No wonder people won’t run for office. Salt Lake City’s philosopher district attorney, Sim Gill, has had to endure not only professional criticism for his ruling in the police shooting of Danielle Willard, but also a curious racial swipe from the GOP chairman. After parsing through video and reconstructions, Gill said the shooting was unjustified and the officers weren’t in imminent danger. Critics say Gill didn’t use a technique called “force science.” But from the look of the evidence, he didn’t need to. Amid all the debate, though, was Chad Bennion’s comment that Gill, coming from India, was biased by the many injustices he saw there. Really? So he should turn a blind eye to injustice here? Or is this a comment akin to Obama being a socialist from Kenya?
In a libertarian society like Utah, maybe you just let drug overdoses take their course. Maybe you figure drug addicts are hopeless and irredeemable. But what if that someone who overdoses is your daughter, your son or yourself? According to the Utah Department of Health, an average of 23 Utahns die as a result of prescription drugs each month. On Saturday, Aug. 31, advocates will gather on the steps of the Capitol to highlight Overdose Awareness Day. While some are pushing for a Good Samaritan Act to make it possible to call for help without risking prosecution, other strategies are needed to stem the 400 percent increase in deaths over the past decade, says Zach Baker of Salt Lake Students for Sensible Drug Policy. Syringe exchanges and access to drugs that cut short an overdose are just a few.
As if we don’t have enough to worry about along the pollution-clogged Wasatch Front, along comes the specter of mad-cow disease. Thank Stericycle, the northern Utah medical-waste incinerator that was recently cited for violating clean-air standards. Stericycle has a permit that allows incineration of prions, the proteins that cause mad-cow disease. Stericycle hasn’t actually accepted these prions, but it could by simply notifying the state. While incineration is a “preferred” method of disposal, it is not believed to fully destroy prions. The disease they can cause is fatal and insidious, in that it can jump to other species. So the question is, why Utah would allow a clear and present danger in such a highly populated area?