Short takes on news
A chance to play • Laws that require access to public buildings for people with disabilities haven't done much for disabled children who want to join in the fun at parks and playgrounds. So a Davis County mom, Tara Bennett, took matters into her own hands to make that possible for her 5-year-old daughter who has cerebral palsy and a seizure disorder. Bennett's efforts led to the Davis County Commission forming a committee to develop Chloe's Sunshine Playground, and the project, named for Bennett's daughter, is now under construction in Syracuse. It will include wide ramps, climbing structures and slides that can be used by children in wheelchairs and on crutches, and shade areas for those whose medications make them sensitive to sun. The design also provides open spaces for children with autism who don't like close quarters. The project will be fun for children without disabilities as well, so they all can play side by side.
Helping hands • An old-fashioned bucket brigade requires two things: buckets and lots of volunteers. A Utah County community has both. Thousands of neighbors rallied to help Saratoga Springs residents whose homes and streets were damaged by mudslides after thunderstorms dumped rain on fire-scorched hills during the Labor Day holiday weekend. The slimy sludge slid into the basements and yards of about two dozen homes downhill from the burn scars left by the recent Dump Fire. Eleven homes were severely damaged. The volunteer crews also worked alongside city employees to help clear culverts, drainage ditches and ponds. This effort helps cement Utah's deserved image as a state where people help one another when the need arises.
Goal: interstellar space • The mission: to go where no man-made object has ever gone before. Middle-age Americans will remember NASA's launch of Voyager I and Voyager II in 1977, on a long trip through the solar system and beyond. No one could predict then how long or far the twin spacecraft would travel. They have since rocketed billions of miles from Earth in different directions, the longest-operating spacecraft in history. Sept. 5 marked the 35th anniversary of Voyager I's launch toward Jupiter and Saturn. It is more than 11 billion miles from the sun, while its twin, Voyager 2, whose launch anniversary was marked two weeks ago, is 9 billion miles from the sun. Voyager I will eventually leave the solar system as the first object made by humans to have escaped the realm of planets we call home. Who knows what it may find?