An honor for the Huntsmans • Jonny, we really miss ye. But former Gov. Jon Huntsman will be back in Salt Lake City in September, when he and his wife, Mary Kay, are to accept a well-earned award from the gay rights organization Equality Utah. The decision to honor the Huntsmans speaks well of both those receiving the award and those giving it. Some human rights advocates would only be interested in honoring politicians who have stated full support for same-sex marriage. Equality Utah, though, realizes how much of a political risk it was for Utahn Huntsman to move the needle as far as his support for civil unions and other civil rights for same-sex couples, even while reserving the term "marriage" for the union of a man and a woman. He also supported other rights for same-sex couples. He hosted the Log Cabin Republicans, an organization of gay and lesbian Republicans, at the Governor's Mansion. And he attended Equility Utah events, even when they weren't giving him an award. More reasons why Republicans should be following the Huntsman lead.
Shame and honor • Perhaps the most shameful moment in the history of 20th Century America was the internment of Japanese-Americans in remote camps during World War II. A panicked people, all the way up to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, allowed the shock of Pearl Harbor to overwhelm their decency, common sense and respect for constitutional rights to corral thousands of innocent people. One of those camps was in west central Utah, near the town of Delta. And it is very much to the credit of that community that it is breaking ground on Aug. 4 for a new museum that will tell the story of the Topaz camp, once home to 11,000 people. The volunteer organization is seeking funds to help bring the $2.3 million project, the Topaz Museum and Education Center, to completion. They have already earned a $714,000 grant from the National Park Service. And the land where the camp stood was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2007. A lesser community might prefer to sweep all this history under the rug. But, in Delta, they will never forget.
A highly effective person • What do you do when you win an award for serving your community? If you are Greg Williams, a former high school teacher who has since made a mark as a financial adviser for the Massachusetts-based MassMutual Financial Group, you direct the $10,000 prize to your old school district. The Jordan School District will use the money to expand the The Leader in Me program, modeled after Stephen Covey's book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People to two more schools. As Covey, who died earlier this month, advised (Habit 4), everybody can win.