Businesses Opening 03

Salon Rox owner Richard Hunter poses for a portrait inside his salon on Thursday, April 30, 2020. He plans to reopen on Friday, May 1, after being closed due to COVID-19 social distancing restrictions.

THUMBS UP: Friday marked the start of a potentially brighter, less isolated future, as some businesses were allowed to reopen to the public in accordance with the state's latest safety recommendations. On Tuesday, Gov. Gary Herbert announced that he would decrease the health risk level from red/high to orange/moderate. This has resulted in gyms, hair and nail salons, and even restaurants being permitted to let customers through the doors once more, albeit with distancing limitations still in place. It's a step in the right direction ... as long as residents remember to stay safe and don't abuse their reclaimed freedom.

THUMBS UP: The party conventions are over and the candidates for public office this year have been narrowed. In Weber County, the local primary ballot will be relatively light, but there are still some big races up ticket -- for the Democratic and Republican nominations for the 1st District U.S. House spot and for the Republican nomination in the Utah gubernatorial race. Thumbs up to the candidates for vying in a strange campaign year like this one, clouded by the coronavirus. And to the public -- don't forget it's an election year, brush up on those candidates.

THUMBS DOWN: To the governor and others in state leadership for making the questionable decision to buy $800,000 in malaria drugs that have been touted as potential treatments for the coronavirus but have since been scrutinized by doctors. While the state eventually sought -- and was granted -- a reimbursement and canceled a second planned purchase, the move is concerning for a pair of reasons. Not only are the medications unproven in their effectiveness and safety for this particular malady, but some have criticized the price that was shelled out. At least the drugs will still be put to use, as Herbert has said they will be donated to developing countries.

THUMBS UP: To Ogden’s Own distillery, which held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday for its new 32,000-square-foot manufacturing facility. At a time when many companies are contracting and wondering about their future, Ogden’s Own is going big — evolving “from a two-person startup conceived on a hope and a prayer a decade ago to a multi-million dollar operation,” according to company president Steve Conlin. The new West Ogden facility features a bar that will serve as a tasting room for the distillery’s products, a retail shop and an amphitheater. Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit Utah, Ogden’s Own also has produced more than 11,000 gallons of hand sanitizer.

THUMBS UP: To the bright future of the Golden Spike National Historical Park in Box Elder County. The park, which celebrates the completion of the transcontinental railroad, continues to be in good hands with the recent appointment of Davis County product Brandon Flint as its new superintendent. He replaces Leslie Crossland, who had served as park superintendent for the past 12 years and guided it through last year’s sesquicentennial celebration. “Hopefully this is a chance to make a difference and get people out to Golden Spike, to celebrate the incredible story that this is,” Flint told the Standard-Examiner.

See what people are talking about at The Community Table!