Short takes on issues
SL airport most reliable • Utah has received good marks on its business-friendly taxes and regulations, quality of life and outdoor recreation opportunities. One of the well-oiled cogs in our wheel of commerce is the Salt Lake City International Airport. The city-run airport once again logged the best record for on-time arrivals and departures in the first six months of this year. Some 82.9 percent of all airplane landings were on schedule. That puts Salt Lake at the top of Department of Transportation rankings of 29 major airports in the country. That's important to business owners, who need to be able to come and go on a reliable schedule.
Closing gaps • The achievement gap in Utah schools is wide enough for nearly half of Latino students to fall through. That's the percentage of Latinos who drop out of high school before graduating. The gap usually refers to differences in standardized test scores between white and minority students, but there is also a gap in understanding between the two groups. That gap is what the Davis School District is trying to bridge with its outreach program involving local leaders of Latino and minority groups and parents of all Davis District students. The district sponsored A Parent Equity Night: Bridging the Achievement Gap with speakers from the black and Latino communities and a district administrator. It's important for a school district to do more than urge teachers to be inclusive. Davis seems to be willing to go beyond the classroom to help parents help their children.
Getting fatter • Obese. It's one of those words you really don't want to hear. It's ugly and it conjures up an unattractive image. But it goes far beyond appearances. Obesity is more than overweight. It's a condition that makes it difficult for a person to move, to be comfortable in clothing, to enjoy life. And it puts life-threatening pressure on all the organs in the body, makes the heart and lungs work too hard with every step. Many obese people have poor self-image and limited social lives. The really bad news about obesity in Utah is that, if we don't slow the increase, nearly half of all Utah adults will be obese by 2030. The annual cost of dealing with the increased heart disease, stroke, hypertension, obesity-related cancers and arthritis would jump 14 percent or by $639 million. Obesity is a serious problem, for individuals and for society, and it starts with children. It's up to all of us to focus on better nutrition and exercise.