THUMBS UP: We don't think residents could be more excited for the news released Thursday on construction near Hill Air Force Base's Roy gate as it prepares for an increase in jobs to the area. It doesn't need stating, but base traffic has only room for improvement to ease the headaches of many. The passage of this as part of a Department of Defense initiative is significant.
THUMBS DOWN: It was reported by the Deseret News that the new Salt Lake area homeless resource centers are having a hard time filling their beds under the new program. Apparently, location matters. How shocking. Reports suggest that some that are homeless are reluctant to leave downtown and have experienced difficulties reaching some of the resource centers, like the one in South Salt Lake. We can have all the resources in the world, but it doesn't mean a thing if 1) the population that needs it isn't aware and 2) they can't logistically reach it.
THUMBS DOWN: It's sad that the few typically ruin it for all, and such seems to be the case with some high profile charter school scandals of late. This week, Northern Utah saw two schools face censure from the state charter school board. Utah Military Academy was put on warning; it operates two locations and is headquartered in Riverdale. Allegations were made that there was mismanagement of funds, as well as operation of an online program that goes outside the school's strict charter and was told to cease this past year and has yet continued to advertise for it.
These kinds of issues jeopardize taxpayer money, of which charter schools receive, and taint the reputation of charter schools across the state, whether it is warranted or not. Unfortunately, it seems that they are open to opportunity for mismanagement, something the state board is still struggling to manage.
THUMBS UP: In national news this week, the Federal Communications Commission announced it will carry out plans to make 988 the nation's suicide prevention hotline, much like the 911 number for emergency services. Not only is this a great step forward in helping address a serious national mental health crisis, but it's one Utah severely grapples with. Hopefully creating ease of access to immediate services will help those struggling with suicidal thoughts as our communities work to improve mental health care services. The actions by the FCC show how grave a situation our nation's mental health is in. Many of us know family members, friends and neighbors who have attempted or died by suicide. Mental illness does not discriminate, and it's time we take it more seriously.
THUMBS UP: This may be unpopular with motorists, but we're glad that Utah Highway Patrol is taking the speed limit on Interstate 15 more seriously as of late. The agency is reportedly coming down hard on any motorists driving above 70 mph on the interstate in an effort to hopefully decrease crash numbers when weather is actually bad. As it stands, motorists have generally slowed down during poor weather conditions, but only do the actual speed limit, which the agency feels is not sufficient.
Anyone who travels along I-15 can pretty much attest to that. If it's raining or snowing, motorists expect to see delays from irresponsible driving. Maybe this crackdown will actually help reduce crashes and make our roads safer. After all, it is already the law.