Short takes on news
Something in a name • "What's in a name?" The question Juliet puts to Romeo in Shakespeare's tragedy is answered in the brouhaha over use of the word "Dixie" in Dixie State College and whether to retain it when the college becomes a university. Like it or not, some words are loaded with a negative context that cannot, and should not, be ignored. We sympathize with longtime St. George residents and alumni who say the word should not be construed as sympathy for the Confederacy's defense of slavery in the Civil War. However, the word is an anachronism that leaves the inescapable, if unfair, impression that the school is racially insensitive. No place of higher learning needs that. We commend the school's president, Stephen Nadauld, for having a statue of a Confederate soldier holding the South's "Stars and Bars" standard removed from its prominent perch on campus, and hope that is followed by an equally wise decision to drop Dixie for good.
Movies as art • From pioneer times to the present, Salt Lake Valley residents have promoted the arts and sciences and benefited from the education and cultural refinement they bring. Unfortunately, revenue from the Zoo, Arts and Parks sales tax that Salt Lake County residents approved in 2004 had fallen as a consequence of the Great Recession. But it is rising now for the second year in a row with the improving economy. The top 23 arts organizations will divvy up $9.6 million next year from a low of $7.9 in 2010. That good news is accompanied by the welcome addition of the Salt Lake Film Society to that top tier of recipients that includes the Utah Symphony & Opera and Ballet West. The prominence of film in modern culture is ample justification for providing a projected $254,000 in ZAP funds for educating the public about the history and artistry of film and for such things as workshops for screenwriters and digital directors and programs for the schools.
Addressing autism • One out of every 47 Utah children has an autism spectrum disorder. That's the highest rate in the country, so anything that can be done to ameliorate the burden that autism places on parents is welcome. A new state Medicaid pilot program providing 250 children with free applied behavior analysis therapy got off to a sputtering start when the compensation offered to tutors through the $15 million program drew just two applicants. Now Medicaid has bumped up the pay and seven providers have applied. We hope the Legislature, which funded the pilot program, will expand upon it to include many more children.