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Housing & Population, Chaffetz Withdraws, Constitutional Convention 

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Housing & Population
What's wrong with this picture? "Housing shortage looms," screams the headline in the Deseret News. Housing sales and prices have reached historic highs, but the impact—oh, it could be bad. Prices are going up and there's just not enough houses, apartments and new construction, a report from the University of Utah's Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute says. James Woods doesn't exactly say, "Get to building," but he implies it, saying you just have to "pull the trigger." But what happens when consumption outpaces resources? Utah, with the highest birthrate in the nation, is expecting the population to double by 2050. Cities are already taking steps to build for that eventuality. But they don't take into consideration traffic congestion, air quality, the availability of water and other ecological necessities, of which the Utah Population and Environment Council warns. "Utah is living beyond its ecological means, with consumption of resources exceeding nature's renewable supply," it notes. Utah might be digging itself into an early grave.

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Chaffetz Withdraws
While "her emails" may still weigh on little Jason Chaffetz' mind, he has nonetheless seen the light on public lands. The U.S. representative responded to his constituents—at least those who are hunters and anglers—and withdrew his bill to place federal lands under state control, according to the Washington Post. Some of the 95 comments on the article don't exactly trust his motives. The Salt Lake Tribune then reported that Chaffetz, ever the spotlight hog, is pondering the wisdom behind seeking a physical exam for presidential candidates. No word on mental health. Meanwhile, the Trib says he has 43 investigations on his agenda, and not one of them is about Donald Trump.

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Constitutional Convention
Repeal and replace. It's not about health care. It's not that benign. No, it's about the whole damned Constitution of the United States. Utah's Republican Legislature is on track to pass a resolution calling for a "convention of the states," otherwise known as a Constitutional Convention. You know, it's because the evil empire of the federal government has just been too heavy-handed, and the state can't do everything it wants to do—like take over public lands, privatize education and get those lazy poor people off the government dole. This is not a good idea, despite what HJR3 says: "The federal government has ceased to live under a proper interpretation of the Constitution of the United States." A letter in Arizona's White Mountain Independent warns that money will take over if 34 approve the call. Those interests will stack the convention with pre-approved delegates who send it back to the already stacked states. Anything goes, and it won't be good for America.

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About The Author

Katharine Biele

Katharine Biele

Bio:
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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