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War on Everything 

Also: Red Tape, Shining Light on Water

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War on Everything
If you believe that the fatal attack on Charleston churchgoers is part of a "war on religion," then get ready for more ludicrous labeling: In 2007, an armed gunman made his way through Trolley Square, killing five. Indeed, this was part of the "war on shopping malls." In 1994, 10 people were taken hostage at the Salt Lake City Main Library in the ongoing "war against literacy." And in 1999, a man entered the Family History Library, killing two in a combination "war on religion/literacy/family." In a June 18 editorial, the Deseret News would have you believe that the Charleston killings were more about religious worship than race. Despite the ongoing investigation, this is blatantly untrue. Dylann Roof was a white-supremacist sympathizer and, according to a website he frequented, had planned the Charleston murders to kill blacks. This was "an assault on all Americans as well as on a bedrock principle of American liberty—the right to worship freely," the Deseret News wrote. Wrong.

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Red Tape
This week saw bureaucracy meet benevolence. The bureaucrats won. For years, homeless advocates have worked to establish a homeless hospice and, thanks to the Catholic Diocese, Salt Lake Regional Hospital and others, the nonprofit landed at the old Guadalupe School site. Scheduled to open, it was waiting for an occupancy permit from Salt Lake City. Not so fast: The City Council suddenly found religion and decided to push the responsibility to the state. It must fully comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act and, oops, it might be mislabeled as a skilled nursing facility, since the dying homeless would be moved to another facility at the very end. OK, it's a shelter. What the council doesn't get is that these people are dying and homeless, and a little help from the city would go a long way toward compassionate governance.

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Shining Light on Water
KUED 7 and KUER 90.1 collaborated on a half-hour program about Utah's uncertain water future. Well, "uncertain" is right. Water is a difficult issue steeped in politics. Of course, the big problem is that pesky rivers run through multiple states, and even efforts to dam up the flow are met with resistance. A 139-mile pipeline from Lake Powell to St. George is still being considered on the merits of an outdated study that made the multibillion-dollar project seem feasible. Whether you believe in climate change or not, conservation, efficiency and pricing strategies should be first considered. KUED and KUER are bringing attention to the problem.

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More by Katharine Biele

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    • Jan 16, 2019
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