Tim DeChristopher, the bogus oil and gas lease bidder who was sentenced to two years in federal prison in 2011 for his actions, recently was released from prison and is serving the remainder of his sentence in a halfway house in Salt Lake City.
He had landed a job while serving the halfway house stint with the First Unitarian Church in Salt Lake, doing community service work.
But he couldn't take that job, it turns out, because the federal Bureau of Prisons, which maintains jurisdiction over DeChristopher, deemed in all of its bureaucratic wisdom that the work DeChristopher would be doing would be inappropriate.
DeChristopher's defense, which he never was allowed to present in federal court, was that he interrupted the auction to protect pristine public land. In other words, in his view, it was a social justice issue.
There's the rub. The Bureau of Prisons said DeChristopher could not do social justice work while still serving his sentence, according to people close to him.
As we all know, social justice activity is a gateway to more hard-core pursuits, like philanthropy, volunteerism, voting Democrat.
So DeChristopher's supporters found him a job instead with Ken Sanders Rare Books store in Salt Lake City.
Idaho is blessed • Liquor sales in Idaho are booming at the borders of both ends of the state each for a different reason.
The Journal of Business recently reported the Idaho State Liquor Division is enjoying overwhelming sales at its new liquor store in Post Falls, just over the border from Washington, since Washington enacted new liquor taxes and fees in June.
Southern Idaho sellers of booze have known that kind of joy for years, since they are near the border with Utah, whose state monopoly of liquor sales involves a huge mark-up on the product, making the Idaho hooch so much more attractive.
And that doesn't even take into account the lottery tickets.
To H or not to H • In our somewhat confused state of Utah, we have Uintah County, which is near the Uinta Mountains and Uintah High School in the heart of the Uinta basin divided by the Uintah River.
During a visit to that part of the state recently, I saw so many signs that spelled Uintah (or is it Uinta?) differently, I decided to check it out.
The general rule, as I was taught, has the H in the name when it describes a government agency, like Uintah County government. It does not contain the H when it describes a geological formation.
But I saw a sign for the Utah State University campus in the Uintah Basin (with the H) and another sign that marked the Uintah River (again with the H).
Uintah County Commissioner Mark Raymond tells me the rule is basically that there is no rule.
"It depends on how someone wants to spell it at any given time," he said
Although, if it's a government entity, it always has the H. If it is geological, "then it's optional," he said.