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State of the Debate
George Pyle
George Pyle has been a newspaper writer in Kansas, Utah, Upstate New York, and now Utah again, for more than 30 years - most of it as an editorial writer and columnist. Now on his second tour of duty on The Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board, he has also done a stretch as a talk radio host, published a book on the ongoing flaws of U.S.agricultural policy and, in 1998, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing. His most active bookmarks are Andrew Sullivan, Christopher Hitchens and Tina Brown. And he still thinks the Internet can be used for intelligent conversation and uplifting ideas.

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(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) The American flag flies at half-staff in front of the Ogden Public Safety Center in honor of Weber Morgan Narcotics Strike Force Agent Jared Francom. The seven-year law enforcement veteran was killed and five other police officers and a felony suspect were wounded after a firefight late Wednesday during a drug raid in Ogden.
Editorials: What we don't know can hurt us ...

- Explain shooting: Police should tell what happened - Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

... The citizens of Ogden deserve to know more than the police department has yet divulged about what happened Jan. 4.

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We understand that the investigation of the shooting at an Ogden residence is ongoing. We accept the explanation that the crime scene is extensive and ballistics and other tests take time to be completed and evaluated. Interim Police Chief Wayne Tarwater was only recently appointed after former Chief Jon Greiner was dismissed due to a violation of the Hatch Act.

We understand all of that. But it’s been a week. An explanation of what is so far known should be forthcoming, and soon. The citizens who rely on the Ogden police force for protection deserve to know how the community came to bear such a huge loss. ...

... Too many questions remained unanswered. Silence leads to rumor, and many are circulating.

An explanation is overdue.

- Donate to fallen and injured officers - Ogden Police Department website

- in the line of duty - Ogden Standard-Examiner Editorial

... What occurred ... is a sobering reminder that a law enforcement officer's job always has a potential danger. Those who protect us while we sit comfortably in our homes at night are expected to toil with the understanding that weapons may be turned on them at any time. ...

- Ogden's awful tragedy - Deseret News Editorial

... A court eventually will sort out facts and determine blame, but it is likely no one ever will get a satisfactory answer as to why this happened, or why a seven-year veteran of the department with a wife and two children was taken. ...

- Ogden tragedy - Provo Daily Herald Editorial

... The first news accounts of violent crimes often have many holes. That's true in this case.The media try to relay the best information available at any given point in time, but later information always seems to adjust perspectives.

So we'd urge Utahns to not rush to judgment. Be patient and wait until a clearer picture of this tragic event emerges.

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- Wagging the dog: DRC ruling judges waste by its cover - Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

Abraham Lincoln once asked, "How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg?" His answer? "Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg."

The Utah Division of Radiation Control has ruled that the managers of the EnergySolutions landfill in Tooele County can call a tail a leg just because outdated federal regulations have not yet given it any other official label.

In a Tribune column last month, DRC Director Rusty Lundberg explained his division’s decision to allow the company to store a mixture of higher-level wastes from the nation’s nuclear power plants stirred into the kind of lower-level garbage EnergySolutions already has tons of. But the reason is not that the resulting blend is known to be safe, or safer, or safe enough.

No, the decision to allow EnergySolutions to receive as much as 40,000 cubic feet of blended waste before it files the necessary safety assessment plans is based on the incontrovertible — and meaningless — argument that the higher-level wastes going into the process were never labeled at all.

The reassuring cooing sounds that agency leaders made the other day at a public hearing did not — and should not — convince the many concerned citizens who were there to challenge the plan. ...



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