nWith Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. cheerleading, Utah businesses and aid agencies are reaching out to help residents who have lost jobs or homes to the economic crisis. United Way of Utah recently announced the Neighbor-to-Neighbor program hoping to quickly raise $5 million to help families in crisis. Seeded with money from the LDS Church, the initiative will provide community grants to help with food, utilities and home foreclosures. The Utah Bankers Association is stepping up to publicize affordable housing programs. And Huntsman has pulled together a partnership of public and private lenders, dubbed the Utah Housing Action Coalition, with the assignment of shoring up the housing market. Hopefully the initiatives will be just the beginning of a sustained effort to limit the suffering of the current depression.
nThank goodness that’s over. You knew if there was slime thrown in the presidential election, Utah pols would get in on the act. On his way out the door, Congressman Chris Cannon tried to become a GOP hero by proving the right-wing whackjob theory that that Barack Obama’s memoir was actually written by ’60s radical William Ayers. Unfortunately, a writing-analysis expert laughed the idea out of the room. Last-minute GOP fliers suggested that Democrat Jay Seegmiller favored teen abortion (a position he’d never taken). Democratic fliers suggested Republican Greg Curtis was involved in bribery. Then there was the whisper campaign suggesting that John Rendell, the Democrat challenging anti-gay Sen. Chris Buttars, R-West Jordan, was … gay (Rendell’s wife and family notwithstanding).
Unlicensed to Kill
nUtah’s Bureau of Criminal Identification has been cracking down on criminals with state permits to carry concealed weapons. Thanks to new enforcement money to hire more investigators, BCI has more than tripled the number of licenses taken away from felons and cleared up a backlog of criminals known to be walking around with state-sanctioned gun licenses. The number of would-be gunslingers denied permits due to shady pasts is also up. Before the enforcement cash infusion, BCI was stretched too thin processing out-of-state applications and meeting the quick gun-license turnaround demanded by the Legislature to keep up with the crooks. The cost of making a political statement to the world was gun-toting hoods on the streets of Utah. tttt