The Neighborly Way | Hits & Misses | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

The Neighborly Way 

Neighbors in an east-side neighborhood are experiencing baseless fear. Here's to hoping Rep. Todd Weiler helps the Legacy Highway. Plus, will the Legislature ever stay out of education?

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The Neighborly Way
Since the 2016 election, it has become perfectly clear that Americans need to research fear, and try to understand it. Yes, everyone knows fear is a great motivator, but so what? The Salt Lake Tribune ran a Sunday story about fear, but it was really called "A Tale of Two Neighborhoods." It was about The Inn Between, a homeless hospice that has moved to an eastside neighborhood, mostly welcoming the sick and dying homeless population. But there are a couple of residents bent on bringing the Inn down. The saddest part of the story was reading that a 69-year-old woman won't sit on her porch at night anymore, and the most vocal critic won't let her children walk home from school. They say they've been called uncompassionate. In fact, they are just scared—and baselessly so. Helen Keller knew it: "Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature ... Life is either a daring adventure or nothing."

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Legacy of Hope?
Go for it, Rep. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross. Use that Republican clout you're always shouting about on Twitter and do what you say you'll do: Pass legislation extending the truck ban on the Legacy Highway. Utahns have kind of a split personality. They love the outdoors—the scenic mountains, rivers and lakes—but they also love the sound of money from big business, no matter the environmental costs. It has cost them the Outdoor Retailer convention, and if they keep it up, maybe a future Winter Olympics. The Legacy Highway was a stretch to begin with, but has proven that sound and speed restrictions can help, that wildlife can co-exist and development happen without trashing the environment. If you read between the lines in the Trib, Weiler worries about the clout of Inland Port advocates wanting more trucks on highway's like this one.

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State Miseducation
We've said it before, and we'll say it again: The Legislature needs to get out of the education business. Yes, we need the money. Not so much the transmogrifying laws they create. Let's face it. The Legislature has no long-term vision for education. It hasn't got the attention span. Now, Oquirrh Hills Elementary School in Kearns is paying the price. It's failed, according to the Trib, to make improvements in grades for three years. Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, R-Sandy, came up with the idea of private education consultants. But of course, there wasn't enough money, and then the lawmakers kept changing the grading standards. Funny, they don't think about asking teachers for ideas—probably because the educators are overworked and have too many kids in a class to focus on a solution.

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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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