Too Little, Too Much
Get ready. You can almost count down the days each year to when Utah officially starts talking about sex. Of course, the State Board of Education is much more interested in sex than it is about, say, math or science—or certainly biology. The debate over new guidelines for sex-ed centers on whether teachers spend too much time talking about sex (how it works) and too little about abstinence (how it doesn't work). "Our state is a family-based state, and we need to uphold that," board member Lisa Cummins said in a Salt Lake Tribune story. Of course, in order to have families, you have to have sex, but Cummins knows that—secretly. Then there's Rep. Justin Fawson, R-North Ogden, who we think is ready to tackle pornography. We "think" because this is how his proposal went from sex-ed to porn. "Often we have willow trees when we start and whittle them down to toothpicks," he said. "I'd say this is a mighty fine toothpick we have here."
This is why Utah needs two major daily newspapers. We'll start with the medical cannabis issue. In The Salt Lake Tribune, you get: "What's a voter to believe about medical pot?" an article that fact checks all the garbage that's been spewn over Proposition 2, and there weren't a lot of "true" findings in it. Of course, the article mentioned the Eagle Forum's Gayle Ruzicka, and later gave her an op-ed to continue her diabtribe. The Deseret News, on the other hand, asked readers to vote against Prop 2, and ran these articles: "Two police groups voice concerns on Proposition 2," and "Church leader sees confusion over Proposition 2." On another subject altogether, the Trib ran this correct headline: "GOP candidate for Salt Lake County clerk files suit against her opponent," and the News ran this misleading one: "Candidates file lawsuit against S.L. County clerk."
Make Utah Scenic Again
You might think that billboards are a political issue, what with all the candidates' faces on them. But the ubiquitous signs go way beyond campaigning, and even beyond campaign money donated by billboard companies. Billboards are big business, as former Mayor Ralph Becker knows too well. He and his wife are starting Scenic Utah to combat the blight billboards cause, not only in cities but also along scenic byways. Becker, the Trib ays, wants to lobby the Legislature, which often sides with the billboard companies, to toughen state regulations. While some states ban billboards altogether, Utah and others have grandfather clauses that don't let you take them down. This will be a good fight, but it won't be an easy one.