Ah, sex. In Utah, sex gets put into the same category as drugs, ostensibly because both can become “addictions.” Now, on the heels of a gubernatorial veto of the latest no-sex-education bill, Sen. Stuart Reid, R-Ogden, has come up with an alternative. Reid wants to teach parents how to teach their kids. Parents can probably see the wisdom in learning correct terminology and shock-free approaches to the birds and the bees. That’s the good part. But there are some caveats, too. Who will be teaching the parents, and will it mimic the school curriculum? And more to the point, will these classes be biased against classroom learning? There needs to be more discussion about goals here.
As if billboards didn’t already have the right of way, now the billboard companies (read: Reagan Outdoor Advertising) want blanket approvals to “upgrade” their signs to electronic eye-catchers. And that’s the problem. Flashing, moving, blinking signs are nothing if not distracting to drivers. Just imagine the next step—electronic signs across from your home. Reagan has already sued Murray City. When Provo balked at the signs, Reagan called it an assault on free speech. And nationwide, only four states have managed to ban billboards. Since billboards are considered personal property, they are taxed at rates lower than land and buildings. Over the years, Reagan has lobbied effectively for pro-billboard laws, and the right to “upgrade” is just one. The U.S. Supreme Court was wrong: Corporations aren’t people; they’re better than people.
Salt Lake City is once again salivating over prospects of hosting the Winter Olympics in Utah. With this prospect come heightened concerns over protection of the watershed. The tension between development and conservation was highlighted in a recent New York Times article in which Gale Dick, founder of Save Our Canyons, speculates that battle lines are being drawn. Already, the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce has come out in favor of SkiLink, a gondola to connect Solitude and Canyons resorts, and a congressional bill by Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, seeks to require the Forest Service to sell off land for the project. Of course, it’s all about money—an estimated $51 million to the state’s economy. Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, is valiantly trying to pass another bill to protect the land and watershed, arguably some of the most sensitive in the state.