This year’s American Lung Association report on the nation’s air quality ranks Salt Lake City No. 6 for worst bad-air days in the country. Environmental Protection Agency data charting spikes in lung-clogging fine-particulate pollution finds several Utah valleys in the top 25. In addition, Salt Lake County and six other Utah counties receive a failing grade for the number of days with high ozone levels. The good news is that no Utah cities make the worst air list when air pollution is averaged out over the entire year. The take-away may be to pay attention to Red Air day warnings and stay inside.
Salt Lake City officials topped in bowler hats recently took time out to celebrate the past with a festival billed as the first annual celebration of historic preservation. The city joined with the Utah Heritage Foundation to recognize the 20th anniversary of the restoration of the City & County building. The event was the most visible part of a city initiative to renew attention paid to older city buildings and determine how they can contribute to Salt Lake City’s future landscape. It is only unfortunate that the celebration couldn’t have been scheduled for a different day so that city officials could have supported a May Day workers rally that took place at the same time in Pioneer Park. As luck would have it, the May 2 celebration got rained out and is rescheduled for Saturday, May 9 at the State Capitol at 2 p.m. Read all about it at UtahJWJ.org. City officials now have no excuse.
Utah’s 2009 Legislature passed a law allowing gun owners to bring firearms into their employers’ parking lots. Rumors of a crackdown on guns by the Democrats in control of the U.S. congress have led to a run on ammo in the Beehive State. Now some of Utah’s gun-toting lawmakers want to follow Montana’s Legislature by getting the federal government completely out of regulating weapons. Montana’s law declaring that weapons made, sold and kept in the state are exempt from federal regulations—like background checks— is expected to face an expensive court battle. This can’t turn out well.