Short takes on the news
Keep it clean • Remember when Utah conducted a widespread cleanup of public swimming pools after 2007, when the state had 1,900 reported cases of intestinal infections caused by cryptosporidium? The following year no cases were reported, but last year there were 88 cases, decidedly more than the 15 reported in an average year. The parasites, which cause diarrhea for as long as two to three weeks, can come from human fecal matter, which is found in more than half of all U.S. public swimming pools, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. U.S. and Utah health officials are rightly warning parents to make sure their babies wear swim diapers and to take older children to the rest room often. They should wash hands thoroughly after changing diapers and do the changing in rest rooms, not beside the pool.
Women in the race • Politics has been called a blood sport. Well, it's time more women jumped into the ring, even if they're likely at times to get bruised and beaten up. Utah city and county councils, mayors' offices, Capitol Hill, the attorney general's office, the governor's mansion, Congress: They all could use more feminine faces and a lot more feminine good sense. Real Women Run is a group of individuals and organizations formed in 2010 to encourage more Utah women to participate in politics. Last Saturday's Real Women Run brought together experts in campaign organizing, planning and fundraising to help women get on the ballot and win elective office. It's an excellent goal. While Utah women have gained ground in local and county government, the Legislature is still overwhelmingly a male domain. Our congressional delegation, too, would benefit from more women as senators and House members. Utah has had only one female governor, Olene Walker, who was an extremely popular executive, but who was unfairly ousted by her own party at its oddly run convention. The mansion would benefit from a woman's touch.
Utah's shameful lottery • Thirty-two states require insurers to provide coverage for autism treatment, causing premium costs to rise an average of 31 cents per member per month, according to data gathered by Autism Speaks, a national advocacy group. But a bill that would have provided this much-needed therapy died in the Utah House this year, dashing hopes for thousands of families who want their children to live productive lives. The "pilot program" the Legislature approved temporarily helps only a few hundred. Openings exist now for just 35 more children, whose futures will be determined by lottery. In a state with a rate of autism twice the national average, the lack of compassion shown by legislators is shameful.