The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. (Photo through Creative Commons)

Not long ago, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell told Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, “We are not the Clinton administration.” In one particular sense, she is right. Jewell’s comment was in response to Herbert’s concerns that the Obama administration plans to designate a new Bears Ears national monument in Utah. Republican leaders in the state remember how, 20 years ago, President Bill Clinton stunned them by declaring the Grand Staircase-Escalante … Continue reading»

Are killer trees all around us, waiting to pounce?

trees

People tend to feel uneasy about things over which they have no control. It can be difficult, therefore, to read the tragic story out of Provo on Monday concerning two young boys who were seriously injured when a tree fell on the tent they shared with the rest of their family. We naturally feel unease. Perhaps “fear” is a better word. How many trees do you walk under … Continue reading»

Utah’s lieutenant governor goes viral

Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox

  It’s amazing what happens when a politician goes off-script, so to speak, and says something noble and from the heart. You can almost hear the sighs of relief from coast to coast. The speech Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox gave Monday at a Salt Lake memorial for the victims of the Orlando massacre has gone viral, most likely because of its obvious sincerity and because what he … Continue reading»

Coffee, tea, or you wanna piece of me?

Delta

Americans have become somewhat used to seeing headlines like this recent one from the Chicago Sun-Times: “Chicagoans help subdue unruly passenger on detoured United flight.” Some passenger goes nuts — in this case a woman who started snatching necklaces off people, including a flight attendant — and flight crew members cooperate with Good Samaritan passengers to subdue the agitator until the plane lands safely. It happened again Sunday … Continue reading»

Don’t get government involved in BYU-Utah rivalry

Capitol

When you wield a hammer, it must be such a temptation to start whacking away at all kinds of things that annoy you. Greg Hughes has a hammer, figuratively. He has a literal gavel as speaker of the House in the Utah Legislature. The hammer he wields is the political clout to shape the direction of lawmaking in the state. Hughes told reporters this week he has heard … Continue reading»

Utah ranks surprisingly high as a good place to be a teacher

smithfield

If you were asked to guess where Utah ranks on a survey of the best states for teachers, my guess is you would score it somewhere closer to the bottom than the top. In Utah, an aggressive teachers’ union has conditioned us to believe it can’t get much worse than here. But Wallet Hub ranked the state 14th best in a study released this week. (See an interactive … Continue reading»

MLS, soccer, team, goal, kick

If you’re reading this from somewhere along the Wasatch Front, you’re part of the hottest spot for soccer in the United States. That’s according to Wallethub.com, which just released its rankings for 2015’s best and worst cities for soccer fans. Salt Lake City (which obviously includes the metro area) ranked No. 1, followed by Mansfield, Conn., and Conway, S.C. Cities were ranked if they had any college or … Continue reading»

workplace

If you’re at work right now, you’re probably part of the roughly 70 percent of Americans who qualify as disengaged employees. The exception would be if your job description specifically includes reading blogs on news sites, in which case, you have a great job. For a long time, Gallup has been tracking workplace engagement. Since 2000, the results barely have budged. About 30 percent of Americans are engaged … Continue reading»

selfie

Here’s something Utahns can brag about:  They are the most humble people in the nation. Only 22 percent of people from Utah who use social media fill their Facebook pages, Instagram posts and Tweets with reminders about how wonderful they are. These include endless photos from their vacations to exotic places, boasts about a memorable event they attended or an encounter with someone famous, or other “brag-ommendations.” (I’m … Continue reading»