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Pipe Dreams 

Train-ing Ground, Not-So-Easy Reading

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Pipe Dreams
At least the "lamestream media" recognizes a bad idea when they hear it. Which bad idea? The one about pumping water from the Pacific Ocean into the Great Salt Lake. "Loony idea of a Pacific Ocean pipeline distracts from real water-saving steps," The Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board writes. Our Legislature thinks this is a dandy idea because, for sure, no one wants to require people—or golf courses—to quit watering the lawn. This is not the Golden Spike, where underpaid and abused Chinese laborers can lay lines across the continent. Here's what Greenmatters says: "The construction process sounds brutal ... would require high-emissions machinery, would have to travel about 600 miles to the coast, crossing through the Sierra Nevada [mountains], California and Nevada. It would require digging, and take a toll on surrounding land." If you like conspiracy theories, maybe lawmakers want to build the pipeline for oil instead.

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Train-ing Ground
As long as we're talking about bad ideas—if you haven't heard about the Utah inland port, you can take a virtual tour of it here (uipamap.info/home). According to the Tribune, the port authority board is fast-tracking acquisitions to add a rail line in its already fragile ecosystem. If rail isn't enough, the port could bring in 67,000 diesel trucks a day to Salt Lake's inversion-inclined air. Because it will use so much of our dwindling water supply, the port could also give rise to toxic dust storms, notes Brian Moench of Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment. But the big problem may just be greed. The port is being built largely on private property, and the owners—including the LDS church—stand to profit from selling.

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Not-So-Easy Reading
Who knew that our children were being exposed to "clearly pornographic" materials? Apparently, Utah House Speaker Brad Wilson has poured over those disgusting books that are now banned as "sensitive materials." He told KUER 90.1 FM in several accounts that "some parents" had expressed concern about what was on school library shelves. "Where normally a district might receive just a few challenges a year, the Granite District alone has seen 36 across its schools," KUER reports. "Titles include books like Last Night at the Telegraph Club, The Bluest Eye and The Kite Runner." The rules are less than clear, but that hasn't stopped people from complaining. Not even the ever-inconsistent Supreme Court has been able to figure it out. But Wilson seems to "know it when he sees it." Still, it's unlikely that he or any of the complainants have read or understood any of the subject books. If they have ever been in a book club, they'd know that uncomfortable notions set the stage for a moral populace.

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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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