Who deserves praise and criticism this week in Northern Utah?

Monday , March 20, 2017 - 5:00 AM


THUMBS UP: To Weber State University officials for seeing through requests to the Legislature for funding renovation of the Weber State Social Sciences building.

WSU representatives began asking for $30 million for the project in 2014 and despite repeated rejection, their persistence paid off. Lawmakers approved $14 million to go toward the project this year and allocated another $15 million for 2018. An additional $5 million donation was made by John E. Lindquist.

  • RELATED: “Weber State Social Science Building gets legislative funding”

The renovations, which officially begin in May, will add 13,000 square feet to the building and include modern lab spaces, according to Standard-Examiner reporting. The building’s utility system will also be updated.

The renovations are sorely needed and the improved building will improve the student experience at Weber State.

THUMBS DOWN: To the handful of bicyclists who do not understand or respect why it’s important they yield to pedestrians on the Bonneville Shoreline Trail and other Weber County trails. As spring leads to increased traffic on the trails, safety for all users becomes paramount.

It is a well-established rule that bikers yield to hikers and everyone yields to horses. The basis of this rule is not etiquette, it is safety. Fortunately for us, it appears bikers who don’t respect that rule are a minority.

In places where unyielding bikers are a larger group and cause avoidable accidents, local governments sometimes have stepped in to enforce rules for one-way, alternate-day or no-bike use. Our trail users want to self-police and leave the trails open to all activities, so yield where you are required ... and perhaps even do it with a smile.

THUMBS UP: To the Latino advocacy groups who petitioned the Ogden School Board to take a stand on protecting Hispanic kids at school. IMAGE and LUPEC want a measure adopted requesting federal immigration officials to give school representatives notice before they attend business on school grounds.

  • RELATED: “Ogden Latino advocates seek school action on immigration issue”

They are also seeking a school policy for all students to have a right to an environment free from harassment, regardless of their citizenship status.

This policy should address actions of not only the government, but also other students. The taunting and bullying of Latino students that has resulted from the emotional debate over immigration hurts everyone. No child should go to school afraid, and no child should feel entitled to frighten a schoolmate. These groups are doing the right thing by standing up for vulnerable kids.

THUMBS DOWN: To Salt Lake City and county officials for their wildly incompetent handling of the homeless shelter relocation issue.

First officials angered and shocked residents by announcing the closing of the Road Home shelter and creating four new shelters with overall fewer beds. The decision was essentially made in secret, with no input from the public. The Road Home shelter is rampant with overcrowding and abuse issues, but people wanted a transparent, inclusive and comprehensive solution — not a surprise mandate.

Then it was announced just three shelters would be built, limiting homeless resources even further. Now the battle is all the bigger to earn residents’ buy-in because they’ve done such a poor job of communicating their logic — if any exists — on the placement of the shelters.

Residents, including those here in Weber County, deserved a clear explanation and an invitation to help overhaul homeless services. This issue will affect us too. Now residents can only hope their voices will heard as they show up in droves to last-minute public forums before a decision on shelter locations must be handed to the Homeless Coordinating Committee on March 30.

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