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The Recycled Earth recycling operation in Ogden, on Wednesday, July 8, 2020.

THUMBS DOWN

Sadly, recycling seems to be in danger of going the way of the fidget spinner, the pet rock, the singing fish trophy and any number of other fads.

Many cities in Northern Utah, because of the higher costs of recycling, have discontinued the practice — at least temporarily. So those milk jugs, pop cans and cardboard you’ve been dutifully placing in the recycling can? Odds are, they’ve been going to the landfills.

That’s not acceptable.

We hope communities will find a way to solve this problem, and do it quickly. In the end, the reality may be that recycling is simply going to cost us a bit more. But it seems a worthwhile thing to do.

THUMBS UP

A huge thumbs up to alumni Mallory Rogers and Mykayla Rogers, for starting a community dialogue about the Bountiful High School “Braves” mascot. The two women, who are not related, are questioning the propriety of using a Native American symbol for the school’s mascot.

In an initial reply to the women’s suggestion, Bountiful mayor Randy Lewis took a combative tone and alluded to what he called the “sheep mentality” of the Black Lives Matter movement.

“I have lived here for 41 years and I have had 6 children graduate from Bountiful High and none of them are embarrassed to have gone there to school,” he wrote in response.

Not really the point, is it?

The issue isn’t whether this white mayor’s children are “embarrassed” to have attended a school with a potentially offensive mascot. The issue is whether Native Americans — the actual subjects of the mascot controversy — are embarrassed/offended/uncomfortable with the appropriation.

To his credit, Lewis reportedly later apologized for his initial comments, saying, “I welcome the challenge to listen more carefully and continually educate myself.”

That’s good advice for everyone.

THUMBS DOWN

Thus far, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert has ruled out a statewide mask mandate, even in the face of a resurging COVID-19 pandemic. On Thursday, he again declined to require the personal protective equipment, saying he’s “going to give the people of Utah an opportunity to show the kind of people” that they are.

We’d love to believe Utahns will do the right thing here, but so far we haven’t seen it. Under the guise of personal freedoms, many Utahns have refused to wear face masks in public, and the issue has become highly politicized.

But this isn’t politics, it’s about public health. Please, wear the darn masks, people.

Make way, tennis. Here comes pickleball.

Considered one of the fastest-growing sports in the country, pickleball is a little like tennis but it’s played on a much smaller court, so it’s accessible to a variety of athletic abilities. Aside from the fun factor, the sport is supposedly easier to learn and — perhaps most notably — involves less running than sports like tennis.

Riding that wave, the city of Clearfield recently unveiled a 16-court pickleball complex at Steed Park, making it the largest such facility between Salt Lake City and Brigham City. What’s more, they’re lighted courts, which will allow more play in the late-evening and early-morning hours.

The project cost $700,000, gleaned from a special city tax that generates funds for arts, parks and recreation projects. The new courts, which will host a grand opening at 6 p.m. July 15 at 300 N. 1000 West, promise area residents more access to a growing sport that has already seen facilities built in Ogden, North Ogden, West Haven, Farmington, Kaysville and — soon — Syracuse.

They had us at “less running.”

THUMBS UP

Although, anecdotally, the use of personal fireworks was way up this year — and drought conditions and gusty winds made for some extremely dangerous fire conditions — fire officials from Ogden and Layton say that so far this year’s fireworks-related calls have been relatively tame.

In Ogden, the fire department responded to just 12 calls on the Fourth — compared to as many as 40 in past years. And in Layton, the fire marshal said there was plenty of fireworks activity, but no injuries and no loss of structures.

That’s good news, but we’re not out of the proverbial woods yet. We still have Pioneer Day to get through, and the conditions have only gotten hotter and drier since the Fourth.

We implore residents to continue to be responsible in their use of fireworks.

See what people are talking about at The Community Table!