THUMBS UP: Happy New Year from the staff at the Standard-Examiner. We hope 2020 is filled with progress on Northern Utah's utmost issues, from insightful planned development to improvement on roads and construction, and uplifting those in our community that are stuck in the cycle of intergenerational poverty. As we enter a new decade, it is full of possibility and great growth.

THUMBS UP: Kudos to those that started the nonprofit Furever Friends Animal Oasis in Harrisville after seeing a significant need in cats without homes who needed health care and new homes. The two locals that run it are not paid, and shelter about 75 cats, arranging foster homes and adoption for them, with the help of a few volunteers. This kind of selflessness and kindness is a hopeful example in our community of those willing to sacrifice their time and skills to help others, without being asked. We could use more of this kind of generosity. 

THUMBS DOWN: Yes, we're going to talk about gun safety after the ridiculous incident that took place in Roy this past week when an individual cleaning their shotgun accidentally fired it off, sending the shot through their door across the street and striking their neighbor. The neighbor just happened to be taking out his trash, a tedious chore we all likely don't think about brining dangerous repercussions. The shooting was accidental. But any common sense gun owner knows to not clean your weapons when they're loaded. It's literally the first step. Responsible gun owners must follow through with safe practices and even instruction given from courses to help you do so correctly. 

THUMBS DOWN: After Jan. 1 it's presumably the busiest time of year for gyms, MLM diet fads, health food (that probably isn't actually as healthy as you think) and the resolutions to go along it. It is a wonderful time of year to set realistic, measurable goals. Often, what we decide in the next few days, won't see fruition come February. This year, we suggest residents sandwich in a new kind of New Year goal: giving. The holidays are a wonderful time filled with thoughtfulness. However, those children, families and neighbors' needs do not disappear merely because the calendar now says it's January. Blood banks still need donors. Food pantries still need popular items donated, children still need meals and warm clothing. What are you going to do in 2020 to lessen the load of your fellow man?

THUMBS UP: Utah Department of Transportation is apparently experimenting with its Express Lanes system (HOV lane from Northern Utah down to the southernmost point of Utah County) because it too is getting crowded during high traffic times — and people are using it when they're not supposed to. We're all for writing up tickets to vehicles who act recklessly and abuse the lane; far too often vehicles can be spotted swerving in and out across the double white lines, because apparently their busy lives are more important than the rest of ours. Well, we hope they get their sweet reward in the near future with some fines.

THUMBS DOWN: We might sound like a broken record, but the holiday weather brought difficult and dangerous driving conditions. Slow the heck down, people.

See what people are talking about at The Community Table!