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Pink Elephants 

Black-owned on the Rise, Local Water Bosses

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Pink Elephants
OK, now what? Hey, Democrats and unaffiliated voters, this means you. According to The Salt Lake Tribune, 28,800 of you—including former Sen. Jim Dabakis—switched parties to vote in the GOP primary. Good for you. That'll show 'em—what? That partisan gerrymandering has all but eviscerated the Democratic Party? That it's useless to fight the moral majority in Utah unless you can pretend to be part of it? That party matters in this state more than anything? Maybe the strategy was to make sure liberal-hater Greg Hughes didn't make it or that ethically challenged Sean Reyes would be run out of office. But, what's next? Each of the gubernatorial candidates supports President Trump. Each stands behind the wetlands-destroyer Inland Port and its air-polluting model. If this is your only act of defiance, then it's activism in name only.

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Black-owned on the Rise
Despite the Black LIves Matter protests and promises, it's too early to see the lasting effects. But there is a positive sign. "When Tiffany Griffin first saw people flooding social media with posts about supporting Black-owned businesses, she thought it was just a fad," NPR's Marketplace reported. Thanks to social media, the message to support Black-owned businesses went viral. A later Marketplace report highlighted Rita Magalde, owner of Sheer Ambrosia, a baklava business in Draper. And The Salt Lake Tribune posted a list of Utah's Black-owned restaurants, food trucks and bakeries. We've seen products with racist names and images take a hard turn and change. They may be the first step to not only supporting Black businesses but also including them in the dialogue.

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Local Water Bosses
The feds will give two water projects—one in Emery County and one in the Uinta Basin—to water associations in those counties, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. But a land swap from evil federal hands to loving local control also means locals don't need to worry about downstream users and long-term impacts of their dams, reservoirs and canals, says Jayson O'Neill, director of Western Values Project. The Republican elite led by Western officials salivate over a wholesale transfer of public lands, but these transfers could remove important environmental reviews. Colorado is looking at ways to pay for water projects. Water attorney Jenny Russell put it best in the Telluride News, noting that while regulations can slow down projects, public review processes on large projects can "ensure they are appropriate."

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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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