Who deserves praise and criticism this week in Northern Utah?

Sunday , May 06, 2018 - 10:30 PM1 comment

STANDARD-EXAMINER EDITORIAL BOARD

Each week the Standard-Examiner hashes out issues large and small and takes a thumbs-up, thumbs-down stance. Have a thumbs up or thumbs down you’d like to give? Email a submission of 100 words or less to managing editor Anne Christnovich at [email protected]

Here’s what we recommend this week for praise and criticism:

THUMBS UP: To xeriscaping, a method of low-water landscaping.

Utah is a desert. The only drier state is Nevada.

While thick, green lawns with lots of thirsty plants look lovely and are commonplace elsewhere, it’s a bad idea here. Xeriscaping allows for both beauty and good stewardship of the land.

A shortage of water seems like a dystopian unlikelihood but it’s not unthinkable. There are climates similar to Utah’s where bigger populations are now facing severe water shortages due to decades of restrained water use on frivolous things. More homeowners and landscaping companies need to make low-water lawns a higher priority in Utah. 

THUMBS UP: To the senior volunteers who are giving their time to making the community a better place.  

National Senior Corps Week wrapped up May 5, but many volunteers age 55 and older give their time year round, helping kids learn to read, educating the public at local museums and more. 

Giving back is something for all ages, of course. Recognizing a particular age group is simply one of many ways of showing gratitude. 

And it’s great for the volunteers too — giving back is a great way to find a new community and discover a new goldmine of self-worth.

THUMBS UP: For growing support for gay marriage in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In most religions, hatred and exclusion are frowned upon. The Mormon Church is no exception. While the church’s stance is still against gay marriage, its members are beginning to turn the tide.

A survey, according to reporting by the Associated Press, found that 40 percent of Mormons in the United States supported gay marriage in 2017, up from 27 percent in 2014.

Church doctrines sometimes change. Change is generally a good thing when it’s made to be more accepting, inclusive and loving. The changing of so many hearts is a good sign. 

THUMBS DOWN: To massive parking lots taking up precious space in downtown Ogden. The city is doing the right thing to move away from them.

Parking is a convenience — not a need — for most. Of course, reserving spots for those who need proximate access to all that downtown has to offer is important. As Ogden continues to develop and grow, Mayor Mike Caldwell’s message is right: residents along the Wasatch Front must accept relying less on cars and more on buses, trains, bicycles and other forms of active transportation.

Ogden’s planning commission last week approved an action that will allow a reception center to open in the Ogden’s central business district on Washington Boulevard, with zero on-site parking stalls.

It could be a brave attempt in shifting behaviors, which is a worthwhile experiment. 

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