THUMBS DOWN: As hundreds of firefighters and officials endangered their lives Friday with the Gun Range Fire in Centerville and Bountiful, it was later released that the fire was human caused, likely by a campfire. Officials are looking for the individuals. Meanwhile, at least three homes are lost and another eight were damaged while 400 evacuated for safety — all in the space of less than 24 hours.
While it seems it should not need stating, Utah continues to have numerous wildfires that threaten local communities due to reckless behavior by individuals with campfires, target shooting and other combustible activities. These irresponsible decisions have real-life consequences, many of which are being felt by numerous families in Bountiful this holiday weekend. Those who are reckless with the law and warnings should face the financial ramifications of those decisions.
THUMBS UP: All the first responders, officers and crews responding from across Northern Utah to Bountiful and Centerville’s aid need to be thanked for their heroic acts. Like Centerville Police Chief Paul Child said on Friday, there were many heroic efforts by fire departments and officers going from door to door, waking people up and getting them out of homes in danger. It was a long night for the many agencies involved, and the work done in the night doesn’t always get the visible recognition of selfless acts during the day.
Public safety concerns can also bring out the best in a community, and Bountiful’s Lt. Dave Edwards also mentioned the outpouring desire to serve those displaced and provide donations for those fighting the fire.
THUMBS DOWN: A couple of businesses have and are shuttering their doors on 25th Street in August, and it’s hard to not be a little disappointed. While it’s hardly enough to indicate a trend, we hope downtown Ogden continues its robust growth in attracting businesses valuable to the community. It’s a treasured area.
THUMBS DOWN: It’s not September quite yet, and Halloween has already made its debut in stores. Perhaps we’re just not yet ready to say farewell to summer before the end of Labor Day weekend, but it hardly seems necessary to introduce all pumpkin spice-flavored products in August.
THUMBS UP: Residents in Hooper deserve a big pat on the back. For this year’s primary election the city boasts the highest voter turnout — a whopping 43.2%. For a municipal election, this is quite wonderful and an example to other Utah cities hovering closer to 20% or below.
While this year might not hold the glitz and drama of a presidential election year, our city councils and mayors impact so much of our lives and the neighborhoods we live in. It’s important to research and become familiar with our most local government representatives.
THUMBS DOWN: This past week the Utah Department of Health announced it’s investigating 21 cases of severe lung disease tied to vaping. This comes on the heels of national reports suggesting the U.S. has seen its first death caused by vaping or e-cigarettes.
These serious developments necessitate more research by scientists and medical professionals on the side effects of vaping — while less toxic that traditional cigarettes, still pose serious threats to youth and users as long-term effects remain unknown. Parents and businesses must communicate the potential health effects of vaping so youth and young adults can make educated decisions on this trend that is more dangerous and complicated than just a fun habit.