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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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(Chris Detrick | The Salt Lake Tribune) UTA Board Chair Greg Hughes UTA, center left, and General Manager Mike Allegra, left, listen during a Audit Subcommittee of the Legislative Management Committee Tuesday August 26, 2014.
Western Punditry: UTA & UTOPIA, teacher-bashing, guns, beer ads ...

UTA still has work to do to gain public trust — Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

" ... If UTA cannot demonstrate a better sense for what it means to work for the taxpaying public, then perhaps lawmakers should consider a change in the oversight structure. Some transit agencies even make their top positions an elected office. That comes with its own disadvantages, but at least there would be more direct accountability. ..."

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Ballot issues for UTOPIA — Ogden Standard-Examiner Editorial

"It’s certainly a good idea to let residents of UTOPIA-affected cities have a say on the broadband Internet initiative’s future, but it won’t be on election day. County clerks have poured cold water on six cities’ efforts to put a $300 million investment deal with Macquarie Capital on the ballot as a nonbinding resolution. ...

" ... In short, putting it on the ballot is not legal. The solution is pretty clear. If the UTOPIA cities want to have a survey on how residents of affected cities feel about the Macquarie Capital proposal, they can do their own poll and pay for the costs themselves. And it looks as if that will be the solution. ..."


Recruiting Teachers with Insults, Threats — Twin Falls (Idaho) Times-News Editorial

"Being a teacher in Idaho is a humiliating experience.

"And if the Legislature gets its way, the humiliations will only get worse.

"Low pay and being treated like a political football — insulted in the tone and rhetoric of proposed legislation — are taking their toll on teacher ranks. ..."

The political system, not public schools, has failed — Spokane Spokesman-Review Editorial

" ... No state can meet the law’s requirement that 100 percent of children attain proficiency on standardized tests. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan knows this. The authors of the original legislation, adopted by Congress in 2001, knew this. The law was supposed to be updated and aligned with reality in 2007, but members of Congress can’t agree on how to proceed. The issue is yet another victim of D.C. gridlock. ..."

Classrooms key battlefields in War on Poverty — Los Angeles Daily News Editorial

"Of the many battlefields where the half-century-old War on Poverty has been fought, there may be none so important — or difficult to conquer — as our public classrooms. ..."


Review gun range policies — St. George Spectrum Editorial

" ... Many Americans rest somewhere in the middle — between the National Rifle Association leadership’s stance and the "ban guns" crowds. They just want the debate to end because they are tired of hearing from both sides.

"But then something comes up that shocks people that almost demands the conversation continue. Such an event happened Monday when an instructor at an outdoor shooting range in White Hills, Arizona, was killed when a 9-year-old girl lost control of an Uzi submachine gun. ..."

At last, a properly equipped range — Casper Star-Tribune Editorial

" ... The Platte River Rod and Gun Club has, according to Natrona County commissioners, done what it must to bring its practices in line with accepted standards. This comes after a nearby resident found a large-caliber bullet in his bedroom nearly two years ago — a scary event that forced commissioners to ask the club some tough questions and make sure the range wasn’t a safety risk. ..."


Listen to Crested Butte citizens on Bud Light "Whatever" campaign — Denver Post Editorial

" ... Anheuser-Busch wants to pay the town $250,000 to fence off a popular strip and literally paint it blue to create a ‘fantasy’ Bud Light-drinking community called Whatever for an online and television ad campaign.

"Many in the town are understandably upset about temporarily transforming one of Colorado’s most iconic and funky ski towns into a Bud Light ad — especially in this craft-beer-loving state. ..."

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