Out With the Trash
Maybe you've seen the videos of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. You know, the one that's twice the size of Texas and is not only disgusting but deadly. Well, Utah has its very own along the Jordan River above Farmington Bay, according to The Salt Lake Tribune, which referred to it as a "raft of trash." The plastic bottles, cigarette boxes, tires, cans and everything else threaten the Great Salt Lake and its wetlands, which support an ecosystem of waterfowl. The Nature Conservancy and others persuaded Salt Lake County to install a trash boom to collect the garbage. This is what we get for being an amazing state that attracts business and recreation enthusiasts. So, you wonder why the Legislature didn't approve a plastic bag ban? It would have been a start, but then you've got water bottles and straws and, of course, Huntsman Corp.
A Deseret News report about Utah Republicans pledging to support ethical and civil candidates made the rounds—the AP and U.S. News and World Report, for instance. The thing is, that's not entirely true. The magazine highlighted a little GOP group called Character First—a group that wouldn't be around but for Donald J. Trump and his Twitter-finger. Oh, there are others. Mormon Women for Ethical Government is one. But the real story is that they're not exactly effective. While Trump's approval rating is "way" up to 42 percent, U.S. Mormons—you know, that moral religious faction, approves of him at a higher rate than any other religious group—61 percent, according to a January Gallup poll. But one observer had this to say: "[Trump's] not guilty of false advertising. He told us repeatedly through his campaign that he was a very poor human being, and he has been consistent with that promise."
It took the state long enough to figure out that the Utah Transit Authority had to change—big time. Well, it did, sort of. Its board has been trimmed to three full-time members and is losing its own legal team, but the agency still isn't completely under state control. That despite its cute new name—TDU (Transit District of Utah). That's a $50-million name, BTW, when you re-brand vehicles, signs, uniforms, etc. The fiscal note was not included in the bill, but who cares? UTA is known for its high-flying spending, and this would be the least of it. Well, if you're doing a branding fix, you have to change the brands everywhere—permanently. The real question is whether it's really worth it, or whether it's much, ahem, T'DU about nothing.