Thumbs up: To the many examples of compassion shown to the victims of the Newtown school massacre. In Ogden, the community mourned as little Emilie Parker was laid to rest. There have been many charitable efforts to help her family as well as families of the other victims.
Thumbs down: To the failure of many in the Armed Forces to stay physically fit. The Army, faced with budget concerns, is dismissing soldiers who fail simple fitness tests.
Thumbs up: To the efforts of the food bank in Ogden and its volunteers. The Catholic Community Services Joyce Hansen Hall Food Bank will provide more 1,800 local families with a holiday food and gift basket. Thanks to all the donors!
Thumbs down: To Utah Transit Authority, for its bloated in-state lobbying budget. UTA spends on average $260,000 a year lobbying; among large cities, only Houston spends more. Boston and Seattle don't contract with in-state lobbyists.
Thumbs up: To the Shop with a Hero event, which took place for the seventh year in Riverdale. After more than 30 Bonneville High School students raised $8,000-plus, 80 children were able to shop with local law enforcement officers. The youngsters included children who have witnessed domestic violence, had parents die, or have parents battling cancer.
Thumbs down: To lagging enrollment in some charter schools in Utah. If the schools are not able to meet enrollment goals, they should receive fewer dollars, and provide the extra money to schools full of students.