You have to wonder what Sen. Gene Davis, D-Salt Lake, was thinking when he proposed Senate Bill 132, an exemption to the sales and use tax for pellet stoves. Can you say “pollution”? Admittedly, among solid fuel stoves, pellets are maybe the cleanest burners. They are made of sawdust and formed into something that looks like rabbit droppings. Even though the EPA says that’s OK, these stoves emit 39 times the particulate matter of a natural-gas stove. Davis, a Democrat who’s joined as sponsor by Rep. Mel Brown, R-Coalville, apparently didn’t consult with the Division of Air Quality before proposing his bill. It’s possible DAQ would give the go-ahead, but just because something burns cleaner than wood doesn’t necessarily mean it burns clean.
At least public broadcasting is bigger than those who are trying to kill it. Talk of the Nation invited its listening public—oh, are they all liberals?—to weigh in on whether PBS, NPR and nearly 1,300 TV and radio stations should take a hit in the fight over the federal budget. In other words, NPR tried to cover both sides of the issue, or maybe all sides of it, just before the fated House vote to cut funding. Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., was featured on the program giving his draconian side. Lamborn repeated the tired argument that says perhaps we should let all things die that cannot be sustained by the private sector alone. Fiscal ideology, however, is just one aspect of the debate. Among conservative Republicans, the question of the so-called liberal media is as important, if not more so.
When will we get a straight answer to whether Chapman Library is on the chopping block? Amid much fanfare, plans are proceeding for a new library location in Glendale—near California Avenue (1300 South) and Concord Street (1250 West). The Salt Lake City Council and both west-side city councilmen recently approved the site for development. But the question remains about the future of Chapman, at 577 S. 900 West, and whether the city has enough money to continue staffing that diminutive west-side library as well as a Glendale version. The need for another library isn’t part of the debate—that’s obvious. The west-side population continues to grow, and elementary schools there have difficult access to libraries. But the question is what the neighborhoods will have to give up in exchange.