We finally have clear skies! January can be the dreariest month, but a little bit of sunshine makes everything better, whether or not you have Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Graduation rates are up by more than 12 percentage points in the Provo City School District. This is a significant increase, especially in such a short amount of time, and represents more students who will have greater opportunities in life. The district said part of it is making sure that students don’t lose hope. That’s something that everyone in the community can contribute to.
To Provo and area for coming into federal standards for PM 2.5 pollution. According to the Department of Environmental Quality, the entire Wasatch Front is now in compliance with air quality standards.
To a few potholes vehicle tires are finding this winter. While the number of holes are down because of the mild winter so far, they are still a part of motorists’ lives. Be aware and drive safe and wear your seat belts.
To Dillard’s for finally announcing the official news they are locating a store at University Place. The rumor mill was becoming unbearable. Looking forward to the new store in 2021.
To student activism. We reported this week on high school students with March for Our Lives grading Utah lawmakers on how well they are dealing with gun violence. Whether you support gun restrictions or think they are problematic, it is great to see young minds engaged in politics and paying attention to local legislation. We could all learn a thing or two from these students.
To the death of Rush drummer Neil Peart, which our features editor Doug Fox recently wrote about. Any classic rock fan or rock musician acknowledges the progressive drummer as one of the best drummers of all time, if not the best. His death after a three-and-a-half year battle with brain cancer is tragic news for the music world.
Kudos to Broadway songstress Bernadette Peters — we were well aware of her many talents (singing, acting, charity work, etc.), but who knew her prognostication skills were so vastly underrated? Little did we know that when she sang “Send in the Clowns” near the end of her Noorda Center concert on Saturday night at Utah Valley University that Congress would follow her plea with such rapid enthusiasm. Sure, Speaker Nancy Pelosi could have sent over the House’s articles of impeachment with all the soberness and solemnity that she said the action merited upon their passage, but where’s the fun and grandstanding in that? Wednesday’s actual signing to transmit the articles featured commemorative pens with Pelosi’s signature handed out to Democratic colleagues on silver platters in a celebratory display. Apparently, everyone’s mood has been lightened about the somber process during the four weeks she held onto the articles. Senate Republicans have also added to the circus-like atmosphere with their will-they-or-won’t-they allow further witnesses to testify in the impeachment trial. The best thing we can say about this whole partisan process is at least this clown show is about to take over the center ring. Come to think of it, maybe another song from Bernadette’s set could foreshadow the spectacle ahead: “Losing My Mind.”
It was confirmed this week: The Houston Astros got caught with their selfie sticks in the proverbial cookie jar. Branded as cheaters for using video camera technology to steal opposing pitcher signs during their world championship 2017 season. In one of the most tone-deaf statements of all time, Astros owner Jim Crane, when asked if the cheating scandal tainted his team’s World Series title that year, actually said, “I think absolutely not.” If blatant cheating, leading Crane to fire the team’s general manager and manager more than two years after the fact, doesn’t taint a title in Crane’s book, it’s unclear what exactly would. Point shaving? Paying off an ump? Look, sign stealing in real time by players on the field is an art form as old as the game itself. Pointing a center field camera on the opposing catcher, relaying it to a monitor in a tunnel near the dugout and banging on a trash can to signal your hitter is a disgrace. There’s a phrase which describes the merit of Crane’s logic: It’s called “failure to launch.”
I always get a kick out of people who routinely lie for a living (you know, like most politicians) suddenly acting all shocked and upset when someone calls them on it. So it was humorous when Elizabeth Warren approached Bernie Sanders at the conclusion of this week’s Democratic presidential debate and was caught on a hot microphone angrily saying, “I think you called me a liar on national TV.” I mean, technically, she’d called him a liar too since the two “friends” strongly disagreed during the debate about what was or wasn’t said during a private meeting in 2018. If we can’t require politicians to be sworn in prior to debates to tell the truth and nothing but, then give me more entertaining interactions like this.