On the Cutting Edge
There are pros and cons to living in Utah, and the state's medical research is definitely a pro. Intermountain Healthcare gave credence to the practice of integrating mental health and diabetes in what Deseret News calls "the largest known study of mental health integration to date." This is important in an era of controversy not only over health care, but its coverage, as well. Despite laws on mental-health parity and the Affordable Care Act, there are still plans that don't cover mental health. Medicare is one. Meanwhile, the University of Utah is taking part in a continuing study of a new Alzheimer's drug said to reduce brain plaques associated with the disease. The Salt Lake Tribune notes that Alzheimer's is expected to affect 42,000 Utahns by 2025. These are great long-term steps in health care despite immediate failure to legalize medical marijuana or to expand Medicaid.
Not So Great
You have to read down a bit in the Deseret News report before you go, "Wait, What???" "Crashes into the [Great Salt Lake] are frequent, so rescuers may have to turn to aerial support from the Utah National Guard and other agencies to retrieve any victims." They are? While The Salt Lake Tribune was running a series on water quality, the D-News had the zinger. The story talked about the need to dredge the lake for a variety of peculiar reasons: Union Pacific is repairing the causeway in a manner that will decrease the south end by 18 inches. Not good news for sportsmen and the marina there. KSL reported threats to the brine-shrimp industry and waterfowl. A Utah State University paper said the lake has shrunk 48 percent, down 11 feet since 1847. You just can't take the lake for granted, as then-Gov. Norman Bangerter discovered with his pumps. Then again, what about those crashes?
Sometimes it seems like the state of Utah just wants its pesky citizens to go away, die or something. It's the coal miners they care about, and maybe Facebook. But that's another story. Now, both PacifiCorp and the state are suing the Environmental Protection Agency for, uh, protecting the environment. They want to stop a plan to clean up the air and protect views in the Grand Canyon, Arches, Canyonlands, Mesa Verde and other Western parks, according to the Sierra Club among others. The New World Atlas of Artificial Sky Brightness shows encroaching light on Utah's iconic national parks despite P.R. touting Utah for its dark skies. But the loss of stars isn't the worst of it. D-News reports that Utah is preparing a new bid to ship coal to a California port.