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Thumbs up, thumbs down: Zoom bomb, social protest, podcast and vets

By Staff | May 16, 2020
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The creator of "Purple Rocket Podcast," Greg Webb, poses for a portrait in his basement turned recording studio on Friday, May 15, 2020. Webb's podcast, an educational audio adventure for kids, has gained traction around the world and was recently won the "Parent's Choice" award from the Parent's Choice Foundation.

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Veteran Terry Schow poses for a portrait outside his home on Friday, April 17, 2020. Schow is a member of the Baker-Merrill American Legion Post 9 and former executive director of the Utah Department of Veterans Affairs.

THUMBS UP: To the Weber, Davis and Box Elder sheriff’s offices for working to prevent COVID-19 in their jails. Civil liberties groups Wednesday dropped most Utah counties from a petition before the Utah Supreme Court that asked for accelerated inmate releases. The counties are complying with desired screening, early release of nonviolent inmates and other prevention measures.

THUMBS DOWN: To the uninvited group of individuals who “Zoom bombed” the Ogden City Diversity Commission’s virtual video call on Wednesday, shouting racist slurs, making racist gestures and displaying pornographic images. The Ogden Police Department is working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to identify the individuals.

THUMBS DOWN: To the grandstanding of Katie Witt, the Kaysville mayor and U.S. House of Representatives hopeful who is flouting her state and county’s pandemic guidelines. Witt has thrown her support behind a May 30 Collin Raye concert at Barnes Park in her city. The event is being put on by Utah Business Revival, a group that has been protesting government directives meant to curb the coronavirus. Calling it a “First Amendment issue,” Witt says the event is designed “to create space where (participants) can safely express their opinions and be able to freely assemble.” But one of her opponents in the House race, Davis County Commissioner Bob Stevenson, called it for what it is: “To me, this is a total political maneuver by Katie Witt.”

THUMBS UP: To Greg Webb for his award-winning “Purple Rocket Podcast.” In 2017, the Ogden man began recording a world-spanning children’s podcast that he describes as “educational audio adventures for kids.” The popular podcast is downloaded by roughly 40,000 to 50,000 unique visitors each month, from as far away as England, Australia and India. “As my wife can attest, I’m basically a giant 10-year-old,” Webb told the Standard-Examiner. “So if I’m being completely honest, these stories are as much for me as they are for the kids.”

THUMBS UP: To our veterans. For the past month, the Standard-Examiner has introduced readers to some of those living in our community through a new feature we’re calling “Everyday Heroes.” You can find them every Monday on the front page of your newspaper — and online at standard.net. These brave individuals have shared their stories of service and sacrifice, both while on deployment and at home in civilian roles. Their selfless attitudes are to be commended, and it’s no surprise the Utah Department of Veterans and Military Affairs is thinking about them during this trying time. The VA recently launched the Happiness for Heroes campaign, which asks Utahns to send “messages of support and gratitude” to veterans via letters, postcards, videos and artwork. We can’t think of a more deserving group for this initiative.


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