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Smoke Signals 

Also: Zero Stars, Dog Days

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Smoke Signals
Someone on Facebook stated the real problem: "What would happen if everyone did the same thing that I'm doing?" This was in response to a story in The Salt Lake Tribune about a man in Morgan who used a wood boiler to heat his home. Huffing and puffing, his neighbors have now taken the issue to court, saying the smell permeates everything and the smoke is affecting their health. But the real question is why the legislature refused to curtail wood-burners, except on red-burn days. In rural Utah, it's anything goes, and legislators have said they want to be sensitive to the rural lifestyle. Wood smoke may smell idyllic, but it's toxic and full of particulates. And a University of Utah study foundwood burning to be as significant as gasoline to air pollution along the Wasatch Front. Meanwhile, the man has moved to Mountain Green and the lawsuit continues.

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Zero Stars
On the Utah movie scene comes Meet the Mormons, a documentary that's generated all kinds of reviews from across the nation, and came in at No. 10 in box office receipts. Joel Campbell, a professor at BYU, took issue with reviews by The New York Times, by The Salt Lake Tribune and others. "It's interesting that film reviewers have been effusive about documentaries which attack the LDS Church for its campaign against Proposition 8 in California," he said. "Mormonism is still America's acceptable bias."

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Dog Days
No one cares if this was an election ploy because it was all about the animals—or more specifically, Justice for Geist. Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder announced mandatory training for his officers on how to identify behaviors in dogs and how to react appropriately. Salt Lake Police Chief Chris Burbank chose instead to focus on defending the actions of his officer, who shot and killed Geist. Even if the shooting were justified, the killing led to a call for a comprehensive look at how officers handle these situations. The sheriff's department is doing just that, in cooperation with the Humane Society of Utah, because "the majority of people out there look at their pets as members of the family," Humane Society Director Gene Baerschmidt told Good4Utah.

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