Playing the Kid Card | Hits & Misses | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Playing the Kid Card 

An Ounce of Prevention, Trees vs Pollution

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Playing the Kid Card
The governor and his sidekick need to take control. How about a systemic plan from the state? Parents want kids back in school (where teachers are anxious, and some are quitting) because everyone realizes that in-person learning is far superior to the online version. But with schools and daycare centers subject to virus closure, more parents, especially women, resist returning to the workplace. The 2020 Women in the Workplace Report warns of a resurgence in bias against working women, even as one in four consider not going back to work during the pandemic. It's crazy the way officials use kids as props for their ideology. Just look at Amendment G on your ballot, asking if you'd support children and people with disabilities. It's actually not about that but rather further decimating the basic school budget. So, state officials: How about a statewide plan—not a mandate—on how to move forward?

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An Ounce of Prevention
Back to the lack of leadership, not even the Utah state auditor could help but wonder at the lack of preparedness in the face of the pandemic. "From our high-level review, we conclude that the state did not adequately anticipate or prepare for this type of statewide, national and global pandemic," the 33-page audit says. The Salt Lake Tribune points out that the audit looked at $108 million of emergency purchases, most of which appeared to be panicked reactions to COVID-19. How many times has the governor implored residents to "do the right thing?" by wearing masks and social distancing? He continued to trust the good nature of Utahns even as the virus spiked, and anti-maskers continued to protest. It was no wonder that Gary Herbert was hit with viral criticism after being spotted maskless himself at a private party. Now the president has the virus, showing that the sorry leadership started at the top and trickled down to the states.

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Trees vs Pollution
Well, now we know Joe Biden won't be crowing about the Green New Deal, but there is hope for the environment in academia. The University of Utah has been looking at campus evergreens to map the kind of air pollution during different times of the year, according to the Deseret News. As it becomes increasingly clear that pollution is killing us, cost-effective studies like this are crucial to understanding how to combat the threat. There's talk globally about planting trees to suck up the pollution, but that's just one part of the solution. Science Daily recently noted the kinds of trees that can make a difference. The Irish city of Cork is already planting strategically in its urban area. China says it's planted 66 billion trees in what it calls the Three-North Shelter Forest Program. And the United States? We're trying to figure out where the pollution's coming from.

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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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