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The Polluting Port 

Groups envision global connectivity over water and air concerns, whose voice are we keeping? And say goodbye to SAGE testing.

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The Polluting Port
Dear Speaker Greg Hughes, the title of Supreme Leader in Chief has been reserved for Mr. Trump. We understand that you have this deeply held belief that states' rights means it's your right, and the game is locked. Surprise. You are not the only one with a vision for Utah's future. Remember, uh, the people? They do not seem happy. The Inland Port, nicknamed the Polluting Port, has not only Salt Lake City up in arms, but those dreaded but oft-ignored "enviros." Of course, businesses are all abuzz. The Daily Herald covered a panel of development cheerleaders, including Envision Utah, whose vision of global connectivity neatly bypasses concerns over water and air. Meanwhile, Sen. Jim Dabakis is tiptoeing into the fray because it's a done deal, The Salt Lake Tribune reported. There's no end to hubris.

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Keep Their Voice
The Utah Supreme Court was right—it's not about you; it's about us. That's "us" in the metaphorical sense. The court recently denied the Keep Their Voice, oops, Keep My Voice proponents' effort to overturn a legislative mandate giving candidates a dual path to the ballot. Who cares about this? Only the whichever-party elite who commonly come out on caucus night to stack the deck with fringe candidates. As The Salt Lake Tribune reported, the issue was actually about democracy—giving people a fair and balanced way to express their "preferences and values in a democratic fashion." KMV supporters thought it was their right to associate in a small, closed group. Don Guymon of the GOP Central Committee thinks the U.S. Supreme Court should weigh in because of an odd dissent by Chief Judge Timothy Tymkovich. But the rest of the court said this: "Not only does this balance not offend our Constitution, it is at its very essence."

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Not That Questar
Kids, this is Utah, where education funding is negligible, home schooling is aspirational and testing changes almost yearly. Get ready 'cuz there's more coming. The Utah Board of Education is about to dump SAGE. And they will opt into something from, well, Questar? No, not that one—Questar Assessment Inc., a big for-profit subsidiary of Educational Testing Service that's going to make a lot of money off you. Just a few months ago, the board toyed with risking $123 million in federal funds because they don't like the feds telling them anything. The Salt Lake Tribune notes that 6 percent of students opt out of SAGE testing anyway. Well, didn't the president just say you don't need to prepare? So now Utah's going all tech-savvy, despite computer glitches in some states and even a data breach.

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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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