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Safety, Gold Stars and Helping the Homeless

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Safe and Sorry
Yes, we know it's about safety. So much safety. This is why the governor ignored the public—you know, the people who just don't understand how important safety is, and who apparently will take any opportunity to get blitzed on an evil glass of wine over dinner. We don't have to worry about brunch drinking. That's not allowed until 11:30, when you're pretty much finished. A poll by The Salt Lake Tribune and the Hinckley Institute showed Utahns evenly divided on the .05-percent DUI limit, although the main support came from very active Mormons—the ones who only drink Coke. No legislation dealt with other distracted driving issues—the ones that are proven to be unsafe. Another poll showed that 60 percent of voters opposed the law allowing 18-year-olds concealed carry permits. Never mind. Gov. Gary Herbert OK'd both laws. They're about safety, you know.

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Gold Stars
When you're so used to losing, winning sometimes seems like a gift from God. But before you start celebrating, take a look at the reasons you won. Yipee, the governor vetoed the law that would have removed the requirement to appoint at least some Democrats to dozens of state boards and commissions. Give Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, a gold star. He stood firm against the GOP's ghost of health care reform. But wait: Neither of these is cause for celebration. Herbert, the Tribune notes, was the guy who asked for the bill on boards. And Lee, it turns out, wants a full repeal of the health care law and all of its regulations. Don't call it dead yet. Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, knows all these people who've lost their jobs because of the Affordable Care Act, he told the Deseret News. He apparently doesn't know any of the people whose lives were saved.

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Helping the Homeless
While the news has been all about the storm around siting homeless facilities in Salt Lake County (see p. 12), a sleeper group slipped into the mix with barely a whimper of dissent. The Armstrong Mansion—once a bed and breakfast barely a few miles from Temple Square—will be used by The Other Side Academy, a privately funded "therapeutic community" whose mission is to help "criminals, homeless and substance abusers change their lives, free of charge," according to its website. And their conditional use permit lets them do that in a historic Queen Anne-style home. "We no longer live in a world where you have to have friends, connections or money to get what you need to change your life." Let's hope that's true.

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