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Charitable Chills

Also: Split Education, Cost & Effect

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Charitable Chills
If you look beyond the obvious political motivations, this may just be a great way to raise charitable funds. And let's face it: There's a certain perverse joy in watching House Speaker Becky Lockhart and U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, get doused with buckets of ice water. But they're happy to do it. On to County Mayor Ben McAdams, to whom Chaffetz issued the latest challenge. The idea is simple: You accept the challenge and donate somewhere between $10 and $100 to a charity after putting up a video of your ice-drenched self on YouTube or Facebook. Lockhart and Chaffetz chose the American Cancer Society, although we don't really know how much they donated. The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation says it got an influx of donations in the weeks following the challenge. It's maybe not the best way to raise funds, but surely the most fun.

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Split Education
Whatever happened to the art of negotiation in politics? South Jordan apparently has given up, and wants to take its toys from the Jordan School District and play alone. Does this seem like deja vu? A split in 2008 created the Canyons School District—at high cost—and left Jordan with fewer resources for its west-side students. Citizens voted down a bond that would have given Jordan a better hand at improving facilities and instruction; go figure. For some reason, South Jordan thinks it can duplicate the bureaucracy and re-create a school district better than it could work with the district at hand. West Jordan worries about the fallout and the Jordan Education Association overwhelmingly voted down the idea. For one thing, it takes at least three years after a split to reconstitute teacher professional development.

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Cost & Effect
Dear Legislature, please carefully read a study on the costs of keeping the Utah State Fairpark right where it is. You already know how expensive it is to move stuff—like the state prison—and we know you're more concerned about developers and businesses than you are about people. But maybe with a little innovation, the fairpark could become a year-round draw for Salt Lake City. Over the next 20 years, the study says, the fairpark will need about $33 million to get up to code. That compares with $160 million to move it. And guess what would replace it? Another transit-oriented development, which the Downtown Alliance thinks will boost retail sales and house lots of people—like the one proposed for the prison site.

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