Who deserves praise and criticism this week in Northern Utah?

Monday , March 05, 2018 - 4:30 AM


Each week the Standard-Examiner hashes out issues large and small and takes a thumbs-up, thumbs-down stance. Here’s what we recommend this week for praise and criticism:

THUMBS UP: To Bob Quick, the “Forrest Gump on a bike” and newly-minted honorary Roy City firefighter.

Quick, of Ogden, has done several cross-country bike rides. But he’s also been through 26 heart surgeries. At age 56, he’ll soon take is last long ride to Lexington, Kentucky, now that his doctors advise against taking on such strenuous challenges.

What could have been a life cut short turned into an opportunity for a man to make the most of what he loves. Fourteen years ago, paramedics with the Roy City Fire Department saved his life. Quick never forgot it and has often dedicated his rides to raising awareness for all that the fire departments do for the community.

THUMBS UP: To the Weber School District getting its first International Baccalaureate program.

Through the program, students at Weber High School can graduate primary school with as many as 30 college credits — a sophomore standing at most colleges and universities. Students from other schools in the district can apply for the program, too.

It’s challenging, rigorous coursework but it’s also an excellent opportunity. It’s not easy to become accredited but Weber High Principal Velden Wardle said the school has been considering the program for about six years, since the school’s community council first expressed interest in it.

Offering a leg-up for students no matter their goals is what a district is supposed to do, and this is a good thing for Weber district’s kids.

THUMBS DOWN: To forging petition signatures.

Two people, a 21- and 22-year-old, face a handful of felony and misdemeanor charges after collectively forging close to 500 signatures for the Utah Medical Cannabis Act and for the Direct Primary Election Act. The two were paid a sum of $2,080.45 because the company they worked for paid its staff by the signature.

It doesn’t seems shocking that any person remotely hard-up for cash could be fallible to the temptation of adding signatures. But the repercussions can’t be overstated. It’s an American right to petition the government when lawmakers aren’t responding to the will of the people. Messing with that right is egregious.

Thankfully, we have election officials who take their jobs more seriously than the signature-gatherers did.

“I’ve been asked if we really review every signature in an election or a petition,” Weber County Clerk and Auditor Ricky Hatch in a statement last week. “Yes, we do.”

THUMBS DOWN: To Utah’s congressional lawmakers for their ulterior motives on shrinking Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante national monuments.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, among others, argued that the monuments were a “land grab” by the federal government and needed to be reduced.

But recently released emails sent before the decision to shrink the monuments show Hatch was primarily concerned about mining and drilling for oil and natural gas.

And then he had the chutzpah to say he was glad the emails were made public, claiming his motives were for the children and school funding.

So which is it? Protecting Utahns from government overreach or providing more education funding for children? The answer doesn’t seem to be backed by either response.

More to the point, why didn’t he tell us the truth in the first place?

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