Is a full-time county commission inevitable? Maybe not

A recurring theme in Iron County is candidates for county commission pledging to do the job full-time. Currently, the position is classified as part-time, but the demands of committee assignments (currently creeping up on two dozen for each of the three commissioners) and compensation of $50K/year plus benefits has produced a perfect storm of demanding 40 or more hours a week to keep up. This is not specific to Iron County either as other growing counties are going to be running into many of the same issues. Even if going…

Iron County Elections not taking security seriously

UPDATED 5/11/2018 9:06AM: Iron County Clerk Jon Whittaker replied with the following: “Contrary to the title of the article, Iron County cares deeply about the security of personal information, as well as election security. I agree with Mr. Harris that this is a problem, and I appreciate his bringing it to light. I am the Iron County Clerk, and have been in contact with our IT Director regarding a more secure method of digital delivery. In the meantime, please do not send your affiliation requests via email for the reasons Mr.…

Cities can grow up, grow out, or grow expensive

It’s been getting harder than ever to get affordable housing in Utah. Or, in some cases, housing at all. Utah’s strong economic performance and historically low cost of living have lead to large influxes of people from other states. This is no longer isolated to the Wasatch Front as St George, Cedar City, and even Logan have all see strong growth in housing prices over the last several years. Not so coincidentally, we’re also seeing an increasing number of fights about zoning and housing density in almost every growing city…

An open letter to Utah high school students

Last Friday thousands of Utah high school students walked out in memory of the Columbine and parkland shootings. A student organizer was quoted saying: “I just want people to know we’re not political puppets.” Well young friends, despite your obvious good intentions, you are not entirely informed. You are being influenced, and not by people that ultimately support your rights or your safety. You may perceive you are in a fight for your lives, but it is actually more like a fight for your rights. And you are being told…

Potheads make bad laws

Now that the Utah Medical Marijuana Initiative has inched closer to obtaining a spot on the November statewide ballot, it is a good time to get absolutely real about what policies, and their societal effects, are at stake. Supporters of the measure argue that good people are being forced to break the law just to relieve chronic pain. Opponents argue that this initiative is simply the first step in a broader campaign to legalize pot, as in Colorado. So who is right? Every statewide ballot initiative permits supporters and opponents…

Pot of gold

“But let me get to the point. Let’s roll another joint. And turn the radio loud. I’m too alone to be proud.” —from the song “You Don’t Know How It Feels”, by Tom Petty (RIP) I often refer to Utah as a theocracy. I am of the belief that a majority of the elected politicians in Utah believe that their first priority is to promote and implement the moral tenets espoused by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. To me, this is un-American. It is more than allowable…

The caucus is dead and the delegates killed it

I’ve long been a very strong supporter of the caucus system for choosing party nominees and a vocal critic of the Count My Vote effort to circumvent it. But I’m also a political realist, someone who sees what the playing field is like and knows when you have to adjust your tactics. Sadly, the most ardent supporters of the caucus system seem to be pretty clueless in this regard. In fact, I’d argue that it’s already dead, they don’t know it, and they did most of the work to kill…

Fashion designer brings WQ Goth back!!!

Last week, the Salt Lake Tribune published an article about the fashion industry showing support for the defunct Bears Ears National Monument. It was titled: “Scenic, sacred and now sexy! Fashion designer makes a bold statement for protecting Bears Ears and Grand Staircase monuments” by Kathy Stephenson The article began: “Utah’s national monuments are scenic, sacred and now sexy enough to take a turn on the catwalk. Hoping to “make a statement” in support of wilderness, designer Chris Leba featured everyday Utahns and their fight to protect the Bears Ears and…

Dogs and hipsters need not apply

“In time, we hate that which we often fear.” — from “Antony and Cleopatra”, by William Shakespeare Before I was beset by a string of bizarre injuries that have rendered my legs virtually useless for most of 2018, I used to enjoy taking my dog Cooper for a run in the Logan City park across the street from my house. I would take “The Coop” for this run about 11 PM, which matters not since dogs are not allowed in the park day or night. I just admitted in this…

For the life of a very special child

State Representative Karianne Lisonbee and State Senator Curt Bramble have co-sponsored a bill protecting a baby from being aborted solely because it has or has been diagnosed with Down Syndrome (HB 205) – and it sounds altogether reasonable to me. Why should Down Syndrome be a death sentence? Or, if focusing solely on the feelings and rights of the mother, why does a personal preference outweigh the inherent dignity of a Down Syndrome child? For the bill’s pro-abortion opponents, the biggest excuse in opposing the bill is the law. Since…