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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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(Kim Raff | The Salt Lake Tribune) Overwhelmed by the bright lights and loud noises at the grocery sore, James Turner curls up on the floor. The Stansbury Park boy has autism and his therapist (left) seizes upon the moment as a teaching opportunity. A new report says Utah’s autism rate continues to be above average, but it’s holding steady at about 2 percent of the population as the national rate rises.
Utah Opinion Sampler: Autism, climate, Medicaid, elections, rivers ...

Autism treatment works, and should be covered — Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

"Legislation that would give autistic children in Utah a brighter future and help their parents deal with the challenges they face trying to provide therapy to their children should become law.

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"The important measure, requiring Utah health insurers to cover autism treatment, has passed the Senate. The House would be acting in the interest of Utah families if it were to also pass it. Gov. Gary Herbert should sign it. ..."

Part-time legislators need full-time climate experts — Steve Glaser | For The Salt Lake Tribune

" ... Climate change is an area where people are seemingly comfortable ignoring those with the most expertise. If 97 percent of engineers said a mine was in danger of collapsing, would [Rep. Jerry] Anderson encourage his coal-mining constituents to continue working? If 97 economists shared an opinion about a tax plan, would he vote with three who disagreed? ..."

In prudently expanding Medicaid, Utah can be a model for the nation — Deseret News Editorial

" ... Utah can provide a way for the Obama administration to put substance behind the president’s statement last week: "States that don’t expand Medicaid are going to be leaving up to 5.4 million Americans uninsured. And that doesn’t have to happen. Work with us to get this done. We can provide a lot of flexibility," Obama said at the meeting of the National Governors Association. Gov. Gary Herbert deserves credit for accepting that challenge. ..."

State legislators: There’s still more election reform to do — Richard Davis | For The Deseret News

Eliminate straight party voting. Limit campaign contributions. Allocate electoral votes by congressional district.

Logan River project could have used some USU expertise — Thad Box | For The Logan Herald Journal

" ... Recently, the east gate of the River Trail was locked. At the west end, I was shocked and sickened by what I saw. Majestic trees had been cut. Heavy equipment had used the river bottom as a road. Habitat for dipper and trout was devastated. Thousands of tax dollars had been spent to turn a healthy river into a drainage ditch. River restoration experts and property owners along the river estimate it will take years and hundreds of thousands of dollars to get the river back to health. ..."

Count My Vote deal a good compromise — Rep. Kraig Powell | For The Park Record

" ... I support this legislative compromise that has been reached between the two factions, because I believe there are advantages to both the caucus system and direct primaries. The caucus process allows people the opportunity to get directly involved and research the candidates and ask them questions face-to-face.

The primary election process ensures that voters have the ultimate say in choosing our nominees. ..."

UTOPIA’s clinging existence — Ogden Standard-Examiner Editorial

Raising tobacco age will only cause more problems — Patrick Boner | For The Daily Utah Chronicle

" ... Smoking should not be a crime — it is just a stupid decision. These are young adults who can vote and enlist in the military, but if they smoke it’s a crime. Something is wrong here. ..."

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