Who deserves praise and criticism this week in Northern Utah?

Monday , November 13, 2017 - 4:30 AM

STANDARD-EXAMINER EDITORIAL BOARd

The Standard-Examiner Editorial Board hashes out the positions we take on the Opinion page. Here’s what members recommended last week for praise and criticism:

THUMBS UP: To the volunteers making the Lantern House yoga program happen.

  • RELATED: “New Lantern House yoga class offers hour-long diversion for homeless”

Amanda Ballenger has practiced yoga for 20-plus years and believes that the positive effects can help the homeless cope with their considerable difficulties.

“I really believe in yoga and meditation — I believe in what it can do for a person,” she told Standard-Examiner reporter Mitch Shaw. “But in a lot of places, it’s become expensive and exclusive. I just think our sort of compromised populations should have access to it.”

Treating the homeless with dignity isn’t always easy but this program helps erode the wall between the “haves” and “have nots.”

THUMBS DOWN: To the Utah Department of Transportation for taking a passive stance on bumping up construction for a Mountain Green interchange.

  • RELATED: “New report says I-84 interchange would boost economy, UDOT unmoved”

On one hand, UDOT has a good point about not building things in hope of attracting growth. But there are two planned mixed-use developments that will grow the Morgan County population by more than 9,000 residents. That’s major tax revenue.

If either project is significantly delayed because of UDOT’s priorities, it will directly harm Morgan County’s economic growth. Moving up the priority for building the interchange isn’t wishful thinking — it’s a practical way to prevent future traffic problems.

Waiting until 2040 to start a Mountain Green interchange project is the wrong move

THUMBS UP: To Utah lawmaker Ray Ward, R- Bountiful, for working to make contraceptives more readily available to low-income women.

Helping these women get adequate access to reproductive help isn’t just the good, moral thing to do — it benefits Utah.

Giving this coverage to 8,000 women who are up to 100 percent of the poverty level could save Utah about $9.6 million, a thousand unplanned pregnancies, 680 abortions, 330 miscarriages and more than 130 premature, highly expensive hospital treatments.

Last year, Ward noted his proposal didn’t get a lot of traction. It’s good he’s bringing it up again and his colleagues would do well to listen.

THUMBS DOWN: To U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop for taking steps to dismantle endangered species protections.

According to reporting by the Washington Post, “One measure would force the federal government to consider the economic impact of saving a species rather than make a purely scientific call.”

Oftentimes it’s economic priority that causes the environmental crisis. The endangered species act helps create a buffer between unrestrained development and protecting the health and wellness of the environment and its inhabitants. Including humans.

This is yet another example of when Bishop puts business interests against the health and well-being of Utahns. He should hear from constituents and donors that this is not OK.

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