The Decision Stands
Embarrassing as it is, the U.S. Supreme Court's stern reprimand of Utah was something of vindication for those weary of the state's land-grabbing intentions. This was quite the case—Ute Indian Tribe v. Utah. And it's been going on for 40 years—at some enormous cost. A 2014 story in Native News Online called the whole thing racist. Well, yeah: "Assistant Attorney General Randy Hunter referred to tribal members as 'these people' and seeking state jurisdiction on the reservation so Utah law enforcement can arrest 'drunk tribal members fleeing to the reservation,'" the story said. The high court first denied the state's claims to the land, but the state kept trying by prosecuting tribal members on the res. Last week, the Supreme Court denied review of the case and reminded Utah that the state had lost. Just wait until they get their hands on our federal lands lawsuit.
Salt Lake City has some soul-searching to do about low-income housing, and you know the city is all about housing these days. High rises are going up everywhere, but affordable housing is relegated to the west side. A story in The Salt Lake Tribune noted that three council members voted against the 80-unit Bodhi Apartment Project because, once again, it's on the west side. While the reporter pondered low-income housing going up in Federal Heights or Yalecrest, he apparently missed a lot of other potential areas on the east side. After all, there's a Walmart on Parley's Way now. The city needs to move aggressively toward affordable rents. A study by the Pew Charitable Trusts showed housing costs for low-income renters up 50 percent since the '90s, according to Forbes magazine.
It sounds good: $4.5 million in funding for early-education programs. Wow. The Legislature really gets it, you say. Think again. Gov. Gary Herbert is probably trembling at the thought of these legislators working toward another costly override session—this one to ensure that their pork gets paid for. Take the online preschool program and a reality TV cooking show, not to mention a little used K-3 reading program. The Deseret News pointed out that the Democrats see these programs sending tax dollars to private vendors. Yes, the Legislature loves the private aspect of education. In the same edition of the D-News, John Florez editorialized against the state school board, saying it has no vision and the Legislature just tinkers with piecemeal initiatives. It looks like they do that for their friends, instead of Utah students.