, wants a bill to clarify for residents where their user fees are going, a Salt Lake Tribune story says. Cities have long used user fees as cover for tax increases, and they often move that money into the general fund. Residents gripe but really can't follow the money.

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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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