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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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Do not text/call while driving - unless you are reporting a wildfire ...

Above: Txt U L8r

Oh, we editorialists sound like a bunch of old ladies today, fretting about texting teens and wildfires.

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But, hey, they are dangerous.

- Text alert: Don’t text while driving

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

A national survey last year found that 58 percent of high school seniors said they had texted or emailed while driving during the previous month. About 43 percent of high school juniors said they had done likewise.

If that doesn’t scare the daylights out of you, nothing will.

Utah already has outlawed texting while driving, and rightly so. As a driving distraction, this ranks high as one of the most dangerous.

But texting now is so central to the relationships of young people that it is an almost irresistible force, law or no law. Kids now rely on text messages the way their parents and grandparents lived by the telephone.

The only hope may be education. Somehow, young people have got to be convinced that it’s not worth risking life and limb behind the wheel to answer a text message immediately. If you can’t resist reading and replying to a text when it arrives, pull over. Once you’re safely off the road and stopped, text away. [...]

- Get the message: Don't text drivers - Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger Editorial

- Teens must stop texting while driving - Royal Oak (Mich.) Daily Tribune Editorial

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- Preventing disaster: Ban on fireworks, fires is welcome

Utahns should welcome a state and federal ban on open fires and all types of fireworks, tracer ammunition and other pyrotechnic devices, and strict limits on smoking.

Utah is a tinderbox, and it would be irresponsible, and idiotic, for anyone to risk setting any part of the state ablaze. The ban is effective on all state and federal land and all private unincorporated areas. Municipal authorities should adopt the same type of ban within cities. [...]

- Crews tame wildfires, brace for hot, dry weekend - The Salt Lake Tribune

- West Valley City firefighters douse field fire near mobile home park - The Salt Lake Tribune

- Plenty of fireworks in Hatch-Liljenquist debate - The Salt Lake Tribune [This one's not part of any ban.]

- Wildfires could be harbinger of more to come - Powell [Wyo.] Tribune Editorial

- Fire can be good management tool - Chico (Calif.) Enterprise-Record Editorial



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