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News » Hits & Misses

Spared the Embarrassment

Bad Air's Price Tag, Remembering Gamble

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Spared the Embarrassment
That worked, didn't it? Utah's Republican cabal wanted to spare the little woman the embarrassment of being rejected for a spot on the Utah Court of Appeals. That's the reason for not giving Margaret Plane a hearing? "We don't have to explain our vote," Sen. Lyle Hillyard, R-Logan, told the Deseret News. "I think it would be horrible for her to go through the process, with so many unanswered questions, and then be rejected," he said. "Then she has a stain on her record." There's been pushback to the process, but we don't know why or from whom because it's within the echo chamber of the GOP locker room. She's not as "qualified" as others on the list, and Hillyard was hoping for "diversity" in the courts. By that, he means attorneys from outside Salt Lake City who've worked with clients who can't afford expensive lawyers. These appointments aren't supposed to be political, but they are. Whatever the reason not to consider her, embarrassment shouldn't be one of them. Plane, like any judicial candidate, is a big kid now.

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Bad Air's Price Tag
As if COVID wasn't enough, we are still breathlessly fighting air pollution and its deadly effects. And no matter the bad news, Utah politicians seem unmoved or unable to push forward with any remediation. In the oh-well category, University of Utah scientists reported a link between inversion days and lower test scores among kids, poor cognition and more school absences, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. In other bad news, older women in high-pollution areas show a higher risk of Alzheimer's, and life expectancy for everyone is reduced. Oh, but here's the good news: Air pollution is not only lowering our life expectancy, it's costing Utahns $1.9 billion a year. That's good news because money seems to be the only means to move politicians. We've seen that with their stubborn support of the Inland Port, which they equate with jobs and global recognition. It's hard to cut through the pollution—or the B.S.

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Remembering Gamble
She didn't fight in a war or against street crime, but Allyson White Gamble fought for health, hope and love—life's greatest challenges—and she won even in death at 52. Gamble had been executive director of the Capitol Preservation Board for some 19 years and was often seen wandering the halls of a building she treated like home. She was an unfailing optimist, contracting a rare virus while giving birth that attacked her heart. Over the years, two families donated hearts for transplant. While she dealt with the roller coaster of drugs and side effects, she never lost that brightness people recognized. She was seeking a kidney when she suffered a debilitating stroke that ended her life. As Gamble is remembered for her vibrance, she should also be remembered as a symbol of hope and a beacon for organ donation.