One thing for sure: Paul Mero knows a duck when he sees one. That’s why the head of the Sutherland Institute weighed in on the morality of rebuilding the Provo Missionary Training Center. He tweets: “If you’re a Mormon and opposed to this MTC expansion, you should be ashamed of yourself.” Plans for the nine-story building have brought orange balloons, an online petition drive and protests from the neighborhood surrounding the MTC. Despite three years of discussions and the plan meeting code and zoning requirements, neighbors think promises have been broken. Protest organizer R. Paul Evans says this is a building issue, not a church issue. But since it was the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles that OK’d the plan, where does that put his immortal soul?
More than 100 people marched in the desert around the Green River to say no to a proposed nuclear plant there. You have to be proactive when even the state engineer has approved the notion of removing water from the Green River to cool the proposed plant, which is set to go online by 2020. Besides your usual “enviros,” members of the Fort Mojave Indian Tribe showed up to tell successful protest stories and whip up enthusiasm. Then The Salt Lake Tribune editorialized against both the nuke plant and other plans to build a 500-mile pipeline to Denver. All this on the heels of a list from national nonprofit American Rivers naming the Green River the No. 2 most endangered river in the nation. The paper even invoked climate change as a reason for caution. Go tell that to the state’s political majority.
And in a week of protests, there was also the diminutive march in Ogden to draw attention to police excesses. The sister-in-law of Matthew David Stewart wants to stop ill-advised raids on private homes and, more generally, the “war on drugs.” Stewart, who has become an unlikely catalyst for change, is charged with the fatal shooting of a police officer and the wounding of five others who busted in to search for drugs. But this is not really about Stewart, who’s hardly a sympathetic character. It’s about the wisdom and training of police who go, guns drawn, into private homes to enforce laws against the growing of marijuana. Whether you agree with the notion of decriminalizing pot-growing, you might sense that if someone draws a gun, you could expect guns drawn in retaliation.