P.E. Percentages, Public Lands and Poverty | Hits & Misses | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly
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P.E. Percentages, Public Lands and Poverty 

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Name of the Game
Yes, of course it's about complying with the state's open-enrollment statute. It's not about making sure that Timpview or Brighton high schools stay on top of the rankings, or that your kid gets to play there. And if you believe that, don't look at the Deseret News graphic that makes it all startlingly clear: There are 8,794 high-school boys in Utah who participate in football. No girls. Are there similar issues with the 5,284 boys and 4,594 girls who participate in track and field? We don't know because the parents who pushed the state school board into trying to usurp control over athletics are only concerned with football. For now, the issue is on hiatus for 30 days. The Board of Education president for the Salt Lake City School District, Heather Bennett, called the proposal ego-driven and foolish. This is about pleasing the parents, not helping the students.

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A "Fair" Deal
Taxpayer money goes to the damnedest things—a coal port in California, a lawsuit to force the federal government to give up public lands. But sometimes, it hits the right places. The Utah State Fair kicked off last week with a groundbreaking plan for a new $17 million arena. The "little fair that could" has been struggling for decades and the state has been loathed to keep funding it. Now they seem to have come up with a fix—make it a multipurpose arena to bring in the Days of '47 Rodeo, concerts and other events. The fair is kind of folksy in this modern tech age, but its agrarian flavor is a big draw for urbanites. It's good for the west side, and there still needs to be more emphasis on building up that part of town.

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No Place Like ...
Homelessness. Poverty. Housing. It's such a morass that you have to give a high-five to Mayor Jackie Biskupski for even trying. Salt Lake City is working on solutions amid legislative skepticism and a firm GOP belief that the poor just need to get a job. The Salt Lake Tribune wrote about the burden of rents—sometimes half of their monthly pay. And for those making $20,000 or less, there's a shortage of 7,500 units. All this while the Housing First initiative is being touted nationwide, and has, in fact, reduced chronic homelessness by 91 percent. And a viable aid—building homeless shelters as separate, smaller units—faces opposition in the city council and your backyard. It's not as though no one's working on this. Councilwoman Lisa Adams even suggested a kind of KOA for the homeless.

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