Short takes on the news
Leaving Salt Lake City • If you want to leave Salt Lake City in a timely manner (and considering the muck we're all breathing, it sounds like a dandy idea), you are in luck. The Salt Lake City International Airport has been ranked, for the second year in a row, No. 1 in on-time departures in all of North America, not only in the United States. An impressive 89.21 percent of scheduled departures from the SLC airport were on time in 2012. That means they left the ground within 15 minutes of the scheduled departure time. That is quite a record, and is at least partially a result of a lack of disrupting weather incidents during the year. But it also is evidence of hard work and efficiency among personnel at the airport.
Help turning lives around • A former polygamous wife who had to battle for a new life after living in polygamy for years is doing something heroic for other women who want to make the same transition. Kristyn Decker is trying to buy a 5,558-square-foot home in Washington, Utah, for women and children trying to leave polygamy. She is seeking funding to buy the home, about 40 minutes from the polygamous communities of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz. It is listed for sale at $360,000. Utah Attorney General's Office spokesman Paul Murphy described the need for more housing for people leaving polygamy as "critical." He said recent purges in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints have displaced large numbers of people. While the Beehive State has devoted some funding to helping them, Decker's idea of pooling donations from individuals or groups could provide more opportunities for them.
Keeping poo out of the food • It took a long time, a lot of politics and at least one lawsuit. And still full implementation of a new set of common-sense rules for America's food producers is still three years away. But at least the process has begun with the announcement last week of a draft of the new regulations by the Food and Drug Administration. Under the rules, farms and food processors will be required to come up with specific plans to keep potentially deadly contaminations, such as listeria and salmonella, away from such foodstuffs as raw vegetables and fruits and peanut butter. Water used to grow or process such foods must be clean, workers must keep hands clean and animals (or, more specifically, animal waste) must be kept away. The new rules also give the FDA more power to shut down operations that don't pass muster. The FDA figures the rules will prevent some 2 million illnesses each year.