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Soap Box Dec. 14 and beyond

'That's not the world we live in'

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Cover story, Dec. 14, "Now What? On assignment in Southeastern Utah to get the locals' perspective on shrinking national monuments"
Thanks for a thoughtful article about the Bears Ears National Monument, which should not be controversial at all—but that's not the world we live in.

The best time to establish a national monument for the area would have been in 1936, when it was originally proposed. I got involved when I first arrived in Utah in 1980, on a backpacking trip that included Dark Canyon. Representing the Utah Wilderness Association, I went to Washington to testify in favor of designating the Dark Canyon Wilderness on the Manti-La Sal National Forest as part of the Utah Wilderness Act of 1984.

Then we advocated strongly but unsuccessfully for wilderness designations on BLM wilderness study areas in San Juan County. It just defied logic that so little was being done to protect the world-class wilderness and cultural resources in the rest of Dark Canyon, Grand Gulch, Cedar Mesa, Mancos Mesa, Comb Ridge and Butler Wash. Well, that was 30 years ago. I treasure the memories of solo hikes through Grand Gulch, Fish Creek and Owl Creek.

in the current go-round, Friends of Cedar Mesa did an outstanding job of finding consensus on wilderness, only to see the PLI bill turned into a wishlist for the oil and gas industry. That brought the issue full-circle to a national monument proclamation. But before the BLM even put up a sign welcoming everyone to our newest national monument, consensus was torn apart by politicians looking for a wedge issue.
Richard Warnick
Via cityweekly.net

Look for the mining jobs to start popping up.
Adam Hatch
Via Facebook

Movie review, Dec. 14, The Shape of Water
Couldn't disagree more.
Nate Sorensen
Via Facebook

It had to be done.
@thebadnewsfairy
Via Twitter

Blog post, Dec. 19, "UTA Fare Free Friday Announced" *
It's the least they can do.
Julie Van
Via Facebook

It seems to me this will have the opposite effect because Utah busses are already crowded and smelly. Allowing free rides just means they'll be more crowded and probably late because they'll stop more often. I wish they'd spend their money on something useful like running the busses all night or extending Sunday service.
Liz Adams
Via Facebook

It means less people will be driving. That's the point; less pollution that is killing people.
Katie Goldman
Via Facebook

Transit is not convenient for those of us living out on the West Side. It takes me about 20 minutes to drive from my home in West Valley to my job in South Salt Lake. But the same commute using mass transit eats an hour and a half each way. And the cost of the fare doesn't begin to compare favorably with what I spend on gas for the trip.

West-to-East commuting is getting ridiculous and WVC is one of the fastest-growing segments of the valley. When is UTA going to get around to showing us some love out here?
Dustin Clark
Via Facebook

I take the train to work every day. In fact, I'm on it right now. I go from West Jordan to downtown and it saves me so much time! Getting to work in the morning takes about the same but it is in the afternoon that I save the most time. I love that I save the wear-and-tear on my car and that it's better for the environment. The train can be scary and a little intimidating for some, but I think this will help with that also. The only thing I would like to see changed about Trax, is the hours extended at night. We enjoy going downtown but don't take the train in case we get out too late to catch the last one.
Peggy Nelson
Via Facebook

This is only an innovative way for people to "get their minds set" that public transportation does work. There is not a quick fix to environmental issues, however this will help. Who is paying for it?
Sergio Bernabeu
Via Facebook

The Energy Fairy is paying for it.
Brian Hatch
Via Facebook

Without doing these three things, you will never, ever, get people to use public transportation in a meaningful way:

1) Run in the areas that have the highest usage.

2) Run on Sundays and late at night (24 hours).

3) Decrease commute times if transfers are required.
Clay Boitnott
Via Facebook

So, one day and our air quality is supposed to be better? How 'bout UTA is free on any inversion day?
Nick Maez
Via Facebook

*Read the follow-up to this story here.

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