Who deserves praise and criticism this week in Northern Utah?

Monday , November 27, 2017 - 4:30 AM

Standard-Examiner Editorial Board

The Standard-Examiner editorial board meets weekly to hash out issues large and small. Here’s what it recommended last week for praise and criticism:

THUMBS UP: To the Uintah Fire Department for hosting Mr. Moosey, the traveling stuffed animal.

The plush toy was given to an officer in Pennsylvania by a 5-year-old girl during a traffic stop — to keep the officer safe, the girl said.

The officer decided to share Mr. Moosey and send him to police departments around the country. Uintah’s firefighters hosted the plush toy for a week before sending it on to Logan to visit the Utah Highway Department.

Giving Mr. Moosey up was a simple gesture and sending it across the U.S. is a simply wonderful way to pay a good deed forward.

THUMBS DOWN: To several Utah Department of Natural Resources boards and committees for being unfamiliar with Utah’s open meetings laws.

The Utah Board of Parks and Recreation hasn’t posted agendas, meeting minutes or recordings of meetings in three years. All three are required by Utah’s Utah Open and Public Meetings Act.

“It’s the ATV thing on Antelope Island that’s got people worked up. Prior to that, we haven’t heard much,” said Fred Hayes, Director of State Parks and Recreation. “Our board meetings are usually pretty calm. Nobody comes, nobody cares, nobody does anything about them.”

Yeah, that’s kind of the point — if the board isn’t transparent about the decisions it’s making, it’s hard for the public to know when they should show up or why they should care.

These laws are pretty straightforward and they aren’t hard to follow. If Utah officials think they can manage public lands better than the feds, this board isn’t doing a great job of providing proof of that argument.

THUMBS UP: To Weber State University Wildcats for their victory over Western Illinois in the FCS playoffs.

It was the first time in school history that Weber State hosted an FCS playoff game and the team didn’t disappoint.

The Wildcats, led by cool-under-pressure senior quarterback Stefan Cantwell, claimed a 21-19 win Saturday at Stewart Stadium by making some key plays.

The game marked the school’s second trip to the FCS playoffs, but it wasn’t so long ago the team went the whole season with just two wins — a testament to how far head coach Jay Hill has brought the program.

Weber State will now travel to Cedar City to face Big Sky co-champion Southern Utah (9-2) at 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, in the second round of the playoffs.

THUMBS DOWN: To preventable tragedies during the holiday season.

Stories coming from all over Utah in the past few days serve as excellent reminders to observe the sensible precautions.

In Salt Lake City, a 27-year-old is suspected of driving drunk and fatally hitting a 19-year-old. Celebrate and be merry. Then call a cab.

On a brighter note, a central Utah man is relieved to be alive thanks to a note from his wife to wear his seatbelt. An extra second spent buckling up made all the difference for him and his family.

Stay safe, drive carefully or hand the keys over to keep the holidays a happy time for more people.

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