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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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(Al Hartmann | The Salt Lake Tribune) Parleys Trail project manager Walt Gilmore, left, and Salt Lake County Parks spokesman Martin Jensen look over an aerial map of Sugar House Park where the route is planned. The trail enters the park behind them at 1700 East near Interstate 80, where its design required fill dirt to modify a steep slope and the removal of 30 trees.
Editorials: Paying for parks. Studying about religion.

- County parks: Corroon should whittle his wish list - Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

If at first you don’t succeed, lower your expectations.

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This is what Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon should be about in the wake of the County Council’s recent refusal to post a $123 million bond issue for park improvements on the November ballot. ...

... Perhaps the most serious loss resulting from the council’s short-sighted position was the planned completion of the eight-mile Parleys Trail, from the mouth of Parleys Canyon west, through Sugar House Park, and on to the Jordan River Parkway Trail, which would also be completed with money raised by the stymied bond issue.

But, while one would be hard-pressed to say that anything on the mayor’s list was an obvious boondoggle, that doesn’t mean that a smaller bond issue, with an even smaller tax impact, isn’t worth proposing. Corroon should work with the Republicans on the council as much as he can, and without them where he must, to prioritize his list of park improvements and come back with a less frightening total.

Just managing to keep the bottom line at something less than the psychologically significant $100 million level might be enough to help a majority of the council see reason — even claim a political victory — and put a plan before the voters yet this year.

- Studying religion: U. program meets a need - Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

"In religion and politics, people’s beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue but have taken them at second-hand from others." — Mark Twain

It seems about time for the University of Utah to offer a major in religious studies. The U.’s program will not be the first in Utah — Utah State University has that distinction — but will be fourth in the Intermountain West — behind USU, the University of Wyoming and Arizona State.

Nonetheless, the U. is rightly meeting a need for its students, and the new program is almost certain to be popular, both among those seeking a degree in the field and for others who want to add to their understanding of this important topic. ...

Meanwhile:

- Poll: Confidence in organized religion declines - Linda Williams, KSL.com

- Losing Our Religion: Doubt By Numbers - Christopher Lane, The Huffington Post



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